Sections

"There is a literal war in this industry on women" - Wu

Giant Spacekat dev appears on MSNBC, CNN as GamerGate controversy starts grabbing national media attention

Earlier this week, Brianna Wu, head of development at Giant Spacekat, was forced from her home following death threats to her and her husband from extreme GamerGate supporters. Wu is the latest woman in games to unfortunately feel the hostility of the GamerGate crowd, and the movement has now gotten the attention of mainstream media. In the last few days, Wu was invited on MSNBC and CNN to discuss the threats and the treatment of women in general in the games business.

According to the IGDA, women account for just 22 percent of the workforce in games, but Wu is concerned that recent threats against women will cause that figure to dwindle. While noting that extremists have driven some of her own colleagues out of the industry, she remarked to MSNBC, "I know almost all of the women in the games industry at this point. All of us are terrified about this. We're terrified about our jobs, we're terrified that we are going to be next, and what we feel is that there is a literal war in this industry on women.

"[Some are] bullied to the point where you say, 'Hey I have other career opportunities. I'm going to go work somewhere else. I'm a software engineer. I can work in other industries different than this one.' I have to tell you, a question I ask myself a lot lately is 'Do I want to go get a job in an industry that's frankly less sexist?'"

While Wu told CNN, "I do genuinely believe my life is in danger," she also remains steadfast in her resolution that she won't back down. "I am not going to get bullied out of this industry," she said.

As bad as things seem for women in games right now, Wu believes it can get better. But action needs to start from within game companies. It's not just about gamer culture; it's about culture in the workplace.

"It needs to happen from the top down... This is a problem with the gamer culture but it's also a problem with the professionals within the gaming industry. If you look at sites like IGN and Giant Bomb, these are sites that are predominantly run by men and they are choosing not to cover what's happening to women in the industry. If you look at the industry's hiring practices as a whole they are titled very severely against women," she continued in her discussion with MSNBC.

"Many of [women's] roles are in marketing. In tech as a whole, women make up little more than 20 percent of programmers, but here in the games industry we're only three percent of programmers. So I think you have to look at the culture from the top down that's sending these messages very subtly and unconsciously. 'You're not welcome here. This is a boy's club. This is our turf.' It's not that the men are conscious that they're doing this. I love and respect the men who work in this industry with me, but they have attitudes frequently that they don't understand are antagonistic. What we need as an industry is a dialogue about this. We need men to listen to women when we tell them what our experiences are."

Update: Giant Bomb's Patrick Klepek has contacted us to note that the site has indeed covered the threats against Wu.

Related stories

Overwatch director thinks Blitzchung ban "should be reduced more or eliminated"

Jeff Kaplan says the process for a suspension or ban in OWL "takes about four to five days"

By Rebekah Valentine

US congressman calls out Blizzard for allowing racist groups in WoW

"Racism isn't a game," rep. Lou Correa said after being made aware of far-right user guild, The Enclave

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments (81)

Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship5 years ago
"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 5 years ago
Can we please go back to articles about video games
25Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz5 years ago
No one makes you read the articles Andrew! This is a critically important issue to the industry. GamesIndustry.biz's role is to write about all the important issues.
46Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (81)
Hey Andrew, nobody's forcing you to read these articles about people who make videogames. Can we please quit it with the shitty comments? If you're not interested, don't read it, don't comment on it.
17Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 5 years ago
A person wanting to start a dialog within the industry, taking the fight to random people with smartphones and hashtags. I am totally with her on eliminating harassment bullshit, but going up against a group of people who can attack you day and night from the cover of relative anonymity and already have a mob mentality going is insanity. Twitter and chan people literally do not have to be her audience.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
Not going to comment on the wider issue here, but I will leave one nugget. If you have a confrontational message to deliver, don't confuse "I" with "we". You don't speak for "we".

I for example do not think I have a problem that "we" need to change. I'll hire a woman if the best candidate is a woman and have done so in the past. But apparently I'm now an industry professional who needs his attitude changed. Well, "I" don't think "I" do. With that, you just alienated me and I should've been on your side, so how do you expect people on the other side to react to you. Presentation.
37Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Really, Paul? You're going to declare yourself 'alienated' because you don't think you're part of the problem and you resent the implication that you personally may be even the slightest bit complicit in the industry's gender imbalance?

That sounds like part of the problem to me, tbqh. If our supposed 'allies' have such thin skin and such small appetites for self-reflection, what need have we for enemies?
12Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
Yes you do seem to have some sort of problem with me. I've stated many times that I feel people should be hired and treated based on their merits only, and yet you seem to ignore that and bend something else like you're actually desperate to paint me as a luddite caveman nonetheless, presumably because I'm not "for" this cause of yours.

And the brain melter is, despite you seeing me as part of the problem for being inclusive and fair, your own hypocrisy knows no bounds. Here's a couple of quotes from elsewhere on todays page. Methinks you can pick a lot more bones out of this:

GI:
Brianna Wu is the head of development at Giant Spacekat, an all-women Boston-based developer
You:
Brianna is a determined and excellent advocate for equality and diversity in games
Get some consistency.

I've always spoken out in favour of equal rights, fair pay based on merit etc yet you seem to have an issue with me every time I say anything on the subject. Yet you hold up Ms Wu as a champion of equality. Really? Try these

1) Her company is reportedly all female. Given her own numbers, the chances of that happening naturally are nil. So lets just skip right past any moralising on this one as it's not needed. Blatant gender-biased hiring practices are so wrong they're actually illegal.
2) She exhibits this actual gender bias quite unashamedly and then goes on TV to complain about other perceived gender bias. Hypocrisy of the highest order, regardless of whether she's right or not about elsewhere.

I'll take my version of equality and fairness over hers every time and I'll thank you not to get on my case.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 15th October 2014 1:53am

48Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rachel Weber Senior Editor, GamesIndustry.biz5 years ago
Hi Paul,
Great to see you engaging with the subject, let's just try and keep things civil. No one has called you a w*****, this is a discussion of the issues, not a personal battle.
6Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I'm not trying to paint you as anything Paul, just observing that if you're so devoted to the cause of equality yourself you might not need be quite so sensitive about the topic every time it comes up. If you've thought about your hiring practises and examined your subconscious biases and are happy to count yourself as sufficiently down with equality, why should it bother you to see a call for others to do the same?
10Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
Sorry Rachel, that was meant purely as an example. Let me try again :)
That sounds like part of the problem to me, tbqh. If our supposed 'allies' have such thin skin and such small appetites for self-reflection, what need have we for enemies?
Skin thickness is not the issue. Here it is a little plainer.

