The United Nations – having eradicated the evils of sex slavery and child marriage – has turned its attention to gender equality in the computer gaming industry.
Wait. Females continue to be sold as slaves? And the UN’s own data reveals around 12 million underage girls are forced into marriage every year?
Oh well, those girls will have to wait. Right now the UN’s entity for promoting women’s welfare is focused on the pressing issue of female representation in gaming.
UN Women complained via its official twitter account last week that: “Women make up almost half (46%) of gamers, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the people running the gaming industry.”
We can only imagine the surprise when geniuses at the UN realise women comprise 50% of people using toilets. Afterall, you’d never know it by looking at the people running around as plumbers.
That women comprise 46% of gamers is based on gamers being defined as anyone who has ever played any kind of computer game, including on their mobile phone.
It’s tempting to tell the social justice worriers at the UN to get back to us after they have removed Bejeweled and Candy Crush players from their statistics. Oh, and playing Farmville while waiting for the bus doesn’t make you a gamer either.
But even if we accept that my mother’s occasional game of Words with Friends makes her a gamer, it does not follow that she therefore wants to work in the gaming industry. Liking videogames doesn’t necessarily translate into a desire to do a math and tech oriented job.
It would be as silly as screaming “misogyny” because the percentage of women who drive automobiles is far greater than the percentage of women who manufacture them. My wife wants to drive the car. The only thing stopping her from looking under the bonnet is her complete lack of desire to do so.
And just because you consume something does not mean you should create it.
Recent studies have shown that 99.9% of cat food eaters are cats. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at the people running the cat food industry. (The remaining 0.1% allows for people like my cousin Eddy who once tasted cat food while drunk)
What kind of correlation would one expect to find between those who consume a product and those involved in its manufacture?
If 100% of tampon users are female (a statistic that until recently was universally agreed), does that mean 100% of those involved in making women’s hygiene products should be women? If the answer is no, then what would percentage would be acceptable to the hand-wringers at the UN?
The figures used to argue for diversity in the gaming industry actually prove diversity is not required. If 46% of gamers are women, as the UN boasts, then women are clearly interested in the games that are being produced, regardless of who produces them.
The UN gender quotas are a solution in search of a problem.
Of course, the real question is why the UN cares about gaming at all.
But we do hope they convince the industry to adopt gender quotas soon so that Uygher women in China can produce video games, just as soon as they stop being interned and killed.