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.

From this site

497 Comments

  1. JonRico says:

    I so rarely post on gaming news sites, but this forces me to. As a disclaimer before I start I fully believe that people should be paid the same regardless of gender if they have the same talents and experience.

    What saddens me about this is that is is basically meaningless statistically as some other posters have pointed out. I cant even find mention of what the sample size is – how many people responded. Without that information it really is pointless to talk about. For example if 1000 audio engineers responded then 40 of them were female. This is basically too small a number to get excited about. If 1 million audio engineers replied its maybe worth considering, but without a breakdown of pay scale per gender per year of experience I still dont see what conclusions we can draw.

    The real problem though is that this is similar to the daily mail saying that because people that shoot people play video games that means that video games cause people to shoot people. The headlines may not necessarily be false, but they are sensationalist and do make a good headline but are not validated by the contents of the article or by the “research” the article quotes.

    Finally, we do have a general gender pay gap issue in the world. It does not seem to me that the computer game industry is any worse in terms of pay gaps than the rest of the world. (link to en.wikipedia.org) This article does not prove the problem is worse, in fact it may even suggest in gaming it is slightly better so I don’t see why it appears on this website because this is not a problem relevant to the gaming industry any more than any other.

    The difference between the amount of males and females in the industry is what needs solved.

    • Fluka says:

      Agreed. I think a large part of the problem here is that this is all stemming from an incredibly unscientific source – a page of self-reported stats on a page in Game Developer Magazine. Which was just supposed to be a general census, and not a thorough investigation of women in games. The numbers indicate that there’s *something* going on, either with salary or with the career development of women in the industry. But none of us have access to the (probably not unbiasedly sampled) original survey data to say 100% what it is, leaving a lot left to speculation. Well-motivated speculation, but speculation nonetheless.

  2. Nallen says:

    “There will be factors, certainly.”

    John the factors surrounding the gender pay gap in all industries are extremely complex and have been researched in a great deal of depth. Looking at these simple graphs does not allow you to draw any meaningful conclusions at all and I think being quite so alarmist firstly detracts from the serious attention this issue potentially needs and detracts from your credibility when reporting on the subjects which you report on with true expertise. I implore you follow up on this piece with something you’ve researched yourself.

  3. Renevent says:

    Kudos to all that detailed all the blaring issues with this article. Good to see there’s so many level headed folks out there who resist the urge to react so irrational and emotionally. There’s still work to be done in the name of equality of course, but this kind of sensationalism doesn’t serve that purpose in the least. In fact, I think it’s pretty counter intuitive.

    Now, lets see some figures showing wage gaps in the adult entertainment industry :)

    yuk yuk

  4. deadrody says:

    It amazes me how superficial the “media” can be (including the gaming media) or how shallow they are to headline troll for hits.

    Does anyone see the MASSIVE salary differences based on experience ? How likely do you think it is that women make up a greater share of the gaming workforce with less experience ? Especially when it is a known phenomenon where a traditionally male dominated profession is opening up to women. By definition there would be more women with less experience than men.

    Use your brains for a change.

  5. justdave 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.”

    I hope this is sarcasm? Positive discrimination is always balanced by negative discrimination. You should never give someone a pay-rise or promotion just to balance the statistics. Always strive for a meritocracy, even in the face of “discrepancies” in your statistics.

  6. zeroskill says:

    I used to come here for gaming news. Now an article about Monaco, a promising indie multiplayer title gets 18 comments, while this gets over 200 comments.

    RPS. Pseudo-politics since 1873.

    Well, I guess i’m free to leave anytime I want. Right?

    Right.

    • Prime says:

      PC ‘Gaming’ since 1873, not ‘Games’. The distinction is small, yet crucial. If you’ve been reading RPS all these years and haven’t twigged they like to talk about all aspects of gaming culture then one can only wonder if it’s RPS that has changed or, more likely, you’ve been getting slowly more anti-political/anti-cultural in your old age.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        “Gaming” doesn’t cover this any more or less than “Games” does.

        “The Games Industry” would explicitly though.

    • Tams80 says:

      Controversy always leads to more debate. If there is a consensus, the there is nothing to debate and all you get is less discussion and comments of “yeah, I agree”.

      Considering the audience of this site, then there is likely to almost be a consensus on most game news. Take the Monaco article: Mostly people commenting “Looks great!” and “I can’t wait!” or words to that effect. I think there’s one person going “actually it’s not really turned into what I wanted it to”, so there is some debate. Essentially, there is just less to talk about, or at least less passionate opinions to vent.

      Still, controversial headlines need to be used very sparingly. This article was a waste of one.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Right.

  7. JD Ogre says:

    Okay, it’s a step ahead of most gender wage gap studies because it includes the total number of years spent in the industry and seems to at least have slightly tighter categories than most (as opposed to being vague and going with “equal pay for work of equal value” (EDIT: Oops, said “equal pay for equal work” the first time, which wasn’t what I meant) even when the jobs being compared are completely different). But does it…

    1) Count the general salary differences at different companies? (not all companies pay the same salaries – perhaps there’s a higher number of women in lower-end companies?)

    2) Count the senority level among people doing the same job at the same company they’re in? (can’t always expect higher wages if you’re new to the company)

    3) Count actual time on the job? (taking time off, for whatever reason, tends to reduce your seniority at most companies and hurt your prospects for increases on the next round of salary negotiations. For women, this tends to mean pregnancy or having to take care of children. I fully expect this point to draw screams of “Sexism!” just like it does everywhere else on the ‘Net when it gets pointed out.)

    5) Count how well they negotiated their salaries? (I doubt most companies have a standard, take it or leave it, pay scale when dealing with contract-based employees)

    6) Count how much effort they put into brownnosing and socializing with those in charge of rating their performance, setting their pay, deciding on promotions, etc.? This one seems to be a rather large factor, especially in the executive ranks, and one many women who complain of lower pay seem to fail at the most, from what I’ve seen over the years.

    Really, if you’re not taking into account all of those factors, it’s still like comparing apples to oranges… If it’s the same company, the same position, the same seniority, the same number of hours actually worked, the same experience level, and the same amount of brownnosing and you still get a wage disparity, *then* there’s a problem.

  8. biggergun says:

    This is horrible, let us campaign for mandatory state-enforced gender-based job quotas in the videogame industry! Because this would soooo solve the mysoginy problem.

  9. freeid says:

    Seems like we get one of these every day now, I thought this was a gaming site. If your going to bring equality and financial gain bits in every bloody day now, at least mix it up a bit. How about the vastly underpaid employees in the far east that western companies outsource too, or the racial discrepancies in the industry or well ……something other than the same drum being beaten article after article.

    and your fuck off comment? … really…..

  10. douknoukem says:

    link to borderhouseblog.com
    john walker explain yourself

    • Bhazor says:

      Yes explain why only 4% of programmers are women.

