Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

GTFO: Don't film the trolls

GTFO: Don't film the trolls

Mon 29 Apr 2013 7:40am GMT / 3:40am EDT / 12:40am PDT
Media

Filmmaker launches Kickstarter to shine a light on sexism in the games industry

Shannon Sun-Higginson thinks she's prepared for the worst. As the filmmaker behind GTFO, the new documentary that aims to highlight the abuse suffered by female gamers and women in the games industry, it's not as if she doesn't know what to expect.

"I've gotten a few messages so far that are like, I'm an 'attention whore' which is a hilarious assessment to gather from trying to make a movie about women in gaming," she tells GamesIndustry International.

"I have been lucky that I haven't gotten too many trolls yet, but I think actually being an outsider probably helps in that respect."

1

Emily Compton of Muse Games, speaking in GTFO

By outsider she means not a blogger, or a developer or even someone who could necessarily chat about the ending of BioShock Infinite. She admits straightaway that she isn't a gamer herself and only became aware of the problem when friends of hers spoke being abused online. But she thinks that her role as an outsider comes with both its disadvantages and advantages.

"It has been a lot more challenging in that I didn't start out with any contacts at all in the industry, but this is a really important movie to get made and I can't just hope that someone else will make it," she explains.

"I wanted to tell people like myself, outsiders who aren't aware of this about this problem... I heard about it and I have always cared about womens' and feminist issues, and I didn't realise this was happening under everybody's nose."

Because after all, we've talked and talked about in the games press, but at times it doesn't feel as if it's getting us anywhere. If anything, the more women try to speak out the more resentful sections of the industry seem to get. Don't agree? Check out any of the comments on our stories on the topic, and remember that we're a site where people have to share their real names and job titles to be allowed to post. Clearly, we still have a long way to go.

"This is a really important movie to get made and I can't just hope that someone else will make it"

"I didn't think there was still an industry that in 2013 everyone was just fine with being really really sexist," she says.

"I don't think, obviously, it's the entire industry - that would be incredibly presumptuous and not true, it's just a very vocal minority."

So far Sun-Higginson has travelled to Pax East, the Major League Gaming event in Anaheim and New York's Columbia University, and has conducted a number of interviews, as well as speaking to the people behind sites like Fat, Ugly Or Slutty and Not In The Kitchen Anymore that publish the abuse and rape threats received by female gamers that dare to play online. She's been funding it herself, but has now launched a Kickstarter campaign to help cover the ongoing costs.

But what about chatting to the trolls, the people who are acting out in sexist or aggressive ways towards female gamers, blogger and indeed anyone who dares address the issue, like Anita Sarkeesian?

"I don't think the goal of this is, and I don't think it would be even possible to open a dialogue necessarily with the people who are doing this," she says on the topic. Plus she points out most of the abuse comes from anonymous sources.

"A lot of these anonymous people who are saying that they're going to do horrible things to these women, it would hard to get them on camera, I would think, and I would hope... I wouldn't mind giving them airtime because then their face would be on the project and it would be a detriment to them, not to myself."

2

Julia Childress, who also appears in GTFO

Her goals are much more far reaching than just naming a shaming a bunch of sexist trolls from the bottom half of the internet.

"There are a few goals, one of them is to make more awareness and more of a stigma for those people so that they see it and they're like 'oh, wait, maybe this is not an acceptable thing to do, maybe bad things will happen if I do this.'

"And the other thing from the developers' end and the monitoring end for people get muted and reported so that this happens less and less, and to make it easier for women and men and anybody who gets harassed to report these people so they won't be allowed to do it to anyone else."

If you'd be interested in contributing to the project, either with your perspective on the topic or cold hard Kickstarter cash, you can contact Sun-Higginson through the campaign page.

"If I can stop people abusing women that would be a success but I think it's more about not speaking directly to those people, but making it more of a taboo, more shameful to do that. And the second aspect is making everyone aware of this as a huge problem that needs to be fixed."

"It's awful to think that half of the community, meaning women, are being abused and their talents aren't really being used in the video game industry as much as they could be."

56 Comments

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

810 1,013 1.3
And the epic irony of this is.... she's the troll.

"It's awful to think that half of the community, meaning women, are being abused"

Is this about the Taliban? If so, you have my full support. However if you're trying to tell me that all (or even just most)l wormen are being abused by the game industry, I hope a body like TIGA sues you. This is a bloody outrageous slur and she should be ashamed.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Jade Law
Senior concept artist

72 291 4.0
Popular Comment
"aims to highlight the abuse suffered by women in the games industry, it's not as if she doesn't know what to expect."

So wait, is this about women in games industry being abused or female gamers being abused? Because those are 2 completely different topics.
I cant help but worry that her focus is on making a dramatic film and we cant trust her to be objective about women in games industry. She already seems to have a pretty one-sided outlook on it.

She probably would have been better off doing something about internet trolls in general and how anonymity provides the perfect soapbox for not just sexism but also bigotry, racism and personal bullying instead of focusing on something that doesnt affect her.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Jade Law on 29th April 2013 9:14am

Posted:A year ago

#2

Matthew Sainsbury
Journalist

7 18 2.6
Popular Comment
No.

