Game Developers Respond To Nasty Tweets By Donating Thousands To ‘Girls Make Games’

Game Developers Respond To Nasty Tweets By Donating Thousands To ‘Girls Make Games’

Over the weekend, Naughty Dog artist Alex Neonakis started getting nasty Twitter messages from GamerGaters and other internet cretins. Exasperated, she tweeted some screencaps, along with a message: “I just donated to @GirlsMakeGames in honor of these lovely boys. Thanks guys!” Other developers followed her lead.

Image via Girls Make Games

By Wednesday, hundreds of game developers had donated thousands of dollars to Girls Make Games, an organisation that provides workshops and summer camps to young women who are interested in developing video games. (Before you start asking, “Why isn’t there a ‘Boys Make Games’?”, consider that, by the ESA’s account, just 22 per cent of game industry employees are women. That’s why.)

Neonakis, who has written for Kotaku about her work on The Last of Us, started seeing angry tweets on Sunday afternoon after she wrote a rant about the vile treatment of an EA animator who worked on Mass Effect: Andromeda. “I’ve worked in this industry for 10 years. I have clawed to where I am today despite people telling me I couldn’t and shouldn’t,” she wrote on Twitter. “And at every damn step some asshole likes to pass it all off as ‘well you’re a girl so obviously that helped’.”

Shortly afterwards, Twitter cretins started sending Neonakis messages, which led her to donate $US500 ($647) to Girls Make Games. (She donated another $US500 ($647) today.)

“I felt so beyond angry on behalf of that former Bioware animator,” Neonakis told me. “It can feel a little helpless to see this stuff and not feel there’s anything positive you can do. I keep coming back to just trying to be supportive of the women that are currently in it and the women who want to be. I think something like Girls Make Games is so cool because it simply sparks an interest in creating games. Some of those girls will go into tech, some of them will pursue journalism, some of them will just love games and cosplay and be fans.”

Following Neonakis’s $US500 ($647) donation, dozens of other developers tweeted their own contributions, from Uncharted 4 director Neil Druckmann (“I look forward to one of these girls replacing me”) to Firewatch director Jake Rodkin and many more, including staff at Ready At Dawn, Disney, High Moon and Blizzard.

“I had been putting aside some money to potentially start a scholarship fund of some sort,” Neonakis said. “I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about that. This felt like the right time to use it.”


  • We should really label these folk for what they are.

    Idiots who don’t even deserve the coverage.

    Uh, the toxic little twits I mean, not game devs.

  • Bless you, Alex Neonakis.

    It’s not much but I donated $10 US to Girls Make Games.

  • good i like some “female” designed games…. them fun to play from time to time

    many valuable traits to be gained and its good for all not just girls!

  • started getting nasty Twitter messages from GamerGaters

    Gamergate is such an old, old disaster. I can’t even tell if it’s a movement about ethics/common sense in gaming journalism anymore, today it’s all about misogynists.

    I’ll give you a hypothetical parallel;

    #EndWorldHunger – A movement to end world hunger, everyone can get behind that, but then you find members within the movement screaming at those unfortunate to go and die so there won’t be world hunger in the first place. Then all of a sudden, that’s all #EndWorldHunger is known for, harassing hungry people.

    • GamerGate was never about ethics in journalism. It was about women having no ethics because they are women, duh.

      • Gotta love sarcasm (right?) But then why call it GamerGate?

        It’d be easier to tell what the hell is going on if they simply split between character educations and started different hashtags.

        It’s like vegetarians, there are those who simply choose to not eat meat, and then there are those who actively bash those who eat meat, break into farms and release the herd, take shit way too far, etc.

        Its annoying when people are identified under one moniker, it’s like trying to cook in a kitchen that’s half kitchen and half sewer.

      • Oh shit. Women have no ethics? Why didn’t anyone tell me?! I don’t need these anymore. *throws ethics out the window*

  • For some, it was about ethics in journalism initially. For so many others it was about being sexist arsehats. Unfortuately the 4chan and alt-right arsehats took over completely in very short order. Now, it seems the very same arsehats seem to be Trump supporters. Sad.

    • I don’t think it was ever about ethics in games journalism, that was just a convenient cover. If it was, once the demonstrably false accusations made by the douchebag ex of a female dev were realised, it would have ended there. Alternatively, it would have pursued legitimate concerns, like youtubers being given advanced copies/paid for positive reviews without disclosing it to their viewers.

      Instead, it continued to target prominent non-males of the games community as if they didn’t have a right to be there. I’ve used “non-male” there in a poor attempt to recognise gender is not binary.

      • I said for some it was about eithics in journalism. That’s what it was stated several times and some people, like myself, thought that. The rest of the behaviour was anathema to people like myself. I kind of feel either stupid for buying into their bullshit or angry for perverting it. Whatever it was, I just want nothing to do with GamerGate.

  • that former Bioware animator
    Wasn’t that this whole thing blew up because said former animator wrote ‘lead facial animator’ on her Twitter, which was false? Meh, trolls will jump on any material, especially if it’s female related (which is pathetic).

    • No. Nothing blew up because someone wrote ”lead facial animator” on their Twitter. Things blew up because a bunch of arsehats thought it might be a fun idea to sexually harass a former employee of a company that published a game they didn’t like instead of leaving the game a bad review and requesting a refund. Sheesh.

  • So if I want to make a donation and not be out of pocket I’ve just got to harass some people?

  • This would have been a great article till gamergate was mentioned. Kotaku. People are over it. Stop refrencing it.

    • The reference is pertinent to the article. No reason for the author to omit relevant information.

      Totally agreed that the movement is a dead carp sat too long in the sun. I’d gladly not hear mention of it again, but when it’s apt, it’s apt.

      • It just seems recently any time there is an article about some bad shit people have done gamergate is refrenced. Its almost as bad as people who compare everything to the nazi party.

        • Gamergate’s been referenced in a few articles this year that have all related to the one incident. A small amount of articles in 2016 referenced the group. As we get further from 2014, the number of directly relevant events decreases. What we tend to see is that events related to gamergate, either through the people involved, the political motivation, or the methods used, are reported with a historical context in mind. Another obvious point is that the events of 2014-15 are the most recent, the largest, and the nastiest cultural upheaval this industry has seen. It’s a useful measuring stick when gauging change.

          @john_stalvern The person who tabled the initial report was an active and vocal member during the peak of gamergate and has continued to fly their colours over the years. His tactics mirror the modus operandi of the movement: find a female target, concoct a reason to hate them, pile onto the target with sustained harassment and abuse.
          They’re likely the main reasons why this turn of events has been associated with gamergate.

      • Is there any actual proof that it was “gamergate” or does Jason just assume it was because reasons?

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