      • WrenBoy says:

        Its an image problem and exists for the sciences / engineering in general and not just for computing in particular Fortunately this has been looked into and solved some time ago so it should disappear any time now.

    • Delusibeta says:

      I’m scratching my head at that. My hypothesis would be that’s the exception and that women is actually represented at the more experienced levels. Alternatively, like the audio developers, there’s too few women to get a valid average out of.

    • greg_ritter says:

      Well, John wrote about this in OP, but didn’t show it because it wouldn’t look so jarring. You know. Journalism.

    • biggergun says:

      Okay, so not only Mr. Walker makes a sensationalist article out of some random data, but chooses to omit the one part of this data that contradicts his point?

      Great. Brilliant. Excellent journalism.

  11. Renevent says:

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    How many women work for RPS? How come not a single solitary woman was note worthy enough to list as one of your writers? Are women not good enough to be employed by RPS? If there are women working there, what percent do they make up of your workforce and what percent of wages do they take in?

    Seems like you ought to look at your own house before burning down others.

    “Finally, here’s a brief profile of the manly writers of Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Enjoy.”

    Is this irony?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Cara is clearly seen as an object, not a real human being to be included in their about page.

      Sickening!

      • Renevent says:

        Looking at their wiki:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        There seems to be about 12 or so contributors, with exactly 1 being a woman. That representation is almost as bad as the statistics for audio developers *gasp*

  12. Bladderfish says:

    Just one question:

    Are RPS covering sexism so often just to drum up publicity? Given the amount of coverage each sexism article generates, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Face facts, such articles and discussions aren’t going to affect change. Only women themselves can do that.

    • Torticoli says:

      Ask yourself : can someone who writes on RPS for a living actually be ignorant enough about the gaming industry as to claim that women have been part of the industry, “since its inception”, in a way that allows him to ignore the “years of experience” factor when posting data on the wage issue, as if women and men nowadays were in a totally similar situation within the gaming industry ?

      I don’t think so either. Nobody is that stupid. Yes, they’re trying to get views and comments and hype and ad revenue. The fact that John Walker is responding like a angry child and insulting us instead of providing any of the missing data, is icing on the cake.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Tell me, according to your philosophy, if John or any other RPS writer did genuinely feel that women earning 25% less than men in the gaming industry was worthy of flagging up, how should they do this without you claiming that they’re just doing it for advertising revenue?

        You’re just making an ad hominem attack, not engaging with the issue at hand. You have absolutely no evidence for what you’ve said and for all the point of your comment you might as well piss in the wind.

        • Torticoli says:

          Well, they could start by giving us actual data and numbers, from which *something* can be concluded. The data we’ve been provided here isn’t conclusive at all, as the 6 pages of comments have abundantly explained. The fact that this article is poorly done and tries to generate outrage from incomplete data is, well, a fact. The question is then : is the writer aware of it (meaning he’s trying to manipulate us into viewing, commenting and getting upset about this article), or is he not (meaning he doesn’t know how the gaming industry works nor how statistics work) ? You know my answer : nobody can be that ignorant about an industry and then get a job consisting in covering said industry.

          My issue isn’t with RPS bringing up the issue of gender equality, my issue is with RPS bringing it up in a way that is, at best, ignorant, and at worst, manipulative. And really now, Walker has been responding to constructive criticism on this article by saying it was “idiotic” and “utter rubbish”. Don’t bring up the “ad hominem” nonsense.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      You mean like Abraham Lincoln, that famous black man who ended slavery?

      • AbacusFinch says:

        I can’t let you get away with implying that black slaves needed Abraham Lincoln to give them permission to take their own freedom because reports of breaking tools, runaways, and morale spirituals cut this down.

  13. Focksbot says:

    Because what you posted there isn’t propaganda, no sirree.

  14. ix says:

    It’s true the wage gap is a flawed measure (because you must control for so many variables). Either way, it happens in every industry It’s been studied widely with studies like this (different field, but related):
    link to nytimes.com

    It’s okay to think just citing the wage gap does not say very much, but please don’t use that as a reason there is not a problem.

    (re someone on that CBS article, just google for the rebuttals please)

    • Fluka says:

      Glad to see I’m not the only one posting that study! I still think that’s the best direct proof for the subtle psychological biases at play here. See also the famous case where female MIT scientists directly measured the size of their lab space, and found massive differences in the resources provided to male and female pre-and-post tenure professors. It’s almost never direct, conscious sexism these days (“Nyeh! I’m gonna go pay my female employees less!”). It’s all unconscious and deeply embedded.

      • Arglebargle says:

        That sort of thing leads one to conclude that perhaps this is a ‘human’ issue and not a games industry specific one.

        • Fluka says:

          Or at least an issue in fields that have been coded by modern Western culture as “male” (science and tech). Saying that the games industry is not any worse for women’s employment than academic science is not a particularly good recommendation for the games industry, I’m afraid!

  15. Prime says:

    Think I’m sitting this one out. Have fun, all!

  16. DeFrank says:

    again with this…

  17. Phoibos Delphi says:

    EDIT: So this was a pretty sloppy research on my part, I fucked this up, Sorry to Cara and everyone else I might have offended with my mistake. Except RobF, whose style of personal insult really pisses me off. I´ll leave my original post here, so everyone can see my temporal state of stupidity.

    The following does NOT COME FROM RPS´s Cara Ellison, as I said, I am sorry for fucking up, I promise to work on my research skills! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

    Here is what RPS writer Cara Ellison (the one that is a Woman) says about equal pay on her personal blog:

    No two people are alike. No two people have the same education, the same years experience, the same competence, the same ability, the same dedication. Therefore, it is impossible to impose a “standard” salary and thus, if men make more than women then I’m fine with that, if the man is clearly more qualified than the woman. It scares me to realize there are people who believe everyone is entitled to the same salary. I am frankly afraid that this is what Obama wants. It limits upward mobility. It stifles creativity. It is bad and awful and wrong. The marketplace should decide what people are worth. And incidentally if women were willing to do the same job for less than a man, why are women more than twice as likely to be unemployed than men? That is simply a myth.

    Somebody should tell her to fuck off, I think…..

  18. Llewyn says:

    That CBS source is at least as flawed logically as the GDM one is statistically. It consists of:

    A) Evidence of factors which might legitimitely contribute to higher average pay for men.
    B) An assertion that men and women in the same jobs are paid equally, with no supporting evidence
    C) A conclusion that because A) and B) there is no problem.

    In contrast, the GDM article implies that B) is untrue, again without sufficient supporting detail.

    Either way, it’s clear that B) is what this debate is all about and that neither side is presenting any clear evidence to back up the claims it wants to present. Logically, both are effectively wrong, even if one or other of them might happen to have hit on the correct claims.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Having worked at Board Level in the UK for organisations that were male dominated( at Board Level), I will put an arbitrary figure on the male bias! That figure is SEVEN!

