Alice Mercier isn't the real name of the games industry veteran that reporter Josh Mattingly harassed on Facebook. She isn't willing to give her real name, at least not publicly; she's afraid of the professional repercussions. This is a theme that will come up again and again over the course of our interview, and every subsequent conversation: weighing the toll of harassment against the cost of confronting it.
Last week, an abridged screencap of Mercier and Mattingly's Facebook conversation made its way around social media and then gaming news sites. It's shocking and uncomfortable to read: a stark illustration of the kind of treatment of women in the games industry that gets glossed over or discussed in general terms, but rarely gets exposed in so raw and ugly a form.