Kiki Wolfkill, the Executive Producer of Halo 4 and haver of the most glorious name I’ve ever heard, has teamed up with Bonnie Ross, the head of Microsoft’s 343 Industries, to make video games more fun and accessible to women. You see, these two very powerful ladies are fed-up with the rampant sexism in the gaming world. So, because they’re total bosses, they’ve issued a zero tolerance policy for Xbox Live, meaning any sexist or discriminatory comments will earn you a lifetime ban from the network. Dope. So uh, maybe we can work on the actual female characters next? Call me a feminist killjoy (hello friend!), but I think that might be especially key.
"As developers, we have a personal responsibility to think about how our games come across," Ross said. "With Halo 4, we were very deliberate in thinking about who should be female and who should be male in the game, and if we came off stereotypical, we went back to question what we were doing and why."
Wolfkill agreed, saying that while games can often reflect the culture of the studio that’s building them, the success or failure of games can also reflect consumer responsibility. Part of this responsibility includes changing perspectives about the games industry as an exclusively male-dominated area.
"Most people look at a franchise like Halo, and automatically assume it’s run by a guy," Ross said. "People are surprised to learn that it’s a woman who’s running the Halo 4 show. When Microsoft created 343 Industries to take over Halo, I was given first choice to run the studio because I had proven myself. My gender played no part in it.
Well, gender did play a part in this, mainly in the fact that it didn’t happen sooner. What I see here is a woman who got in, was great at her job, and was rewarded thusly. Wouldn’t it be great if that had always been the case with everything? I know, best not dwell, nothing to learn from history.
Here’s hoping that more video game companies join forces and start taking this shit seriously. Until they do, female gamers will either have to pretend to be dudes or continue to endure the, “Fat, ugly, or slutty.” It’s funny because even if the girl was all three, those little sad gamer dudes still wouldn’t have the courage to talk to her in real life.