Game Industry Gender Wage Gap Is Horrendous

As if there weren’t enough #reasonswhy, recent figures published by Game Developer Magazine have shown that women in the games industry are routinely paid significantly less than men. As spotted by The Border House blog, the numbers show that men are on average paid around 25% more than women for equivalent jobs.

With the exception of programmers, where the ludicrously tiny 4% of positions filled by women show a very slight higher payment than men (less than 5%, and explained as The Border House points out likely by their being paid to retain them), the figures are terrible.

Of artists and animators, the average salary for men is $77,791. For women, $60,238. Because, er, women don’t draw as well? Making up 16% of all positions, women are paid 22% less. Then designers. Male employees average $76.6k, whereas female employees bring in $62k. 11%, making 19% less. For producers, men make an average 8.3% more. In audio, men are making an enormous 65% more. SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT. Even in QA, the 93% of male employees earn 25% more than female. And lastly, there’s business and legal, where the 18% of women are making 24% less than men, seeing their average number at around $82k, compared to men’s at $108k.

There will be factors, certainly. The hugely larger numbers of men in the industry means by nature there will be many more of them who have worked for longer, and thus secured ultimately higher salaries. But there are women who have been involved for a long time too, and this absolutely doesn’t explain away these massive discrepancies.

It’s despicable, and the only valid response is for those in senior positions at publishers and developers to not pretend it isn’t them, to look at their own figures, and to rectify discrepancies.


  1. DickSocrates says:

    Who cares?


    • dsch says:

      ‘There will be factors, certainly. The hugely larger numbers of men in the industry means by nature there will be many more of them who have worked for longer, and thus secured ultimately higher salaries. But there are women who have been involved for a long time too, and this absolutely doesn’t explain away these massive discrepancies.’

      There will be factors, but we will blithely exclude them from our response and default to outrage.

      RPS takes a sensible line on things like games and violence, in which they point out the absurdity of the absurd but always reserve final judgement and are open to more evidence. Why not take the same stance here?

      • Tanksenior says:

        I completely agree. I actually DO think that the huge difference in representation could easily make up for the relatively minor differences(Audio being a possible exception).

        A lot more research is required to make a definitive statement on this matter.

        • BobbyDylan says:

          Lets be honest here, this is not just the game industry that pays women less that men. It’s a well known fact that the number of CEO’s for major businesses are predominantly male, and they get paid a lot more than their female counterparts.

          As to why, could be the western world still expects the “man of the house” to be the bread-winner, I don’t know. But it’s not an industry specific phenomenon.

          • spindaden says:

            I agree.

            It’s not industry specific and it would be surprising if there wasn’t a wage gap.

            BUT these graphs are useless. I assume they were not intended for the message the border house blog is sending because they do not show the male female wage gap.

            If 84% of *this limited sample of* artists are male and are paid an average of 78k, and 16% are female and paid an average of 60k

            What does this distribution look like broken down by years in the industry?
            Before I go on, I want to reiterate that i’m sure there is a wage gap and that it’s not ok, but using these statistics we can easily rationalize away this discrepancy:

            assuming 100 people surveyed, if the distribution looked like this you get approximately the right salary split, without anyone being paid unfairly:

            m f
            <3 13 7 48.4
            3-6 24 7 67.139
            6+ 48 1 90.038

            m av sal 77.20423529
            f av sal 59.92073333

            The problem is then about women leaving the industry, or it signals that things are progressing but it takes time, all different messages, depending on how you read the numbers. Don't take 1 interpretation as gospel.

            We need more data, everything in life and gaming is better with more numbers.

          • jalf says:

            Sure, there could be a million explanations for the difference, but I don’t see how that makes the data “useless”.

            It tells us that the typical male game developer is paid significantly more than the typical female developer.

            It doesn’t tell us *why* that is (and as you say, much of it could be due to something as simple as seniority), but it tells us that the difference exists. How is that useless?

            Supposing you want to tackle the question scientifically, you need two things: data collected by observations, and a proposed explanation of *why* the data looks like this.

            These charts do not give us both, but I see no reason to dismiss the data they present as invalid, simply because it does not also hypothesize *why* the gap exists.

          • spindaden says:

            Yeah they’re not useless, they’re pretty interesting.

            They are useless as an illustration of male female salary wage gap though.
            They’re in fact quite useless for drawing any real world conclusions.

            Graphs are by their nature abstractions from reality.
            We’d need the raw data to know the real story and what conclusions can reliably be drawn from these.

            Edit: Just to rephrase so that i match your point. These graphs don’t give us the data or the why. They give us an abstraction of the data in a particular direction which is not conducive to the message this article and the blog are trying to convey.

            If we had the data i’d be more than happy to come up with the why myself.

          • Seraphithan says:

            Sure, there could be a million explanations for the difference, but I don’t see how that makes the data “useless”

            Does the data make any of those explanation more or less likely to be true? If your answer to that is no, the data fails to help and is therefore useless. If you think it does I’d like to know which explanation becomes more/less likely cause I can’t think of any.

            Hell the graphs kind of fail to proof there even is a wage gap since so much relevant information is missing. I am not saying there isn’t a wage gap, I’m saying the graphs do a bad job of showing that there is one. It’s like comparing two average temperatures without knowing if they are for the same season.

          • Arglebargle says:

            As someone has said before (and also probably further in the columnery): “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” These numbers, as presented, are indeed useless. For the reasons mentioned above.

      • Merus says:

        Considering it is an endemic problem across industries and one that still hasn’t been dealt with even after literally decades of pointing out that it IS a problem, it seems unlikely that there are perfectly reasonable explanations for why there’s a gender imbalance in pay in the games industry and not anywhere else. Particularly because the games industry still has massive problems with women.

      • Focksbot says:

        “RPS takes a sensible line on things like games and violence, in which they point out the absurdity of the absurd but always reserve final judgement and are open to more evidence. Why not take the same stance here?”

        Because it’s not the same stance.

        The connection between games and violence is a tangled web of supposition as to cause and effect. The reason women are paid less in the games industry is because … err … the games industry pays them less.

        In other words, it is in the total control of the games industry. No one is forcing them to pay women less. No one is leaning over their shoulder making sure they stay in line with how other industries do things.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        The problem with stories like this is if you actually…you know…do the research, you find there is (at least in the US) NO GENDER WAGE GAP.

        Look at the work of Francine Blau, award winning labor economist from Cornell link to

        In the US right now it if you just look at the wages of employed women and employed men the gap is ~30% or so. Sounds terrible!

        Well part of that is low income men are in the military getting hazard pay, and low income women are generally not. Men also work on oil rigs, and are garbage men (which pays surprisingly well) and a lot of other high pay low desirability jobs. Men just generally choose more lucrative careers. So lets just compare like job to like job, well it falls a few points. Granted this is already controlled for above.

        So then you control for years of experience, and it falls a few more points. Then you control for education (where young women have caught young men, but older women are still way behind men) and it falls a few more points. If you also factor in the number of hours worked in a year (men work a lot more hours at salaried jobs than women), it falls a few more points.

        Then you factor in the career disruption leaving the labor force to raise children causes to women’s careers, oh there goes a few more %.

        Women are also more likely to take compensation in benefits (particularly health benefits and extra leave) and men more likely to take it in cash, so if you count total compensation instead of just wages it falls further. And so on and so on.

        Except now there is only a 3-5% “gender wage gap” left… and there are surely further relevant factors that are just too hard to control for.

        For instance women are generally less confrontational in salary negotiations. My wife will take her 3% a year and never say peep. I meanwhile have threatened to quit a few jobs over what I saw as insufficient raises. Now not every couple is like that, but I would be shocked if men weren’t more willing to push for a raise than women.

        This just doesn’t exist anymore as an issue. 30 years ago it did, but those days are gone.

        Look if there was really this wage gap Target or EA or some ruthless company would be out there snapping up women to staff their whole company. That doesn’t happen because there is not a gap in the way you are presenting it.

        I work at a non-profit where there are more women than men. The averaged salaried male works about 3 more hours a week than the averaged salaried female. The males also frequently lose vacation because they haven’t taken it, this never happens with the females. You don’t think the relative dedication of the two groups of employees doesn’t work its way into the pay eventually?

        Women are more dedicated to their families and other non-work pursuits than men, and there is nothing wrong with that! But you cannot expect employers to pay them the same regardless.

        I am all for women getting fair and equitable treatment in the workplace, and guess what, they mostly do. If there are specific problems they should be handled on a specific basis, but nothing in what you presented is surprising or indicates there is a problem despite your hysteria.

        • jalf says:

          Err, could you show us some data supporting that (no, I’d rather not read through everything that Francine Blau has written to find out what she has found out – I did skim one of her papers, which indicated that the wages have converged, but not that no gap existed).

          But in your argumentation, you are comparing apples and oranges.
          The gender wage gap that people *normally* consider is generally between men and women doing the same job. Not between men working at an oil rig, or as CEO’s and women working in a kindergarten.

          The data I have seen has indicated that a significant wage gap exists *within the same jobs. The charts shown in the article you’re commenting on seem to indicate the same.

          Do you have reliable data to the contrary?

          (Of course, your stance has a few other problems, such as that “men *choose* more lucrative careers”. Because a woman never *chooses* to become a CEO, I guess? Or could other factors be at fault for so many CEO’s being white men of a certain age? And the whole “if it was real, companies would be out there hiring all the women” is just silly. If they are paid less then it is very likely because companies (or the people doing the hiring) tend to prefer hiring men, and are willing to pay more to get male employers)

          But I am curious about what flaws you see in the survey shown here, which you are actually commenting on.
          It shows that in the games industry, women are paid less. You have dropped a name of a researcher without telling us what she has discovered, and without showing any data to contradicting that which you’re commenting on. And on that basis, you dismiss the data.

          Interesting approach. Not very scientific, but…. interesting.

          • hatseflats says:

            What’s unscientific is recognising a wage gap and concluding that there’s a lot of sexism going on. You’re then making a very strong assumption: that any difference in wages between people in the same position is entirely due to sexism.
            In reality, there are many factors (cf. my post): experience, education, consecutive years of employment, duration of employment with the current employer &c. I am not familiar with Blau’s research, but the numbers more or less correspond to the figures I posted.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            04/04/2013 at 16:54 jalf says:

            “Err, could you show us some data supporting that (no, I’d rather not read through everything that Francine Blau has written to find out what she has found out”

            So you want me to link to you the collective research of the field on this issue? If you are that interested look into it yourself.

            Here is something the labor department put out while the Obama administration was flogging the “pay gap” as a policy point:

            link to

            In it it says ‘This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.’

            You realize that unmarried women with no children actually outearn unmarried men with no children? The entire gap happens amongst people who are married or have children. Why would you suppose that is?

            “But in your argumentation, you are comparing apples and oranges.”

            No the point is the people making these claims are comparing apples to oranges. My whole post is about how when you compare apples to apples there is no gap. Did you even understand it?

            “The gender wage gap that people *normally* consider is generally between men and women doing the same job. Not between men working at an oil rig, or as CEO’s and women working in a kindergarten.”

            Frequently that is not where people start at all. They start with “women make 70% of what men do, this is a disgrace”. Then you need to point out they don’t have the same kinds of jobs.

            “Of course, your stance has a few other problems, such as that “men *choose* more lucrative careers. Because a woman never *chooses* to become a CEO, I guess? ”

            They totally do. Being a CEO requires you work for many years putting in a lot of hours and treat your work as the absolute #1 thing in your life. Not your kids, not your wife, your job. Women are not as willing to do that. It also generally requires math skills, something women are also loathe to develop (in general).

            “But I am curious about what flaws you see in the survey shown here, which you are actually commenting on.”

            I pointed them out. It isn’t controlling for years of experience, it isn’t controlling for hours worked, education, compensation in non-monetary forms, whether their were extended absences, et cetera.

            Not one of which is discrimination! There are others I didn’t even bother listing. Until you pull out those factors this simply doesn’t show what you think it shows.

            Look you are the one defending a hypothesis here “women get paid less than men”. So the burden of proof is on you. No one is sitting in a hiring committee meeting saying “it is a woman so lets cut the pay 30%”. You/John Walker are claiming “but for the same job category the pay is different”. I just told you a half dozen reasons why labor economists have found that is typically the case.

            “It shows that in the games industry, women are paid less. You have dropped a name of a researcher without telling us what she has discovered, and without showing any data to contradicting that which you’re commenting on. And on that basis, you dismiss the data.”

            Do you want me to do an 8 part lecture series before you will admit you are wrong? The post was already the longest one here. You have provided no argument or evidence. I have provided a lot, and…actually….you…know, studied about this stuff because of a past job where I worked with labor department research every day. How many labor department reports have you read? I am going to bet it is less than dozens and dozens?

          • derbefrier says:

            Glad to see I am not the only one that immediately thought this graph seemed off. I learned a long time ago this type of propaghanda when used by anyone is usualy very skewed purposely to be in favor of whatever ideology the person is trying to promote. Take this with a grain of salt amd always question things like this. Often you will find they are completely unreliable.

          • ScorpionWasp says:

            I logged in just to make the points that you so eloquently already have, Joshua Northey. This kind of misleading, tendentious, anti-scientific article that has become so common around here of late leaves little doubt as to RPS’ biases and agenda in this matter.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          Thanks Joshua for bringing some perspective to the table, that’s a big contrast to this article trying to cause an outrage over a few out of context graphs. I’m tired of this brand of inflammatory feminism.

          I’ve personally witnessed the “assertive” factor. A lot of my women friends value job security far above a good salary, and are overall less willing to confront their boss (even in the cases said boss is a woman), which won’t help for eventual salary negotiations.

        • battles_atlas says:

          @ Joshua Northey

          You’re missing some fundamental issues here claiming “THERE IS NO WAGE GAP”.

          “Well part of that is low income men are in the military getting hazard pay, and low income women are generally not. Men also work on oil rigs, and are garbage men (which pays surprisingly well) and a lot of other high pay low desirability jobs. Men just generally choose more lucrative careers.”

          You’re mistaking the relative wage levels of the market as a natural fact, when its a socially constructed outcome. It is not a coincidence or just “surprising” that male dominated jobs pay better than female dominated jobs. In the UK recently this became a major issue for local government which has historically paid bin men (to take your example) far more than dinner ladies. The skill levels are equivalent, as is their low desirability. The difference is the gender that tends to do the job. Sexism is part of the system at a more fundamental level than you are allowing for.

          “So then you control for years of experience, and it falls a few more points”

          Women are rather required by the survival of the species to spend several months out of work whilst pregnant. They are then required by gendered expectations to be the primary childminder, something exacerbated by many nation states’ gendered policies, that (to take the UK example) give mothers 9 months maternity level, whilst fathers get 2 weeks. Again, the system at a fundamental level constrains women.

          “Then you control for education (where young women have caught young men, but older women are still way behind men) and it falls a few more points.”

          Unless you imagine women were historically stupider than men, this shows that the education system was historically sexist.

          “If you also factor in the number of hours worked in a year (men work a lot more hours at salaried jobs than women), it falls a few more points.”

          Count the hours of unpaid domestic labour expected of women by gendered social norms and men probably work a good few hours less. Once again, the sexism is at a more fundamental level than you are recognising.

          “This just doesn’t exist anymore as an issue. 30 years ago it did, but those days are gone.”

          Bullshit. It only doesnt exist if – as you have do – assume the environment in which wages are paid is entirely neutral.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            But now you are talking about things completely outside of any employer or industry to fix. Look I am not saying the all these problems have been 100% solved. But things are 1000X better than they were just 40-50 years ago.

            More importantly to this argument, what I am saying is that the figures presented here and the arguments surrounding them are just straight out not showing what you/John seem to think they show. Tons and tons of people do research on this issue, and the actual scientific has been pretty static for a decade. But that doesn’t seem to stop people with axes to grind to harping on the same things again and again.

            “In the UK recently this became a major issue for local government which has historically paid bin men (to take your example) far more than dinner ladies. The skill levels are equivalent, as is their low desirability. The difference is the gender that tends to do the job”.

            If you think being a bin man is remotely as appealing as being a dinner lady you need to have your head examined. In the US being a garbage man is a very lucrative career specifically because few people want to do it. Serving food is a low paying career because lots of people are willing to do it. It has little to do with sexism, and the fact that the level of education required is similar isn’t important compared to other factors (trash is disgusting).

            “Women are rather required by the survival of the species to spend several months out of work whilst pregnant. They are then required by gendered expectations to be the primary childminder, something exacerbated by many nation states’ gendered policies, that (to take the UK example) give mothers 9 months maternity level, whilst fathers get 2 weeks. Again, the system at a fundamental level constrains women.”

            Why should your life choices be your employer’s problem? I am confused why employers should cut women slack or pay them more for less performance just because they may choose or do choose to have children. Isn’t accounting for that the very sexism you are trying to get away from? If as a man I told my employer I was going to be gone for 4 months from time to time and constantly miss work I would be asked to take a less important job. Why shouldn’t it be the same for women?

            You realize that unmarried women with no children actually outearn unmarried men with no children? The entire gap happens amongst people who are married or have children. Why would you suppose that is?

            Just pay people based on the work they do. Let them structure their life and live with the consequences of their decisions as they see fit.

            “Unless you imagine women were historically stupider than men, this shows that the education system was historically sexist.”

            No one is saying the world wasn’t super sexist 50 years ago. But that is mostly gone. The research is really clear on this. Things were really different (and unfair) in the 60s, but most of what remains is just brute differences between men and women.

            “Count the hours of unpaid domestic labour expected of women by gendered social norms and men probably work a good few hours less. Once again, the sexism is at a more fundamental level than you are recognising.”

