A number of game developer groups have issued statements relating to the tragic events associated with sexual abuse in the game industry.
Last week, a number of men were accused on Twitter for allegedly abusing women in the game industry as the #MeToo movement came to games. Over the weekend, Night in the Woods co-designer Alex Holowka died in the wake of allegations against him.
Here’s the full release from the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), The IGDA Foundation (IGDAF), and games mental health group Take This:
In this past week, many traumatic events have both been brought to light and have occurred within the game industry. The tragic nature of these events compels us to take action and to offer immediate support to those who are directly affected.
For those who are suffering:
We want to make sure the community is aware of the resources and tools available to those who are suffering.
The trauma and abuse that are currently news in the game community are horrific and can resurface memories and feelings which survivors of trauma prefer to leave in the past. It is important to acknowledge that these events and accounts can produce a wide variety of emotions and reactions. It can be very difficult to reconcile conflicting emotions without reacting strongly or quickly. These feelings are normal.
Harassment of any kind is terrifying and has very real consequences. These consequences can manifest differently for every person and can range from short-term discomfort to debilitating long-term trauma.
Suicide is tragic and traumatic for those left behind. It is estimated that every suicide affects about 135 people – and everyone’s grief is very real.
It is also important to understand that suicide is not caused by a single event or traceable to a single cause. It is the result of an accumulation of factors, often very complex.
It is important to reiterate that everyone deserves help and safety, no matter what.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, in need of immediate intervention, and based in the US, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-8255. You can also text AFK to 741741 in the US.
Additional mental health resources, including resources for other countries, can be found on Take This’ website, and we also suggest reaching out to Rise Above the Disorder, which helps people in games access free mental health care.
For tips about how to talk about mental health in a way that is validating and supportive, please see the Take This FAQ on How to Talk About Mental Health.
Take This, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), and the International Game Developers Association Foundation (IGDAF) are working together on recommendations and next steps that will make our industry and games, in general, safer for all groups of people. We have invited experts and stakeholders to inform our approach, and we invite those who are passionate about these subjects to reach out to us to participate in this important discussion. We are working towards a day where anyone may play video games and pursue their game development dreams without fear of harassment and persecution.
There is no place in games or game-related spaces for harassment, whether online or in person. Everyone deserves to feel safe enjoying video games and pursuing their passions. It is imperative that we come together to create safer, more inclusive environments that can be enjoyed by the billions of gamers from all backgrounds.