Today’s Goals and Jobs – 4/11/2016

Here are my goals and the jobs I’m working on for 4/11/2016. Thanks for all your help and support! Remember to follow me on Twitter to get more updates.

What’s Going On:

I met my goal, here are the translations and Fawful Friday articles:

Kisaragi x Velour C

Foleo x Soleil C

Foleo  x Soleil  B

Deere x Joker C

Deere x Joker B

Deere x Joker A

Kisaragi Skinship Lines

Translation: Interview with Keiko Erikawa

Translation: Games are Poison for Children?

Marx/Marks Character Name Poll

Elfie/Elfy/Elfi Character Name Poll

Today’s Goals

  • Translate as much as I can even if I can’t upload it.

Possible Complications: Holy moley! It took me about 20 tries of reloading to get this “add new post window” to finally appear and who knows how many times it will take until it actually posts it. Something in my area seems to be interfering with my internet connection, because I feel like I’m some modem computer scientists used in the 80s or something. I don’t know if it’ll get better today, but if it doesn’t, I’ll be translating in the background, so that I can upload them all in a batch once it gets better.

How you can help out: Err, pray for my internet connection? Or if you’re irreligious, vaguely hope in its direction?

Jobs I Need Done

  • I will always and forever need people to comment on my translations as much they can.
  • Vote! It’s spoiler free. If you’re waiting for the translation patch, these polls aren’t going to ruin anything for you.
  • I’m going to continue to request help for the method of doing in-page links, because nothing I’ve tried so far is working!

As always, there’s a page to discuss matter with others or contact me about how they’d like to help out with the Fire Emblem Fates project. It’s been updated to a new page for April. You can use that page for April to discuss things with other members in a more general nature. Thank you for all the people who contacted me or contributed so far! Much love and respect! As well, don’t forget there’s also a page for you to request any kind of Japanese information you need, regardless of whether it’s about Fire Emblem Fates or not. This page has also been updated for April.

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Translation: An Interview with Keiko Erikawa, the Pioneer of Games Marketed Toward Women

Keiko Erikawa

Keiko Erikawa has one of the longest careers in video gaming, having been around since its early inception and is still active today. She’s done many, many interviews, but I thought this one by Famitsu done on June 29th of 2015 asking about the Angelique series and her neologistic Neo Romance genre, which many overseas gamers are not aware of, would be of most interest. So brew up whatever drink you prefer, settle down in your favorite sitting device and learn how one of gaming’s pioneers pretty much single-handedly created the otome genre of romance games about pretty guys marketed toward women, as I translate the Famitsu interview in its entirety below.

An Interview with Keiko Erikawa, the Pioneer of Games Marketed Toward Women, Is There Going to Be “Surprising Announcement” Sometime This Year!?

Last year Koei Tecmo Games’ “Neo Romance” brand faced its 20th anniversary. We had Keiko Erikawa talk to us about the path from the birth of its first game Angelique to today and the future developments of Neo Romance.

Talking about the trails that lead to cultivating a new genre and the development from here on

Angelique, Harukanaru Toki no Naka De (Amidst Faraway Times), La Corda D’oro … … the series of women-marketed games that Koei prides itself on is called Neo Romance. The Ruby Party, or the development team where the female staff of the same company gather, has worked on these games and they’ve been known, with their high quality and media mix features, for capturing the hearts of many fans and developing from there. In September of 2014, it faced its 20th anniversary.

Games marketed toward women didn’t exist 20 years ago. What kind of work and struggles were there in creating a new genre and continuing to work in it? On top of that, what kind of new development are they thinking of from now on? We asked Ms. Keiko Erikawa of Koei Tecmo Games.

*This interview was published in the 2015 June 25th edition (on sale June 11th) of Weekly Famitsu Magazine.

Koei Tecmo Games CEO and Honorary President Keiko Erikawa

A business woman who supported Koei Tecmo Games and it’s predecessor Koei from the time they were founded. The woman who gave birth to New Romance and started up the Ruby Party development team at Koei Tecmo games. Currently, while she is involved in management on one side, she’s also deeply taking part in game making.