"If you want someone to hear and consider your message, don't start it with an attack/insult at them. They will just leave."
17Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus5 years ago
Funny you mention other sites, James. Time to call out some of our golden cows.

I did a little bit of research (read: I literally typed "site:{website} gamergate" into Google) on three particular websites that are known as our industry's heavyweights. The following excludes member blogs, which are Livejournals for video games.

Total mentions of GamerGate in IGN articles: 0
Total mentions of GamerGate in Game Informer articles: 0
Total mentions of GamerGate in GameSpot articles: 1 (a story on Intel pulling their advertising)

So what we have are the three largest sites in the industry - all three controlled by public holding companies (j2, GameStop and CBS Interactive, respectively) - remaining completely and totally silent on the largest issue in the entire freaking industry right now, one that's been fermenting for a couple of months.

In a perverse way, GamerGate is actually showing that there are major problems in regards to games journalism. It just had to threaten to rape and murder a bunch of women to get there.
10Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 5 years ago
Ok .. See now I think this also is ridiculous. Yes, she has every right to be mad. Heck, I would be pretty mad too after those comments and being threatened.

But again why is this stuff that happens always being pinned on the whole dang "gamer culture" and industry?

Believe it or not, this is actually part of the problem. This is like children fighting back and fourth. You can't win by throwing fuel on the fire. That is just stupid.

There isn't a literal war on women in the industry. It' a war between children who can't agree with each other.
27Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
and are happy to count yourself as sufficiently down with equality, why should it bother you to see a call for others to do the same?
I thought that should be obvious. I'm not hearing a call for equality, I'm hearing a load of untargetted non-specific ranting and pointing out that this is not a good way to get your message heard.

I noticed that you've not yet commented on the quote I pulled of yours earlier. It seems to me that you are trying very hard to examine my position/morals but not so keen to look inside your own consitency level. That's not helping either. Hiring an all women team is not in fact a great stance for equality. It's gender bias and if I said the exact same thing about men you'd be going red and bursting about now. I find that odd.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 15th October 2014 12:24am

14Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
@Brook. Amen to that.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus5 years ago
@Barrie - Well, I don't blame journalists if they're not comfortable; hell, I know a lot of women who agree with Brianna and other outspoken personalities, but will never say it publicly (one I know: "I'm not touching this with a 20 foot pole. I have a family.") Let's face it: writing about this from a certain point of power opens yourself up to the wrath of people too odious for 4CHAN.

But in the case of Giant Bomb/GameSpot: they're owned by CBS Interactive. Their claim to fame was the Hopper incident at CES, and the Jeff Gerstmann incident. So one will have to forgive me if I call a spade a spade.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
David Canela Game & Audio Designer 5 years ago
I'm glad she's not leaving and wish her and anyone facing something similar lots of strength..
I also hope people get back to looking at specific issues and their specific solutions, rather than swinging their useless broad brushes (well, buckets of paints by now, really), because I don't think anything else is productive. I'm looking at you, gamergate hashtag, just as much as at people declaring gamers to be dead/over or speaking of a variety of diverse issues as a 'literal war'.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alex Lemco Writer 5 years ago
Can we please go back to articles about video games
This is an article about video games, Andrew. You might not see it that way, but that's exactly what it is, and if you want video games to grow and expand as a form of cultural expression you may want to start reading and talking about them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alex Lemco on 15th October 2014 1:07am

16Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
This might not be the best place to comment on this, as I do really miss talking about video games and having my mind blown by some of the best commentators here (Where are you Jim Webb?), but It has become painstakingly clear that a full scale chan raid is going on, not unlike the one waged against Scientology.

Dedicated GamerGate (/gg/) raid channels have been set up at various Chans, but the largest is Infinity Chan (sometimes called 8chan). 4chan was never the primary hub for any raid except in the very early days such as Habbo Hotel raid. M00t and 4chan is a running joke to every other chan and has been since /b/ day.

/v/ (Pronounced: "Slash v") is the name for the dedicated video game community at any given chan. Normally raids are conducted under the /b/ (Pronounced: "Slash b") or /i/ banner, yet the GamerGate raid is being conducted under the banner /v/. This isn't the first raid /v/ has undertaken though, but this is certainly the biggest.

The image below shows the size and posts of the various Chan Boards at Infinity Chan. /v/ and /gg/ collectively are the biggest and most active.
/v/ and /GG/ Popularity

Adam Baldwin has been selected as one of /v/'s current heroes as have other conservative commentators. The IndieGoGo project "The Fine Young Capitalists" an all female dev group who previously had some controversy with Zoe Quinn have attracted a funding campaign at /v/ in an attempt to stick it to Feminists. Sticking it to women by helping women.

They are getting a lot of lulz out of this.
Fine Young Capitalists

As a side commentary, Infinity Chan is having another competition or side war with another chan who is getting notoriety with the Fappening/Happening involving the release of various nudes. Chans constantly turf war, such wars *always* happen, with plenty of rivalry, infighting and DDoS activity. They are both competing for news headlines and now that MSNBC did a piece on TV about GamerGate, (despite unfavourable coverage) it validates their Chan war effort all the more.

Additionally, this is the first Hacktivist movement from Anonymous (if we can call it that) steeped in conservatism. Every previous raid I can recall has had left leaning goals steep with a lot of ironic puerile humour. Nazi Symbols, Rape humour, Racial slurs were mostly employed ironically because they were controversial and taboo. But there is a real sense of conservatism to this movement and many people on the chans have been asking this very question. An active attempt is being made to lure the "liberal media" to report favourable on GamerGate. The fact they are calling it the "Liberal Media" proves my point.

Everyone seems to think that this online backlash against feminism is caused from the inevitable broadening of the Internet. I think this is a true statement. Everyone has rushed to assume that this is because more women are being vocal online than ever before, but perhaps what if this is because there are more conservatives online than ever before as well? The internet was always a free thinking liberal hub constructed in the image of minds like Tim Berners Lee, this is all very interesting to me. Food for thought anyway.

I suggest any writer who wants to contribute meaningfully about this subject up-skill in the workings of Anonymous and batten down the hatches, as this isn't going away soon.

Edited 10 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 15th October 2014 1:49am

18Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
Call me crazy, but would an all or mostly female studio be a step forward in all this insanity? Usually, if there's oppression in an industry, one way around it is to gather up like-minded people and do your own thing in the same arena. Personally, I don't care who makes the games I want to play as long as the end results are solid and enjoyable.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
Call me crazy, but would an all or mostly female studio be a step forward in all this insanity?
Given that minority groups (whatever that term means in context) are often at a disadvantage, I could get behind that to an extent. "Just women" certainly seems reasonable in a predominantly male group where said males wouldn't suffer unduly. Unfair in broad terms perhaps, but certainly understandable and not something to lose sleep over imo.

