Female Game Developers Share Their Views on #GamerGate

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Female Game Developers Share Their Views on #GamerGate

Seven women in the video game industry share their thoughts on the GamerGate controversy and how it has affected their views, their lives and their work.

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For the first time in the history of games, people in the industry went down into the gutter with the trolls, called them fuckers and assholes, trolled the trolls and incited an organized counter-assault. No one should have to stay silent in the face of an assault, yet I was shocked to see our own abandon basic decorum and pour gasoline on the fire.

I have to agree with this sentiment. I don't know the history of media coverage well enough to know if it's really the first time this has happened, but it's certainly the first time I saw it happening on such a large scale, across the board abuse from both sides of the thing. It's a mess. I mean, I'm used to seeing the trolls troll, the sexists and racists and homophobes spew their bile all over the place; seeing people start spitting that dreck right back at them, and in such quantity, though? That was new. And it was discouraging - it seemed to indicate, to me, that the trolls were winning. They finally got the hateful reactions they were trolling for. It could only go downhill from here.

I realize it's frustrating, it's easy to lose one's temper and just want to set fire to the whole thing, but that doesn't make it a good idea. More people just end up burned.

Um... comment button isn't included on the article for some reason.

Good article. It's sad that these women don't feel comfortable discussing this non-anonymously, but given how toxic this discussion has been, I'm not surprised.

Madmonk12345:
Um... comment button isn't included on the article for some reason.

We're working on that. We think there's a bug on the back-end folder.

Anonymous sources huh?

Sweet, I've been told by anonymous sources that Tupac is hanging out with Elvis and Hitler in a secret bunker below Ron Jeremy's house, mums the word!

Greg Tito:

Madmonk12345:
Um... comment button isn't included on the article for some reason.

We're working on that. We think there's a bug on the back-end folder.

Fixed.

Some interesting and thoughtful opinions all around. It was nice to see that they didn't all see eye-to-eye either.

My god, the genetic fallacy stinks to high heaven from some of these devs.

Will someone please tell these folks that #GamerGate was not started by some PR fringe group. That claim has been so thoroughly debunked it's not even funny anymore.

Oh, and it wasn't started because ZQ was a woman. It was because of what she did as a person that pissed people off.

Anonymous Female Game Developers:
Female Game Developers Share Their Views on #GamerGate

Seven women in the video game industry share their thoughts on the GamerGate controversy and how it has affected their views, their lives and their work.

Read Full Article

GamerGate's problem was never with game developers but with the lacking ethics of journalists covering the industry. Yes, even when it was about Zoe Quinn. It doesn't matter how many men she did or did not have sex with or if she cheated on her boyfriend at the time or not. What matters is the double standard, and the attempt to spin a different story out of it, as the people on that mailing list did in a coordinated effort, some of them having proven time and time again that they have no qualms putting up articles about any unconfirmed sex scandal in the gaming industry. But this one time, it wasn't allowed to even talk about it. That's why this spun out of control, and trying to claim this is somehow about trying to disguise misogyny is absolutely ridiculous to me. And as devs, you should be the most appalled by this whole controversy out of all of us, because the corruption, the one sided support of one developer over the others in this case, in a coordinated effort to increase their popularity hurts all other devs who don't have friends in the right places.

I can't speak for anyone but myself but that is my prime reason to stay in it.

ShamisOMally:
Anonymous sources huh?

Sweet, I've been told by anonymous sources that Tupac is hanging out with Elvis and Hitler in a secret bunker below Ron Jeremy's house, mums the word!

Oh come on... after the death threats that have been plaguing any other female in the industry after daring to speak about it what do you expect?

Did you just make the account to try and rebuke the article... An anonymous source trying to de-legitimise another anonymous source? Good one.

I think it's sad that developers on either side of the issue are afraid to speak publicly. It's symptomatic of a big problem in the industry that they feel they can't openly voice their opinions. Thank you for allowing them to share their views even if I don't agree with some of them.

So, the media is once again making this entirely about gender by only giving a podium to female devs. I'm sorry, Escapist, but this is just wrong. Still, I'll give the article a chance. Even though by posting this, you are just making it easier for the anti-GG side to go "See, it's all about the women!"