She Had Held onto the Concept of Games Marketed Toward from 30 Years Ago

――Congratulations on 20 years of Neo Romance. Today I think I’d like to inquire about all sorts of stories to you, Ms. Erikawa, as someone who was able to see the birth of games marketed toward women from then until today. To begin, please tell us what you think the impetus was to create the first Neo Romance, Angelique, around 20 years ago.

Keiko Erikawa (below, Erikawa)  Angelique went on sale in September of 1994, but the impetus was well before that. It was over 30 years ago that I developed The Investment Game and Combat together with Erikawa (Yoichi, also CEO and Honorary President of Koei Tecmo Games), but at that time all the customers were men.

Games were seen through men’s eyes. That’s when I came to think, “I’d like to create games marketed toward women” for women.

――Well before Angeliqe went on sale, you had the plans in mind for games targeting women then.

Erikawa Yes. At that time, in the development offices, there was only one woman, so I thought first we’ve got to hire more women. So then around the time right after we had released Nobunaga’s Ambition in 1983, we began looking for female developers. At the time there were only a few women who who were learning programing in the sciences, so we hired women from the humanities. Of course, we left up the scenarios to women.

――So you’re saying 10 years past since you started hiring women to the time that Angelique was finished?

Erikawa It took some time for the female staff to get used to making games. Because at the time it was common place for everyone you hired to have never developed a game before. So it took quite some time from the place where we started hiring women to the time when we could start up the Ruby Party development team.

――Certainly just because you’ve hired women doesn’t mean you can expect them to immediately take on the development of an unknown genre. As you continued to feel your way along, how did you come to develop Angelique?

Erikawa At first I thought if we’re going to make a game marketed toward women, we’d better put our whole weight into making it for women. The protagonist had to be a cute girl and her clothes had to be red. The interiors should be girly and pink. I myself actually don’t really like pink, but my daughter absolutely loved it. Then, because we wanted to have all sorts of lovely men appear in the game, we set the theme as Greek myth and created male characters with a ton of individuality. But it wasn’t much of a game. It had become something that wasn’t very fun if you looked at it as a game. (laughs)

――And why was that?

Erikawa Even though we were finished with the scenario, it wasn’t a romance game. We had done a weak job of creating gameplay where you achieved goals and compete. From there on it was time for Erikawa the game-making pro to make her entrance. I had them decide on a game system, and Angeliqe became a game where you could enjoy romance by competing with your rivals while you gained the cooperation of the guardian saints.

――What kind of reaction was there to Angelique when it went on sale back then?

Erikawa  Because as a game, there had been nothing like it before, it’s not like it sold like gangbusters. But from all around us, the praise was amazing. Saying, “There’s finally a game for women!” we were taken up by all sorts of media. “This is a great job you’ve done here for us,” we received a lot of letters from female users like that. I was glad we had piqued the interest of a lot of people. Except, like I said before, it didn’t become a big hit like the stuff for guys. But because I had understood it would be that way, that’s why I thought it should have a media mix from the very beginning.

――Before you even released the game?

Erikawa Yes. I thought that we couldn’t express everything in this setting we had gone through so much work to create in just a game. We released a drama CD around the same time that the game went on sale. Moreover, we thought around that period that we wanted to do anime and events too.

――You had thought to awaken female users to the new genre for them by preparing all sorts of content.

Erikawa That’s right, even if just a little of them were there, I wanted all of the female players to have fun. Within the company, there were opinions like, “The market is small and therefore even if we created games marketed toward women, they wouldn’t sell,” but I thought, “There is a market.” I’m glad that I kept holding on to that thought till it got through.

A Storm of Controversy From Fans in the First Held Event

――Speaking of the media mix in Neo Romance games, the events with the voice actors holds a special impression.

Erikawa The first event we held was in 1995. It was at a hall in Roppongi called Velfarre and was graciously sponsored by NEC. It was pretty nuts on the day of the event.  Customers were lined up in looooooong lines and even the police had to come.

