GDC Online Panel “Writing The Unsung Experiences: Gender In Game Storytelling”

A GDC Online 2012 panel entitled Writing The Unsung Experiences: Gender In Game Storytelling is now available streaming for free from the GDC Vault. The speakers–Leigh Alexander, Jenn Frank, and our own Mattie Brice–tackle the topic of gender and diversity in games by addressing it as a writing and storytelling issue. The panel gets beyond the usual issues that come up in “women in games” panels and offers ideas for expanding the kinds of stories games can tell. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Writing The Unsung Experiences: Gender In Game Storytelling — GDC Vault

About Alex

Alex posts some of her sewing projects and cosplays on her Tumblr; you can also find her babbling about sewing and games and Parks and Recreation on Twitter.
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6 Responses to GDC Online Panel “Writing The Unsung Experiences: Gender In Game Storytelling”

  1. Alex says:

    Also, poor Mattie is lit in hilariously dramatic silhouette.

  2. Eric Rehmeyer says:

    I loved the opening bit mocking the cliches of what women want in games.

  3. Jenn says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! Gosh! I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but that panel was crazy formative for me. In retrospect I’d give answers differently, I think, just because of the answers my panelists delivered. Mattie and Leigh are two wonderful women to work with, and even though I was on the panel myself I gleaned so much from that conversation, which was guided but not outlined, and it changed my own mind about a lot of stuff.

    I encourage viewers to listen carefully to each of Mattie’s points. Everything she strikes on, from our gendered definition of “strength” to how we approach “love,” is bang-on. It’s been months now and I’m still thinking about everything she said and how to incorporate all that into my own concepts of design, inclusivity, love. Do watch. (Also, at the beginning, Borderhouse gets one hell of a shout-out. Right on!)

  4. luft says:

    I sometimes think Ms. Alexander is way too kind to the portrayal of women characters. Does she not realize that people rag on boobs because they appear all the freakin’ time? Does Ms. Alexander not understand that Bayonetta was made by men for men, when the creator himself admitted that Bayonetta was his ideal woman and he buys into the old cliche that women are catty and hostile to one another when it comes to beauty and stuff? I do not see how Bayonetta is a parody of anything, that’s just the players reading too much into it, the game never uses her sexuality and takes it anywhere to point out anything. The game only presents over-sexualization and does nothing with it.

    • marco says:

      Even though I do entirely agree that the game is very obviously by men and for men (whether or not a female designed her, it has little bearing in the end I think), when I read what was said myself (I wish I knew the original Japanese used) and especially after looking at Jeanne’s and Bayo’s relationship, I wondered if that was the context he meant (or how that even should have been translated). Admittedly, that could very well be it, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if that is how it were, but I’m just a bit skeptical on that point.

      While I do think in some ways the game is a slight parody (in part, because I feel that’s what Kamiya does natural, regardless of title), I do feel it is heavily sexualized intentionally without feeling like it needs or wants to parody the sexual parts.

      I’m in weird places with the game and character personally, but I do think it is problematic in many ways and many people do try to give it more benefit of the doubt than necessary.

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