… continue talking about the tasteless video (now removed) released about Payday – The Heist, but frankly, I’m just tired and I have no energy left to spare to do it.
It’s no surprise to me that the Overkill Payday video exists, or that the studio has advertised for bikini models on linked in (to play prostitutes and girlfriends). In truth, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
Occasionally, the depth of the sexism in the game business becomes apparent and it is at those times that it also becomes apparent to me that the connections between this type of sexism and the small, excluding behaviors that women like me come across every day is not clear to everyone.
For me it is obvious. When I, for the fifth time, have to explain myself and/ or receive patronizing advice from my co-workers – something my male counterparts never or rarely have to face – it is pretty obvious that I am considered as worth less than my colleagues. When a video like this is released the outcry is immediate and for me, quite gratifying. But when I complain that I’ve been mistaken for the receptionist again, I get the advice to stop whining (or more and more common “what’s wrong with being a receptionist” to which I answer “absolutely nothing, but not all women working here are”), I can understand that the connection is hard to make.
This is what systematic sexism is all about. It’s not just the embarrassing moments when the penis-modeler dude talks about his work or an artist shows a drawing of butts. It’s all the moments in between as well. It’s when Zelda is never a playable character. It’s when princess Peach is replaced by a mushroom as a playable character. It’s when games like Remember Me has a hard time finding a publisher, because female leads “never sell”. It’s when the game depict battlefields and there are no women in the world at all. It’s when women are an afterthought, something that had to be added late in production. It’s when the guys use “man I was really raped in that game” as a description of being beaten. In a game. They compare it to SEXUAL VIOLENCE. (“I was raped!” “Oh man, what was it like?” “Well, have you ever played HALO?”) It’s when more than half of all women daring – DARING – to go online to play get comments like “do you want to suck my dick” or “show me your tits”. It’s all of this and more and it is connected to that stupid, insipid video from Top Model or Overkill or wherever it’s just that the video is so very much more obvious than the rest of the shit going on so it’s easy to react to it, it’s easy to say “tasteless”.
The next time someone says “man, I was really raped in that game” tell them “you were not raped. You are equalling sexual violence with a loss in a fucking game and that is incredibly disrespectful”. The next time someone says “oh, are you the receptionist” to your female game dev friend tell them no, she’s actually the programmer for this awesome game. The next time you ask a woman if she knows games, don’t. If she’s there and she works as a designer, programmer, graphic artist or whatever, just assume that she knows what she’s doing. Because she has had to cut through all this utter crap to do something that makes her happy and passionate, and she doesn’t need another sexist ass hat telling her she doesn’t belong. Even if you’re not an actual sexist ass hat.