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April 9, 2013

Hello everyone,

This is the first post of many, I’m sure, and it took me quite some time to write it. I’ve been thinking about this blog for about two years now. Not just thinking, actually, I had my friend  Melanie Bourgeois do the header too.

Everything was sitting there, pushed aside by work, my other blog and my writing projects.

Then, the #1ReasonWhy movement started, and more than ever, it mattered to me (as a female Game Design Director)  to kick off this blog.

For those of you who don’t know about #1ReasonWhy, the Twitter hashtag gained momentum in November 2012 and invited people to name the number one reason why there aren’t more women in the video game industry.

I’m familiar with what the women reported with #1ReasonWhy. When I worked as a sales person and sold swords and table-top RPGs, I had three types of clients: the ones who wanted to date me (Girl+RPG=Love, apparently), the ones who insulted/tested me, and the ones who didn’t mind my gender at all. However, I never encountered the first two behaviors in my professional career.

I was taught game design by men who never treated me differently. I did an internship at Ubisoft Quebec, where the producer would say “Hello ladies!” one mourning meeting out of four instead of the “Hello boys!” that applied to my three teammates. I was hired by men and worked with them without ever feeling left out. One of the men who taught me, hired me for my first employer, hired me for my second employer when the first cut my position, and promoted me instead of men with more seniority because he trusted my abilities.

In a nutshell, I’ve studied with, worked with, mentored and supervised men throughout my career, and if there was ever any doubt about my competence, it was based on my blue hair, tattoos and age, not my gender. The occasional distasteful comment has been quickly followed by an apology any time it went beyond what I considered a joke.

And yes, people are surprised at my career choice but, really, who can blame them?

Apparently, I’m one of the lucky ones and I hadn’t realized it. Once it hit me, I had to kick off this blog.

Then the post-GDC articles started coming out  (like Leigh Alexander’s Why I Cried at GDC and Kirk Hamilton’s And Then The Video Game Industry Woke Up), telling tales of women, games, and a new, more inclusive demeanor. I knew that I needed to make time to write this blog.

I want women to focus on the #1ReasonToBe (the offshoot of #1ReasonWhy focusing on reasons to be in the industry) because the more of us there are, the less #1ReasonWhy there will be. I want to share my approach of game design and my thoughts on game development, so it may help men and women alike to find their place in the game development world.

I want to be a #1ReasonMentor. But more than that, I don’t want this to be a “me” thing; it has to be a “we” thing.
I don’t have the universal truth and good discussions help everyone grow. 😉

That’s why, at last, I welcome you to Games’ Bustles!

Are you in?

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