Burn the bras! The women of the gaming industry are here, and they are pissed.
In Twitter’s newest viral hashtag, #1reasonwhy, women have revealed the prevailing sexism, sexual harassment and condescension they are facing in the male-dominated gaming community. Created in response to a simple question posed from Twitter user Burning_Luke, “Why are there so few lady game creators?,” #1reasonwhy has become a hub for female gamers to speak out against the discrimination in the field. In tweets from both gamers and creators, women shared their experiences of having to endure sexual comments from colleagues and their battles with the age-old adage “women don’t play video games.” But as all thoughtful dialogues begin, there is always one asshole to bring down the group.
Alongside tweets from women sharing the apologies they received from co-workers who had read their personal accounts through Twitter, in the past 24 hours the #1reasonwhy hashtag has also attracted sexist comments far and wide. Twitter user smiddertwidder has taken this tag in the opposite direction, sharing his hope that women will stay in the kitchen and learn some manners from “The View.” This user’s comments have since ignited a Twitter war of words, as women scoff at this close-minded prick telling them to go back to their bridge clubs. In a medium where everyone can share their opinion openly, the #1reasonwhy hashtag shows both the potential towards equality in the gaming space and how far we have yet to go.
With a desire to not only talk about gaming sexism but to highlight the efforts of women breaking into this world, Rhianna Pratchett has since created the tag #1reasontobe. Through these two hashtags, an international community of gaming women have become loud and active advocates demanding respect and equality within the gaming workplace. With an optimism that gaming women will continue to grow in numbers, simple efforts like these two hashtags are drowning out the smiddertwidder’s of the world one hashtag at a time.