Dev 1) The only thing I learned from this entire segment is that a lot of people are still only believing the side of the media. From saying this started as a gender harassment to saying that the rest of it is nothing but a diversion from gender harassment. Which is about as far removed from the truth as it could get.

Dev 2) She's saying that #Gamergate is trying to have the indie platform shut down? Far from it! We want the indie platform to be fair to everyone! And not just to the people who are sitting at the cool table. Throughout the entirety of #Gamergate we've heard from devs who have been shat upon for not playing along. And then there's all of the horrible things we've heard coming from Indiecade and stuff. She even goes on to speak the company line about #Gamergate beginning with Harassment, which is simply not true. And her entire segment is filled with an appeal to emotion like we're the bad guys in all of this. When we are the ones that want to see things change for the better.

Dev 3) Once again, she begins by saying #Gamergate is tainted by its origins. Which only goes to show how woefully uninformed these people are about #Gamergate. Because the tag, and the movement, started when Adam Baldwin sent out a tweet decrying the state of the industry. So, #Gamergate is as good a movement as a movement can get. And even if you say that it's a result from harassing a woman, then that is simply not true either. Because the Quinnspiracy started after we asked a very basic question: "Was there a conflict-of-interest because Zoe Quinn slept with people in the journalism industry". And then we got shot down, insulted and censored.

Dev 4) The reason why most of this stuff is at the indie level of things is because we've continuously managed to uncover evidence that the indie side of things is possibly broken and corrupt. That they've grown too big for their own good. And the reason why we are fighting for this is not because we think the SJW's are going to take our games away, but because they are influencing the industry in a bad way. If you just look at what's going on around Anita Sarkeesian, you'll see that things aren't quite right there. There is nothing in her video's that you can agree with other than the bare bones basic message. Her video's are also extremely sporadic, not well researched and barely worth the money people gave for them. And she's still asking for money. This is also why #Gamergate exists, because the media would never, ever question her video's or her motives. Then there's Zoe Quinn and her group of friends, like Leigh Alexander, who are actively ruining the careers of developers and journalists for not agreeing with them. #Gamergate is fighting to stop that, and make the industry better for everyone.

Dev 5) 10/10 would recommend this part to everyone

Dev 6) Again, the Quinnspiracy started by looking at a small part of The Zoe Post and asking a simple question. I'm not saying that there aren't people who were being assholes to Zoe Quinn, but they've been denounced by everyone in #Gamergate, which is a movement that came out of the Quinnspiracy after Adam Baldwin sent out a tweet. #Gamergate is right there with you people in saying that harassment, abuse, doxxing and insults is just plain wrong.

Dev 7) Where has all this outrage been? It's been there. Small outburst, here and there. But what kicked all of it off here was mass censorship and harassment from the journalists end. And from Reddit. And from every other major news site, bar few.

In reading the stories from all these ladies, it's become painfully obvious that what #Gamergate needs most is a means for people to educate themselves. One collection in a video or something where we can give out everything relevant in one go. Because I've seen a lot of misinformation in this article, and it saddens me deeply.

Also, once again, to make it clear: #GAMERGATE ISN'T ABOUT THE WOMEN :3

I liked the essays; they were reasonable and grown up. I'm not sure it matters so much, though. This GamerGate thing feels a lot like the US culture divide to me. Its very easy for people on both sides to dehumanize the other. Why would I reach out and compromise with a group of people that spew hate an harassment? The only good solution is if their subculture just dies. Or on the other hand. Why would I reach out and compromise with a corrupt industry. The only good solution is to burn it to the ground and start over. Of course not everybody is like that, and you sometimes you find conservatives willing to work with liberals and vice versa. The extreme voices always seem to end up the loudest though.

Hmm, I'm not sure what to think about these. So a game dev got other like minded game devs to talk about gamergate. The well was poisoned in the 1st page, and after that continued, by setting up the talking point by claim X happened as fact and was the starting point. One person using "player" and the like, clearly avoiding the word gamer. And the conversations of most of them started off making a definitive statement of the beginnings of GG, to direct the talking points, regardless of factual merit. Not much to take away from this, sadly, due to how it was represented. Sound like the equivalent of the arguments running around on twitter, get some like minded people to talk about the issue. It's practically the same thing as the nichegamer article, only in reverse.

Elementary - Dear Watson:
Oh come on... after the death threats that have been plaguing any other female in the industry after daring to speak about it what do you expect?

