Saturday, March 15, 2014

I am 12%

That title is a little odd, right? I know when people were occupying wall street chanting "we are the 99%" it got people's attention for awhile. While it didn't shut down the government or make any drastic changes, it was a message of solidarity. Same with my message in the title. Recently I read a study that showed as of 2013 women accounted for 12% of the gaming industry, which is up from the 3% my gender accounted for back in 1989.
While I never consider myself to be too much of a feminist, I am really proud to be doing something that I love, and helping my gender push forward at the same time. I take pride in the fact that what I'm doing isn't technically "the norm", but it makes me happy. I'm glad that I have the freedom to do what I want with my time.

My grandmother (who I look up to and love so much), was married and had a couple kids by the time she was my age. She married my grandfather at age 20 in 1941. She raised seven kids while my grandfather supported the family. Times have really changed from her generation, I'll be 26 in about a month, with no kids, but our wedding is about 6 months away. Things have even changed from my parent's generation. Not a ton, as far as equality in the workplace goes. The video game industry was just starting when they met, and got married. They got married in 1985, which is the same year that Super Mario Bros. came out for the NES.

Some of my earliest memories are of my parents playing games, with my sister and I watching or attempting to play. I distinctly remember my mom ushering my sister and me out of the TV room so my dad could get the rhythm to beating Gravity Man in Mega Man 5. As far as I know/remember, he did win. I remember being small, and being mesmerized by all the colors of the games, and all the things you could do in them. Never once did I feel like this was something that just anyone was capable of. Now it's something I do.

My gender doesn't change who I am, what I like, or what hobbies I have. When I was small I didn't think "video games are so pretty, but only boys can make them". I don't let my gender stop me from doing the things that I want to do. I am 12% right now, but I hope that percentage just grows as I keep working. I hope that if any kid sees what's going on in gaming and wants to be a part of development does it. The more the merrier (for either gender), if you ask me!