The Creepy Side Of E3

The Creepy Side Of E3

You might not have heard about the security guard that groped a journalist at this year’s E3. Or the writer who gave a PR woman his business card by slipping it in her dress. Or the women presumed to be booth babes simply because of the way they looked. E3 is the busiest time to be working in the games industries or as a reporter covering the scene. It’s the biggest, most important event of the year. But with roughly 50,000 attendees, it’s also sometimes the creepiest.

It can be weird to be a female journalist, PR representative, developer, whatever, in this world. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “So, do you play games?” after I tell them what I do for a living.

When you’re female and working in or alongside this industry people make assumptions. Assumptions that you just know aren’t being made about your male counterparts. But I brush it off and answer the question matter-of-factly, because it’s all I can do to try to defend my legitimate interest in games when, meanwhile, I dedicate my livelihood to it.

That much is tolerable — expected, even (sadly). But after speaking to a few female journalists and PR reps who attended E3 this year, I learned that, in the midst of all the excitement, they were unhappy to admit a more offensive common theme of this year’s show: they called it the “creepy-rapey-E3.”

(For the record, the ESA, the group that organizes E3, says they received no reports about any instances of sexual harassment from show security. In the event that they would have, I’m told, they have personnel around the convention centre to investigate the issues and determine the appropriate action.)

This might be upsetting to read. I get it, I really do. And as much as I can’t understand the vitriol that typically comes from some gamers in the wake of stories like these, I do understand the source. We love games. We don’t want to admit that there are problems in the world of gaming. But we have to.

And these “creepy-rapey-E3” stories? These are things we don’t want to admit that our colleagues and peers and people who share our passions are capable of. But many of us don’t have the luxury of denial. Because it’s right in our faces.

The Touchy Security Guard

A few days after E3, I hopped on the phone with a fellow female games reporter. She told me about an all-too-close encounter at E3.

“What do you do when the person that’s supposed to be keeping an eye out for everyone is doing that to you?” she asked me.

She confessed her nervousness after being grabbed by a security guard manning a particular booth on E3’s show floor. What started out as friendly, albeit awkward chitchat quickly crossed the line.

It was early last Wednesday morning, and this female journalist — who asked not to be named — was all set to interview the creative director of a game. Through the whirlwind of news and appointments, she already had a lot on her mind, she told me.

She waved to a friend. A security guard who was covering the back rooms where these interviews took place mistakenly thought that wave was meant for him. He approached her. She responded to his small talk casually — in a friendly manner, she said — her eyes darting to the flashy big screen that showcased new trailers for upcoming games. She wasn’t invested in the conversation, she told me. It showed.

Suddenly, he was standing over her. “Looming,” she told me. He wrapped his hands around her shoulders in such a way that “he could have easily moved” her.

“I was physically compromised,” she told me. “I wasn’t in a position I could’ve slipped out of. I had to shake him off.”

“What do you do when the person that’s supposed to be keeping an eye out for everyone is doing that to you?”

She recalled that when she managed to slip from his grip, she took a few steps back. Not knowing what to say, she nervously went back to staring at the big screen, to her a clear indication that she didn’t want to talk anymore.

She felt helpless, she told me. Who was she supposed to turn to? “You’re the security guard,” she remembered thinking. “What am I supposed to say? You are the security guard.” But the security guard persisted. He continued the conversation, going so far as to approach her yet again, this time rubbing her arm instead of grabbing it. At this point, she said she backed up again, this time saying, “Don’t do that.”

“I was nervous,” she recalled. “He laughed, and said, ‘It’s just that it’s funny, because I’m here and there are all these hot girls here and then you find out they’re gamers. I didn’t know girls like this existed, and I’m basically getting paid to stand here all day and look at them.’

“I’m really ashamed of myself that I didn’t punch him in the face first thing.”

The conversation was benign, she told me, until it wasn’t benign. And now she says she’s afraid to make smalltalk with random people.

Fortunately, her story has a happy ending. She reported the security guard to the PR people behind the booth. Soon afterwards, she learned that the guard’s management company had fired him. (I reached out to the PR company in question and confirmed that the guard was indeed fired at the show.) The female journalist told me over the phone that the staff could not have been more responsive or helpful. They apologized multiple times and were apparently very comforting.

But this incident, like many incidents that happen to women at events like this one, left her uneasy about getting too comfortable on the E3 show floor. “It’s like walking into a shark tank and you don’t know which ones are the shark.”