            Once again why are at home family arrangements the employer’s problem? In addition, I always find these accountings of “at home production” kind of laughable as they include laundry and dishes and cleaning, but seem to omit building furniture, maintaining the yard, maintaining the electronics, or or carrying everything heavy. Not to say that it is all equal, but the gap is a lot smaller than you think. It is down in the US to something like 60/40 in households with parents working full time. It is a bigger discrepancy when only one parent works because that parent is typically a man.

          • destroy.all.monsters says:

            Some crazy ponitificating there battles –

            No one architected that more men than women are garbage men – and it is inarguable that it is work more prone to injury than cafeteria work (and I’ve done both) . The reason many blue collar jobs pay better is due to being more hazardous not by gender. No one is locking women out of being plumbers or electricians and in fact there are programs out there encouraging women to take these kinds of jobs and few takers.

            “Sexism is part of the system at a more fundamental level than you are allowing for.” – This is an extraordinary claim and as such requires extraordinary evidence.

            Work vs. Family has been a trade off since the at least the beginning or the industrial age. No one is forcing anyone to either breed or not breed. These are capitalist expectations – and as we all know capitalism isn’t a moral enterprise. To claim that it is inherently sexist while ignoring all the other inequities brought about capitalism is both pointless and recklessly one-sided.

            Most women need at most 5 weeks recovery even after a C-section. Many women take off more than that but it generally isn’t necessary. in exchange for that opportunity to take time off and put family before work it is entirely understandable why those women makiing that choice would’nt receive full compensation for their time off or why they might miss a promotion in the white collar world when they’ve chosen to put family before career. Even if one was to take your gendered expectations arguments at face value one would also have to look to what degree women’s rights advocates have also set up those expectations (in the U.S. advocate groups have actively worked against the rights of fathers for example).

            “Unless you imagine women were historically stupider than men, this shows that the education system was historically sexist.”

            If that’s the case then is the fact that there’s a gap now (with men on the receiving end) also sexist? If the presumption is always that sexism is the only causal factor surely it must be.

            “Count the hours of unpaid domestic labour expected of women by gendered social norms”

            Wait, what? Evidence? Is someone forcing women to put their premises on Apartment Life? Does anyone pay you (no matter who you is) to burp your baby, do yardwork, mop the floor? There’ve been numerous discussion all over the internet about how one member of a couple is frustrated that the other member has a higher tolerance to dirt – that’s not a gendered issue. Provided with children: Everyone I know whose raised children (including myself) have had to figure out how to re-jigger their schedules and provide coverage as well as provide the other spouse with private time. Again not a gendered issue.

            I get that you assume it’s all sexism but it appears that you’ve come to a forgone conclusion.

          • Bootstraps says:

            @battles – Excellent post.

          • battles_atlas says:

            @ Joshua Northey

            “But now you are talking about things completely outside of any employer or industry to fix. Look I am not saying the all these problems have been 100% solved.”

            You’ve moved the goalposts twice in your opening two sentences there. First this was about sexism in wage disparities, now you’re limiting it to what employers can address. Second you say just above here that “This just doesn’t exist anymore as an issue.” Now its not 100% solved. Given the seriousness of the subject you could have been a little more guarded in your original statements that I was responding to.

            Your explanation as to why being a bin man should be a much better rewarded job than a dinner lady is completely subjective tosh, particularly for someone keen to claim a scientifically-supported objective position (as opposed to us “people with axes to grind”). Here is an alternative subjective account: “why in the hell would you want to work in a hot, noisy environment warming up slop for shouting, bratty little kids every day, when instead you and three mates could spend it driving around in the great outdoors, pushing wheelie bins onto a truck lift, and with no boss man watching over you?” If you can’t see that your argument is fallacious then to me that suggests how ingrained your assumptions are.

            The rest of your responses seem to boil down to the goalpost moving in your first sentence – this isn’t something an individual company can/should fix so its not relevant. On the contrary, simply because the problem is structural it does not go away. The primary determinants of wage inequality may* now need solutions outside individual companies (one obvious example being equality of paternity/maternity leave), but that does not mean you can just ‘control’ away the differences that reveal gender bias and suddenly the problem has disappeared.

            *your suggestion that the scientific literature suggests that gender is no longer an issue in the workplace is flat out nonsense.

            I’ll leave it on a constructive note: it seems we do agree that this is far more complicated than suggested by John’s post. We go in completely different directions from there however.

          • battles_atlas says:

            @ destroy.all.monsters

            “No one architected that more men than women are garbage men”

            Wow, way to miss the point. Some roles in society are highly gendered. Amazingly, “bin men” and “dinner ladies” are two such roles. Changing such norms requires considerable institutional and cultural effort – the police have been trying for decades and are still struggling. Unless one is a moron labouring under a ‘rational actor’ model of human behaviour (trashed in the 1960s and still trashed), one will be able to recognise that women arent just going to wake up one day and go “fuck! bin men are getting more than dinner ladies, I’ll be one of them instead”.

            “and it is inarguable that it is work more prone to injury than cafeteria work (and I’ve done both) . The reason many blue collar jobs pay better is due to being more hazardous not by gender.”

            No, its utterly arguable. Dinner ladies work around naked flames, very hot objects, and knives, bin men work around trash compactors. Its very easy to get burned or cut in a kitchen. Thanks to sensible design, it is however pretty spectacularly difficult to fall into a compactor accidentally except through gross negligence. The heavy lifting is done by machine. I’d argue the kitchen is actually a more dangerous environment because the nature of the job makes it harder to control the dangers.

            You don’t have to believe me though, the discrepancy between bin men and dinner ladies was the primary reason why all local government in the UK had to implement ‘single status’ reviews by law to rebalance the pay between such jobs. If you want evidence go look it up.

            As for your wider demand for evidence to support the notion of structural dimensions to sexism, go read any issue of one of several dozen relevant social science journals from the last fifty years.

          • Focksbot says:

            I’m sorry, but battles_atlas’ points blow Joshua Northley’s out of the water. A plus to Josh for bringing some additional stats to the table, but C minus for the ludicrous spin he puts on them.

          • Joshua Northey says:


            I am not “moving the goal posts”.

            The clear points of the post we are commenting (John Walker’s post) on are:

            1) There is this gender wage gap in the video games industry.
            2) This is terrible and the industry MUST do something about it.

            I made a series of argument and links to actual research refuting those two points.

            focksbot just sticks his fingers in his ears and goes “la-la-la” and you start nattering on about gender roles and society, which frankly isn’t the responsibility of the video game industry to address even if it was addressable (50 years from now feminists are going to be shocked when they realize that most of the reasons the way things are the way they are is because men and women BOTH like it that way).

            I realize your heart is in the right place battles, but you just sound like such a naive idealist wading into waters you don’t actually know. What is your professional experience? Have you dealt with this research before professionally? Have you ever served on a hiring committee, or sat on a board where there was a remediation process from a woman claiming she was discriminated against? You sound like someone getting their talking points from advocates (likely in college?) rather than actually knowing the research.

          • destroy.all.monsters says:

            @ destroy.all.monsters

            My comment – No one architected that more men than women are garbage men – was in direct opposition this ridiculous claim: “You’re mistaking the relative wage levels of the market as a natural fact, when its a socially constructed outcome. ”

            And yet you have no supporting argument and no facts.

            “Some roles in society are highly gendered.”

            Yet there’s no evidence whatsoever that it is due to sexism. When Harald Eia did his review of why things were more skewed to one gender rather than the other the conclusion – such as it was – was that it was due to preference. All of Norway’s attempts at making things equal failed – and it’s one of the most egalitarian nations on earth – not because of societal bias but due to individual preference that happened to primarily fall upon gender lines.

            Garbage men (or persons if you must be politically correct) is still more dangerous than cafeteria work and still less undesirable.

            If you’re talking kitchen “help” the vast majority of cooks and sous chefs (and line chefs) in the average restaurant are men so on the very face of your argument it’s complete hogwash. As I’ve mentioned – I’ve done both these jobs and know what they entail – and while you’re busy minimizing garbage work you’re maximizing kitchen work which is pretty funny coming from someone that’s acting as if they’re being the slightest bit neutral or even-keeled.

            “As for your wider demand for evidence to support the notion of structural dimensions to sexism, go read any issue of one of several dozen relevant social science journals from the last fifty years.”

            There’s been plenty printed where the suppositions were wrong, and that has been disproved. The bottom line is that there will always be outliers in any profession but that even with things as completely balanced as possible women will still be less likely to do more technical kinds of work and men will be less likely to do more they types of work that is more social. These aren’t merely societal expectations.

            It reminds me of the argument that men and women aren’t fundamentally different – which has been proven repeatedly to be bullshit. Men and women think differently, communicate differently and their brains function differently. Nothing will ever be exactly 50/50.

        • Reefpirate says:

          Bravo! I was getting a little dismayed that I might have to get some commenting work done on this article… That is until I was pleasantly surprised to find your well written and extensive response that is much better than anything I was going to put together.

          In particular the part that bugged me in Mr. Walker’s article is where he asks the ‘game industry bosses’ to ‘do something about it’. What are they supposed to do about it? Start paying these people more arbitrarily? If the women aren’t quitting the jobs then they are clearly getting what they’ve negotiated out of the deal.

          The data is incomplete and is misleading as to full compensation (as you say, vacations and leaves, and benefits that don’t necessarily show up in ‘wages’ among other factors).

          • AlexTaldren says:

            Thank god for the rational thinking displayed in the comments. It almost redeems the original article. Most people just don’t understand the complexity that’s involved in these “wage gap” studies. It’s easier for them to look at the average salary column, see a difference, and scream sexism. It makes them feel better without actually having to think.

            Thomas Sowell is famous for obliterating the arguments of liberals and feminists in the 70s for the so called “wage gaps” between men and women during that time, when there would have been arguably more sexism than today. But no, it has to be a bunch of rich white guys who has as their only goal in life to pay women less.

            Also, “calls” to do anything about wage gaps either fall into two categories: demand the company does something or demand the government steps in and forces equal wages. There’s nothing authoritarian government doesn’t solve…

          • Focksbot says:

            “Also, “calls” to do anything about wage gaps either fall into two categories …”

            No, there’s the obvious third, which is the biggie: it’s about changing culture. It’s about creating and maintaining a sense of shame around industry-wide sexism – of which these statistics form only one part of a smorgasbord of evidence.

            And no one has ‘obliterated’ the claims of feminists and liberals. All I see going on here is some lads patting each other on the back for digging up a research paper or two that evidences other contributory factors. No authentic researcher would eliminate endemic sexism as a cause for the wage gap – they can only suggest that the picture is rather more complex. So I would submit that you save the champagne for such a time as your arguments become credible.

          • Joshua Northey says:


            So it is now the videogame industry’s responsibility to change the national culture regarding gender roles/relations and work/life balance?

            “It’s about creating and maintaining a sense of shame around industry-wide sexism – of which these statistics form only one part of a smorgasbord of evidence.”

            What is the evidence there is industry wide sexism? Brad Wardell? He is one guy. You say the above is one piece of evidence, but the ENTIRE POINT of this discussion is that it is questioning the above as evidence.

            You are assuming the consequent of your argument. If you tell me that global warming isn’t real and I say “prove to me that the science is wrong”. You don’t get to cite “the fact that global warming isn’t real” as one of your arguments. You need to find other arguments. Global warming isn’t real is the conclusion you are moving towards, not a step on the road to that conclusion.

            “And no one has ‘obliterated’ the claims of feminists and liberals. All I see going on here is some lads patting each other on the back for digging up a research paper or two that evidences other contributory factors.”

            Some lads provided actual evidence and argument for their positions. You and everyone else here on your side has provided no evidence. You sound like a global warming denier right now. You realize that don’t you? You say “Look at this data it shows X”. People say “no it shows no such thing, here is copious research showing it shows no such thing, here is a summary of the arguments in that research”. And you say “Oh that is just a paper or two”.

            This is EXACTLY what global warming deniers do. Where is your argument or links to papers?

            I saw one article someone else on your side linked. It said “one of the factors people cite when examining possible reasons for the gender gap are productivity differences”. It then went on to show there are not productivity differences.

            So far so good. But then just like you, they go on to make unwarranted claims about this meaning the gender gap is real. This is despite not addressing the the other factors and despite the fact that no one makes the productivity argument.

            “No authentic researcher would eliminate endemic sexism as a cause for the wage gap – they can only suggest that the picture is rather more complex.”

            I see we are going to break out the “No True Scotsman Fallacy” as well. So the people who work on this professionally at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (a very liberal bureau I might add staffed by very liberal people), or the Professor of Labor Economics I cited from Cornell are not “authentic researchers”?

            Look no one is saying there is no sexism in the workplace. There clearly is. What they are saying as that sexism and discrimination are not noticeable factors when evaluating what people get paid. This is important because it undermines the whole point of the above post.

            “So I would submit that you save the champagne for such a time as your arguments become credible.”

            At least I am trying to make arguments instead of just insisting my opinion is right in ignorant bliss. Liberals the rest of us look terrible.

      • LockjawNightvision says:

        It’s pretty universal that women get paid less than men for doing comparable work, I think the point is that it’s just more extreme in the boy’s club that is the tech world. Horrendous, though? Female genital mutilation is horrendous. This is just a serious problem.

        That said, doesn’t the fact that these are averages explain some of the “massive discrepiancies?” John acknowledges that a large number of men may have simply had more time in the industry to ascend to positions of (well-paid) power, yet seems confused as to why there aren’t more women in these relatively few positions to offset the average. Correct me if I’m wrong (math is so, so not my thing), but isn’t the answer “that’s not how averages work?” It seems that, for this particular piece of the data, women are just being swallowed by the median. Not that the overall trend isn’t still alarming.

        In any case, you can’t fault John’s consistency. I would actually be super interested to know if any female readers find the tone he so often takes on gaming’s (don’t get me wrong — very real) sex issues helpful or embarassing. Personally, I find it shrill, and I tend to get my back up in the comments a bit because I find the tonal shift from RPS normal easy wit jarring and awkward. So much of gaming “journalism” is shrill and empty-headed, and I love having somewhere to go where that isn’t the case. Most of the time, anyway.

        • Swanny says:

          I find the metric used in this article misleading. Please keep in mind i’m all for equal pay, though and am not saying there’s no problem, only that the particular metric hear could be biased.

          A better measurement would be consecutive years in the industry. Women often have a leave to raise a family, and go back into the workforce for lower pay, while maintaining their ‘years in industry’ metric. The pay will only be equal when men take equal amounts of time off for family, especially in tech jobs, where keeping skills current is what pay is based on.

          This is an example of what could be happening: (warning- pulled out of ass numbers!)
          Man in industry:
          1st year $60,000
          3rd year $80,000
          4th year $87,500
          5th year $90,000
          6th year $100,000
          6 years in industry.

          1st year $60,000
          3rd year $80,000
          Takes forth and fifth year off to raise a child. Hires in at first year pay level, because skills are out of date.
          4th year $60,000
          5th year $80,000
          6th year $87,500
          6 years in industry, makes 13.5% less.

          (edit)They’re both making identical money for consecutive years experience, but the woman’s pay is reset after leave. This is super simplified, but shows how even unbiased pay rates can make numbers like this.(/edit)

          I’m not saying there isn’t an actual problem, but the media sure as hell does exaggerate it, it’s what all the cool kids are doing.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I’m a female reader who used to work in the industry. I did not leave solely due to gender issues but it was certainly a factor.

          I’ve had my ups and downs with RPS – ultimately cancelling my subscription a year and a half ago? due to equality issues in forum moderation – I had my comments deleted (rightly so) but only a week earlier I had been subject to pretty horrendous hatred against disability myself, way worse than I wrote yet those comments were not moderated. I’ve always loved the work of the writers though.

          How do I find the tone of the anti-sexist posts? Well I certainly would not describe myself as a feminist though I do very much believe in equality for all people. I think I am one of the few people of either gender who gets it when men point out their own gender issues which are very real and need tackling too. I think the problem with sexism in gaming needs to tackle both simultaneously to work – not that I think each individual should be responsible for tackling both, what John is doing is fine in principle. Do I always agree with him? No, I think he focuses too much on the symptoms and misses the cause, which is almost beyond the remit of RPS anyway – it’s not about statues of breasts, the problem is that men who like statues of breasts are well catered for, women who like statues of buff mutilated mens torsos, and they do exist, are not catered for.

          But just as I think sometimes John misses the point, it’s equally valid for him to think that maybe I do – we are very much advocating the same thing but from slightly different angles.

          All said and done, I think these posts and the discussion they create are important but a small part of the whole solution which will involve each and every one of us.

          • LockjawNightvision says:

            I think we agree on all the important points, Sheng. The games industry and the community surrounding it has a major problem with sexism — anyone with any doubt only needs to skim this very comment thread — so it’s never John’s intention I have an issue with. But when have you ever seen an argument won, outside of a preschool, by someone yelling more loudly than everyone else? It’s just not an appropriate rhetorical mode if you want to be taken seriously by, y’know, grownups.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            @Sheng-ji What are you doing now as a line of work if I may ask?

            I agree that the best perspective is through one’s personal freedom to choose own morals and not imposing them on others forcefully. A discussion is healthy and needed, which is why I like these RPS posts as they help to cultivate the overall paradigm.

            However, i resent the zealotry of some righteous enlightened elites, which promises nothing but persecution of different taste, different life choices, different people.

            Some individuals sexually objectify themselves willingly, some individuals prefer tasteless culture. It’s good to have that on mind before calling for forceful regulation and suppressing opposition.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Ultra_Superior – I worked for the CPS for many years, my job title was somewhat unique though so forgive me if I don’t tell you exactly what I did, but I worked to ensure that people who hadn’t been convicted weren’t treated unfairly.