――It was a time when even the management of such events was something you were feeling out.

Erikawa We thought of doing all sorts of things for the content of the event, but decided on a good atmosphere of combining ballet and music. The opinions from customers were split.  Some said, “It was totally great!” Others said, “This is totally different from what I expected!” The latter thought that it was different from the hardened image they of Angelique they had developed in their minds. So then our staff got scared away. They said, “There’s so many opinions against it, let’s not do another event.”

――What, they said to just limit it to one event?

Erikawa  There were some who said, “I want to do another event,” and even though it might need a little brushing up, it was said that “the customers will get angry with us.” Nobody would address a plan and I pushed it forward with an order from the top. I thought it’s quite difficult to create content marketed toward women when there’s no previous example.

――However, with you as the pioneer of Neo Romance, there has been a great deal of events with the voice actors until now.

Erikawa At the time, nobody had ever heard of the idea of doing a media mix among other game makers. The troubles of that time spur our liveliness now, I think.

Female Game Developers Increase from the Opportunities Brought by Neo Romance

――It’s been 20 years since you started up Neo Romance games, but how do you think the situation of female users changed since then?

Erikawa  Now with consoles and smart phone games, there’s lots of games aimed toward women and we have made a place for women to enjoy games. To the same extent, the way we look at games for women has improved, I think. The hurdle for male voice actors has risen and I think it’s rather tough for the voice actors.

――Because it’s an age where they’re expected to have presentation skills, sing and perform.

Erikawa It really is tough! But when I see voice actors splendidly rise to my expectations, I feel like I’ve seen the possibilities of voice actors in a whole new way.

――From the perspective of a creator, how has the situation for women changed?

Erikawa It’s really changed for female creators. Perhaps it’s best to say it has the feel of a generational leap? There are many people for whom Neo Romance was the impetus for them to enter engineering departments and many who aimed to enter the industry because they liked Angelique, and they come to try out for our entry tests. It’s a story that makes me grateful.

――You’re saying that Neo Romance became a motivating factor for women developers in the gaming industry to increase.

Erikawa Yes, it’s quite a happy thing.

――Ms. Erikawa, you’ve said for a while, that you “want to support women in their progress in wider society,” did you mean that among the backdrop of making games marketed toward women, you wanted to urge the hiring of women?

Erikawa  That’s true. Among the world, when it comes to how much women are venturing out into wider society, Japan is one of the countries that is very late. If women work well with men in their jobs, 1+1 can become not just 2, but 3. There are a lot of Japanese women who hesitate a lot, and there some men who aren’t good at working under women, but if women contribute more to society, it can become a nice society. I do want to create more managerial roles for women in our company. I want the women reading this article to be active, whether they’re doing jobs or raising children. In order to do that, I want them to learn more about their bodies and think hard about how they want to live their lives. I’ll be supporting them.

Aiming For Even More Accomplishments At the Crossroads of 20 Years

――From here on out, I’d like to ask more about Neo Romance games in the future. After facing a 20 year anniversary, what do you think you’d like to challenge yourself on in terms of plans from now on?

Erikawa Not long ago, we held an orchestral concert to commemorate the 20 year anniversary. We prepared videos related to the titles, called the voice actors and meticulously prepared every part and the reception was absolutely amazing.  I thought these events really have been accepted. From now on, at the crossroads of 20 years, I’d like to open up a new avenue for events and hold those. I want to try plans like traveling around the holy places in La Corda D’oro or Harukanaru Toki no Naka De (Amidst Far Away Times) where you can have a real experience. I want to create content that both men and women can enjoy.

――You’ve been planning Angelique Retour as a 20th Anniversary title, tell us about what this is.

Erikawa It’s a remake of the first Angelique. I’ve been creating it, thinking I want to fly to ever greater heights without betraying the setting.

――It looks like there are characters who didn’t appear in Angelique.

