Ways to help fight sexism in the gaming industry

by Garvenski on November 3, 2017 - 4:19pm


An important issue in the gaming industry these days is the sexism that women constantly experience; be it in the professional or amateur realm. Emily Sun, an esports (electronic sport) event organizer and co-founder of Smash Sisters, an advocacy group that supports girls and women playing competitive Super Smash Brothers, asked to her audience if any of them ever heard” Hey, you’re pretty good for a girl”. Almost everyone raised their hand. Sun says that it is a hard phrase to hear and respond to.

Morgan Romine, a professional esports community organizer and co-founder of advocacy group AnyKey talks about allyship, in this case it is men denouncing the mistreatment of women. There are many opportunities for this to happen, but the problem is that, not every man want to help knows how to intervene and what to do in those situations. Sun, Romine and others on the panel discussed the topic. One of their themes was: male allies should step-in when they see inappropriate behavior.

Lil Chen, a former professional gamer and another co-founder of Smash Sisters said that many times, when women gamers get mistreated and their male allies say nothing. In her opinion silence means complicity and she encourages men to support their voice, empower those who speak and promote and defend them in times of need. She concludes saying that they should openly support the women and that you should be the role model you want to see.

A recent event in their life could be used as an example of allyship. “Super Smash Brothers: Melee” made a 25-person committee composed solely of males. Their goal was to standardize rules and a code of conduct for competitive events although they said they were declined by Chen and another female gamer. The organizers were criticized for not representing the many voices of the community.  Chen says that they shouldn’t only look for accomplished women gamers but also for those who need to advance and polish their skills. She added on a post that she would have joined if she knew that there wouldn’t be any female if she declined. Adam Lindgren, the best Smash Melee player in the world offered to resign is spot on the committee to open it up for a female gamer. The organization reacted by admitting Sun. Lindgren received many critics for his action but didn’t regret it. This shows how powerful standing up for a cause can be.

I think that allyship is a great thing. The various ways to fight sexism that are presented in the article could also be applied in different context and are a great to those who didn’t know how to meddle in those situations. In today’s society, when women do an activity that is mostly done by men, whether it’s sports or others, they are often underestimated. Personally, I’ve been through those kinds of situations; times when my age was used against me, and I know how much it can help to have your voice supported. For that reason, think that supporting and promoting women voices is important and that fighting sexism with small actions like those is a step towards improvement on a small scale. However, will the impacts on the small scale also influence the bigger ones? I don’t think so. In my opinion, even though Sun was admitted on the committee, I think that the problem remains: the committee was formed of 25 men and 1 woman. Isn’t that the biggest problem?


McGrane, Clare. “‘You’re pretty good, for a guy:’ Three ways men can combat sexism in esports — and elsewhere”. GeekWire.October 8 2017.  https://www.geekwire.com/2017/youre-pretty-good-guy-three-ways-men-can-combat-sexism-esports-elsewhere/


I chose your post because I myself am interested in gaming therefore, your topic caught my eye. I also like your way of writing.
I quite agree with you that fighting sexism is necessary. The two genders are still stereotyped, even while being in era 2017 which I find is very disappointing because with our revolutionary generations, equality between men and women should be completely established by now. Of course there are people which we unfortunately, cannot change their point of view that "men are better than women". To answer your question, yes it is a problem that the committee was formed of 25 men and 1 woman. Women can be as good as men or even better than them at gaming. I find the gaming industry should be more open to gender equality. The gender of a person does not define if they're bad or good at something. This not only goes for gaming but for any other hobby. Men and women are both capable of doing anything, it all depends on the willingness of the person to succeed.
What could the gaming industry do to accommodate both men and women?

In my opinion, I think that policies regarding the issue should be established. However, I think that the problem lies in the image of the women in games. Game designers should be making more games in which the main character is a girl. They should also change the equipment for girls in RPGs and make it more decent. I don't think that a leather bikini will do any good against a sword. Those two elements would surely impact the view of many gamers even if it is not on a conscious level.

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