Editor Britt Hysen aims to show that feminism and gaming aren’t mutually exclusive.
Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/15/2015 --MiLLENNiAL magazine's Britt Hysen, an avid gamer herself, is taking on E3 this week in Los Angeles, with her sights set on women in the industry. The Electronic Entertainment Expo hasn't always had the best reputation when it comes to the representation of women in the gaming industry. Just last year, game developer Rami Ismail's tweet that Playstation continued to feature "more severed heads than female speakers" at E3 became a media sound bite. While it may have raised the ire of gamers who don't want to think about feminism and video games at the same time, it shed light on an issue that isn't going away.
For Hysen and other women in her generation, a love of gaming is nothing new. "Millennial women were raised on video games," she says. "From Donkey Kong to Crash Bandacoot, any child of the 90s was inherently a gamer. It only makes sense that this trait would carry through to our adulthood."
Hysen isn't covering E3 to complain about the lack of women in gaming, but to celebrate the women who are already working (and playing) hard in the industry. Recently, MiLLENNiAL featured Smosh Games' Mari Takahashi, one of the Internet's most famous gamers. As the female voice in the Smosh clan, a Youtube-based gaming channel, Takahashi believes women have ample opportunity in the industry. "I always think there is a place and an entry way for women. In my experience, I never felt like there was this gatekeeper that has kept me from doing anything I want to do in this industry," she says. "I've never felt victimized in any way."
Several female-led titles, including Microsoft's Rise of the Tomb Raider, Skullgirls: 2nd Encore from Lab Zero Games, and Sony's Cosmic Star Heroine and Fat Princess Adventure are rumored to make their first appearances at this year's E3. And, with a rise in games that are gender-balanced and/or feature playable female characters, from Kingdom Hearts to Star Wars Battlefront and its playable female Stormtroopers, woman gamers are seeing themselves increasingly represented. It's a smart move for the industry, which can't ignore the numbers: according to the Entertainment Software Association, 44% of all gamers are female, with women over 18 representing almost twice as many gamers than boys under 18.
"Mobile gaming has made it incredibly accessible for anyone to play," says Hysen. "The stereotype that women somehow aren't gamers is simply not true. We are just as much if not more addicted to our games than our male counterparts."
Whether E3 2015 will buck the "more severed heads than female speakers" trend remains to be seen. But when women do speak at E3, Hysen and MiLLENNiAL magazine will make sure their voices are heard.