      I’m a man so I’m not really arsed, or maybe I am but to deny that bias doesn’t exist is myopic in the EXTREEM!

  19. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    Crikey censored for agreeing with the OP. I’ll leave people to argue about statistics(in such a fuckin anal way) whilst ignoring a VERY valid point! Adieu!

    • WrenBoy says:

      In lengthy comment threads, its usually a fairly safe assumption that noone will notice you leaving in a big huff, swearing to never return but then adding a sneaky comment within the hour.

      What very bad luck for you that your later comment appeared just above your dramatic “exit”, timestamps visible for all to see in their hideous glory.

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        :-D Correct, but I can’t mention the autistic spectrum as It’ll get pulled!!

  20. Jason Moyer says:

    Can we get a graph with the relative productivity of each group as well? I fully support gender equality in terms of compensation for equal work (not just gender equality, but racial etc), but I’m always frustrated that there’s never information showing how differences in wages across different groups relates to productivity. And no, I’m not trying to imply that women are less productive, rather that I have no idea because that information seems to be unobtainable.

    • Muzman says:

      First you’d need to come up with a reliably transferable measure of individual productivity, is I think the problem. Which is something pretty much impossible to do where the actual labour isn’t grindy and repetitive. Which it sometimes is in games, but skilled occupations hire for, well, skills not throughput. An artist on one game might only do half the number of textures as an artist on another, but they might be larger and more detailed. Programmers hitting a feature target might take 3000hrs of code crunching and testing on one game and only 1000 on another. There’s people good with the maths and concepts but not as quick with Python or whatever. Staff assessments are done on a qualitative basis by department oversight and often wildly different from one another. There’d seem to be few places to begin measuring that sort of thing in a development environment at least. Some of the large studios you might able to attempt something but that’d only tell you about them really.

  21. SanguineAngel says:

    Well, I agree with a lot of the commenters here that taken in isolation, these figures are not fleshed out enough to actually draw any solid conclusions.

    However! These figures are NOT in isolation. We all know that women get paid less across the board, so we can reasonably presume that to be the case here and these figures offer some support. I would prefer to see far more detailed analysis though, of course.

    The argument I am seeing people rely very heavily on here is that men have been in the industry for far longer than women and so are being paid higher in general just because they have been around longer.

    I do think that is piffle. I have quite a few female friends who work in the industry. They’ve been working in the industry for 10 years or so and naturally studying it prior to that. Granted this is anecdotal but the odds of me knowing so many if they are so few and far between seem slim. So I’d assume there are more than you think.

    • Torticoli says:

      “We all know” jack s**t. We either have data or we don’t. “We all know that…” is a horrible way to start any argument. So is anecdotical evidence. This whole argument is about whether or not it’s okay to make a point based on incomplete data.

      • RobF says:

        I think John’s been around the industry long enough to not be taking these figures in isolation.

        • Uthred says:

          And he chose not to reveal all these secret supporting statistics (apparently gather via professional osmosis, the most accurate of statistical methods) why exactly?

      • SanguineAngel says:

        So much ANGER Torticoli. Look, anecdotal evidence is still evidence. It’s not hard fact, or proof but it IS a source of information that allows me to form some sort of opinion, or impression perhaps. Stating it also allows me to explain why I hold that opinion.

        Likewise, it is common knowledge that sexism exists and that there is a wage gape across the board. I do not see a problem taking that on board to once again form an opinion. I DO see a problem with burying your head in the sand about it until presented with enough statistical evidence to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am ready and willing to change my opinion on receipt of new data at any time. In the meantime, it is better to promote awareness of the issue so that others may give it due consideration and to reflect on your own behaviour.

        So yes, it is okay to make a point based on incomplete data. Although not ideal

        • WrenBoy says:

          Torticoli’s only error, as I see it, is to assume that John was being dishonest when writing the article, instead of just being honestly mistaken. I assume that is the source of his anger.

          The main issue I have with your defence of statistically unsound data to advance an argument is that it creates a lot of noise.

          Imagine that the audience of this website includes reasonable people who hold the opinion that any wage gap which exists between genders is explainable by lifestyle trends rather than employers sexism. If you wished to try and make them care about this issue you would have two choices as I see it. You could tell them that their position is essentially correct but that the underlying gender specific lifestyle trends are undesirable. Or you could take the position, as you seem to, that the gender salary gap cannot be explained by this and that the data shows that the gap is such that it can only reasonably be explained by employer sexism.

          In the latter case a reasonable person by definition would be convinced by statistically sound data. However if too many people think as you do, such a reasonable person will never find such a well reasoned argument within all the noise created by those who just dont think its important.

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            *slow clap*

            Haway then, you say the data is rubbish, prove it!!

            *big fuckin slap as the gauntlet is thrown*

          • WrenBoy says:

            @analydilatedcorporatestyle
            A) You completely misunderstood my comment. SanguineAngel was the one who said the data was incomplete and anecdotal. My comment was merely disagreeing with the position that incomplete and anecdotal should be no barrier to using said data in an argument.

            B) However you are in luck, I do believe the data to be rubbish. The author of the survey has explicitly said that the sample size was too small to draw specific trends, link to gamasutra.com , which is what John did in caplocks. Even if we ignore the sample size, the data itself shows that the women surveyed had significantly less experience than the men which is enough to explain any discrepancy.

            C) So far in this thread you have made sexist accusations of whiteknighting at John Walker, left in a huff promising not to return and claiming not to be interested in anal questions regarding statistics only to now return with a question on the fucking quality of the fucking data. You are clearly trolling.

  22. merc-ai says:

    Many counter-arguments were said and by now the article has been called out as a biased and not representing actual facts. That’s not sad, that’s how it is.

    What’s sad is that instead of admitting own mistake, John Walker continues to handwave the critics and implies that they are either idiots or misogynists (which is probably same in his view) because they disagree with his views.

    I’d come to expect more maturity from someone who tries to discuss serious issues and expects us, the readers, to take him seriously.

  23. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    RPS, I think your heart is in the right place. Which is an admirable thing, in a way.

    But there are some serious issues with this article, and I’m not convinced you’re approaching the subject in the right way overall. I just don’t think this is working.

    Regardless of what issues are there in the industry, I’m constantly left with the impression the writers here simple aren’t that good at tackling big issues in the best way – compared to the witty, intelligent, sharp writing that covers your experiences of playing games themselves.

    It is a criticism of sorts, but it’s also a massive compliment towards what this place IS good at.

    Perhaps it’s time for the site to take the next step? Become a more serious place, with an editor-in-chief in place who can direct the overall agenda. RPS currently feels out of sorts, a little direction-less and at odds with itself.

  24. aepervius says:

    “the numbers show that men are on average paid around 25% more than women for equivalent jobs.” which is meaningless unless they show the average salary for the same employment time, which they do not. They give two statistic separately which allow no conclusion :
    1) average between female and male
    2) everage by time employed

    But it could very well be that female are more recentely employed with number increasing thus having a naturally lower salary than longer employed men (not saying it is the case here, jsut saying the statistic do not exclude that).