Erikawa Please look forward to it, because I want people who are touching Angelique for the first time and those who have long enjoyed it to have fun.

――Other than Angelique Retour, there are some expecting a new Neo Romance title, thinking it’s about time, how about it?

Erikawa I want to create new IPs. Because our company’s mission is to always keep creating new things. We’re continuing our plans for it, but because we’re trying all sorts of things, it will take 2 or 3 years. Even though it only takes other makers about a year to create them.

――But I think it’s because you put that amount of effort in making them well that the Neo Romance series has continued for 20 years.

Erikawa Thank you. There truly is so much I want to create. But because there is a limit to how many employees we have, I can’t do it all at once. Of course, I’d like to develop Angelique and comparatively new IPs like FabStyle and Geten no Hana (Flowers Under Heaven).

――It looks like there’s various plans in progress, so we’ll look forward to it. What is it that you want to especially pour your strength into?

Erikawa For me, it’s the progress of Geten no Hana (Flowers Under Heaven). I’ve been thinking I definitely want to do this. Then next, a new collaboration. I think I might be able to guide us to some projects that will surprise everyone. Please do look forward to them.

Erikawa is always interesting to listen to. As one of the people who’s been around since the dawn of the gaming industry, there’s a lot more she’s been involved in and has had an important role in, but those interviews will have to come at a later date.

Translations from Soul Cry: Homo RPGs, Hot Men and Fright Masochists

tameshi no sakebi

The Cry of the Soul is a collection of essays from book writer and columnist Yasuhiro Nagata, a man who did a column for Famitsu. Each weekly column is a paragraph that contains an anecdote about people enjoying games together. It was written right in the period of time before the DS blew up and Nintendo expanded the market during the mid-2000s.

The style of the column makes everyone anonymous and in Japanese, pronouns and subjects aren’t needed, so it’s often impossible to tell the gender of the participants. Every now and then though, he’ll label that week’s characters as women or men. (The author sometimes posts his own experiences and sometimes those of his acquaintances and sometimes those of people who contact him to share their own stories.)

What makes the columns interesting is they revolve around a moment where somebody says something notable and Nagata interprets this moment as “the cry of the soul.” This is when somebody suddenly says something that truly shows the nature of their soul from the bottom of their heart. Something that’s not linguistically correct or even logical, but just kind of pops out of one’s mouth organically while playing a game.

The book contains hundreds of columns and within those, today I thought I’d highlight a few of the more notable ones where he specifically notes the participant was female. I thought you might get a kick out of them:

Stated by K’s sister. Original text taken from a reader submission. K and her sister were both game fans. They enjoyed their friendly game life by taking turns playing games together, telling each other about their strategies and so on. The two sisters especially loved RPGs and they each held the dream that one day they’d be able to maybe create their own. One day, the elder sister bought a game she’d been eying that might help bring them a little closer to their dream. It was RPG Maker Advance. Now that our older sister had this game that lets you use pre-made parts to create an original RPG, there were an endless amount of possibilities before her. What type of game should it be? What would the theme be? How about the setting? The story and its lore? The personality of the main character? How would they meet the heroine of the story and how would that scene be drawn? While she was thinking of this, the younger sister came, and noticing that the older sister had just brought home the game, with all the passion she could muster, implored her sister strongly. In particular, what did she shout to her sister? “Make a Homo RPG! With every single character as a man!” The older sister’s grand vision was blown into smithereens. A heart that bluntly states the things it likes is a wonderful thing. However, I wonder if she couldn’t be a little more mild in the way she expressed herself, wondered the sister? Rock ‘n roll.

