I usually don’t post anything related to controversy within the gaming industry regarding perceived sexism, and generally laugh off those who whine about Agent 47 killing a bunch of sexed up assassin nuns or potential rape in Tomb Raider. Not this time though, and that’s because the issue should actually be discussed since it involves real women in the gaming industry and not fictional characters in a video game.
Meagan works at Crystal Dynamics, the developers of the Tomb Raider games. She previously worked for Game Informer, so she’s been on multiple sides of the gaming industry (press and gaming studio) and seen some disgusting behavior from both sides. It’s a sad reality that needs to change quickly.
I’m going to pull out a couple of quotes from her blog here:
So when a drunken CEO of a then-startup pointed to my midsection and said “I want to have my babies in there,” I laughed. I did the same next year when another developer told me that he “didn’t recognize me with my clothes on” after meeting me the night prior at a formal event (to which I wore a cocktail dress)…
It got so bad that one of my Game Informer coworkers had to sit me down and convince me to file a complaint against a massive publisher, after one of their PR leads repeatedly commented about how much he “loved my tits” at a party…
… I asked the journalist what his readers would like to know about me first, per the introduction he outlined earlier. He responded nonchalantly, “Well, they’d really like to see you naked.” I was so shocked I didn’t even register what he said, and I defaulted to my uncomfortable chuckle and frozen smile…
The CEO part sadly isn’t surprising, though it’s probably the most disgusting. A lot of people in positions of so-called power think they can act however they want. They can’t, and they should be called out, but it is what it is.
That last one though is really quite surprising, though I suppose it shouldn’t be. I really wish Megan, and other women in the gaming industry who experience this kind (and any kind) of sexual harassment, would name names. I know that’s a not a realistic expectation and it can open up all kinds of worms, but these people do need to be publicly shamed.
Whatever “journalist” told her that readers would really like to see her naked hopefully has read her blog and feels like crap because of it. It would be nice if they were fired from whatever outlet they write for as well, since not only are they completely unprofessional, and sexually harassing someone, but they’re doing their readers a disservice too. Gaming sites have both male and female readers, and they’re there to read about video games. They really don’t want to see women in the gaming industry naked (if they want to see naked women, they’ll go to one of a billion porn sites). It’s just a completely ridiculous thing to tell someone at any time, let alone in what should be a professional environment.
Again, take the time to go read her entire blog. It’s a sad and frustrating read in a way, because neither she nor any of the many women in the gaming industry deserve to be treated with such disrespect by male pigs in the industry, but it is also an encouraging read since she’s going to start standing up for herself and calling these morons out for being inappropriate. Good for her.
A closing quote also from her blog:
So here is the deal. I’m a person. I’m not just a “girl on the internet.” I am not comfortable with you remarking on my breasts. I am not comfortable with you implying that you’d like to have sex with me. And I don’t appreciate you rating my looks against my girlfriends in candid photos.
I’ve never had the opportunity to work with or communicate with Meagan, but the vast majority of my contacts within the gaming industry happen to be women who work in PR or community management. All of them are courteous and professional, and all women in the industry (and most men too) deserve to be treated in kind with respect and as people, not objects. It’s not that hard, and the men in the industry (and the male gamers themselves) disgrace us all when they say and do things like those Meagan has unfortunately experienced and generally act like the pigs in the header.
In the words of Joey Gladstone, cut it out.