Sexist Culture

In the wake of the Anita Sarkeesian controversy and the virality of the #1ReasonWhy campaign on Twitter, there were a number of stories about sexism among gamers and game developers. Many of them are archived under the specific posts on those two topics, but some articles are broader in scope and not tied to specific episodes or events. They are documented here.

Resources for Victims of Online Harassment:

Open Letter to the Gaming Community

In September 2014, Andreas Zecher on Medium released an open letter to the gaming community against harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability. It calls for people who see threats of violence or harm in comments in places such as Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or Reddit to report them to the respective sites. It was signed first by Zecher of Spaces of Play, and it was hitherto signed by a large number of game developers and others from across the industry. The full statement and list of signatures can be found here.

Sexism in Game Culture

Penny Arcade Controversy and Rape Culture

Foz Meadows tackled the topic of rape culture on her blog shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows:

The referenced comic strips are here:

In response to criticism of her post on the page itself and on Reddit, Meadows wrote a follow-up post defining rape culture in relation to video games on June 11, 2012: Rape culture in gaming

An anonymous poster created a Tumblr devoted to the controversy and its ensuing discussion, originally created on January 31, 2011: The pratfall of Penny Arcade - A timeline

GTFO: A Film on Sexism in Gaming

In this documentary director Shannon Sun-Higginson highlights the experience of abuse and discrimination of female gamers and industry professionals. The website for the documentary can be found here. Reviews and commentary will be compiled here.

Indie Wire also published an interview with director, Shannon Sun-Higginson.

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.

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. This section will be updated with content pertaining to these events as they unfold.

Positive posts about the changing gender dynamic of game development: