Being a female in the world of gaming is very similar to a being a female in STEM. These predominantly male industries are known for having a bro culture, and while several companies have added efforts in inclusion and diversity, these efforts either fall flat and other companies are still very bro oriented.
This article tells the story of Lacy, who made it her mission to hire a woman into a leadership role at Riot Games. Riot Games is the company behind League of Legends, with over 100 million monthly active users with almost 90% male players. In this article, she recalls her experience of sexism while on the job. Oftentimes, they would imply that she had only gotten her position because of her appearance, and would also be called ‘cute’ most of the times. She ran an experiment where she presented an idea during a meeting, but was dismissed, then she asked a male colleague to present the same idea, and was praised for it. The rest of the article is Lacy and several other women at Riot Games sharing their story and experience of sexism within the bro culture at Riot Games.
Recently, Riot Games hired its first chief diversity officer as an attempt to address the toxic and sexist workplace culture. This was posted in the league of legends forums and to my surprise, a lot of the comments regarding the issue were negative. These people were commenting how the game quality will decrease because they will now hire under qualified people who know nothing about the game, in order to increase their diversity numbers. I immediately left the page after that because I knew that it will be filled with similar comments from ignorant players. I can only hope for the best and that they improve their workplace situation.
This article gives a clear overview of what it is like to be a female in the tech industry, and more specifically in the gaming industry. It provides an experience that is shared by most women in these fields. People often wonder how they can increase the number of women in tech, they attribute it to the lack of interest or knowledge, but really it’s because of the bro culture in these spaces. There are many interested and capable women in these fields but are often pushed out because of the bro culture. A really cute pixar animated film about this can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6uuIHpFkuo. This article will really help me with my writing project because I would be able to use it a resource, and be able to relate to a piece of article even though I am technically not in the workforce. There is a lot to be gathered from this article from the female experience inside and outside of the game. This also inspires various thoughts and areas that I can explore while writing my project.
If given the opportunity to be able to response to this individual’s testimony, I would tell her thank you. As an avid gamer and spectator of League of Legends, I had aspired to be part of their team and was often intimidated by their application process. They brag about their interns having published in conferences and journals, having created a software, or having written a book. I always felt that I was always intimidated and had never applied, and now I am thankful that I did not. They obviously do not acknowledge that differences that people face in their upbringing; that the people they end up hiring tend to be more privileged than others, and would never have given me a chance given my background. I would have had to have published a paper, AND written a book, AND created a software to even have been considered because of my background. So thank you Lacy, for telling this story to the world and provoking change in a place that clearly needs one. While Riot Games is not in my dream companies today, I hope that they will change their ways and improve their environment with their recent addition of a diversity officer, and I hope this inspires other bro cultures to improve their workplace as well.
Thank you Lacy!