Twitter saw a surge of tweets early this morning under the hashtag #1reasonwhyâ€”a trending topic which has only grown in intensity during that time. Twitter, for those of you who’ve shunned the social network, has served as a platform for many a causeâ€”ranging from Occupy Wallstreet to the Arab Springâ€”and today, it became a full fledged platform for women in the game industry, and feminist allies to shed light on an issue that ought to close to our hearts: sexism in the game industry.
Under the tag #1reasonwhy, women chose to share their storiesâ€”or their ‘one reason why’ women don’t feel welcome in the game industry.
The stories are disheartening but intensely eye-opening about the state of the industry. And reading them should make us pause for thought. Are things really as bad as they seem? Yes, they are. For the most part, women who’ve faced sexism in this industry (or any other) are rarely given the opportunity to speak about their experiencesâ€”or worse, they’re threatened or shamed into silence. The #1reasonwhy hashtag was an opportunity for women to speak aloud about their problems and served as a kind of Bat Signal to anyone else out there who also faced discrimination and sexual harassment.
Here are some choice quotes:
Because I feel like I am not welcome at E3 even though I have been making games for 31 years. #1reasonwhy
— Brenda Romero (@br) November 27, 2012
— Katie Williams (@desensitisation) November 27, 2012
— Jenn Frank (@jennatar) November 27, 2012
Given that half the number of people who play games are women, it should be an alarming fact that women aren’t anywhere as well represented in the development side of thingsâ€”and it’s a huge step towards dealing with this issue, which is an issue that’s going to take a whole lot more than a trending topic on Twitter to deal with.