The front lines of sexism: the vidya game industry

There are a lot of stories about sexism aimed at women that work in IT or the tech industry. From dongle jokes and subsequent firings for all involved, to scantily-clad “booth bunnies babes” (and the mouth-breathing assbags that actually write stories ranking them at PC Magazine with photo slideshows) that do promotional modeling at industry trade shows, and more recently the absurdly egregious marketing maneuver by Samsung pitching the Galaxy S4 to women because it can help them monitor their weight in addition to critical functions like wedding planning and cooking!

But there is a particular segment of the enterprise and consumer tech industry that dwarfs the complete and utter sausage-fest of socially-awkward chauvinists: the video game industry. Even attempting to imagine doing news and comment as a woman before a perpetually angry mob of entitled ignoratii that casually make rape jokes and use gay slurs makes me want to through my Playstation out the window.

"You only have a job because you have breasts."
“You only have a job because breasts.”

Alanah Pearce writes in “30 Days of Sexism“:

Before I record the videos I create for various different companies I change my shirt from the loosely fitting singlet I usually wear during the day, to a high-collared t-shirt that will minimise my chances of being objectified. It’s less comfortable, it’s not what I would generally choose to wear, but I do it in attempt to avoid comments about my breasts, my chest, and my physique in general – I try to negate any harassment I possibly can.

Is the gaming community ground-zero for the rampant sexism across all of IT? As the demographic of gamers changes to bring in older players who are increasingly irritated with the idiots on Xbox Live, publishers like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have to ensure all of their customers are enjoying themselves in order to be successful; and communities that want to involve members outside of one rabid and very specific demographic need to address this sort of thing quickly.

I think it would be really nice if there was an algorithmic way to gradually sift players who are sexist/racist/anti-semitic/phobic assholes into an ever-shrinking pool of people willing to play with them, until much like their local playgrounds, there was simply nobody that would play with them anymore.

Edit: My scholarly spouse comments:

You’ve heard about Tropes vs. Women and all the harassment she’s encountered, right?

I had not, but it’s a fantastic illustration of this problem.