            I’ve left that job now to pursue a passion for making an indie film.

            And you are quite right, there have been times when I think that unrealistic, sexy armour looks cool and I buy a game with it in. In my youth, I have been known to dress as my favourite “objectified” character at conventions, though these days, it’s more likely to be Lila Villanueva if I want to remain convincing!

            The problem can’t be solved by pointing at individual examples, it needs to be tackled at a much higher level. Games generally reflect their audience – it’s capitalism working as intended. The problem is the audience, and in particular how that audience make it difficult for women to enjoy games. At my sons school, there is a pretty much universal love of minecraft. It is used as an educational tool and well as a recreation activity. They have a server set up and the kids have their patch of land which they can build on and it is universally popular with girls and boys alike. But move up a few years and girls just aren’t allowed to play games, by the boys who make it a “boys club”. This is obviously just my observations of this school, not a universal truth. Now you can’t blame the boys, they are just playing in a way they find fun, it’s a problem with society and how boys and girls are raised. The problem is that when the game is not to the boys taste, they dominate the girls and enforce their own agenda. The girls then either move away from playing the game or just grin and bear it. When this goes the other way, the girls get their way, the boys stick up for themselves and force compromise with the girls.

            So I think sexism in gaming is a mirror to sexism in society and it can’t be cured without curing sexism in society itself. At the school, why do the boys and the girls play only with each other for starters, if the boys and the girls mixed more, it would go a long way to solving the problems but they are segregated in the playground. Why do the girls back down from the conflict and either just leave the game or put up with the boys wishes. I’m not blaming the girls either or their parents but society as a whole needs some subtle adjustments to stop this early in my opinion.

          • dsch says:


            If you have the courage to take a look in the RPS forums, you will find any number of people ‘standing up for women’ 1) yelling and generally being disrespectful, 2) acknowledging the fact that they have no respect for opposing or even different points of view, 3) claiming that it is perfectly justified to not be respectful because ‘civility is a tool of the oppressor’, and 4) continuing to occupy the moral high ground. And the unfortunate thing is that those people drown out all moderate discussion. The fact that none of them have been moderated for violating forum rules (about civility, for one) and ill-conceived articles like this one make me have less confidence in the ability of RPS writers (at least the ones who moderate the forum) to distinguish between their political views and their commitment to responsible journalism.

        • xStahl says:

          So do you think male circumcision is not horrible ?

          I’ve always found these mutilations on any sex to be appalling and no religion should have the right to practice such traditions as the child doesn’t have the ability to deny this ritual.
          It’s quite deranged that the American public doesn’t seem to mind putting their child through misery just so their ill conceived idea of a penis will help their child in any way which is far removed from the truth as the foreskin is very important for lubrication and sensitivity. Taking that from a child will ensure him never knowing what it’s like to have foreskin and I feel that’s injustice so no parent should have a right to mutilate their child’s natural features.

          Next we’ll be implanting botox into our princesses and fake abs for the boys. :P

          • LockjawNightvision says:

            I only intended to evoke one particular injustice against women I found actually horrendous, not to index all of the terrible things all people do to each other. Yes, male circumcision is also absurd and cruel. It’s just beside the point.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            This topic spiraled out of control so quickly.

            Why is circumcision barbaric? I’ve never met a circumcised person making that claim. It’s only been women and men that have no input on the issue, aside from spurious medical claims about sensitivity (which doesn’t always correlate with pleasure, as many women should be able to tell you.)

          • Bootstraps says:

            Male circumcision in the context of religious practise is weird, I agree. But mate, I was circumcised and no, it’s not “horrible”. I’ve no problem with it, and I’ve never met anyone with first hand experience who does. Female circumcision, on the other hand, is horrific. Please don’t equate the two, it’s completely absurd. If I’d had my bell end cut off you might have a point, but it’s still there (last time I checked, anyway).

          • Ultra Superior says:

            I’ve been erm.. intimate with one of these circumcised female erm…

            she was from africa and … it IS TERRIBLE.

            Best you can do is pretend it’s not there, just a hole like any other.
            Doggy style preferably.

            Believe me.

        • destroy.all.monsters says:

          A quibble: “It’s pretty universal that women get paid less than men for doing comparable work “.

          This is a meme. It’s not an accurate meme but it is a meme nonetheless. Female janitors are not paid less, female electricians are not paid less, female teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers are not paid less.

          I get that in some cases in the white collar world that it may occur – but in order for it to be actually valid the same amount of time off would have to be taken. Every group of statistics I’ve seen that were cited to support the belief that women were paid less for the same work did not use like for like examples. The statistics used to support that theory in the US were based on all men in the workplace vs. all women and not on title or position.

          • Blackseraph says:

            I always wonder why people have such problems accepting that certain things might be true.

            link to

            Women have had voting rights less than hundred years why is it then such an unbelievable thing that there is still gender inequality in the western world?

          • destroy.all.monsters says:

            Because *as the link you just pointed to says* they are talking median income and *not like for like work*. Claiming that sexism is the only possible explanation is ludicrous – and requires a ton of evidence that’s not been provided.

            You’ve chosen to ignore my point that in all the cases I’ve provided and more that the hourly rate is _the same_.

            Now in some cases women are paid much more – for example in porn and sexwork. Women in New Age type services of any kind as well as massage therapists also make more money and are more in demand.

            It isn’t that there aren’t ever situations of gender disparity but that it’s not a black and white issue and women are not the ones on the downside all the time.

        • Merlkir says:

          “Female genital mutilation is horrendous. ” That’s oddly specific. I’d say genital mutilation is pretty fucking awful for both sexes. (yet Americans will circumsize anything with a penis and think they’re doing something wonderful for the baby’s health and whatnot.)

      • Snack says:

        I find it shocking to even think that employers can go ahead and pay less just because they can in this day and age when people sue for virtually anything.
        I rather trust this guy for his arguments link to or this guy link to

        • RvLeshrac says:

          The article is awful, but both of those idiots are, well, idiots.

      • Liudeius says:

        This is the biggest problem I have with these average wage stats, you can’t just say “it doesn’t explain it away,” you need to present the stats which support that.
        They clearly must have the numbers considering there is a pie chart for experience, so show us the comparison of men and women with equal experience, as well as the proportions of men and women based on years of experience.

        Don’t just say “it clearly won’t account for the difference,” SHOW that it doesn’t.

    • KristaMitchell says:

      my friend’s mother makes $88 an hour on the laptop. She has been without work for 9 months but last month her income was $14546 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more link to

    • beeofdoom says:

      Very disappointing to see this shallow sensationalism on RPS.

      Case in point:

      “Even in QA, the 93% of male employees earn 25% more than female.”

      I work in a small QA group. Of the 9 QA team members, 4 are female. 5 are male. 4 of the 9 members have CSCI degrees. Of those with CSCI degrees, *one* is a woman. The remaining three women do not. More to the point, *everyone* without a CSCI degree is relegated to ‘test engineering’ positions. (They’re not coders, and don’t do code-level testing nor automation work).

      Just because someone has the same title doesn’t mean they have the same capability and skill set. I firmly believe in the vast majority of cases, experience and education are far more indicative of pay than gender.

      I expect better of RPS than to just parrot this nonsense without applying some critical thinking and analysis first.

  2. sinister agent says:

    Oh god. Here they come. Recruits! Prepare your block buttons! Don’t fire until you see the “i”s of their whites.

    • colossalstrikepackage says:

      Lol. I love how these posts now fill up fast with comments that are now full of ‘comments by … blocked by you’. I’m giving up arguing with wrong on the Internet, but do want to say that I’m glad RPS is continuing coverage of stuff that matters.

      • Machinations says:

        I tend to consider the hallmark of a decent society to be the ability to try to understand and engage with people who you perceive hold differing positions than you do.

        To be able to understand is to be able to inform. I don’t think that 90% of the RPS commenting audience are dirtbag sexist scum, I certainly am not.

        Misrepresenting legitimate criticism as hatred and incomprehensible idiocy is, frankly, intellecutally dishonest and lazy. One should be able to articulate responses to reasonable questions if one stands behind the assertions one makes from a soapbox.

        I could understand not engaging out-and-out sexists, or bigots of any sort for that matter. I don’t believe that the majority of the commenters questioning the conclusions are bigots of any sort. To essentially dismiss your audience who have presented nuanced responses to a click-bait article is something I would expect from a lesser publication.

      • Fluka says:

        I’m sick of the idea that I an honor-bound to continually listen to every single hostile, bad-faith opinion that washes up on the shores of the internet because it’s good for “discourse.” The sad fact is that RPS, while lovely, *does* have a lot of rather awful commenters. Some of those are sexists, the kind who whine about “white knighting” and people being “oversensitive!!” and say “what does this have to do with gaaaaaames.” But I also reserve my blocks for aggressive fanboyism, anti-intellectualism – long story short, for the types of commenters who add nothing interesting to the conversation, and often times are angry that the conversation is even happening in the first place. They’re the ones that make discourse hard. It is not their right to have their opinion heard by me. And frankly, without their toxic input, I find the quality of conversation and debate much better here. Hell, I find the quality of my day much better.

        Good example: People criticizing and asking questions about the conclusions from the statistics of the above article? Fine! Interesting and valuable, even! People accusing John of being a “white knight”? BLOCK.

        Plus, it *is* lovely to see entire threads of blocked folks conversing among themselves!

        • Machinations says:

          I certainly wouldnt say you have any obligation whatsoever to respond to idiotic diatribes and the likes of which you describe and the internet is indeed full of idiots who hide behind anonymity; but
          “The sad fact is that RPS, while lovely, *does* have a lot of rather awful commenters”

          Compared to any other publication, particularly gaming web sites, RPS commenters are tame and mostly have IQ’s above room temperature.

          I won’t defend the small proportion of those who are idiots and bigots, but I don’t want to be tarred by that brush, and I think it would be unfair to include the majority of the reaction to this article.

          If, for example, I thought my responses were included under the banner of “hatred and / or idiocy” in the author’s mind, I certainly would’nt bother responding to articles in the future, controversial or not, and I would hate for that to happen – in general – to a site where much of the value comes from the comment section.

        • TWChristine says:

          I tend to agree with you both. I do think RPS has a great community (which is why I come here pretty much exclusively), but if any topic touches on women or gay people then it seems to bring out every idiot with a keyboard. As someone that falls under both of these categories I often want to jump in and give my thoughts, because I think they could be valuable for discourse. And then at the same time I REALLY don’t want to get into some stupid argument..especially when the people I would be arguing with consistently “know” what they are talking about, when all I can do is sit there and shake my head and say “No. You really DON’T GET IT.”

    • dsch says:

      I actually can’t figure out which side this is supposed to satirise.

  3. Jdopus says:

    Figures like this don’t say as much about the industry as this article seems to imply. You have to remember that we’re moving from a period in which pretty much no women attempted to get into the ICT / Programming world, it takes quite a long time to climb a career ladder. All these figures indicate are that people who’ve recently entered an industry will earn less than those who have pursued a career in that industry for a large period of time. You’ve mentioned this in the article, but I honestly don’t think that it goes much further than that explanation. It certainly doesn’t justify the kind of emotive and sensationalist language you’re using in this article. If you have other information to suggest there are other explanations then by all means let us know, but these figures alone are not indicative of discrimination.

    Having said that, the fact that no women chose to enter this market is indicative of sexism in our society as a whole, but it’s not indicative of sexism within the video game industry itself.

    • Metalfish says:

      This is addressed a bit in the article, but it’s fair point.

      As for the sexism in the wider world: this games industry bit of the universe is one bit many of us can exert a bit more influence on with the hope to change it.

      • jonfitt says:

        It’s addressed in the article in so much as Cuppycake posits a good reason why this data might not show what Cuppycake wants it to show, but there is no effort made to determine which is true.

        Since Game Developer Magazine has the survey data and clearly one of their questions asks for “years in the field”, they could indeed draw new charts separating this out. Perhaps that’s what we should do first before blowing the battle horn?

        • Muzman says:

          There was something not too long ago about women being likely to quit the industry altogether after a short period as well, for various reasons. So they’re generally less likely to trouble the upper pay rates for that reason as well.
          You could probably dig some interesting stuff along those lines too.

          (I dunno why people wouldn’t want to blow the battle horn though. The problems have mostly moved from outright discrimination to more subtle things anyway. It’s hard to draw attention to them any other way)

          • darkChozo says:

            Was going to say something to this effect. The games industry has something of a reputation of being somewhat hostile to women. If that’s true (not doubting so much as not having the proper context), it would naturally drive women’s average salary down, as women would be less likely to work as long and therefore would not be making senior salaries. Still sexism-related, but not “oh how video game companies hate women” related.

          • Shuck says:

            “There was something not too long ago about women being likely to quit the industry altogether after a short period as well, for various reasons. So they’re generally less likely to trouble the upper pay rates for that reason as well.”
            Yes, this. The industry as a whole tends to burn experienced people out and replace them with fresh-faced, lower-salary young people (who are more willing to give up their lives for work), but the workplace is especially hostile towards women and it causes them to leave at an even faster rate. I’ve seen this happen first hand and certainly heard lots of stories as well. Even in seemingly women-friendly companies I’ve seen the female employees get singled out to be blamed (and laid off) for any technical or morale problems, etc., even though they were no more to blame than anyone else on the team. (I.e. there was some pretty obvious scape-goating.)
            I know a few women who have been in the industry for a long time, and given the stories they’ve told me of their treatment at various companies (and the treatment I’ve seen for myself), I’m always surprised they stuck with it as long as they did.

    • jonfitt says:

      Yes, without controlling for factors like experience levels and tenure in a field, this data only shows what you want it to show.

      I’m not saying that women in the games industry aren’t getting paid less for doing the same job, but that data simply doesn’t prove that point.

      It does show that women are underrepresented especially in audio.

      • hatseflats says:

        Exactly. These comparisons are often provided but are painfully unscientific.

        Pay does not depend (just) on position. To be specific, pay depends, among other factors, on:
        -duration of employment with current employer
        -whether there are periods of absence from the labour market in one’s career (due to unemployment or voluntarily)
        -level of education
        -whether you work part-time or full-time (part-timers get a lower hourly wage)
        -whether the employee has a family to maintain
        -your physical tallness and more weird factors

        These variables are corrected for each other and job position (that is, someone who has been employed for a longer time by the same company likely is more experienced as well, but even if s/he has the same experience his/her wage is still higher).

        If you look into these factors, the difference in pay shrinks substantially. One piece of research (I don’t know which exactly, but I base this on an article in a feminist magazine, so it’s unlikely to be biased against women) showed that while women earned 23% less than men, this gap shrunk to 6.5% after compensating for these factors (minus the tallness and family factors).
        That leaves 6.5%, which is the result of factors which are more difficult to measure. One could conclude that this is due to sexism, but that’s a rather strong assumption. It is more likely to be a combination of (weird) factors, such as physique, family, negotiation motivation and skills and sexism. These factors are not measured, however, so technically it is possible that, for example, sexism is negative for women (that is, that being a woman is actually an advantage) or that women are much better negotiators but sexism is extremely strong.

        Basically, a “gender wage gap” suggests a lot but is an absolutely unusable criterion to base any opinion or analysis on.

        • MisterT says:

          Thing is, this seems like a massive issue when you fudge the numbers this way, it seems no one is willing to compare the hourly rates in the same position, plausibly because there is a statistically negligible difference.

          But pointing this out is ignored in favour of giving a deliberate troll attention, based on the other comment chains here.

          IF there a similar gap in hourly pay for sufficiently similar positions, then there can be a point, but since there isn’t, this article is bad and john should feel bad for fanning flames.

        • Runty McTall says:

          I think yours is the post I most agree with on this – generally I think RPS gets a rough ride in the comments on articles that attempt to highlight issues of sexism in the industry but my first thought on reading this data was “how much of this is due to women not being in the industry as long on average?”

          Without the answer to that question (and several others) you can’t, IMHO, leap to the conclusions suggested in the article.

        • Jimmy Z says:

          “Unscientific” is exactly the right term here. First of all, when it comes to wages, you should always use median instead of mean simply because median is a lot more descriptive and robust statistic. This whole thing could easily be explained by the simple fact that there are more men in the field, which means more variation which means more extremes.

          Simple example with numbers pulled out of my arse:

          Wages of women in tens of thousands of dollars:
          60, 59, 64, 70, 64, 60, 64. ** Median:64, Mean: 63

          Wages of men:
          60, 59, 64, 70, 64, 60, 64, 200 ** Median: 64, Mean: 80

          OH MY GOD, MEN EARN 26 % MORE ON AVERAGE THAN WOMEN. Yeah, or not.

          I’m all for social and cultural gender equality and there definitely discrepancies in the average income of men and women, but rarely anything good comes from throwing around some hamfisted statistics.

    • Orija says:

      Yea, this sounds stupid. Don’t you think the women working in the industry, or even the men, wouldn’t call their bosses on this bullshit if this really was the state of affairs? Or for that matter wouldn’t studios actively prefer employing more women to join the industry if they could save money by doing so?

      • darkChozo says:

        Most employees don’t necessarily have the information to directly compare their salaries to their peers unless they’re HR or finance or something. Even then, this kind of effect is probably not due to someone saying “you’re a woman, we’re not going to pay you as much”; theoretically, it’s more along the lines of saying “she’s not as good an employee” due to mostly-unconscious biases and such.

        That being said, the OP is right; it’s far from sufficient to point to average salaries and say that women are underpaid.