But it's not a pulpit to lecture about equality from.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus5 years ago
I just wanted to point out that Shane's post is fantastic. I consider myself well versed on Anonymous and various chans, and yet I have been getting an education here.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios5 years ago
[More asinine drivel. Feel free to contribute something of substance to the conversation next time Marty. And as I said to Andrew above, if you don't like the topic no one's forcing you to read it or comment! - James]

Edited 2 times. Last edit by a moderator on 15th October 2014 5:03am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
Call me crazy, too:

Would this situation be different for Wu if she told the clowns who made the threats she wasn't going to be scared out of her home, to get of the internet for a bit and seek some professional help (or just f#@*k off, but in nicer words) and that maybe she'd consider getting the FBI or whomever involved?

The sad fact is that she responded to those threats in exactly the way the people who made them wanted her to. All this does is make her look like more of a victim than she needs to be and gives the dopes more leverage. I's say the next person they threaten might scoot away as well and then you have that going on until someone in some law enforcement agency finally, FINALLY wakes up and gets to work solving a crime that should have been taken care of before it spiraled into what it's going to become if more people just pack up and go instead of staying put and being more defiant than the losers attacking them on the internet on a regular basis.

That, and it's time for these damn sites to institute a crackdown of some sort or be shut down. Free speech isn't freedom from responsibility or consequences of stuff you say and today's troll doesn't care about being smarter of less combative, that's for damn sure.

And, Christoperrrr... men (and their families) have gotten death threats as well, so it's not just women being affected by this bullshit.
7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 5 years ago
@Christopher Pickford
I find it's childish because it's being handled in the wrong way. Again, it's taking fuel and just dumping it all over the fire.
It doesn't actually solve anything.

There is no doubt that some of these women in the industry are being attacked, but let me tell you this. It has nothing to do with them actually being a women, at least not most of the time. It's trolls being trolls trying to get this exact response out of them, and they keep falling for it, over and over again.

Again, I agree there is a problem. But I refuse to lower myself to either sides level of childishness. Instead we should be solving these issues like civilized adults.

Stop feeding the trolls. Problem solved. Now let's move on to actually solving the real issue here and stop blaming everyone else that has nothing to do with it.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
That is severely naive Brook.

GamerGate is such a political issue instead of a simple reasonable debate surrounding ethics. More and more I can see that completely different mind sets are driving the debate.

I agree this didn't start with #GamerGate, nor did it start with Feminist Frequnecy, nor did it start with the "Fake Gamer Girl" movement before it. But it *is* about women being able to harmlessly speak about feminist ideas online. This isn't even about gaming, all areas of the Internet are dealing with the supposed controversy of it being okay to bring up issues of feminism. Take for example: #ElevatorGate but there are countless others.

Rebecca Watson and Karen Stollznow share the same controversy online as Anita Sarkessian (as do many others), and the commonality isn't gamers or video games journalism.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 15th October 2014 6:20am

8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rachel Weber Senior Editor, GamesIndustry.biz5 years ago
"All this does is make her look like more of a victim than she needs to be and gives the dopes more leverage."

Greg, you've made a similar comment on the Sarkeesian piece, blaming the victim, suggesting they should just stay quiet, that in some way by speaking out they're bringing this on themselves.

If that's not what you're suggesting you might want to change your language.
8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
To add to Shane's point that
it *is* about women being able to harmlessly speak about feminist ideas online.
and that
the commonality isn't gamers or video games journalism.
I'll drop this here: http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2013/08/what-do-you-do-day-after-death-threat
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Craig Burkey Software Engineer 5 years ago
Personally I'm a liberal, I'm a gamer, I'm an aspiring game developer, I believe in equality, I signed that petition calling for equality, I've never used the #gamergate hashtag, I think the harrassers are wrong and unjustifified, I think threats are disgusting, I disagree with Sarkeesian (I think she is targeting the wrong games), I think Zoe Quinn was wrong to dox the fine young capalists game jam, I think if a journalist that has a relationship with a dev, it is wrong to write any article(doesn't matter if it isn't a review) that features their name without disclosure of some sort(not asking for details, or the nature of the relationship), I think Intel was right to withdraw the advertising campaign from Gamasutra, I think Gamasutra was wrong not to publish a counter opinion to Leigh Alexander's which I found abusive and offensive as, I also found Brianna Wu initial tweets which started the current wave of hostility. I want more women game developers, I want more games aimed at women, I want the core gamer audience to grow, I think there sould be more games aimed at a broad audience, I believe there is a place for games aimed at men, I believe that traditional male gamers don't have to be sacraficed in order to make games in general appeal to a broad audience.

So do I believe this is a war? No, I think, I look at things from both sides, I don't think each sides arguments are mutually exclusive, I think there is a lot of common ground. At the moment emotions are quite highly strung, an instead of intelligent discussions there are heated arguments, sadly with heated arguments, angry frustrated people do stupid things, and it cycles in a tit for tat exchange with no progress being made.

edited: To remove reference to Nathan Grayson as I wasn't aware of the timing of the Relationship (thanks Morville)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Craig Burkey on 15th October 2014 11:12am

10Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
I think Zoe Quinn was wrong to dox the fine young capalists game jam
Quinn never doxxed the FYCs, and they have privately admitted that: https://storify.com/TheQuinnspiracy/tfyc-truth-finally-comes-out

I think the journalist that had a relationship with ZQ was wrong to write any article(doesn't matter if it wasn't a review) that featured her name without disclosure of some sort
On March 31, Nathan published the only Kotaku article he's written involving Zoe Quinn. It was about Game Jam, a failed reality show that Zoe and other developers were upset about being on. At the time, Nathan and Zoe were professional acquaintances. He quoted blog posts written by Zoe and others involved in the show. Shortly after that, in early April, Nathan and Zoe began a romantic relationship. He has not written about her since. Nathan never reviewed Zoe Quinn's game Depression Quest, let alone gave it a favorable review.
( http://kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-been-asked-several-times-about-a-pos-1624707346 )

Apologies for the block quote, but these two points show how the GG'ers have shaped the narrative of their lies and subterfuge. Whetever else is said, let's not propagate the disinformation further. :)

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th October 2014 10:52am

5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Craig Burkey Software Engineer 5 years ago
I think Zoe Quinn was wrong to dox the fine young capalists game jam
Quinn never doxxed the FYCs, and they have privately admitted that: https://storify.com/TheQuinnspiracy/tfyc-truth-finally-comes-out
I'm going by this pretty comprehensive account apgnation regardless, whether she initiated the doxing, her behavior was pretty poor.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
Well, I'm going by screencaps of email conversations, sooo... :)

http://imgur.com/a/KEtcp

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th October 2014 11:13am

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 5 years ago
@Shane
Please do some more research about things like this before posting. Lack of fact checking is one the things this whole thing is about anyway.