Four Groping Hands

One night of E3, a public relations representative for a well-known game company went to a bar with some other PR reps, some marketing employees, and an indie developer. “I remember not wanting to go into the bar in the first place because they were playing Star Wars: Episode I,” she joked with me on Monday.

After chit-chatting with the developer at the bar for some time, she got up to go to the restroom.

“As soon as I got up I felt him rubbing my head around the temple area,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘Ok this is obviously a drunk person who thinks this is funny.'”

She did not think it was funny. She turned around to tell him to stop.

“As I was turning, he kissed the top of my head. I got paralysed. I stopped turning.”

Things only escalated from there.

“As I was turning, he kissed the top of my head. I got paralysed. I stopped turning.”

“A second guy started rubbing my shoulders and kissing the side of my neck. I freaked out.”

Meanwhile, she told me, the indie developer knocked off her glasses while rubbing her temples. She didn’t know if it was intentional, but it was scary.

“I’m useless without my glasses,” she told me. “I couldn’t see anyone I knew. I thought that, while I was talking to the indie developer, my friends might have left without realising and that I was alone. I started panicking. I don’t know if he set me up to be in this situation and left me here. I felt paralysed. Like I couldn’t move.”

She said she couldn’t even shake her head, let alone reach down to pick up her glasses. “Yeah, I wasn’t moving at all.”

Then, the two men stopped. She doesn’t know why. Maybe they sensed her discomfort, or maybe they were just too drunk, she said. “I guess they got bored.”

Are You A Booth Babe?

It’s an unfortunate and uncomfortable reality that female attendees at shows like E3 are constantly mistaken for booth babes, who are women hired to wear revealing clothing and stand at company booths. Here are two of those stories.

A female journalist was waiting for a PR rep to take her to her next appointment. “I accidentally made eye contact [with some guy],” she told me over the phone.

“So, what booth do you belong to?” the guy asked.

She lifted her media badge in defiance, simultaneously moving away from him. In order to avoid comments and looks in the future, she told me, she plans to wear jeans. That time, she said she had been wearing a “nice, modest dress” that stopped just above her knees. She had a similar experience the next day, with trails of stares following her down the hallways. She learned that, as proud as she is of her fashion sense, it’d be more comfortable to cover up.

“That’s not flattering to me at all,” she lamented, while remembering the looks she had gotten. “Some girls think it’s an ego-booster. The only thing it taught me is that I can’t wear cute clothes.” She said the E3 show floor is a “cesspool of sexism and hormones.”

“If you’re a booth babe, isn’t it your job to take pictures with me?”

A female PR representative with a similar story was hosting her big E3 party one night of the show. One party attendee — a stranger — approached her and asked for a picture. Her answer was obvious: no thank you. And then, as she recalled to me, he responded: “If you’re a booth babe, isn’t it your job to take pictures with me?”

Not How You Give A Business Card

During a separate party that same evening, the PR representative accused of being a booth babe earlier was discussing the situation with a journalist, relaying her disappointment that she apparently cannot wear a party dress to a party. While talking, they were approached by a male writer the PR rep didn’t know.

“Maybe this is what I get for wearing a dress. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”

“All of a sudden he pulls his business card out and slowly moves towards my breasts,” the PR rep told me. “He obviously thought he was being cute, ’cause he was obviously drunk.”

I spoke to the PR rep later immediately after the incident and she painted a vivid picture: the PR rep looking on in horror; the journalist saying “no, no, no”; the stranger slipping his business card into her dress.

“I looked at him and said, ‘No,'” the PR rep recalled to me. “And he walked away.” As we chatted about what happened, her tone was furious, then sad. “Maybe this is what I get for wearing a dress. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”

Creep Shot

A female PR representative was taking a quick break on the E3 show floor. She found herself at the Nintendo booth, where there was a big display for the newly-announced Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Nintendo’s professional photographers offered to take a shot of her on the display. She was down. So she hopped onto the Donkey Kong stage, posing for the camera.

A male onlooker snapped a photo at the same time. Nothing too strange about that — I’ve taken photos of displays with people in them before, just to get a snapshot of the moment. But right afterwards, the PR rep told me, someone came up and told her something chilling: the onlooker had zoomed in and taken a photo of her breasts.

“I didn’t know about it until after the fact,” she told me. “Another guy came up saying that the guy had zoomed in on my breasts and took a photo. He questioned him and he denied it. He said, ‘That was really rude and disgusting,’ and asked him to delete it. And he still denied it. So he took the guy’s camera and deleted it.”