      • jonfitt says:

        Actually no, that’s not typically what happens. People very rarely discuss salaries, when someone is getting paid less for the same job (with the same skills and exp etc.) they rarely know it.

        • WrenBoy says:

          Sorry to get a bit off topic, but being a naturally rude individual, I always make a point of asking my immediate peers what their salary is. What I have anecdotally noticed is that for people in the same position, the higher the seniority, the lower the salary.

          This initially seemed counter-intuitive but then obvious when I thought about it. Never seen it backed up by an actual study though.

    • Terrell says:

      The article itself even shows that you get a lot more money the longer you have been in the industry and obviously there aren’t that many women who have worked in the gaming industry for 10+ years in comparison to males. So obviously the average salary is higher for males

    • djsarcher says:

      I agree, it would be helpful to see the breakdown of the pay difference between men and women for each level of experience, as a large chunk of the gap in pay could well be due to there being a high proportion of the more experienced workers being male, which is entirely what i would expect from this industry.

    • Reapy says:

      I didn’t see how many total people they surveyed, but I also think when taking an average and you have a sample size from one gender of 1000 men vs 45 women, it seems difficult to directly compare those averages in a meaningful way in my opinion.

      I’ve found honestly that the biggest indicator of salary is a person’s ability to network into positions and be more aggressive about asking for more money and raises.

      On the other hand I have seen sexism a plenty in my field as well (programming/engineering) where some extremely talented female engineers have to fight just a bit harder for people to realize they know well more than most anybody else in the room, even when it should be shockingly clear.

      There is something about us older generation that has trouble expecting a woman to know much about tech, mostly due to the vast majority of women we have encounter that are disinterested in our fields.

      Though also there is a strong desire by most men I know to have more women in our field, most of us don’t enjoy working in the sausage factory.

    • Meneth says:

      Is there that much of a career ladder in QA though? Seeing as that’s a field that likely has a far higher turnover than the other fields mentioned, wages for men and women should be closer together. Yet even here there’s a significant difference in wages.

      As such it seems to me that the disparity is not primarily caused by experience and such, though it probably does contribute to some extent.

      • Jdopus says:

        It depends how the researchers have defined QA. If they’ve defined it solely as beta testers? Possibly, but they could also have included more senior positions concerned with managing beta testers and carrying out the testing. It’s impossible to tell without knowing more information.

    • soldant says:

      Balanced analysis in a topic about women in gaming? I’m in some sort of trans-dimensional rift, better check if I’ve got a nosebleed or something.

      But seriously, bravo. I honestly expect better from RPS than just posting up data with superficial analysis. We’re missing key pieces of data which don’t allow us to make an accurate assessment or draw any conclusions.

      We need more people undertaking balanced assessments to find the actual problem as opposed to knee-jerk reactions designed to polarise the community into crusading or being misogynistic.

      • Jdopus says:

        I agree 100%, far too many people are on an emotive crusade over this issue and that just flat out isn’t helpful. If people actually care about this topic then they should at least take the time to understand the complexities of the argument and apply the same criticism to people and evidence supporting their position as they do to those opposing it. This one sided and blind parroting of any evidence which supports pre-conceived notions about whether the industry is sexist is not constructive, nor is over simplifying every single complex situation just because it’s easier to accuse people of being bigots than it is to understand why the status quo exists.

    • Teovald says:

      This. Without comparisons on the same job & experience, it is impossible to conclude anything..

    • Freakydemon says:

      link to
      Want most people seem to forget is that more than half of what makes you you, is biology. There are gender differences that are rooted in biology and no matter how much political correctness you push, it won’t change that.

      • exseraph says:

        Yeah, everyone knows that audio developer genes are carried on the Y chromosome.

        • destroy.all.monsters says:

          What’s interesting though is that few women have worked in audio (across the board not just in gaming)- it’s increasing now but nerddom and geekery has gotten a lot less socially unacceptable. I knew a department at a major university that had 5 men and one woman and none of them looked like they’d seen the light of day in ages. All kinds of geekery on the walls about their recording gear. Pretty funny. Great folks. But I digress – what I’m saying is that it isn’t a terribly glamorous field and that it makes sense that women would be less likely to be interested in it until after much of the negative attitudes towards it are less pervasive.

          @freakydemon- thanks watching this now.

        • Freakydemon says:

          Thanks for missing the point and adding nothing of value exseraph.

  4. Metalfish says:

    This is why there’s a culture across all businesses of being cagey with how much you earn -chances are someone, somewhere is being screwed over. Of course, it’s entirely possible it’s you. Especially if you’re a woman, as this evidence (and plenty more elsewhere) suggests.

  5. The Laughing Owl says:

    People are paid according to their productivity, stop white knighting and let the free market regulate itself.

    • Metalfish says:

      I’ll bite.

      Isn’t this only true where how much everyone is paid is public knowledge? This magical free market seems to allow quite a bit of corruption before it does anything about it, is all.

    • karthink says:

      Can’t tell if serious. I’m a little tone deaf, and the Internet is more so.

    • 65 says:

      All hail the mystical free market!
      Maybe sacrifice a few goats while you’re at it.

      • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

        Free market fundamentalism kid! Who cares if it makes sense as long as I’m rich and you’re not you work-shy taker.

        Eurgh, that was difficult to write.

        It’s strange but this “free market”, always seems to be a euphemism for granting corporations unlimited rights to exploit, harass and pollute without consequence (since for instance global outrage over Monsanto’s business practices has forced market discipline on their practices… by which I obviously mean it hasn’t because the poor farmers they abuse and the consumers they harm aren’t the big agribusiness institutions who are equally invested in their rapacious profiteering).

        Of course, it’s not strange at all… this infantile and utterly valueless rhetoric is created by about two dozen-plus “free market” (I seriously don’t have enough quotations to qualify this adequately) think-tanks; the AEI, CEI, CATO, Heritage, Mercatus, FreemdomWorks (erugh the sheer irony of the name), et cetra funded by the largest and most unethical corporations on the face of the planet and associated foundations which themselves are funded ‘philanthropically’ (for tax purposes) by the richest, most loathesome fucks since Carnegie sent the Pinkertons to lynch labour organisers. So Shell Oil promotes “free markets” while literally destroying Nigeria and murdering environmental activists via paid ‘security’ local militia and the above poster seemingly without irony, spouts their supreme bullshit that even they don’t believe is actually beneficial for anyone but themselves.

        Of course this is presuming the above poster is not trolling, but since there are actually people who believe this aspic-covered horse shit, it’s not useless to comment. And John Walker, congratulations on finding a time when not to be milquetoast, say it loud and proud; fuck you.

        • Ultra Superior says:

          The OP is troll however it PAINS me, when people mistake FREE MARKET capitalism with CORPORATISM or rather crony capitalism.

          Crony capitalism isn’t a result of free market economy, it is a result of permits, regulations, subsidies, monopoly, tax exemptions etc. Corporatism is the opposite of free market capitalism, because external factor (law, exemption, subsidy etc.) is favoring particular CORPORATIONS; who then corrupt politicians by funding their campaigns in order to keep their privileges.

          The answer to corporatism isn’t more government and regulations, but the opposite. Less exemptions, less subsidies etc.

          Free market capitalism is not your enemy, when it’s truly free.

          • WrenBoy says:

            I hear this a lot. It has always sounded very similar to the apologies given by those sympathetic to communism when presented with the examples of USSR and its ilk, ie not real communism, blah blah blah, hand waving.

            Certainly seems to be how free market capitalism functions in the real world to me.

            EDIT – Missed the comment which said much the same thing in a single sentence. Poor form.

          • The Random One says:

            “The free market doesn’t work because the biggest corporations pay politicians to benefit them, so we should do away with politicians and let them bully their competitors directly! That’s way more efficient!”

          • Ultra Superior says:

            That is nonsense. WHY are these “evil” corporations bullies and why don’t they have competition? Because they are protected by permits, bail outs and subsidies that their competition does not have or cannot easily obtain.

            In today’s system of sprawling governments, not only are the corporations who suck off the state’s teat the wealthiest, but banks hesitate to lend capital to any business that isn’t dependent on state. Why?

            Because state pays (much) better price than free markets (bureaucrats making the decisions spend other people budgets) and if the state can’t pay, it borrows from future generations of taxpayers.

            Just look at the military industrial complex and their prices for goodness sake.

            I know what you meant, and I’m with you that state must protect the weak and counter balance the power of wealth – but you’re WRONG blaming the free markets. State has to create LAWs and ENFORCE them, so that it’s hard to be a bully and it’s easy to get justice.

            However, state shouldn’t skew the market forces by taking excess money from its people and businesses and hand them out to selected corporations. That’s what going on now, that’s the incentive for corruption and that’s not free markets, it’s crony capitalism.

    • Morangie says:

      Did communism also work in your reality?

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        What communism has in its favour is that it was upfront, you could progress through the party ranks. Capitalism has the gloss of equality and selling ‘the dream by endeavour’. They neglected to mention that there is no chance(lottery odd’s) of making it, in a plutocracy the die has been cast and it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got enough of that swing!

        A patriarchal plutocracy, YUMMY!

    • RobF says:

      When you say let the market regulate itself you pretty much mean let some old white dudes run rampant over everyone for their own personal gain, right? With all due respect, no. Fuck that.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      “People are paid according to their productivity”

      Do you actually believe that? Oh that is so adorable.

      • Tyrone Slothrop. says:

        In the words of Mark Kermode; post-modernism means never having to say you’re sorry.

      • derbefrier says:

        you should believe it because its true.

        If it wasn’t I would be making a lot less than I am now hell we all would. You make yourself valuable your damn right you’ll get paid what your worth. The sooner you realize that the more successful you’ll be. Wages in certain fields are very competitive because experienced personnel are hard to come by. And the competition results in higher pay. you see there are people called Head Hunters that do this exact thing. They try and lure experienced personnel away from their jobs offering higher pay better benefits etc.. My father recently had this happen to him. He was offered a quite a bit more than he is currently making to move to another state and work for a different company. This is how the free market works and I have seen it work.

        I am sorry to say this but this is indicative of a greater problem when you see this idea so easily dismissed and even ridiculed by the articles author. You and pretty much everyone else who replied to this been conditioned to blame failure on anyone but yourself this is how people are controlled because who do you look for to fix this? Why the government of course. You ask for regulation, you ask to diminish the freedom of others all in the name of “fairness”. This ideal that no one could hope to achieve but for some reason you put that hope in what has historically been the leading cause of most of the worlds suffering, government. This is the trap, this is how your controlled. now that your aware of it do something about it.

      • Reapy says:

        John Walker… Do you care about women, about equality, about changing people’s views?

        What do you think this response will warrant? I appreciate your seeming mission you have, but I continually think that you are making it worse with every word you write. You attack and preach as though far above, casting down your scorn, blankly attacking in your articles.

        Maybe you’ve read some books and this gentleman’s statement is a common fallacy from your experience and knowledge.

        You know what would be more helpful if you had a mission. You would one, agree that at first that seems plausible, free market works itself out, then you would link to an article or entry explaining why this is not the case.

        Now that you have told him to “Fuck Off” is he going to think, “Holy shit John Walker told me to Fuck off, I’m going to change my ways, OOOO WORLD HOW WRONG I HAVE BEEN!!!!”

        No, hes just going to be mad and hate you, and probably continually post things to further inflame you.

        Do you really have a goal here with these articles, or are you just trying to troll comments? If you cared I would think you would utilize your position as a journalist on this site to do some good, rather than continue writing in a way that drives more hits and comments on RPS, which ultimately I believe is your goal, it couldn’t possibly be to do some good on the issue you seem to care so much about.

        • Svant says:

          Yes it is warranted, and here is another. Fuck off.

        • Orija says:

          Walker’s too self-righteous to consider reining in his rhetoric.

          • dE says:

            But that’s exactly what he did in this article. And it improved article quality many times.

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          Suck my hairy she balls and bend over and receive my mutated clitoris!

        • karthink says:

          John’s assumption is that The Laughing Owl actually knows better but made that statement with the express intent of trolling, not out of naivete. I agree with him.

          That he should refrain from such a response because it only feeds the troll is possibly a more valid point.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Responding to people on the internet isn’t about convincing them, it’s about convincing disinterested parties. So to someone who thinks that point might have validity:

          link to

          To the original poster, fuck off.

          • Reapy says:

            For every troll posting there are many more reading, even if the discussion is not centered around those people, there are one’s skimming through.

            I know for myself I’ve learned a lot of things by links I’ve followed in which someone bit hard into a troll and responded seriously. And thank you for the link, I have just read the intro but it looks like it will be a good read. And here at least is one more person more knowledgeable about an important issue. I am willing to bet a lot more people than just myself have clicked that link as well.

      • Torticoli says:

        So, instead of replying to the numerous comments pointing out how your article is misinterpretating statistics, doesn’t provide some crucial information, and jumps to a Daily Mail- or Kotaku- worthy conclusion…

        … you decided to reply to one of the few stupid, non-constructive comments, by saying “fuck off”. I guess that’s easier than responding to actual, valid criticism.

        This website just isn’t worth my time or ad revenue anymore. Fuck off.

        • noodlecake says:

          That’s okay. The more of yeah leave, the better, I think. If I ran a site I’d definitely prefer it if a certain kind of person didn’t view it.

          • Torticoli says:

            You don’t want people with critical sense reading this site ? That’s great, RPS writers obviously don’t want them either.

          • greg_ritter says:

            Ooh, that’s nice.
            Do you not see the fallacy of your statement? Do you honestly, in sound body and mind, write this kind of rhetoric and not feel, not in the slightest, something wrong about it?

          • douknoukem says:

            you’d make a poor business-person (lets be gender unspecific and not use businessman)

          • Orija says:

            The irony! The irony!

        • Fluka says:

          You will note that the “Fuck off” was not directed towards the thread above that, which called for proper statistical analysis, normalization according to experience and other factors, and generally discussed how the case for a female pay gap could generally be presented. A criticism which, while I generally think that employment in the industry has a Woman Problem, I happen to agree with.

          It was towards a gentleman (or lady?!) accusing John of “white knighting” and generally saying “haha, you don’t know how capitalism works, you idiot!”

          As far as I’m concerned, anyone who uses the term “white knight” deserves any “Fuck off” that they get.

          • Torticoli says:

            The point is not whether John’s “Fuck off” was deserved or not, the point is that he decided to respond to one of the few actual trolls here, instead of replying to the actual, constructive criticism that constitues the majority of the comments on his article.

            Oh wait, he did respond to that, by saying that arguments like “you should take into account the average years of experience of men vs. those of women” were “utter rubbish” and “idiotic to the extreme”.

        • El_Emmental says:

          Torticoli, I know that feel… but that’s just John Walker, there’s other writers on RPS.

          It will eventually end in a debacle, or a rare moment of sudden introspection, it can’t last forever like that – one day an article will jump the gun too hard and will start its own Walkergate.

      • Jomini says:

        link to

        “1) Don’t insult anyone, whether they’re an RPS writer, reader or anyone else whether present or not. Clearly you’re welcome to explain your dissatisfaction with something, but if you can’t make your argument without resorting to insults, it simply isn’t worth making. So the comment may well be deleted. Additional to this: any replies to objectionable comments may also be wiped.”

        Are you going to remove your own comment now?

      • Bhazor says:

        Dude, between this response and the bizarre Cara article you’re really getting into angry petulance.

        Have you seriously not learned about trolls yet? This and the Cara article are just encouraging them.

        Sexism *IS* an important issue but is *this* really the best approach?

        • Chris D says:

          The majority of hostile responses to these and similar articles aren’t just about trolling for the attention. They’re about maintaining an inequality of power. As such ignoring them is not the right response. The intent isn’t to get attention. It’s to silence dissent.

          “Don’t feed the trolls” doesn’t apply in this case. Don’t let the trolls dictate the terms of engagement.

          • Bhazor says:

            No there are valid points in these comments (that the given statistics don’t take experience into account, that’s an annual wage instead of hourly) but the one Walker responded to was clearly an antagonistic troll post. Likewise the people I assume he wrote the Cara article about where he ended up insulting the entire reader base on behalf of a couple trolls who were seemingly deleted given there was nothing in the original article comment thread deserving of that vitriol.

          • Chris D says:

            I read that thread. There was more than enough vitriol and related patronising bullshit to justify John’s response several times over.

          • Distec says:

            You and I clearly recall very different threads…

      • noodlecake says:

        That comment didn’t deserve a proper response. I think “Fuck Off” is pretty reasonable. “Yeah! Capitalism is awesome. Let’s all become libertarians and let corporations shit all over everyone with no restrictions whatsoever, cause that’s a good idea!”

        • Torticoli says:

          That comment didn’t deserve a response, period. The numerous other comments that calmly pointed out what’s wrong with this article, did.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Generally I think the hivemind leave us to discuss things ourselves, rather than getting involved beyond the article they posted. There are exception but they are rare.

            However, John in particular does like to stamp on trolls. I can never really decide if it is effective or not. It possibly is since the Laughing Owl has not actually responded. Only a dozen people admonishing John for encouraging the Owl’s behaviour.

      • TheTuninator says:

        How about responding to all the people who have pointed out that this article is overly sensationalist and proves absolutely nothing?

      • GiantPotato says:

        Ok, RPS needs to get off this bender and either start a separate advocacy website, turn RPS into one, or write up their thoughts and move on.

        I get that the staff is angry about this issue, for reasons that I can kind of guess at, but you are really running your own readers through the wringer here. If you are going to be writers and put things on the internet then you need to accept that some of those things are going to be read by idiots.

