Why Were There No Women Presenters At The PlayStation 4 Event?

Today we got a healthy dose of next-gen information, delivered to us by a bevy of excited, breathless developers and publishers. Here's the thing: not a single one of the presenters at the PlayStation 4 event were women, and people noticed.

It's not something folks are happy about, either.

This is a french Vita ad, which we covered before.

To contextualize the next couple of tweets: Elizabeth retweeted Leena's tweet about no women presenters, and because of that, started talking about what she was going to do in response to the event.

Getting women in games development is a noted problem in the industry, but the last year has seen a rise in conversation when it comes to gender and sexism in this industry. People will notice if, like today, there are no women presenters at your event.

The question is whether or not that will change. I admittedly didn't even notice there weren't women presenters until someone else mentioned it, which probably says something about how used to situations like this we all are. Some won't even bat an eyelash.

As a side note: the picture above are some guys from Bungie, who you might remember because they refused to raise their hands, ever.


    Yea us nerdy blokes need more eye candy!

    No women therefore sony is sexist?

    this is seriously grasping at straws...

      But the voice over was a lady... doesn't that mean the most powerful presence there was female?

      Last edited 21/02/13 4:00 pm

        Yes, Patricia, this is yet another misogynist conspiracy. How clever and perceptive you are to spot such a grievous slight against womankind.

        Seriously, though, STOP WRITING THESE SHITTY ARTICLES, Patricia.

        Last edited 22/02/13 2:51 pm

      I saw this on the US site but I was hoping you wouldn't repost it here. I can forgive the US, they are overreacting nutballs when it comes to this stuff. I now imagine Patricia to be a man hating feminist who trawls for a gap where a female subjectively should have been so she can start another feminist diatribe whether it is warranted or not. Great fun to have these type of people at parties.

      I think the relevant question, if you want to use this to raise a question of sexism, is why out of all those presenters was there no female presence in the high end of all those video game companies. They were all guests and they were all CEO's or head developers so this would show that none of those positions were filled by females. This is a relevant segue into the topic and could start some actual dialogue. As for Sony being sexist, I think that's a mighty big straw you're clutching as the presenters were mostly guests of Sony invited to present their work so far in development of games. Sony had two reps. Would it not be more sexist to add a token women just to pad out the sexes on show?

        Looks like a bunch of people made the same observation. Are you one of the type to think that there's swathes of "man hating feminists" lurking in the bushes or something?

          I am the son of Lesbians dude, I'm very familiar with man hating feminists of this world. In fact they did indeed jump out of bushes at me but I fended them off with my knowledge by association and usually my Mum's protected me.

          Patricia managed to highlight quite a few people that jumped on a bandwagon even though it was a very loose argument. she didn't need to do it but she did. She has also previously pointed the gender agenda finger at other stories, many times on the money but just as in this topic she has missed the target plenty of times.

        Is this article really so unreasonable? All the author has done is point out there were no female presenters and fish up some responses. I'm not sure if any of the people she's quoted are meant to be notable figures though. Is the issue that people think she is cherry-picking comments that suit her agenda? (I'm new to Kotaku so I'm unfamiliar)

        It's a disappointing article, to be sure. From the title I had hoped we were going to get an answer, or at least some insight as to why women are less prevalent in the games industry. The twitter posters do at least highlight that there is a noticeable problem (even if the writers don't bother to contemplate the issue beyond tantrums and whining).

        Don't get me wrong, I can see why there's such a kerfuffle in the comments. I'm sure she isn't "man hating", but for someone who insists on concerning herself with issues so close to feminism, Hernandez doesn't show any understanding of how to grapple with them. I haven't yet seen her attempt to actually engage with any of the issues she brings up. She probably either doesn't understand the problems past the superficial layer of what she can see, or these articles are just quick filler to pad out Kotaku's front page. Its probably both tbh, and it's just comeing across as unwarranted zeal.

        It would be great if the people in a position to publish content on these issues actually provided content, but at least they might act as a reminder every now and then.

