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July 22, 2014 11:13 AM   Subscribe

The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry. "It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
posted by Librarypt (16 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Editor's note: We have disabled comments for this post.
*sigh*
posted by Etrigan at 11:26 AM on July 22 [10 favorites]


There's a healthy discussion in the forum. I don't know why they disabled comments; the forum is basically the comments section.
posted by michaelh at 11:34 AM on July 22


The comments were honestly relatively mild compared to the shit you usually see on these kinds of articles, but that's not saying much. Lewis's Law was still in full effect.

And it's important to keep in mind that this isn't just "Internet trolls" that if you ignore will go away. It's reflections of an endemic attitude in gaming.

Zoe Quinn:
Stop blaming the internet for harassment of women in games. I was told to my face at my first GDC I was only there cause of my tits by a dev
Maddy Myers:
I tweeted about it at the time, but I had to deal w/ a stalker during the week of GDC & still covered GDC in the *midst* of that experience
(If you care about gaming _at all_ you really should be following both those Twitters.)
posted by kmz at 11:37 AM on July 22 [3 favorites]


Etrigan: "*sigh*"

continued:
If you want to continue discussion of this topic, we'd encourage you to share your thoughts in this thread.
It's tragic to read how each of those stories winds up with "it just changes you" as the lesson learned. Nobody gets to face their attackers, there's no closure, you just have to suffer and then try to recover as a diminished person.
posted by boo_radley at 11:38 AM on July 22 [4 favorites]


I used to write for a gaming community. I loved this community, I still love that community. But at some stage, about the time that google+ started their Nym Wars, the owners of the site decided that all writers should publish under their real names instead of gaming handles. I have a very unusual name, in that there are only 3 people in the US with that name, making me incredibly easy to find.

When I objected, and pointed out that as a woman, I was setting myself up as a target for every misogynistic asshole in the gaming world if I ever criticized a game again, the site owners thought that I was being hysterical and hyperbolic. Since it was a labor of love, rather than a labor of getting paid, I just walked away, but it left me feeling sad and hurt, and excluded from a community where I thought I was an equal member.

Still, I'd rather feel sad that I had to walk away from a project I really liked, than worry about assholes picking my kid up off the street on the way home from school, or people poisoning my animals, or rape threats and death threats.

I was offered a job at a large gaming publication, for a generous pay packet, and I thought about it long and hard, before deciding that I just couldn't deal with the toxic fallout that would be a factor, every single day, for the rest of my life, just because I had the temerity to write about games while owning a uterus.
posted by dejah420 at 11:44 AM on July 22 [63 favorites]


This is all coming on the back end of a terrible few weeks as great journalists have been basically driven out of gaming, including Maddy Myers and Samantha Allen, because they dared to question the video game boys club.

(And I love Giant Bomb, but the new hires were just so disappointing, while also non-surprising. I'm glad Jeff wrote this but I wish it wasn't necessary.)
posted by kmz at 12:09 PM on July 22 [3 favorites]


It's funny - I'm a guy. I consider myself a feminist and an ally. I had a lot of privilege to check back in the day. I have less so, now. But I still have it, of course.

I was reading the misandry tumblr via the Samantha Allen twitter account that kmz linked... And upon reading it I realized that, ya know what? I kinda am a misandrist. I've always said I hate men. Though "hate" is a strong word, guys really annoy the piss outta me. It's rare that I will, by default, like a guy. I have this intense fear that I'll have to deal with yet another jock, homophobe, sexist, bigot, tough guy macho thug for the hundredth time. And even if they seem nice enough on the surface, there's quite often some of that bull shit underneath (hell, *I* can be an asshole sometimes when pushed to it). Not to turn it into an issue regarding me, a white dude and my thoughts on misandry/feminism...

I have an acquaintance who used to work in the gaming industry (not sure if he has a job currently, if he did, I'd say he's still in the industry), and he complains about not having a girlfriend. I posted on FB the catcalling link that was on mefi yesterday, and he's like "well if you can't date strangers, and you can't date..."

And I'm like wait, what? WTF does it say about dating at ALL? And if you DO want to "date strangers" the best way to do that is not to fucking cat-call... How do you see "catcalling" as synonymous with "dating"? Like, what?

*sigh* I'll have to go read the giant bomb post. I haven't really looked much lately at Giant Bomb. Patrick is a godsend amongst game journalists, and if they're less his caliber and more of the same ol' same ol' then more's the pity for GB :(
posted by symbioid at 12:20 PM on July 22 [7 favorites]


I'm glad Jeff took a stance, yes it's sad that it must be sad and not just the default state, but making a public statement like that is a good thing, since we are in the world we're in, the more allies we have, not just individually, but institutionally, the better off we are in changing the world. It's a long slow haul, and it's daunting, but by taking a stand, and making sure to live by those rules we can slowly evolve consciousness as more and more people understand and learn how easy it is not to be sexist, racist and homophobic...
posted by symbioid at 12:23 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite gaming news sites recently put out a job ad for a junior writing position. For about ten seconds I was really excited and then remembered that getting that job would mean pretty much endless piles of shit forever onto the horizon, all thanks to my gender. Especially after the Giant Bomb debacle. No thanks.
posted by sonmi at 12:31 PM on July 22 [5 favorites]


The Polygon article is really excellent.

