[Updated] Jane McGonigal, author of bestseller Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Happy and How They Can Change the World, was one of the more vocal developers on Twitter. She told GamesBeat, “Twitter was the perfect medium for something like #1reasonwhy to happen. On one hand, it feels brave to speak out on Twitter, because you are standing publicly behind your story. It’s not anonymous or behind closed doors. You’re putting your social and professional reputation on the line. There’s a face, there’s a name, your real-life friends and colleagues are going to see your testimony.”
She added,”I think it was freeing to just be able to say one thing, just one reason why. You don’t have to document a whole history, you don’t have to consider every angle. You can just share one thing that is true for you. That made it for me, certainly, feel suddenly it was more possible to participate in this conversation. And watching it pick up so much steam — all it takes is to see one friend or colleague speak the truth about their own experience, and you feel empowered and inspired to do the same.”
[Original story] Women in the gaming world are expressing through Tweets why there are so few females in the industry.
Luke Crane, who works as the games project specialist at crowdfunding site Kickstarter and self-publishes role-playing games, asked, “Why are there so few lady game creators?”
This sparked a wave of replies (via the hashtag #1reasonwhy) from women in the industry, with their first-hand accounts of sexism they have encountered in the business.
Here are just a few of the Tweets we read:
#1reasonwhy Because even at the director level I was told that “women in this company aren’t allowed to drive alone at night”
— Heather Powers (@sillypsyche) November 27, 2012
#1reasonwhy Because a company celebrated their launch party w/pole dancers as “a display of feminine strength,” not, ya know, weightlifting.
— Carol Pinchefsky (@CarolPinchefsky) November 27, 2012
— Anna Eve Cail (@G33kGrrly) November 28, 2012
Because too many women are scared to speak up when they are harassed/assaulted because they fear the impact on their career #1reasonwhy
— Jen MacLean (@jenmacl) November 28, 2012
Because we can’t even complain about sexism in the gaming industry without men complaining that we’re complaining. #1reasonwhy
— Tarryn van der Byl (@nxtrms) November 27, 2012
#1ReasonWhy because men dont see this as their fight too. Even the “good” ones wont stand up and say something
— Sarah R. (@SarahTheRebel) November 27, 2012
Because too many industry events feature half-naked women as eye candyfor “networking”. #1reasonwhy
— Jen MacLean (@jenmacl) November 27, 2012
— SwitchKnitter (@SwitchKnitter) November 27, 2012
When announcing MY new game, an industry publication referred to me in the headline not by my name but as John Romero’s wife. #1reasonwhy
— Brenda Romero (@br) November 27, 2012
Interestingly, that last Tweet led to an apology by the person who wrote the article. He explained that he felt that John Romero’s name resonated more with gaming fans.
There is also a hashtag for #1reasontobe. It consists mostly of women in the industry explaining why they work in the games business:
#1reasontobe Because most men in the industry are accepting/inclusive/supportive. Don’t let the bad apples dissuade you from going for it.
— LM Lockhart (@missdoomcookie) November 27, 2012
— Steve Sim (@banffdriving) November 27, 2012
#1reasontobe Games are the most inspiring and imaginative projects you will ever work on, with the most creative people
— Jessica Martin (@jessicaemartin) November 27, 2012
My #1reasontobe is meeting and working with inspiring people and creating things that bring joy to others – the games industry is my home =)
— Holly Pickering (@ZOMGitsBC) November 27, 2012
Because no one is going to take my dream away. #1reasontobe
— Andreia Gaita (@sh4na) November 27, 2012
#1ReasonToBe in the games industry? I can’t think of a better use of my time than working toward more diversity and inclusivity.
— Jill Murray (@codejill) November 27, 2012
#1ReasonToBe Because all the trolls in the world won’t spoil the awesomeness of working with amazing people on equally amazing games.
— Andy (@Greenfaery) November 27, 2012
#1reasontobe Because, hey, if you want it to change, you’re going to have to be part of that change – no one else will do it for you.
— Cassandra Khaw (@casskhaw) November 27, 2012
Then, there were a fair share of trolls. Like the one below:
— Menno Gouw (@Madmenyo) November 27, 2012
Perhaps not but raising awareness can.
Gaming, both in the industry and as a pastime, is mostly dominated by men. The booth babes of the Electronic Entertainment Expo game-industry trade show not only help reaffirm that but also lend to the stereotype of that single, girl-hungry male gamer.
Regardless, there is a lot more sexism going on than I think any of us were ever aware of.