        Can you point out what exactly in this article makes you believe Patricia is a man hating feminist who is looking for opportunities to start a feminist diatribe? I ask because she herself says that she didn't notice the lack of women presenters until others pointed it out, which in fact is what the article is about. The article isn't about Patricia saying 'I think Sony are sexist', it's saying that people did notice an issue with Sony's presentation and observed that that is happening more and more. So again I ask, what in this article caused you to form your opinion that Patricia is a man hating feminist who is looking for opportunities to start a feminist diatribe?

          I didn't say she was, I said I imagined her to be. Just as I imagine Hulk hogan to be a closet knitting fan. This comes from the occasional mis-guided feminist article she writes. She writes lots of feminist articles that are on the money but ever so occasionally she gets the point completely wrong and on those occasions it speaks worlds of her deeper feelings on the topic. I don't blame her, she has lived and is living through a deeply misogynistic point in video game history which has surely left scars but as I said, when the aim is wide it seems to indicate that the agenda is more important than the facts. Those few articles, as I read them, I imagine her squeezing a fluid filled stress ball shaped liked testicles, grinding her teeth until it it explodes and she slams her fist down on the arm of her leather chair, leans forward looking somewhere off into the near distance and screams, "men". Just my imagination......I also imagine she looks like a young Kathy Bates.

          Last edited 22/02/13 9:22 am

        If you want to be Australian about it, note the lack of Aborigines on the stage.
        Cathy Freeman, we need a token minority person - and if you break your leg and use a wheelchair, you earn triple minority points.

      Nope, you're wrong, it's important. Not even gonna say why, because if you don't know, you need so much more educating than I could ever give you.

        Thank you for your time. You have made real changes by adding intelligently to this and have swayed my views. Shall I begin a slow golf clap in your honour. My favourite part was where you showed me enough courtesy to assume I was intelligent enough to understand your point so you layed it out clear for me to see. Not at all a wasted post.

      This is a sh/t article. There is no value to be found in this. Just because better contributors got to talk about the actual content of the presentation doesnt mean you get to push this garbage onto the site Patricia. (just note im not sexist at all.... be it the other way around id say the same thing)

    Patricia........ i think your sexist. Every article you write like this....... its just gender bashing.

      She didn't even point out the blatant racism by the lack of Inuit presenters.

        This comment wins today's internet (whatever that means).

    Oh ffs.

    People need to get a life.

      took the words right out of my mouth.

      Piss off with this sensationalist BS.

    I was hoping to see Amy Hennig and Naughty Dog! (For selfish I want to see Uncharted 4 reasons rather than diversity reasons, I admit. D:)

    I prefer it in the older days where people would joke and call it a 'sausage fest' now It's a sexist agenda created by us men.

    How many women presenters did Nintendo have at the Wii U announcement? I can't remember...

      I remember they brought in a strange Harley-Quin and Regie segment to show that they can Batman with the big boys.

    Are you fucking kidding me? Ever thought that maybe the people that hold certain positions in their respected companies were men? I'm all for equality, and obviously I'm just assuming here, but wouldn't it be just as bad if you told those guys "no you can't go on stage, we're just going to put women up there to calm the masses".

      Yep, exactly what I think when I read this drivel. So the point is that women 'deserve' these spots regardless of who is the best person?

      I think the real issue is that why the fuck is this even on a gaming site? What the hell happened to the actual gaming news?

    I'll always fight against sexism. But really, it's sexist to not have at least one presenter that's female? Shouldn't the presenter be someone who's capable of doing thier job? As in, presenting on stage in front of a crowd, keeping their cool, keeping the audience their attention, etc.

    It's actually sexist to think you need a woman to talk because other women are too stupid to understand when a man is talking. Wasn't that the problem with the first Assassin's Creed game? They just kept walking the producer or something out on stage because it was a chick?

    All my friends are white. Want to know why? NO! IT'S NOT BECAUSE I'M RACIST, IT'S BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ANY BLACK PEOPLE! You don't suppose the reason there were no women at the PS4 reveal was because coincidentally there were none who fit the criteria of any of the roles required for any of the presentations?

    This is seriously beyond a joke now.

    Last edited 21/02/13 3:27 pm

    I hadn't checked Kotaku in a while, so I decided to come in and check on the Playstation 4 coverage. Then I see this story, and remember why I don't check in here anymore. An observation inflated into a ridiculous accusation, backed up with Twitter comments.