The Worst Kind Of ‘Pick-Up Artist’

Jenn Frank — whose fantastic writing has been featured on Kotaku before — had her own uncomfortable, insulting experience while attending an E3 after-hours event. She explained in an email to me yesterday evening how she met two “pick-up artists” who seemed to only want to insult her.

Here’s her story, in her words:

I and a female friend went up to the bar to obtain drinks. We were buying drinks for a group of coworkers, and this includes a drink for my friend’s brother, an editor at a major video games news outlet.

As we were waiting, a man at the bar started mocking me, saying my glasses were cute but I am not, and my friend laid into him. I, an idiot, repeatedly apologized for her “behavior.” Soon enough we were flanked by two men, one of whom admonished my friend for “being insecure.”

These two men, I soon learned, are developers at a noted AAA studio. I advised them to “google me,” and I left to return to our group. My friend’s older brother, an editor at a major games news website, wanted to talk to them (or beat them up). I teased him: “We don’t need you to white-knight us.” Then he was upset, and I promised I was kidding.

The two men, noticing my friend and I knew other people at the party, started following us around. At one point they sent a female coworker over to bum a smoke off me.

“Women, huh?” one of the two asked my friend’s older brother, who is, again, an editor at a major site. The editor remarked he didn’t catch the dev’s meaning, so the dev continued, something about “if you can make a woman feel bad about herself you can sleep with her, but it just isn’t working tonight.”

Jenn told me she found the entire situation rude, to say the least.

These are just some of the stories I’ve heard and experienced over my years covering the video game industry. They’re not just limited to E3: unwanted advances, creepy statements, and inappropriate acts like this are way more common than anyone would like to admit. It’s become a fact of life, in other parts of life but particularly in the world of gaming. It’s something many of us have come to accept and learned how to deal with over time.

You might want to think that these women should have said or done something to defend themselves. Don’t. Because there’s a common theme here: immobility. When you’re approached or attacked like this, you can find yourself paralysed. Confused. Unsure of how to respond. Over time, many of us find our own ways to deal with these situations. They’re always uncomfortable, but at least we can be prepared.

I’ve never written a story like this before. I’ve admittedly been afraid to in the past. These confessions are always met with scepticism and hatred and accusations. The bravery to step up is rarely celebrated. It’s seen as whiny and entitled. That reaction is baffling. And I’m glad that the women who spoke with me for this story shared their experiences. They’re why I know I can’t be afraid anymore. I don’t have that choice.


  • It think this sort of behaviour is sadly common place in most trade shows, especially around the after parties. If the E3 experiences sound bad, then just imagine what it’s like at the Wheelers and Dealers mining expos in Kalgoorlie.

    • Spot on. This is just normal behavior, as appauling as that sounds, and it doesn’t have anything to do with E3, or gaming in particular.

      I think what is interesting is that as a trade show, E3 is covered quite a bit by a lot of the gaming press, so these incidents keep getting highlighted. I don’t know what material affect this will really have because at some level what really needs to be addressed is fundemental human interactions and behaviors.

      To put it succinctly – there will always be someone out there that you find creepy. I don’t think you can eliminate this any more than you can eliminate violence from humanity. I suppose the question is, are these trade shows doing enough to police the environment and make it safe for everyone?

      • I don’t think it’s just policing that’s the issue, it’s an entire cultural change that needs to happen where women aren’t treated like objects or inferiors, and where they can feel like they belong at these events.

    • As a seasoned trade show participant mainly in the booth side of things, I have to say unfortunately this is very true and is not isolated to the games industry at all, not by a country mile!

      As Rowan below succinctly put it “If you go to any place with 50,000 random people. there’s going to be bad stories.” He is totally, unfortunately right.

      Add to this after parties, alcohol and dimmed lights and it’s no different from any other seedy night club. Only difference is that your guard is up at seedy night clubs and you normally wouldn’t be there if you didn’t expect to be treated like meat. Instead your guard is down thinking you are in a nice and safe “Nintendo” party. Bzzz wrong.

      I used to work in liqueur industry… use your imagination!!!

  • Well that’s all pretty messed up.

    I think it just boils down to gaming traditionally being a guy thing, and it’s still overwhelmingly a guy industry, despite the growing and valued contribution from female gamers and developers.

