Headline, August 13 2020/ ''' ABUSIVE ''GAMING'' CULTURE '''



CARLY KOCUREK - AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR of digital humanities and media studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said women sexism in the video game industry had its roots at the very beginning : 1970s.

THE STREAM OF REPORTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT and assault in the video game industry that began in June has continued unabated, as more women - and some men - have come forward with accusations of mistreatment.

Despite the actions that companies have taken in response to individual incidents, game experts hesitate to call the moment an inflection point for an industry that has a long and difficult history of sexist behavior and abuse.

So few expect the resignations this time to quickly change a culture that for decades has often been hostile to women.

''You can fire people all day long,'' said Kenzie Gordon, a Ph.D candidate at the university of Alberta who studies how games can be used to prevent sexual and domestic violence. ''But if only the individual people are held accountable, that doesn't have any impact on the culture of the organization as a whole, necessarily.

The most extensive action has come at the talent agency Online Performers Group. The agency's former chief executive, Ommed Dariani, was accused and resigned. With most of its clients working to terminate their agreements and distance themselves from the agency, the group itself shut down.

Somewhat earlier, several top executives stepped down at Ubisoft, the French video company that develops games like Assassin's Creed and Just Dance.

IN EARLY JULY - THE FIGHTING VIDEO GAME tournament Evolution Gaming Series' known as EVO, which draws thousands to Las Vegas each year -

Cancelled this year's virtual tournament and announced that its chief executive, Joey Cuellar, would ''no longer be involved with Evo is any capacity'' after a player said on Twitter that Mr. Cuellar had acted inappropriately toward him and other teenage boys in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

''We are shocked and saddened by these events, but we are listening and committed to making every change that will be necessary in making Evo a better model for the stronger, safer culture we all seek,' tournament organizers said in a statement published on Twitter. Mr. Cuellar apologized for his actions in a since-deleted tweet.

Kishonna Gray, a professor of gender and women's studies and communications at the University of Illinois, Chicago, said she viewed the statements and reactions from game companies as attempts to ''pacify'' people until they stopped talking about the companies problems with diversity, inclusion and harassment.

''They just purge the evildoers and think that they're OK, not realizing that they're all complicit and that there's a culture that devalues women,'' said Professor Gray, who studies the industry.

She said she wanted to see evidence of companies hiring and devoting real resources to diverse candidates.

Ms. Gordon said she was heartened to see people in positions of power forced to step down over the accusations but said it was too early to see evidence of a true shift.

A ''cultural change'' has to start at the top, she said, so she hoped women and people of color would be given more senior roles in companies.

Game companies are somewhat more diverse now, but Dr. Kocurek attributed the longstanding sexist attitudes to these male-dominated beginnings.

''If you don't actively try to change these things, they don't change that much,'' she said. ''There's been a few times where there's some pushback and there seem to be a real conversation happening, and then it just kind of fizzles.''

As more women join the video game work force, its white male-dominated culture is pushing back, said Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic, podcaster and creator of the Feminist Frequency nonprofit group that provides educational resources related to gender, race and sexuality, and operates a confidential support hotline for people who are harassed in the industry.

They feel as if ''losing this culture war to what they would call the S.J.W.s'' said Ms. Saekeesian, referring to the term ''social justice warriors''.

''And their reaction is violence,'' she said. ''That is the environment in which these stories of abuse are coming out.''

The Serving and publishing on Abusive game culture, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Kellen Browning.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

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