Opinion: Disheartening to admit, but ‘#1reasonwhy’ is needed

Ryan Scott

Chelsey Fisher

Ryan Scott

When people think about video games and those who create or play them, their mental image is usually of a male.

But this assumption could not be further from the truth.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, 47 percent of all game players are women.

If nearly half of those who play games are female, why are the overwhelming majority of games made with only male gamers in mind?

This is because women involved in video game creation have an incredibly difficult time getting their voices and perspectives heard in the development process.

This issue has sparked the creation of the Twitter hashtag “#1reasonwhy,” which aims to raise awareness of women’s experiences in the gaming industry.

The hashtag on Twitter has gotten a lot of support from high-profile women in the industry, such as Rhianna Pratchett, writer for the game “Mirrors Edge.”

“#1reasonwhy because I still have to keep saying: ‘But what if the player is female?'” Pratchett tweeted Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Pratchett’s tweet symbolizes the fact that women are rarely considered in the development process.

While the movement is getting a lot of support, there are those who feel there is no issue with the way things are in gaming.

What those people do not understand is if you don’t see this as an issue, then you’ve had the privilege to never have to experience it. That is how privilege works –it’s invisible to those who have it.

Luckily though, there are other men that understand the gravity of this issue, such as Patrick Klepek, news editor of Giantbomb.com, a prominent gaming website.

“#1reasonwhy is, as men, most of us can’t, won’t or don’t understand,” Klepek tweeted, “and we don’t try nearly enough to. Because it’s hard. We can do better.”

Men, instead of denying the issue or meeting it with vitriol, let’s make gaming a better place for women. After all, we all share a passion for video games.

Scott, a sophomore computer science major from Huntersville, is an opinion writer.