    You can assume this will change as things get more balanced, but there’s still rampant sexism and sexual harassment in other areas too; many workplaces can still be hostile for women.

    What we have to hope is that these are mostly isolated examples, and that the behaviour gets weeded out when these people are called on it.

    • and that the behaviour gets weeded out when these people are called on it.

      This is quite important in sending a message to those attendants who have under developed social skills or maturity issues.

      Some outcomes reported, such as:
      So he took the guy’s camera and deleted it
      are encouraging.

  • Interesting article, and very disappointing ‘n sad — some of those incidents should have been reported.

    That said, I don’t think it’s just down to people in the gaming community to solve this problem. There needs to be some more fundamental effort to reduce sexism and anti-social behaviour, because it’s the sort of thing that happens everywhere.

    People get drunk and use it as an excuse to do idiotic things, whether it’s groping and/or hitting on women (see: Blake Ferguson) or knocking out innocent bystanders (see: Thomas Kelly story in the news today), and people think they can go around and say/do anything they like without having any respect or concern for the people they’re interacting with (see: the two girls who abused and attacked a man on a train in Melbourne), and female journalists get a rough time in male-dominated fields (see: channel nine reporter at the Bulldogs Mad Monday celebrations last year).

    It’s ridiculous that it happens and people can get away with it, but it’s not a problem unique to the gaming community — it’s (sadly) a problem with society across the board.

  • E3 sounds like a nightmare. I mean I know this stuff happens and people learn to deal with it, but the security guard thing and people who actually work in the industry that actually represent a part of it. I don’t know what to say.

    perhaps the details are what leave me speechless. I’ve heard of stuff like this happening before and its usually like he/she touched bla bla bla. Leads me to think some sort of social phobia or maybe its just not as big of a problem as it’s made out to be. This article though paints a different, more detailed picture.

  • Creepy. I think in any large crowd you are always going to find a small percentage of weirdos, especially when there’s alcohol and dark rooms involved.

    At least in a few of those cases people were being called out on their behaviour.

  • If you go to anyplace with 50,000 random people. there’s going to be bad stories.

    Anyone remember mosh pits? Any female who went into one of those would always get the works. Always.

      • Lol- It’s remember because I’m 33 and too old for that stuff.

        You might argue that you’re never too old to rock out, but I don’t want to be creepy older dude.

        So back in the 90s, when I went to mosh’s? Yeah it was bad. I’m sure nothing’s changed.

        • Dude I’m 30. We’ve not reached the age where it’s almost expected just to get plastered, swing our hair and throw the horns for a whole set. Which I will add, I am totally down with haha

    • Yep, you’re probably correct that any large gathering will generate bad stories.

      Still, wouldn’t it be nice if gaming conventions were synonymous with pleasant and polite behaviour. If you could be perfectly comfortable taking your sister to these things, without any worry of a sleezebag hitting on her, or some security guard trying to talk her up (geez, that was creepy!).

      I’m sure that 99% of guys at these conventions are decent, and that most girls don’t experience the sleazy side. It’s unfortunate, though, that the 1% always seem to ruin things.

      • It would be great. But I know a lot of computer people. Social skills… are sometimes not the highest. I think this kinda thing, whilst totally unacceptable, is just… douchebages wrecking it for everyone really.

  • Male dickheads. It really doesn’t help when they’re in an environment where they feel they have peer/gender support surrounding them. It does happen at other conferences and expo’s, but there aren’t many other expos where the gender scale is so lopsided

    Also, the last example is textbook bullshit from so-called “pick-up artists”, who are mostly socially-retarded scum, but occasionally borderline psychopaths/sociopaths. They’re worth never speaking to.

    • they probably think that because they read the Neil Strauss PUA book (read it myself was a good read) that they automatically can pick up girls, I always see these type of people when I go out into town and I just laugh as they get ignored and rejected.

      • I’ve read The Game, but I did that because it was a interesting story. I didn’t realise Strauss also wrote a how-to book; that’s horrible.

        • I have also read The Game – like you said, its good for the story. I didn’t mind the PUA movement when a good, shy, friend of mine met the love of his life using some of the softer methods. Now I hate the whole thing, thanks to an ex-housemate in Melbourne who was the creepiest, saddest, douchey-est person I had ever met thanks to his entire life revolving around that scene. He would pay “personal coaches” to take him out on the weekends and some even stayed at our place for a discount.
          Sleezy sleezy dudes.
          Although this was circa 2009, and I had thought the whole thing had died down a bit, but obviously not.

