The lights are on
While women have made great strides in the
game industry in recent years, Crystal Dynamics' Meagan Marie has written a
blog that details the sad reality: There's still far too much sexism and
inappropriate behavior in gaming.
In a post on her Tumblr entitled "What Would
You Do If You Weren't Afraid?", Meagan details some personal anecdotes from her
career both at Crystal Dynamics and Game Informer, which – to my mind – include
some really reprehensible behavior on the part of males in the game industry.
Judging by the reaction from other female video game professionals on Twitter
today, this behavior is sadly far too common.
Thankfully, a recent incident that occurred
at PAX (detailed in her post) has convinced Meagan that it's time to stop being silent:
The situation this weekend at PAX made me question why I'm willing to
stand up for others, but not myself. By allowing myself to be treated this way
I'm perpetuating that this behavior is acceptable. And it isn't. If I continue
stand by silently, I might as well sit on the sidelines and watch while other
young women endure what I have.
The treatment and representation of women in
gaming has come to a head this past year, and I know some of you are tired of
hearing about it. I'm tired of living it. I want to feel safe and valued as a
member of this industry, whether I'm conducting an interview, talking to fans
on a convention floor, or cosplaying. And I have a right to that.
I'm not afraid anymore. I'm angry.
I strongly encourage you to read the complete
post on Meagan's Tumblr. Also, while we encourage people to express their
views in our comments section, I'll give you one guess as to how much tolerance
I'm going to have for any posts that direct any abuse or inappropriate
comments towards Meagan (Hint: none). Thanks for reading.
[Photo courtesy of The Hairpin]
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
thanks for posting this matt! the more coverage stuff like this gets and the more people call out jerks like the guy in meagan's blog the better things will get, hopefully, in this industry and others as well. i doubt the problem will ever completely disappear, but creating an environment where it's unsafe/unacceptable to behave like that will go a long way in diminishing it and ensuring people that act like that are dealt with appropriately.
I always suspected things like that went on in the industry, but that is a lot worse than I imagined. Way to go for her sticking up for what is right!
This is sickening. I am fortunate to have grown-up in an environment where I have learned that a person is a person regardless of race or sex. I would assume the people making these comments live and breathe an environment where women are seen as "objects" or mere "sex appeal". This behavior is fostered like a language.
Here is a great analogy I have to support this. Picture sexism as a language. When we learn a language in a classroom (or in this case, a game), the concept does not root itself completely. By living and breathing in the language, it becomes a part of you. If you can learn a language near fluently by speaking nonstop in a native environment, imagine what female sexism must be like for these people.
While I do blame these "professionals" for being unprofessional, the industry as a whole must change as well. Showing females in a negative light makes the situation and the cause worse. Do not focus the efforts at changing the rationale and mindset of the people on the front lines, attack the evil thought at the roots and core of the operations. For us, it means a revolution and mass-uprising of an industry.
Gladly for us, gaming is still considered to be in it's infancy due to rapidly changing trends. This should prove great as it is not too late to change it before the industry fully matures and stay permanent.
Wow. The thought that people actually conduct themselves in this manner in professional environment. It's embarrassing for men and degrading to women. So lets stop. Nobody wins.
Go all Emma Goldman on 'em girl!
She's a very strong and passionate writer, I wish she still worked at GI, you guys could use some more female writers! Or at least more females in the next Super Replay Showdown. Looking at you Kayla!
It's on my bucket list to go to a gaming convention like PAX, but not any more. I've read too many articles where women have horrible experiences like hers. I don't want to spend a ton of money on a flight, hotel, and food just to have a bad experience.
Thinking about this makes me realize one thing, that gaming has gone downhill since the publishers started focusing on all manners of excuses of human detritus swilling Mountain Dew and munching Doritos while hurling insults at each other in Halo. All in the name of profits and nothing else...integrity and responsible depiction of characters and themes, don't let them get in the way of even more profits, more exposure! You reap what you sow, I guess, by attracting a vast number of least common demographics and over-sexualizing every little design ideas that have anything to do with females. Look yourselves into a mirror and think what all the focus tested and marketer jargon dominated direction of gaming industry has wrought. The new Tomb Raider game is also the culprit in this trend of abusing and demeaning female figures, as well, MAKE NO MISTAKE. The horror, the horror.
"he’d probed what it felt like 'knowing that none of the men in this room could please them in bed.'"
Since he's in that room too, I guess he's saying he wouldn't be able to either! hahaha FAIL, what a loser. People who go places just to insult the people who are there, are such a-holes.
matt just read the blog post thanks for linking it. Glad you put this story out needs to be picked up by more of the industry thanks
Its like sexual harrassment in the workplace. Its everywhere, not just the gaming industry unfortunately. I'm glad you posted this Matt, this definitely needs to be more vocal.
This has been a problem for many years now and Meagan is right. We all are tired of hearing about it. If we want the Video Game Industry to be taken seriously then we need to take ourselves more seriously on a professional scale. Sexism is a terrible blemish on the face of the game industry at the moment. As a perusing game developer and designer I will most definitely aid in its extinction and will value all of my future colleagues opinions and rights. Lets make the world respect and love the Game Industry, not only for the art and advancements in technology, but for its respectful and accepting community of both gamers and creators.