'So What If I'm A Woman, Let Me Play The Game'


    Nice to see Aussie writers getting picked up in the US feed!

    Great followup, although I wish the game would at least be named - imagine the potential progress if the company had to get involved and change their behaviour at shows?

      Pretty sure internet sleuths have narrowed it down to ARMA3.

    Now if only Kotaku US could do their part about the portrayal of internet sexism and not post so many Japanese boobs all over the site.

    Jesus christ. Just read the "In the first year of my games degree, I learned quickly to stay quiet in the face of male-heavy classrooms" paragraph - where the fuck did she go to uni, and why is it full of such horrible people? Who even *talks* that way? As in, speaks words like that in the presence of other human beings, as opposed to typing it and sending it off into the aether. I mean yeah, me and my group of friends at uni always talked shit at each other, always making inappropriate jokes about each other and whatever, eg the Black Guy was often the butt of black jokes, Rooty Hill Guy got the Rooty Hill jokes etc. But that's jokes among friends, those comments from her classmates actually sound quite vicious.

      I saw that and was completely amazed, I have never heard anyone say anything that blatantly ignorant/sexist in person. I have heard my fair share of snide remarks or inappropriate jokes on the side (never directly AT someone) from the odd douche bag, but this is insane.

      I find this behaviour at UNI more offensive than the stuff at E3. Regardless of the victim/authors gender. It should have been reported by both staff and students.

      I find this behaviour at UNI more offensive than the stuff at E3. Regardless of the victim/authors gender. It should have been reported by both staff and students.

      I couldn't imagine that EVER flying at my uni, even though my IT-related degree is 90% guys. More naming and shaming required, it should never be tolerated. The faculty staff certainly wouldn't have if there were complaints.

    I'm sorry but after reading this follow up, all I can think is "please, QQ more. Because that is really going to help your case, and your gender". This is just shifting the problems to others without addressing them at all. It's a nice piece but she really does need to do something and not try to shift the blame and problems away from herself.

      How is it her fault? How is she to blame?
      From what I can tell the problem is that while games are changing, people's view on them is not catching up.
      eg. Video games are for kids. Violent video games cause violence. Video games create anti social behaviour. Video games are mainly for boys. These are all assumptions that people make about games to this day and act accordingly. Isn't it annoying when a game you want to play gets refused classification because a parent may buy it for their child? Imagine how frustrating it is for Katie, because she's being treated like a moron. When it's something you're passionate about, of course you want to fix it.
      Sorry, but this is like blaming the rape victim for dressing inappropriately. It is a problem that exists to this day and if one person if trying to help contribute to that, then good on her.
      One last thing, if it were a male who'd written the article, would you have still responded in the same way?
      Sorry, I just hate that everyone has to be treated via gender when it shouldn't matter.

        Oh yes.. that's another thing about the response I didn't like.. the "somehow my fault" thing.. durp! Of course it wasn't your fault.. meh.. like anyone even suggested that... how ridiculously insecure of yourself to think of that.

        "One last thing, if it were a male who’d written the article, would you have still responded in the same way?"

        100% Yes. Why? Because it is not negative, it is not saying they are to blame for the other person's behaviour.. it is saying that you need to stand up for yourself when people are being bastards/bitches to them. That's all, nothing more.. no insidious underhanded implications of blame.. just that.

        I think Mase actually agrees with you, Scree. He wants her to do something, you're saying she wants "to fix it". You guys are not far from the same page here.

          Indeed. I want her to do something beyond what she has done. Things do not get fixed by sitting in an office or room typing articles on computers about how unfair things are. Stand up! Say something! Make some real noise!

          If she stayed quiet like she did in Uni then of course it's going to continue. If you don't turn around and tell people to back off, then they will keep repeating the same cycle of crap over and over in all facets of life. Why do you think we have so many bullies today? Because no one is brought up with the idea that it is ok to stand up for yourself either verbally or physically if the need arises; we're told to walk away and just ignore everything. What this does is create the bullying problems we have today!