  • I’m pleasantly surprised that the troll squad hasn’t turned this whole thing into a shit show by now. Maybe this kind of ridiculous behaviour is too much, even for the people who defended the street fighter coach who was awful to his student on tv. During a tournament.

    • You mean the ones that usually jump on Hernandez articles? I’ll admit when I saw the title I thought it would be another of hers, then was surprised to see it was Tina instead. But rather than being something about some minor issue that isn’t really an issue, this is actually about people exhibiting some disgusting behaviour and it’s pretty shocking to read.

      • Do you understand that the ‘minor’ issues which Patricia Hernandez points out are contributing factors to these types of behaviours? Which is why it’s important to give due consideration to those minor issues.

        • I don’t really see how the fact that a game character just happens to have been given “peach”-coloured skin instead of some kind of brown means that guys go around sexually assaulting women. But maybe that’s just me.

          • It’s not just you grossly simplifying major social equality issues and relegating then to the “too sensitive” basket. Don’t worry.

  • When I was 18 and a uni student, I had a weekend job making coffee on the mobile coffee carts you see during expos at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. It was interesting to see the difference in behaviour of the stallholders depending on the show. Particularly at trade only shows, a lot of men over 30 seemed to think that it was the perfect place to try and pick up. Seeing as I was an 18-year-old male, these guys would think that I would want to stand there and make sleazy comments about the women at the stalls with them. It was cringe worthy to listen to these guys try and make conversation with these women. It’s really embarrassing and pathetic.
    I imagine a number of people at E3 would be like the people at some of these other expos I worked at – men who are socially awkward at the best of times and think that they have some sort of advantage in picking up women at an expo.

    I guess I’m sort of echoing what doubledizz said.

    • My guess is because these men only feel confident in their professional lives, they overreact badly when they get a chance to interact with women they don’t know in a context that, at best, blurs the boundaries between social and professional.

      Edit: not intending to excuse anything. It’s disgusting behaviour, no matter the context. But I think that’s why these events are treated like meat markets. And gaming expos doubly so, because they happily participate in the meat-market-mentality by providing booth babes.

  • The Creep Shot instance could have easily gotten out of hand. I personally think the guy was very silly to take the camera and delete the image as the response from the photo taker could have been rather aggresive.

  • I actually really appreciate these kinds of stories because it helps give me a better sense of just how crappy those kinds of situations can be.
    I am so used to hearing of the extremes of sexual harassment towards women (Jill Meagher, the attempted rape at that bus stop in Sydney today) and it makes me think “Well these are extreme cases with sociopaths perpetrating them.” and it lets me continue on obliviously to the objectification of women.
    I’m a twenty-something white dude who should probably cut back on normal coke and greasy foods, so I can honestly say that I have never been sexually objectified in my life. The idea is so foreign to me. It seemed as if it were a good thing, a sort of “what a compliment, stop complaining” kind of situation.

    But it’s not.

    This article shows that a woman has to have this in the back of her mind everywhere she goes. That its ridiculous to think that they would want to wear comfortable clothes and NOT let that define most social interactions around a space that should be about the fun games.
    That glances down cleavage every 6 seconds are just a part of life, that a group of rowdy guys in a pub stirs the pit in her stomach.
    Its just not good enough to put the onus on these women.

    I am mortified at the thought that I probably have objectified women in the past and not even have known it. I don’t think that I would have done so to the extremes in this article, as I like to think I’m pretty bloody respectful and funny and a great time – but who doesn’t think this about themselves?

    A lot of the above perpetrators probably do.

    TLDR: White, twenty something dude has epiphany that sexual harassment/objectification is not just limited to the extremity of rape, as reported by media daily (and thanks the author of this article for this)

  • Its a good article. Thank you for highlighting the issue. Your comments expose the drama that many women will not talk about. I am sure it will help them to better deal with this behaviour in future. Stilleto to front of foot comes to mind.

  • Sad and disturbing stories.

    At least its only a very small percentage of people acting like dickheads and that 99.9% of people behaved themselves.

    Hopefully next year there will be zero incidences like this.

  • Very sad but not surprising.
    The organisers should ban ‘booth babes’. This would create an even playing field for all exhibitors and a safer more equitable environment for everyone working or visiting the show, regardless of gender. It’d also be great to see some organisations step up and take a stand against sexism in the workplace / marketplace and take this step voluntarily.

