A boys only club?

Posted: Sat, 26 May 2007 15:24:06 PDT

A Matter of Perspective

I was directed to a blog post in which the author shared her experience of working in the video game industry. Contracts and the “cliquey” nature of the industry intertwined with sexism in the workplace, reading her blog was slightly unnerving. In a male-dominated environment sexism can occur in any industry. Inappropriate comments, constant bickering it’s no secret that women are often thought to be just something to look at, not someone to be taken seriously. I’ve heard many women say they shouldn’t have to change how they dress to avoid inappropriate comments. We aren’t asking for that kind of attention just because we decide to wear our hair down that day.

But are these boys just being boys or are they borderline sexists? With the nerves of accepting a new position, the last thing anyone would want to face is a hostile work environment day in and day out. Suddenly the excitement from starting the new job turns sour. The video game industry, where they are constantly trying to push for more women to design and develop games, however, is changing…right?

According to the author, at every video game company where she has worked, she has experienced some form of sexism. Enter a woman into the room, and the men turn into immature high school boys jeering her every move. She’s been described by co-workers as “Not too shabby”…nothing wrong with that…but wait, another incident…sex for a promotion? She cares about her future in video game industry but will not go to those lengths to advance. Decides not to report him, because she doesn’t want to ruin her chances for her contract to be renewed.

This is one woman’s experience. In no way is it what everyone woman in the industry has experienced. There are plenty of positive experiences to go around. Some may argue that because it’s the author’s point of view it may not be as credible as coming from another source but it’s her point of view nonetheless.

Does this occur at every video game company? I would hope not. It all depends on the type of company and how many women actually work there already. It’s also matter of sensitivity. Stares and comments may be as harmless as flies buzzing in her ear but to another it can seem threatening. If roles were reversed and a guy worked at a company where the majority of his co-workers were female. He would probably make us look twice and give us something to gossip about. The bottom line is women and the industry isn’t just about things like trying to balance work and family life but also the workplace situations that women have to deal with. Granted it comes with the territory. Some women although they worked so hard to get to their dream job may not have the patience to put up with this, while others suck it up and don’t really give a damn.

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