Hyperbole aside, all she's doing is highlighting a very real problem in the games industry; too many people denying sexism exists at all, and too many people pointing to the Taliban and pretending that that is the only sexism worth fighting. Highlighting a problem, regardless where it comes from, is a worthy cause when it is THIS rampant.

There are way too many excuses that come out of this industry. People defend comments about Girlfriend modes and such as in innocent nothings, when in reality that supposed-innocent comment that so many defend because the dude that made the comment makes fun games is indicative of a culture so sexist that is is hostile to the very idea that there is sexism in the industry.

Which this comment you have made neatly proves. Ergo I approve of this film. Good to know that people outside the games industry now also realises how embarrassing some of the frat parties inside the games industry really are.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Matthew Sainsbury on 29th April 2013 9:18am

Posted:A year ago

#3

Jade Law
Senior concept artist

72 291 4.0
Popular Comment
I am double checking because it seems so ridiculous.. and because its unclear.

I've had a lot of sexist slurs thrown my way over the years from playing videogames online.. but that has nothing to do with being a developer or the industry.. I've had insults thrown my way as a developer about my sex, weight, abilities, accent.. anything people who know nothing about me can grab onto to try get to me.
Its not about my gender, the real issue has nothing to do with actually being a girl and its more about bullying tactics we see thanks to anonymity.


People will focus on what makes you different to attack you online, and if you sound like a girl its going to be that first.

I checked on the kickstarter and its pretty vague and ill-conceived but it will get funded regardless. Its a shame because I would actually like to see a documentary about women in games that tackles the subject from a completely objective standpoint. This seems like it should just focus on trolls and not trolls specifically pertaining to sexism in games.

sigh

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Jade Law on 29th April 2013 9:31am

Posted:A year ago

#4

Matthew Sainsbury
Journalist

7 18 2.6
Those are fair concerns, Tom, I would agree generally about those.

However my understanding of the documentary process is that people generally do set out with a hypothesis, and the process of the documentary will either confirm or contradict it. That's the way I understood her comments here - a hypothesis.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Jade Law
Senior concept artist

72 291 4.0
Popular Comment
Heres my hypothesis..

Based on her experience, writing style and pitch so far I dont trust this film to accurately reach an objective conclusion for such a charged topic. If she provides a one-sided view on the subject it could be potentially put women off wanting to enter the games industry.
Her aim isnt to confirm or contradict the idea, the primary goal she states is to raise awareness of a problem.

Posted:A year ago

#6
@Jade - Too true.

I would like someone to do a kickstarter to investigate how much of the actual money raised goes into "what's on the screen" and how much is going to "other places".

It's a great racket, the only problem is that it's also incredibly divisive.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 29th April 2013 9:49am

Posted:A year ago

#7

Melissa Gumbs
Marketing

5 13 2.6
"I don't think the goal of this, and I don't think it would be even possible to open a dialogue necessarily with the people who are doing this."

I was always taught that complaining about something just for the sake of complaining, and not actively trying to change it or explore methods to actually bring about said change, is a waste of everybody's time. I've already had my issues with Anita Sarkeesian and her one-sided slant to this entire issue, and now I've another to contend with. To me, there's no point to raise awareness if you aren't also interested in raising interest in taking steps towards a solution. What she and Sarkeesian do is brand every male a sexist and every female who disagrees with them as some brainwashed ditz who needs to be saved....by them. That's the most sexist idea of all. I've had bad experiences on XBox Live as well but again, as Jade Law said, people will latch onto whatever separates you from them and will bleed it dry. And if I were being 100% honest, my male buddies have heard far worse from the 12 year olds on XBox Live, male and female alike. Trying to stimulate active dialogue between all parties involved and affected is the only way to actually have a lasting and meaningful impact on this issue. I think it's just easier and a lot less work to just focus on the side you stand on than it is to actually admit the existence of and explore the varying objectives and PoVs. And the amounts they raise on Kickstarter are ridiculous, especially when looked at in contrast to the quality (fact-checks, research, production levels, etc) of the output.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Dave Gallacher
Quality Assurance Engineer

3 4 1.3
"She admits straight away that she isn't a gamer herself, and only became aware of the problem when friends of hers spoke about it."

Yay, let's make a documentary based purely upon anecdotes! I'll be the first to admit that the nature of the games industry is very male-centric, but to insinuate women are generally "abused" is just a falsehood. They may be underrepresented, but "abuse" seems like a ridiculous overstatement, and those who "abuse" would very, very likely be suffering lawsuits by now.

Troll documentary is accurate.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Khash Firestorm
Senior Programmer

38 37 1.0
This again :D

I'm working with women in GI and usually they are very good. I have never seen any of them put asaide if her skills are better than others and it is just fair as the same count for men.
Game industry is very brutal market for everyone. Redundancies and poor salaries are problems here which I would agree with, but I can't agree with sexism. At least not in the companies I were working with. In this industry skill is all it matters. Not your age, sex or nationality. If I'm wrong then its really well hidden.