  • People make assumptions about men, too.. Different assumptions, sure, but assumptions none the less. In my opinion an article like this does as much to segregate the sexes as a man making inappropriate advances does..

    Even in the first example about the security guard.. They were on the floor of the event, or at the very least had many people around.. What did she think was going to happen with his hands on her shoulders? He was going to snap her neck in the middle of everyone? Or drag her off kicking and screaming? And that comes down to a gender issue? Seems like the guy more likely has mental health issues than being an issue to do with a gender thing..

    How would you as a woman deal with a situation of someone on a power trip in the office? Perhaps someone newly promoted. I very highly doubt you’d, as a successful person in business, just consider yourself defenceless in a room full of people and give them all the power. You’d shut them down hard, as you should.

    Not saying any of these actions are in any way acceptable though to make that clear, just that it’s really very much the people in question that are the problem, rather than it being a gender equality issue in society.. The fact nobody made a complaint to the organizers, and then expects change is crazy to me.. She wants/expects society to fight for her rights, but she’s not willing to do more than just to mention it to a booth operator? How many other issues in your life would you simply put out into society, and expect them to come up with a solution? None, one would hope. One would hope you would approach problems proactively first, and then raise awareness of what you did, and what the results were, so that others might do the same, or differently. Either way in that case you’re contributing more to society than just “Life is so terrible”.

    There’s scary, awkward, and weird people in all aspects of life, and in both genders..

    I personally at one point was beaten severely by women, on one occasion unprovoked walking down the street, and another time (more relevantly) when I tried to intervene in a couples disagreement where a man laid a hand on his girlfriend, where she apparently did not appreciate the input and punched me in the back of the skull while trying to calmly walk away… 27 times..

    Do I blame the gender for this? God no. It would be completely illogical, and is very similar to racism.. Just because you think all men are responsible for this situation, does not mean that because I was born with a penis I am a criminal, and pro-feminist articles like this go further than to make it about the events involved and the people, and instead make it about an entire gender the EXACT same way as pro-masochist articles do.

    Nobody should be born a criminal. We’re here to work together, but berating us all as though women are perfect and men are some monsters inherently does the complete opposite of helping, actually segregating the sexes more..

    Focus on the real criminals, the assholes that undertake these despicable actions, not the gender.

    • There’s too much stupid in your comment for me to even BEGIN to bother dissecting it.

      • videk, your comment was fantastic enough, and his comment so stupid and ignorant enough to finally get me to create an account on Kotaku. Very well done sir (or ma’am).

      • *Shrug* My only real point is, hate the criminals who would have some women feel this way, not men in general. It’s very much the same as any generalisation.. Like, a religious person would probably be quite offended if you started a debate about how “priests are pedophiles”.. Sure there are quite a few of them, but the priest you were debating with is presumably not one, and would not appreciate being grouped with those that would commit such offensive actions, just because that’s the job he does..

        It’s the same here, as a man who does treat women equally and with complete respect (when applicable, the same as with men I don’t just automatically respect them simply for being women, though not hard, given all the amazing women I know), I find it offensive to be treated as though it’s “men” that is the problem.. It’s not men, it’s assholes, the mentally ill, and the chauvinists, and probably a lot of other groups of men that are the problem..

        Double standards go both ways, it isn’t a matter of women saying they’re discriminated against, so it’s ok for them to discriminate.. It’s the opposite of helpful, it’s hurtful to those of us who are good people, and probably furthering the pro-chauvinist cause of those you’d presumably have the aim of stopping acting so objectionably..

        Believe me, this all comes from a place of wanting this issue fixed, We can’t afford to waste time infighting or having the good guys (as in all the other comments on this page more or less) feeling like they need to apologise for the actions of another person, rather than actually combatting the issues. It’s just crazy.. Like apologising for a murderers actions because you were both born in the same town, or had the same eye colour.. In this case, because we have penises..

        Edit: Oh, and your post also wasn’t terribly helpful.. You want to solve the issue, and you read my post and consider me part of the problem, but aren’t willing to spend 2 minutes of your time fighting for what you think is right? Either you care about the issue and will invest 2 minutes of your time to potentially ENLIGHTEN me by sharing your viewpoint (rather than telling people what to think, which is never effective), or you don’t care and are actually happy to have what you perceive as ignorance in the world. In either case, your post accomplishes nothing.

        • Thing is, this sort of behaviour doesn’t make most women hate all men.

          It makes them fear them.

