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Female Game Developers Share Their Views on #GamerGate

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Publisher's Note: The female game developer who authored the introduction and collected these essays has many years of experience working in game development. She has shared these essays with The Escapist on condition that her name, and those of her essayists, be kept anonymous. At the request of the author, comments for this article have been left open as one of the main elements of the GamerGate controversy is never allowing debate. To ensure a reasonable discussion, this thread will receive the same heightened moderation that our other GamerGate threads have."

I was asked by The Escapist to participate in interviews about #GamerGate, as a female game developer. It's such a contentious subject that even balanced questions can seem skewed. Moreover, I felt like the questions didn't really get at any of the things I wanted to say. I suggested instead that women in the industry provide statements, so we could speak about the aspects of the situation that are important to each of us. What we chose to cover in our statements would say a lot about how #GamerGate impacts us.

I asked a variety of women to participate. The only thing they have in common is that they have years of game development experience (most with 10 years or more in the industry). A few I know well, but most of them are casual acquaintances at best. There was no discussion before they wrote the statements: I asked if they would be willing to participate, they said yes, I sent the talking points, and then they sent the statements. They are running here intact, unedited.

I made it clear up-front that the women would be anonymous. It was the only way many of them would participate. I know there are women in this group, including me, who chafe at the idea that we can't attach our names to our statements. We know the consequences, however: whatever the source, the result is almost always harassment of one type or another, sometimes severe and sometimes affecting your family. Once several women requested to be anonymous, all were made anonymous so there could be no links to trace between them.

These were the talking points provided, which each woman could address or ignore. My statement is among those that follow.

What do you think about the term "gamer?" and about #GamerGate? What you think about the press and any corruption you think occurs? Should controversial games be available (whether that controversy comes from content like rape or a strong "social agenda")? Do you feel like "social issues" or pressure have changed your personal work or your work for an employer, and if so, in what way? Has #GamerGate affected you personally or professionally--has it changed the way you feel about your games, your audience, or your work?

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