Viking editorial rebutted: “Making an issue of gender is the issue”

Monday, 11 July 2011 05:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Former senior Pandemic staffer Quinn Dunki has said Clint Hocking’s call for more women in the games industry fails to acknowledge the gender emphasis contributing to unbalanced workplaces.

“I like the sentiment, but framing the debate this way is an aspect of the problem,” she said.

“The only way women are going to be comfortable in the industry is knowing that people don’t care about gender. Making an issue of gender IS the issue. We need to get past that. Strive to be the pure meritocracy that most people agree we should have.”

The eponymous One Girl, One Laptop believes more effort needs to be made to encourage young women in male-dominated disciplines.

“This is bigger than an industry problem. The outreach needs to go down to the middle school levels,” she said.

“That’s where the research shows girls stop studying math and science due to pressures from peers and other sources. The only difference between me and my math-inclined, game-loving friend who does advanced needlepoint instead of engineering is that she succumbed to the peer pressure. Fix this problem, and everything else will come out in the wash in a generation or two.”

Dunki called on other female developers to make their presence felt.

“In the meantime, the best thing we can do is provide role models. If you’re a female engineer or scientist, put yourself out there. Give young girls someone they can look at and say, ‘hey, I can do that too!’”

Hocking had compared the current culture of gaming to the Viking expansion, declaring it unsustainable and calling for greater female presence in the workplace as a solution. Response has been mixed.

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