During the 90s it was decided at SEGA that the video game company should do something industry-shattering. Not content with the existence of Ms Pac-Man, executives decided that they should start creating games with girls in mind.
Polygon has a really fascinating chat with the execs who tried to shake up the male-dominated industry, changing thinking on not only what the product could be, but also the consensus beliefs that existed in supply chains.
Getting girls into games required more than simply making games that would appeal to them. Kelly recalls that girls at the time were actively discouraged from engaging with games and technology. Even if a girl did start to play, Kelly adds, citing ethnography research she did later at Mattel, “when a boy walked in the room she’d have to give it up to the boy.”
Worse, she says, “it was a known fact [that] girls don’t play with computers and girls don’t play with video games. That’s what the retailers thought.”
Everywhere I look on my social media feeds this week I am seeing people talking about the very somber new HBO mini-series Chernobyl. It’s very good.
Also good is this interview with creator/writer Craig Mazin. Best known for making comedy films like Identity Thief, Mazin has pivoted to the laugh-free nuclear horror.
We know why the Titanic sank. How is it possible that we don’t why Chernobyl exploded? So, I began reading about it, just out of this very dry, intellectual curiosity, and what I discovered was that, while the story of the explosion is fascinating, and we make it really clear exactly why and how it happened, what really grabbed me and held me were the incredible stories of the human beings who lived through it, and who suffered and sacrificed to save the people that they loved, to save their countrymen and to save a continent, and continued to do so, against odds that were startling and kept getting worse. I was so moved by it. It was like I had discovered a war that people just hadn’t really depicted, and I became obsessed.
With the likes of Netflix and Amazon spending up big in producing TV, it is having flow-on effects across the industry. The BBC and Channel 4 have cited their concern about the escalating costs of production due to rising talent and production crew expenses. The average budget for its drama has risen by over 100% in the last few years from £725,000 per hour in 2013 to £1.5M in 2017.