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Despite changes in the video game industry, women do not feel welcome in it

Women in the video game industry: despite changes, they do not feel welcome in it
A sexist and exclusive environment towards women in the video game industry continues to persist; according to figures from a study carried out by Reach3 in 2022, 88 percent of the harassment suffered by women who play video games is based on their gender.

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The video game industry is entering what could be described as puberty. With the massification of its consumption, it has gone from being a hobby mainly practiced by young men to being enjoyed by a large part of the population, with the exception of older adults (and this is likely to change as the millennial generation ages). However, a sexist and exclusive environment towards women continues to persist within this space. 

According to figures from a study conducted by Reach3 By 2022, 88 percent of the harassment suffered by women who play video games is based on their gender. 

And 53 percent of the women who participated in this research said they hid behind neutral or masculine pseudonyms to avoid attracting unwanted attention. 

Reach3's research shows that 83 percent of the women who participated in this survey would like to belong to a group exclusively of women to play video games without major concern.

The scenario is clear, machismo is constantly present in our society and these people find in the anonymity of video games (and the internet in general) the ideal space to say and do things that they would not dare to do in person. That is to say, it is nothing more than the symptom of a deep illness that, although it has much more dangerous expressions, the most indirect and subtle ones like this one, are not minor. 

This news should be especially sad for all of us who share this hobby, because a feeling of inclusion and joy of sharing it with others, as well as discovering common interests with other people, should prevail among us. 

Women, "the other" and the black sheep phenomenon

The video game space that was born with computers and the twentieth century, has a special characteristic, it was generated as a space of and for men. Although the first video games were rather abstract and the marketing was aimed equally at both sexes, those involved in their creation were men, and it soon became an almost exclusive market. 

While it is true that the number of women who choose careers in the area of computing and mathematics is lower, the idea that they are not involved in the creation of video games is erroneous. 

Video games are complex pieces of entertainment that include design, music and acting, in addition to many other disciplines. However, positions of power are predominantly occupied by men and it is recognized that programmers have a distinguished status among their colleagues in the work environment.  

As Peninsula 360 Press has described in the text ?The serious problem of sexual harassment in the video game industry?, the very creation space of this entertainment is dominated by a "university fraternity" culture, in which men cultivate a toxic culture towards women and has led to a hostile environment.

This is how women have become "the others", "the strangers" the ?invaders? of a masculine space, where they must prove themselves worthy before the guards to access the "club."

So, the first moment something goes wrong, where the team loses or is at a disadvantage, it is the fault of the outside person, for no other reason than having the ?sin? of being a woman, a transgressor in that space. 

It is also necessary to mention that this thought of rejection and stigmatization is a fundamental principle of many of the discrimination phenomena that our society suffers; It is in discrimination for being a woman, homosexual, queer, dark-skinned, fat, skinny, for being different, for being the other. 


This publication was supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the CaliFornia State Library. 


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Hans Leguízamo
Hans Leguízamo
Audio and video coordinator of Peninsula 360 Press. Sociologist and researcher specialized in electronic entertainment, videogames and consumer rights.


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