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Women Are Poorly Represented in Game Developers Choice Awards

GDC’s 16th annual Game Developers Choice Awards is taking place on March 16th, 2016 at 6:30pm at the San Francisco Moscone Center during the 2016 Game Developers Conference and will also be livestreamed on Twitch.

variety of games have been nominated in multiple categories-from Ori and the Blind Forrest to Fallout 4 to Star Wars: Battlefront. The two games with the most nominations are The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Metal Gear Solid V, both of which have been well-received by gamers in general (especially The Witcher 3) but revolve around male lead characters and feature overly sexualized female characters-especially Metal Gear Solid, which also doesn’t even allow its female character to have a voice (literally).

In fact, except for the hit indie narrative game Her Story, the year’s handful of well-received games featuring female leads or co-leads-including Rise of the Tomb Raider, Life is Strange, and Until Dawn-garnered only a few nods, and mostly as Honorable Mentions. The vast majority of games nominated feature male or gender-neutral protagonists.

There are a variety of factors that determine which games are nominated, of course-starting with the fact that they can’t nominate games that don’t exist, and most of the games released in the last year feature male or gender-neutral protagonists, for a variety of reasons we’ve written about previously. Regardless, the end result is an awards show that features very few games that tell stories about women.

Also disappointing is the apparent lack of women working on the nominated games. GDC’s new trailer for the event features several teams of developers whose games have been nominated-and there isn’t a single woman among them. Of course, there are probably women who worked on at least some of these games in some capacity, but they’re not highlighted here.

The last year has shown some real progress for women in games, but as this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards illustrates, we clearly still have a ways to go.

Sarah Warn is the Editor-in-Chief of remeshed.com and an avid player of console and PC games of all kinds. She was previously the founder and EIC of AfterEllen.com, and online editorial director for MTV Networks. Follow Sarah on Twitter.
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Sarah Warn is the Editor-in-Chief of remeshed.com and an avid player of console and PC games of all kinds. She was previously the founder and EIC of AfterEllen.com, and online editorial director for MTV Networks. Follow Sarah on Twitter.

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