        • zenjestre says:

          rps has been putting me off for a few weeks and for already mentioned reasons.

          i come here for gaming journalism, not social commentary. every one of these soapbox articles about hot topic issues, while relevant and necessary to discuss, makes me as petulant and heated as john over the fact that it isn’t an article about a game. this article specifically is more journalistic than the last one, which seriously deserved rebuke, but it’s still written in a notably preachy voice.

          this is rps, a community which i greatly respect for its intelligence and level headedness. this IS the right community to introduce these issues to. but these issues are being handed to me like a bible tract. i’m not being politely asked to participate in a discussion, i’m being screamed at about sociopolitical hoobledeblah i wasn’t at all expecting to find.

          mind you, this shit is crazy entertaining, and i enjoy the resulting discussions. and i do think we need to talk about this stuff, but maybe be a little more open minded in the presentation of the topic, and maybe consider having a more appropriate, dedicated forum for such topics. i’m sure the majority of us would swiftly become permanent members of that.

          edit: not the post i meant to reply to, but whatever?

          • iucounu says:

            I DO come here for things other than dry objective factual posts about PC games. I come here to read interesting personalities write interesting articles which may well include social commentary, strong opinions, silliness, preaching, and lots of other stuff. John is always an interesting writer, even when I disagree with him (which isn’t terribly often.) All this stuff is journalism.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Honestly I would be fine with the advocacy if they bothered to first actually understand what they were talking about.

            Instead it is all preachiness and ignorance which is extremely grating.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        You know, Mr. Walker, I was on board with you regarding this article — it’s the most sensible thing you’ve written on the topic. Then you go and lose your cool by telling a reader to Fuck Off.


      • Groove says:

        He really should fuck off, but just delete the comment, don’t go to that level.

      • Fiyenyaa says:

        John… I really feel like this isn’t a good way of approaching people.
        Honestly, I doubt that you responding calmly and rationally to him would make much difference, because the people who make overtures to the free market as a perfect regulator and use the phrase “white knight” some derogatory term probably have their mind quite firmly made up.
        However; your response isn’t going to help anyone at all. The slim chance he’d respond is completely gone; those people who agree with him are going to look at this reply and say “well you see, he’s just a total jerk with no good points to make”; and those of us who agree with you are thinking “well I don’t see any reason to act like that”.
        This is clearly a case where saying absolutely nothing would be preferable.

      • oceantorment says:

        Mr. Walker shows how he have brilliant arguments. “Fuck off” is real classy stuff.

        • iucounu says:

          I don’t understand why everyone is always accusing everyone else on the internet of ‘fake outrage’. The idea seems to be that this stuff doesn’t really make John hot under the collar, and that he’s just pretending in order to… er…?

          I think it may be that *your* outrage is fake if what you’re ‘outraged’ about doesn’t bother *me* at all. Your concerns are worthless and invalid, therefore fake. So when John gets very tetchy about SimCity, I don’t see people accusing him of faking it, because fucking up a game launch is clearly bad and evil; but when John gets tetchy about sexism, his tetchiness is synthetic because sexism doesn’t really exist, or isn’t actually bad, or whatever.

      • Muzman says:

        The myth of economically rational actors has to die. Especially when we’re essentially speculating about cultural matters. We know that has very little to do with White Collar hiring tendencies because you can’t quantify the labour in anything like the same way you can with blue.
        The stats may not be entirely detailed enough for a clear picture, but they imply something curious at least. There’s a lot less women in the games industry compared to men and (perhaps because of this) their average income is a lot lower. Why is this so? Would it be better if it were otherwise? If so, how? (although the answer from many, presumably individualists, seems to be: Who cares, no and see #1)

        Instead we prefer to stand around and complain until the perfect longitudinal study costing millions appears apparently.. I bet good money people would say the same things about that too. Don’t do anything, just keep studying. We don’t want to be too hasty. Keep calm and carry on.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        Well, the obvious reason they wouldn’t hire a cheap female workforce over a pricey male workforce is because they are actually sexist and refuse to hire female workers because they either don’t think they are as good or don’t think they should be in the industry.

        • Muzman says:

          ‘Cause the board would sack them?

        • Muzman says:

          CEO doesn’t veto the whole board or, as you say, the shareholder organisation. Anyone can reduce costs. It’s whether or not the things associated with that convince people they increase confidence and viability in the medium term (since no one does long term any more, if they ever did).
          So yes a CEO that hires only women because they are women (even because they are cheap) is gonna get the sack.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Not all companies are public, thus not all companies are controlled by shareholders.

      • Focksbot says:

        “And you do not have to believe CBS news, just riddle me this, if men and women programmers are equal in skills, and women get paid less (for the same work), and companies are in it for the bottom line (aka money) why would they ever hire more expensive men?”

        Easy. Women are paid less because they are valued less. You don’t hire people you value less. You hire people you value more and you pay them more.

        In other words, the men in this industry are less inclined to hire women (and, when they hire them, less inclined to pay them more) because no matter how much objective research is shoved in front of their faces, they’ll still feel the women are generally not doing as good a job.

        In some cases, this might be simply due to not getting on as well with them, not quite seeing eye to eye. In other cases, they’ll be more irritated by female workers’ lack of productivity than men’s (eg. when they hear women talking about men they’d like to bang, they feel uncomfortable and so the incident stands out for them, but when they hear men talking about women they’d like to bang, they barely notice it).

        • douknoukem says:

          you are quick to reach to this conclusion

          what you have to consider is that this statistic is comparing the salary gap between people of different experiences, instead of comparing the salaries between people of similar experiences

          don’t be surprised to see a huge gap between a newbie and a senior

      • biggergun says:

        Being a real-world journalist fighting inequality and injustice actually starts with not behaving like a spoiled ten year old. Just saying.

      • tomeoftom says:

        Boy, was it satisfying to read that.

        • Jeroen D Stout says:

          Very satisfying. I had a particular potent feeling of disgust and John’s “Fuck Off” (though normally a bit rude) was like a fresh breeze that blew it all away.

      • Getter Scum says:

        With this handy dandy tool, you too can filter out what you feel is worthless content!

        link to

      • vagabond says:

        I’m sorry John, but this article was a poor excuse for Journalism. It took me less than 30 seconds to find last years number via google: link to

        and almost across the board there is improvement in both representation of women as a percentage and of their respective salaries. (I am inclined to ignore the audio numbers as it is likely the smallest field and contains a large amount of contract/work for hire which will both definetly skew the numbers if the people who have been doing it longest or have the biggest names are male).

        The situation is clearly improving. You can argue that you don’t believe it is being corrected fast enough, but that isn’t what you have done. You’ve posted an emotion laden tirade accusing the industry of doing nothing.

        People have raised numerous arguments as to why the data that backs up your article doesn’t represent the massive problem that you insist exists and you have failed to engage with any of them, instead you have chosen to insult someone in the comments thread in contradiction of your own posting rules.

        I don’t agree with the poster in question, but you could have ignored him. You could have deleted his comment if you thought it was offensive. You could have responded with any number of pre-canned internet witticisms (ie “obvious troll is obvious”), but instead you chose to ignore your own rules and lower the tone of the discussion and therefore the site in general.

        You no longer get to complain about the derogatory nature of the comments or forum posts, because you are part of the problem.

        You require censure for your actions and so from this point forward I am withdrawing my subscription. My apologies to Mr Meer and Mr Rossignol.

    • RedViv says:

      Poe’s Law strikes again.

    • SooSiaal says:

      Anyone using the term “Whiteknight” digs their own grave instantly..

    • jonfitt says:

      This is precious. The Laughing Owl has clearly never hired anyone. Ruling out any gender, race or other bias that might affect pay, this simply isn’t true. I was going to continue to explain why, but it’s just too wrong for me to bother.

    • Warskull says:

      If you truly believe that you are one of the most naive people out there. No business pays people based on productivity. They pay people based on what they can get away with. If they can get away with paying you the same as someone half as productive as you, why would they pay you more?

      At the same time, people are paid based on what they can negotiate, demand, and justify.

      Neither of these are necessarily related to how well you do your job. Often times who you know factors largely into the equation. We haven’t even begun to factor in things like racial or gender biases yet.

    • Nallen says:

      “people are paid according to productivity” is utterly, utterly false.
      “the free market” only applies to unrestricted supply and demand situations, which this is not.

    • Muzman says:

      Yes, the comment is one reason why your economy won’t progress. That much is true

    • Brigand says:

      A neoliberal and a sexist! Shouldn’t you be gathering your forces behind the Black Gates?

  6. El_Emmental says:

    Adding some comparable data on the overall job market, the STEM fields, IT field and entertainment field, would greatly improve the article, and let us see if, and how much, the video game industry is more affected by such discrepancies.

    Also, the article doesn’t seem to indicate if the study seriously took into account the average wage over time (looking at how much money women and men made through their careers) and provided hypothesis on that. It would allow us to see if the industry is currently changing for the new recruits or not.

    It is possible through proper interviewing to acquire enough data to make a graph for each person, and with a proper statistician to identify actual trends, provide interesting data.

    Here we have a handful of cropped diagrams and some numbers dropping, this is not a proper information. Either get the authorization from the GD Mag to post more, contact the authors of the study (if it’s not an internal GD mag study), or avoid writing the article in such a scandalized tone, outrage never fixed anything.

    Otherwise it’s just preaching to the choir and asking the very few “lol make me a sandwich” idiots reading RPS to come in and start a flamewar with bogus claims about “men’s right movement”, biology or what comes to their minds.

    Getting 500 people to post their “that’s scandalous ! you’re a terrible person for thinking that” comment at a handful of jerks online isn’t achieving anything, anyone can do that on Facebook. At best you’re making a bunch of sexist males think “these feminazis are real nuts”, what an achievement !

    This place, RPS, and its writers, can do (and did in the recent past) much better. The main problem is how the problem is dealt with, not why.

    The vast majority of people here understand the reason why sexism is a problem. Telling them how morally bad sexism is, and how terrible it is, and not going any further, isn’t helping at all.

    They are currently expecting the journalists/developers/publishers to provide sincere, non-biased and detailled data on the topic, offer original and unique point of views (we really need to hear from the marketing/sales executives), and finally provide what could be for them, simple viable solutions everyone could do, and what debates could happen among the industry and the gamers.

    You know, things like the exploitation of sexuality (both gender affected) in the entertainment and marketing sector – directly affecting how video games are made, sold and marketed toward their audience ; how femininity can coexist with gaming (including between women) ; how the cult of violence in the current era of entertainment is cheaply exploited by the video games industry, preventing women from embracing gaming as much as they would like to (= not just restricting their public image of “woman playing video games” to the wii/ds/fb/mmo and family friendly games), etc…

    You know, actual, meaningful, complex, debates.

    • colossalstrikepackage says:

      Now here is a really fair point. I’d love to read such an article – or a series of them. And once some further facts are established, it would be great to get rolling on some interviews with companies who are doing it right and those less so.

      • El_Emmental says:

        I basically described what journalism should (hu hu) be if it ever wants to “change” anything, and since RPS is probably one of the (the) last place online where it could still happen, I kinda threw that burden on them.

        I also “chose” them because I do believe that some of them are capable of pulling it off, from what I read a few RPS writers are capable to navigate in a sea of controversies, scandals, opinions, point of views and lobbies, and still move forward.

        I also know it requires an insane amount of work, time, phone calls, emails and letters to get it working, and will be mostly ignored by most of the readership – because most people don’t want to hear complex things.

        But my point is, the few people who will read that kind of journalism matter, they do matter because they care, they will make that extra effort when they’ll be an opportunity for change, they will be one of the few people to speak up and remember everything they read and wrote.

        Even if it’s only 500 people, it’s 500 people who matter and care. It’s much better than 5 000 or 50 000 people who go here and only read the things that please their expectations and minds.

    • Muzman says:

      “outrage never fixed anything.”

      Even if your points are mostly useful and practical, that’s just silly. Ohh, outrage fixed a whole lot of things. Anger well applied is brilliant stuff.

      • El_Emmental says:

        What did I read ?

        “Anger well applied is brilliant stuff”.

        Anger should fuel your actions, it should be your motivation – it is an unstoppable force that needs to be controlled and channelled if you want to do anything with it.

        People who fought for the civil rights, for democracy, didn’t just made riots and grabbed some guns – even the Black Panther formed a coherent organization and had a political agenda/program. If you don’t do that, you’re just a “trouble-makers” and you achieve nothing, you change nothing, and History will remember you as of these inefficient unhappy people who did nothing actually worthy about the issue.

        What Walker is doing with the way he’s treating sexism, is only getting on the balcony of his RPS castle tower, shouting to the crowd how sexism is bad, pointing the finger at a minority of insecured idiots, showing how evil and bad these people are, then, after the crowd cheered at him, shouted and booed at the witches (or should I say, here, sorcerers ?), walk back into his suite, like triumphant leader of people.

        Our anger against sexism in the video game industry, among the playerbase and inside our societies, shouldn’t be used only for our own enjoyment/self-esteem/sanity: being all outraged thanks to an article when we fired up our web browser when we’re back home, then going back to gaming/watching a show/eating our soup and going to sleep, feeling our job is done, “duty accomplished !”.

        Liking a post on Facebook saying how Assad is such a bad guy isn’t going to solve the problem in Syria, tweeting about the war in Iraq didn’t stopped it, calling for a VISA/MasterCard/Paypal/Amazon/etc boycott after they cut off Wikileaks didn’t changed a thing. That article on RPS isn’t going to change a thing.

        That anger should instead motivate Mr Walker to do proper researches on the subject (reaching out academic studies and such) and sharing what he found with us, it should motivate Mr Walker to answer to most of the ideas, observations and criticisms in the comments and update the article (or make a new one), it should motivates Mr Walker to interview various people working in the video game industry about the issue, it should motivate Mr Walker into making one of these “Please developers (publishers) stop doing this and please start doing that” articles (like a RPS writer did with save files locations).

        Instead, all we’re getting so far is “Fuck Off” (an answer to the 1-out-of-200-comments post being offensive, sexist and idiotic ; why the 199 others aren’t getting any answer ?), and “omg look what I found, there’s a gender gap in yearly incomes in the working world, incredible !”. Why all that anger is spent on that, not something actually setting up a structure allowing discussion and change ?

        It shouldn’t just be “oh, I received link to an article/noticed a new article on a RSS/read an article about sexism and video games, let’s post about how outraged it makes me feel and how people should be outraged too”, RPS is a subjective website where the authors express how they feel (rather than pretending to be completely objective robots), but subjectivity doesn’t mean it free them from actually backing up their subjectivity with proper methodology, honesty and objectivity where it is needed.

        Walker’s articles on sexism lack such things, and just because the problem is important doesn’t mean it free them from these standards – it’s completely the opposite actually, it is such an important problem no one should, especially a journalist, fall into sensationalism when talking about it.

        Just because you are against something that is bad doesn’t make you automatically good, or of any help to the cause against what is bad. There is where Mr Walker, and a lot of people saying how these articles make them feel better (like a “breeze of fresh air”) are failing to see how, even though it feels good, there articles aren’t “good” nor satisfactory at all. Being outraged is a thing, actually doing something is another.

        ps: I have the utmost respect for John Walker, for what he did in the past on RPS, and for denouncing things that are wrong in the video game industry and playerbase – I only want him to understand he’s missing an enormous opportunity (that he, to an extent, created) to fight sexism effectively.

        ps 2: I save all my comments in .txt files.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Gassalasca says:

    How is this even possible? o.0

  8. frightlever says:

    Unlike chainmail bikinis this is a real issue. However, we’re not seeing all the figures, particularly the most important one – pay rate per hour worked. If men are working 25% longer hours then it’s not a problem, right? Typically women take more time off work, for various reasons but generally related to being parents, or about-to-be parents.

    You can get angry about anything if you don’t look at all the facts. It’s terribly disingenuous.

    But, yeah if two individuals are doing the exact same job they should be getting paid the same, all other variables being equal. Equal.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Do you have any facts?

      • innociv says:

        Do you? Because he was pointing out that the article is missing that.

      • frightlever says:

        For what?

        I’m primarily pointing out that the article is very Daily Mail-esque in the way it addresses selected figures to make a point.

        Or are you seriously asking me whether I can prove that women take more time off work than men?

        Women are more likely to work part-time. They’re more likely to take time off sick. And, of course, they get pregnant. I’m not saying this is bad, but it changes how you can approach the figures – as opposed to claiming men are being paid 25% more for “the same job”.

        • Snargelfargen says:

          Many countries allow maternity leave for men as well actually. There is still a wage gap in those countries. In any case, working longer hours doesn’t equate to maternity leave. Those are entirely different things.

          You didn’t say women take maternity leave, you asserted that men work longer hours. The burden of proof is on you to prove that. Also do you have any evidence that women take more sick days? Again, calling in for a cold is not maternity leave, that distinction has to be made.

          • mickygor says:

            In the UK, maternity leave is 2 years and paternity leave is 2 weeks. It will have an impact on wages.

          • Crimsoneer says:

            This statistic comes up pretty often, and some quick googling will back it up.
            link to

            Again, I’m not saying that justified, or condones these numbers. Odds are, sexism plays a decent roll. But fuck knows how much that roll is with this crappy analysis,

          • Machinations says:

            I’ll bite. In most countries such data is readily available through the miracle of google.

            It is generally truth, across Westernized nations, that men take fewer sick days than women, even excluding maternity leave. From Statistics Canada, for example:

            In 2011, excluding women on maternity leave, an estimated 8.1% of full-time employees missed some work each week for personal reasons: 5.9% for own illness or disability and 2.2% for personal or family responsibilities (Table 2). As a result, full-time employees lost 3.7% of their work time each week.