First of all, /i/ as an "invasion" board has not existed for almost a decade. If you looked, you'd see that /i/ is the art board and has been for quite a while. /b/ hasn't been relevant to anything for years now either.

Anonymous the hacker group and anonymous the default name when posting are two completely unrelated things and have been since all that Scientology stuff way back when. The former is a splinter group. And in all "invasions", moot condemns them (even discussing gamergate on the video games board is now grounds for a ban, which is how 8chan got involved.)

Even on 8chan there's no "hacking" or stuff going on. Everything they do is in the open. You can go to 8chan's gamergate board right now and see what they're doing. (Due to the nature of the site there is a lot of false flagging going on, so take everything you see with a large helping of salt!) There is no secret raiding going on!

They're targeting news headlines because for the most part they've been so one-sided and want to show there's more to the whole thing than women being harassed (on both sides!) MSNBC has even said on twitter that they're considering running an article about this after their first one. There's no secret luring or emailing - you can look at MSNBC's involvement on twitter.

Yes the harassment is bad but don't lump in the people that took it too far with the others. This is true for any "movement" and this one is no exception. Again, if you go look at 8chan's gamergate board you can see that they certainly don't condone the harassment.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ipcWm4B3EU4
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games5 years ago
First, GamerGate is not something targeted against women, and I've seen gaming journalist women talk positively about it. Many articles (like the video posted here) are misleading people into thinking this has anything to do with women. It is about the overall corruption of gaming journalism that mostly began with the reviewer of Kane and Lynch getting fired, and with the high score reviews given by websites that are close friends with the developers, culminating into the discovery that a reviewer has slept with someone whom he gave not one but apparently two positive mentions in his articles.

Second, "There is a literal war in this industry on women", is incorrect. If anything, there is a war on modern feminism, because modern feminism itself begun that war by trying to modify the games played by a lot of people (both men and women) with accusations of sexism and misogyny, and then the people who didn't want to see their games changing started fighting back. And I should add that the biggest spokeperson for modern feminism in video games, is someone who was caught lying that she was a gamer when she in fact isn't one: http://youtu.be/gcPIu3sDkEw

Sure, nothing justifies death threats, but being a victim doesn't automatically make someone right about their ideals.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Robert Mac-Donald on 15th October 2014 11:25am

7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
It is about the overall corruption of gaming journalism that mostly began with the reviewer of Kane and Lynch getting fired
before his dismissal from GameSpot in 2007 following a scandal over his review of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Odd, I didn't see any GG hashtag way back in '07. In fact, it appeared people didn't really care about it that much back then. Nor about Rab Florence's dismissal. Nor about the fact that Edge 10s have been bought. Or that even this site has done some pretty shoddy "journalism" in the past.
and with the high score reviews given by websites that are close friends with the developers, culminating into the discovery that a reviewer has slept with someone whom he gave not one but apparently two positive mentions in his articles.
This better not be a reference to that Grayson chap, because if you look up a couple of posts, that's been debunked already.

Again, I'll say read this: http://www.amusementarcade.org/2014/10/02/a-letter-to-some-dude-on-gamergate/ And leave the poisonous gg tag to die. No-one saying you can't complain about corruption, but to do it in this way is just the stupidest thing a true gamer could do.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games5 years ago
"Odd, I didn't see any GG hashtag way back in '07."

What I meant is that GamerGate is the same thing that is being discussed for years, but now it got a trendy name
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
What I meant is that GamerGate is the same thing that is being discussed for years, but now it got a trendy name
But it's not been discussed for years by the consumers. It's been discussed off-and-on when something controversial has happened (Doritogate, for instance). And then it's been left. Obviously questionable practices (like, review-code not shipping until a game is out, or Bethesda apparently shipping review copies of Evil Within late to sites that gave Wolfenstein TNO low scores) are being ignored in favour of gloating when pro-consumer journalists look like they're leaving. Obviously questionable practices are still being ignored in favour of shoving "SJWs" and women out of the industry.

Or, to re-phrase: Your first post continued the lie that a journalist and a developer had a questionable relationship. In a movement that is about truth and ethics, do you not think that that would have been apologised for and been put to rest long ago? I've now corrected both you and Craig on it, but have either of you apologised and thanked me for my ethical standards? No? Do you not think that's strange?

Edit: In any event, I am once again leaving a comment thread. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th October 2014 11:57am

3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alex Lemco Writer 5 years ago
@Shane Sweeney Great comment! I've been wondering about the Conservative-Liberal dialogue within GG, as a fair few GG supporters I've asked consider themselves to be entirely - if not generally - 'liberal' minded, at least when it comes to games. Perhaps they're "Closet Conservatives"?

Paul Tassi wrote an excellent E-book on how gamers have reacted to, and consequentially changed the course of, the industry and media, putting a focus on stuff like Mass Effect 3's ending, Anita Sarkeesian (not including the events of this year) and the Xbox One reveal. But I've yet to see anything that dives into the 'turf wars' or ideologies of active groups within a specific movement. Perhaps you're the academic to do it?

[The book was "Fanboy Wars: The Fight For the Future of Video Games"]

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alex Lemco on 15th October 2014 12:01pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Craig Burkey Software Engineer 5 years ago
Or, to re-phrase: Your first post continued the lie that a journalist and a developer had a questionable relationship. In a movement that is about truth and ethics, do you not think that that would have been apologised for and been put to rest long ago? I've now corrected both you and Craig on it, but have either of you apologised and thanked me for my ethical standards? No? Do you not think that's strange?
Erm...
(thanks Morville)
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
Heh. No probs... I was more making a point than being snippy. :)
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
Call me crazy, but would an all or mostly female studio be a step forward in all this insanity?
Their kickstarter video was hosted by an asian male. They weren't all-female back then.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spacekat/bring-revolution-60-to-pc-and-mac
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Claas Grimm CRO, Red Hot CG5 years ago
2% of games industry professionals are transgender?! Yo.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games5 years ago
"But it's not been discussed for years by the consumers. "

It has been on the sites I visit

"This better not be a reference to that Grayson chap, because if you look up a couple of posts, that's been debunked already."
" Your first post continued the lie"

I don't know anything about being debunked. I've seen two screenshots myself from articles where he mentioned Zoey. How do you mean it was debunked, because it was claimed that the relationship happened after it?

