Gaming Needs to Grow Up

The Game Developers Conference of 2016 kicked off earlier this week without much difficulty. Spreading ideas of diversity, inclusiveness and a touching tribute to Satoru Iwata, who was taken from us at far too young an age.

I think the saddest thing about the game developers conference of 2016, is that you won’t hear about any of these things from the media that claims to love gaming.You will instead hear about the party that included girls dancing around in skimpy high school girl outfits and made some people feel they were, like, totally being oppressed.

Quite simply put, the gaming industry is in dire need of growing up, and those involved in it, need to realize that these things are allowed to exist side by side with them. In fact these things being allowed to exist with them is vital to an industry that claims to be about being diverse and inclusive.

Feeling excluded was the name of the game from various news outlets today, and the people who were outraged that such a “horrible” thing could be allowed in the politically correct atmosphere that apparently rules the world.

How horrible it was that they should be in the same vicinity as scantily clad women at an optional party. Their mere existence made them feel unwelcome, and, weirdly enough, unsafe.

The Game Developers Conference was filled with ideas to include as many people as possible, spread awareness of diversity, and different ideas, but you see, getting nearly everything you can hope for in a diverse environment just doesn’t quite cut it, if but one optional thing dares to make you feel upset.The gaming industry is desperately in need of maturity.

How is it that the media environment covering the largest entertainment medium in the world is so blisteringly immature that the people who cover it can’t even handle good looking women, albeit dressed in skimpy outfits, in the same vicinity as them? The music industry manages this daily. We have a wide variety of different music, different music videos, featuring thousands upon thousands of different artists and people who work side by side together in the same industry. This includes working alongside sexy female and male singers in various states of undress.

The movie industry manages this daily. We have thousands upon thousands of movies to choose from, featuring thousands upon thousands of actors and actresses in various states of dress and undress across a wide variety of films and scenes.and yet, it is the gaming industry, the largest entertainment industry in the world, that will throw a temper tantrum if even the slightest bit of sexy shows up at a convention featuring what are supposed to be the brightest minds in our creative community.

We can not hope to advance the gaming industry while we still enable our “professionals” throwing public temper tantrums just because there were scantily clad women in the same vicinity as them.

We can not hope that we will have developers who are tolerant and understanding of others ideas and concepts while we still hold onto the insane notion that everything must be acceptable for all people, and that everybody must feel comfortable in all situations. That simply is not how life works, neither is that how creativity and art come to life. We want gaming to grow up as a whole, or at least that’s what I hear every day. We want gaming to gain the same levels of respectability and maturity as the movie and music industries.

So how does the gaming industry prove it’s maturity? It throws a tantrum over things it does not like in a convention that all but catered to everything they believe they want to see out of this industry. So what can I offer as advice to the gaming industry and those working in it?

Not everything in the world has to include you. Accepting diversity, inclusiveness, and the spreading of ideas is going to include things you don’t like, maybe even hate.

There are always going to be parts of the industry you don’t like, be they violent, be they sexy, or sometimes just plain weird. This includes not agreeing with everyone you meet at conventions and gatherings. It includes being around people who drink alcohol, even if you abhor the notion. It includes people enjoying loud music and yes it can even include scantily clad women dancing around. You have the option of not attending such events.

That’s what it means to be diverse. It does not mean liking everything that is otherwise harmless, it means accepting that people with dissenting opinions and preferences have just as much a right to be there as you do.

Perhaps Microsoft, who took part in making this particular set of events happen, will change their mind in the future about including dancers at future events. However, can you really say that that decision was from your acceptance of diversity that made this possible? All it does is eliminate an optional fun thing for others to enjoy, and what is gaming, if not something that the people who choose to play are supposed to enjoy?

Joshua Wiitala


Just a man who has been playing video games against doctors orders for nearly 30 years. The 80's was filled with idiots. Want to reach me? @JoshuaWiitala on Twitter.