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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    
 
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@kriswright

Maybe all the soldiers can have a tea party?


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 06:06:40
kriswright said:
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.
Great post. I think most feminists will agree that their ultimate goal is not for a matriarchal society, but one of gender equality. Bronies is a great documentary to watch in regards to what you discuss here.

I think it's good that developers the world over are reaching out to females because there is so much experience there that was missing before in games. There were almost as many women as men at the Destiny presentation at last year's E3, for instance. Also, females are still a partially untapped market in gaming. My wife beat GTAV the other day. I haven't even done that. We need to let go of our stigmas about the opposite sex and treat people as equals.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 06:33:04  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 06:33:37
Well this got interesting.

I don't feel like getting too deep into things at the moment. I'll just say that the attitude of "women just aren't interested and I know this because that's the way it has always been" ignores that there are all kinds of walks of life which were predominantly male dominated until women were given more freedom to explore them. In the early 1900s it was a "fact" that women weren't interested in having careers... and now they are. Did biology change so quickly? Nope. It's clearly a cultural shift, and it's not an arbitrary one, it's one that happened when women were given more freedom.

In fact, I'd say most evidence points towards women having a pretty freaking large potential to be interested in a much wider variety of things than they are given credit for. In pretty much every "male" field, from math to sports to you name it, female involvement has risen greatly over the last 50 years or so. Coincidentally, this is the era of human history where women were no longer expected to dedicate their entire lives to their husband / children. Weird how that works, eh?

Video games too, female involvement is growing in large numbers. We can try to write it off with "it's just casual stuff" but:

A. If we're defining Animal Crossing as casual then we're talking about stuff most of us love, so why are we writing that off?

B. Most of us actually have no clue how far it extends into more bridge / core games. How many of the 30+ million Mario Kart Wii / DS players, for instance, were women? Should we make assumptions that allow us to write off the women without having the data?

I dunno, I'd rather look at the historical trends in all fields and say hey, maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg for female involvement here. What can we do to facilitate that as opposed to shut it down?

@kriswright It's a bit odd that (at least in the Western world) there is only one color out there that is not considered acceptable on a certain gender... yep, I'm talking about pink on boys. I was in a store with Shirley the other day looking at socks and was like "I think I need more pink in my life..." (I didn't get any socks though, I have enough socks.) Still, I'm not sure I'd call this the "greatest" hurdle in gender equality out of the many out there.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 07:27:01
@Zero

Pink is unacceptable because it's a horrible colour

Like yellow. Fuck yellow. It's garbage. Just as bad as boring old white, only with delusions of grandeur. Pah.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 07:48:08  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 07:49:09
Nothing wrong with pink.



Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 07:52:51
I always wondered why "pink" is its own color anyway. It's basically "light red"…so why don't "light blue" or "light green" have their own words as well?

On a related note, the Japanese use the same word for "blue" and "green." The borders for color-splitting vary by culture, which is pretty neat. Somehow, pink stood out in ours.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 07:57:21
@Zero

Given my general apathy where Kirby is concerned, you're not making a good argument.

On the blue side we have this though:



Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 07:57:52
Ok fine.



Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 08:35:25  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 08:35:54


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 10:00:41
TriforceBun said:
I always wondered why "pink" is its own color anyway. It's basically "light red"…so why don't "light blue" or "light green" have their own words as well?

On a related note, the Japanese use the same word for "blue" and "green." The borders for color-splitting vary by culture, which is pretty neat. Somehow, pink stood out in ours.

Some cultures actually see colors very differently depending on the areas they developed in. I remember a documentary about one tribe that could recognize like 20+ almost identical (to us) shades of green in a heartbeat, due to something about deadly plants or predators in the area that were very slightly differently shaded. Conversely, they couldn't tell two wildly different colors (I think it was like red and blue?) apart at all, not a single one of them. It was very interesting. It was fairly recently, I think it might've even been posted on this very forum. Something about a theory of whether or not relating colors to language made a difference on how well we perceived different colors.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 10:24:27
@Zero

For clarity's sake, when I said "greatest" hurdle, I meant greatest in the sense of "biggest". And I do think it's the biggest, most immovable hurdle. And I also think jumping that hurdle would put a lot of solutions to the other important gender issues into place.

