Why do you think sexism is so rampant at Gaming Companies?

EA pG4WSD
Jun 23 41 Comments

Whether it be Blizzard or Riot seems like a lot of the AAA gaming companies are struggling recently with gender related issues -- what do you think is causing this? Why do you think the culture at gaming companies are particularly patriarchical?

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TOP 41 Comments
  • Tesla dizzypop
    Proponents of common core and self-elected architects of the future of our children’s education have gotten into their minds an idea that games are the perfect delivery mechanism for learning and indoctrination. They want games to become the number one tool for education: https://slate.com/technology/2015/10/can-video-games-teach-students-the-common-core.html
    https://www.edutopia.org/blog/games-common-core-need-each-other-milton-chen

    The problem standing in the way of achieving that goal is the fact that current cultural trends consider video games to be something boys do, while girls aren’t that into it and usually choose different kinds of digital entertainment.

    So what do all the donors and foundations do to solve the problem? They invest in and prop up different feminist organizations tasked with taking over gaming from boys and making it more girl-friendly.

    Enter all the female game devs and their shitty games receiving praise, conferences on women in gaming, feminist gamer advocates and other creatures of the NGO world.

    That’s what’s really happening, a turf war for the future of indoctrination.
    Jun 23 11
    • Tesla dizzypop
      We will see who will bend the knee, human nature or “progressives” :-)

      The more victories you people get, the closer we are to a horrible backlash.
      Jun 24
    • Unity kebakiak
      Again with the language. "bend the knee" "victories"

      Equity and equality are only battles if you defensively decide to see them that way. How sad and selfish.
      Jun 24
    • Riot Games jadukn
      You're not actually describing human nature. Just presenting your ideas and opinions about it as fact.
      Jun 25
    • Unity kebakiak
      Hey Riot, how's human nature working out in your offices? LOL
      Jun 25
    • Riot Games jadukn
      Pretty good actually. In fact we've gotten better at weeding out malicious trolls from our organization. You know, the kind whose first instinct is to laugh and point at others problems.
      Jun 25
  • Activision Blizzard / Eng newrandom
    Maybe I'm biased but why does Blizzard get dragged into the same sentence as Riot in this context? In terms of combating sexism and discrimination they're about as opposite as you can get.
    Jun 24 10
    • Activision Blizzard / Eng newrandom
      I will, but even if that's true, you think it's fair for us to be put on par with Riot in this regard. Have we even had a single actual scandal in this space (and not an invented one like the fertility app or something something overwatch is not diverse enough)? It's certainly possible but I can't recall one, at least not in the last several years. Riot on the other hand has a reputation in this arena, a bad one, that their executives actively seem to take pleasure in laughing about, while at Blizzard, one of the only things they're doing right is being very proactive about diversity and combating sexism. Effective or not, they're doing more than just platitudes.

      You really think it's fair for us to get mentioned in the same sentence as Riot all that in mind? Your name stands out to me because you always have a bone to pick, and if you're in IT, it's probably warranted, but I don't believe for a second that we deserve to be listed next to Riot in terms of sexism.

      There's enough stuff for people to rightfully shit on us for without us being attacked for the one thing we actually try to do better.
      Jun 24
    • Riot Games jadukn
      There's lots of 'legitimate company efforts to move things forward' at Riot also. A lot of the events that came to light last year had actually occurred years prior
      Jun 25
    • Riot Games .l
      It was a hit job, Blizzard friend. There are definitely things to work through and there are at your company too. Let's not pretend it was unbiased journalism.
      Jun 27
    • Activision Blizzard / Eng uGoTMoBiLe
      Riot is at least trying to fix the problem.
      Ask how the ‘diversity’ meetings went in BNet. I hear that the problems got swept under the rug by means of trying to sit everyone down and explaining why it is bad to harass the ladies of the office, specifically around joining the team and then calling her a ‘fucking lesbian’ when she refused to go out with some of them.

      Totally Riot is the bad guy. Totally Blizzard are good boys.
      Jun 27
    • Riot Games G8ADN86R
      Anyone who reads the Kotaku article carefully will realize that the majority of the stuff posted in there was from 6-7 years ago--also much of it was "immature stuff" (that has been long rooted out). I'm not denying there are issues, but I think anyone who has objectively looked at what we've done in the last few years to improve the culture would not be being fair if they didn't say that we will soon lead the industry on inclusiveness. Also, it's amazing to see the schaudenfraude of the tech and gaming companies here not realizing how easily the same thing could be done to them.

