SXSWi. Girl Gaming Goes Mainstream Panel

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak on the panel at this year's South by Southwest in Austin, TX. The panel was moderated by Girl Gamer Co-Founder and CEO Mike Prasad and consisted of three amazing ladies, including myself. Oh snap! I said it! The ladies were Amber Dalton, Athena Twin PMS of the PMS Clan, Alexandra Mokh, Co-Founder and Community Director of Girl Gamer and yours truly.

Mike opened up the panel with asking us ladies was the definition of a girl gamer was. Our answers were pretty much unanimous in saying that a girl gamer is a human being with boobs and likes to play video games. Simple enough. Many questions were thrown around like have we seen an increase in women players as well as developers, how to get more women into gaming, what advice can we give to developers, what can we change to get more women to play?

Although we all had our different opinions, I said I believe women gamers are on the rise. With casual games, family games, simple controls on the Wii or rhythm games, woman are finding it more comfortable to pick up a controller or portable. This is because there are games out there where you're not throwing them into "hey kill this guy then have sex with his girlfriend!" Also, if you're a guy trying to get his girlfriend into gaming, play a co-op game with her. However, there was the debate that guys hate it when they start to lose to their girlfriends. Suck it up guys! As for change, I think Nintendo has done an amazing job in marketing and promoting to women in a fun environment. They pick "brain games" to demo cause again, there is a small percentage of women that would allow you to show them violence onscreen in a shopping mall. I said I believe other companies should follow Nintendo's lead on how to bring in more women players.

Don't be condescending! I explained that some companies are doing it wrong! Hey, I love pink, I love pink peripherals, but don't say I'm intimidated from playing a game because I don't have a cute pink guitar, or that it will make me a better player! At Anime Expo I attended and Arc System Works panel, the makers of the Guilty Gear series, where they said they were announcing a "game for girls." Ice Skating, because girls like ice skating. A friend of mine shouted in the panel, "girls like Guilty Gear!!" Good for her. Don't throw us into your stereotypes please.

After about 45 minutes, our last few questions came down to who got us into gaming and what our top 3 games were? My answer was my daddy. He brought my sister and me a SEGA Master System with 3D glasses and the game Zaxxon to play it on. Hellz ya bitches. He then gave us the NES with the Power Pad. Of course, we never ran on it but used our fists instead to win races. But my top 3 games were Final Fantasy 7, the God of War series and a toss up between Double Dragon and Altered Beast. Oh, the nostalgia. *sigh*

Overall it was a fantastic experience that I would do again in a heartbeat. I have to send a big "thank you" to Mike and Girl Gamer for letting me be a part of the panel and I hope to do it again someday.