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Female Game Developers Share Their Views on #GamerGate

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'GamerGate' - that's a loaded term. So is 'Social Justice Warrior,' 'Men's Rights Activists,' 'gamer' and even 'I'm a woman.' This past month has been frustrating for most people, exhausting for many and downright hellish and terrifying for some.

I frankly don't care if you want to call yourself a 'gamer' as long as you act like a decent human being. If you are a #GamerGate proponent then you need to realize that the hashtag was started by a small fringe group as a PR tactic to try and divert the attention they were getting for their inexcusable behavior. If you want to scream at the top of your lungs to call out the alleged inappropriate behavior of game developers, publishers or journalists then you should be doing the same towards your fellow GamerGaters who continue to derail any useful conversations through their harassment, abuse and hate speech.

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However, the biggest issue I have surrounding everything from this last month is the amount of people who have diverted the discussion from this blatant gendered harassment. Whether or not you agree that corruption in the games press merits discussion the focus was and should be on the constant and vicious abuse directed at women, minorities and the allies who support them.

It is this constant onslaught of attacks and hatred that has caused both "sides" to begin to escalate matters resulting in inappropriate comments, lost tempers and some really great people leaving the game industry. Let's go ahead and have the discussion on corruption in the press, but let's not do so by sweeping the discussions about harassment and hate mobs under the rug.

No one is trying to 'destroy games' or take away 'hardcore games' or tell anyone what games they should or should not play. No one is trying to say that the 'male video game culture' has to die. What they are saying is that the current culture and ecosystem surrounding games has some toxic and unwelcoming areas and THAT needs to change.

What many are also saying, and what I wish was considered 'obvious' to everyone, is that having a more diverse group of game developers creating a more diverse set of games played by a more diverse set of players is good for everyone in the industry. It keeps this industry sustainable and creates an environment that allows creative, engaging games of all types to be made so that everyone can experience the joys of playing video games.

This past month has been one big #1reasonwhy moment after another. The standing up of many to condemn the horrific (and sometimes illegal) activities of a few has also given some of us our #1reasontobe. Discuss the side issues all you want, but we need to focus on and continue our efforts to foster a culture that will not tolerate the tactics used this past month. #1reasonwhy needs to be a thing of the past and we can't rest until it is.



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