Regardless, my statement remains correct, whether the review happened before or after: that a reviewer has slept with someone whom he gave not one but apparently two positive mentions in his articles. That made people consider that something foul might have been amiss, which they have been questioning for a long time already. There's also those leaks of the gaming journalism group which added to make people angry.

You'd need strong evidence to suggest that those screenshots were fake to have a claim that I perpetuated a lie. But if you do have the evidence post it because I haven't seen it

Anyway, you are trying to correct me in something I never claimed for some absolute truth myself, I'm merely explaining that gamergate isn't about women, and it has culminated with the discovery (whether it was false information or not) about the affair. You are trying to turn this into let's disprove something, while I'm not trying to prove anything
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
Okay, one more post, because this raises a couple of interesting psychological points.
How do you mean it was debunked, because it was claimed that the relationship happened after it?
Yes. By the Editor-In-Chief of Kotaku. Now, either you believe the EIC of a major gaming site, or you don't. If you do, then you are wrong in your assumptions. If you don't, then there is literally no way to win this ethical fight, because your paranoia and suspicion about journalists blinds you to all.
Regardless, my statement remains correct, whether the review happened before or after: that a reviewer has slept with someone whom he gave not one but apparently two positive mentions in his articles.
Because you obviously did not read my post, or the link, here it is again.
On March 31, Nathan published the only Kotaku article he's written involving Zoe Quinn. It was about Game Jam, a failed reality show that Zoe and other developers were upset about being on. At the time, Nathan and Zoe were professional acquaintances. He quoted blog posts written by Zoe and others involved in the show. Shortly after that, in early April, Nathan and Zoe began a romantic relationship. He has not written about her since. Nathan never reviewed Zoe Quinn's game Depression Quest, let alone gave it a favorable review.
( http://kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-been-asked-several-times-about-a-pos-1624707346 )
You'd need strong evidence to suggest that those screenshots were fake to have a claim that I perpetuated a lie. But if you do have the evidence post it because I haven't seen it
Why should I prove truth to you? Innocent til proven guilty; truth until proven lie.

Again, a psychological point. We have here in microcosm what is happening in the macrocosm of #gg: Prove that you're a gamer. Prove that you're being threatened. Prove that you didn't do something wrong. Prove you're not evil and against us. And, just like the Kotaku situation, there is no way to convince you - your basic assumptions blind you. Like the Salem witch-trials, everyone is too busy shouting "burn her" to question the basic assumption: Does witch-craft even exist?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th October 2014 12:32pm

8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games5 years ago
" If you don't, then there is literally no way to win this ethical fight, because your paranoia and suspicion about journalists blinds you to all."

Given that people were reporting that gamergate discussions were being censored on many gaming websites, yes, there is a way to fight this and is also part of the whole gamer gate thing which I believe to be the most positive: to leave these websites that have censored users discussing these events for better alternatives.

I was just about to edit and add this when I saw your post. People need to build alternatives or find them if they are unhappy with the current gaming journalism websites, and gamergate has raised awareness for that.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Robert Mac-Donald on 15th October 2014 12:32pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
to leave these websites that have censored users discussing these events to better alternatives.
People need to build alternatives or find them if they are unhappy with the current gaming journalism websites, and gamergate has raised awareness for that.
So why don't they do that then? Stop making other people's lives (and hobby) a misery.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games5 years ago
>So why don't they do that then?

I don't know, I have a long time ago. Currently making my own website to preserve freedom of speech on the internet

>Stop making other people's lives (and hobby) a misery.
That's how most people feel about Anita and SJWs, they are changing their hobby and making their life a misery as they no longer get to enjoy what was their primary hobby. Goes both ways. Both sides need to find their own alternatives, and both are trying to sway developers to their side, which is causing the "war"
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Furneaux Principal Designer 5 years ago
Paul, if you want to "judge people on their merits" remember that a diverse and balanced team of different genders, orientations and races is one of the *best* things you can have. If you base candidates purely in isolation there's a chance good you won't end up with one.

Don't base potential recruits off their individual merits. Game development thrives in about diverse, creative teams.
7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
That's how most people feel about Anita and SJWs, they are changing their hobby and making their life a misery as they no longer get to enjoy what was their primary hobby.
Anita and 'SJWs' aren't changing anything, they're calling for more variety and more critical thinking within the hobby. Anita even says in her videos that there is nothing wrong with enjoying the games she criticises. That criticism and call for diversity in absolutely no way correlates to the harassment and abuse she and many others have had to endure as a result of talking about games.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 15th October 2014 1:09pm

10Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games5 years ago
"they're calling for more variety and more critical thinking within the hobby"

Can you provide a source where she says sexism in video games is ok as long as there are non sexist games too? From my, albeit limited knowledge of her compared to all the videos she has released, the message I got from her was that we must end all sexism in games because it's creating a bad culture. That isn't calling for variety, that is trying to end one common pattern in favor of another.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Have you watched her videos? Yes, she criticises sexist tropes in games. The message is that these tropes are bad(frankly, anything that has been used so many times that it becomes a trope is likely to be bad because it's often just lazy writing), that they feed into and reinforce wider negative social messaging about women. She is not arguing that games which use these tropes should be banned or that they should not be made, merely that as creators we owe it to ourselves and our audience to be more thoughtful about the narratives we employ in our games and what they communicate. You don't have to agree with everything she says - hey, I don't - but her encouragement to more carefully examine the decisions you make as a game developer, and what they may be saying about you and your values, is universally valuable.

It's just critical feedback, much like the internal reviews we have every day amongst our colleagues every day as we make games. We are free to take it on board or to dismiss it, but dismissing criticism without a good reason can hurt the quality of what we are making, which can lead to upsetting or alienating our potential playerbase.

The message is that if you continue making games that employ these tired, sexist and potentially even harmful tropes, if your reasoning for doing so is no more reflective than 'I felt like doing it this way' then you are probably doing a disservice to yourself and to your audience.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 15th October 2014 1:58pm

12Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Thomas Kennedy Unemployed (Seeking work) 5 years ago
I'm just going to throw my own thoughts on this, regardless on how it paints me.

Both sides of this, those being attacked and those attacking are majorly in the wrong equally, I mean don't get me wrong, death threats just make you seem like scum but I'm not going to turn around and say those receiving the threats are perfectly innocent, this is less of a fight between all of Gamergate and all women in the industry, this is just a fight between the extremists of both parties, I mean most of those getting the threats are femmenists to high levels (Brianna Wu Has an all girl team when the odds of every girl having better qualifications is atronomically low).

And before people lump me in with the gamergate extremists, my mindset is like Pauls, If I had a video game company and you can legally work in my country and you had more qualifications then everyone else I'd hire you regardless of Race, gender, sexual preference or religion.

