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Gaming in Color Doc Tackles Misogyny in the Gaming World

Gaming in Color Doc Tackles Misogyny in the Gaming World

Quick. How many female video game characters can you name? Ms. Pac Man? Princess Toadstool from Super Mario Brothers? Samus Aran from Metroid? Maybe Lara Croft from Tomb Raider?

Quick. How many female video game characters can you name?

Ms. Pac Man? Princess Toadstool from Super Mario Brothers? Samus Aran from Metroid? Maybe Lara Croft from Tomb Raider?

Unless you're a hardcore gamer, chances are those are the only video game heroines you've heard of... and there's a reason for that — women are horribly under-represented in games.

Oh sure, women often pop up as princesses in despair,  or as scantily clad vixens waiting to die, but it's rare when you get to play a woman, and even rarer when she isn't served up as eye candy.

And if you identify as a female player in an online gaming forum, forget it. Women regularly receive a stream of abuse in interactive games including crude come-ons, sexist putdowns and even death threats.

The Kickstarter documentary Gaming in Color sheds light on misogyny in gaming as well as the general homophobia and exclusion that LGBT players experience every day.

But the documentary also shines light onto the ways that women and LGBT people are creating change in the virtual world through the power of mobile internet and activism.

Now more than ever, gaming companies are being encouraged to incorporate female characters and same-sex storylines, to acknowledge their LGBT customers and to discourage hateful speech online.

Even better, more and more women have begun making their own games and forming online communities where they can empower other women to stand up and stand out to making games open for everyone.

Gaming in Color is the first documentary of its kind, but its Kickstarter has only three more days to raise $10,000. If you throw in a few bucks, you'll not only help raise awareness about the challenges facing women and LGBT people online, but you can also snag a few cool goodies like a digital download of the film, your name in the ending credits, and even a bundle of games made from up-and-coming queer gamers — pretty sweet!

You can watch the trailer for the documentary below:

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Daniel Villarreal