    If you really want to show gender discrepancy , and indeed there are some in some job market, then you ahve to show the average by slice of employment time by gender ! If you separate the two as per above you mostly show potentially misleading statistic.

    In fact in my departement we have a young woman (employed more recentely than me) and 2 older women (more time than me) and 3 older male employee (chef is female don’t know how much she is paid though).

    Looking at average pay, you would find the female lower paid in average. But this is mostly because of the youngest of our crew which came working with us , maybe 1 year ago.

    Looking by age slice on the other hand, my female coworker are paid as much as the male coworker.

    This is why the statistic above in the picture is misleading.

  25. whoCares says:

    Did you know that according to statistics cancer causes cellphones?

  26. HisMastersVoice says:

    “Of artists and animators, the average salary for men is $77,791. For women, $60,238. Because, er, women don’t draw as well?”

    That is a possibility. If the most talented female artists do not apply for jobs in gaming industry, then obviously senior positions will be male dominated and thus inflate the wage average.

  27. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    Cara, cara, look look!! Cara, look! Cara Cara

    link to youtube.com

    Methinks ‘the lad protesteth too much” (I agree with his sentiments but am sticking the boot in for being censored)

  28. reasonswhy says:

    Do these people actually think a company cares about their sex?

    Companies are interested in one thing and one thing only. PROFITS.

    If game companies hire less women and pay them less than males, it isn’t because they have some secret plan to enslave women, it’s simply because more men have more experience and work more hours than women. Why would a company pay equal wages for unequal work? Why would a company hire 50% males and 50% women if programming majors are 80% men and 20% women?

    If women suddenly became master game programmers over night, companies would flock to hire them all and give them huge wages. Sex is not the issues, profit is.

    Just to give you an example how stupid this article is. That’s like a highschool freshman complaining he can only get a job at a McDonalds and saying it’s because game companies are discriminating teenagers. Well no shit they are. First get the qualifications and experience, then complain about your job.

    I fucking hate this bullshit modern society mentality that tells every fucking idiot on earth that he’s/she’s some special snowflake and he/she deserves everything be handed on a silver plate for him/her.

    The most hilarious thing is that all these feminazis that complain about this stuff would never do a programming class to save their lives, they’d much rather go to their liberal arts classes and act like hipsters. Yet they somehow think they are entitled to tell companies that run for profit who they should hire and how much they should pay them.

    Hey feminists, you really care about how many women there are in the game industry? Then how about instead of yelling at companies that they are “sexist”, you move from your bullshit psychology / liberal arts degree (where there are 80% women) and do a computer science degree (where there are 20% women). Yeah, it’ll be way harder, but that’s the point, if you want to be equals, put in equal work.

    Fuck this gay earth.

    • Fluka says:

      Um. But the point here is that these women *did* go into programming, game design, and other “hard” fields, and they’re still getting paid less. These biases exist (and are more rigorously statistically documented) in places like computer science and physics, too. If anything, they’re worse. Sooo…what should those women do? Go harder?

      • El_Emmental says:

        I think he’s a bit displeased that the most vocal “feminists” on the topic of sexism are liberal arts/psychology students, and not women actually studying or working in fields where there is a majority of male persons and/or where sexism could be a serious problem in terms of harassment, career, pay and many other aspects of the working world.

        I think that we need to calmly explain, repeat, that the most vocal people are very rarely the majority, or the most qualified or in the best position, to speak about a topic.

        And that we, reasoned people (as much as we try to), have to constantly make the extra effort of not focusing on the most vocal people of any group of opinion (or ethnic origins, or skin color, or nationality, or religion, or education, and so on). We need to tune down the most vocal people, and tune up the most interesting one – brute exposure force shouldn’t drive debates and discussions.

        This is why we shouldn’t focus on liberal art/psychology undergrad students that much (very few of them actually contribute to the discussion, and are rarely the most vocals), and instead make the difficult effort of looking for, and listening to, people (of both gender, of all origins) capable of providing an insightful approach and reliable data to the discussion.

        Sure, It is exhausting as we still have to listen to the most vocal people (we can’t close ourselves), and the most vocal people (of all opinions, sides, groups) will constantly harass the other people engaged in the debate, always take the credits for anything positive that is achieved, and reject any negative outcome to a fantasized stereotype of the opposite group.

        We must not fall, we must not give up. Together, we must resist against the “feminazis”, the sexist “dudebros”, all the people who do not want to listen to others and keep their mind open. We have to face the storm.

        We cannot win against them. There is no victory. It is a never-ending battle against obscurantism and fanatism, like the waves at sea we have to brave these attacks and stay on course – reaching our destinations, and the journey, is what we’re looking for, what we’re fighting for. The waves, the storm, are just an obstacle getting in the way, let’s not focus on that – do not let them break our ships, our determination.

        (ha ha it’s getting way too late – btw I really liked what some people posted about the topic, about statistics, about the gender gap and everything – at least the comments can provide some sort of useful contribution to the problem)

  29. Tasloi says:

    I’m afraid I don’t see a way to draw any far-reaching conclusions based solely on the graph provided here. At least none that hold up to scrutiny. I’m more left wondering why graphs like this end up being released time and again in the first place.

  30. uh20 says:

    WOW, no wonder we have soo much dubstep, the audio group is teeming with aliens which only have a working disguise of tim.

  31. Calabi says:

    I dont like averages because a few outliers can skew the whole results. Have they not got the median values?

  32. Strangerator says:

    These aren’t damnable lies, but they are statistics, and not very good ones. This is worse than anecdotal. It would be more effective to point to a specific example where a man and woman joined a game company at the same time, both worked 5 years, and at the end of that time, after both performed up to expectations, the man was making significantly more.

    But these salary figures don’t appear to factor much of anything in, aside from gender. In fact, these figures might indicate a relatively recent uptick in the number of women entering the industry. With the numbers of women so low in the industry, any additions at the entry level will greatly pull down the average. I have a feeling if you take a look at industry veterans with 10+ years of experience, you would find an even higher percentage of men than these figures show. And obviously people at the higher end making 100k+ are pulling the average for men up. This effect is the most pronounced in the category of audio design, where oddly the average salary for women is exactly 50,000 (sample size = 1? they don’t give sample sizes). I have to think people like Jeremy Soule and other big names in audio are hiking up the average for men.

    I’d wager that the reason for these descrepancies is that women are just now joining the industry in greater numbers than in the past. More and more women are playing games and becoming interested in them, so they are just now joining the industry. When you join any industry, you start at the bottom of the ladder. So to me, these numbers show that there are more women entering the industry than ever before. Give it time.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Art is a male dominated field, show me those stats please. I don’t know for sure but I think the girls have the edge on this one.