          Because if even the security guards you look to for protection can be a potential threat (and if you saw a woman being escorted away by a security guard and screaming, would you think “oh no, he’s going to molest her! we’d better stop him!” or “wonder what she did wrong to get kicked out?”), how are women supposed to feel safe around any guy they’ve just met?

          We know, as women, that most men aren’t violent, and wouldn’t take advantage of us, but we also know that SOME are, and would. And we have no idea who they are.

          So when a guy “jokingly” puts his business card in a woman’s cleavage, she has to think, “is he just a harmless drunk, or is he going to grab me in a corridor when I leave and try to assault me?”. When a guy tries “negging” to pick her up, she has to wonder, “how far is this guy actually prepared to go for sex, if he’s already willing to insult me?”. And when several guys she’s only just met start touching her uninvited, she has to think, “are they just a bit misguided over where the line of appropriate touching is, or do they think because I talked to them, they’re going to get sex?”.

          Because SOME men are extreme, violent abusers, women have to be cautious of all men. And the men who are borderline creepy increase the atmosphere of fear, even if they don’t actually cross that line. They leave us side-eyeing all men, wondering whether THIS is the guy who will go from slightly weird to completely terrifying.

          Men who aren’t “assholes, the mentally ill, and the chauvinists”, as you put it, aren’t being blamed for the actions of the ones who are, but you can’t blame women for worrying, and being cautious, when we can never know for sure who will turn out to be dangerous.

  • I think companies need to be a bit more thoughtful about who they send to these events.

    Clearly a lot of ridiculous and unprofessional behaviour here by idiots.

    I’m not quite understanding the “major game company” type references here. Please name names, or this crap won’t ever be dealt with.

    • It’s hard to tell how much good naming and shaming does. My instinct is that perpetrators of this crap should be named, if they feel uncomfortable with that, maybe they need to be less gross in the first place. But I’m sure there are reasons not to name and shame, I just can’t think of any.

  • So all those creepy losers on internet forums that think they’re awesome really are like that in real life….sad.

    “if you can make a woman feel bad about herself you can sleep with her, but it just isn’t working tonight.” What a genius, I’m sure even Barney Stinson copped a drink in the face for that one..

    • “if you can make a woman feel bad about herself you can sleep with her”
      I couldn’t believe this comment. It’s goddamn repugnant

  • Next year, ban entry to anyone who isn’t media.
    Make them wear a decent sized photo ID badge.
    Publicly name and shame perpetrators to their employers, the ESA, every game publishers and their readers / viewers.

    If the consequences were brutal, thorough and blisteringly fast shit like this would end.

  • ““I’m really ashamed of myself that I didn’t punch him in the face first thing.””

    Uh… and how is punching him going to make the situation BETTER? He’s a creep but violence isn’t going to make things better for her or make the guard change his ways.

  • I hope anything hasn’t happened to you Tina. That’s pretty damn bad, and honestly, you’re my favourite writer here.

  • Why not just name the developers if you know who they are? Get them fired, that’ll send the message loud and clear.

  • An article on Kotaku dealing with gender issues which doesnt resort to cheap quotes and male bashing? Priceless.

  • All terrible stories of completely unacceptable and frankly nauseatingly repugnant behaviour. Honestly, I get that sharing those kind of stories are tough, so thank you for sharing them. It’s important to hear them.

  • What really sucks is with all this negative reporting, guys are soon going to be petrified to so much as TALK to a member of the opposite sex, for fear of being labeled a ‘Pervert’ or ‘Potential Rapist’.

    Yes, there are horrible people out there who do these kinds of things, I’m not naive, but the way it’s being portrayed in the gaming media at the moment you would think it’s going on at all times, and that EVERY male gamer is guilty until proven innocent.

    I would love to hear some cool stories from E3 of people meeting their partners, girlfriends/boyfriends etc. Call me sappy and optimistic, but it would be kinda nice and would show folks that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to want to talk to the opposite sex at a gaming con. Just saying.

  • I ran into this a lot, wearing full slacks and dress shirts. I’m clueless when it comes to subtly though, and apparently a lot more happened to me than I knew (co-workers made a game of pointing it out and teasing me mercilessly for it). That being said, there were some extremely awkward and even rude moments that even I wasn’t oblivious to, and it really can cast an unpleasant shadow over the whole event.

    For many E3 is supposed to be a professional atmosphere, and it’s just amazing how many people think it’s okay to treat others with such disrespect!

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