- Women in gaming share their #MeToo experiences.
- Women come to twitter and share them
Back in 2018, Guardian editor Keza MacDonald wrote that “the video games business isn’t nonetheless prepared for its #MeToo moment.” however whether or not or not that’s still true, individuals try to hold abusers and their enablers accountable. Over the past day, multiple high-profile men within the computer game business are suspect of regulatory offense. Many of the accusations square measure years recent — in some cases, more than a decade — and they all point to a toxic environment where developers not only have to live with a relentless concern of abuse but also the significant professional and personal repercussions of outing their abusers.
The floodgates opened once indie developer Nathalie Lawhead denote on her diary outing her alleged assailant — computer game musician Jeremy Soule — and describing, however her skilled relationships were damaged after meeting him. While it’s a reasonably long scan, I encourage everyone to read her post detailing how her livelihood suffered in the wake of their shared project — though I will add the content of it (and the opposite accounts here) is distressing.
After this, developer Zoe Quinn, known for her work on Depression Quest, claimed that fellow indie developer Alec Holowka assaulted and abused her, as did another person she declined to name. A developer named Adelaide Gardner additionally came forward to accuse Luc Shelton, who works for a studio called Splash Damage, of assaulting and gaslighting her.
Many women in games participated in the MeToo movement when it took off in 2017. The movement itself began with allegations against filmmaker Harvey Weinstein and later spiraled into a social media incident, during which girls from all walks of life shared their experiences with rape, assault, harassment, and manipulation. Many in the gaming industry came forward and named names: IGN fired its then-editor-in-chief Steve Butts over “alleged misconduct,” as did Polygon with video producer Nick Robinson.
However, it’s often hard given the games industry has difficulty fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment — not to mention development teams can be almost overwhelmingly male. While any woman who’d been victimized was capable of saying “Me too” during the movement’s peak, a common theme for many who did was that they felt unable to speak up previously because of possible professional repercussions. It was certainly one of the reasons Weinstein’s accusers didn’t come forward. And the gaming industry was no different.
For example, we’ve heard recently that celebrated studios such as Quantic Dream and Riot Games have both fostered and defended internal cultures of inappropriate behavior, penalizing women who spoke up — and they’re far from the only ones, I’m sure. The latter recently settled a category action proceedings involving forced arbitration on molestation complaints.
It’s not exactly a fiery uprising like MeToo — these stories have been cropping up for years and the industry is only slowly changing as a result, if it’s changing at all. Regardless, I don’t assume a full-blown revolution is important to engender positive support for the victims who do step forward — Lawhead, Quinn, and Gardner enclosed.