I've heard a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons, say to me that they did not feel like anyone was making the games that they wanted to play. Some people said it was because the things that they liked most in games were always treated as afterthoughts, peripheral to the heart of the game. Other people complained that they just couldn't identify with the playable characters in most games.

One story I've heard a few variations on is the father who is trying to introduce his daughter to the games he grew up with, and finds out that she wants to be able to play as a girl, which in many of those games was not an option. We got some gems out of that, like the Donkey Kong hack where Pauline has to rescue Jumpman, and I'm trying to do the same thing: spread the privilege that I have as a target demographic, share the particular sense of rightness that I get just because I am the kind of person that game designers expect to play their games.

More than a few people have said that they wanted to be a bigger part of the gamer community, but they found it so hostile that it just wasn't worthwhile. I've seen a lot of problems caused by the incredible sexism in the community, in the games, and in the industry. Sometimes games bring out the worst in us.

But I've also seen the great good that games can inspire. I've seen incredibly strong, friendly communities build around games, and I've seen those communities come together to do real good. Games have the potential to bring out our best.

I want to make games that reflect the world I want to live in. I hope that those games will encourage the world we do live in to move a little closer to the world I want to live in. I've seen how much power game designers have over the kinds of communities that form around their games, and I've seen the way that the stories and ideas in games can shape our thinking, for better or for worse. That's what I'm trying to do.

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