Geek Life Video Games

Game and Gab for Good Recap

Game and Gab for Good | Gamerwife.com

Game and Gab for Good | Gamerwife.com Game and Gab for Good officially kicked off on December 9th, 2014, and despite a few technical wrinkles I think it all went pretty well. I was a little nervous about how the game stream + panel discussion format would work, but I think most people appreciated that we had something to say other than just gasping when we missed a jump (although there was some of that too).

Most of my reservations about how the event went off are mostly due to Game N Give, the platform we were using to collect funds and stream the event using Twitch, still being in Beta. There were more than a few features that we had to rely on Game N Give employees to configure for us, leading to some confusion (in my mind, anyways) about who was organizing what. I think in the future I’d like to take a much more active roll in organizing the event and speakers, but being that everyone had so much else going on and a lot of it had to be thrown together at the last minute, I think we did fine.

As for the discussion itself, while we did meander a bit towards the end, I think we were able to make some good points about why interesting female characters are important. We all agree that the term “strong” has too often been misinterpreted, where a term like “complex” or “compelling” might work better. As well, there did seem to be a consensus that developers should view the inclusion of diverse characters and settings as a way of setting their game apart and creating a unique story, not simply trying to fill a quota. I think we left with a feeling that as the demographics behind the scenes continue to change, who and what we see in games will continue to change as well.

A big thank you to Esther and Clement from Game N Give for setting everything up and to Esther specifically for all the planning she did, as well as moderating the discussion. Also, a huge thank you to Jessy Beaulieu from French language geek podcast Les Mystérieux étonnants for being our last-minute fourth panelist.

I especially wanted to thank Sam and Whitney from Compulsion Games for hosting us in their studios as well as joining us live for the first half of the livestream. It was great getting all those insights into the development process of Contrast, as well as the inside scoop on all the in-jokes and Easter Eggs in the game.

While we didn’t hit our fundraising target, I’d still consider this first event a success and look forward to making the next event even better!

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    kaycreate
    December 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Glad it went well for you, even if the fundraising was slimmer than expected. Also, I absolutely agree that the term ‘compelling female character’ is SO much better than ‘strong’.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      December 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I mean, I think we did have to start with strong to get past the “woman as victim” trope, but as video game storylines and art become more nuanced, I think our portrayals of characters need to follow suit.

  • Reply
    Joie Fatale
    December 16, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I’m glad it went well!
    And: “the term “strong” has too often been misinterpreted, where a term like “complex” or “compelling” might work better” has been something that I’ve had such a hard time putting into words when people always tried to sell me that a character was “strong”

    • Reply
      Mariko
      December 23, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Yeah, strength has a lot of different connotations but people seem to get hung up on the physical strength thing, which is why maybe more nuanced language would help.

  • Reply
    Dani // The cat, you and us
    December 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Glad it went well! I think there are lot of work to do in terms of story-telling in videogames to advance from “strong” characters (not just women characters, but I know there is way more work to do with female ones) to more ‘complex’ characters. Btw, I checked for the video in the Game N Give event page but it seems they don’t upload the video after the event, do you know if is it available somewhere?

    • Reply
      Mariko
      December 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Sadly we didn’t record the video from this first event, but hopefully we’ll be better equipped to do that for future events.

  • Reply
    Fiona
    December 24, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Sounds like you achieved loads – definitely should be proud of that, especially gaining new experiences to take with you for future projects too 🙂 I love how we’re at the stage that we can now redefine women characters even further from just “strong” – woohoo!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      December 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Thank, Fiona. It was such a whirlwind project that I’m still putting together all my thoughts, but you’re right that it was good experience and I definitely learned a lot that I can bring forward to future projects.

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