With the advent of the #GamerGate debate, plenty of people lately have felt the need to start talking loudly and brusquely about the "proper role" of women in video game culture. Should the most popular female gamers on YouTube have a voice in game culture at all, since gaming is supposedly a medium intended primarily for dudes?
The big controversy begins when women in video gaming want to actually talk (or write) about their experiences playing or developing games. A surprising number of people seem to think women talking and writing about video games represents an epic, gargantuan threat to the very soul of the games industry, because what could be possibly be more stifling to the creative purity of the Assassin's Creed franchise than pressuring Ubisoft into sticking a female NPC in Unity?
At the end of the day, women in the games industry who promote, discuss, and analyze video games are some of gaming's biggest advocates and most compelling contributors, and they're a diverse group. Below is just a sampling of some of the most visible, unique and hard-hitting female contributors to the public conversation about video games and video game culture.
Naomi KyleVideo: YouTube
Who she is: Comic and video game nerd Naomi Kyle is the host and writer of IGN's popular series The Daily Fix and Daily Fix Top 5. She has hosted several other original series, most notably The Next Game Boss, which gave aspiring game designers the chance to earn money to create their own video games. In addition to hosting, Kyle also produces awesome video game commentaries and original features.Why she's awesome: Naomi is one of the most recognizable video game personalities on the face of the planet. She's the indelible face of IGN and delivers breaking industry news to gamers on a daily basis.11531Do you admire her work?
Who she is: Jessica Chobot was the first ever host of the Daily Fix, IGN's original daily news program on the video game industry. It was, in essence, the first video game news program of its kind on the web. Since 2013, she's been the main host of Nerdist News where she covers a range of geeky topics.Why she's awesome: Chobot played a journalist in Mass Effect 3, one of the most popular (if not controversial) games of 2012. She also wrote the popular survival horror game Daylight and knows more about video games than most humans.10443Do you admire her work?
Andrea ReneVideo: YouTube
Who she is: Andrea Rene appears on Gamestop TV and is a host for GameTrailers. She also runs a blog, keeps fans up-to-date on new industry happenings via her Twitter stream, and contributes a host of freelance video content to various game-related sites, including GameFly, Machinima, and The Escapist. She's currently the Senior Producer and host for the digital and tech oriented entertainment company, DEFY Media.Why she's awesome: She brings a charming a personal touch to the kind of hosting that usually comes off as stale. Her following speaks for herself.10049Do you admire her work?
Who she is: As the creator of Geek & Sundry, Felicia Day is a respected and beloved commentator on all facets of nerd culture, including, but not limited to, gaming. She humorously describes herself as a video game addict, and her channel features reviews, play-throughs, panel discussions, and even occasional sketch comedy routines about game culture.
She also runs a blog, is the creator of the popular web series The Guild, and has appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural.
Why she's awesome: What's most infectious about Felicia is her unapologetic enthusiasm for video games as a medium, and her lack of fear about coming across as a total dork. Her style of coverage is all about celebrating how emotional and exciting digital media can be.Day wrote one of the most outspoken letters regarding Gamergate. She is the proverbial leader of the pack when it comes to being an outspoken voice in the gaming community, often debunking many “female gamer” stereotypes, trying to bring ALL people together who enjoy video games.8148Do you admire her work?