When women are recognized in IT news, I am quick to give them the spotlight and a little shout out. Sure, women aren't very visible in the gaming industry, but a group of female gamers called the PMS Clan (for Pandora's Mighty Soldiers) are striving to change this: "Women gain prominence in video game world."
According to the story, "Amber Dalton and twin sister Amy Brady created the PMS Clan in 2002... a competitive group that plays Xbox, PlayStation2 and PC games. Its members range in age from 9 to 58, Dalton said, but most are adults."
"These women are programmers, designers, tech students, and members of all-female gaming groups that compete against guys for cash and corporate sponsorships... Clan members compete with each other and band together in professional tournaments. They also challenge the online harassment doled out by male gamers. [However] PMS Clan rules prohibit 'belittling or attacking others in any way, even in retaliation,' according to its 30-page member manual."
There are quite a few perks (yes, it's a perfect word choice) associated with the inclusion of women in the gaming industry, such as the following:
- "For this industry to mature and move on, it has to grow beyond just that 13- to 35-year-old male demographic... They're creating unique ways of being able to communicate in games... Before it was all trash-talking... It's hard to have a middle-aged male trying to design a game that would hit the interest of female gamers... For the industry to continue to develop, there needs to be innovation from various demographics. Having a female element is such a great added value." (Anthony Borquez, video game production professor at the University of Southern California)
- "They set great examples, not just for the female gamers, but for everybody... Competitive female players also make gaming more social." (Aaron Greenberg, spokesman for Xbox Live)
I believe that we'll continue to see more female gamers and female gamer groups in the news. What is especially interesting to me is the naming schemas that I've seen thus far, such as the Frag Dolls and the PMS Clan. Come on... who in their right mind would mess with the PMS Clan?