          You know how all her crap at E3 could have been avoided? A simple "I'm fine on my own thanks" and the guy would have walked away. Yet she stayed quiet and let everything happen. Even at the worst moment a 30 second explanation about how she works for PC Powerplay and has shooter experience would have force him to back off. But again, did she do this? NO! She sat back and let herself be treated like an uneducated stereotype.

    Whatever, if you thought that I (or anyone else) meant anything beyond "Why didn't you stand up for yourself?" then you have more issues than you give yourself credit for. I was bullied at school.. and I didn't stand up for myself until I got to uni and the cycle was starting to repeat itself.. as soon as I did stand up for myself it all stopped and not just that, my whole worldview changed... suddenly I wasn't this downtrodden, "poor me" person but as valuable as everyone else.

    You really do need to be more confident and stand up for yourself.. you really are as valueable as everyone else. You really do deserve the same respect and courtesy as everyone else.. but if you think of yourself as some sub-human, as both your article and your blogged response comes across, then nothing is ever going to change. It all starts with you.. sound corny I know.. but I also know from actual first hand experience, that it is true. Standing up for yourself doesn't mean being a dick about it.. it doesn't mean become a mean, obnoxious bastard.. it just means being confident in your value as an individual on this planet.

    /End Dr Phil rant

      100% agree. There are assholes out there and they need to be told that they are assholes, otherwise they will continue to be assholes. Of course you shouldn't have to, but that's life.

      Yeah, except when women start standing up for themselves then they start getting called bitches. It's not her fault she's being attacked, and we shouldn't just be shrugging our shoulders and letting assholes get away with it.

        So? Let them call you a bitch. In many cases it's the only way to get respect - men admire power and are programmed to submit to the alpha. We are primates after all. Look at Hillary Clinton, she's a bitch and proud of it, she didn't get to where she was by being a nice docile delicate flower. People might not like her but they respect & fear her. I don't like it any more than you do, but that's just the way it is - you wanna roll with the big boys then you better learn to be a heavy hitter.

        That said, I believe by writing the article and drawing attention to it, she IS standing up for herself so it's a moot point for people to say she's just being a victim because she is doing something about it by relating the experience.

          To be honest, being called a bitch isn't the greatest thing. Although men may admire power, I find that in my time a lot of them also admire their own power, not that of a woman.

          Name calling is one thing, but when word gets around that there's a "bitch" around, treatment of the said bitch suddenly goes from bad to worse.

          I think she stood up for herself the best she could because if - and I say if because I obviously don't know how other booths treated her - word had gotten around that she was going to be 'problematic', other staff may not have been so courteous with her... if they were that at all.

    The more I think about these articles, the more I think...what's the result? I say this with the greatest respect to the author, without a doubt.

    Let's say I wasn't already on board, but by reading the articles I became suitably aghast at the situation and want to affect change - where do I go from here?

    If there was a game name shared, I could write to the company involved expressing my dissatisfaction, or threaten to boycott their games due to their PR treatment of female journalists. That would, in great numbers, cause a change in the company if this behaviour is endorsed, or stress more strongly with them the need to follow up on issues like this.

    We don't want the guy involved lynched by the internet, but as a representative of the company, the company needs to know that a) the actions occured, b) have a chance to respond, and c) take action of their own.

    While I understand the frustration expressed in the article, and it's rightly there, as a reader I now have nowhere to go.

    I can read the article that agrees with my opinion that this is an issue - but there's no pay off, no change in the industry. As a gamer, I might now be on board, but I have no way of expressing it - and no change will occur.

    I really think we need a game name here, otherwise the exercise seems a futile.

    It seems less like a follow up article, that expands on the original article and provides more facts and insight into it, and more like she's trying to make up excuses as to justify her actions in the face of obvious criticism. It's a lot more cynical and defensive than the original article, when it doesn't have to be, it could be positive. Saying that she is 'exhausted' of being treated like that and that 'you give up' after a while is one thing, but to then say that writing a vague article after the fact is BETTER than saying something to the person in question in the original instance just doesn't make sense.