By the way, since then quite a few “Homo RPGs” have been created in RPG Maker, both by men and women. On to our next soul crier, a possible fright masochist:

Stated by a female customer. I had visited a small game shop located on the corner of a street mall. Looking through the games, I saw that contrary to the big chain stores, there was a lineup of old and new games mixed together. As I stood on the corner, I saw a pair of girls enter the shop together. The two were dressed like most of today’s young girls and were screaming at each other delightedly in high pitched tones, so it wasn’t hard to hear their conversation. “This looks scary, really scary.” “It doesn’t look that scary to me.” “How about this?” “Eh, looks meh.” “Look, maybe this is scary?” “This one here’s more fun tho.” It would appear that one was more informed about games. Whenever she took interest in a game, the other one shot it down without remorse. “This one’s the sequel to that one.” “Oh really.” “This one’s more silly than it is scary.” “Look, look, look, look at this. Doesn’t this one seem amazing?” “Oh that one? Bought it, hardly even played it.” “Oh, okay …” One of them wanted to buy some sort of game, but the other one just seemingly wouldn’t allow the purchase. If I’m allowed to be blunt, she was quite critical and cutting. The well-tanned pair’s conversation straggled off and died. After some moments of silence, the female customer who had every one of her suggestions negated and undoubtedly felt pressed to say something, shouted in a strong tone. “I want to be scared out of my fucking miiiinnnd!” Stop hemming and hawing, if it’s scary, whatever, we’ll have fun, the girl argued. Rock ‘n roll.

This next one’s my favorite:

Stated by the wife of a friend. One day, our writer had visited a friend’s house. For a very long time, our writer and his friend love of games was something they shared in common and even after his friend got married, they would sometimes play games together. His friend’s wife, who had little interest in games would often look on from afar. However, that day was different. Our writer and his friend were deep into playing Samurai Warriors when, who knows why, his wife suddenly said, “I want to play.” I think any male game fan who’s been playing games for a long time will appreciate how precious an opportunity this is. I believe those men who have long been playing games will also appreciate how extremely carefully and delicately they wanted to convey the greatness of the game to her without any chance of misunderstanding. She gripped controller in her hands and began trying to choose a character. The two began explaining the intricacies like a wine connoisseur at a three-star restaurant. This character is hard to control, but strong; this one’s got the speed; this one’s got a really useful move; my recommendation is this one; well I think this one’s the best personally … And at last, all of this information had been deposited into her brain. Against the backdrop of all that detailed and personalized advice, she made her decision and screamed. “I … am going to be a hot guy!” With that, she quickly picked Saneda Yukimura. Oh, well, yes, that’s one option, sure, silently thought the two men. Rock ‘n roll.

In any event, I think Nagata does a great job of depicting the lives and personalities of people who enjoy gaming. I might translate a few more at a later date. Let me know in the comments below if you want more. If you’d like to check out the book and you can read Japanese, you can get it on Amazon here.

Rock ‘n roll, ravens!

Translation: The Majority of Female Developers Quit Within 5 Years!? What Should be Done for Women to Work Longer in the Game Industry?

The following is a translation I did of this article from Famitsu, in which freelance writer Riko Kushida reported on a CEDEC panel. I thought the content might be of interest to overseas readers. Rather interestingly, it was published way back in September of 2014, during a rather tumultuous period. I thought it strange that no one at that time brought attention to it in the Western press, despite its relevancy to that time period. Let me know in the comments below if you would like more pieces like this translated, or if you have a correction to point out. In any case, I hope you enjoy the article!

The Majority of Female Developers Quit Within 5 Years!? What Should be Done for Women to Work Longer in the Game Industry?

There’s a slightly shocking report result that says “of the female game developers who work in the game industry, 5% continue working past five years.” Responding to this, four women who work in the game industry held a panel discussion at CEDEC 2014.

(Text and photographs by freewriter Riko Kushida.) [Translator’s note: Kushida is a long time game industry journalist from the time of the early 90s. These days, she mainly writes about game history and its development.]

From September 2nd to the 4th, 2014, CEDEC 2014 the largest game developer conference in Japan was held at Pacifico Yokohama! Here I’ll be reporting from a session held on the last day entitled “The Way to Work for Women in the Game Industry.”