      No you are right, women didn’t ‘do art’ up until recently, let’s say a couple of years ago. I think it’s great theat games studio’s have started hiring these women who have just recently graduated………..

      • El_Emmental says:

        You do realize these stats aren’t about all “art” related jobs, but only “art” related jobs in the video games industry ?

        And we haven’t an access to the sample size and how they took the hundreds of other factors into account.

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          Fuck me, well for all your rubbishing of stats for this different world of ‘the computer games industry’ chuck us a data bone. Even just explain why in this brave new world of games development what these circumstances are that you presume exist? I’m anticipating being enthralled!

  33. NotToBeLiked says:

    Hooray, another completely unfounded “research” article to gather more views…

    Just comparing the area of games someone works in, is so silly that I can only come to the conclusion that is was stated like this to make uninformed people angry.

    A very young industry that was 90% male until just a few years ago, has large differences in pay between sexes? What a shock! Most likely everyone with a lot of seniority is male, which drives the average wage for males way up. A male developer with 25 years of experience deserves more money than a female developer with 3 years. So unless you compare a jobs with the same job experience this is a useless article.

  34. Not Marvelous says:

    OK, here’s how I see the argument:

    1) There is a wage gap because there is unequal pay for equal job positions between men and women.

    2) There is an average wage gap because there are unequal job positions between men and women.

    Yes, this article does not prove that (1) is the case. It does, however, point out that it may be the case. I would be surprised if it isn’t.

    On the other hand, even if only (2) is true, that is still bad. People here jump as if statements like ‘men like engineering’ and such are matters of fact, not expressions of sexism. There are *many* problems facing women at the workplace that never face men. These problems influence their decisions when taking leaves, negotiating with their bosses, they make them avoid certain industries, etc. And all that, as I see it, is supposed to be expressed in the wage gap. And it is.

    By the way, if your argument is going to be along the lines of ‘men negotiate their salaries more’ then you kinda have to accept that they are, at equal positions, paid more.

    Oh, and that CBS article is very very disappointing. I didn’t know there are so many liberals on RPS – and by liberals I mean people whose social analysis stops at the level of individual choice. You boil it down to choice: men pick this, women pick that. Because you have no idea how to further analyze the issue (people are rational agents, right?) it just seems that men are like this, and women like that. The same can be, I guess, said about white and black people, straights and queers, and whatnot.

    Well, those opinions are (in order) sexist, racist and homophobic.

    This is why the CBS article is disappointing: sure, great that you found that the cause of the wage gap is not in unequal pay for equal jobs, but in unequal jobs. But instead of pointing out this important phenomena, the author boils it down to choice and (since there is then nothing to complain about) attacks feminists! That is just… sexist.

    • justdave says:

      #2 is true. However, as other have stated, there are potentially legitimate reasons for this. The primary one being that there are not as many senior women as senior men because historically there have been fewer female than male developers. Logically you would expect the junior female employment levels of say 10 years ago to be the same as the senior female employment levels today, as a rough guide.

      The study is basically worthless and flawed. Then again, every statistical study I’ve ever seen has been worthless and flawed, so nothing new there.

      • Not Marvelous says:

        And how do you know women are getting paid equally for equal positions?

        The point was that research like this shows that there definitely is a problem, while it does not do much to specify where it is. The argument that people seem to take here is:

        “Since the problem definitely isn’t unequal pay for equal position (which is at best unclear), then there is no real problem (which is just untrue)”.

        I don’t think we should focus on unequal pay anyway. It’s not like making the pay equal is going to make the industry suddenly not sexist.

        • Adamant says:

          That’s the entire point, we don’t know if they are and we don’t know if they aren’t being paid equally either – that is the problem with this entire article, its based on data that is way too limited to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions.

          • Not Marvelous says:

            …to be able to draw meaningful conclusions on whether the wage of a man and a woman in an equal position is indeed equal, I’ll give you that.

            But I specifically tried to make a point that stands no matter what that conclusion is. And I think it’s an important point to make: if the only demand is this sort of equality, then that is no real feminism. I can easily imagine those wages being equal and extraordinary amounts of sexism still present.

            So, again, I think the discussion (if there is any) should not focus just on wage equality. Wage inequality – even average wage inequality – isn’t some baffling fact about life that is to be changed with a little policy. It is the consequence of deep-rooted sexism in the workplace, which extends far beyond the positions women have and their respective wages.

            So no, this type of study is not useless, even if it is lacking in some respects.

  35. notes says:

    The resulting comment thread was wholly predictable.

    If you’re going to chum the water like this, please have an ironclad case – or at least link to an ironclad case. Please be more persuasive, and less incoherently indignant. Take the audio developers, with their capslock inducing 65% differential – that’s the same group with the biggest 6+ year cohort, by far. It’s one thing to assert that this ‘doesn’t explain away the massive discrepencies’ and another to show that it does not. The former tactic persuades no one who isn’t already persuaded, and gives those who aren’t an easy excuse to dismiss the rest of the article. That cannot possibly have been your conscious intent, but it sure seems to have been the result – the predictable result.

    I understand that you care about this, that there is a value in expressing public indignation at a wrong, and that there’s no need to withhold judgment indefinitely awaiting perfect information. I believe that you’re trying to shift the culture, to urge those in ‘senior positions’ to reassess themselves, by public shaming. And there’s nothing wrong with that as a strategy.

    But, rereading your article, rereading this thread, do you believe you persuaded people? Do you believe it created either guilt or shame? Do you believe that this generated light, or heat?

    Or do you wonder whether this article negatively impacted the cause you wished to advance, by letting many of your readers write off the problem as merely incompetence at statistics?

    I do.

    • Not Marvelous says:

      In agreement there. Though I worry that getting into too much detail of the discrepancies always leaves enough room for justification – it’s just some companies! It’s just this or that industry! Those are just bad employers then! etc.

      I like to think of the wage gap as expressing a wider problem of inequality than that. But maybe that’s just me.

    • methodology says:

      God if there’s one comment I hope you actually take to heart I hope it’s this one Mr. Walker, instead of all the trollbait and obvious sexist justification on here. Articles like these hurt the cause more than help, as far as I’m concerned.

      • dsch says:

        To be fair, there has probably been more questioning of John’s statistical methods in the comments here than sexist justifications.

        • methodology says:

          You’re absolutely right, I didn’t mean to imply that most of the comments were trollbait and sexist (although my comments sounded like it did). There’ve been alot of great posts showing why these graphs/stats are not ideal for trying to prove a causal relationship. I meant he seems to only be paying attention to the obvious trollbait.

      • El_Emmental says:

        I read through the 9 pages of comment, and there is the (ironic ? idiotic ?) comment who said something like “let the job market decide” (= another ‘laissez faire’ fanatic), which got the only answer to a comment by John Walker (so far), which is “Fuck off”.

