By some estimates, the video game industry today is worth more than $100 billion. It’s a male dominated industry: the most recent study found that the people who work in gaming are nearly ninety percent male. They’re paid much more, and they’ve created a culture that’s not very friendly to women. To learn more about the gaming industry gender gap, KALW’s Martina Castro sat down with Tasneem Raja, the interactive editor at Mother Jones. They talked about the role of women the video game industry, the subject of a recent article by Raja.
TASNEEM RAJA: Early last week, Luke Green, who works at Kickstarter, posted a really simple question on Twitter. He asked, "Why are there so few lady game creators?" It ended up sparking this really amazing and very popular hashtag that was called #1reasonwhy, and it was female video game designers, videogame developers, story writers, animators, coming forward with stories of vicious sexism they faced on the job. You know, it was really amazing, I was watching some of these tweets come through from very specific examples of things that had happened such as one woman saying, "Early in my career, I was really excited to go to one of the major gaming industry conferences, where people who make video games come together, and I was groped, I was actually groped by one of the other conference attendees." One woman was actually in hiring. She said, "When we hired a female engineer at my company, I was skeptical. She's talented and awesome, I'm part of the problem." And one thing that I saw over and over again was how boring it was to work on female game characters who were basically there to wear sexy outfits and sleep with the badass male hero.
Click on the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.