    Note that the 3rd parties attending would have chosen their respective speakers themselves. Are they all sexist too?

    Can we opt to fire Patricia!? Bet she would really have something to say then! hahaha

      Bet she would really have something to say then!

      Yeah, like how she got fired "for being a woman".


    It's good to see people have had a gut full of the feminist PC crap that has been infesting Kotaku.
    People should be chosen by their ability not their gender, if that results in all men/women then so be it.

      So no woman is capable of helping to speak at an event? No space for them on stage? Can not provide a role model for young girls, so they want to be a part of it instead thinking it's a mans job? It's politically correct to think that humans are equal?

      I think you've missed the point.

      Last edited 21/02/13 6:02 pm

        So your saying they must use a female presenter solely because she is female?
        That sounds sexist to me.

          Nope. Ability is good and is the merit of everything. I completely agree. Fair point to call me out, it was a rather bad comment from that angle. Although I still stand it is not 'PC crap'.

          I do not think there's enough being done to say, yes you're a woman and you can succeed in this industry. A representation is big difference to that. It can be sexist to put up a representative because she is female, but as long as she can do her part to present because her abilities helped create what is being presented there is not anything wrong. It's social responsibility when there is such an disproportionate gender balance in the industry. It doesn't have to be a 50/50 split, but it has to be better than what it is now.

          There's just no incentive for 13 / 14 year old girl to pick up this industry and think that they can succeed.

          Last edited 22/02/13 9:41 am

            I think the point that a lot of people with your attitude miss is that it doesn't HAVE to be anything. It will naturally, over the course of time sort itself out. Any synthetic method to try and force it to be 'equal' will just end up hurting everyone involved. Someone will have to 'lose out' and the person (woman) who 'wins' will never really be a winner because she would have got there on a basis other than being the best.

            The flip side of this is 'Do you think any one of these guys up there DON'T deserve to be up there?'. In the end, to try and put a female game designer up there is just as sexist as not putting one up there because she is female, but that isn't the point here. The companies chose the best people to fit the bill and they just happened to all be men, case closed.

            This story is bullshit and I'm sick of people trying to push these agendas down my throat while I'm trying to read about god damned video games!

        And I think you have missed carl's point. You don't just randomly choose a woman to speak at an event, you pick someone already in the appropriate position (like the mentioned CEO's etc), and I think it's safe to assume that they got there through hard work and being good at their job, not because they are men.

        No watson,

        What carl is saying is that the criteria for choosing a presenter showing off a new console would be the capacity to present said console in an exciting and engaging way. The criteria should not be that you are a male or female.

        What this article is suggesting is that Sony should have gone to extra effort to find less qualified or less engaging presenters and participants, entirely because of their gender, meaning that this article is not only stupid, but highly hypocritical.

        I sincerely think you've missed the point.

        For those of you out there who think otherwise, let me clarify. Equality movements are about opportunity. The idea is that no one should be *prevented* from doing anything that anyone else is allowed to do. Its not about forcing a group of people to do something that they don't want to, aren't available to, or aren't qualified to do...

        ...That, really is more akin to slavery.

    Also wouldn't it have been up the Devs sending people to the show on who they are sending, not Sony?

    To be honest I didn't even think about that until I saw this article. If it were all women presenting it wouldn't bother me. The only thing people should be thinking about is that the PS4 is going to be out by the end of the year.

    You are the personification of an idiot, there are no words to describe just how fucking ridiculous you sound in every one of your articles. It's woman like you that force men to resent the idea of equality because it's not promoted intelligently, it's promoted by halfwits like you.

      Brilliantly said. This article is a joke. If Patricia grinds her axe any harder she’s going to lose a hand or something...

    The ONLY person doing any gender bashing on this site is this bloody Patricia Hernandez. Why is she even working for Kotaku? Why not Jezebel? That way she'd get to be lord of the feminists and actually have an audience who cares.

    Edit: To add, the people on stage should be the ones who have the greatest ability to do the job. It shouldn't be dictated by gender. (And by the looks of it these 4 guys certainly aren't the best at being the public face of Bungie.)