If we say about targetting mostly male customers with games then heh... it is what sales. True is that our industry does care very little about players and entertainment. In those days all it matters is monetisation. There is nothing stopping us to work at home on games which are fun and for players, but bigger companies procude only what sales and what is "low risk". There is no sexism in it, noone is saying "we will not make game for women because they are..." but "make game which have this and that because it is a safe sale".
I dont like it, I'm passionate developper and I aim to build funds to work on home titles which will monetise only thanks to fun they provide not becasue they are "service", "social tricks" and "free to play" (which is often not free at all).

Posted:A year ago

#11

David Thornhill
Studying Journalism

8 25 3.1
I'm very interested to see the outcome of this documentary, as I've been troubled by stories of blatant sexism in the games development and industry.
While I don't agree with many of the previous (or current) assertions of Feminist Frequency, they're trying to tackle a symptom. And not necessarily one of just video games. Huge breasted, skimpy clothed warrior women aren't exclusive to, nor spawned of, video games.
If you want to talk about believable, well rounded character development; you're grossly mistaken if you think male characters are being vastly better represented.
If you really want to make games more open, do more about the culture of the creators. It's no use blaming the audience when they have no control over the artistic content or direction.
Those who don't want to play a generic corridor FPS because it has women, don't have to buy it. It'll shift the demographics to people who will.
If this is about the culture of the industry: find someone from within (eg. Mr. Paul Johnson) who doesn't believe this is an issue and ask their opinion. You'll find that considerably more informative and useful than some anonymous netizen who likes CoD and 'hates fags'
If this truly is so prevalent in games development, find those who have been accused of sexism and talk to them. Find out why this issue hasn't been solved internally over the past 30 years. The internet isn't to blame. The industry was there first and isn't dictated by the attitudes of neogaf or reddit.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

280 180 0.6
I just wanna thank Jade and Melissa for showing some women can actually have a balanced view on the "issue". Apologies for the non-argued post about the overall topic.

Posted:A year ago

#13

Helen Merete Simm
Senior UI Artist

47 245 5.2
As a female gamer and dev, I really am not sure I want someone like this speaking "for" me.
Anita Sarkeesian at least could see the world we see. It feels a little like this woman is jumping on the bandwagon in an attempt to get attention.
I really don't think this is going to have a positive effect on the issues addressed. In fact I think she's going to weaken the cause.
Someone who does not understand from the inside, can often do more damage than good.

Posted:A year ago

#14
We'd be better served if, knowing the stakes, GI.Biz interviewed her with actual questions and reactions rather than just printing what she said. It came across very badly.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Wesley Copeland
Freelance Video Game Journalist

12 83 6.9
Oh Paul, where to begin.
"And the epic irony of this is.... she's the troll."
Of course she's going to be labelled as a 'troll'. It's much easier to spit out one venomous word than it is to explain why it is she's wrong, in detail. For the record, her attitude about covering this should be commended and not ridiculed or called names. Who better to hold a mirror up to our broken culture than an outsider?
"Is this about the Taliban? If so, you have my full support."
'Insert real-world crisis to showcase how little you think of sexism.'

I'm not asking that you care about equal rights, but mentioning the Taliban only serves to close the argument. Some of us feel women are treated as lesser than men, so we want to fight it. If we want to fight via Kickstarter or on a comment section, let us. You don't get to shut down anyone with an opinion.
"However if you're trying to tell me that all (or even just most)l wormen are being abused by the game industry, I hope a body like TIGA sues you."
Right, you may not have an issue with sexism at Rubicon, which is great, but other places do. How about we let her get on with her Kickstarter and we'll argue over semantics after she's done her research?

While we're here: you hope she gets sued?

So you've called her a troll and hope she gets sued, correct? You are aware of the irony of calling someone else a troll then saying they should get sued based off of something we don't know all the facts about?

Look, the issue of sexism isn't going away until it gets solved. Women are treated like utter shit at some places. We work in an industry where Jade Raymond is confused for a booth babe despite her monumental accomplishments.

Paul, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but your response is part of the problem.

"Don't agree? Check out any of the comments on our stories on the topic, and remember that we're a site where people have to share their real names and job titles to be allowed to post. Clearly, we still have a long way to go."

Posted:A year ago

#16

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

644 260 0.4
Paul, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but your response is part of the problem.
"Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.[1]" [Wikipedia]

Posted:A year ago

#17
I think the important thing here is to recognise that her primary goal is to raise awareness, and that she's talking to women in the industry, developers and people she meets at events like any good documentary maker would. Her subjects are real people - their "anecdotes" are actually their experiences and entirely valid.

Just because she isn't a gamer herself doesn't mean she can't offer us an insight into our own industry. I've seen any number of brilliant documentaries on any number of topics where the film maker was an observer, rather than a direct participant.

And for the people on here who are worried that she doesn't have the full picture, why not contact her and share your story?

Posted:A year ago

#18

Paul Smith
Dev

189 148 0.8
I have a feeling all this social crusade crap is going to start pushing women away from the games industry rather than bring them in.

"Hey girls why don't you work in Games? its an awesome creative industry!"

"YOU'RE GONNA GET ABUSED AND OFFENDED! RUNNNNNNNNNNN RUNNNNNNNNN AWAYYYYYYY!!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Smith on 29th April 2013 1:48pm

Posted:A year ago

#19

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

810 1,013 1.3
@Wesley.
"Paul, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but your response is part of the problem."