            On average, each full-time employee lost 9.3 days in 2011 for personal reasons (7.7 for own illness or disability plus 1.6 for personal or family demands). This amounted to an estimated 105 million work days for all full-time employees. Men lost fewer days than women—7.7 (6.4 for illness or disability plus 1.4 for personal or family demands) versus 11.4 (9.4 plus 2.0).

            So note, this is across all industries, and excludes maternity leave, which likely makes the gap considerably wider and hence why it was normalized and removed. Even with maternity leave excluded, on average a working female took 3.5 days off more than her male counterpart.

            None of this stuff is simple. Its not like women are getting 1$ an hour less for the same work – not saying it never happens, but this is not the primary reason. Underrepresentation is one part, as is the seniority of positions that the females hold.

            Basically, I expected more in depth analysis from a site I respect. I’m no misognyist, but I think the ‘gender gap’ in wages particularly has to be approached with staistical precision because the factors causing these discrepancies are many and varied, at least in my view.


          • Snargelfargen says:


            Hah, that’s funny I actually linked statscan a bit earlier. Thanks for the info dump. Obviously there’s a lot more to the statistics, but that’s kind of the point; simply relying on commonly accepted wisdom and “just the facts” is incredibly misleading when there are so many different factors at play.

            Maternity leave is particularly problematic, because all too often it’s treated as a potential problem when it comes to hiring policies and wages. One can claim that women are justifiably earning lower wages for less experience, but that ignores the other side of the equation, where organizations can discriminate against female employees because of the potential risk for childbirth. It’s a similiar problem to that of people with chronic illnesses, where their rights conflict with the hiring policies of a company trying to act in it’s own best interest.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        I suspect that’s why he’s not writing an article like this. The case is the poster’s to make.

        Edit: note to self – post faster :P

    • aliksy says:

      This sounds fucked up. Most professionals are paid salary, not hourly. Men take time off, too. Why are only women parents?

      Or just wharrgarbl wharrgarbl wharrgarbl wharrgarbl wharrgarbl wharrgarbl wharrgarbl wharrgarbl wharrgarbl

    • Metalfish says:

      Thing is, this is averaged out across a lot of people. The factors you describe should probably be at least a bit smoothed out by this averaging, but the effect is still pretty significant. If there’s data that suggests the majority of women are negatively effecting their careers (and thus pay) by going forth and multiplying and that can account for this gap, I’d be very interested in it.

      • frightlever says:

        Read “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. It’s not perfect but it does dare to suggest that women self-sabotage their careers – or to put it another way, they find a work/life balance that suits them instead of working themselves into the ground.

        Some people here won’t be happy until women are forced to adopt every masculine characteristic and call it equality. We’re different but equal. But different.

        • Consumatopia says:

          It’s not “work/life” balance if women are doing more domestic/childrearing work–work inside the home is still work, and except for the pregnancy itself (which isn’t enough to account for the differences since women can keep working for most of their pregnancy) there’s no reason this work should be inherently female.

          “Some people here won’t be happy until women are forced to adopt every masculine characteristic and call it equality. We’re different but equal. But different.”

          That’s not what’s going on here. Men should take up their fair share of burdens inside the home so that women are free to pursue their interests and careers outside it as men do.

          Of course, whether there’s anything specific to the game industry going on here is another story.

          • El_Emmental says:

            You make it sound like not making overtime work, and spending time at your home/with your kid instead, is a worse choice in terms of quality of life – I highly doubt that. Not seeing your kids grow, not being able to a life outside your job, is not something we should strive for. Happiness and accomplishment isn’t just down to a salary.

            “Look at me, I get enough money to buy a fancy car and buy ready-made meals ! Sure, I can’t maintain a relationship with someone else more than 2-3 years, I barely know my kids, but who cares, I can pay for a nanny and a dating service/prostitutes”

          • Consumatopia says:

            “You make it sound like not making overtime work, and spending time at your home/with your kid instead, is a worse choice in terms of quality of life – I highly doubt that.”

            “You make make it sound like” is a nice way of putting words into someone else’s mouth.

            Sure, playing with the kids is great. But most of the work involved with maintaining a household is stuff people would rather not do. Laundry, dishes, scrubbing, staying up late when the baby won’t sleep, etc. Women do more than their fair share of the annoying stuff.

        • Snargelfargen says:

          That book has also been broadly criticised a lot for not having any helpful advice for women facing active discrimination. Stating that women self-sabotage their careers is also misrepresenting the author. She makes it clear that it shouldn’t be necessary for women to follow the advice she gives, as the root problem is imposed by society as a whole.

    • Berzee says:

      Counterpoint: chainmail bikinis are a real issue, like all bikinis, because Clothes Should Clothe You.

    • MuscleHorse says:

      I’d say this is actually rather closely linked with chainmail bikinis. If we make out women to be sexualised playthings in our popular culture, how are we to look at them outside of it? I’d say many can make the leap to see the difference but figures like the above show that there’s a definite lack of respect towards our sisters.

      tl;dr: misogyny comes in many forms, no forms are to be ignored.

      • frightlever says:

        Okay, this is my last reply because I have a relevant fact.

        In porn women earn ten times what men do.

        In light of this being Right Wing Journalism day on RPS, I can thereby deduce that wearing sexy clothes improves women’s pay parity by a startling degree. The evidence is too large to ignore. Correlation equals causation, after all. Therefore if women want to close the pay gap with men they should wear fewer clothes. Jesus, that’s just SCIENCE.

        • MuscleHorse says:

          Urm, it’s your views that are rather right wing.

          Tell me more about how women should wear less so that men can look at them and pay them just for that.
          And of course women earn more than men in porn – who do you think buys the majority of porn?

          • Crimsoneer says:

            I think his point was that taking random numbers without any context and while not taking a huge amount of other factors into account is very silly. He’s right. This is interesting, but tells you absolutely nothing without seeing the data and doing better analysis of it.

          • mickygor says:

            Right Wing Journalism, not right wing. By which he means tabloid journalism, of course.

    • darkChozo says:

      Most workers in game design are going to be salaried professionals who can’t claim overtime (out of the categories mentioned, QA is the only one who might not be, and even then most should be). Men working longer hours might result in more promotions/raises, but it won’t directly affect how much money they make. And that’s assuming that men actually work longer than women.

      • frightlever says:

        Last reply because I need logic in the atmosphere in order to breathe.

        ” Men working longer hours might result in more promotions/raises, but it won’t directly affect how much money they make.” – Just re-read what you wrote there and wonder why I find discussions like this challenging.

        • darkChozo says:

          I’m aware — but that doesn’t fall under “pay rate per hour worked”. You don’t get paid more right now for working fifty hour weeks, but you’re likely to get noticed as a productive individual and reap the rewards. The same could be said for having more experience or having a better education or whatever.

          I’m not denying that women have certain issues when it comes to working the same amount of time as men (hello there childbirth), but pay rate per hour isn’t a particularly useful metric there. I’m also a bit skeptical that it justifies a 20%+ difference in pay (assuming that the 20% number is real and all sorts of other things).

          • mickygor says:

            minimum wage laws dictate that up to a point, you will.

          • Muzman says:

            This is video games we’re talking about. If it’s crunch time, everyone is working overtime. Everyone.

          • darkChozo says:

            In the US at least, minimum wage and overtime laws don’t apply to “professionals”, which is a category that more than likely includes everyone in this study. So no, minimum wage don’t dictate anything in this case.

  9. Lagwolf says:

    It is appalling they get paid less but I don’t see the problem with sheer amount of women being involved in the industry. Is there any proof lots of women want to be involved in making games? Is there evidence they are being turned away from gaming jobs? I hope you are not suggesting there should be quotas to get more women involved in the game industry because that hurts everyone.

  10. Cytrom says:

    Again with the damn sexism… if women earn less it is because they take jobs that earn less (or should the cleaner staff make as much as the CEO?) or there are simply less women working in the gaming industry than man (nobody restricts their participation).

    It would be discrimination, and a topic worth talking about if a woman and a man would do the exact same quality & quantity of job at the exact same company and the woman would get paid less than the man purely becasue of her gender, but that is simply not true.

    • aliksy says:

      Wow. This is some weapons grade stupid, here.

      • Metalfish says:

        Come on, be nice, or you’ll never change minds (apparently). This one would have to actually read the post to see why their comment is flawed, and that was obviously too challenging.

        • Cytrom says:

          I did and its just a simple lie / twisted stats to prove something that it cannot prove.

          If women would be such cheap workforce, all men would be unemployed by now.

    • RaveTurned says:

      We’re not talking about cleaners or CEOS. We’re talking about the pay difference between people of different genders doing the same job – male animators and female animators, male designers and female designers, male producers and female producers.

      The Article. Read It.

      • Cytrom says:

        That doesn’t mean they are doing the same job, or the same amount of work.

        • Metalfish says:

          But on balance of probabilities, we have no reason to assume they aren’t.

          • TheTuninator says:

            We do, however, have reason to assume that many of them may not have worked in the industry for as long as their male counterparts.

      • monkeybars says:

        >doing the same job

        For an undetermined amount of time. Unless we get a gendered breakdown of years worked (amongst other factors, such as the much less quantifiable quality of work), none of this matters. What if 99 per cent of the 1-3 years are women, and 99 per cent of 6+ years are men? Would this disparity in pay not shift the other way?

        Women are just recently starting to enter the industry in bulk, and it was an old-boys club. Would it not make sense that the longer-tenured employees, who naturally make more than those just starting, would make more money?

        • RaveTurned says:

          I wouldn’t say “none of this matters” – the data as presented is extremely troubling and indicates a potential problem. Further investigation is required to assess what the causes of the statistic are, and whether it’s a big deal or not. Basically anomalies like this matter until we can prove that they don’t.

          A gendered breakdown of years worked would be a good first step, and your explanation of women having worked in studios for less time could be plausible – but until we have more detailed data, this is just speculation on your part.

          Data, data, data! We cannot make bricks without clay.

  11. byteCrunch says:

    Do you have the raw numbers? Because sadly many people really do not understand even basic statistics. Its quite easy to portray them one way or another.

    Lies, damned lies and statistics.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Women only work in shops and cafes, well real women. You do get those himshe types who demand equality, foam at the mouth and occasionally cough up a testicle they have eviscerated from a hapless victim. You know the type, the ones that are equally able but don’t get a commensurate wage, that ‘other’ 50%!

      • byteCrunch says:


        I am stating that simply quoting some statistics is meaningless without context.

        I did not state this is the case here, but often statistics are either misread or deliberately misleading. Just simply that I have not seen any numbers to support any of the claims, besides some pie charts, which last time I checked hardly constituted proof of anything.

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          Riiiiight, so statistics can be manipulated to suit a purpose but in this case you agree that women are not on an equal footing when it comes to their rate of pay. Is that a fair summation?

          • Machinations says:

            The frothing at the mouth approach you are taking here to what I would call a legitimate question about the quality of the statistical analysis presented in this article does little to convince others about the validity of said article.

            Is it possible that the data presented here ignores several important factors and is fairly sensationalist?

          • byteCrunch says:

            Again, you fail to understand.

            Why must one take a side?
            Is this some sort of your either with us or against us? Apparently as a rational adult I must share your opinion or be excluded and therefore wrong.

            No I am not taking a side, because there is no genuine evidence either way, what has been presented isn’t hard proof. The Border House article doesn’t even list the number of people questioned, it could have 5 people for all we know.
            I bring you back to my issue of the dangers of taking statistics at face value.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Riiiight, so let’s ignore what the article was about and talk about representative samples, statistical anomalies etc etc ad infinitum, OK!(but ‘count’ me out)

          • Machinations says:

            Excuse me but what was the article about other than statistics?

            Without the statistics behind the article you just have someone saying “Sexism is a problem in the games industry.” Thats fine as an opinion piece and could be presented as such.

            I just don’t understand the inability of some people to have these discussions. Instead it’s bandwagon jumping with little to no critical thought involved.

            What’s galling is your painting this legitimate criticism as being somehow unreasonable, when in fact if anyone is unwilling to consider what is actually being said, in this instance it would be you.

            You can count yourself out of whatever discussion you choose to, but please don’t attempt to portray yourself as the aggrevied party when really you’re just having a bit of a fit and taking your ball to go home.

        • byteCrunch says:

          Programmer – 4.53%
          Artist – 22.56%
          Designer – 19.13%
          Producer – 19.96%
          Audio – 39.72%
          QA – 24.20%

          As a quick example of showing how easily the figures can be changed, here is the percentage differences, computed by taking (Male Wage – Female Wage) / Male Wage.

          Just that simple change drastically impacts the values. Audio has dropped by over 25%. Whilst producer has gone up by 11%.

          Also do not misinterpret this as some attempt just justify the difference in wage, since you seem insistent on disregarding anything that does not align with your own opinion. I am just giving an example. Just again, another reiteration on my point, I am not saying there isn’t an issue with wage differences, I am saying we need better numbers to reach an accurate conclusion. Rather than overzealous remarks made by Walker, who clearly made no attempt to verify these numbers.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Riiiiiight!, again, as before, I agree statistics can be easily manipulated, top figure posting there Sir!

            So, I admit that statistics can be deceiving, AGAIN!, are you saying that within the gaming industry women on a ‘like for like’ are on the same financial level as men?

            You seem to like to quote figures and statistics as an excuse to not address the elephant in the room!

            Edit: Well to some extent you have but I think the OP has the lead on you by a long shot(as far as the stats go)!
            43% trumpet splurt!

          • byteCrunch says:

            Argh, do you seriously not see. We do not know if women are paid like for like, by virtue of not having enough data, nor even a bare inclining of all the factors taken into account in regards to determining their wage. Not to mention we have only been provided a single source. Have you completely failed to realise this or are just being deliberately ignorant.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            I fully comprehend Sir, fully!

            It would seem the presented stats are indicative albeit not definitive.

            I think I can spot an underlying trend, can you?

          • El_Emmental says:

            Woaw analydilatedcorporatestyle, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone as thick as you, byteCrunch is calmly explaining how he would like to have more data, so we could more accurately discuss, debate and identify the problem of the gender gap, and you’re constantly trying to pretend he’s denying sexism even exist.

            Seriously, how in hell could statistics and mathematics be sexist ? Math damn it ! There is no gender in maths, there is no male or female numbers, male/female algorithms – an average doesn’t have a gender ! Or is it the scientific method being the problem ?!

            I really don’t understand why you’re doing this, just because “obviously everyone know that” doesn’t mean the very thought of wanting to prove it, to back it up with researches and unbiased data, is being against the very idea of its existence – science isn’t about proving someone you don’t agree with wrong, it’s not just a tool you pull out to fight your opponents, it’s about having a better, more accurate understanding of our universe.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Riiight, OK so the data presented isn’t definitive but it’s indicative. That is the whole point, I’m all for further analysis but as no further data is being offered WTF.

            Just because the data isn’t as complete as you would wish doesn’t make it less valid unless you can offer data up that runs counter to this data’s conclusion.

            You are talking about hearsay in definitive terms.

            From the data set presented it seems that women are not on parity remuneration wise with men in the games industry. Show me different then we can discuss…………

  12. billt568 says:

    This is a pretty clear case of 1. An industry that men strive to enter over women for the last 20 years, and 2. The case of men selecting high paying programming careers over women.

    This is just sensationalist, go to any state college computer sci program and look who’s enrolled. Thats why it looks like it does.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      “The case of men selecting high paying programming careers over women”

      Are you saying that women select low paying programming careers? The problem here isn’t that more men than women work in programming, it’s that those women who do work in programming are grossly underpaid compared to men.

    • Fluka says:

      There are lots of things to criticize in the above stats, but that’s not one of them. This is not an “every job in the industry” average, but is broken down by subsection. So even within the higher paid subsectors like programming, there is a sizable wage gap. Hell, even in the “soft” fields like art, there is a 30% gap in wage. The real question is to what degree these jobs are being skewed by experience level. Are the wages so much smaller because there are younger female employees, on average, in every field? (And is that a recent phenomenon, or does the industry have terrible retention rates?) Or does this inequality persist across the board?

  13. Berzee says:

    “With the exception of programmers” aka, the people who make games. =P

    (oh, snapper turtles)

  14. Synesthesia says:

    I know im kinda pissing outside the jar here, but holy crap! those are high figures! I’m a proffessional animator, and i’m lucky here in argentina if i’m paid 1200 dollars a month. We also have to pay for most electronics in its dollar value! Whoopee!

    Ok, who’s buying me a ticket? I’m getting out of here.

    Edit cause i sucked at math and converted the monies wrong.
    Also i knew that expression would have at least one reaction!

  15. innociv says:

    Is there a chance, perhaps, that women ask for less money and don’t stand up and demand higher wages?

    I doubt there is a conspiracy with whoever controls payroll of “Ah-ha-ha lets cut 25% off these female’s pay checks”.

    They’ll try to pay people as little as they can. You have to stand up and demand more, and be ready to look for another job.

    • RobF says:

      No, not really. No.

      That’s sort of not how things work so no.

      • c-Row says:

        There was a recent article in one of our larger local magazines pointing out this exact issue, so I wouldn’t rule out that possibility.

        • RedViv says:

          It is actually far too common, and I have seen quite a number of fellow ladies take a step back due to what is mostly insecurity. Rooted very deeply in the still very little dissolved, more subtle parts of the gender lines. A lady does not complain and demand, to speak up is to bitch and moan. A man speaks up and demands, and that is decisive and firm.
          Long story short: This whole problem is far too broad to sum it up convincingly with a few pieces of statistics.

      • Nallen says:

        Actually that sort of is how things work. I can say that I have seen, first hand, capable and competent women miss opportunities simply because they did not pursue them “because they thought they shouldn’t”.

