Why There are So Few Women in the Video Game Industry, According to Twitter

Insights from writers, journalists, developers, actresses and more

Working in video games is supposed to be fun. I mean, not too fun--like that old song goes, "it's a fun job, but it's still a job." Designers and programmers get to unleash their imagination and talents and storytelling abilities, and journalists get to look at those games from many angles, from early previews all the way up to celebrating or skewering the final product.


Unfortunately, it's not the most accepting of workplaces--game design and gaming journalism can seem at times like a boys-only club, and some famous industry women have spoken out on the subject using the #1reasonwhy hashtag--what's the #1 reason why there are so few women in the games industry?




Ashly Burch of Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? and Borderlands 2 weighed in, mentioning how she's confronted with threats of rape and violence in the comments of her videos.


RPG creator Elizabeth Sampat has not only been supporting positive Tweets, but sharing her own stories and blog posts regarding sexism in development.


GameSpy writer Katie Williams didn't just give one reason--she went down a laundry list of sexist BS she's had to put up with, including people condescending to her for wearing a pink shirt, because apparently we're all back in the second grade now.




Games writer Rhianna Pratchett (Heavenly Sword, the Overlord titles, Tomb Raider reboot) added to the discussion by stating that "appropriately-dressed female characters are a rarity, rather than the norm."


That's just a few of 'em. The list goes on and on, with female developers and journalists sharing stories about the crap they've had to put up with, and even a few male journalists have discussed getting threats and abuse over equality issues, like Rock, Paper, Shotgun's John Walker.


Time for some real talk: it doesn't matter if men or women write news about games, or write reviews, or just plain design games. What matters is that the actual product they make is good--judge the person by what they make, not their gender. Here on CRN, Emily and Victoria have both written reviews, and they're treated with the same respect as mine or Joseph's.


Here's the real question: what's so damn scary about women making video games, or writing about them? Isn't the stereotype of a gamer supposed to be a lonely guy who averts his eyes every time a woman so much as talks to him? I mean, there's more than enough of these guys at cons, so why are these mice suddenly turning into lions on the internet and ruthlessly going after female creators and journalists?



Of course, it could all just be explained mathematically (it's actually called the "online disinhibition effect")


Of course, there's more to it, and there's a reason they put up with what they do--the #1reasontobe hashtag shows "the number one reason to be" in the industry, even with all the sexism and abuse, with comments from the above names and more. All I really gotta say is that people need to get over this pathetic boys-only club mentality. I just like having more people to talk about video games with, it's as simple as that--that's one time when I'll go on record and say my opinion is, plain and simple, the right way to do something. I had "she can't play with us because she's a girl" stricken from my vocabulary when I was like seven years old, so these guys have no excuse.


What do you think is the number one reason why there are so few women in game design and journalism? What do you think is the number one reason for women to stick with this hobby and try to make a career out of it? Let us know in the comments, but keep it civil!


via Destructoid

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