A Nintendo community
for the fans, by the fans!
 Go to forum index
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

URL to share this content (right click and copy link)
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?
 
@WrathOfSamus777
That's really only my description of equality in this particular context, for the record, but anyway:

Thing is, if that type of equality is ever to become reality we need some sort of action. Nothing good can come from accepting the current state of things, or merely hoping that things will evolve into something better on their own. We need the in-depth analysis, we need to question the norms and try different approaches to break them down if we are ever to put something else in their place. As with all redistributions of wealth or influence, it will be opposed by those who risk losing some of theirs, but when seen in context there should really be no question of who needs the redistribution the most, and who will benefit from preventing it from happening in the first place.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 22:34:10
r_hjort said:
@WrathOfSamus777
That's really only my description of equality in this particular context, for the record, but anyway:

Thing is, if that type of equality is ever to become reality we need some sort of action. Nothing good can come from accepting the current state of things, or merely hoping that things will evolve into something better on their own. We need the in-depth analysis, we need to question the norms and try different approaches to break them down if we are ever to put something else in their place. As with all redistributions of wealth or influence, it will be opposed by those who risk losing some of theirs, but when seen in context there should really be no question of who needs the redistribution the most, and who will benefit from preventing it from happening in the first place.
Ahh well, this is where we part ways because I absolutely do not believe in social engineering or redistribution of wealth or influence. Create a culture of liberty and equality of opportunity and let the rest take care of itself. Let men be men and let women be women and let them do what they want, whatever that is.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 22:37:54
@WrathOfSamus777
Ah, yes, but here's where you hit a snag: How does one create a culture of anything by affecting nothing? How could women ever gain more influence if the current power structures actively keep them away from influence?


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 22:47:38
It's also kind of insane to trust the system that led to the current situation to correct itself magically.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 23:32:06
Whoa, what happened in this thread?

Looks like--like so many discussions--this one has turned to the nature vs. nurture debate. The fact is that both of them are at play--while parents generally give their boys boyish things and girls girlish stuff, plenty of studies have shown that even outside of that, boys and girls tend to gravitate towards the things meant for their gender. Companies know this and make killings off of it.

I think equality is great and should be strived for, but the thing is that boys/men and girls/women are very different physically, mentally, and emotionally. Men are more prone to bottle in emotions, women tend to let them out, men's bone structure is sturdier, women are generally more intimate, etc. It's not stereotyping, it's biology. And yeah, obviously there are exceptions, but this is by and large the way things are. Trying to push the idea that men and women can do anything the other gender can is a little silly--very few women have the physical structure to play football (US), and no man is ever going to be able to be a mother to a baby. This is also why men and women's sports are divided.

So revamping the whole "system" doesn't really seem possible, IMO, when nature itself is fighting for that. I definitely think women have gotten the short end of the stick historically and should be paid equally etc when their work quality is the same, but revamping how we raise kids and stuff sounds like a bit of a pipe dream. At any rate, it'd be awfully hard to try to keep your daughter from snatching up the latest Disney Princess toy for her entire childhood.


Posted by 
 on: 03/30/14, 23:41:48
@WrathOfSamus777

Let's take my home state of Connecticut. Here you've got kids born to millionaires in West Hartford and born on food stamps in Hartford living less than a mile away. We can agree, I hope, that they don't have an equal opportunity for secure, prosperous lives. How do you plan on giving them an equal opportunity without any social engineering as you call it? Keep in mind that the socioeconomic background of our parents is by far the greatest predictor of educational success.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 00:41:55
@Jargon

They should all heroically beat the system at the same time. Because bootstraps.

Hey, just what the hell are bootstraps, anyway?


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 01:01:41
@TriforceBun

Literally the only things you've said based on actual facts is that women wouldn't fare long playing football against men and men can't have babies. Yes, that's biology.

But you can't be so naive as to believe Disney has discovered the mysteries of the human genome and has infused its properties and toys with aspects that makes them irresistible to people with ovaries. Yes, girls ask for princess dolls, and it's not about preventing her from getting one. It's about recognizing that that shit gets shoved in their faces at a very young age, and even if as a parent you don't condition them to want to be a Disney Princess, society as a whole, TV, publicity and so much more make sure that she'll get plenty of chances to internalize it.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 01:39:22
And then Negative World froze for a full hour.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 02:47:21


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 03:03:53
@Guillaume

There've been tons of studies on this over several decades. This sums it up pretty well, but to put it simply, boys and girls do have a slight predisposition to be attracted to things stereotypical of their gender, even without any external influence. Of course, reinforcing that affects that notion more strongly as well, but I'm trying to point out that it's not as simple as just giving boy things to girls and vice versa; on some level, we have a predisposed "attraction" to certain things.

There's also this pretty tragic story from the 60's.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 03:48:23
Changing minds is hard to do. Text-based, asynchronous communication on the internet does not accomplish that. All it can do is get people upset and then separate them into groups of like-minded individuals who tell each other how right they are and to ignore those fools. Actual, lasting change requires comprehensive understanding that neither side can get through this process.

If anyone is ever motivated and humble enough to discuss this topic over Skype, send me a PM and I'd be glad to set that up -- no matter what perspective you have, I think it would benefit all participants (that includes me!!).


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:01:47
@TriforceBun

You're right it's not that simple. I think it's interesting your example of something girls can't get enough of was branded. Not "princesses", but Disney Princesses. And why would girls all ask for Disney Princess stuff? Because somehow Disney tapped into something closer to what girls are into better than anyone else, somehow? Or Disney has some unknown means of influencing the wants or desires of girls worldwide, with their millions and their multimedia empire?