        • RobF says:

          And so it goes with many men also.

          Regardless that is not even remotely the same thing as asking for more money and furthermore, trying to shift the onus onto those on the receiving end of inequality rather than those causing it can, frankly, fuck right off.

  16. ScubaMonster says:

    To play devil’s advocate, how many women are in high positions in the game industry, and is that reflective of their skill set or desire? It’s easy to toss numbers around with zero context. If more men are interested in technical fields that pay more in the game industry, that’s not discrimination at work.

  17. Turin Turambar says:

    This needs more info before taking the torches. For example, what’s the average income by gender AND year of experience. The article show one, and the other, but not the two together.

    Because the article shows a great disparity between new and old people, for example artists win twice if they have 6 years of more than people with 2-3 years. If the female artist sector have more members in the 1-3 years area and the male artist sectors have more members in the 6+ year area, that would explain the difference, at least in part.

    But you know, to notice this you would require reasoning, critical thinking, and both males and females are very equal lacking in that specific area!

    • zaphod42 says:

      You hit the nail on the head mate. These statistics summarize many variables, and to just look at the picture and assume correlation -> causation is a fallacy. There’s so many more things at work here, as you said experience is a big one, and almost nobody stays in the game industry for more than 10 years, people burn out. So maybe only the Men are stupid enough to keep putting up with bad work conditions in return for getting to work on games?

      Again, as you said, both males and females are completely lacking in critical thinking these days. Comeon people, did nobody take Statistics class?

    • monkeybars says:

      Watch out, you’re not toeing the RPS party line. Expect some disparaging comments from Mr. Walker.

    • industrylol says:

      I agree with this, until I see a more complete breakdown of the data and better comparisons I will keep my pitchfork in the shed. While this data is eye catching, it is far too broad to draw REAL conclusions from.

    • Fluka says:

      Yes, I would love to see a much more thorough statistical breakdown of the results. It’s clear that *something* is going on, but it’s important to actually be able to describe it accurately.

      Lots of folks have mentioned properly controlling for level of experience, but frankly even a bias from less experienced workers would be an interesting result. If we do have a much larger percentage of younger, less experienced female employees, what does that mean? You’d probably need historical trends, too – has the industry been getting better at higher women in the past few years, causing a glut earlier in the pipeline which is skewing the current salaries? Or is there an extremely poor retention rate in the industry for female employees, and if so, for what reason? (See all the #1reasonwhy stuff…) In STEM fields in academia, we often talk about the “leaky pipeline”, where there are plenty of young female graduate students and postdocs, but somewhere on the road to professor, we tend to drop out and go to other careers. Does the games industry have a “leaky pipeline” situation, if that’s the case? So many different factors, but interesting conclusions regardless if you do this right!

  18. zaphod42 says:

    The averages get further off the more significant the differences in total percentages you get. With Audio developers (Notice, RPS, that doesn’t say programmers like you said in the article. It says AUDIO DEVELOPERS. Those are programmers working specifically in audio, which appears to be a male dominated field. Does that mean there’s a glass ceiling for women who want to work in music programming? No, it might just mean there aren’t very many women who like both audio engineering and software development. Its a pretty strange mix-up of skills, after all)

    When you have only 4% compared to 96%, the fact is the averages aren’t going to be anywhere near each other, that’s just basic statistics. You don’t have enough plots to work with so the “average” is heavily weighted by the few outliers you do have.

    Sorry, but you guys don’t seem to understand statistics. Most of this can be accounted for with just standard deviation.

  19. Snids says:

    When a ball rolls downhill do you blame the ball?
    or the hill?
    Or whoever put the hill there?

    Some thinks for you there my friends.

    Some thinks.


  20. Snargelfargen says:

    The 25% wage gap is unfortunately present throughout all industries. As an example average wages in Canada for women are 70% of males, making a 25% discrepancy actually better than the average!

    Here’s the study, done by Statscan, a government org and one of the best demographics centers in the world until it’s budget was cut in half last year: link to

    There’s a lot of other interesting info in the article, including data from other countries. The wage gap is closer to 10-20% in Europe, improving as you move into Northern Europe.

  21. Burzmali says:

    Data presented is too limited, it doesn’t compare employees with a similar amount of experience and it doesn’t mention the sample size. Some of those numbers are round making me suspect that the total number of respondents in those categories was only 2 or 3.

  22. Skud says:

    Congrats, you’ve reached gawker levels of politics. I hope you reach that wider, broader audience! Less about games and more about THIS! That’ll be GREAT.

  23. RaveTurned says:

    Can we have some data about how this compares to other industries, or national averages? I was under the impression that an average wage difference of 20% in favour of men is not uncommon outside of the industry either.

    Of course that doesn’t make it right or not a problem, but would indicate it’s not restricted solely to the games industry.

  24. nimzy says:

    Good thing the figures are located in a magazine so we can’t find out if these figures are real or just sensationalized statistics based on a tiny sample size.

    I’m more interested in the wage gap between administrators (producers) and the actual line employees (artists/engineers/testers) than I am the “disparity between what men and women are paid.”

  25. Golwar says:

    What I miss in this statistic is the average years of experience for women and men in comparison.
    I’d expect that men should a slight lead there, which would explain some of the gap.
    You can’t simply assume that the complete gap is just based on the gender, though that surely is responsible for the largest part.

  26. kwyjibo says:

    This is not as damning as I thought it’d was.

    When I read “equivalent jobs”, I assumed it meant equivalent levels of experience/seniority – it doesn’t mean that. Game Developer Magazine should have the raw data where they can make that comparison though, and they should.

  27. MarcP says:

    Those graphs don’t mean much without showing average experience level per gender as well. Handwaving this away does not make sense, it absolutely does explain those discrepancies. To what extent is debatable, but in such a male dominated industry there’s no doubt it is a significant factor.

  28. Soldancer says:

    I think the issue isn’t whether there are other factors at work that are not accounted for in the data presented. Clearly there are, and the article itself addresses that.

    The larger issue seems to me to be that *are there enough other factors to completely account for this discrepancy*. While we don’t have that information, similar studies in other professions over the years have shown very similar data, even in fields that are not traditionally as male-dominated as the video game industry.

    In short, we should take this with a grain of salt, but still be aware of the larger implications it may have on the industry.

  29. xcession says:

    I’d be interested to know if these figures factor in equal work hours. Whether you’re male or female, if you’re payed a good salary and enjoy the job you’ll want to continue working where you are.

    If you then have a child, take some time off and want to come back to work, chances are you’ll want to rejoin the same company, but if you’re only working part time – as many returning parents do – you’re obviously going to take a salary cut.

    As statutory paternity leave is for less time than maternity leave in many countries (annoyingly) it’ll be the women who take the majority of leave, then when they return to work it’s equally likely that they’ll go part-time too.

  30. Dowr says:

    No doubt the comments section is going to explode again.

  31. bigjig says:

    “It’s despicable, and the only valid response is for those in senior positions at publishers and developers to not pretend it isn’t them, to look at their own figures, and to rectify discrepancies.”

    Of course you could always lead by example and look at the gender discrepancy at Rock, Paper, Shotgun if you really believed this, those in glass houses and all.. But of course you won’t. It’s easier to just knee-jerk and fling mud at others from inside an echo chamber based on a bare minimum of background information.

    • Machinations says:

      Love the site and the people, but there is a point here. Leading by example would have at least a single female writer to at least give you 20% female representation. That is, if games journalism is considered part of the ‘games industry’.

      I have a young daughter, maybe she wants to make games someday. I would very much love that.

      I, like I assume most others, is not a closet male supremcist. I love women, I hope I don’t have to explain that.

      I shouldnt have to preface my comment with disclaimers to make it clear I am not against the principle of women receiving equal pay for equal work. This is so obviously correct, morally and logically, that I find it hard to imagine there are people who would think a pay gap is justified.

      However, you cannot present poor analysis to a group of people who, at least some of which, work in careers where analysis of detailed metrics are a part of everyday life. We’re not the audience of the Daily Mail. The concerns are logical, and I hope you don’t go deciding your audience is a bunch of sexist idiots based on the reaction.

    • Bhazor says:

      Porpentine (Free Indie) is a woman.

      That said I’d love a return of Leigh Alexander.

  32. Gothnak says:

    Can someone do a story on the wages of the UK vs the US. I think male UK developers are paid on average probably 50% of those overseas looking at this chart, let alone the poor female UK developers!

  33. jpvg says:

    Dear John,

    Nice stats but you’re missing more factors!

    Women also has a lower tendency working in startups, that also means that 5 years later that some guys are getting damn good paychecks in through the door while the women have taken the more secure but smaller paycheck.

    Women also have a tendency not to do as their fellow male coworkers and ask for raises under the premises that they might leave if they don’t get it (again taking the safe route) and while their male counterparts often do get those raises, what happens to those that now find themselves unemployed? Well they don’t count in your statistics.

    There is also a tendency for males to mention higher salaries on queries then females, loosely ~5% in each direction so how is this information collected?

    Missing Info!
    Graphs of the two genders average salary divided into years of experience.
    Graphs of the two genders in startups in gaming over the last 20-25 years.
    Graphs of the two genders unemployment rates.

    I’m not going to claim that women are equal just that stats such as the ones being posted does not show the full picture when you’re talking about gender equality and HRM. Also the things I’ve mentioned is just samples.

    There is actually alot of other factors some more controversial then others such as a tendency for women to work less hours per week and also a tendency to be less inclined to take on more extra work, values that are appreciated and rewarded by the employer, althought lets leave those controversities out so we don’t ruin the discussion.

  34. Dowson says:

    You mention that experience and men being more represented, thus more likely to have more experience and then be paid more is a factor, and it obviously is, someone with more than 6 years experience gets more than twice the amount as someone with less than 3.

    But then you just randomly dismiss it even after mentioning its a factor? Why? Its well known that IT is male dominated, and Females have only recently started breaking into it, so its very obvious that for one experienced woman, you’re likely to get several men, meaning the pay ratio tips immensely.

    Just look at the gender representation ratio, the closer they are, the lower the difference in pay (Game Designers being a minor outlier in this case), because its safe to assume women have been working in that sector longer and have more experience.

    If we split them up by age, are we going to cry ageism because older employees (Who are more likely to be experienced) are paid more?
    I don’t normally bother with the sexism stuff on RPS because its usually more right than wrong and its pointless really to add anything, plus the comments section deteriorates rapidly, but come on, this time you’ve dun goofed.

  35. Merlkir says:

    Oh goodness. Every flippin feminist will repeat their sacred mantra that women get paid 75 cents (or a number close to that) for a man’s dollar. How’s the game industry any different then, how is this surprising and horrendous? It isn’t.

    You’re also not the first to point fingers and shout “SEXISM!”. And you’re not the first one to be wrong.

    The mythical gender pay gap is a mirage created by comparing averaged salaries without actually accounting for all little differences in how men and women work.

    Oh gee, seniority might play a role? Oh gee, hours worked might play a role? Yeaaaahhh…maybe. Let’s forget about them. We like this 25% difference, it gives us a reason to cry about.

    The gender pay gap has been debunked and explained over and over, but nope. You just can’t give it up. The image of a group of a few powerful old white men (the worst villains in the world) laughing about paying women less is just too good.

    I know, I’ll start a game company, hire all women and pay them less than men! PROFIT!

    • deadrody says:

      I know, I’ll start a game company, hire all women and pay them less than men! PROFIT!

      Ah, that’s hysterical. I never thought of it that way, but once you do, the idea that anyone is intentionally doing this seems pretty stupid on its face.


  36. Delusibeta says:

    To use the thing you’ve gotten most worked up over, audio programming, a) it remains a male dominated field, which implies b) most of the women haven’t worked in that field as long and hence haven’t hit the higher pay brackets. Over half of the people in audio programming have worked there for more than six years and is pulling in an average of nearly $100k per year. I wager that there’s only a handful of women in that category, hence the averages are skewed higher for men. We’re going to need more data before I can get rid of that hypothesis.

    [Edit] I also completely forgot the possibility that the female sample might be too small for the “average female audio developer salary” stat to be of any worth. Always good to know the sample size in all studies.

    Certainly, I’ll agree that there should be equal pay with all other factors being equal. The problem is that all the other factors are almost never equal.

    • Rapzid says:

      I could be wrong by I suspect that “Audio Developers” should be “Audio Engineers”. I just can’t imagine there being enough people doing audio programming in the games industry to justify a unique category in this poor presentation. Audio engineers on the other hand… That can describe people recording and editing music and sound effects. There would be quite a few of those people. But that also highlights another issue with this on top of many… These job categories are too broad.

  37. Pete says:

    This is not unrelated to the games industry treating its employees badly in general. Crunch time is bad; doubly so if you’re the primary carer for a child. Laying people off after a successful launch is bad. The closure of studios is bad for all employees.

    Remember “easpouse”? For some reason women are less willing to put up with this sort of treatment to work in the games industry.

  38. maximiZe says:

    These numbers effectively say nothing about a gap between men and women in roughly similar positions, thus are no basis for making such a judgement. I’ve come to expect more grounded journalism from RPS.

  39. Fred S. says:

    I see the pretty pie charts but there’s something missing. What is the breakdown of years of service by gender? Are women actually represented equally at all levels? The biggest gap is in “all audio developers”, where the least percentage are women. Is that significant?

  40. Torticoli says:

    The saddest thing about this article is that I cannot imagine you being actually that clueless about how to present and read statistics, about how your own industry works, and about the whole “women get paid less than men” issue. So, I can only come to the conclusion that you’ve posted this purely for hype and ad revenue and are actively trying to manipulate us.

    Do. Not. Want. You’re no better than Kotaku.

  41. kopema says:

    In other words, all anyone needs to do to become a trilliionaire is hire all these “underpaid” exactly-equal employees, give them a huge raise and still manage to massively undercut your competitors’ major operating expense.

    Yeah, that doesn’t sound crazy and stupid at all!

    Seriously, when this crap started I thought you guys were doing a late April First joke. But you’re dragging it out WAY too long.

  42. philbot says:

    Ok, so… What does the pie chart look like for RPS staff? RPS is a part of the game industry, so it is just as relevant to the discussion.

  43. Chris Bischoff says:

    It has nothing to do with gender. Everybody starts on the same salary. Junior men aren’t paid more than junior women.
    As someone who is actively involved in the hiring process, as well as the process of working out increases and wages, it comes down to 2 things.

    1 – Men are more aggressive in their salary negotiations when it comes to contract renewals. They will ask for more money when it comes to an increase. Even if its only an extra 1 or 2%. Those small increases compound over time.

    2 – Men move jobs more often. The more often you move jobs, the more often you salary will increase. People don’t move to another company for less pay, and generally wont move for equal pay.

    • Fluka says:

      But the way you describe it, it has *everything* to do with gender.

      Women don’t negotiate as much, sure, but often that’s because we’re afraid of being seen as “aggressive” – something which, while great for a male employee, is often *not* a positive for a female employee. Qualities which are seen as “assertive” and positive in male employees often get tagged as being “bitchy” in female employees. Additionally, female employees often have to prove the worth of their work more thoroughly to get the same recognition. To take an example from a different but similarly “techy” field, academic science, there’ve been blinded studies done where generic resumes tagged with male or female names were evaluated by potential academic employers. The “male” applicants (again, compared to the exact same resume with a made-up female name) were not only listed as being more hirable and competent, but also recommended for a higher starting salary. These biases are super-subtle, but they do exist.

      Regarding the second point, of the willingness to move, that’s a more general societal thing. The fact is that most married female employees will have spouses who work full time, can’t be moved at a moment’s notice to a new part of the world, and (at best) do half the housework at childcare. Male employees tend to have more moveable female spouses (or at least spouses whose careers are considered “less essential”) and who can often take care of children and housework while the man works the awful, demanding hours of a games industry job. Lots of jobs in industry and academia are designed around having a stay at home wife. I’m not sure there’s an obvious solution to this particular problem. One solution would of course be to provide more stable jobs with family-friendly hours – see the famous EASpouse debacle. Frankly, that’s something which would help both men and women. And it’s not just a problem in the games industry…

    • WrenBoy says:

      Your first point seems inherently difficult to quantify. Your second seems relatively easy but Ive never seen any study that measures it.

      You seem pretty confident though, do you have any data to back up either one?

  44. zachforrest says:


    i suppose you shouldn’t prop up such an industry, John, until they get their house in order.

  45. HH89LF says:

    I had to register simply to point out that you (Rock Paper Shotgun) are interpreting the data incorrectly. You are interpreting the data provided in such a flawed manner I have to assume its on purpose to assuage your own political views.

    Please, if you seriously want to fight injustice, try to understand/provide an accurate depiction of the problem(s) as they exist, not how you want them to.

    Also, the “Tech Industry/Game Industry” isn’t masterminded by a puppeteer. There are few women in the field because of their choice, not because the mythical “Patriarchy of Game-ing” prevents them from working in the industry. Is it possible our society ‘shuns’ women studying to work in the field? Of course, but don’t create mythical bad guys to crusade yourself against especially with the wrong data.

    • RaveTurned says:

      So you feel so strongly about this that you had to register to comment about it. You’ve said you think the data is being misinterpreted, and given some hints as to why you think this might be. You’ve *not* actually made the effort to point out what you think is wrong with the interpretation. If meaningful discussion is to be had, would’t that be the most important area to cover?

      • HH89LF says:

        There is actually a host of people who have already pointed it out, so I suppose it in a way ‘slipped’ my mind to detail what I found incorrect, but I do agree with your criticism of my post.

