Sunday 23rd November 2014,
#1ReasonWhy Highlights Industry’s Discrimination Towards Women
Over the years, the video game industry has struggled to present itself as something greater than entertainment, as a new medium with which to tell thoughtful and profound stories. As desperate as it is to find that place, the industry finds ways to keep shooting itself in the foot. Outsiders can be forgiven for thinking that the video game industry is largely a male dominated society that caters to the average 15 year old. From the Spike VGAs to games featuring large muscled hulks with guns bigger than their egos, it can be difficult to find a woman’s voice in the industry. An ongoing problem, female developers and journalists are finding their abilities and experience constantly put into question because of the ridiculous notion that “girls don’t play games.”
These women took to Twitter and used #1ReasonWhy to share their horror stories of working in an industry that openly and disdainfully devalues their contributions.
It’s hard getting physically objectified and personally attacked simply because you performed in a game
#1reasonwhy because my male colleagues are allowed to occasionally be obnoxious, silly, immature, annoying, drunk. i’m not.
#1reasonwhy because if men express anger, they’re strong/powerful. If I express anger, I’m “overreacting/causing drama”.
Because I’m still referred to as a “girl” gamer or developer, instead of a woman. At age 40.
I had to make my own game in order to see someone like me as a main character
Because as an industry, we’re ‘ready’ to portray rape, but not loving, consensual relationships between two men or women.
Because I feel like I am not welcome at E3 even though I have been making games for 31 years.
Because if I succeed, I’m exceptional. And if I fail, I’m proof that women shouldn’t be in the industry.
The posts go on and on, offering a sad look into a startling division within a hobby that we all supposed to enjoy together. How can video games be taken seriously when there are individuals who make it difficult for an entire gender to succeed? As unjust as these experiences are, my heart goes out to a woman named Katie who runs Alive Tiny World. She gives her own contributions to the Reasons Why movement and the last item on her bullet list is the most devastating:
“Because I’m scared to post this on Twitter.”
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