Busting Nintendo's Glass Ceiling (and the importance of female gamers)


Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Saw this on Wired, featuring lots of info on Aya Kyogoku, the first female director at EAD.

Wired said:
“When I first started [at Nintendo], it wasn’t uncommon to be the only woman on the entire team,” said director Aya Kyogoku during the recent Game Developers Conference.

The approach to Animal Crossing was different. Not only did they want to make the game for both men and women; they wanted it to be made by men and women. As obvious as it might sound, it’s an atypical approach on both counts. Perhaps it’s not as surprising from Nintendo, a company that has often been willing to buck the conventional wisdom about games. The success of New Leaf proved revelatory to both producer Katsuya Eguchi and Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata.

“In the first three weeks of Animal Crossing sales, by the end of November, the largest group was 19- to 24-year-old women,” Iwata told the Nikkei newspaper earlier this year. “I’ve never seen something like this before.”

During that period of time, Iwata said, 69 percent of the 3DS units Nintendo sold were to men. But among those who purchased Animal Crossing: New Leaf along with the hardware, 56 percent were women. “These numbers left me speechless,” Iwata said.

It made me think back to Pandora's Tower, my favorite game of the OpRainfall trilogy. If you remember the Iwata Asks dedicated to the game, Chikako Yamakura (who is the representative director of Ganbarion and the producer of PT) was absolutely integral to how that game turned out.

Odds are, if you ask any gamer who they admire in the industry, they'll give you the standard names - Miyamoto, Ken Levine, Sakaguchi, Ueda, Kojima, Cliffy B, Notch...y'know, all the guys you would expect.

Maybe Kyogoku and Yamakura can start changing that.


Your Resident Beardy Bear
As long as the talent is there where they can influence others, there should be no reason why women in the video game industry cannot change the status quo. Speaking of which, I still have yet to play Pandora's Tower.