Last night, I sat down for what I thought was gonna be an hour to two, but instead turned into 15, not counting sleep. The new Android OS, Lollipop, finally got pushed to my Sprint phone. I’m a little anal about “rooting” it, so I had to do that ASAP. But I ended up trying a mod that didn’t work right, and so I had to start over. I thought I had fucked up my phone at one point. Lots of fun was had. But the main point is, I’m back now, and ready to do some stories. Before I get to the evening’s festivities, I wanted to talk about what Amy Hennig said at GDC, and how it basically invalidates the claims of our opponents.
(Also, while I do get paid from Google, they didn’t pay me for the Android mention…or give me the fucking phone. Bastards.)
All this time, we’ve been hearing about how inhospitable the gaming industry was for women. Over and over again, developers who are barely even in the business tell us that they encounter a mountain of harassment…and face obstacle after obstacle…simply because of their gender. They’re then cited by the media as if they have credibility. There’s only one problem with this.
They don’t have any.
But you know who does? Amy Hennig, the woman behind the Uncharted series (among other things). Here’s what she had to say about her time coming up in the industry:
Amy Hennig, senior creative director and Electronic Arts, a designer whose credits include the Uncharted series, Legacy of Kain and Michael Jordan Chaos in the Windy City Wings took to the podium. Hennig, who rarely speaks at events in public, told of how she was a film studies student when she had a realization that the video game industry “was a new frontier, unencumbered by the prejudices I’d seen in the film industry from my view at film school.”
She described her subsequent experiences working in the video game industry as being overwhelmingly positive. “In my 25 years I virtually never experienced harassment and discrimination,” she said. “In less than two years I went from a junior designer to a lead, and within two more I was a game director. I may just be oblivious, and if so that tactic has worked for me, but the fact is this industry has been a bastion of opportunity.”
Hennig continued: “The internet is a toxic place, and gamer culture can be noxious, but these things are not the game industry. For me, the game industry is a place of joy and camaraderie. It was a place of opportunity when I joined, and it’s still that frontier that seduced me away. Negative elements are unacceptable; they can make the castle seem like a nightmare. But this is not the game industry; we are scaring young women off.