The Women Are Too Hard to Animate game jam, also known as the wathtajam, tasks developers with one simple goal: Bring more women into the forefront of video games.
Inspired by a ridiculous comment from a Ubisoft rep (the titular line “Women are too hard to animate,”), developer Maja Celine Maher, of Noor Studios, started this jam for one reason — not to poke fun at Ubisoft, but to give even more prominence to the underrepresented gender in video games.
To that end, the jam is calling for submissions: Anything is allowed, provided it features a female as the main character. Of course brand new games would be excellent, but games you’ve already made with a female lead are also acceptable as submissions. In other words, I meant what I said: All you need to do is have or make a game with a female as the main character.
Recent statistics are telling us that women make up almost half of the gaming community, which then begs the question of why there isn’t a similar amount of representation in games themselves. Now, part of it is just that change takes time, but part of it is that there isn’t enough effort being put forth to actually effect change. The wathtajam won’t change anything overnight — nothing can do that — but it’s another bit of straw on the back of a misogynistic camel, and every little bit brings us closer to equality.
Absolutely loving the concept and ideals the jam represents, IGM has decided to team up with Maja, so we’re rallying all of our developer peers to take part in the jam next weekend, from June 27-29. To that end, Maja has agreed to extend the original deadline of June 20th until the new deadline of July 3rd. For our part, we’ll be actively sharing projects via social media all weekend long, so make sure to tag both @NoorStudios and @indiegamemag so we can share everyone’s progress in real-time. (You can also use #wathtajam.) Once the jam has concluded, we’ll pick out a few of our favorites and share them right here on the website. Completed games can be submitted here.