Did you just make the account to try and rebuke the article... An anonymous source trying to de-legitimise another anonymous source? Good one.

What death threats do you speak of? I'd like to see some examples.

Good article, sadly the only one that didn't outright blame the gamergate movement was dev 5.
This I feel is a massive problem with the whole ''scandal''. No one cares about the shitty horrible people on the anti gamergate side.
This is also one of the reasons I don't really take part in this, because no matter what side I chose I would get attacked.

I really enjoyed reading this article, it was really well put together and I'd like to thank all the female developers that took part in it.

While I don't agree with absolutely everything written, I think this hits a nerve that hasn't sat right with me about Gamergate, and that's the way we haven't been successful in separating the haters/trolls, and the reasonable debate.

Perhaps it's because the discussion started out too closely linked to the feminist-bashers, who were reveling in finding a feminist being hypocritical in her private life, and those trolls have followed us the whole discussion.

Perhaps it's because the internet is much too difficult a place to have a civilised conversation, with the character limits of comments (esp. Twitter) gimping any chance at constructive arguments, and personal insults being all too tempting to fire off from behind a keyboard.

Perhaps it's due to the mass-censorship on the usual discussion sites lumping everyone together, no matter their personal preferences or reasons for debating/hating, everyone has been based off either a single thread on the Escapist, and a single board on 4Chan, meaning every action seems to come from the same spot.

Whatever the reason, what we do know is that people are being targeted and abused, and it's done in the name of Gamergate, and no matter how much I apologuise for it, it still doesn't sit right that there is no better way of separating the good debate from the bad. It's why I've now taken a back seat in the debate, and while I'd like there to be change in videogame journalism, it sometimes seems like we're selling our souls and teaming up with the devil to get there.

So thanks to the female devs who wrote this, I truly hope you do not get any hate or trolling from this brave article, and if you do I just want to say, as a guy gamer who wants to see a better regulated industry, I find the actions of the few haters abhorrent, and their actions are not done in my name.

Thanks.

Just people that have been told its harassment and haven't even tried looking into it. Check the twitter analytics, there are over 1 million tweets and only 1% of them have the name Zoe or Anita in them. It's not a giant thing of harassment it's a giant push for gaming journalism reformation and a small group abusing it to harass. I wish people would actually look into it without just listening to everything at face value.

Dev #7: "It makes me wonder where all this outrage about corruption has been all these years"

Bubbling under the surface. Not everyone is self-righteously indignant about everything all the time, like people on Tumblr are. Often for something to take off it requires a catalyst. Zoe Quinn was that catalyst. When I first heard about her, I didn't care. It sounded like tabloid bullshit to me, so what if someone cheated on their significant other? But then I saw the apparent collusion between game sites and attempted coverups on message boards and it made me suspicious. Those suspicions turned out to be correct. That's why I care about this, not because of Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkisian.

It's like back in 2008 and the whole Chanology thing. Scientology had been known for decades to be a shady secretive cult. But it wasn't until that Tom Cruise video was leaked and the attempted coverup that many of the same people now involved with GamerGate took notice. Tom Cruise was the catalyst. It was never about him. Sure, he was the butt of many jokes all throughout it, but he was never the focus. Same deal with the likes of Quinn.

Ronack:
So, the media is once again making this entirely about gender by only giving a podium to female devs. I'm sorry, Escapist, but this is just wrong. Still, I'll give the article a chance. Even though by posting this, you are just making it easier for the anti-GG side to go "See, it's all about the women!"

There will be another article with perspectives from male developers, as Archon has stated repeatedly.

Davroth:

Elementary - Dear Watson:
Oh come on... after the death threats that have been plaguing any other female in the industry after daring to speak about it what do you expect?

Did you just make the account to try and rebuke the article... An anonymous source trying to de-legitimise another anonymous source? Good one.

What death threats do you speak of? I'd like to see some examples.

Why? I don't believe it is important for a person to prove they have been abused, attacked or harassed. I personally think it is much more important to do everything you can to prevent it from happening to someone else.

Death threats a a more universal problem by the way. I've been keeping up with GG since the start. It demonstrates just how bad the narrative shaping has gotten whenever people still don't know of ZQ's continuing efforts at misinformation due to false flags and other dirty tactics with the help of her SA buddies. Here's another example of her antics: http://imgur.com/CKGZCpM She's intentionally stirring the pot in an effort to get the reaction she wants, and is attempting to make a negative feedback loop. Can be shown from near the start. Hope the game devs read up on this.

