Recently, a male gamer asked on Twitter: "Why are there so few lady game creators?” Using the hashtag #1ReasonWhy, women- and men- responded.
Their responses revealed that female game developers, marketers and journalists are experiencing sexual harassment, condescension and misogyny in the workplace. They also expressed serious concern with the one-dimensional portrayal of female characters in games (85% of playable characters are males) and lack of marketing to female audiences.
I’m a female gamer (MORE INFO) but the gaming world is an unsafe place for me. I’ve even been groped at gaming conventions- a place where people are supposed to come together to learn, network and socialize, not sexually harass.
Here are some tweets that women shared:
"#1ReasonWhy because when greeting a man visiting from another gaming studio he turned to my boss and exclaimed 'she's cuter than ours'"
"Because my first year attending industry show I was sexually harassed, repeatedly. #1ReasonWhy"
Women are designing, marketing and playing games in higher numbers than ever before. But we’re still paid less and promoted less than our male counterparts in the industry. It’s time to fight back.
I love gaming because it allows men and women, children and adults the chance to explore, create and innovate. We need to ensure that women are given the opportunity to not only be a part of this world but to also be leaders of this world.
That is why I'm calling on Microsoft Studios- maker of Halo, Xbox, Xbox 360, and many other games and consoles- to require their game developers to set recruitment, retention and promotion goals for women starting in 2013. Microsoft Studios is one of the biggest and most well known game designers that produces not only games but gaming consoles and platforms as well. Integrating more women into their model wouldn’t just change individual games- it would change the market as a whole. More women working in the gaming industry would promote a culture that embraces women in power in the industry which would in turn diminish the culture of acceptance surrounding sexual harassment of women.