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SXSW: Is the game industry scaring away new players?
Los Angeles Times
Women and minorities are ignored. Prices are too high. Games are too long and too difficult. These aren't the complaints of disgruntled consumers but observations from top gaming executives at the South by Southwest games festival in Austin, Texas.
On March 22 in front of an audience at the Hyatt Regency, the panel of experts explored why the industry has been failing at converting non-players into players. The main culprits: An over-reliance on $100 million-plus blockbusters, a difficult learning curve and a lack of diverse narratives.
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Take WIGI's brief industry survey for a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HDX!
Women in Games International
We'd like to know your thoughts on how we're doing and where we might be able to go in 2015. And in exchange for briefly sharing your thoughts, you'll be entered to win an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX (7")!
Our survey takes only five minutes to complete, and your answers will be processed anonymously, so what are you waiting for?
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO START THE SURVEY
Deadline to participate is April 10.
Nintendo's 'strong females' are everything that's wrong with video games
The Huffington Post
Recently, Nintendo sent out an email, saying that it was celebrating Women's History Month. How? By putting some of its female characters on Rosie the Riveter-style posters. It's a cute idea, but there's a big issue: Nintendo doesn't really have many powerful or playable female characters.
"Paving the way for diverse and interesting female protagonists in video games, Nintendo has picked a few of their popular leading ladies that merit this recognition for the month that honors outstanding women," the email reads. Those "diverse and interesting female protagonists" include a pink version of a toadstool and a pink version of a bomb, called Toadette and Bombette.
Beyond Gamergate: A conversation with GTFO director Shannon Sun-Higginson
In 2012, a friend sent filmmaker Shannon Sun-Higginson a hard-to-watch video of fighting game player Miranda "SuperYan" Pakozdi being sexually harassed by her own coach on the Capcom reality show Cross Assault. Not a gamer herself, Sun-Higginson started doing research and began work on a documentary about the larger problem of video games and harassment. Speaking to journalists, developers and players, she put together GTFO, an in-depth look at some of the worst parts of recent gaming history — from sexist trash-talking to the backlash against critic Anita Sarkeesian — and the attempts to make things better. The film, which just premiered at SXSW, couldn't be more timely.
Volunteer for WIGI Seattle Chapter
Women in Games International
We are looking for an individual to take on a key role as Chapter Lead for the Seattle chapter. Responsibilities include collaboration with the WIGI Executive Team and organizing the monthly WIGI WAM mixer. The WIGI Executive Team will aid the Chapter Lead in reaching our network and working toward building a chapter board of directors.
Contact Krissie King for more information.
See the full calendar of events here.
I Make Games — video channel providing female role models in game development
Women in Games International and International Game Developers Association
Research shows that middle school girls are interested in developing video games, but they often lose confidence as they get older. Role models can make a difference. I Make Games is a new campaign sponsored by WIGI and IGDA to provide female role models in game development.
Our goal is to cultivate a YouTube channel that female game developers are continually adding to, with their own stories about game development. We are reaching out to developers at GDC, asking them to help seed the channel with videos. Please check out imakegamesproject.com to see the research, and learn how to create your own videos for the channel.
Why don't we feel guilty in video games?
Remorse is something we rarely experience in video games. For the last 20 years designers have toyed with the idea of culpability and consequence, of getting players to consider their actions in moral terms. Fallout 3 had its karma system, which rated player actions as good or evil, affecting their reputations with any non-player characters they met. Bioshock famously provided us with a choice of whether to harvest or rescue the little sisters. And Mass Effect judged actions on a dual system which shaped lead character Commander Shepard as a "Paragon" or a "Renegade." These systems are all flawed of course — morality is not a binary paradigm — but they at least attempted to frame player actions in a way that wasn't purely systematic.
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The future of video games
U.S. News & World Report
Video games are no longer limited to corporate-built consoles, thanks to the Wi-Fi accessible smartphones and tablets that are shaping entertainment for a new generation of players. And as the future for gamers increasingly moves from the days of marathon couch sessions to gaming on the go, a new massive investment by Nintendo could further jump-start this evolution of mobile entertainment.
Nintendo this month announced that it will become the second-largest shareholder in mobile video game company DeNA, bowing to years of pressure from the gaming community to shift its entertainment to smart devices. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata told Time that he hopes his company's brands will find new audiences on mobile devices, but admitted that the transition is a challenge for the entire gaming industry.
Game analytics from a game designer's perspective
As game designers, we tend to perceive our activity as a mix of art and science. After all, game design is deeply linked to psychology, as well as design! The design part is pretty straightforward and well-documented. There is plenty of reading on the topic, starting with Jesse Schell's famous textbook. It is different with game analytics.
The domain is still young. Ten to 15 years ago, we lacked both the processing power and the connectivity to track player behaviors. But today, it is different.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
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