It's easy to make this about gender when gender is used as an insult, but underlying a lot of the harassment is people reacting to what they consider to be antagonizing behavior from female journalists, devs, commentators.

So of course the worst of those feeling attacked, and imho a lot of third party trolls who just want to see the world burn, ultimately go for the "low blow" that is sure to rile people up... which of course means attacking traits related to people's gender.

Does this all have to do with an underlying patriarchal structure that ultimately makes it easier for people to attack femininity vs. masculinity?

Fuck if I know. I'm not a social scientist.

I definitely can say that too many people who identify as women are taking too much offense to gender-related insults and thus turning it into an issue of gender, when that's just the ultimate red herring to more serious issues going on here... like the ethics of various gaming journalists... indie dev behavior... professional gaming commentators.

Identifying as a woman shouldn't make you bullet proof from criticism, or give you carte blanche to generalize others, or somehow give you the magic power of enlightened social criticism over what the discussion should be in regards to things like harassment, facing adversity etc.

We are all individuals with unique experiences, and boiling it down to something as black and white as gender does no one any favors.

Greg Tito:
Why? I don't believe it is important for a person to prove they have been abused, attacked or harassed. I personally think it is much more important to do everything you can to prevent it from happening to someone else.

Here's where I disagree. There has been a nasty double standard as of late where women get special treatment. They get their abuse reported more, and get proclaimed as victims far more than men, which really shouldn't be the case. It skews reality that abuse happens on both sides.

In addition to that, in this particular instance, one of the people being put on a pedestal can be demonstrated to be lying repeatedly, not just once. Using that person as a source is a problem.

edit, I am bad at quoting here.

It's a shame so many people seem to feel this way about the events of the past few weeks. I would hope the devloper who collected these statements did so whilst trying to seek varied voices as there does seem to be a very borad concesus here about from No.5.

It's telling many of them only mention the 'harassment' side of things. There is more to it than that but the ugliness and smear tactics employed has turned many women off the whole thing. I would politely emplore these developers to dig deeper into this and try and engage with some of the issues instead of just listening to the deflections of the media.

But in the face of this unified PR campaign i can't really blame them for not waging through the moutains of shit. I've had to do a lot of research and to wade into GamerGare and pick out the gold from the shit takes a LOT of stomach.

We need to win there women back and can only do so by being reasonable, rational and welcoming.

Greg Tito:

Davroth:

Elementary - Dear Watson:
Oh come on... after the death threats that have been plaguing any other female in the industry after daring to speak about it what do you expect?

Did you just make the account to try and rebuke the article... An anonymous source trying to de-legitimise another anonymous source? Good one.

What death threats do you speak of? I'd like to see some examples.

Why? I don't believe it is important for a person to prove they have been abused, attacked or harassed. I personally think it is much more important to do everything you can to prevent it from happening to someone else.

But you have to also consider that false claims of harassment might turn into something truly ugly. That is what happened to Stardock dev Brad Wardell, when a butthurt ex employee falsely accused him of "sexual harassment" and his wife and kids received personal death threats because of that.

Objectivity and truth should be things to strive for.

I can't really take anyone in this article serious besides no.5.
She is the only one who actually even considers that there was more to all this then just some sexist asses spewing bile.

deviever:
It's easy to make this about gender when gender is used as an insult, but underlying a lot of the harassment is people reacting to what they consider to be antagonizing behavior from female journalists, devs, commentators.

So of course the worst of those feeling attacked, and imho a lot of third party trolls who just want to see the world burn, ultimately go for the "low blow" that is sure to rile people up... which of course means attacking traits related to people's gender.

Does this all have to do with an underlying patriarchal structure that ultimately makes it easier for people to attack femininity vs. masculinity?

Fuck if I know. I'm not a social scientist.

I definitely can say that too many people who identify as women are taking too much offense to gender-related insults and thus turning it into an issue of gender, when that's just the ultimate red herring to more serious issues going on here... like the ethics of various gaming journalists... indie dev behavior... professional gaming commentators.

