While just as many females as males play, the gaming world has a reputation as a less-than-welcoming community for women, with some extreme harassment in a recent controversy dubbed Gamergate. We’ll look at the conversation since Gamergate, from why gaming culture has these elements, to the challenges women face in the tech industry.
- David Auerbach – writer and software engineer. He currently authors the Bitwise column for Slate.
- Nina Huntemann - associate professor at Suffolk University in the Department of Communication and Journalism and co-director of Women in Games Boston. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, culture, and technology, including digital gaming.
- Some surprising numbers on women in gaming: "The stereotype of a "gamer" -- mostly young, mostly nerdy and most definitely male -- has never been further from the truth. In the United States, twice as many adult women play video games as do boys, according to the Entertainment Software Association, the industry's top trade group."
- David Auerbach's proposal for ending Gamergate: "As long as Gamergate members are demonized from all sides as harassers and nothing more, moderates and extremists alike will band together. One reason moderates are reluctant to abandon the Gamergate tag is because they’d rather be hated than ignored. But those aren’t the only two options."
- Pew study on online harassment: "As the ongoing, harassment-fueled controversy known as Gamergate rages into its second month with no sign of dying down, the Pew Research Center is out with new numbers on online harassment. They probably won't surprise you: 73 percent of respondents say they've witnessed some kind of threats or embarrassment online and 40 percent have experienced it, mostly in the form of being called offensive names.."
- "Technology's Man Problem": Women who enter fields dominated by men often feel this way. They love the work and want to fit in. But then something happens — a slight or a major offense — and they suddenly feel like outsiders. The question for newcomers to a field has always been when to play along and when to push back.