The problem arising here is the extremists from both camps are throwing stuff around where as the level-headed ones in both camps are actively trying to come to an agreement in the background, but obviously the minority here are being loud and gathering all the attention, I mean in the article Wu talks about gaming culture and companies being the problem this might be true in 1994 but now we have more females taking part in gaming, is it enough to point equality? no of course not but its just the industry going through the same way the rest of the world went through when women were starting to get more rights to work back in the 1960s, but for Wu to say Professional people and saying a culture, which has changed to be more accepting, are the cause is quite frankly bull.

Then theres gamergate and I'm just gonna say it bluntly the people sending those threats do not give a damn for gamersgate goal, its like when you see a peaceful demostration they'll be there that just want to cause havok and riot, these threat throwers don't care for equality or faireness in journalism, they just want to cause hell and paint a bad picture for gamergate.

That to me is how I see this whole cafuful, the more (I wouldn't say totally extreme but rather extreme) Femmenists get targeted by those using gamergate to hide and threaten, Femmenists fight back and it deteriorates its a lose-lose for all and is the reason I'm choosing my own side in this.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Quite the quagmire, this. Industry professionals against industry professionals is never good for industry professional progress.
Let's tackle the actual issues rather than ourselves, shall we?


Problem:
Lack of ethics and professionalism within video game journalism.

Solution:
A video game journalism organization and ethics oversight committee. Movies, music, books, etc have critic organizations dedicated to standardizations, ethics and propriety. General news journalists have dozens of organizations for such oversight. The video game industry has none of this and it shows.


Problem:
Gender imbalance in the video game industry workforce.

Solution:
Establish a welcome working environment for all.
A concerted effort to attract more women (or any under represented group) into the industry. A Kickstarter funded ad campaign for instance. If women are not excited to enter your industry, no manner of hiring practices will ever balance your workforce.


Problem:
Industry professionals being threatened.

Solution:
United stance by the industry (pubs, devs, personnel, journalists, other gamers, etc...) that such behavior is not tolerated regardless of who said what or why they are being targeted. Someone being threatened and what that someone said to entice threats are separate issues. Deal with the threats accordingly and then intellectually and professionally deal with the underlying cause issue. Ignoring the threat and looking only at what the target said only empowers the harassers and makes them feel like they can continue to do it or do it again to others.


Problem:
Sexism and misogyny is video games.

Solution:
Broader range of all inclusive video games developed.
No attacks on gamers themselves. No reduction is the games currently developed. Just make sure every market and demand is met. Everybody gets their game.


Shane, thanks for the shout. Been busy going back to school.
31Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Craig Burkey Software Engineer 5 years ago
Excellent post Jim, I support all of that.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Dan Pearson Business Development, Purewal Consulting5 years ago
Seconded.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus5 years ago
"It is about the overall corruption of gaming journalism that mostly began with the reviewer of Kane and Lynch getting fired"

Bull. Fucking. Shit.

My flagship column from when I was a full-on professional was called "Unbranding the Sheep". The title sucked, and my writing when I started it was heavily influenced by tech industry firebrands like Charlie Demerjian, but it heavily tackled a lot of issues relating to corruption in the industry; without trying to sound like a hipster, I was doing it long before it was cool. I continued the theme with GB's Fireside Chat series, though burnout cost me my momentum there. The latter is salient because a lot of complaints about the industry - female representation, corruption between journos and devs/pubs, financial and corporate issues, even gamers reacting poorly to just about anything - showed my fatigue in talking about them, because some of the points were simply repeats of ones I'd made years prior.

A lot of reaction to those columns was to simply tell me to STFU and get back to talking about games. Keep posting CoD information. In short, keep doing a lot of the things that were wrong (a focus on PR drivel, for example). The same people that told me to piss off back then are now, all of a sudden, drastically concerned about industry collusion? Bullshit. This has literally nothing to do with corruption, and any attempts to state that are naive at best and spin at worst. This isn't an attack on corruption, it's an attack on feminism.
9Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
@Raacheal: Gah. I didn't tell Anita to be quiet AT ALL In fact, I'd like her to speak out and STAND UP to people who try to stop her from speaking in public or anywhere else. I was criticizing the behavior of people who go on social sites to complain they've been stopped from speaking or doing something they feel is important when the tweets and posts SHOULD be along the lines of "Nope, you can't silence me - I'll find a way to get this done #iwontbesilenced" or something like that.

And for the record, I was nearly killed by some jerk in junior high many years ago who singled me out for reasons I still cannot fathom and stalked me for a few weeks, taunting and making threats, often in front of other kids and even a few apathetic paycheck collecting adults in that hellhole school I attended. He got suspended once for dumping his lunch tray on me, came back about two weeks later and went back to his routine.

One day, he walks up to me at lunch, spits in my food and says he was going to wait for me after school and yes, KILL me. Not hit, not beat up. KILL.

Great.

That was probably the longest day of my life at that point. None of the kids who saw this thought it was serious, the one teacher I grabbed and squeaked out to wouldn't let me leave early, and both of my parents were unavailable (this is the time before cellphones and easier methods of reaching people. My mom worked at a busy hospital and my dad drove a subway train). Worse, not one of the teachers, aides or other adults who saw me cowering at the entrance bothered to ask me what was wrong and could they give me a ride home.

The only "funny" thing here (well, now I laugh when I recall this, but it's more a dry rattle): my bus pass had expired that day and I was supposed to pick up a new one, but my stalker was outside the classroom lurking for a chance to get me if I went to the restroom or to pick up a new pass. The bus stop: right in front of the school. He knew I'd have to walk home but he didn't know where I lived and I wasn't about to have him follow me home or try to drag me off onto a side street.

Anyway. as the last car pulled away from the parking area, I got booted out of the building by the janitor (who wouldn't even look at the wiry monster in the dirty parka I was pointing wildly at) and right into a beatdown maybe ten feet from the school doors. If it wasn't for me curling up into a tight ball while all that kicking and punching was happening and some random stranger who ran up and chased that creep off me, called the cops who came and got me and took me to a nearby precinct while they tracked down my mother at her job, I'd probably not be here to inadvertently piss some of you off.

That bastard got caught, but as he was underage (and I later found out they found half a brick in his coat pocket which he was most likely going to use on me at some point) and only got expelled and sent to a school packed with other hard to control types. I have no idea where he is now, but I had a hard few years after that moving on from that nightmare scenario.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
Problem:
Sexism and misogyny is video games.
Jim, i had a good laugh, but i think you meant in and not is ;)
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Jim, i had a good laugh, but i think you meant in and not is ;)
Nice catch, Tom. The irony is that there are many who would intentionally title an article as such. That in mind, I'll leave the error in my post for the ironic humor.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
@Andrew
Do we really need to battle over semantics? I wish I could PM you.