This session was held as a panel discussion and four women who are active in the game industry took the pulpit. Nami Takasaki, Lead Designer of the Design and Development Division at Matrix Contents Business Department took on the role of moderator. She was once a manga writer, but she switched careers to become a designer in the game industry in 1993. As well, the panel included three other names: iNiS CEO Ms. Masako Harada, Gamedo CEO Ms. Kokoro Nakamura, and Cyber Connect 2 Development Division Sound Programmer from the Sound Group of the Sound Division, Ms. Yuka Watanabe. Harada founded iNiS in 1997; Nakamura began work at Hudson in 1994; Watanabe began work at Cyber Connect 2 in 2003; each panelist holds a career over 10 years in the gaming industry.

The motive for Takasaki and the others to take up this theme was because of some report results announced by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2011. According to that report, in contrast to an overall ratio of the number of employed people showing that women make 42.7%, developers in the game industry were fewer at 12%, and moreover of those, only 5% continued work in the industry for over 5 years. When she found that out, Takasaki said, “I had continued along thinking that I was doing the job I liked as if it was entirely normal, and I received quite a shock when I learned that wasn’t necessarily the case for the women around me.” And so, this discussion would take up the voices of women developers actually working in the industry and search for solutions to any problems found in the working environment.

Slide 1

*Before We Start*

  • This discussion does not advocate or entertain discussion about special privileges for women.

*Today’s Theme and Goal*

  • While thinking about the employment of women involved in gaming development …
  • Giving advice and examples of how to improve it

Slide 2

*To Compare*

From the 2011 report

Women developers in the game industry … 12%

Those who continue for more than 5 years … 5%

How is this compared to the general population?

The ratio of total workers who are women is 42.7%

Women in Workplace Over Lifetime Graph Japan The letter M trend

Is it really that the games industry is hard for women to work in?

This was the first topic. For these panelists working long years in the industry, “I’ve never once thought it was hard to work in the industry. It’s not a job that depends on physical strength, and I think when you look at the mental side, women are stronger,” said Watanabe. “When I was working as an office worker, there were a lot of men that smoked and I once thought that was tough to deal with, but that’s about it,” said Nakamura. “I’ve never once thought it was difficult to work ‘just because I’m a woman,'” said Harada. “When you’re doing the things you’d like to do, you can put up with the work,” said Takasaki. Compiling these opinions together, it was concluded that “there are women in the industry who don’t think it’s hard to work in it.”

The next topic was, “Is there anything that you struggled with or felt made it hard to work? If so, what would your proposed solution be?” In response to this, Nakamura talked about something that happened in her office working days that made it hard to work for her. Nakamura married somebody else who worked in the company, but one day her husband and a couple of other employees left and started a new company. There were voices who said, “We can’t trust her with this job, because she’s married to a guy who quit the company,” toward Nakamura, the wife who remained at the company, and she said she felt it created a difficult work environment.

Bringing kids to work is okay? Creating an environment where women can continue to work

Given an example of how keywords like marriage and the household affect work life, the next topic, “A change in how we work, a proposal to environments that support long careers” was raised. Harada referred to her own experiences when she said, “If there’s something that demanded I changed my work style, unsurprisingly giving birth was a big change.”

With that, two concrete examples were given of creating an environment where women can continue to work for long periods of time. One was a brief look into the daily life of iNiS, the company Harada manages, called “Scenes of the Kids and Work.” Shortly after giving birth, for the most part, Harada stayed at home to take care of them, but when there was work that absolutely demanded her presence, or she felt like wanted to have some connection with wider society, she would sometimes bring her kids to her company. This became a regular occurrence, even when they began kindergarten, there would be cases like days when the daycare wouldn’t take her kid because he had a small fever even though he appeared fine, so she brought them to work. She talked about examples like when they were babies, she would put the baby car next to her desk and work, or during their summer vacations, she would have her elementary school children do their homework in an open meeting room at the company. “It started arguments, but at my company, everyone understood my situation. There may have been workers who didn’t like it, but when a problem arose, we’d just think about how to fix it and move on,” Harada commented.

