Nook’s Cranny #5 – Best Video Games Made By Womxn

Words: Mio Farrenden

This March is Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day and with that comes some highly recommended video games made by womxn. The gaming community was once dominated by men, meaning games were made by men for men. These days it is considerably more inclusive and we’re all happy to see it! Here are some of the best video games made by womxn.

Celeste

We’re starting this list with a strong starter. Celeste is a 2D puzzle platformer so predictably it holds a lot of classic game mechanics and beloved features. 

What really makes Celeste an amazing game is the heart-wrenching story behind the beautiful graphics. Our protagonist, Madeline, is a young girl with some tiresome mental health issues that aspires to climb Mount Celeste. While on her journey she makes friends and is forced to face some of her most inner demons… 

The game was made by Maddy Thorson who was originally born Matt Thorson. They came out as non-binary in 2019 and adopted they/them pronouns and began using the name Maddy in 2020. They are in the process of shutting down their previous games studio, Matt Makes Games, to be remodelled as Extremely OK Games. 

Portal (Kind Of)

Most people may be aware of Portal already but for those of you who aren’t, it is a 3D puzzle game using portal guns which are super fun to use. The puzzles are very engaging and can be quite difficult but it’s very clear how much effort was put into the design. 

The reason Portal was only kind of made by a womxn is because Portal was designed under the concept of another game, Narbacular Drop, made by Kim Swift. Valve caught a whiff of Narbacular Drop when watching some gameplay of it and was very interested. They hired Swift and her team to help create what is now known as Portal. 

Portal is now an award-winning, household name that has a sequel. 

Bioshock and Bioshock 2

It’s definitely the indoctrinated sexism within me (as it was with you when reading the subheading) but these surprised me! The Bioshock trilogy is loved by a range of gamers but it is first and foremost most recognised as a “lads” game. 

Bioshock tells the story of a man in 1960 called Jack discovering the underwater city of Rapture. Rapture is at the back end of a civil war, leaving the sunken city in ruins. Jack has to fight his way through the city and defend himself from the mutated citizens. 

The project lead and Executive on both of these games was Alyssa Finley, she’s worked on several other big-name games, particularly telltale games. 

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 

The Left 4 Dead games are a great set of first-person shooters with zombified enemies that come in mass to be slaughtered. 

Both games can be played multiplayer so the pair make for an amazing go-to for small groups of friends and is often recommended by those who have played it. 

This super popular survival horror game was also created by Kim Swift while working with Valve. She’s kind of a boss!

Journey

Now finally we have one of the biggest indie games to ever be made. When Journey was first released, the game gained worldwide critical success. Renowned for its gorgeous scenes and encapsulating storyline, Journey has since won multiple awards and is generally considered as one of the greatest games of all time. 

The game was originally developed for the PlayStation 3 in 2012 but it was recently ported to Windows PC in 2019. Journey still has some adequate demand!

Robin Hunicke was the producer for this epic adventure game, co-developed by Thatgamecompany. She has also worked on other big games such as MySims, The Sims2, and Boom Blox

Evidently, there’s no longer this considerable lack of female game developers and it is a great improvement to see in this area of the creative community. In fact, womxn gamers make up nearly 41% of all gamers in the US; the gap is closing. Happy Women’s History Month!

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