Sexual Harassment in the Video Games Industry

While mainstream pop culture media outlets have been covering the sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., and others, video game publishers and press have been dealing with their own allegations. Below is a sampling of what has been happening in our current state of play.

Polygon

After making a comment about a “shitty port” of Overcooked, Polygon’s Nick Robinson received the following response:

Shortly after that tweet on August 4th, Polygon’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Grant announced that Robinson had been suspended pending an investigation.

Kotaku’s Chris Plunkett wrote a brief piece about the allegations and the reactions. Waypoint’s Editor-in-Chief Austin Walker, Patrick Klepek, Danielle Riendeau, and Rob Zacny discuss Robinson’s reputation of direct messaging women in the game industry.

Naughty Dog

On October 14th, David Ballard, a former designer at Naughty Dog, announced that he had been sexually harassed, but didn’t name anyone:

Following the tweet, Naughty Dog and Sony released a joint statement that they had not received any allegations from Ballard. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier covers the initial rumblings of the story.

NeoGAF

In a story that broke into mainstream outlets, NeoGAF owner Tyler Malka was accused on a private Facebook post of sexually harassing a coworker while staying in a shared hotel for a work event.

As part of the #MeToo movement that became so popular that it sparked policy changes,  the accuser wasn’t trying to accuse anyone, just add to the conversation. She didn’t even mention Malka by name, but when asked who it was, she responded, “Google Evilore”; Evilore is Malka’s username on NeoGAF.

Cecliia D’Anastasia broke the story on Kotaku. The Verge’s Adi Robertson covers the details of the accusations. Brian Crecente at The Rolling Stone writes about how many of the site’s moderators quit after the allegations.

IGN

On November 10th, GameSpot editor Kallie Plagge tweeted about being harrassed by former IGN editor Vince Ingenito:

This caused IGN employees to refuse work until IGN made an apology, as announced by Alanah Pearce:

On November 13th, IGN‘s content team posted an apology, saying that their company failed Plagge and the other woman mentioned in her post. Later, the post was updated with a comment from the IGN management team, saying that they are “enlisting” the help of an outside consultant to ensure that their “reporting procedures” are improved.

Vice

On November 15th, The Daily Beast‘s Brandy Zadrozny discussed a culture of sexual harassment at VICE Media that has been going on

The VICE Union made a statement in support of workers, saying “Our continuing goal is to make this a safer, more equitable place for every worker.”:

Waypoint, VICE Media’s video game publication, made a statement on behalf of the staff presenting a four-point plan to improve worker conditions and guarantee that whistleblowers feel empowered in speaking up.

featured image by Lum3n on Pexels, CC0 license

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