    The tone of the 'follow up' just seems cynical and defensive, not once does she ever concede to any notion that maybe she could have done something different or that she could try a different approach to combating sexism in the games industry, everyone who asked questions or had criticism in relation to the article is wrong and she is right. She also seems to take each comment in a totally negative light, which is a bit over handed, when someone says 'I'm a woman and it didn't happen to me' they are not actively trying to belittle your experience and sabotage your viewpoint, they are simply providing another perspective of the same situation to show it with greater depth and more personal insight. Maybe it takes away your thunder a bit, but that shouldn't really be a problem if what your saying is true and not exaggerated or embellished.

    I saw that she also turned comments OFF on her blog as well, if she is proud of the discussion she has started why doesn't she want to participate in it? I understand that there wil probably be trolls (there always is, unfortunately) but for every troll i saw in the comments of the original article there were 10 people genuinely discussing it and offering solutions or ideas, that a good thing right?

      She did mention she turned them off because she'd just got off the plane from the US and was jetlagged. Would you want to deal with moderating comments while jetlagged?

        Maybe she could have just held off posting the response until the next day when she wasn't tired? Is she going to turn comments back on then?

          I have no idea, I only know what she wrote, I don't know her personally. Although I kind of wish I did. I wouldn't mind talking to her face to face about this.

          From what she's written, I think she just wanted to stem the tide of tweets/emails/comments that had piled up on her while she was coming back to Australia from the US.

            I can see how someone would get inundated with responses, but if you're going to post up an article that stirs up controversy you have to expect it.

    To use the excuse that I did not stand up for myself because I am female and THUS have been subjected to a life of empowerment is both immature and perpetuating said discrimination. Weird.

      But do you think "standing up for yourself" would necessarily lead to empowerment or things changing when it seems endemic? Should she do that for every single person who says/said something idiotic at uni *and* trade shows *and* in discussions with publishers/developers?

      That's a little ridiculous. The discrimination clearly continues regardless of what one says (since it keeps happening independently and repetitively) and challenging every instance would be exhausting.

    Further - not naming the perpetrator and just ALLUDING to it is a dis-service to both yourself and other games regardless of gender. It is cowardly. The alleged perpetrator has no defense or recourse. You are supposed to be a JOURNALIST. REPORT Don't imply - otherwise audiences will assume that you are making it up.

      The "alleged perpetrator" has defence and recourse. Just because she didn't name them doesn't mean they can't stand up and say it was them and deal with it from there....

      She also did report. She reported her experience. Not naming the people/game is not very different to protecting your source which is a very journalistic thing.

    I'm the first to white-knight on this stuff. But something is seriously wrong with this story.

    The more I think about it, the more I think not naming the game is highly suspect. If this guy did what he did,he should be called out on it. I just can't see why she wouldn't name them, because its the only way to effect any sort of change. That is, unless she's concerned that they can mount a strong defence.

    If it is true that the game is ARMA 3 (which because of circumstantial evidence found by others, I'm going to assume it is unless she says otherwise), I have real suspicions that this wasn't gender discrimination, and at some level the author knows it. Having experience with PC shooters is not the same as being prepared for ARMA 3. I've been playing PC shooters since I was five too, and I'd expect to get the controls taken away. In fact, she demonstrates her ignorance about the game by going on about wasd, when there is a lot more to the controls of ARMA then that.

    That said, if she does name the game, and its something like Halo 4, I'll be as pissed as anyone.

      Actually, just realised I incorrect about the age I first played a PC shooter. I was actually eight. It was Doom I played Contra from around age 3. Yeah, I had terrible parents.

      As above, I agree with the game needing to be named. Don't name the guy for fear of lynching, that's highly commendable.

      But the game? That's necessary.

        Or even just the publisher? Something, at least.

        Which game the original PR guy was marketing is irrelevant. It just confuses the real issue. It doesn't matter which game, it just matters that it happened. The original article describes other E3 incidents with other games and PR people too, I don't see why people feel it's not valid without naming and shaming the first game she experienced it on.

          (HI STRANGE!)

          I'll respectfully disagree with you here.

          I do agree that the game is irrelevant to the fact that this happened; however, the article is specifically a call to action and a push that this stuff should not be happening any more - but gives us no way to redress it.

