In a recent interview with GamesBeat, Sony Computer Entertainment America chief Shawn Layden was asked about online harassment in general and gender equality within the video games industry.
While Layden wouldn't specifically address the social media movement GamerGate, he did offer an unequivocal answer on harassment - with some pressing from GamesBeat.
Jenny Richards-Stewart is the new CEO of Women in Games Jobs. Richards-Stewart previously worked as CEO at the Gremlin Group and as the chair of the board of governors at UK games industry charity GamesAid. Prior to that she worked for six years at the Paddington Academy. Richards-Stewart took on the position because she was keen to help the organization to promote equality within the games industry.
On the latest episode of Comedy's Central's The Colbert Report, Feminist Frequency and Tropes v. Women in Video Games creator Anita Sarkeesian gives her opinion on what the social media movement #GamerGate is all about. Colbert started the show with some jokes about GamerGate and gamers, ran several MSNBC clips, and then sat down to talk to Sarkeesian.
After the segment aired Sarkeesian tweeted the following:
If you haven't seen Leigh Alexander's recent XOXO Festival presentation, you can check it out to your left. Earlier in the month Tropes vs. Women in Games creator Anita Sarkeesian also gave a presentation, which can be found here.
A number of companies that are part of Sweden's game development community have signed on to a public petition protesting the harassment of female game developers over the last few months and reiterated that diversity is of paramount importance in the Sweden. Other developers outside Sweden have signed on to the petition as well in the spirit of supporting diversity.
Backpedaling a bit after recent comments about the pay gap between men and women in the tech industry, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella now says there is no pay gap between men and women at Microsoft. In an interview with CNBC, Nadella said that there is only around a .5 percent difference in salaries on a global basis within the company.
"So it's different than what perhaps is sort of normally felt across all industries," Nadella said.
Introduced by MSNBC host Ronan Farrow as "the woman who sparked 'GamerGate,'" Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn gives her first television interview since the whole online ordeal kicked off back in late August.
In the video, which you can watch in its entirety to your left, Quinn emphasizes that, despite all the online threats and harassment, she and other women in the industry are here to stay because they love games.
It's a hashtag you may have seen on Twitter or discussed in countless news and opinion pieces at various websites, both enthusiast and mainstream. It's a movement, a collection of like-minded and passionate people banding together in order to achieve an end.
What end is that, you ask?
You tell us! Vote in this week's poll and tell us what #GamerGate is all about. If the true meaning is not among the response options, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
A new video from a conservative think tank called American Enterprise Institute featuring scholar Christina Hoff Sommers says that issues related to sexism and misogyny have been brought up mostly by pro-feminist tech writers and those sympathetic to them. Sommers has written several books critical of the current feminism movement including Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women and The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.
Speaking recently at the XOXO Festival in Portland over the weekend, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games creator Anita Sarkeesian spoke out about the abuse and threats she has received in recent weeks. Sarkeesian said in her speech at the event (as detailed by the Verge) that many of the people that lob hate and threats at her and others online for their work do so because they believe they are being "noble."
King.com's Catharina Lavers Mallet and Marie-Claire Isaaman from the Norwich University of the Arts are the latest inductees in the European Women in Games Hall of Fame. Created in 2011 and sponsored by EA, the Hall of Game is part of the European Women In Games conference which took place yesterday. Other nominees considered for this year's honor were Roberta Lucca and Debbie Bestwick.
A researcher from the University of the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia) is investigating the theory that video games can empower girls by promoting positive female identities and deliver affirmative outcomes in the lives of teenage girls.
International PhD student Katryna Starks from Los Angeles said her thesis "Game Chang(h)er: Exploring the video game design elements that may impact the agency and identity of adolescent girls," focuses on female gamers, a demographic that is not fully catered to in game design.
The International Game Developers Association has thrown its support behind game developers who have been the target of harassment online over the last week or so on social media. Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn, Polytron founder and Fez creator Phil Fish, and Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series creator Anita Sarkeesian were just some of the names mentioned by the IGDA.
