Features & News

Naughty Dog Had To Remind Research Agency That Females Exist

April 9, 2013, Author: Matt Parker

The Last of Us is shaping up quite nicely. It looks like it’s going to have stunning graphics and an engaging narrative that’ll introduce us to characters that are well-rounded and that we care about.

To help ensure that this is the case, Naughty Dog (the developers) decided to do a little focus-testing of their game. This is basically where they hire a company to get some feedback on their game from people as they play it. Except, this company didn’t want people, they wanted to use only men.

You may find it odd that a company who are trying to help Naughty Dog sell the game to as many people as possible would limit themselves to only half of the world’s population, but there you go.

Ladies in games. Ladies play games. These things shouldn't be 'newsworthy', but here we are...

Ladies in games. Ladies play games. These things shouldn’t be ‘newsworthy’, but here we are…

Luckily, Neil Druckman from Naughty Dog also thought it was odd;

“My big surprise during this process is that the research group wasn’t planning on focus-testing female gamers – it’s something we had to specifically request. I hope this is a relic of the past that will soon go away.”

I share his sentiment in hoping that this was just an out of touch research company bringing their old bias to the table, but as we all know, sexism and gaming have had quite a close relationship.

With the lack of (decent) female characters in games, the way women in the industry struggle to get recognised or the manner in which female gamers are treated, it’s not a pretty picture.

Still, with sites reporting on this nonsense regularly (recognising there’s a problem is the first step to fixing it) and now with more companies willing to make a stand, there’s hope that this will be a thing of the past.

The Last of Us will be out for PS3 this June and will contain mushroom-monsters, bashing in the heads of said mushroom-monsters and a strong female character. Possibly ‘characters’, though let’s not go crazy.

Consider us excited. Keep an eye on the site and our YouTube channel for more info.