/i/ is still in operation and sporadically pops up on chans when a limited time project requires it. Although lately there has been a preference for project based labels; /gg/, /pp/, /mpaa/, /xenu/ etc. The label /i/ itself became controversial because for quite some time infighting amongst the chans resulted in all /i/ boards being constantly trolled for lulz by other channers. In many cases /i/ has been renamed to /hax/ but old vangard refer to it sometimes as /i/. I only briefly mentioned /i/, was nit picking this necessary?

Secondly, your comment on 4chan. My whole second paragraph explicitly states that m00t and 4chan have publicly opposed all raids of any kind since 2006 on /b/ day. I have no idea why you thought I said otherwise. I will state it more glibly, 4chan almost never has anything to do with anything.

I know there is a difference between Anonymous and being anonymous. We can quibble about it if you like, but many argue all activity posted on a chan is conducted by the group known as Anonymous. Just activities are not always branded as such. It's certainly the stance Encyclopedia dramatica takes and is also the stance some Anonymous historians take like Gabriella Coleman.

As for "hacking" on 8chan or any other. I use the term hacking not in the Loyd Blankenship "hacker manifesto" manner but in the sadly watered down "someone posted on my Facebook" hacking definition. A chan is only one method that is used to organize a raid, irc is usually the primary way. And for every major irc channel for a campaign there are a small handful of invite only private ones. I've been in one of these ircs for GG and people were doing the normal "hacking" Anonymous attack pattens like black faxing various institutions, trying to guess the secret questions for potential Sarkessians email addresses, and we know DDoS has been going on as even the Escapist Forums were a target. But yes, I agree none of this is hacking, but I don't see much value in quibbling over definitions, especially when I normally champion the proper Loyd Blankenship definition.
Even on 8chan there's no "hacking" or stuff going on. Everything they do is in the open. You can go to 8chan's gamergate board right now and see what they're doing. (Due to the nature of the site there is a lot of false flagging going on, so take everything you see with a large helping of salt!)
This issue of false flagging is an interesting one. A lot of writers who write about Anonymous speak on this issue. Any opposition to an ongoing campaign is always referred to as false flagging as the nature of being anonymous (lower case a) in the chan echo chamber increases paranoia. Chans like to troll other chans, and as any campaign grows in size as will detractors.

While yes, there will be genuine false flags in /gg/, it won't be long until something along the lines of;
"GamerGate is the cancer that is killing /v/" becomes a meme.

It happens to every campaign, and Anonymous will soon learn trolling butt hurt /gg/ers will soon have its own value.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 15th October 2014 11:42pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Mathis Art Director & Co-Founder, Snjohus Software5 years ago
I think you might want to read MLK's letter from the birmingham jail for a thorough takedown of the "tone argument" you are using. (referencing Paul Johnson's comments)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ben Mathis on 16th October 2014 11:52am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
http://latimesherocomplex.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/rev602.gif?w=600&h=400

Is this the realistic representation of females that defies the troupes?
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes5 years ago
Having been in the industry for 25+ years and worked with some incredibly talented, strong willed women who are extremely passionate about what they do - and who are highly respected by their peers both male and female I find this whole side of GamerGate somewhat bemusing to say the least. The criticism about journalism is somewhat fairer but in nothing to do with reviews or bias but more to do with issues like this. Where are the journalists actually following this "anti-woman"/sexist industry story up? Not to point out the obvious here but Anita Sarkeesian is not in the game business. Never has been. Brianna Wu I wish the greatetst of success with her indie games company, but technically she's not worked i. The games lndustry either. She's formed a company that's developed and released a game.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes5 years ago
Having been in the industry for 25+ years and worked with some incredibly talented, strong willed women who are extremely passionate about what they do - and who are highly respected by their peers both male and female I find this whole side of GamerGate somewhat bemusing to say the least. The criticism about journalism is somewhat fairer but in nothing to do with reviews or bias but more to do with issues like this. Where are the journalists actually following this "anti-woman"/sexist industry story up? Not to point out the obvious here but Anita Sarkeesian is not in the game business. Never has been. Brianna Wu I wish the greatetst of success with her indie games company, but technically she's not worked in the games lndustry either. She's formed a company that's developed and released a game. Can we have some journalistic follow up that goes and talks to female members of our industry who have devoted their careers to the business and find out their opinion on all this? There's gender bias unfortunately in nearly every industry in the World, but is it any worse in games? If so how can we solve it? What can be done? If there's a serious issue to be discussed can we discuss it with those who are actually involved and not on a peripherary?
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
I... Just...

What?

(I had more, but, really, that sums up what I'm still thinking, 10 minutes after reading that comment.)
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Can we have some journalistic follow up that goes and talks to female members of our industry who have devoted their careers to the business and find out their opinion on all this?
The hell? Does Zoe Quinn, indie developer with a critically-acclaimed game on Steam, not count? Brianna Wu not only founded her own games company but is the head of development for their first game. How does she 'on the periphery'? There are hundreds of thousands of women who work in the games industry worldwide, myself amongst them, and most of us have experienced some degree of sexism in our working lives, whether online at the hands of 'fans', at events, or in our own workplaces. The #1reasonwhy hashtag last year was a stunning example of how pervasive sexism and harassment of women in games is. Is all of this evidence not good enough for you?
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bruno Patatas Senior Game Designer, Outplay Entertainment5 years ago
I liked Brianna saying that she knows every women in the games industry. I know quite a lot of women both in European and Japanese studios that never heard about her. Funny that...
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Hey, Richard, or indeed anybody who reads this comment, here's an idea: you want to hear from women who work in games about what can be done to change the gender ratio in our industry? Check out this great GDC talk by Elizabeth Sampat: Women Don't Want to Work in Games (And Other Myths).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 16th October 2014 5:08pm

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief5 years ago
I think Alex Hern of the Guardian has answered your points better than I ever could http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/16/gamergate-abuse-feminist-new-york-times-anita-sarkeesian
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
That was an excellent article Nicholas.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Dan Pearson Business Development, Purewal Consulting5 years ago
"Brianna Wu I wish the greatetst of success with her indie games company, but technically she's not worked in the games lndustry either. She's formed a company that's developed and released a game."

This is my experience of GamerGate in a nutshell.
6Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 5 years ago
In theory there should be two coexisting groups:

(1) Concerned about sexism, misogyny, both in games and in the industry at developers etc.

(2) Concerned about video games journalism being an extension of PR in places.