Women as Background Decoration: Part 2, the latest video in the Tropes vs Women in Video Games series from Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian is online. The latest video continues to explore "sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence," according to Sarkeesian's description on YouTube. Here's a little more on the latest episode from Feminist Frequency's YouTube channel:
Game researcher Annakaisa Kultima had a blunt answer at the Game Developers Conference Europe's #1ReasonToBe panel today about why she's in the video games industry:
"I have a fucking right to be here," she said to attendees (as detailed by Polygon).
Crunchyroll points out new DLC for Dead or Alive V: Ultimate Edition that allows player to dress characters up for the game in bath-time or bed-time gear. Yes these ladies will be fighting in towels and whatnot according to the video promo for the DLC.
The privilege of doing so (by buying the "Bath & Bedtime Costumes" DLC) will cost you $15.
The European Women in Games Conference will open its doors officially on Sept. 10 and will feature two keynote speakers (so far), organizers announced today. This year's event will take place at London South Bank University, in London England.
Topics being focused on this year relevant to women already in the games industry or trying to break in include setting up your own games company, games industry career advice on to how to encourage more school children to consider a career in the games industry, and much more.
According to Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014, men working in the video games industry here in the United States made an average of $85,074 in 2013, while women in the same jobs made an average of $72,882. According to Gamasutra, women made 86 cents on every dollar that men made in the U.S. game industry.
While this is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed, the pay gap between men and women is less than the national average: in the U.S. overall, women make 77 cents on every dollar that men make, according figures from a 2012 Census Bureau survey.
Blizzard president and a co-founder Mike Morhaime says that his studio is making a concerted effort going forward to create more diverse and inclusive game characters and content. Morhaime made his comments in response to an open letter aimed at him and Blizzard complaining about under-representation of females and ethnic minorities in the company's games.
What was once a male-only Hearthstone eSports competition has been opened up to women after the Internet-at-large gave organizers International eSports Federation a public spanking yesterday. The company says that it has listened and has changed its policy going forward. The organizers came under fire on Tuesday when it was revealed that the Hearthstone IeSF World Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan would only be open to men.
A requirement for Finland's Assembly Summer 2014 Hearthstone competition has outraged the gaming community. According to this PC Gamer report, an announcement page for the Hearthstone qualifier reveals that "The participation is open only to Finnish male players." The qualifier's organizers, the Finnish eSports Federation, are taking a lot of heat for this requirement and for their explanation why they have decided to separate and/or exclude players based on gender.
On this week's show host E. Zachary Knight is joined by guest host Jeremy Powers to talk about Ubisoft's ongoing controversy about including female characters and its response to the Watch Dogs PC mod, Playstation Now pricing, and some stuff on YouTubers. Download Episode 103 now: SuperPAC Episode 103 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 66.4 MB.
A study of online Call of Duty players found that women who sent out friend requests were more likely to be accepted if they behaved in polite and positive manner during play. Those women who talked trash during matches were less likely to have a friend request accepted. On the flip side, males who talked trash during online play sessions were more likely to have a friend request accepted than those who were polite or remained quiet during a match.
While two team leaders from Ubisoft (working on Assassin's Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4) say that there wasn't enough time or resources to include female character options for multiplayer, one small developer - chronicled by Polygon - designed its game with inclusivity in mind at the start.
While the difficulty of bringing gender choices to games is a hot topic this week thanks to comments from Ubisoft (related to gender options in the multiplayer portions of Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed Unity), one developer says that such efforts are usually the first things to get the axe on a big project.
In another interview with Polygon about female character options, this time in Far Cry 4, another Ubisoft employee blamed an increased work load for the game not featuring more options. Far Cry 4 game director Alex Hutchinson said that the team were "inches away" from allowing players to choose between a man or woman co-op buddy in the upcoming shooter's multiplayer... but it never materialized.
Jonathan Cooper, a former Assassin's Creed designer says that Ubisoft's claims about the complexity of adding playable female character options in Assassin's Creed: Unity is bullshit. Cooper, who now works at Naughty Dog, says that such a task would be simple to implement. In fact, he says it would be one or two days' worth of work.
"In my educated opinion, I would estimate this to be a day or two's work. Not a replacement of 8000 animations," Cooper said on Twitter.