"50 Over 50" F.A.Q.
Ageism is a rampant problem in the game industry and within the broader technology sector, and it's becoming even more so as first generations of game creators reach their traditional "retirement years." While sexism in the industry has garnered tremendous attention, and rightfully so in the wake of Gamergate and other incidents, the response to ageism has typically been tepid by comparison.
The ageism issue is further emphasized when various media outlets enthusiastically publish their annual "30 under 30" lists to double down on the value of youth and vision while continuing to exacerbate the problem by ignoring the value of experience and wisdom. Articles about ageism do appear from time to time, but they are generally scarce.
To counter the trend, I conceived of the "50 Over 50" list, soliciting nominations from a wide array of game industry colleagues around the world. The primary intent is to demonstrate that ageism, like sexism, must be openly confronted, discussed, and resolved. The secondary purpose is to actually highlight the amazing talent who are over 50 years old and still fervently involved in game creation in some capacity.
For this initial, experimental project, a Google form was created that asked recipients to nominate game creators and those who are still active in the industry in some capacity (advisory, consulting, education, etc.) and are over 50 years old. The form was distributed widely via various social media networks for 5 weeks in February and early March 2018. Once the nominations concluded, the submitted names were collated and ranked on the number of duplicate nominations received, in order to establish a cut-off point for the top 50 nominations.
All totaled, 201 people were nominated for the “50 Over 50” list.
The list is based strictly on the call for nominations that was distributed to game industry colleagues. If a notable person was not nominated, or they were nominated but didn’t receive enough duplicate nominations to qualify, their name would not appear on the 2018 list.
Depending on the hopefully-positive response to this inaugural list, future editions will likely be conducted as an ongoing statement against ageism and to continue celebrating the amazing work of game industry veterans.