What is this? Madison Avenue in the 1960s? Women in game development speak up

Last week, women who work in the video game industry started massively tweeting about the attitudes and harsh comments they have to face in their field with the #1reasonwhy hashtag.

As I read some articles on the topic, some of the declarations I read sounded familiar, some made me laugh of despair, and some made me so angry I wanted to cry.

Tweets range from the “I get mistaken for the receptionist or an assistant”, to “I get told arts is the only area of game development suitable for women” and to “you only got promoted because of your body”. Worse yet, some women admitted to having been sexually harassed and groped at work on gaming conventions.

Looking at the comments on these tweets and the articles listed below, the gravity of the situation is even clearer. The Internet is full of trolls, and some very disrespectful people have decided to express in all their anger and hate how, in their view, women are the problem.

This might be new information to a lot of people. But the scope of the problem is even bigger than what you came imagine. Check out this video.

At least, some men have decided to support their colleagues, sisters, wife, company co-founders and friends by joining the conversation.

Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) stated “None of my women developer friends will read comments on interviews they do, because the comments are so brutally nasty. “. David A Hill Jr (@davidahilljr) tweeted “I’ve had prominent designers compliment my games, while complimenting my wife’s appearance, when we develop together. “.

It’s time men try to imagine how they would feel if they faced such situations on a daily basis. Luke Plunkett wrote the following in his article on Kotaku:

“If you’re a guy, and have never really “got” why women face an uphill battle in many parts of the game industry—or why people make a big deal out of it—try and imagine it’s you facing this kind of crap in your workplace. See how insignificant it would be then.”

We are all concerned with bullying against women and must seek to improve this situation. Working in the game industry shouldn’t feel like watching a Mad Men episode. Interacting with other players shouldn’t be seen as risky for female players. Rape comments or jokes shouldn’t be seen as acceptable or funny. People shouldn’t refrain from expressing their opinions because of their fear of trolls.

Let’s have comprehensive and mature discussions about this, and let’s support the women we know who are facing issues of sexism and bullying. Today, give a shout to the women you admire and let them know they rock.

Free Hugs

Give these articles a read:

About Marie-Pierre Renaud

I am an anthropologist living in Quebec city, Canada. I specialize in native studies and anthropology of health. I am a geek. I founded and now co-manage The Geek Anthropologist blog. I am working on transforming my memoir into a book and journal articles. I like to knit while watching Star Trek. Reach out to me for collaborations! https://mariepierrerenaud.co/

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