Ian Burrell: Gamergate – gaming women deserve better


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The Independent Online

The Gamergate controversy has seen an outpouring of misogynistic bile aimed at women in the games sector.

But the powers that be in the UK act as if it was happening in a parallel universe. It seems extraordinary when British gamers are following events online and when Zoe Quinn, the 27-year-old developer driven from her home by death threats, was in Nottingham last week and talked of her experience of living in constant fear.

Some say Gamergate is about journalism in the games sector but the targeting of women in the industry is clear. It would be nice to reassure female developers and gamers in Britain that a less macho culture is being built here.

The minister responsible, Ed Vaizey, has championed the UK games industry but would say only that he was opening up the sector through coding in schools. “I hope more and more talented young women will be able to pursue a career in video games,” he said. Jo Twist, head of games industry body Ukie, said it was “monitoring” Gamergate “very closely” but claimed the problems it reveals are “not something which is exclusive to just the games community”. Women in British games deserve a stronger stance than this.