    Last edited 21/02/13 3:39 pm

    I didn't notice because I was interested in what was being shown and said. Not who and what they looked like.

    Not one Tibetan transgender midget either.

    For shame Sony!

    God damn it. You aren't helping! Pointing fingers willy nilly is both ignorant and presumptuous. There weren't any black people either, nor were there Canadians or Bloodhounds. This dispicable idea of getting people to rally behind everything you don't like is flagrantly irresponsible as well. I used to enjoy Patricia's articles but now all I see is what people were telling me all along. It's just gender bashing. JUST. Nothing else. JUST. I feel stupid for ever defending her, believe it or not, i'm passionate about gender equality. I've seen what certain women and people of different sexual orientations have been subjected to first hand, I know it exists and is rampant.

    What I don't like is that she's making a mockery out of everything. ANYTHING that doesn't involve a woman (no one else matters, it seems) she starts putting words in their mouths. Usually along the lines of "we (women) are just..." She has no filter for relevancy or irrelevancy. There's no optimism, no hope. Just this dreary, oppressive landscape she depicts that has enveloped every single thing we touch, see and hear and it hates only women. She has zero credibility to me now. This has to get to a point where she should be seen as damaging. It's getting further and further away from equality and closer to a message of hate.

    Patricia, you call yourself a gaming journalist right? You also call yourself a gamer?

    Why then, do you very rarely cover games? And when you do, why does the article always digress to some abstract sexism issue you've fished from nothing? Because you were LOOKING for it.

      I think you'll find that she posts a number of articles to Kotaku & that only a small percentage of them revolve around sexism in games, actually.

    One too few females at the Sony press event, one too many female contributors on Kotaku.

    No female presenters on stage, therefore Sony is sexist...

    Nice straw man you have there.

      You said that. The author of the article didn't. Where's that straw man again?

        In all the tweets the author used in her article.

        Apart from what Toohsay pointed out, she even tweeted it herself: https://twitter.com/patriciaxh/status/304463639014961152

    Can the guys at kotaku au not bring across any of Patricia's articles anymore. Would really improve the site.

      I am beginning to wonder when so many small minded people started posting on Kotaku AU. I've been away a while but the tone sure has changed.
      Why do they feel so threatened and upset by a women reporting a fact, that other people noticed there were no females at the press release? It is just an observation. The debate should be, as a few posters have pointed out, why were there mostly white males up on stage, representing high up positions in these companies?

      If you watched the news you might see that there are also efforts in many other industries to try and increase female presence. Particularly among boards of large companies. In fact boards with a mixture of sexes have been shown to perform better (Sorry I can't recall the source of that stat).

      People need to chill out and actually read what was written, before putting there own ego into things. She reported peoples reaction. Asked an open question of whether that might change in the future. Why react like a bunch of scared boys, worried the evil feminists will take over and take away your jobs and your beloved video game protagonists.

      There is always plenty of room here for everyone.

        Sure there were no women. But was Sony sexist and anti-female or is that just the way it is? Do we go out and call the construction industry sexist because it is heavily male dominated? Or nursing sexist because it has a heavily female representation and low male numbers? Ditto school teaching?

        Women have always been a part of the gaming industry but a minority. More women are getting more involved as culture changes and gaming becomes an accepted norm of entertainment. Views change.

        But labelling Sony as sexist because of male/female presenters ratio is broad brush and sloppy.

        As is the original tweeter for linking a lack of female presenters and an advertisment (which is sexist, but also French :P) out of how many 1000's of Sony marketing campaigns? Broad brush, sloppy and manufactured outrage out of nothing.

        In fact it's boarder line defamation. When you want to be part of the party you don't go about it swinging bats, crushing skulls and throwing out allegations.

          "swinging bats, crushing skulls and throwing out allegations."

          How can you read this article and come up with that interpretation?
          She reported that people in social media noticed the lack of women and tweeted their feelings about it. The title of the article is a question; Why were there no women presenters at the PS4 event?
          Then she points out it is an industry problem. As all of those industries you mentioned also acknowledge as a problem.

          So please tell me where are the bats, crushed skulls and allegations in this article.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now