        Then there’s a few (5 to 10 max) “*gasp* that’s not gaming news” comments, ~5 about “women shouldn’t expect to be treated differently” and “women decided to not work in that industry in the first place” (misinformed opinion, imo), then the 400+ other comments are on topic, respectful, and quite a few of them are really bringing something to the discussion (around 30-50 of them).

        1 really offensive comment, 10 to 15 borderline comments, isn’t “all the trollbait and obvious sexist justification on here”, we’re at less than 5% of “trollbait and obvious sexist justification”, on the freaking Internet.

        • Not Marvelous says:

          That’s a very biased assessment – I would say most comments here are sexist justifications based on a flaw in this survey. Very few comments have been constructive – most have exploited this flaw to claim that RPS is bad, that journalists should stop writing about social issues, and that there is no such thing as gender-based oppression, in various ways. Also, incredibly hostile.

          • WrenBoy says:

            You have implied a couple of times now that pointing out factual inaccuracies springs from sexist motivations. The cynic in me wonders exactly what you mean by constructive conversation.

    • WrenBoy says:

      Pretty perfect comment. Hope it gets read enough.

  36. plugmonkey 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.”

    No, it might explain exactly that. We need to see the figures broken down by experience. Otherwise this data might be exactly saying “Women in the games industry are skewed towards junior position” – meaning that either women working in the industry is on the rise (perfectly possible), or that women start careers in games and then leave (again, perfectly possible).

    Or it might mean that women in games are paid less than men in equivalent positions – which probably is true given that it happens in damn near every other industry in the world, but this data doesn’t show us the full picture to draw that conclusion from.

    I’m not sure what my point here is other than PUBLISH THE GOD DAMN DATA!

  37. Low Life says:

    Looking at those audio developer figures, a year earlier average salary for females was $72k (now $50k). With fluctuations like that I don’t see how these figures could be considered an argument for anything. They clearly don’t have enough data behind them and the data isn’t being grouped in relevant ways.

    Last year’s report here: link to gamecareerguide.com

  38. trjp says:

    Whilst we’re at it – you’ll find plenty of data to show that tall people are more successful in business too

    We should counter that by making heels acceptable for men!? :)

  39. maximiZe says:

    What is it with gaming journos and their twitter bubbles of comfort when faced with constructive criticism? The point isn’t that people disrespect John or his work in general, it’s not about “trolls” or “haters”, it’s not about people having someone’s back and not about denying the issues of females in the industry as a whole. It’s about criticizing a baseless article, which is what the overwhelming majority of commenters did. Ignoring those and focusing on a minority of insulting posts, tweets and whatnot is helping nobody.

    • Outsider says:

      That’s suprising, given that one post was “Fuck off” and the other was bemoaning the tragedy of his crucifixion on the cross of poor data analysis. You’d think he’d be in here backing up his point, where it might more count, than retreating to an 140 character echo chamber. Unfortunately, in doing so, he has probably permanently damaged his credibility.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      It’s really rather remarkable how consistently they zero in on the very most trollish and least substantive comments as somehow being worthy of being replied to and ignore all the constructive criticism. The reasoning is obvious – the half-wit or bigot is an safe target for a tongue-lashing, the intelligent person poking your work full of holes is genuinely threatening and therefore must be avoided, lest he embarrass you.

  40. CLD says:

    This is how you are killing RPS, John. And you all deserve it, because no one tried to stop him.

  41. ScatheZombie says:

    Isn’t it technically illegal to post this information publicly (without permission) due to the fact that it’s hidden behind a pay-wall subscription to Game Developer Magazine?

    Or did RPS, Kotaku, and Border House all get the go ahead from GDM? I would think not since these numbers are one of only reasons developers pay for this thing.

  42. thedukeofnarm says:

    Ummm… might be a good time to reflect on how much we expect from data?

    It’s never an issue whether correlation implies causation or not. Data is necessarily equivocal, always. Correlation is 50% data and 50% theory. Causation is 100% theory.

    Correlation only exists insomuch someone *makes* a connection based on an existing model for how things probably-work-based-on-best-available-knowledge-at-this-time. Correlation is not *in* the data, so to speak. Causation is a stop-gap measure. An approximation for us to go on until a better approximation comes along. Which is okay, really. It’s fine. The universe is under no obligation to be intelligible to us.

    You have a model. You look at the data. You see if the data can break your model. If it does, discard the model and start over. If not, keep trying to find the relevant data that can break the model. Until you find the data, the model is… kind of alright, maybe, and can be used to generate new knowledge and make decisions and help us decide how to live. At least until something better comes along. The model is never going to be final wisdom. It’s never going to *really* tells us anything. Nor is the data.

    Just looking at data and ignoring everything else goes a long way in engineering, the natural sciences, etc. In icky stuff like game design, or how we define the kind of world we ought to live in, expecting too much from data can be catastrophic (outcomes defeat the very point of the initiative to begin with — be it developing a game or living in a society). Data’s all fine and good. “Data-driven” however quickly turns to brainlessness in a fair few of the contexts it gets shoved in.

    For icky stuff like, say, wage inequality, the ball is on the court of the humans looking at the data, not on the data’s court. What model and what theory do we bring to work the data? What knowledge? Do we even bother using knowledge about what the data refers to (critical theory, gender theory, arbitrary gender stuff the games’ industry seems bizarrely keen on) to interpret the data?

    All of this to say that the Game Developer’s Magazine data is not really *that* much at fault for not being an exhaustive multi-year survey of every relevant factor (years on the job, different proportions of gender) to do with the topic. That would be very very helpful, but even then it would’t be final wisdom. It doesn’t have to be.

    Models do their job without having to explain everything, ever. The Theory of Evolution is, by the account of most biologists, a model that works really, really well, and yet gets called into question for not being able to provide soundbite-sized explanations for everything.

    I really don’t think the issue being pointed out is “Women are paid less than men for the same arbitrary-measure-of-labor”.

    The issue is “Women are paid less than men in the games industry (as possibly illustrated by this survey data) — reasons for this may include…

    … (1) there being less of them in the industry and …

    …(2) *possibly* most of them having fewer years on the job;

    there’s no reason for not dealing with (1) and (2) directly and efficiently (win, win situation if we do that) and while we’re at it why not make sure we are also dealing with …

    … (3) any possible wage-inequality-along gender-lines-with-all-things-being-equal that we find after taking into account years on the job and relative proportion of women professionals”

    I think the borderhouse blog post in the article is pretty clear in saying that (1, 2, 3) are the issue, and it even rolls out sensible advice on how to tackle the issue.

    Again, the issue is that (1, 2, 3) are out there and there’s no good reason (1, 2, 3) shouldn’t be actively dealt with.

    It’s never about what the data tells us. Data never tells anybody anything.

    It’s only ever about how reasonable are the assumptions that *we* bring to the data.

    Is it that unreasonable to strongly suspect that the situation the survey illustrates is indeed relevant, pervasive and worth looking into?

