There has been some stirring on Twitter recently about sexism among video game developers on the #1reasonwhy hashtag. I'm not completely clued up on the situation, but the gist of it is that women in the video game industry are being treated pretty damn poorly in a predominantly male sector. I don't have enough knowledge or any experience in the industry to comment, but it made me wonder about the contribution that women have made to fantasy video games, and I found that some of my all-time favourite fantasy video games have been penned by women.
Marianne Krawczyk is responsible for the plot and story behind the hugely popular God of War series. Without her input, the entire franchise would have been nothing but killing (it's still largely killing, I grant you that, but Krawczyk's efforts have put a damn good character behind the killing). She was the lead writer for all of the God of War games, and she won a BAFTA award in 2007 for Best Story and Character. If that doesn't prove her writing chops, I don't know what does.
Marianne is currently working on the video game adaptation of Star Trek Into Darkness.
Rhianna Pratchett - muse of the funny bone
Rhianna Pratchett gets kudos for writing the story and script behind the bloody hilarious Overlord video games. If you've not played it, take a look at it. It's one of the rare occasions where being the bad guy is a hell of a lot more fun than being the hero. Pratchett's work on Overlord won her the Best Videogame Script Award by the Writer's Guild of Great Britain. She was also responsible for the story for Mirror's Edge, as well as its six-part comic adaptation.
It has been announced that Rhianna is to take over the intellectual rights for Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and she is to co-write The Watch, a TV series based on the Discworld. I cannot wait for this, and with her humour and flair I can't think of a better person to assume the mantle.
Amy Hennig is responsible for my all-time favourite video game series, The Legacy of Kain. Seriously, I'm completely gaga for these games as it has one of the best fantasy stories I've come across (vampires and time travel, what more could you want?!). Hennig wrote all but one of the games in the Legacy of Kain series (the weakest of the series, Blood Omen 2, was the only one she didn't work on. That says it all, really).
Since then, she's moved on to work for Naughty Dog and also wrote the super Uncharted series. I still hope that she will one day return to the Legacy of Kain series ...
So if there are any ladies who are worried about breaking into the video game industry, the fantasy section is filled with talent and prove that, despite the sexism and all that nasty business, success is still very possible.
Which female writers inspire you? Which video games do you think are especially well written?