One of the problems I have with the outliers of game development and gaming culture is the feeling of entitlement and ownership that some people, primarily men, give voice to.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had the conversation around “this is what players want” and the next minute be confronted with the inaccurate statement that most players are men?

Any protests are usually followed by “if you want game, make it yourself”.

I could go into why “making your own games” is problematic, especially if it concerns triple-A type games. I could argue that not everyone wants to spend their lives making games, strange as that may seem, and I could also talk at length about how women do not get the same type of funding as men do, if at all.

But that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because I’m curious as to why it’s okay for (white) men to get what they want all the time, but as soon as we’re taking about anyone else, there’s this resistance. What’s up? Is it so hard to share a space for these people that even the hint at having to do that is cause for harassment?

I have been trying to figure out why it’s so hard for these white men to share a space with people that are not like them and I guess a lot of it boils down to identity. This space was all male and very well protected, sure. But that was in the 80’s and 90’s. Since then, different people with different preferences have flooded the market. Despite that, what we get is the same cardboard cutout type games that we’ve always gotten and part of that is because anyone who could possibly change the gaming market is kept from doing so.

We keep saying that there aren’t enough women, there’s not enough competency, it’s hard to recruit women, but I don’t think that’s entirely true. I believe part of it is that men simply don’t want to give us the space we need in order to become influential and change the gaming culture and industry. And we’re doing it through pretending that games is something that only white men are entitled to enjoy. It’s not true though.

What is true is that men feel entitled to gaming spaces. My suspicion is that they don’t like to share those spaces. When we ask to be let in we’re told we have to do all the work ourselves, and not only that. We have to do the work without the help that white men get. We have to do the work without being welcomed, rather we are told that we don’t belong. That we’re ruining gaming spaces. That we’re only allowed in because it looks good for the companies hiring us and once we are hired it’s very difficult for us to get anywhere in our careers especially if we question the status quo.