I was alerted to a hot new Twitter account a couple of evenings ago. What was so interesting about this one, is that it was supposedly being run by a longtime video game developer from Japan. Not only that, this person was claiming to be a female as well. I can’t verify any of this, just so you guys know. This dev hasn’t revealed their name, even though they’ve talked with several known figures so far. So, take all this for what it’s worth. I will say one thing, though. It is one damn good fake if it does turn out to be bogus…cause it sure looks legit to me.
The user goes by the name of @ChihiroDev, and they’ve also written two columns on VGChartz. Here’s a couple selections from those, before we take a look at the Twitter highlights:
As I am myself a woman in the games industry – one that has worked on a number of major blockbuster titles – I have been approached a number of times from news outlets such as the BBC and several US news stations requesting an interview, and each and every time this has happened I have been asked various questions about my experiences in the industry and “what I think about how Anita has been treated”, and each and every time when I have made my opinions clear, the desire to interview me moves swiftly from wanting to nail down a specific day and time to conduct it to “thanks for your time, we’ll be in touch”, which is seemingly journalist lingo for “you don’t have the right opinions we want to share, bye”.
This experience, coupled with the extremely one sided coverage of the GamerGate debate for the past year from literally all gaming news outlets makes me genuinely sad to be a part of the games industry. As a developer – and I speak for most of us in saying this – we love gamers. They are the reason we do what we do, both because having millions of people want to buy something you made is intensely satisfying and because, on a much more frank and literal front, without them we would all be without jobs.
As we all know by now, the consensus from the gaming media and, more recently, the general media is that being a woman in the gaming industry is fraught with danger, misogyny, and unfair treatment. Primarily, indie developers such as Briana Wu and Zoe Quinn spearheaded this claim, along with a few others.
The problem is, it just isn’t like that in reality. When I started at my first studio in 1998, the environment was relatively welcoming. At the time the rest of the team were hard at work closing in on the release of a major holiday title and nobody seemed to really give a hoot if I was male or female. The only interest the rest of the team had was what skills I could bring to the table and what part of the project I could tackle to help get the project finished in time…
I have actually been a victim of bullying in the workplace. Around 2003 I was working for a development firm on a project that was farmed out to us from a major developer. It was a smaller studio but had a higher number of women working there. If memory serves, including myself, there we 11 women and 23 or so men.
My aggressor was another woman, who found issue with me receiving a salary increase for my continued hard work and long hours. She decided she would take it upon herself to “knock me down a peg or two” and this was compounded by the fact that, as I was a Japanese woman working in the US, she took issue with the idea of a foreign employee earning more than her.
This is all stuff we’ve heard before from other devs who were inspired to speak out, but rarely, if ever, have we seen it put this well. This is only a small sampling, by the way. They’ve been rocking the shit on Twitter as well. Here’s a Storify chronicling some of that work, as well as some more tweets below:
Props to @ChihiroDev for another great article. Props to @VGChartz for publishing it. http://t.co/p6ZL7uK7wy pic.twitter.com/AcsGrQ1zDG
— Adrian Chmielarz 🧙♀️🔥 (@adrianchm) September 9, 2015
Damn, @ChihiroDev came in LIKE A WRECKING BALL #gamergate http://t.co/Un4z1XwXU4 pic.twitter.com/iid6EEYjxs
— Oliver Campbell (@oliverbcampbell) September 10, 2015
Looks like Camera Lady is vouching for @ChihiroDev https://t.co/TtjZLqwo6g #Gamergate
Take that as you will.
— [вιg вoѕѕу] (@RecoveryZero) September 10, 2015
Piece by Piece verification of @ChihiroDev's allegations. #Gamergate
— Micah Curtis (@MindOfMicahC) September 9, 2015
Leigh Alexander inadvertently confirms @ChihiroDev
> I wrote mean things about people
> Why are they mad?#GamerGate pic.twitter.com/D32pUqyIqV
— nuckablayze (@nuckable) September 10, 2015
Like I said, this whole thing looks pretty legit to me. There’s way too many details and co-signs for this to be a con, in my opinion. Now, I’ve been wrong before. So keep in mind that this is being offered to you readers with no verification from me, other than the tweets above. The story itself is the biggest thing happening in GamerGate at the moment, though, so it has to be discussed here on the site. Lemme know if you think things look as solid as I do. If more comes out, I’ll talk about it again. Also, feel free to send out some more love to Based Japan. What a fucking amazing country that is. I’ll be back in a few. I’m going to try to get some actual work done this afternoon. So, I’ll see you back here again in an hour or so.