It took me a really long time to write this post. I’ve re-written it several times. Every time I try I can’t quite figure out the best way to put together the things I want to say, so I give up until I think about it again a few weeks later. So instead of putting them together, I’ll just put them apart:
There are many subjects about which I have opinions, of both great and small importance, but I generally don’t feel inclined to share them because, really, who cares? Opinions, assholes, you know how it goes. However in being a member of the games industry, and the spotlight being on the problems women face in the games industry, it seems that I would be complicit in the problems to stand by silently. Of course to really contribute to the solutions will require me to pay attention, learn from women in the industry and apply that knowledge where I can, both as a person and in the games that I help create. But as a starting point, I will simply share my thoughts here publicly, in my tiny little sphere of influence. Maybe that will help, and maybe it won’t, but at least it’s not nothing, and it’s a start.
I think Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs Women in Video Games series is great, informative, and entertaining even though it can be uncomfortable to watch at times. It can be hard to acknowledge that fan service in your favor comes at the cost of marginalizing, exploiting, or excluding over 50% of the population.
If nothing else has come out of the outcry and scandal, it has sparked and encouraged conversation in the media, in the office, among friends and peers, etc. As a result, I have a marginally better understanding of the issues that women face in the industry, and for that I am grateful.
If you approve of or have expended any number of calories in support of the #gamergate “movement” or the harassment of women online or in the physical world, I suggest you take some time to sit quietly and seriously consider your priorities. Bias in gaming journalism? Seriously? I’m a part of the games industry and I don’t even care about bias in gaming journalism. If you’re looking for a cause to champion that might affect real meaningful change in the world, might I suggest girls’ education.