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Year of the Woman

What the state of women in Hollywood tells us about women in games

Today I listened to NPR On Point on the ride home. The topic was "A big year for Hollywood women?", with film critics Manohla Dargis and Nicole LaPorte discussing (and deflating) recent buzz about the "Year of the Woman" in movies.

If you listen to the show online, you'll be struck by how much the conversation about women in film mirrors that of common conversation about women in games: women not getting the same treatment as filmmakers as men; industry assuming that movies are mostly for guys; the expectation that women filmmakers make "chick flicks" like romantic comedies; that women's roles in films are generally the same as ever; and on and on.

Perhaps my favorite one-liner was Dargis's proposal that women would be equals in Hollywood when a woman directs a picture like Transformers 3. The best caller question asked when we might see a woman create a Judd Apatow-style "raunchy comedy," that might demonstrate "what women are really like."

Then again, my least favorite was the one mention of videogames as distractions for 13-year olds. No matter, the entire discussion ought to dampen considerably any ideas we videogame folk have about other media having accomplished considerably greater audience and creator equity, even if it may seem so on the surface.

(cross-posted from Bogost.com)

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