Women In Games Responds to Recent Media Reports on Toxicity & Harrassment in Games

Following the ongoing news reports of the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, and the culture of discrimination and harrassment it outlined, Women In Games has issued a response to the ongoing problems of sexism and inclusion within the games industry. The Scottish Games Network is carrying it

“All of the coverage points to a work culture gone badly wrong – harming women through discrimination and harassment – issues that are horribly familiar”

“The problems that confront women, whether they are players or makers of games are not history, and are not news”

“All of the media coverage points to a work culture gone badly wrong – harming women through discrimination and harassment – issues that are horribly familiar”

“But the world is more equipped and ready to vociferously reject such a culture”

Women In Games

Women In Games, the global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting equity and parity for all women and girls in games and esports, has issued a statement following the recent media reports on discriminatory and toxic behaviour within the games industry.

Women In Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman said:

“International, widespread news of the growing furore mounting around Activision Blizzard, stemming from allegations reported across the media about a Californian Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) lawsuit, and the subsequent response from the company, shine a harsh spotlight on a culture that Women in Games is actively working to reform.

“All of the media coverage points to a work culture gone badly wrong – harming women through discrimination and harassment – issues that are horribly familiar. 

“Perhaps what is genuinely new, is that the world, connected as it is now by global movements such as MeToo and Black Lives Matter, as well as the continuing global disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, is more equipped and ready to vociferously reject such a culture.

“In addition, we are seeing high level efforts from The UN through its sustainable goals, the EU with its strategy for weaving gender equality through all of its policies, and the UK’s presidency of the G7, integrating gender equality into all of its strategies – all demonstrate support for radical change.

“Women in Games brings its proactive support to both the popular demand for change and the wider political will that provide a more formal backdrop. As an organisation we are actively engaged in a range of initiatives and activities to counter discrimination, harassment and inequality for women in the workplace and in online spaces. 

“The problems that confront women, whether they are players or makers of games are not history, and are not news, and Women in Games is proud to highlight our ongoing initiatives to achieve change.”

Toxicity directed at female gamers online is taking on an increasingly sexual nature: results of latest Bryter research to be presented at the Women in Games Conference

Since 2018, Women in Games has worked with Jenny McBean, Director of Research at Market Research Company Bryter, to better understand the severity, and persistence of online harassment.

Toxicity directed at female gamers is taking on an increasingly sexual nature in 2021 and one in five say that such toxicity makes them not want to play again. Almost half of gamers in the US and UK feel there is a lack of female representation in streaming, but toxicity discourages them from streaming themselves.

A talk on the detailed findings of this research will be presented by Jenny McBean at the forthcoming Women in Games Conference, which takes place on September 15th & 16th as a virtual event, alongside a host of other initiatives central to tackling real world problems.

The Conference, which has long been a starting point for effective action, sits at the heart of a larger event this year: For the first time, a Women in Games Festival will be a global online event, and between September 6th – 18th will encompass an ambitious array of events including the Conference, which will be broadcast and scheduled to suit all major time zones, allowing delegates around the world to tune in to inspirational speakers, fireside chats, panels, stories.

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