    I mean, this is an industry where one male professional or another will feel obliged to go “HURR HURR random sexist comment” every hour or so, because there is a quota apparently, and terrible things happen if you don’t meet that quota.

    When questioned on this, these dudes will come back with “It’s normal: we’re in videogames”.

    The issue isn’t someone made a sexist comment that one time; it’s not even that some people try to meet a quota.

    It’s the recursive justification. The problem is that the idea of videogames and the idea of a games industry are shaped in such a way that someone’s brain can slide into “videogames, therefore arbitrary unnecessary sexist stuff is normal”. When you get multiple individuals making this particular excuse in unrelated contexts, then there’s something badly amiss.

    The wage disparity isn’t disgusting. It’s arbitrary, unnecessary, weak, and pointless. Videogames are design efforts. Sexism in videogames is not conducive to good design (arbitrary, impossible to justify, etc.).

    I salute the surge in statistical acumen whenever data for gender inequality to do with videogames turns up.

    I am reminded of #8 on this FAQ —

    link to whatever.scalzi.com

  43. thedukeofnarm says:

    … I’m pretty sure the Border House post acknowledges “that’s the proportion of industry workers who are women” and “there are far less women who will have been in the industry long enough to make top-dollar compared to men”…

    Nobody claimed some moustache-twirling dick dastardly type of character is actively barring women from the industry,

    it’s just that the industry seems a bit keen on discouraging women from coming to work in the industry, and the industry doesn’t know why it does this and, you know, ends up missing out on a share of workforce/talent that’d be good to have…

    to quote the last sentence of the Border House post —

    ” (…) with numbers like these — why would women want to work in games?”

  44. Sidion says:

    I know people like to see racism and sexism in everything… But has anyone ever considered that maybe the differences in the sexes (Which are strengthened and enforced during most people child hood’s) is the cause for discrepancy?

    Maybe the actual wage disparity is caused more by the fact that when it comes to negotiating or agreeing upon a salary that most men will stand pat on a higher number, and gamble for more than their female counter part?

    Businesses will ALWAYS pay the least amount they can get away with. If we could perhaps get some conclusive data showing how many men haggled to get more money during salary negotiations vs women I’d be more inclined to start agreeing with these salary gap numbers.

    Until then though, I feel like it’s all just a bit uninformed. We have a free market, there is always going to be disparity.

    • Baresark says:

      I was thinking this as well. There are no written rules saying that women should/must make less than men. In the instance of employment, it’s almost always contractual. People agree to to pay more or less depending on the person who sits before them and that persons demands at the time a contract is negotiated.

      It’s terrible that the disparity can be so big, but we don’t live in a world where someone who occupies a position makes the same amount as someone else who occupies the same position. That said, women obviously don’t automatically deserve less. The secret to fixing the problem is not to show inane charts but to seek out why exactly it’s happening and who is culpable. In some cases it will no doubt be sexism, but in other cases it will also be low negotiation of contract.

      The upside is that the people who make less will come out on the top in the end. It’s basic economics. So basic that people like Walter Block would use that to deny the disparity in wages even exists, but that is clearly not a relevant line of thought, though I do respect his economic prowess.

  45. Adamant says:

    I literally made an account just to show a reply to this I found on the rockpapershotgun tag on tumblr, pretty much agree with what the guy/girl says esspecially the conclusion “Ignoring certain things just so you can strengthen the message you want your article to communicate is Sensationalist Tabloid levels of journalism, please don’t.”

    link to misteravarice.tumblr.com

    Also wow that loaded url

    • Baresark says:

      The person who wrote that response stated the truth. It’s undeniable that the writers of this site often times become impassioned about the things they write about, which is a double edged sword. First, it leads to some great articles and writing that shows how they feel about a certain subject. The downside is that they jump on some things and start throwing out words like misogyny and sexism (I’m reminded of the Dead Island Riptide statue article) and generally argue from a standpoint of overall ignorance about something.

  46. Valvarexart says:

    Is this a parody of radical feminism and leftism? Okay, I’ll go along…

    WE NEED MORE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION!
    IF WE PROMOTE EMPLOYMENT AND WAGE MANAGEMENT BASED ON ARBITRARY FACTORS RATHER THAN AN OBJECTIVE EVALUATION OF SKILL (BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY ANYTHING ELSE IS BOTH RACIST, MISOGYNIST AND UH… HITLERISH) THE WORLD WILL BECOME A MUCH BETTER PLACE!
    PAY NO NEED TO THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO FURTHER REFERENCE TO THE SOURCE OR INFORMATION REGARDING HOW THE SURVEY WAS PERFORMED! THAT IS ONLY SEXIST PROPAGANDA!

    • iridescence says:

      Is this a parody of right-wing propaganda?:

      “HIGHER SKILL IS THE ONLY REASON FOR HIGHER WAGES SO WE DON’T HAVE TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THESE THINGS ANYMORE AND NOT ONLY ARE MEN SMARTER THAN WOMEN BUT RICH PEOPLE ARE SMARTER THAN ANYONE POORER THAN THEM! ALSO, WRITING IN ALL CAPS MAKES YOU MORE CORRECT!”

      • Motley Scott says:

        Actually what you just wrote in caps is kinda true, although charisma and handling people is more important than skill (and gender) when it comes to wages.

        • WrenBoy says:

          Everyone who earns more than I do has achieved this mainly through a combination of luck and family connections while those who earn less than I do are a mixture of the untalented and the lazy. My immediate peers are blessed with some skill but are, on the whole, bluffers and will be caught out in the long run.

    • Not Marvelous says:

      It is utterly ridiculous to call wage equality a goal for ‘radical’ feminism. It’s as mainstream as feminism can get. Also, I wish your spiteful comment would just get deleted.

      • Valvarexart says:

        You wish to silence those with viewpoints oppositional to your own? Not surprising, really, as this is usually how those with weak standpoints defend their positions.
        I consider all feminism that goes further than defending and advocating equality before the law to be radical.

        • Not Marvelous says:

          I wish to silence comments that are *spiteful*, not because they are in opposition to my own. And RPS ‘does not have a freedom of speech policy’, as it states in the comments instructions. So i still wish that your witless parody of a serious concern, with references to Hitler no less, be deleted.

          It is marvelous how these days the most use freedom of speech apparently has is in defending the right of people to say insulting, chauvinist things. Particularly on the internet, where you are in no danger of being socially accounted for it.

          • Valvarexart says:

            I am sure that if ‘spite’ was what you wished silenced, then you would have held your tongue. Unfortunately, even though RPS are in now way required to honour FOS, I highly doubt that they will remove my comments even though I invoked Godwin’s law in some type of (admittedly not spectacular) semi-parody. You see, Walker makes money from every comment that is posted on these posts that raise these ‘important issues’ in such an eloquent and unbiased manner which is surely not written solely for the purpose of causing ire. But I wish you luck in your crusade against chauvinism, the patriarchy, people mentioning Hitler and free speech! It shall be most entertaining to observe!

