The latest “Halo” game, “Halo 5: Guardians,” launches on October 27, and the leader of the studio behind the game wants it to appeal to more than just your typical male gamer.
Bonnie Ross, the head of 343 Industries, the studio that makes “Halo” games for Microsoft, told Bloomberg Businessweek that “Halo 5” will appeal to female gamers, too, thanks to strong female characters and real-world merchandise like t-shirts and handbags for women.
Here’s Ross’ philosophy on making “Halo 5” appeal to female gamers, as Bloomberg’s Joshua Brustein writes it:
Her affection for the clutch is more than whimsy. As a rare female executive in an industry dominated by men, Ross worked to remind her colleagues that girls play video games, too. She’s insisted that fully realised female characters play prominent roles in “Halo 5” and made sure that dorky “Halo” T-shirts come in cuts for women, too. This may seem unobjectionable, but in the world of video games, trying to broaden the audience is daring. For the past year or so, Internet trolls have mercilessly harassed women in the gaming industry. A Microsoft press officer asked me to omit any personal information about Ross to protect her from “doxxing” — a favourite tool of online harassers — in which personal information, including addresses and names of children, is widely distributed. (He later relented.)
That last sentence is telling. Even though there are plenty of female gamers, there’s a large contingent of male gamers that go out of their way to troll and outright harass women. (The so-called GamerGate scandal from last year is a prime example of that.) Even Ross herself is at risk of being trolled, simply because she’s a female gaming executive.
The good news is she’s not afraid to push back.
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