Have you heard the theory fail fast and fail often? People keep saying it, in particular in connection to game development. Get out there fast! Have your ideas tested! Fail early and fail fast!
What they neglect to tell you is of course that this is only valid if you are a white man. I know I keep talking about this but we should really address the fact that the rules are different if you don’t belong to the white male demographic.
People from marginalized groups don’t have the privileges of failure, in particular not within game development. Why is this? Well, first of all, we’re not judged on an individual basis. If I fail, all women fail. This means that my individual weakness is seen as a weakness for all. If I suck at match, women suck at math. If I make a mistake in my design, women are unable to design games.
It is something that is deeply unfair. It is also something nobody really believes (nobody being white men) if you tell them. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told in performance reviews that I have to experiment more, be a bit freer in my designs. Loosen up.
The moment I do though, that’s the moment someone points out all mistakes and weaknesses and not only I but all women make those mistakes, and that’s a terrible burden.
At the same time, misogynistic incompetent jerks are given chance after chance, opportunity after opportunity, and despite overwhelming evidence that yeah, maybe not all men, but a hell of a lot of them do the same thing, we still protest judging men as a group and prefer to judge them as individuals.
We tend to give white men the benefit of a doubt, and everyone else a swift judgment.
I can’t fail early. I can’t fail fast. Failure simply isn’t an option for me.
I think I’ve said it a couple of times before. I really look forward to the day when we have just as many mediocre people from marginalized groups in games as we do white men.