Over the past 24 hours or so, a number of women working in the game industry (and some male colleagues) have taken to Twitter to share their stories via the hashtag #1reasonwhy.
They're not motivational tales. Instead, they're accounts of the rampant sexism and discrimination many have faced in the past, and are still facing today. The volume of the confessions, not to mention the important and prominent role of many involved, is sobering.
The tag's name is meant to suggest people are listing the #1 reason why there aren't more women making games. The scale and variety of responses obviously make a mockery of the whole "#1" bit.
Because I get mistaken for the receptionist or day-hire marketing at trade shows. #1reasonwhy— Kim Swift (@K2theSwift) November 27, 2012
Because I am not his arm candy, motherfucker. I make games. #1reasonwhy— Brenda Romero (@br) November 27, 2012
#1reasonwhy because there's not enough investment in AAA games about something other than war, cowboys, football, cars. sorry, but it's true— Jane McGonigal (@avantgame) November 27, 2012
The worst sexism is the "harmless" assumptions. I'm sick of being told art is the only appropriate career for a woman in games. #1reasonwhy— Vanessa Hunter (@VanessaH_Art) November 27, 2012
#1ReasonWhy because your studio never orders any women’s t-shirts in swag orders, and certainly not in sizes bigger than XS or S.— Tami Baribeau (@cuppy) November 27, 2012
#1reasonwhy because my male colleagues are allowed to occasionally be obnoxious, silly, immature, annoying, drunk. i'm not.— leighalexander (@leighalexander) November 27, 2012
None of my women developer friends will read comments on interviews they do, because the comments are so brutally nasty. #1reasonwhy— Charles Randall (@charlesrandall) November 27, 2012
I've had prominent designers compliment my games, while complimenting my wife's appearance, when we develop together. #1reasonwhy— David A Hill Jr (@davidahilljr) November 26, 2012
Because conventions, where designers are celebrated, are unsafe places for me. Really. I've been groped. #1reasonwhy— filamena (@filamena) November 26, 2012
Because I'm sexually harassed as a games journalist, and getting it as a games designer compounds the misery.#1reasonwhy— Lillian Cohen-Moore (@lilyorit) November 26, 2012
#1reasonwhy Once heard an Art manager say 'We don't need any more women, they're more trouble than they're worth' as he viewed applications— Gabrielle Kent (@GabrielleKent) November 27, 2012
My looks are often commented on long before the work I've done. #1reasonwhy— Shanna Germain (@shanna_germain) November 27, 2012
#1reasonwhy Basically, it would just be nice if people were more aware of how others felt. I try to be considerate of others' feelings.— Laura Shigihara (@supershigi) November 27, 2012
Being mistaken for male co-founder's assistant ...three times? four? #1reasonwhy— Caterina Fake (@Caterina) November 27, 2012
After being told she was hired to "look pretty & make the guys happy", my old boss got him to repeat this in an email to HR. #1reasonwhy— TransformEnt. (@Transform_Ent) November 27, 2012
Because once I've been told "we don't need women in order to know what female players want from this industry" #1reasonwhy— Marina Rossi (@RedPill) November 27, 2012
#1reasonwhy Because the metrics team was shocked to discover that girls liked our game at all. Weren't even trying for that "demographic"— Sarah Grissom (@smgrissom) November 27, 2012
If you're a guy, and have never really "got" why women face an uphill battle in many parts of the game industry—or why people make a big deal out of it—try and imagine it's you facing this kind of crap in your workplace. See how insignificant it would be then.
UPDATE - If this has got you down, the flipside hastag #1reasontobe is collecting the reasons women do want to be working in the games business.