        The data present says three things: Career Area (e.g.:All Artists and Animators), percentage of workforce experience within a field (e.g.: 49% of Artists and Animators have 6+ years experience), and gender representation for a given career area (e.g.: Within the Artists and Animator’s field ,16% of the population is female). Of course, it is worthy to note that the gender representation also provides an average of salary for each sex.

        From this data we can safely say that all three career areas/fields are majority males. We can ASSUME that more males would lead to a higher average salary for the whole of the male category.

        This data does NOT show the break down of male experience vs female experience within a job area/field. So, without direct comparison of equivalent experience salary numbers between a male and female, it is impossible to arrive at the exact conclusion of the article’s author. He states that the data “[shows] that women in the games industry are routinely paid significantly less than men” (Paragraph 1). It is true from this data that on the WHOLE women are paid less, but it is not evident from this data that equivalent job experience has a salary difference. (Since I assume that everyone agrees that pay difference should only exist between level of qualification/experience.)

  46. choconutjoe says:

    Some useful resources for anyone who wants to understand why this article is bullshit:

    link to

    link to

  47. Michael Fogg says:

    I’m really impressed how the general tone of the comments here so far is rational disagreement and putting forward arguments against the article’s thesis.

  48. oxykottin says:

    Do these salaries take in to consideration some of the mammoth salaries some of the god fathers of video gaming make? That could possible skew the stats? For example.. How much does Sid Meyer make per year?

    One other thing, this may be off topic, what about the costs on companies for maternity leave? Look at it from a statistical point of view and not an emotional point of view. Look at how an insurance company would look at it.

    For example when my child was born I received 0 days off. I had to take paid vacation. My wife received 3 months full pay. Which was great but how much does that cost her company? Is that fair to women who choose not to have children. Not at all.

    When I was a 20 year old male and I needed car insurance, I paid a ton more then my girlfriend did. Was that fair?? Not at all.

    One step further if woman received equal pay, would that effect custody rights? In the US for a father to get custody. The woman has to be pretty messed up.

    Please don’t take this as a completely sexist post. It’s just some of the reasoning behind why women make less (in my opinion). I reviewed what I said, and I suppose the argument goes more from the work place in general then, the video game industry.

    • Snids says:

      But it’s a basic human right, to be able to have children.

      With that argument you could pay women less because they generally “go to the toilet a bit more”.

  49. John Walker says:

    Just incredible, watching people pretend that these numbers are explained away by some nebulous notion that women are new to the industry. What utter rubbish. Women have been in the games industry since its inception. Trying to discount these figures based on a delusion that they just arrived last week is idiotic in the extreme.

    • zachforrest says:

      the stats are nebulous.

    • greg_ritter says:

      Mr. Walker, now you are hiding behind “thay are idiots” rhetorics. But, IF you would read comment section, and not scan through it looking for the most stupid comments to debunk and laugh about, you’ll see, that these statistics are highly questionable.
      Or, you know, you just can type “fuck off” one more time.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Haway, it was a fortnight ago, I have a Venn diagram of a)random dates, b)Tuesday the week before last, c)misogyny, d)trumpets and e)women in the games industry. The only cross over is Tuesday the week before last misogyny and women in the games industry. That my friend IS conclusive proof!

    • Torticoli says:

      Then go ahead, show us a comparison of men and women with the same profile (in terms of years of experience in the industry as a whole and at their current job, in particular) and show us where a difference in salary can be pointed out. Show us conclusive evidence that men and women with the same profile and background (and not just the same current job) get paid differently.

      I suspect this is not something you will do, as it does not, in fact, fit in a 5 paragraphs post.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Well, if you’ve got stats that break down the experience brackets in terms of gender, post ’em. Experience is frankly too big a factor to ignore in this discussion.

      • industrylol says:

        Not to mention a breakdown by actual position. Things like “All Producers” and “All Game Designers” are much to broad and can encompass a wide range of skilled to unskilled positions which broadens the pay bracket. Also, not all companies’ payroll budgets are equivalent. These graphs show averages, and those averages can easily be skewed by outliers The data set needs to be drilled down other wise it is patently useless and shows nothing conclusive.

        I am a skeptic on most things and I like to reserve my outrage for times when it is warranted and supported by evidence.

    • Skillers says:

      While that is true, the issue still stands, these statistics don’t provide all the information needed to make a fair comparison, and thus can’t be sensibly used to make such a strongly worded article.

      While women have been in industry for ages, that doesn’t mean the average experience of women in the industry is the same as the men. This could simply be due to a higher rate of growth of the female segment of the industry cf the male segment (i.e. if the current new employees form a 50/50 split male/female, but was historically 95/5, the average experience of the female workers would be lowered much more than the males from these new employees, and thus the average pay would be lower). Considering there has long been a drive to increase the number of women entering STEM fields (including game development), it would actually be a reasonable assumption that the rate of new female employees is growing faster than the rate of new male employees.

      So, with that in mind, these statistics are completely useless for the purpose of drawing the conclusions you did without a full experience-gender-pay breakdown, rather than the two separate ones (experience-pay, gender-pay) we have now.

    • deadrody says:

      How is that rubbish ? Gaming is a male dominated profession. As that changes – and there is ample evidence of this all over the internet, including this very site – it is a non-controversial FACT that many women will, in fact, be “new” to the gaming industry.

      To say otherwise ? Now THAT is rubbish.

    • choconutjoe says:

      What percentage of women work part-time?
      Do men and women commute the same distance?
      Do men and women work the same amount of overtime?
      Do men and women have the same amount of education?
      Do men and women take the same majors?
      Do men and women work the same positions?
      How much maternity leave do women take?
      How much paternity leave do men take?

      The list goes on. If you can’t account for these factors then your statistics don’t mean a damn thing.

      • Bhazor says:

        … if it ain’t got that swing.

      • biggergun says:

        Again, there seems to be a misunderstanding. Most of the outrage in the comments is not about women or feminism, it is about bad, sensationalist writing.

        • greg_ritter says:

          It’s about bad writing on this particular site.
          Don’t get me wrong, i love RPS with all my heart. It’s just that for a last few months I’m watching a decline in mr. Walker’s journalistic and just plain social skills.

      • Tams80 says:

        I’ll reiterate other people: This.

        Unfortunately it would take an awfully lot of time and effort to account for all variables. That’s assuming the data you can actually get hold of is actually accurate. Most is probably hidden behind paywalls (or at at least the relevant literature will be) and the statistical software isn’t cheap (though there are some free trails, free software and *cough* piracy *piracy*).

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Women worked on some of the first computers because essentially it was input/maths/secretary work and all the men were off at war.

      Unfortunately times have changed, and the work is now seen as a high level “machine” sort of job… which society deems “a bit odd for women to show an interest in”, whether they have been there 5 years or 50 years.

      A lot of the jobs in the industry are not any more technical than other industries (e.g. management positions, artists, etc) but the industry has an overall image problem (and not just for female work, but also the “it’s for kids” attitude puts off male “job prospects” too).

      The “correction” of this will take more than a decade, in the same way that the rest of society is still dealing with gender, race, etc issues.

    • oceantorment says:

      “Watching people pretend that these numbers are explained away by some nebulous notion that women are new to the industry. What utter rubbish. Women have been in the games industry since its inception. Trying to discount these figures based on a delusion that they just arrived last week is idiotic in the extreme.”

      Mr. Walker your data is not conclusive and can be interpreted in many ways, I expect from someone that call himself a journalist … you know … to properly investigate the matter instead of just making an article based on your biased views. This article at the moment is useless, it is just data interpreted by a random dude on the internet without new insights. There are things not explored here like the women preferences of work, if they are married and have kids or not and etc and etc. But you just choose the easy way of showing data and try to explain it base on your bias. Guess what: Data can show you what you want to see if you are not careful and don’t take factors that don’t appear on the data in consideration. You show no argument in your posts, only insults to the people that disagree with you. Stop being so defensive.

    • Dowson says:

      But its not just about being new, its about representation and experience, the figures on this very page prove they’re not a major force, on 3 of these they’re ranked below 1/5th of the total amount.
      When you’re less represented, its less likely that you will get people with more experience from this group.

    • Fluka says:

      John, I adore your work, and RPS, and all the attention you’ve given to the issue of women in games recently. (Female reader, PC gamer, and a feminist here.) And there clearly are some fucked up practices in the games industry when it comes to employing women, as (most recently) the huge number of people rallying behind #1reasonwhy has shown. And the stats in the study shown are very suggestive.

      Unfortunately, the way the stats are currently presented isn’t going to convince anyone. It leaves far too many holes for the many trolls currently descending on the site (who were already convinced that NO THERE IS NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER) to just go “Nuuu uuuuh! You didn’t do it right! Therefore all the results are useless!”

      So one reason for properly controlling for bias is to be able to shut up those critics immediately – “No! We *did* properly compare salaries at the same level of experience, and here’s what we found!” It just gives a much higher level of significance to the findings, if you can look at people just getting their first job and can say that the men are getting higher starting salaries than the women. And lord knows there’s proof for bias elsewhere here. Putting aside the whole free-market salary negotiation thing (“men negotiate salary more”), studies have been done in academic hiring, with blinded resumes, showing that employers are more inclined to give a resume with a male name a higher evaluation and salary. Again, no difference between qualifications, no interview – just male or female name on a sheet of accomplishments.

      Additionally, doin’ the stats right gets you more interesting results. Let’s say that you break up your employees by age and experience and find that you have, on average, more inexperienced female employees skewing the wage gap. Now why is that? Is it that we’re doing better hiring women now? Or is it that the games industry has a terrible retention rate for its female employees, a version of the famous “leaky pipeline” you find in academic science.

      Long story short, these statistics indicate that something, probably very complicated, is going on here. But the way they’re presented can’t tell us anything really interesting or concrete. Instead, it’s like a big red flag has been raised for trolls to rally around and say RPS IS JUST LIKE KOTAKU NOW AND THAT IS TERRIBLE GNAARGGHH! We can do so much better!

      • Machinations says:

        Excellent post. That said, I’m not a ‘troll’ currently ‘descending’ on the site.

        I play games with RPS members frequently and often comment on the articles posted here. I have no preformed conculsions or biases, and I certainly did not say there is not a problem.

        What I have said is that the statistics don’t support the conculsions as stated, as others have also articulated.

        I also can’t quite understand why the author would want to disparage the obviously intelligent audience that you mostly have at RPS. While there are certainly some idiotic and juvenile comments, and perhaps some with sexist biases, the majority are just expressing astonishment that such an article would be posted in the state it is in.

        I don’t think calling me a troll is warranted, frankly, and as a rule it’s good to avoid such sweeping generalizations, particularly in the print medium where it is very very difficult to convey tone.

        • Fluka says:

          My comment (can’t speak for John’s) is not about you. But there are quite a few folks that come into conversations like this not being prepared to have a conversation – those are the trolls. There’s a world of difference between “The stats here are extremely ambiguous” versus “JOHN YOU TERRIBLE WHITE KNIGHT RPS RUINED”. That’s why, while I feel John’s “Fuck off!” on page 1 was entirely justified, I was concerned about his blanket statement in this particular comment.

      • Tams80 says:

        That’s not the best attitude to take.

        I think that proper analysis and use of statistics should be done in order to find the truth, not “shut those people up”. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and it is up to the people who research the topics they have opinions on to find out if something is true or not (or the degree), not pander to any sides.

        • Fluka says:

          As a reader of RPS, it is my duty to post this article whenever anything says that “everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

          “Shut up” was the wrong expression to use there. A better, less concise expression would be to “stop people from preemptively shutting down a conversation which we’d like to have about the current employment situation of women in games.” Or maybe “prevent derailing into a long argument about proper statistical controls.”

          • Tams80 says:

            Well, the debate certainly hasn’t been stopped.

            As for statistics debate… these are need to back up points. Points made without them are considerably diminished. Also, one of the main problems with this article was the statistics and their interpretation.

          • Fluka says:

            There’s been a debate, but not a terribly interesting one, given that there’s so little to go on from the numbers themselves. I could call on examples from my own field where inequality in salary and quality of life for women has been extensively studied – academic science – but, in drawing parallels to a very different place (the entertainment industry), that would be speculation. Meanwhile, others could say that the conclusions drawn from the numbers are flat-out false, and that so and so completely different study suggests that correcting for experience bias makes everything go away. But that would also be speculation. There’s *decidedly* a conversation to be had about female workers’ place in the games industry (despite what many in the comments might think), but using a self-reported one-off census from a magazine as the data at the heart of that debate results in a very poor debate indeed. Speculation and confusion all around. These numbers are intriguing, but not a horse to ride into battle on.

    • Lanfranc says:


      I know enough about basic statistics to realise that there are are issues with the numbers here, but not enough to add to what others have pointed out, so I won’t.

      However, I do know a fair bit more about how to work with sources, including in journalism, and to be honest, this just doesn’t live up to even minimal expectations. Basically, what you have here is an article based on a blog post by someone who read another article in GDM based on their annual survey. This is third-hand information at best. If you have ambitions of running this site as a real journalist, then please also act as a real journalist: Get hold of the raw data, crunch those, then give us a well-researched article about the problem.

      I fundamentally agree with you that the games industry is suffering under serious issues with gender and discrimination, and if most other industries are any indication, that probably includes a gender wage gap – but you got to get your methodology in order, man.

    • darkChozo says:

      Compare the reaction to this article to the reaction to any other of your articles on sexism in the games industry. In most other articles of the sort, there’s a lot more two-sided discussion (though “discussion” might be too polite a label for it), with a lot of objectors and defenders of various degrees of extremism on both sides. The comment section here is, well, a lot more lukewarm. There’s a whole lot of people whose stance appears to be “I don’t necessarily think that this isn’t an issue, but this article doesn’t really help to prove it at all”, and a lot less vigorous discussion about whether it’s an issue or whatever. Maybe, maybe the article just isn’t very good?

      I dunno, the main thrust of this article seems to be rather tabloid-y. That accusation gets thrown around a lot, usually unjustifiably, but in this case it seems to me that this is a case of misusing statistics to prove a point, which is very much not something I want to see in my sources of information. Presenting statistics is fine, as is suggesting a conclusion from them. But forming a conclusion, stating them as fact, and then making a call for action is rather sketchy at best, particularly when the conclusion has some glaring issues with it that aren’t addressed with more than a handwave.

      And your conduct in the comments doesn’t really help you out too much. If your only response to criticism is, in sum total, “Fuck off” and suggesting that some who disagree are idiotic, that doesn’t exactly paint yourself in the best light. Even if those responses are justified (the fuck off in particular was, I feel), the lack of a “proper” response reeks of extremism, and extremists never convince anyone of anything.

    • Freakydemon says:

      I’d suggest you actually research and give us the context of these numbers. Some general research into gender inequality is also advised. Here’s an interesting documentary on the matter:
      link to

      Also the tactic of calling people who disagree idiots, is not only childish but also below the standing of a “journalist”. Do try to calm down, before you pop a vessel about your own political correctness.

    • WrenBoy says:

      Hello John,

      As pointed out in this comment, link to , some of the data behind this article is now available. Many of the suspicions of the commenters seem pretty justified.

      I am honestly not trying to be snide with this recommendation, link to It is a very short, readable and useful book and would improve the quality of your ranting enormously.

    • soldant says:

      Attempting to polarise the community into supporting this article by claiming anyone pointing out flaws in the data has something against discrimination isn’t much better than the nonsense the trolls are spewing. People are posing legitimate questions that the data does not answer and questioning whether your conclusions are really accurate. If that’s what passes for spitting venom and justifying sexism, then… well, I don’t know what to think.

  50. Tams80 says:

    There’s not really enough detail there to come to reasonable conclusion.

    This’ll probably be reiterating what other commentators here have already stated (and better explained), but hey, I want my go! Here are some of the variables:

    – The games industry is known to be male dominated and only fairly recently has this started to somewhat change, Therefore, probably disregarding some or all of some female workers past non game industry experience (as some studios may well do for all new employees); female game industry workers may number proportionally greater in the number who have little experience in the industry. Their pay will therefore be less and thus affect the average wage.

    – There is the possibility that female employees in the games industry just happen to be in the lower paying jobs. This may have nothing to do with sexism.

    – Female employees are more likely to take maternity leave and for longer than males take paternity leave. This would of course vary between countries, studios etc. for various reasons (laws, local culture). I don’t know what laws regarding maternity leave entail, but some women opt to take more time off than their full maternity pay entitles them to. Some may only come back for a few years as part time employees. Their pay will likely be lower. Males are entitled to less paternity leave in some places and may choose not take as much time off; thus being paid more, as they work more (note: not harder).

    Edit: I missed the point that no one really has the exact same level of skill and every company measures employees’ levels of skills differently. Some do groupings, some don’t, some give different wages to everyone. This makes a statistical analysis very difficult. One person (any sex) may be paid slightly less because they are perceived to be less skilled by one employer, when another employer may consider that person to be as skilled as someone who in the first company would be paid more.

    I’m not saying there isn’t sexism in the games industry (I have no proof either way), but as there is sexism elsewhere, then I wouldn’t be surprised. I haven’t properly entered the world of work yet and am male, so therefore haven’t experienced any of this kind of ‘subvert’ sexism in regards to pay.

    However somewhere in my mind, I think some of this sexism is claimed to be where it isn’t by generations we did suffer excessive sexism (or some children of those generations). I’ve been brought up to see everyone as equal and for their sex to not be consequence except in regards to relationships and biological differences. I just don’t understand why someone would be sexist in the first place. There’s no reason in my mind. Maybe I’ve just lived a closeted life (though I have seen sexism; I just equated it to that person having a misguided upbringing).