I’m a 12-year-old girl. Why don’t the characters in my apps look like me?

Excerpt from this article:

For a 12-year-old girl, playing games on an iPhone is pretty regular behavior. Almost all of my friends have game apps on their phones, and we’ll spend sleepovers playing side by side. One day I noticed that my friend was playing a game as a boy character and asked why she wasn’t a girl. She said you couldn’t be a girl; a boy character was the only option. After that, I started to pay attention to other apps my friends and I were playing. I saw that a lot of them featured boy characters, and if girl characters did exist, you were actually required to pay for them.

…I looked at the gender breakdown of the characters in the top 50 apps. I found that 18 percent had characters whose gender was not identifiable (i.e., potatoes, cats or monkeys). Of the apps that did have gender-identifiable characters, 98 percent offered boy characters. What shocked me was that only 46 percent offered girl characters. Even worse, of these 50 apps, 90 percent offered boy characters for free, while only 15 percent offered girl characters for free. Considering that the players of Temple Run, which has been downloaded more than one billion times, are 60 percent female, this system seems ridiculous.

These biases affect young girls like me. The lack of girl characters implies that girls are not equal to boys and they don’t deserve characters that look like them. I am a girl; I prefer being a girl in these games. I do not want to pay to be a girl.

Advertisements

Old masters, new media

Nastya Ptichek

Nastya Ptichek

Thought this was a fun post on Kottke to feature as we wrap up the work week:

In a five part series called “emoji-nation”, Ukrainian Nastya Ptichek mixes the work of well-known painters with graphical elements of new media… the works of Edward Hopper are augmented with social media interface icons…