And I maintain that your response to mine is the actual problem. I think Paul Trillo above shares my view of all this noise making, because that's all it is. And it's may cause actual problems where before there were none.

And

"Look, the issue of sexism isn't going away until it gets solved. Women are treated like utter shit at some places."
Sorry, but I just don't believe you. I've been around for 25 years at various companies and never got a whiff. If I've been lucky and missed some companies where women are treated badly, then fine, I'll admit it's at least possible. But, there's a ton of laws to fix this. For any bosses still around with such an outdated attitude, it's too late to educate them - report them to the authorities.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 29th April 2013 2:28pm

Posted:A year ago

#20

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

810 1,013 1.3
"So you've called her a troll and hope she gets sued, correct? You are aware of the irony of calling someone else a troll then saying they should get sued based off of something we don't know all the facts about?"

Nope, I'm not trolling and there's no irony. I really mean I hope she gets sued on account of misrepresenting game developers' (of which I am one) outlook to women in the industry. The text is there for you to read and it's a pretty defaming assertion based on no evidence at all.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Sam Nicholls
Web Developer

4 4 1.0
@Paul Trillo - That genuinely happened when feminists got involved with conference arrangements with the American Atheist scene. They started adding moot (because they're already illegal) conference rules against things such as rape threats. Doing things like this is just throwing danger signs at women who would otherwise be interested.

Anyway, back to the topic, looks like this one is currently in-line to fail.
I guess either a media bubble hasn't blown up behind this yet or the people who would be willing to donate to such a project are too busy feeling burnt by Anita's slow delivery to step up to this one.

Personally I can't help but see these "I'm an outsider and I'm going to look at..." documentaries as cynical cash-grabs. I have the bronycon doc firmly in-mind here. There's also the issue of confirmation bias if we're going to leave gender politics issues to feminists who are 100% sure that patriarchy is an actual omnipresent thing. Ultimately if this gets funded, I hope the interviews are broad enough and cherry-picking is resisted to get a clear picture of what is an issue and what is not an issue in both the game development industry and the gaming community.

@Andreas Gschwari - Good read, thanks for sharing. One of the points I'm particularly worried about with this documentary is that it may ignore the success stories, and I agree with the constructive points about how the industry could go about improving.

Posted:A year ago

#22

Christopher Thigpen
Lead Producer

47 92 2.0
If she was making a "documentary", it would be an impartial piece that showcases both sides of the issue. That is not what it appears to be.

Posted:A year ago

#23

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

280 180 0.6
While this is actually more of a society issue (meaning it is not specific to entities like industry fields and it's related to individual wrongdoings or small groups of individual with some pack mentality), it seems like the Gaming Industry is a weak spot for neo-feminists to attack.

As Paul and Paul, Jade, Melissa, Helen and others mentioned/suggested it, at some point this may become more damaging for the industry as it is being stigmatized and blamed for all that goes wrong in the world with women. And the worst part of it is that if there was really such a huge segregation in the Gaming Industry, there would be no women at all to talk about it unless they bring a lawyer, a journalist, a angry mob, a signed petition or a gun with them to get any attention, and to my knowledge it is not the case (at least I can see it is not the case here).

The Gaming Industry is probably amongst the most open-minded (provided you who work in it are as well or you not going to last long in that world) and open-to-all industries (provided you have the skills required and regardless of your tatoos, piercings, weird hair cut, breat size, body mass, nerdy outfits, etc.), and the less deserving those debates.

EDIT PS. Don't get me wrong when I say "the less deserving those debates", I actually think it is a good thing that anyone can talk about anything (no taboos). But since I participate more actively on Gamesindustry.biz, after a long time just passively reading, it seems like a week can't pass without one or two new topics like this one. In addition, Raising awareness is important, sure,, but one thing I know from this type of communication is that most of the time you will miss the target you are actually aiming at (the ones who need their awareness raised) and all that you achieve is getting the ones who are already aware about the issue to loose interest in both the topic and the cause and the ones who are not yet concerned by it in any ways to run away.

Edited 6 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 29th April 2013 3:11pm

Posted:A year ago

#24

Wesley Copeland
Freelance Video Game Journalist

12 83 6.9
@Paul
And I maintain that your response to mine is the actual problem. I think Paul Trillo above shares my view of all this noise making, because that's all it is. And it's may cause actual problems where before there were none.
You've just labelled the 1ReasonWhy hashtag, and this post by Meagan Marie, as 'noise'. Are all of them lying? Maybe they're exaggerating for attention? What?
Sorry, but I just don't believe you. I've been around for 25 years at various companies and never got a whiff. If I've been lucky and missed some companies where women are treated badly, then fine, I'll admit it's at least possible. But, there's a ton of laws to fix this. For any bosses still around with such an outdated attitude, it's too late to educate them - report them to the authorities.
I do love when people use their tenure as a badge of honour. So you've been doing this for so long that this is just the way it is? There's no sexism at all so let's all bury our heads like we did 25 years ago?

If you've never once came across sexism -- not even once -- I'd have to question how many women you've worked with in you 25 years.

