Keisha Howard is the founder of the Sugar Gamers, a female-oriented group of over 2,000 gamers in the Chicago area. Unlike Ubisoft’s Frag Dolls, the Sugar Gamers is a non-competitive social group for women, providing an alternative to other gaming groups’ “sausage fests”. In this episode of Polygamer, Keisha debates what constitutes being a gamer, how and why the Sugar Gamers encourage younger women to enter the gaming industry, and whether it’s sexist to refer to women as “girls”. Keisha then turns the table on host Ken Gagne and asks him why men don’t play as female characters, leading to poor sales of games with female protagonists. Also — is it just us, or is innovation in the non-indie space becoming rarer?
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Keisha Howard of the Sugar Gamers
- Frag Dolls
- Galloping Ghost arcade of Brookfield, IL — Kickstarter and fundraiser
- Underground Retrocade of West Dundee, IL
- dys4ia — an autobiographical Atari 2600-style game about transgendering
- Creating Diversity Playgroups panel at PAX East 2014