2 min read

The Role Model Manifesto

In which I start a grassroots movement to raise the visibility of women in games in particular, and diversity in games in general.
Being an active role model can take many forms: mentoring, public speaking, writing, giving interviews, but before any active participation must come the passive.  After careful consultation, I have drafted a four-point manifesto for being a passive role model for women in games:

I, Dr. Emily Thomforde, designer and developer of Coolson’s Artisanal Chocolate Alphabet and bona fide woman in games do hereby pledge that:
1. I WILL use my real, full name when credited for my work. 
    » Initials or pseudonyms may insulate me from gender bias now, but they do not help to change perception for others.
2. I WILL use a photo of my face as my avatar on social media.
    » Thereby increasing the actual visibility of women in articles, tweets, and discussions.
3. I WILL include the fact that I am a woman in games in my profile and in “about me” sections.
    » So that it is googleable.
4. I WILL NOT make games that denigrate women or girls, or that assume maleness to be the default and femaleness to be “other”*.  
    » Passive role modelling means not being part of the problem. 

With a little tweaking, this manifesto could be suitable for your subgroup and your field.  Lesbian in marketing?  Muslim in sound design?  Color-blind person in 3D animation?  To anyone who had a hard time getting where they are, let's help to pave a smoother path for those who come after us.  And the same to anyone who didn't find it particularly hard: we all bring diversity to the system.  What do you bring?


*If you aren’t familiar with this concept, start with the Smurfette Principle

(This blog is cross-posted from my tumblr

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