Stating about laws doesn't help either. How many whistle blowers have you come across in your time? I'm a journalist and if I speak out, a shitstorm follows, I burn bridges.. If female game developers were to speak out, who will hire them afterwards? Sure, the first few will get hired to save face, but what happens to the people who don't make the front page? The unsung heroines who are sick of being treated as second rate? Will they still get work elsewhere or will they be known as a 'troublemaker' and have to get a job collecting trolleys?

@Eric
As Paul and Paul, Jade, Melissa, Helen and others mentioned/suggested it, at some point this may become more damaging for the industry as it is being stigmatized and blamed for all that goes wrong in the world with women. And the worst part of it is that if there was really such a huge segregation in the Gaming Industry, there would be no women at all to talk about it unless they bring a lawyer, a journalist, a angry mob, a signed petition or a gun with them to get any attention, and to my knowledge it is not the case (at least I can see it is not the case here).
No neo-feminist ever said gaming should be blamed for all that goes wrong in the world with women. That's your view of neo-feminists, not neo-feminist's view of gaming. Have a think about that.
The Gaming Industry is probably amongst the most open-minded (provided you who work in it are as well or you not going to last long in that world) and open-to-all industries (provided you have the skills required and regardless of your tatoos, piercings, weird hair cut, breat size, body mass, nerdy outfits, etc.), and the less deserving those debates.
It is. Funnily enough, no neo-feminist has waged war on the good, equal places, only the sexist ones.

Those of us who are always banging on about women's rights, aren't out to fix every development studio, yet people act as though we are. It's the minority who make women feel like they should be carrying a card with a number on, that need to change.

Look guys, you may not think sexism is a problem where you are, or where you've been, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There's two links above to accounts of it happening, feel free to check them out.

Posted:A year ago

#25

Graeme Foote
Programmer / Game Designer

8 3 0.4
I personally think such a look into the games industry (From the perspective of female gamers and female developers) is something that I think would be a genuinely worthwhile effort. However, I do not think this is the person to do it. She admits a complete ignorance of the games industry beyond what some people told her and she talks as someone who has already decided on her opinion. Not to admit, I would see her likely completely missing the point of game culture, especially if she tries to delve into historical game culture without having ever been involved in it.

As for my personal experiences, I currently freelance for a developer that is all female excluding me. I'm fine with that and it does not bother me. One is an extremely talented artist, the other a writer and programmer. I'm on to do the more complex programming tasks since they have little experience with that but, to be honest, I doubt the other programmer would be unable to learn if they had more time outside of their other tasks. I know the wider industry may not have such a positive atmosphere, but I would like to hope that at least in smaller and newer devs that atmosphere is not so prevalent. I may be completely wrong, but it seems to be an extension of the corporate attitude found in any type of large company, regardless of the industry they're in. It is probably exacerbated, however, by the immaturity of the vocal minority of gamers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Graeme Foote on 29th April 2013 4:42pm

Posted:A year ago

#26

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

368 144 0.4
"the new documentary that aims to highlight the abuse suffered by female gamers and women in the games industry"

They are very different things and should be handled separately.
One is work place discrimination, the other is smack talk and isn't limited in any way to just female gamers. I have heard male gamers get abused over the mic way more aggressively than a female gamer. Or is that OK because it was a male gamer?

Posted:A year ago

#27

Dave Vout
Director

5 3 0.6
A splash of milk and two sugars in mine luv.

Posted:A year ago

#28
As for gamers experiences yes, most chat in multiplayer games is juvenile and sexist, which is shameful in many ways to all, though as some have mentioned above, they also lash out at anything, not just your sex, unfortunately it may not have a solution, because both kids and adults play together, you may be able to socially convince an adult that sexist comments are unacceptable within the environment, but you'll have a hard job convincing an 8 year old, and most teenagers are worse not better then the 8 year old.

And of those adults not all, human beings think in certain terms, and the internet gives people the freedom to say exactly what they think rather then articulate things with more tact, and tbh, both guys and gals especially younger ones have some pretty opposing viewpoints within their own thoughts, and often view each other as means to ends, so when given the freedom to express these thoughts without any social compulsion not to, chaos ensues, the main reason the chat is anti-female at this time is there are more males playing games, add more females, and it would swap to anti-male as opposed to equality more than likely, as people just plain are not very nice, specially if they reveal their thoughts without regard for feelings or proprieties.

So the apparent sexism in gaming is a symptom of a much larger disconnect between men and women and boys and girls in global society, and not merely sexism against women, and may only be possible to fix due to global education at a very young age, which as education differs from place to place, and none of them yet seem to address such things as of yet, seems unlikely any time soon at best, and even if introduced you'd have to wait for all the people who didn't grow up with such an education to die off before the issues would begin to a bait, and even then suffer relapses due to parental influences overriding said education.

I have no basis of reference for discussing the alternative issue, sexism in the games industry work place, so I won't, but that's a whole other issue, though logic would dictate it has something to do with a variation of the latter part of the above paragraph.

Posted:A year ago

#29

Gareth Wilson
Design Director

10 25 2.5
Popular Comment
Its funny the amount of men on this post saying there's no sexism in the games industry. I've got a friend of Pakistani descent and a few years back we somehow got onto the topic of racism in the pub. We (white, mid 20's blokes) were saying how racism is incredibly rare these days and he nearly choked on his drink. 'You have no idea, I experience it all the time. Its not as obvious as it used to be but its there, dodgy looks, muttered remarks and sniggers when they think you cant hear them. Its there alright."