At no point, should those groups ever need to fight each other. Assuming the two groups exist for the reasons they claim to exist and opinion leaders steer the group towards enforcing their goals.

But from the looks, both groups appear to have been socially manipulated to attack each other. The usual suspects, who otherwise would be under pressure from both those groups, must laugh their asses off. MSNBC does what media do, report live on the unfiltered trainwreck: Jersey Shore - Newsroom Edition. As long as it makes for a spectacular show, why bother about the content and whether it makes sense?
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jason Schroder Senior Programmer, Io Interactive5 years ago
Most of my comment is being eaten on submit, will try again later.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Jason Schroder on 17th October 2014 3:35pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
Brianna Wu I wish the greatetst of success with her indie games company, but technically she's not worked in the games lndustry either. She's formed a company that's developed and released a game.
So she has worked in the industry?
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 5 years ago
@Jason: the comments section seems to have a problem with square brackets, the pound symbol, and some other punctiation. Try removing one of those and see if that helps
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 5 years ago
Really, Paul? You're going to declare yourself 'alienated' because you don't think you're part of the problem and you resent the implication that you personally may be even the slightest bit complicit in the industry's gender imbalance?
What on Earth? What is actually happening in your post? Is it suggesting (as it sounds) that Paul MUST be part of the problem? If so that's a sick and baseless assertion (not to mention revoltingly sexist). And if the post is allowing for the possibility that he's not part of the problem then what's wrong with Paul's position that you feel the need to delegitimise it? And what does it say about your own personal level of self-reflection that you don't see how you may be contributing to Paul feeling alienated? I've pointed this out numerous times on this very board so don't tell me you haven't had the chance for reflection.

Something tells me that if it was you under the microscope you'd be just as frustrated as Paul is. I'd rhetorically make the point but to be honest I'm not that much of an asshole. I'm not going to touch the irritatingly smarmy way you took a random comment and (perhaps for sport?) decided to fashion it into a spear. You didn't have to do that, it doesn't serve the point you were making but you felt the need to do it anyway... why? And to what end? Does it make you feel good?

Your comment is lashing out and trying to create conflict/enemies just for the hell of it. It's part of a growing trends of comments I've traditionally identified as feminist (and I've taken issue at length on these boards before) but the more I think about it (and come to understand the feminist position) the more I realise that asshole-ism is an independent phenomenon from feminism (the two tend to go hand-in-hand but in correlation rather than causation).

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 18th October 2014 5:47am

4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 5 years ago
Andrew: On any consumer site I'd be tempted to agree with you. But GamesIndustry is here to report on its namesake so these articles are not only to be expected but practically mandatory publishing. I'd honestly be more concerned if GI wasn't publishing this story.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 5 years ago
Morville: So why don't they do that [make their own websites] then? Stop making other people's lives (and hobby) a misery.
Risk and revenge.

Risk: I have site were I can publish articles if need be and I've actually written several on the topic of GG. In the end they all sit unused on my HDD. Once you publish something your name is forever attached to it in cyberspace (including visible to prospective employers). If someone (or a group of people) come along and label it sexist you have an image problem. And (I know this from experience) most people don't read nuances (or read at all) before they comment.

Revenge: Feminists "gatecrashing" has ruffled the feathers of many internet commenters. You can be on a thread that has nothing to do with this kind of thing and sure enough someone will (somehow) find a way to make the issue about feminism (this is why "if you don't want to read it, don't" isn't an option, leaving many to take the fight directly into these kinds of articles to preemptively silence gatecrashers). Unlike other kinds of gatecrashing social justice gatecrashing tends to come with a doses of character assassination and guilt tripping making it very hard for any conscientious person to simply ignore the gatecrash comments.

Bonus Answer: Lack of Interest: Many of the people who don't want to read/write these kinds of articles aren't interested in reading/writing counterpoints either, but don't want to sit back and let the media who do write on it (who for reasons of risk mentioned above tend to favour one position in the debate) dictate the entire debate complete with falsehoods and generalisations.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 18th October 2014 5:17am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 5 years ago
Christopher: Have you factored in the rise of "angry gamer" personalities such as Marcus Beer (ex-Gametrailers) and Jim Sterling? They make their videos precisely because there's an ongoing audience interested in the ethics issues... even if it's in the "everyone loves a train wreck"-entertainment sort of way. If there wasn't interest then these kinds of characters wouldn't have an audience to begin with.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 5 years ago
She is not arguing that games which use these tropes should be banned or that they should not be made, merely that as creators we owe it to ourselves and our audience to be more thoughtful about the narratives we employ in our games and what they communicate.
It isn't logically possible for feminism to hold this position. Keep in mind that under feminism that which is defined as misogynistic or sexist is considered cardinal sin. And furthermore that eradicating sexism/misogyny is part of feminism's mission statement.

With that in mind how can a feminist say "Hey, this (determined as misogynistic) part of the game is totally evil, but you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way! Variety is the spice of life and you can't have spice without a side-helping of good-ol' evil!". They can't, because that position simply isn't viable. You can't define something as abhorrent and at the same time celebrate (even defend) its existence. This goes well beyond "I don't like what you say but I'll defend your right to say it".

Case in point, there's not yet been any feminist defense over the preservation of content they consider misogynistic.

Feminism could have potentially co-existed with the games it considers "problemed" if not for the fact that the problems are cardinal sin from a feminist point of view rather than just pet peeves. This categorisation is why people say feminism = censorship... because it necessarily has to to avoid the silly scenario painted above.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 18th October 2014 5:45am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
This is such an extreme point of view to have Shehzaan.

No medium has been negatively impacted from increased discourse. Despite unfettered exploration of gender and racial studies in film, female exploitation cinema still exists, Blaxploitation cinema still exists and God of War will *always* still exists.

No one is suggesting changing anything, no one is suggesting Grand Theft Auto won't exist. No one is suggesting they *shouldn't* exist, suggesting anyone is, is a straw man. Identifying and classifying elements within the media can cause creators to reexamine old patterns and tropes and can inspire to create in new directions. Nothing can stop the production of existing media if people buy it. Many of the games explored by feminist academics (who are both men and women) are some of there favourite titles.

Is there something wrong with Mario? No. Is there something wrong that many games involve rescuing a princess? Sure. Is there something wrong with pointing that out? Hell no, it's a bit lazy, but will and should always exist. Many developers had not even thought about that before. Princess stories aren't going away. Post the feminist movement in cinema we still got the Princess Bride and masculine titles like Evil Dead. The 80s was filled with macho films.

Identifying tropes in media *should* be non controversial as it is not controversial in any other field. No body is trying to take your games away.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 18th October 2014 7:24am

4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.