And I guess I'm surprised that you of anyone would support the idea that girls aren't interested in video games. Does your wife find them completely unappealing? I'm constantly playing co-op games with the girlfriend, and she's asked to play a Zelda game. I'm currently playing Earthbound and she's interested in it. So what's up, here? Is she manly? Am I girly? Like, seriously?

Did you read this part of what you linked, TBun?

However, studies also show that children are exposed to gender stereotypes from the minute they are carted off to the newborn nursery in a pink or blue hat. A 2002 study shows that parents are more likely to roughhouse with their sons than with their daughters, and boys are typically discouraged form "girl" activities like dressing up. Girls who are injured receive attention while boys are told to be tough, and boys who are angry get attention while girls are told to be nice. Wood and Eagley found in 2002 that girls are usually given gender-stereotyped household chores.

The early signals sent by parents are further reinforced by the media as a child grows older. On television, female characters are usually romantic, emotional, and require saving. Male characters are more active, enterprising, and bold. Commercials for "boy" toys are loud and visually stimulating, while "girl" commercials are soothing and quiet. A 2007 study by Handel, Cahill, and Elkin shows that children who watch substantially more TV exhibit more heavily stereotyped attitudes about boys and girls.

At a very young age, children can describe how boys and girls are "supposed" to act. Much of this information comes from observing the endless stream of gender stereotypes that children are exposed to every day.


Actually, did you read any of that page? "Very young toddlers and even infants exhibit typical gender differences, suggesting that nature is the major player in the gender divide. But nurture may be more important than people realize, since children are keenly aware of early gender stereotypes."

Yes, David Reimer's case is unfortunate, but I'm not arguing there is no such thing as gender. I know gender is a thing. I know transgender people at work. That's not what's debatable.

What is debatable is the ridiculous things people will attribute to nature. You CAN say boys grow bigger and stronger. You CAN'T say that it's their testicles that make them more interested in math.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:09:02  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:16:11
@Guillaume

It kinda feels like we're agreeing here, or maybe there's some sort of misunderstanding. I'm not saying there's no correlation with gender stereotypes children are exposed to, just that some of those tendencies are ingrained into a person's nature. To put it simply, there's a mix of nature and nurture. So yeah, removing that external stimulus would lower the stereotyped attitudes for sure, but probably not eliminate it entirely.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that I don't think girls would be interested in video games though. I didn't mention games at all in any of my posts except the first couple (mainly about Nintendo generally having a few different series of games that are already popular with women). Video games, like movies and music, are such a broad art form that calling them masculine by definition would be a pretty strange thing to say. Sarah and I enjoy a lot of games together (we've been playing lots of Fortune Street lately, and I was very happy to see her being super-into EarthBound last year upon her first playthrough). I was speaking about stereotypical "young boy" toys (army men and trucks) vs. stereotypical "young girl" toys.

As for why I mentioned Disney Princesses specifically…I dunno, that's the big thing right now, I guess. It does sort of annoy me that Disney kinda homogenized a bunch of strong characters into all pretty much being differentiated only by hair color in this princess line.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:24:51
Guillaume said:
It's also kind of insane to trust the system that led to the current situation to correct itself magically.

Well when you say "correct" itself, that means you think something is broken and needs to be fixed. Not everyone is going to agree with you on that one.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:45:24
@Xbob42

Yes, many white men who currently are empowered in the video game industry think everything is just fine. What a surprise!


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:46:57
@Xbob42

Well WoS was speaking of an "equality of opportunity" and that's clearly not the world we live in. So in that regard, the system is broken.

Unless you actually think a rich kid and the kid raised by his mother while his dad is in jail both have an equal opportunity. Then you're delusional.

@TriforceBun

Well you didn't mention games but that's the discussion we were having when you chimed in.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:49:49
Jargon said:
@Xbob42

Yes, many white men who currently are empowered in the video game industry think everything is just fine. What a surprise!

That, and many male gamers don't tend to enjoy the games that have a heavier hand from women. As you can probably see from my library, I'm the opposite, and think that games with a more balanced approach tend to be more interesting from a narrative perspective, unfortunately, however, this is still business.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:50:14  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 04:50:45
@Guillaume

Whoops, then I can see where the misunderstanding came into effect. Guess I should be a bit more careful with context.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 05:22:46
So... This is the new Tropes Thread. Whoopee.

I'll say it again, then: I think gender identities and issues are more complex than these sorts of discussions typically appreciate (though I do believe in sensible written discussion and don't believe we need some sort of Skype Symposium to work out our differences). But the greatest hurdle to true gender equality is the refusal to let boys identify with something girly. Until that's possible, the two main genders will never be equal.

In fact, that's my big beef with recent feminism - this sorta Riot Grrl assumption that anything traditionally feminine is weak and therefore contemptible. There seems to be the assumption that boy things are awesome and girl things are lame - treated as if it's self evident. I get in arguments with my tomboy sister about this, where she pisses and moans about the very existence of fashion dolls. And I fear there's an accidental chauvinism hiding out there - as if traditionally feminine virtues are dismissible simply because they're feminine. In other words, the little twerp boys who hate girl stuff win out and set the agenda for everyone.

I don't want to be a quisling for traditional gender roles. But I do think it's more complicated than railing against Disney Princesses and debating whether girls have been brainwashed to like what they like.

I'd rather my one-day son throw a tea party than play army. Truth.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 05:38:58  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 05:40:21
Browse    1  2  3  4  5  6