I took from this that if you're not the subject of the discrimination you have no idea if its there or not. If these film makers find people who feel they've been discriminated against because of their sex we should listen and support these people instead of taking the blinkered 'well I've never seen it' attitude.

Posted:A year ago

#30

Robert Mac-Donald
Game Designer

58 45 0.8
Guys are always being mean and calling names to other guys. When we do the same to girls, is it treating them differently or the same?

Posted:A year ago

#31

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

810 1,013 1.3
@Wesley. tldr. I guess it was turning everthing I say into some new order woo woo that casts me as some mysoginist. And maybe you're right, I really can't be arsed trawling through this non subject any longer. Must be a white male privilege thing.

Posted:A year ago

#32

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

810 1,013 1.3
In fact, this incensed me so much, I'm gonna have my last say.

The Games Industry is one of the most open and welcoming industries around, full of bright people who look down their noses at anyone saying or doing anything antisocial. Apart from these magic companies you know about where, what happens at worst? A sexist joke?

Right now, a woman is probably being stoned for getting her period and if you feel this inflamed about womens issues, then instead of making out like I use it as a low blow, why not fly out to where women have real problems and go do something about it instead of whining in a forum.

I am going to speak up for the oppressed masses aka the gaming industry. I would like it protected from people like yourself who keep painting this picture of doom and gloom, sexism, racism, oppression and general malaise. If you care about your industry so much, why don't you keep this crap to yourself and stop damaging it.

If there is a particular company you are thinking of where women are oppressed, then that is the fault of that company. And why have you not reported them? To expand individual problems out into an industry wide thing is just headline grabbing. Surely not, especially given it always seems to be journalists or politicians doing the whining.

Edited several times to clean up the language. Yes, really.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 29th April 2013 9:34pm

Posted:A year ago

#33

Brian 'Psychochild' Green
MMO Developer

14 11 0.8
How about we stop stereotyping an entire industry based on the behaviors of some the people? I prefer to judge people on their actions rather than the category they belong to (race, gender, sexual orientation, industry they work for, etc.)

The issue here isn't that game developers think sexism (or other bigotry) doesn't happen, but that we're tired of the assumptions that because a game developer or game player is s sexist, that the entire industry is organized to defend and promote this behavior. Some of us see bigotry of all forms as a very real problem we need to address, but we would prefer to address actual instances of it. Nothing is solved by acting like the entire industry perpetuates sexism and everyone involved being (at least) a complicit supporter; all that attitude does is make people who should be allies overly defensive and unwilling to address the problem for fear of being accused of that sin.

Posted:A year ago

#34
Here's a clip from the West Wing that best explains my point of view. You can skip to the part at 5:00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpcBWA1K9Xw

Some people want to be able to control and regulate for every eventuality. It's just not possible, at some point the individuals have to take responsibility which in this case is mostly Microsoft as only they're in a position to do anything about it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 30th April 2013 12:05pm

Posted:A year ago

#35

Liam Farrell

66 13 0.2
Maybe we should wait until it's finished and can actually see it before we all start circling the wagons?

Posted:A year ago

#36

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

902 1,332 1.5
I would like to be a part of this film, mainly so I can tell my friends that I'm working on something called GTFO and if they don't like that they can STFU.

Posted:A year ago

#37

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

280 180 0.6
Comment deleted (don't see the point answering Wesley's top comment... Really ?).

I'll just go watch this in meantime. Caution, explicit theme and strong language, click at your own risk.

Edited 7 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 30th April 2013 10:31am

Posted:A year ago

#38

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

335 462 1.4
I don't like this kind of project. It's not because I don't think there is any sexism in gaming, or that what sexism exists is not a problem. There is, and it is, and those in any position to work on the problem should do so. The reason I don't like these sorts of projects is because I think they're likely to cause more harm than good. Gamers and the gaming community are still significantly misunderstood by the larger populous. We actually have bills squirming around in congress designed to curb violent games in the name of preventing real life massacres. In that sort of environment, how can we expect documentaries portraying even a small number of gamers as misanthropes, fair or not within that context, to be viewed objectively by those outside the community? It's sort of something that shouldn't go "outside the family."

This sort of video won't accomplish anything where it needs to. The people in a position to do anything, those within the gaming community, already know the problems, and do what they can to work on them. The people outside the community, who might actually learn something from the videos, would likely take the wrong lessons because they wouldn't understand the context. This is especially worrying if she isn't enmeshed in the community itself. Even a self-described gamer like Saarkesian was woefully out of context in her most recent screed, so if we can't expect an evenhanded portrayal from "one of us," how can we expect it from an outsider?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tim Ogul on 30th April 2013 1:52am

Posted:A year ago

#39

Shane Sweeney
Academic

355 269 0.8
No amount of extra discourse can be bad. The fact we always talk about it, is why we need to keep talking about it.

Most documentaries aren't made by people living in the conditions of what is being explored. That's almost the point, exploration from an outsider.