          In this case, knowing the game and the publisher will allow us, if so inclined, to express that what happened to the author is not on, and stop this particular publisher (hopefully) from having repeat performances in the future. That's the change we need to stop it happening again.

          Let's assume the worst for a moment that this was actually fine with the publisher. All that's happened is that they've acted like a jerk and gotten away with it - no need to enact any sort of change if there's no downsides to being an idiot.

            (HI ZAP!)

            I get what you're saying but I really feel like the purpose of this was more an awareness thing as opposed to a call to action.

            I actually still haven't decided what I think about the original article. I usually try and put myself in the author's shoes but in this case it's extremely difficult to decide what I would have done in her place. The main thing I came away with was that it was a hurtful experience for Katie and for that I'm very sad that it happened. I think a lot of people may be reading more into it than was said, and I also think a lot of people didn't actually finish reading the article before beginning to discuss their opinions on it.

            I've also noticed a disturbing trend(not just about this incident, but other sexism in games-related things recently) for people to think that girls in gaming should just act like one of the boys if they want to be accepted.

              Oh, I also find it frustrating that people are so fixated on knowing who/what that first anecdote was about, and ignoring that it wasn't an isolated incident.

                I think there's two instances of the issue in here, and a lot of people might be looking at the one they can "fix" rather than the more obscure ones.

                Also, how good is it that it seems (barring a few exceptions) that people are arguing over HOW to fix it rather than IF there is something wrong to fix?

    Not this again. Seriously.

    "I've had some shit experiences by a group of people that amount to 50% of the population, there's something wrong with ."

    We all know there are absolute arseholes out there. Does everyone need to write a blog post every time something unpleasant happens?

    It's absolutely boring. People are shit - we get it.

    I'd be pissed if the game was taken away from me too.

    The only thing I object to is this comment

    "Maybe every one of the hundreds of people you met at E3 was unquestionably polite, and maybe not a single male attendee attempted to hit on you or check out your ass while you weren’t looking.
    You might be incredibly lucky: none of it may have happened to you."

    Guys will look at females, (if they are straight), to see if they are attracted to them. It's human nature, we want to be loved and procreate. For most guys that means looking at a girl to see if they find her physically attractive and then trying to talk to her in some way where a conversation may start and they can see where it goes. Just saying, I thought this line watered down the whole thing a bit. Lets face it, getting hit on, rejected, looked at and sometimes hooking up are all part of, (almost everyones), life that won't go away until humans are extinct!

    Why not say to the bloke "hey I can handle the game myself", why not stand up for yourself at the time instead of writing an article a week or two after? Katie had a job, it was to review games for PC Powerplay and she couldn't even do her job properly simply because she couldn't say a few words. Sure you can say "she shouldn't have been treated like that" or "she shouldn't even have to say it", but there are misunderstandings all the time when you're dealing with others. We aren't mind readers or telepaths.
    I know people will disagree with me but it just seems like she's being a f***ing princess 24/7 and has a hissyfit just about every single time she's wronged by a male. Who cares if people think you're a "bitch" just for standing up for yourself. Is that more important than the job you're supposed to do?
    How can you seriously hope to stand up for feminism and women if you can't stand up for yourself?

      Should have stopped at "telepath". The rest is garbage and generally unintelligent ragedribbling.

        Yeah you're right. I guess I'm just tired of her complaining. Everything she writes about just seems like a killjoy to me and I couldn't help it.

    Wow were you really treated that badly in Uni? From ALL the guys??
    I'm sorry that happened...and there's really no excuse for talk like that.

    I don't know you personally and from your writing I do think you're a straight up nice person, but just to share an experience. In my uni days I've had a fair few people who were unbearable...one girl in particular would hold up the class for an extra half hour trying to debate with the lecturer. We never abused her of course, verbally, or otherwise, but I sure wanted to say something.

    Of course that's just one example, working with her in a group is a bigger nightmare. She thinks of herself as the champion of women everywhere and that all women should follow her example.

    Garbage. But in the end, she was disliked not because of her gender, but because of her personality. Again not implying anything about the author, but just thought I'd share.

    Also....did you ever think that maybe the PR guy was just trying to hit on you? And the best way to talk to you was to do a game demonstration? :P

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now