Takasaki introduced another example. CyberAgent had introduced a “Macaroon Package” this spring, which is a women employee support system. Time off for periods was renamed “F rest” and was made easier to take, “pregnancy searching sabbaticals” were prepared for women employees who were receiving treatment for infertility, one could take half-days off for their children’s parent teacher conferences or school entrance ceremonies, etc. In this way an overall system for taking time off was set up. In addition, when children got suddenly sick, a system was set up to work from home. By the way, according to a press release from CyberAgent, 32% of the company’s employees were women and of that amount, 14% were mama workers and in 2014, the percent of people who returned after their pregnancy leave was 96.3%! It’s written that they expect a further increase of mama workers and are planning other expansions of their time off system.

To get back to the point, Nakamura also had some experience with setting up a pregnancy leave system. Right now, there’s only one example in her company, but she said that they would adjust at-work time and part-time work when needed to support her. Since she’s married, but is yet to have children, Watanabe said, “I’m relieved, since there’s already an example of a woman returning to work part-time after pregnancy leave at our company.”

The many troubles working women and the men in the HR departments brought forth

The discussion set forth time to answer questions about troubles faced from working women, men who were involved in hiring women and even from Facebook and Twitter.

First in reply to a woman who said, “My period discomfort is horrible everyday, but all my superiors are men, so it’s hard to talk to them about it,” Watanabe commented sharply and succinctly, “You’ve got it all backward. If there’s something wrong with your health, you shouldn’t be thinking about how to broach the topic with your work place, you should first be going to the hospital and taking it from there.” Harada added, “There are lots of cases where this sort of thing won’t be recognized as a sickness. But it’s your body, so you have face what’s going on yourself.” Takasaki jumped in with her own experience, “I wish you’d go to the hospital. I used my own busy lifestyle to excuse ignoring a warning that came up in a routine health checkup and I ended up inconveniencing everyone by being hospitalized in an emergency. I came to think of that as my carelessness and irresponsibility.”

The next discussion topic that came up was that of a man who said, “I’ve got a contract for a game that’s targeted toward women, but my entire staff is male. If there’s a secret to increasing our female employment, please tell me. I’m afraid I don’t know if I’ll be able to get them to work here long-term.” Nakamura first teased the guy, “Why on earth did you get a contract for a game targeted toward women, if all you had was male employees?” Then she continued to comment, “What do you plan on doing after this project is finished? If you’re going putting a focus into games targeted toward women in your company’s future from now on and recruit for that purpose, then I think you can get them to work long-term. But if it’s just one game, then they might feel like there’s not much of a purpose to sticking around.” In addition, Harada gave advice from the point of view of a manager, “It’s the type of thing you hear all the time, but if you don’t have anyone applying, then you should change the way you try to appeal, if you’ve offered a position in the interview, but they turn you down, maybe you’ve got an environment that’s hard for women to thrive. Think about it from the position of your work environment.”

As well, there was a question from female creator who is currently working in the industry, “What have you noticed that helped you work in the industry for so long?” Watanabe answered from the perspective of another creator currently working, ” Don’t overdo it. If you’re working when your head is not, the programming bugs are only going to increase. Also, when you play, play. I feel like when creators don’t play enough, their creativity drains.” Takasaki added her advice for when you feel like you want to continue working, but your workplace is getting hard to work in, “You have to negotiate with your company and tell them what points would make it easier to work if they were taken care of. When I first started having people work under me, I understood for the first time that the boss is not going to know what’s wrong unless you appeal to them with your problems.”

Finally Takasaki wrapped up the panel discussion with a message to female creators: “I don’t think there’s any great difference between men and women and I don’t want to get stuck endlessly worrying about the differences, but it’s a reality that there are lot of women quitting because they’re worried they can’t continue with their jobs. I think it’s an awful waste that these people came into the industry because they love it and now they think they have to quit because they’re women. I wish women wouldn’t think ‘Oh, it’s because I’m a woman, might as well give up.’ You can solve so many problems through creating a good environment or making good management decisions, much like the four of us here who have worked in the industry for a long time.”