This Washington Post article by a 12-year-old girl about gender discrimination in game apps took my breath away. Madeline Messer discovered the gender bias, and its material cost, when playing iPhone games with a friend. She noticed her gal pal was playing a game as a boy character, not as a girl. Madeline asked why. Playing as a girl wasn't an option, her friend said.
Madeline began doing research on this and discovered that not only were many game apps limited in this way, but for many, if playing as a girl was an option, you were charged for that option. A lot.
"Of the apps that did have gender-identifiable characters, 98 percent offered boy characters. What shocked me was that only 46 percent offered girl characters," Madeline writes. "Even worse, of these 50 apps, 90 percent offered boy characters for free, while only 15 percent offered girl characters for free."
Her research and article are here. Apart from being outraged by the financial cost of paying to play as a female character, what about the psychological and social costs to young women looking to compete in our world? It's tough to win on a playing field that's perpetually tilted against you.