Reporter Rant Rails Against Male-Dominated Gaming Industry [GDC 2009]

“You aren’t men. You are stunted adolescents.” – Heather Chaplin, reporter., to game developers everywhere.

That’s the gist of Chaplin’s talk that was part of a series of journalists’ rants delivered this morning at the Game Developers Conference (I gave one too. Mine was about the quality of writing about games… more on that later.) Chaplin has co-authored the book “Smartbomb,” a well-reviewed survey of the gaming industry. She knows the big players and has hung out with top designers like Cliff Bleszinski and Will Wright. She singled Bleszinski out in her talk, saying she liked him, but that she was distressed by how juvenile most major games are. She dismissed top games as “power fantasies” and charged the games industry with neoteny. Look that one up.

She said game developers need to stop using the youth of the gaming medium as an excuse. At the same age of their medium, Chaplin said, movies had had Fritz Lang and were on the verge of Citizen Kane. Rock n roll had Bob Dylan and the Beatles. With games? She said she enjoys “Gears of War,” but she’s not impressed with the field.