GamerGate : Rise of the Undead Trolls

Loud misogyny in gaming is widespread, despite the fact that 48% of gamers are female.

Glen Hunter

Before I begin, I’m gonna be straight up and say, publicly for the first time on my blog (outside of poetry or spoken word)

I am gender fluid:

“Gender Fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is Gender Fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more boy some days, and more girl other days.
Being Gender Fluid has nothing to do with which set of genitalia one has, nor their sexual orientation.
‘No, I’m not a boy, and I’m not a girl either. I am gender fluid’.” (Urban Dictionary)

Now, there has been a TON of articles on GamerGate, so I want to avoid covering old ground as much as possible and just keep this down to my recent experience on Left4Dead2 on Steam.

 As a huge fan of Feminist Frequency…

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Why the video game industry needs to take the initiative in gender equality

Rather than be gently prompted or decide to get there “some day”, I challenge video game companies to take the lead on instigating a change in their CIS, straight, male privilege-based culture from the inside. NOW.

I posted the following comment on a video about Eve Online and received such vitriolic responses I just sat there with my jaw open.  I’d seen it happening to Anita Sarkeesian, Laci Green, and other feminists who spoke out about misogyny, but somehow figured it was because of the size of their audience or their internet celebrity.  Nope, even little ol’ me, who just likes to geek out at home and play video games.  Raise your voice about injustice and the trolls come calling.

Me: “Distinct lack of female gamer representation is disheartening. Have you forgotten that we make up half the population, CCP?

I played Eve and I loved the space travel, but there was even less character interaction than in WoW. Not to mention, you must PvP or take the slow route. I know their big claim at the time was one giant universe, but I would have been much happier with a PvE server. I was in the military at the time. Fighting real people was work; gaming (fake fighting, when it happens at all) is escape. Have recently discovered the Dragon Age franchise and, despite the lack of space travel, am much happier with the character devepment options. I think even having some animated cut scenes in Eve would have made it more personal than it was. And yes to all the previous comments about it being a grind to get a decent ship.”

Building diversity, equality, and representation into large media production

evil plan

There is a growing awareness that representation, both in staffing and in final product, has a profound impact on social and business outcomes. Media and gaming companies like Facebook, Blizzard Entertainment, and Bioware, among others, are making efforts – with varying degrees of success – to increase the inclusion of women in influential roles. Their dedication to increasing representation of minorities, people of colour, and members of the LGBTQIA communities is not as clear, nor is their interest in accurate depictions of world cultures.

Note: this rest of this post is being relocated to a class blog as part of an assignment. When complete, it will be available here: The November Module.  In the meantime, please enjoy these two videos with Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency.  The first explains what the Bechdel Test is. The second addresses “Gamergate” on the Colbert Report.

Making connections: diversity in media

Diversity has a long way to go in film, media, and gaming, but companies are becoming more aware of the benefits of building it into both staffing and end product. Some more successfully than others.

Tech Woman

Last week I attended the Dublin Web Summit.  Made some good connections in the Irish film community.  Saw some great talks, too.  Sadly, only 15% of the speakers were female.

Recently spoke to a friend at Blizzard, creators of the extremely popular Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo franchises, as well as the upcoming Overwatch game. He pointed me to Anthony Burch, who works at Gearbox creating games, among other endeavours. He said that Mr. Burch makes an effort not to over sexualise female characters. In part it’s just because he’s aware of the problems it creates, in part it’s because of his sister – with whom he produces a web series – and in part it’s because he recognizes that female gamers are a large portion of the gaming audience. Bravo, Mr. Burch!  Continue reading “Making connections: diversity in media”