One great thing about BitSummit this year was the volunteers. Unlike last year where I stood watch over my booth the whole time, this year as a one man operation I had opportunities to go grab lunch, have a non-rushed bathroom break and, best of all, get to see the other games on display and talk with their makers. This year when I did my ego-reading – like any good natured human being – I knew about the other
Today there was this post on Edge. There is a lot to talk about this article, but one line stood out to me.
“There were also few women developers, and those who were there tended to be touting visual novels, or were in supporting roles, such as The Girl And The Robot illustrator Ayaka Nakamura.”
Across from my booth was a woman proudly showing off a visual novel that she had made. Art, story, code. All of it. The only thing that was not hers was the English translation she was in the middle of having done. I had a chance to chat with her about it and I could sense bubbling pride beneath her modesty.
So when I read that line the first thing in my head is developer who had clearly poured her entirety into her project for simply the love of it. She had an idea and executed upon it, and even went so far as to seek localization to expand the potential audience. Pardon my bias, as this woman’s work clearly touched me. But am I nuts to think that line implies her work does not count because it is not of some sacred subset of acceptable genres? That because she did not make a game that most gamers would want to play?
Is that not the entire ideology behind being independent? That you can make what you want and fuck the rules because you are calling all the shots. And yes, if that means you have to keep your 9-5 to pay the bills because you are not comprising on your dream even if no one else in the world would want to play the game you made, is that not the true freedom of “indie”?
Am I reading too much into it? Perhaps it is fact[ref]I have neither the time nor resources to confirm. Not that its factiness changes anything.[/ref] that most of the women at BitSummit were showing off visual novels, but what is this line doing in the negatives part of the article? If it is not a negative, why is it in the article? Words mean things, so what is this trying to tell us? Is there a list of what games people need to make to push agendas? Is a person of a certain type making a game of a certain type some sort of illicit combination that "drags down the cause"? It is at best poor writing and at worst an unfortunate sign that some developers do not count.