People of marginalized genders are tired and traumatized.
Harassment and abuse of marginalized people is neither new nor unique to games. However, it is a very real part of the industry – and has been, since the very beginning. And right now, many people are finding the courage to talk about the trauma they have experienced.
It’s awful, but it’s also preventable – and it is time for leadership and a long-term commitment to creating healthy workplaces.
So today, we want to validate the trauma that many are feeling and encourage you to get help (see our Mental Health Resources Page, especially the Games and Online Harassment Hotline and a number of organizations offering Online Harassment Support).
We also want to encourage leaders at studios and platforms and publishers of all sizes. If you are worried or at a loss, reach out. You can make a meaningful change by holding your managers and teams accountable and providing retaliation-free space for people at all levels of the organization to surface problems.
Here are some resources that can help start these conversations:
- This excellent talk from Emily Greer (Double Loop) from GDC Summer 2020.
- Another great talk from Trinidad Hermida (Niantic), also from GDC 2020.
- This very practical talk on Diversity & Inclusion from Joahanna Thomas (Avalanche Studios), from GDC 2019.
And some additional resources for right now:
- A primer from Canada Life on how to address and understand workplace trauma.
- Resources from the American Psychiatric Association on bullying and violence in the workplace.
- Our State of the Industry White Paper, which details the psychological costs of workplace discrimination, harassment, and abuse.
The journey to ending harassment, abuse, and gender-based preferential treatment in companies is not an easy one. Change will require pushing up against decades of learned behavior and norms, and millennia of entrenched misogyny. However, the rewards will be immense and you will find encouragement and support at every step along the way.