With women in gaming being such a controversial subject these days, it’s worth asking how we started thinking of video games as a boys’ club in the first place. Adam Conover from “Adam Ruins Everything” is here to lay it all out in the latest CollegeHumor video.
Conover points out that early video games like “Pong” were completely unisex (to be fair, the graphics of “Pong” were too simple to be much else), and “Pac-Man” was so popular with women that Atari developed a sequel featuring an empowered female character, Ms. Pac-Man. There were plenty of women developers in the industry as well, like Atari’s Carol Shaw, “Centipede” creator Donna Bailey and “King’s Quest” creator Roberta Williams.
But after the video game crash of 1983, due to greedy publishers flooding the market with crappy games, Nintendo marketers decided to move gaming from the electronics department to the toy aisles - and those were already divided into girls’ and boys’ sections. The marketers decided to go with the boys and used aggressive, macho advertising tactics, and here we are - gaming is assumed to be by and for the male demographic, despite the fact that if you count mobile games like “Candy Crush,” more adult women play video games than teenaged boys.
If you’re feeling adventurous today, you can wade into the 3,600+ comments of this video, where some male gamers are insisting that nobody said games aren’t for women, women just don’t tend to like them as much; while others can’t believe anyone would lump “Candy Crush” and “Fallout 4” into the same category.
What do YOU think? A valid point from CollegeHumor, or an unhelpful over-simplification of a complex subject?