Women Working in the Industry

Like other technology sectors, the games industry is dominated by men. However, women are making inroads that have resulted in more consistent conversations about the challenges women face in the workplace and how to improve gendered diversity in the industry, overall. This section compiles articles dealing with game development as it pertains to the relative inclusion or exclusion of female industry workers.

Microsoft GDC Party Controversy

At the 2016 Game Developers Conference (GDC), Microsoft came under fire for hiring female dancers dressed in school girl outfits to dance on platforms at a party they hosted. Many female attendees took to Twitter to express their frustration and feelings of alienation and exclusion as a result of the stunt. Commentators also pointed out that this form of entertainment is quite hypocritical coming from a company that hosts a "women in gaming" luncheon every year.

Kickstarter: Women in Tech The Book - Based out of Seattle, Washington, Tara Wheeler Van Vlack started a Kickstarter campaign with a goal to raise $28,800. The money will go towards publishing a book that "alternates teaching career skills with inspiring autobiographies from amazing women in tech." The campaign will run from January to the end of February, and as of February 4th, it has reached over half its goal. The book is an anthology from a variety of writers, all of whom are women working in the tech industry now. Rachel Weber on GamesIndustry.biz summarizes the Kickstarter.

General Commentary

Emma Fissenden ran a series profiling women working within the industry in 2015 called Game Changer on The Mary Sue. A sampling of those profiles can be found below.

UN Cyber-Violence Report and Symposium

In September, the United Nations hosted a symposium on cyber-violence against women. Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, both of whom have been victims of online harassment related to their work in the video game industry and culture, spoke at the event. The UN also released a report titled, Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls: A Worldwide Wake-Up Call that was widely criticized and ultimately pulled.

Racism and ageism

A Toronto-based tech startup has emerged that aims to introduce more diversity into the video game industry by teaching youth from an economically depressed area of Toronto to code.

Academic Articles

The ADA (a Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology) published an issue that focused on Feminist Game Studies - the following articles from this journal cover a variety of ways in which women are viewed in gaming culture: