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Female Game Developers Share Their Views on #GamerGate

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Developer #2

When I was asked to write a statement on #GamerGate, it took some time to organize my thoughts because I've been neck-deep in it for a month now. We all have. Before I talk about how it affected me personally, however, I want to take a moment to speak directly to those who support it:

I'm a player. I love games as much as you do -- maybe more, considering what I've been willing to give up to have this as a career. Let me be blunt, from one player to another. You're damaging this thing we both love: games. Here's why.

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Developers play and are influenced by all sorts of games. That killer new feature for Call of Duty may have been inspired by something a designer saw in a Facebook game. That awesome ragdoll technique that makes each death spectacular in GTA might have come from a GDC talk given by a female indie who developed it as a part of a horse-riding sim. The shader technique that beautifully illuminates the interior halls of the next Halo might have been created for a tiny indie game about mental illness.

Losing the weird, polarizing, indie voices from game development means losing variety, which in turn means fewer new ideas circulating. This means the games you actually do love and want to play become stagnant and dull. It means more sequels where the only new feature is a few more polygons and larger textures. It means some of the talented men and women who work on the games you actually do play may also no longer be a part of the industry.

The more you yell, the more you search Twitter and leap into un-tagged conversations to argue, the more you create pastebins of personal information, the more you attack our colleagues, the more game developers will stop listening to you. The more you're seen as a hate mob, the more developers will tune you out. You've seen some developers you probably respect standing up against the harassment and against the hate. More will follow if you persist, and the lines between the camps will grow deeper.

More important, though, if game development is a terrible place to work, more of us will stop doing it -- and that goes for both men and women. Having angry people arguing with you all the time on Twitter and knowing that speaking out gets you on the harassment radar makes it easy to quit a line of work that's already challenging. And you don't want any of us to quit, even the ones who make games you think are awful, because you never know where those breakthroughs that improve games are going to come from. Remember: Minecraft started as an indie game.

These tiny indie games and indie developers are no threat to you or to AAA games, regardless of their point of view. Neither are the media sites that cover them. If you don't want to play their games, don't play them. If you don't want to read diversity articles, don't go to those sites. Let them have their space. Let them develop games you think are stupid or terrible. Let them speak and just ignore it. It doesn't have to be a part of your life -- the player's life -- for it to be a part of the game development ecology.

So if you truly love games, please take a minute to contemplate the fact that you are attacking the people that make them. You are actively playing a role that makes it more challenging for them to make games. You are, in the end, building a dark and dull future for the games you love.

The statement from Developer #2 continues on next page.



Editor's Note: Please consider how your comments and reactions to these statements on this website or on social media can affect people. It is never OK to abuse, bully, harass or threaten people who have the courage to share their thoughts and opinions. I'm placing this note at the bottom of each page to urge all who read it - regardless of their opinions of the statements presented - to do what they can to reduce the amount of bile and toxicity we all encounter on the internet.

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