Identifying as a woman shouldn't make you bullet proof from criticism, or give you carte blanche to generalize others, or somehow give you the magic power of enlightened social criticism over what the discussion should be in regards to things like harassment, facing adversity etc.

We are all individuals with unique experiences, and boiling it down to something as black and white as gender does no one any favors.

Kinda hilarious they didn't contact you for this article huh?

Maybe they're being sexist and don't consider you a woman?

As for what I personally take away from this article; it makes me really sad.

I'm sad that this conflict has fostered an environment where these developers are afraid to speak up. We've done our best to stop the hate from our side, but we're only an amalgamation of small voices up against a group of voices that carry a lot of weight.

It saddens me that the GamerGate movement has been successfully slandered to this degree.

I, as a GamerGate supporter, condemn any and all harassment and abuse, and would love to invite people who are afraid of the vitriol they think they'll get for speaking out to join us in the main thread where we talk about this in, what I consider to be, a very civil manner.

ShamisOMally:

Maybe they're being sexist and don't consider you a woman?

I've spoken with Alexander (@archon) and he seemed receptive to what I had to say at the time, but it seems like this article in particular was about more experienced female developers in the industry.

*shrugs*

I don't blame anyone for not wanting my opinion in any of this. I'm a loose cannon who doesn't really fit properly into anyone's narrative.

Megafire:

Ronack:
So, the media is once again making this entirely about gender by only giving a podium to female devs. I'm sorry, Escapist, but this is just wrong. Still, I'll give the article a chance. Even though by posting this, you are just making it easier for the anti-GG side to go "See, it's all about the women!"

There will be another article with perspectives from male developers, as Archon has stated repeatedly.

I stand corrected. And informed. Did not see Archon statements.

Fappy:
Some interesting and thoughtful opinions all around. It was nice to see that they didn't all see eye-to-eye either.

That was the main thing I picked up on, too: the opinions were just as varied as the industry itself. But, inside, I felt a sense of surprise as I was reading them when I know damn well I shouldn't have felt that. For what reason is this a surprise? Has the whole GamerGate issue been so influential in this manner that the things we should all commonly know, as supporters of this industry, now seem as shocking or surprising? When I think of things in this way, it makes me feel something is horribly wrong and it needs to be addressed, discussed and exposed to the light. People are still afraid to talk about this and that shouldn't be so.

Yet, this is a step in the right direction. A small step, a baby step one might say, but still one step that makes its way forward.

I like this. Keep more of these things coming. These voices are the ones needed to be heard, even if the identity to those voices must remain sheltered. I long for a time when they don't have to hide that out of fear for personal and professional safety and security.

To me, as a man even, I was legitimately surprised when this whole thing exploded into a flustercuck of media and games journalism corruption and "gamers are dead" nonsense. Right from the start, the fuel of this rage fest was the treatment of women in the industry, no matter which of the emergent issues you personally care the most about. Speak up about corruption all you want, but don't downplay what the biggest problem is. And make no mistake, the treatment of women through-out the industry and the world will ALWAYS be a bigger issue than corruption in journalism. This is because it will always cause more damage to more people as individuals, which is, unfortunately, both more dangerous to the health of society and easier to ignore.

I am relieved to see that these women were provided the means to let the experiences and thoughts of them and their friends on the matter be known. I pray that no one is able to identify them and that people will listen to what they have to say. These statements, right here, should be what people remember about these events, because corruption is a far easier issue to deal with than what these women have been put through.

Female developers reportedly had to weather the brunt of abuse by the hateful portions of GG (not saying it was everyone GG-related, chill out), it is only fair to give them a platform to freely let them speak about how they felt and what they take away from all this.

I was shocked to read these essays and learn that so many women in this industry, some of whom actually aggree with what GG is allegedly actually about since its beginnings, left, or are on the brink of leaving, the industry. We all should be. It would be a sad day indeed.

Ya, on that I dunno what 7 is talking about. We have been complaining about it since as long as I can remember. Literally. Also a lot of these essentially are making the statement that the only reason people cared about Zoe's potential "sex for press", was because sexism and misogyny. Ignoring what happened to TYFC's. This is mainly boilerplate conversations to be honest, just like the nichegamer one. It's liking going into twitter and plucking out idea's you agree with. If anything, this article showed it is going to be a long consumer revolt, and indie devs will be the loudest in all of this both for and against.

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