I entered the game industry as a woman just at the same time that Jade Raymond was the target of a lot of really awful sexist backlash from gamers. Since then it almost seems non-stop who is getting harassed and targeted. When you're a developer it's not just "the gaming community is toxic". It's "if I take this job I may be the target of sexual harassment from the same community I am trying to serve."

If I had seen how bad women developers were treated, I probably wouldn't be a game developer now even though largely my experience has been really positive. It's kind of sad when a group of women coworkers can all rattle off about news on who's been targeted or harassed recently, and the guys in the group are like "wait what do you mean? what happened?" I think a lot of men in games are oblivious to how common it is, and how much women in games are hyper aware of it.

I wrote my first blog post just a few months ago and it went viral among developers. ONE blog post. It has absolutely nothing to do with gender or diversity or any polarizing topic. I now have a collection of hateful comments said about me and a darling email telling me to die because women should not make games.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 1:12 PM on July 22 [15 favorites]


Good article and a very unfortunate situation. I'm in the industry too (male, not too publicly opinionated either so haven't been on the receiving end of that), I always tell younger co-workers "don't read the comments... ever!" because there are too many bloody idiots and morons out there, but this so much beyond that, the morons seek them directly. I just can't imagine what is motivating those peolple.
posted by coust at 2:39 PM on July 22


and the guys in the group are like "wait what do you mean? what happened?" I think a lot of men in games are oblivious to how common it is

I think this aspect gets less attention than might be useful in the encouragement of men to step up and shut down the men who do shitty things to women - the shitty things are often close to invisible even for men looking out for those things, for so many different reasons. (Then when someone on the receiving wavelengths relays what happened on those frequencies, it's a radically different story, often horrifying, often different enough and horrifying enough that doubt might seem to be the high road).
I haven't seen (yet) a well-marked path to people learning what harassment looks like when you're a bystander operating in different wavelengths. It seems like currently you need to look for your own path... if you're already un-oblivious enough to know that you need to.
I recently did some harassment training (there should really be an "anti-" in there), and it was very much about broad ideas and what the law was. Useful, sure, but it wasn't interested in helping people see into wavelengths intended to be dark to them.
posted by anonymisc at 3:57 PM on July 22 [4 favorites]


This is all coming on the back end of a terrible few weeks as great journalists have been basically driven out of gaming, including Maddy Myers and Samantha Allen, because they dared to question the video game boys club.

The parallels between this and the music industry(at basically any end of the spectrum, from performance to labels to journalism) basically just made me go "heh".

None of this stuff is really a solved problem there at all either, and is in about the same fucked to hell state.

But i really think there'd be some value in comparisons, and cross communication there.

That "Well you're only whining about this because you're not particularly good at your job and want a handout, people further ahead than you are there because they worked harder/are better" attitude absolutely exists over there. There have been articles about writing in that sphere, and working in that sphere(even posted here recently!) that are saying almost all of the same things.

On one hand it's like "damn, does nobody learn shit and pass it forward?" and then you realize that this is just sort of where society is at right now and you die a little bit inside.
posted by emptythought at 4:57 PM on July 22 [2 favorites]


"It's tragic to read how each of those stories winds up with "it just changes you" as the lesson learned. Nobody gets to face their attackers, there's no closure, you just have to suffer and then try to recover as a diminished person."

Yup. It's why real life sucks.

Metafilter Life as a woman: I just couldn't deal with the toxic fallout that would be a factor, every single day, for the rest of my life, just because I had the temerity to write about games while owning a uterus.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:39 PM on July 22 [2 favorites]


It is a good article. I get why they created a separate space for comments. Most readers, I think, won't bother clicking to another page for discussion. I didn't. So the article does, as the editor says, stand on its own.

Carolyn Petit said something that rang true to me. "[Men] feel entitled not only to games, but to the communities that had built up around games." When and where I was a kid, video games were for boys. Girls were never in the local bowling alley that served as our arcade. Nintendo arrived and it was the "cool" thing to own, and we knew who in our class got it and when, and it was just boys. I remember seeing a list of forthcoming games in Nintendo Power, and one of them was Barbie, and I remember laughing because (1) boys obviously weren't going to play this, (2) girls didn't play Nintendo, and (3) I didn't think a Barbie video game was likely to change that.

Obviously that's an aside from the thrust of the article, but I found it thought-provoking.
posted by cribcage at 10:47 PM on July 22


Here are two rundowns of the Giant Bomb hiring stuff, mentioned above.
posted by Corinth at 9:33 AM on July 24


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