Posted:A year ago

#40

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

335 462 1.4
Yes, but the problem is when you take a group that already has a misunderstood and uneasy public perception, but is generally harmless and in many ways positive, and then you make films highlighting the worst behavior of their worst members, it's typically not absorbed by outside viewers in proper perspective. Even if the video itself turns out to be remarkably fair in its presentation, taking deliberate steps to point out what a marginalized minority these people represent, it will still filter into the perceptions of the non-gamer viewer as "you know those gamers, all a bunch of perverts that harass women all day (when they aren't shooting up schools, of course)."

Posted:A year ago

#41

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

280 180 0.6
No amount of extra discourse can be bad. The fact we always talk about it, is why we need to keep talking about it.
A man goes back home late night, on his way back he sees another man under a lamp post apparently looking for something on the ground, so he asks him "are you alright ?" and the other answer "not really, I've lost my keys, can't go home and I've been searching for hours but I can't find them". So the first man asks "where did you loose them ?" and the other answer "I think over there, in the dark" and the first man, surprised, ask him why he is looking for his lost keys here then and the second answer "because here there is light".

No amount of extra discourse can be bad indeed, if it is done in the right place.

But maybe I am missing the point, is all this about having a never ending discourse (which may prove profitable for the "preachers" as it seems to become a market to raise money or get a job obviously) or is it about solving an issue for good ?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 30th April 2013 11:59am

Posted:A year ago

#42

Kevin Clark-Patterson
Lecturer in Games Development

292 26 0.1
Here is a prime example of the abuse on tap for female gamers: http://fatuglyorslutty.com/

Posted:A year ago

#43

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

556 607 1.1
Yes Kevin, i think few of us won't be familiar with this yet. However there is a BIG difference between how female gamers are treated and how women in the games industry are treated.

Female gamers being treated badly is a completely different issue i feel. It's wrong, and through reporting, those responsible will hopefull face consequences.

While i think that there are issues of women being treated badly in the industry, i would argue that it's not to the extent that it happens to female gamers. When it does happen though, there is a lot easier way of getting rid of it - fire the person responsible for harassment of any sort, because it is a lot easier to enforce rules in a workplace (after all an employee gets paid to perform his duties according to the rules and principles set out by the company).

I think i am not the only one confused about this documentary. If it covers sexism in the games industry, fair enough (though personally i would hope that all angles are covered and voice is given to those that are happy in the industry - of which, i believe there are more). If the documentary covers abuse of female gamers, that is also fair enough (and most definitely worth highlighting). What i do hope is that the documentary does not cover both at the same time and/or intermixes the subject, because i don't think one has anything to do with the other.

My guess would be that the majority of these sexist slurs you find in online games come from a minority of people of a certain age group. While the majority of men in the games industry actually is far more mature and has a far more positive view on women in the same industry.

Posted:A year ago

#44

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

280 180 0.6
I think i am not the only one confused about this documentary. If it covers sexism in the games industry, fair enough (though personally i would hope that all angles are covered and voice is given to those that are happy in the industry - of which, i believe there are more). If the documentary covers abuse of female gamers, that is also fair enough (and most definitely worth highlighting). What i do hope is that the documentary does not cover both at the same time and/or intermixes the subject, because i don't think one has anything to do with the other.
This will require money, more money... startkickdonate now please. :)

The only thing I would like to mention in addition to your remarks (to which I had little to add specifically), from my experience, is that abuses also go in the opposite direction sometimes, and sometimes abuses also involve the woman gamer using her feminine condition to trick a man into getting something (usually virtually, sometimes in real) and sometimes claim she's been abused afterwards and get the game support involved (true stories - I even had a case that was bordeline pedophilia involving a early teenage minor girl tricking some late teenagers (some major) and definitely starting the naughty stuff and doing the warm up phase). I am sorry to mention that too, but it's real and while I can't publish any log/investigation report for obvious reasons, those cases though rare exist and contribute to make the issue last in some ways... and it is done by women (some naive - I try stay nice here - men only being their pawns). I do hope also this will be covered by the "documentary" (I will still have it in quotation marks for now) so I would feel like researches have been done deep enough and the thingy will not be single-sided militancy (although I doubt it will go into much details, even if details often are what makes the difference).

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 30th April 2013 4:30pm

Posted:A year ago

#45

Petter Solberg
Freelance Writer & Artist

63 41 0.7




We keep talking about sexism, but do we always need to put the gender label in front of the issue? Is harassment less problematic when it doesn't involve sexism, but something else entirely? I think perhaps we need to look at the bigger picture here, and consider why some people choose to be abusive in the first place.

Posted:A year ago

#46

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

159 429 2.7
That's pretty spot on, if you've ever been a female gamer: I don't think she's talking about the industry there, she's talking about the customers. Not sure if it's her or the article that is frequently unclear of the distinction between the two.

Posted:A year ago

#47

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

280 180 0.6
I don't think she's talking about the industry there, she's talking about the customers.
@Bonnie Patterson, I believe she talks about both, which is confusing at times while reading her. Her last sentence for example is pretty clear she's not talking only about gamers :
"It's awful to think that half of the community, meaning women, are being abused and their talents aren't really being used in the video game industry as much as they could be."

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 2nd May 2013 8:27pm

Posted:A year ago

#48

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

644 260 0.4
are being abused
This is quite close to being offensive towards the games industry in general.

