GTFO: Should This Documentary on Girls & The Gaming Industry Happen?


Kickstarter project, entitled GTFO, has only a little over a week left to reach its goal of $20,000 by May 10th. So far $15,463 has been raised. Created by Shannon Sun-Higginson, who it’s important to note is a casual gamer and knows little about the industry, it’s aim is to supposedly create a film that documents the experiences female gamers have while playing video games. She hopes to also include “the portrayal of women in video games, the history of women in gaming, the experiences of women in the industry itself, the culture of games, the discouragement of young girls from participating, and more.”

Let me stop here for a moment.

Now, take in a deep breath. Good. I hear it helps clear your head, and when it comes to this topic I think it’s safe to assume it’s sometimes hard for all of us to keep a clear head.

Let’s retackle that again. So, what exactly is GTFO? For those not very familiar, GTFO stand for Get The F* Out. I’m sure I can leave the star to your intelligent imaginations to fill in. Let’s face it, this term is not something that is new to any group of people, let alone women gamers. Insults such as these have probably been occurring since Bob Caveman didn’t like the way George Dinolover wasn’t able to hold his own against Mr. Woolly Mammoth.

Ok, we got that. Now, who is this Shannon Sun-Higginson?

She is a filmmaker from New York City. She currently works for a production company and has worked on documentaries such as “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel and “Parts Unknown” on CNN. The idea for this documentary came from when a friend talked to her of the harassment that many female gamers and other industry figures must deal with on a daily basis. She intends to film interviews, classes, tournaments, and conventions, and she has in fact already begun doing so. She has been to PAX East and other prominent gaming scenes in order to accomplish this. A trailer for the film can even be viewed on her project page.

It’s hard to draw a conclusion about how Shannon’s documentary will turn out. Shannon doesn’t have very much gaming experience, which might make one wary of her qualifications. I myself at first wondered if it would make sense to have a casual gamer create a documentary about this. It’s like we have this inherent distrust of those who don’t love gaming as much as we do to portray things the way they should be. I mean, she’s an outsider isn’t she?

On other hand, being an outsider for a documentary isn’t necessarily a bad thing…



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