A message from our CEO Marie-Claire Issaman
My Leader column in our last newsletter about the dreadful allegations coming out of GDC – Abuse, Assault & Harassment: Are we going backwards as an industry? – struck a chord with many within our community and beyond.
The article was shared across social media, as well as being picked up by games media including Eurogamer, The Gamer, IGN and more. We also received correspondence directly to our team at Women in Games, thanking us for highlighting the issue of the on-going – perhaps even escalating – harassment and toxicity facing women working in games and esports, and also those playing games online.
You’ll see elsewhere a thought-provoking article by Team17’s Charlotte Cook – also a Women in Games Ambassador, and a regular attendee of events like GDC – who provides her reflections on the situations she has found herself in, and offers some suggestions on what can be done to make events like this safer for women.
We have also been speaking with the organisers of Develop:Brighton, and I’m very happy to report that Tandem Events has responded swiftly to the reports from GDC. Already it has updated its Code of Conduct to underline the behaviour deemed unacceptable when it comes to harassment and toxicity. We are told that they will also be setting up a dedicated system to facilitate reports of harassment directly to the team of organisers, and they are also organising a panel session during the conference to address the problems of harassment at events in general.
We wholeheartedly welcome these initiatives by Tandem Events.
But elsewhere the problem of harassment and toxicity facing women in games remains a priority for us as an organisation – and for our community of thousands of women and allies around the world.
The response we had to my article last month shows that this issue is still top of the agenda for many within our community. It is a high priority area of action for Women in Games. And, to this end, we are placing a significant amount of resources to this challenge, including specific research and targeted project initiation to make change happen and enable us to work with the wider industry, the media, trade organisations and governments to make games a safer place for women.
But we are a not-for-profit organisation. Our reach is global, our impact is significant, and we have a community in its thousands to support our goals and missions. I would like to ask you to support us in this important mission. As an individual, or as a corporate organisation, you can donate here to make a significant difference to our campaign to create safer spaces for women and girls in games.
GDC and those awful allegations of abuse may be a month behind us, but we are not going to allow the ongoing issue of abuse, harassment and toxicity to be forgotten. Because those problems are not going away – and neither are we.
We urge you to help us to support our goals.