Women’s Roller Derby Video Game Being Rolled Out This Month
Coming soon to your Nintendo Wii system: women’s roller derby.
Available starting Jan. 10 in North America and South America, Jam City Rollergirls is the first video game to be licensed by the Austin, Texas-based Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
“Flat-track roller derby continues to represent the vanguard of amateur sports, and its best athletes are gaining recognition around the world for their competitive skills,” said Leanne Terpak, the association’s director of marketing. “Jam City Rollergirls lets any fan be on her favorite team or be her favorite skater for a day, and it gives each of our 105 member leagues an exciting and hands-on opportunity to expand their local fan bases.”
The association says the game “is a major step forward in the history of modern roller derby.”
The game, developed by Green Bay, Wis.-based Frozen Codebase, features the licensed images of 28 skaters from five of the association’s leagues: Brewcity Bruisers of Milwaukee; Gotham Girls Roller Derby of New York City; Mad Rollin’ Dolls of Madison, Wis.; Rat City Rollergirls of Seattle; and Texas Rollergirls of Austin.
“Jam City Rollergirls, with its explosive graphics, creative twists and charismatic characters, demonstrates that the extreme team sport of roller derby is serious, fun and ready for prime time,” the association says.
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association was founded in 2004 as the United Leagues Coalition.
Here are some figures about the skaters who compete in the association’s leagues:
• 63 percent are 25 to 34 years old.
• 36 percent are married.
• 31 percent have children under age 18.
• 20 percent have graduate degrees.
Here are some statistics about fans of women’s flat-track roller derby:
• 59 percent are women.
• 41 percent are 25 to 34, and another 41 percent are 35 to 54.
• 34 percent have undergraduate degrees.
The term “roller derby” dates back to the 1920s. The sport’s popularity continued until the early 1970s. For years, both women and men competed.
In the early part of the 21st century, modern women’s roller derby got its start in Austin. Beginning with the Texas Rollergirls, roller derby leagues formed as businesses run by the athletes themselves. The association says the flat-track version of the sport has “spread like wildfire” since then. Today, more than 450 flat-track roller derby leagues operate worldwide.
Flat-track roller derby “bouts”—marked by fast-paced, rough-and-tumble action—are held on flat surfaces suitable for skating, such as skating rinks, basketball courts and parking lots.