But I hope that didn't come across as if I was saying "My son can't have a tea party and that's more important than the wage gap." I was speaking more philosophically and broadly than that.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 14:13:22  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 14:20:33
r_hjort said:
@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?
I don't think it does. That's where I, and everyone else in this thread pretty much, differs.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:23:46  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:36:44
Jargon said:
@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.
Equality of opportunity doesn't mean that everyone is born into the exact same situation with the exact same economic privileges or lack of. In the marketplace, it means that everyone is on equal footing no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:27:17
WrathOfSamus777 said:

Equality of opportunity doesn't mean that everyone is born into the exact same situation with the exact same economic privileges or lack of. In the marketplace, it means that everyone is on equal footing no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.

But everyone isn't on equal footing due to these social, economic, etc. realities. That's the whole point. Striving for true equality means not ignoring the fact that things like class (especially), race, gender, etc. actually do effect your future opportunities. We like to talk a lot in America about self-made wealth and such but the most accurate predictor of class is still... the class of your parents. Being born into the upper class most certainly opens up way more opportunities than being born poor.

And even against other Western nations who are failing at it too... we perform poorly.

At least we have more class mobility than Peru, I guess.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:50:17  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:51:00
@WrathOfSamus777

Does etc. include economic background? If not, then that isn't equality at all, as anyone with the slightest understanding of the world can see that someone born to millionaires has more opportunity than someone born into poverty.

And even looking at what you listed, do you honestly think that those groups have equal opportunity now? If yes, explain the vast differences in economic outcomes between white males and the other groups? If you think we haven't achieved equality of opportunity, how do you address it? Direct answers please.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:52:16
Zero said:
WrathOfSamus777 said:

Equality of opportunity doesn't mean that everyone is born into the exact same situation with the exact same economic privileges or lack of. In the marketplace, it means that everyone is on equal footing no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.

But everyone isn't on equal footing due to these social, economic, etc. realities. That's the whole point. Striving for true equality means not ignoring the fact that things like class (especially), race, gender, etc. actually do effect your future opportunities. We like to talk a lot in America about self-made wealth and such but the most accurate predictor of class is still... the class of your parents. Being born into the upper class most certainly opens up way more opportunities than being born poor.

And even against other Western nations who are failing at it too... we perform poorly.

At least we have more class mobility than Peru, I guess.
I'm not saying we've achieved perfect equality in these areas. I'm saying that's what we should strive for, not social engineering and wealth/influence redistribution. And we have more women going to college and earning high-paying salaries than ever before, so I don't think things in the U.S. are as bad for women as you do. If things keep going the way they are, women will be the primary earners in the U.S. in the not-too-distant future.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:52:47  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/14, 22:01:33
@Jargon
Yes, it does include economic background. And I'm going to decline to answer your question about "white males" because not only is your question racially tinged, my answer will most likely infuriate you and the rest of the liberals who post here. It gets into things that don't aren't on-topic and have nothing to do with video games.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 21:58:45
@WrathOfSamus777 What is your plan to strive for it though? You're talking about "creating a culture of equality of opportunity" but you don't seem to back anything specifically that would lead towards more equality of opportunity. Rather, you seem to outright oppose any suggestions that would. Which is fair enough, no one has to support every idea out there. But what is your alternative then?


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 22:03:14
@WrathOfSamus777

Banjo Kazooie beating Zelda in the March Madness tourney is the only thing capable of infuriating me on this board. As for being on topic, privilege affects everything, even video games. It's too bad you won't fill us in on your views.


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 22:03:36
@Zero
@Jargon
Because I'm gonna be buying Mario 3D Land and Tetris Axis on my 3DS in a couple hours and I'm in a good mood and I have another board where I argue about this stuff. You guys are asking questions that will take this thread way off-topic about race, socialist vs. free-market policies, and other things. LEAVE ME ALONE! I WANT TO BE HAPPY TODAY!!!


Posted by 
 on: 03/31/14, 22:25:43
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