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Nintendo: More women on development teams = greater diversity of ideas
News reported by 
Editor-in-chief
March 29, 2014, 22:04:02
 
This isn't exactly a shockingly novel idea, but it's nice to see someone from Nintendo openly stating it in a recent Wired.Com interview.

To be honest I wasn't even aware that the director of Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Aya Kyogoku) was female, let alone "almost half" of the development team, but it probably does make some sense that the Nintendo game that has seen the most widespread appeal between both genders has come from such a diverse development team.


Animal Crossing: New Leaf Director Aya Kyogoku

Some interesting quotes:

Producer Katsuya Eguchi (director of the original Animal Crossing):

“We wanted to make sure that the content allowed all the players to express their individuality,” he said during the GDC talk, “that it is was something men and women of all ages would enjoy. So in order to view the project from a variety of perspectives, we made sure the team was made up of people from various backgrounds and life experiences.”

Director Aya Kyogoku:

“Having worked on this team where there were almost equal numbers of men and women made me realize that [diversity] can open you up to hearing a greater variety of ideas and sharing a greater diversity of ideas,” she told WIRED. “Only after having working on a project like this, with a team like this one, was I able to realize this.”

I do have to admit, I am curious how much this attitude extends beyond the Animal Crossing development team at Nintendo? But it is a positive sign nonetheless.

Source: Wired.Com interview

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Posted: 03/29/14, 22:04:02  - Edited by 
 on: 03/29/14, 22:03:50    
 
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
 
Inb4 thread derailing.

I don't think Nintendo is a stranger to this sort of thinking in general, or at least not when it comes to their blue ocean strategies and attempts at finding new audiences, but whether or not they have enough female employees in all available teams, or if the culture within the company (and Japanese society in general) allows them to do this sort of thing extensively and progressively is something that remains to be seen.

But yeah, nice to hear either way, and should give us hope for the future.


Posted by 
 on: 03/29/14, 22:13:01
Eh, I dunno if "not enough women" is anywhere near the top of the list of Nintendo's biggest issues, but it's nice to see at any rate. As long as the good games and fresh ideas keep comin'.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 00:30:44
@TriforceBun Yeah but it's also a pretty simple issue to solve next to stuff like, well... "how do we make the Wii U appealing?" or whatever.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 00:33:36
@Zero

So...Wii U needs more women? This is something I can get behind.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 00:39:43
This doesn't surprise me as a mantra from Nintendo. I think this could produce great games, what Nintendo already does pretty well. I wonder how many women have worked on the Zelda games or Mario games in the past.

I also am not surprised that Animal Crossing: New Leaf had a pretty even gendered team. I have no doubt that many of the new ideas came from women. I would presume the dresses and added female appeal came from more female members on the team but I definitely believe those ideas helped spurn other new ideas that made the game so great.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 01:32:12
WHAT??? HALF THE DEVELOPEMENT TEAM OF ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF IS FEMALE??? UGHH.....AND I WAS JUST GETTING READY TO BUY IT!!!

I jest, I jest. I don't care what the gender of the dev team is if it helps bring new ideas to the series. I don't have New Leaf yet, but this will be the first Animal Crossing game I've played since the GCN original. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Plus, Asian women are teh hot.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 01:36:11  - Edited by 
 on: 03/30/14, 01:37:02
I read the other day that, if demographics keep shifting, in a few decades there will be as many women as men.

Isn't that scary? We don't know these people!


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 02:00:07
@Zero

That's true. It's weird, though, I think Nintendo already has the most "feminine" touch in their games of the big 3 (and it's one of the things I like about 'em). If any companies need more females, it's all those FPS factories out there...


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 02:28:58
@kriswright

Wait, what, I was under the impression that there were more women than men in the world, like 3:1, or is that just the United States?

At any rate, I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it is good to have more diversity, but on the other hand, the fact that we are in the year 2014 and this is news shows how advance we really are as a society (globally) and it's saddening really.

I was reading through a wikepedia article on Qatar the other day (well, earlier today actually) and it stated that Qatar is an Islamic state and follows Islamic doctrine and applies it to law. Apparently in family court, a mans testimony is worth half of that of a man (the same thing similar to inhritance law, which dictates that a woman gets half of whatever a man gets). Now we have to look at this firstly from the context in which these laws first came about, it what was essentially a lawless territory with no government. Women were often sold into slavery/prostitution after a husband or protector passed away. Some women did inherit wealth, but plenty were still beheld to the whims/desires of the clan leader who often times didn't want to bother (specially if the widow had kids). Islam then brought a unified system of inheritance than was widely accepted (at first reluctantly) by male Muslims. Thus everybody was happy.

