Women in the games industry have taken up the twitter hash-tag #1reasonwhy, to share their stories of sexism in the workplace. This problem, of course, is not confined to the videogames arena, but judging by the content of many of these posts it’s an industry that has an awful long way to go.
The short statements have been showing up since early Tuesday, and include contributions from top developers like Kim Swift (Portal, Quantum Conundrum), Brenda Romero (Wizardry) and Rhianna Pratchett (Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider).
“Because I get mistaken for the receptionist or day-hire marketing at trade shows.
#1reasonwhy,” wrote Swift.
“Because I feel like I am not welcome at E3 even though I have been making games for 31 years.
#1reasonwhy,” Romero noted.
#1reasonwhy Because creating appropriately dressed female characters is viewed as a rarity, rather than the norm,” said Pratchett.
These observations, and plenty more like them, are being posted by women at all levels of the industry. Wage disparities, sexual harassment and marginalisation (in an industry where around 44% of players are women) are unacceptable, but they’re problems that are still all too common.
While tweets alone won’t change this state of affairs, open, truthful discussions about these issues can spark productive results. After all, the first step is admitting you have a problem. This industry does.