So I was just reading this article about the twitter hash tag #1reasonwhy which was a topic spawned from the simple question "Why are there so few lady game creators?" and I felt the need to add my 2 cents but to get there I first need to go off in a little tangent so bear with me.
I don't know if this is just me but I have a strong feeling that this next bold statement will make most male developers nod their heads and probably offend most female ones but here it is, girls are attracted to dick heads. Granted I hope this is not the case for women, being only 23 I don't feel its my place to comment, but growing up as a guy its a sad truth. Being the sweet, dependably, smart or sensible guy gets you no where other than the friend zone and I think this is something that gamer, especially developer, guys can relate to most keenly. I think this stems from the very nature of being a developer where in order to endure the crazy hours and steep learning curves you have to be passionate about games which means you probably spent most of your teenage years playing games rather than speaking to girls. Granted this doesn't necessarily suggest developers are sweet growing up however I have noticed, and personally feel, most students who plan to attend university tend to be sensible enough to realise being 'a dick' is more hassle than its worth.
Now to help reinforce my next point and bring the conversation back to a more mature level I will propose an experiment, one most of you will not need to test yourselves since I have no doubt most will already know the outcome. Join any online game then instead of playing, just watch the chat channels and try to pick out the patterns of who is speaking. If the conversation is dead as soon as someone with a suggestively female username starts to speak the conversation immediately picks up. If it appears there are no girls online the conversation dies. My point, gamer guys crave female attention so much so they will forget about what they are doing, even playing games, to speak to a potential girl despite knowing nothing about who they are, what they look like or even where they live. Include actually hearing a female voice online and it goes even further. I know of a good few girls that love to play the latest Halo's or Call of Duty's but won't ever use a headset because they get spammed and even stalked all too often just from speaking.
My point from all of this is simple. Mention girls to gamers and heads will turn more than most other demographics and I don't think I am alone in noticing this. I am attempting to
develop for the XBLIG marketplace where some of its most successful
titles are things like 'Don't Die Dateless, Dummy!' 'Dont B Nervous
Talking 2 Girls' and 'So Many Girls So Little Time'.
Unfortunately for most gamers, girls are usually a massive distraction and I think most employers know this all too well, although to be fair to both sides I also feel this is a reason less women even apply to games positions in the first place. I can't imagine being 'hit on' or flirted with every day being a positive experience when you are just trying to be taken seriously and do a good job, although granted there will be a few that will crave the extra attention but that is obviously an undesirable distraction in the workplace anyway.
As a final point I would like to show that although I strongly believe this to be true I also think it is a tragedy. I am attempting to start a company that currently consists of two male programmers, including myself, and a male artist yet I would love the next position to be filled be a female artist to add some diversity to our team and ideas.