Of course nowadays, seeing how we live in a civilized and globalized society it seems appalling that these laws still hold water given the progress in philosophy, parliament, government, etc.

To summarize, a lot of the teachings in Islam (and Christianity) are antiquated, and honestly, at this point in time the world would be better off in there were no religions and everybody read a book every now and again.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 04:45:39
That explains why the goal of Animal Crossing is me doing endless chores... It's truly a woman's fantasy!


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 04:56:38
@Tranquilo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 05:22:02


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 05:26:32
@TriforceBun Certainly I'd say Microsoft and Sony could benefit from this.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 05:43:32
@kriswright

I was being serious. I long for a day when having women work on videogames (or anything for that matter) isn't seen as news or is looked at as weird because of social gender roles.

That also reminded me of the paragraph I read about a woman's testimony accounting for half of a man's (how does that even make sense) in family court and it reminded me that although globalization is a thing, global society is still not where it ought to be, or where I wish it would be. I know I've said that good/evil doesn't exist and what is acceptable varies between culture to culture but damn it, this goes beyond culture differences and goes into the realm of basic human rights.

You can read the findings of a 2011 UNICEF study on the matter on the third page.

And to be honest, there are a lot of things I don't like about the US either, but in Qatar's credit, they are not a nation of hypocrites. With that said, at least in the US we can (peacefully) manifest and protest which is more than I can say about Qatar.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 06:26:09  - Edited by 
 on: 03/30/14, 06:34:08
@Tranquilo 3 to 1!? I think it is like 51% to 49% man.

@Tranquilo I think we need some kind of global sense of good and evil otherwise why would human rights matter?


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 06:40:35  - Edited by 
 on: 03/30/14, 06:42:38
@Zero

Yea I think there's .97 men for every woman. 3 to 1 would be quite a fantasy world haha


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 06:46:07
Zero said:
@TriforceBun Certainly I'd say Microsoft and Sony could benefit from this.

Sony and MS have plenty of female employees. I don't get what you're talking about -- there's plenty of females working on games in the West. (I'm counting parts of Sony as "in the West," since they are.) Have been for some time. Of course, there's still some stigma attached to it as we see from those big Twitter outcries every once in a while, but it's hardly some bizarre concept to have women on your team.

In fact I'd say games like Flower and Journey are far more feminine than Animal Crossing.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 07:30:29  - Edited by 
 on: 03/30/14, 07:31:08
@Xbob42

Zero's probably meaning that Sony and Microsoft games in general could use a more feminine or at least not-heavily-masculine touch on their game lineup. This may or may not be true depending on the desires of each of us. Still, I'd be curious to know how many women work on those platforms to see how much that may impact things. The fact that a team of many women and men might still produce heavily violent, mature, or 'masculine' games would be an interesting notion.

Not that I have some kind of preference for feminine games, but I would be interested in playing Flower and Journey. You have any history of them?

On another note, I wonder how many women were on the team for Super Princess Peach. I feel like that game was a bad attempt to make a female-mario-platformer and instead was full of sterotypes and lacking gameplay. You'd think then that it's been made by a team of mostly men but who knows. (I guess the credits would.)


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 07:48:40
@Xbob42

I don't know if you mean it as such but the concept of feminine and masculine is another social construction that we should strive to abolish. There is nothing inherently female about flowers or pink outside of the values we as a society dictate.

Pardon me while I step off my soapbox. I'm done.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 07:53:38
@Xbob42 Yeah but do they have any teams that specifically went out to diversify to appeal to both genders and ended up with a near 50% female ratio? Possible, but I kind of doubt it.

Flower maybe has some particular female appeal, but I wouldn't call Journey particularly feminine. And Flower and Journey aren't developed by Sony, they're Thatgamecompany.

@Tranquilo I agree a lot of gender preferences are socially constructed, but as it stands you still have to think differently to appeal to the mass female audience out there than you do to appeal to the mass male audience. Having women on your team helps, I imagine.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 08:11:42  - Edited by 
 on: 03/30/14, 08:14:45
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