Posted:A year ago

#49

Shane Sweeney
Academic

355 269 0.8
@Eric
We no longer need discourse on subjects when they no longer generate 50+ comments on the subjects. This is the third time on GI.biz now just in recent memory.

The film is being made because someone felt they wanted to, people are backing it because they are interested in the film, and this thread (and the backlash or support the producer receives) is again proving why their is still more to be explored.

For whatever reason, when people stop caring including yourself, we will be done having discourse on it. But it's really the beginning of the conversation.

Posted:A year ago

#50

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

280 180 0.6
We no longer need discourse on subjects when they no longer generate 50+ comments on the subjects. This is the third time on GI.biz now just in recent memory.
Well the thing is, we need more "non-Caucasian" people as well in the industry, and they suffer the very exact same issues as women in terms of representation, discrimination, degrading comments, but we still talking a lot more about women don't we ? Would a topic about people of African origins being discriminated in the industry generate as much comments and appeal to so many people currently in the industry ? Or about elder people (I am working with 40-50 years old volunteers who are much more knowledgeable about gaming than the typical audience, but they would not get a chance to get a job in the industry) ? Or disabled people ? or gays ? etc. Equal opportunities policies involve all that. And for the gamers, while they are still multiple minorities we also have all of those "categories" of people in our customers.

Of course the "sexism" issue will appeal to a much larger audience, and that the reason why participation is so high, but it doesn't change the fact that discrimination is not only based on gender and I wish we could "not forget it".

But for the rest, of course I do agree discussions are necessary, although at some point, too much information may kill the information. Now regarding this lady, it seems also clear she is confusing the gamers world and the employees of the industry and put the issues from the two fields in the same bag and shakes the content, while it should not be like that. Of course we can hope that when she gets into her "journalistic investigation" she will understand what she seems not to be grabbing at the moment. Additionally, I mentioned some extreme cases of abuses going the other way around in the world of gamers, but I could also mention all the abuses of men players towards men players and it is not better than the abuse toward women gamers that are in fact a clear minority of the incidents. This meaning the root of the issue is not related to women, and being a women targeted by those very common abuses is only one of the "weaknesses" the "bad guys" will exploit if they were to find out, but they would exploit any other "weakness" they could find equally.

Now regarding the sexism issues within the industry, that is probably not different than in any other serious industry and it is usually isolated cases (a minority) that would probably addressed more efficiently in court rather than by any media (I am also sure that they are abuses going the other way around like anywhere also in the gaming industry). Now, I am not saying either this "documentary" should not be made, if people are willing to do it, other are willing to finance it, why not ? But I am, like many other did before in this thread, warning about the risks it may carry if it is not done properly. The outsider approach may be a very neutral and fresh one but according to the comments Ms Sun-Higginson, who is "prepared for the worst", made and all the confusions/hotchpotch/mixture between 2 very different problems that originate from 2 very different sources... It is not the best omen for this project (which seems already biased and subjective even before it actually started and which is probably no stranger to the fact I am pretty sure the kickstarter is going to be much more successful than if the direction was defined to be objective from the start as it is easier to rally extremists than it is to rally balanced or undecided ones).

We will see.

P.S. It is much more than the 3rd time, some of the articles that were more or less close to the topic in the past 4-5 weeks :

mp-highlights-lack-of-women-in-games-industry
mp-for-newcastle-to-discuss-girls-in-ict-at-gamehorizon-2013
remember-mes-gender-politics-a-subconscious-militant-act
naughty-dog-forced-to-request-female-focus-testers
gender-issue-a-chicken-and-egg-problem-says-monaco-dev
dancing-girls-and-industry-evolution
brathwaite-resigns-from-igda-women-in-games
want-more-women-in-games-start-with-girls
1reasontobe-panel-shows-female-devs-still-struggling-for-equality
bioware-female-characters-will-follow-commercial-success

Edited 14 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 3rd May 2013 2:50pm

Posted:A year ago

#51

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

810 1,013 1.3
>> "We no longer need discourse on subjects when they no longer generate 50+ comments on the subjects. This is the third time on GI.biz now just in recent memory."

It's nowhere near only the third time. And the reason so many comments go with each is the sheer outrage of the broken assumptions and generalistions being presented as undeniable truths.

>> "The film is being made because someone felt they wanted to, people are backing it because they are interested in the film"

No, this film is being made because some enterprising young woman noticed that you'll get funding if you have a cause. Any cause. I'm thinking about doing one based on how horrendously black people are treated in the games industry. We had a black guy come for a job here once and we didn't hire him so we're clearly blatant racists.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 3rd May 2013 3:43pm

Posted:A year ago

#52

Petter Solberg
Freelance Writer & Artist

63 41 0.7
Well the thing is, we need more "non-Caucasian" people as well in the industry
Don't forget us redheads!

Posted:A year ago

#53

Tim Ogul
Illustrator

335 462 1.4
The film is being made because someone felt they wanted to, people are backing it because they are interested in the film, and this thread (and the backlash or support the producer receives) is again proving why their is still more to be explored.
Or, proving that making documentaries funded by white knights is a good business model, whichever narrative works for you.

Posted:A year ago

#54

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now