      I don't want to single out anyone at Blizzard because I have a lot of respect for y'all but there are many skeletons in your history that you can't be proud of--and some leaders who have a very clear reputation. If Kotaku ever turned on you, you'd have my support. Meanwhile, I'm glad to hear that J. is taking it seriously and learning from our example to further improve your culture.
      Jul 3
  • ANCILE Solutions, Inc. eNBa60
    It’s an issue beyond gaming. IMO we just don’t hear about the struggles elsewhere because those are smaller firms or arbitration is involved. Small businesses with less than 100 workers account for 98% of US businesses. Riot has 2500 employees. If a woman in a small company feels harassed or discriminated against in a small business she has a choice of leaving and not publicly outing them (if she does, do you think it’ll be newsworthy?) or fighting them and it will likely end with a confidential settlement so no one ever knows. Riot is massive so people are going to talk.
    Jun 23 0
  • Riot Games zzzzzzz10
    It’s not been rampant in the industry for a long while but is bad at some small studios. It was never rampant here as described in the press, but more of a individual manager problem with weak HR, ineffective first time managers and loose standards have existed some places and led to weak discipline on borderline stuff and ambiguity on performance which leads to all sorts of problems. Sometimes was within a mismanaged group.

    All that being said, the industry as a whole is growing up very quickly, and I actually think we are at this point (at Riot) the most motivated on this topic and maybe the best or at least close on cultivating an inclusive workplace at our scale (within the game industry). Our internal satisfaction surveys still show scores well above most good companies even with how much our reputation has been attacked.

    In my opinion, the bad apples have been exited (and most of the even borderline bad ones were exited well before we got negative press, HR has always been very aggressive on harassment in particular). We’ve also invested a lot into general d&i and workplace professionalism.

    Riot is overall a great place to work and most groups are at this point very well run. We have some of the very best people in the business in game development as well. There’s a lot going on for us in the next few years, and the people in charge are good people who care deeply about this being a great place for anyone to work. They are also empowering HR more and the standards and professionalism expectations have risen a lot. The press has a motivation to clickbait sensationalize and as long as a handful of people are unhappy, there will be more to come. I would urge you to ask someone with some experience (prior jobs elsewhere) who works at Riot what they think of the actual ground level experience before crossing us off. A lot of our loudest internal critics have no prior work experience.
    Jun 25 8
    • Riot Games zzzzzzz10
      Isn’t r&d pretty well run over the two groups involved at this point?
      Jun 25
    • Riot Games moople
      Not in the slightest.
      Jun 25
    • Riot Games moople
      There are also many more groups than just 2.
      Jun 25
    • Riot Games zzzzzzz10
      Nope, there are two groups that manage the teams that you might call r&d.
      Jun 25
    • Riot Games .l
      It's fine on League...
      Jun 27
  • Activision Blizzard / Eng choose
    I think its wayyyy overblown because people are more interested in what they consider culturally relevant, due to both far left and far right people getting all fired up about it, it becomes something of a spectacle

    I haven’t noticed any issues where im at, HR has its ears to the ground and handles things whether they be minor or major

    Not saying its a nonexistent issue, im sure it is an issue on some teams in some corps somewhere, but i do think the “wow game dev is full of sexist nerd gamers” stereotype is blown out of proportion
    Jun 24 1
    • Unity kebakiak
      I was you until the issue came knocking at our door a few weeks ago.
      Jun 24
  • Unity smQr11
    Revenge of the nerds.

    In the 70s, 80s companies like Atari & Sega had higher representation of women. Still white male execs for the most part - but a higher percentage of women.

    Cultural zeitgeist shifts over the 90s/00s - STEM becomes socially downtrodden.

    Graduate Engineers at the turn of the century who inherit and forge the Games Industry resentful towards alpha male types and girls who passed them over in school.

    These Developers start to earn $100,000+ salaries.

    Money + contempt = assholes.
    Jun 24 1
    • Microsoft / Eng UST Ghost
      Makes no sense. Why would they have contempt for fellow game devs
      Jun 24
  • Riot Games moople
    Honestly? People fail upward. There's a specific class of person who is untouchable and the HR systems protect the company from lawsuits rather than protect the employees. Only the most egregious cases with overwhelming evidence will ever get looked at seriously.

    Things may be changing now, but there's so much history and habit built into this behaviour that without a massive change in accountability and transparency it's never going to be gone completely.
    Jun 24 0
  • Riot Games G8ADN86R
    Anyone who thinks that gaming is worse than finance, or retail, or healthcare, or tech... Wow. I want what they're on.
    Jul 3 0
  • Microsoft jT47lg
    I think we hear about the sexism from gaming companies more because their WLB, frequent layoffs, and lower pay leaves more disgruntled employees willing to spill the beans.
    Jun 23 0
  • Activision Blizzard / Design Metzen
    Ifs overblown.

    When things like being talked over in a meeting as a man happens, we go “wow he’s a jerk.” When it happens to women, they go “Wow it’s cause I’m a woman.”

    Being asked out at work is not sexual harassment, could be creepy depending upon how the guy asks if. Gamer guys are notoriously socially inept.

    If anything I noticed woman over-promoted and over hired at Blizzard. If I was a cute girl I could play these chumps like a fiddle. I’d be CEO by now.
    Jun 28 0