  47. Outsider says:

    Slaying internet dragons is fun, especially when the only danger in participating is wearing out your keyboard. The “Social Justice” bullshit crusade by Walker and Grayson on this site has been going on for some time and it’s bringing down the quality of content severely, because people can go to a thousand other places to get that stuff, and a thousand more where it’s shoved down their throats unwillingly.

    More articles like the one below this one by Adam Smith and less of this cherry-picking progressive fact-free guilt parades. People get tired of the holier-than-thou preaching by writers and commenters when they just want to read good games journalism.

    As an addendum: Walker and Grayson are great writers and I like reading their stuff when it’s not online activism. It’s just that I don’t look to journalists for moral guidance, and for some reason, it’s being more and more accepted across the entirety of the news spectrum that they are somehow duty bound to hand us down our social marching orders.

    Maybe it’s once people get an audience they start thinking they’re obligated to use that soapbox to disseminate their agenda to the masses and to !raise awareness! ™.

    Maybe it’s not, maybe people just want to read about their beloved hobby and not concern themselves with !sign this petition! ™, !we’re all at fault! ™, etc. for once in their day. It is really waxing tiresome, please reconsider.

    • hungrytales says:

      This. This. THIS, for Christ’s sake.

    • Not Marvelous says:

      An article on RPS is shoved down your throat? It is the highpoint of privilege when you don’t even expect to encounter things no one is making you read. The online gaming community should do more to accommodate *you*, young straight male gamer.

      I want RPS’s social articles to be more serious than this (also articles on gender issues in gaming written by women, please). I also want not to encounter vileness such as this, but alas.

      • colossalstrikepackage says:

        This

      • Outsider says:

        “”An article on RPS is shoved down your throat?””

        No, and that’s not what I said, I said that , in other places it is. If I don’t want to read about these things here I will not, and generally don’t. Would I pleased if more time was spent on games rather than preaching about social inequality? Yes, of course. But as I explained above, I think the contention and drama it brings drags down the overall quality of the content here, and I’m tired of seeing it everywhere I go.

        “”It is the highpoint of privilege when you don’t even expect to encounter things no one is making you read. The online gaming community should do more to accommodate *you*, young straight male gamer.””

        Well, you’ve certainly hit the buzz words: Privilege, straight, male, young. Tell me, bearing in mind what I’ve just said and what my above post says and the fact that to place a comment on this site it is headed by a button the reads” opinion away” … what about not liking something makes me a privileged straight young male?

        “”I also want not to encounter vileness such as this, but alas.””

        What was “vile” about my comment? That is a very strong term.

        • Not Marvelous says:

          You are tired of seeing it, you wish it wasn’t here, and you conveniently used the phrase ‘showed down someone’s throat’ to describe ‘other places’ where gender issues are discussed. I think the implication is pretty strong, but sure, why not, you didn’t explicitly say it. It’s pretty clear that’s how you feel though.

          And why is it vile? Using terms like ‘bullshit crusade’, ‘fact-free guilt parade’ to describe feminism is vile. It is dismissive and insulting without even noticing that it is dismissive and insulting. And moreover, it is symptomatic. All over the world (and particularly on the internet, everyone safely hidden behind fake names and pictures) men use terms like these to discredit, demean and make a joke out of a very very serious issue.

          The fact that you expect not to see social issues – especially gender issues – on a website that is dedicated to gaming, itself a locus of a lot of gender issues, is a mark of privilege. The fact that you expect people to accommodate you, by not talking about gender issues, is a mark of privilege. The fact that you do not notice the privileged standpoint you are talking from is also a mark of privilege.

          Having an opinion is not the end of a discussion, it’s the beginning. And yours is that of a young white male accustomed to being catered to. I am glad that here you are not (at least not completely).

          Also, implying that the mere fact of writing about gender issues ‘brings the quality down’ is, again, insulting. Sure, I would agree that RPS needs better gender articles than this. But I’m pretty sure that’s not what you meant.

          I hope I made myself clear – why your opinion is one coming from a position of privilege, and why I described your post as vile. Sure, vile is a strong word, maybe too strong here, but the things you say are so old, pervasive, mean and dismissive that I allow myself some righteous anger when I see them.

          • Outsider says:

            You are tired of seeing it, you wish it wasn’t here, and you conveniently used the phrase ‘showed down someone’s throat’ to describe ‘other places’ where gender issues are discussed. I think the implication is pretty strong, but sure, why not, you didn’t explicitly say it.

            So you wrote a post all full of righteous indignation that I said something I didn’t explicitly say and used what I did not say to call me privileged and then go on to use my guessed sexual orientation and my guessed age to write off what I didn’t say as below notice. Speaking of implication, sounds like you’re more than a little intolerant.

            In fact given the amount of times you reference what you *think* my gender, age, and sexual orientation are and try to use them as an mark against me, I’d say you’re a full on bigot.

            And why is it vile? Using terms like ‘bullshit crusade’, ‘fact-free guilt parade’ to describe feminism is vile.

            So writing about imagined grievances backed up with poor data on a gaming website is feminism? You might want to rethink that one champ, because calling THAT feminism is a bigger insult to it than what you *think* I said about it.

            The fact that you expect not to see social issues – especially gender issues – on a website that is dedicated to gaming, itself a locus of a lot of gender issues, is a mark of privilege. The fact that you expect people to accommodate you, by not talking about gender issues, is a mark of privilege. The fact that you do not notice the privileged standpoint you are talking from is also a mark of privilege.

            Just so I get this straight: Having an opinion and tastes different from yours and having a preference to indulge in them is a mark of privilege. Closing my post with “please reconsider” is a mark of privilege. And the clincher, because I don’t agree with you and don’t “notice” it I’m privileged. You must be used to arguing with people those kind of social scare tactics work against. It’s not an “I win” button here, I’m not afraid of your ill-founded and profoundly misguided judgments.

            And yours is that of a young white male accustomed to being catered to.

            Please tell me more about statistics you think you know but are based on no actual hard fact. Seems to be going around a lot in these parts.

            Also, implying that the mere fact of writing about gender issues ‘brings the quality down’ is, again, insulting.

            Incomplete. I directly said, not implied, that the drama and contention it brings about draws the quality down. It’s red meat. Yet again you try to reframe things I actually said into terms you find personally more offensive so you can have this righteous moral outrage. It’s sad, really, because there’s plenty in the world you could direct those energies to. I know I do.

            I hope I made myself clear

            You did indeed, I can clearly see you argue from imaginary points of view and you’re nothing more than a reckless arsonist in a field full of strawmen.

    • Not Marvelous says:

      “The “Social Justice” bullshit crusade by Walker and Grayson on this site has been going on for some time and it’s bringing down the quality of content severely…”

      What does this sentence mean?

      I see it referring to the whole issue of writing about gender issues. There are two steps in the interpretation of this sentence: one, “bullshit crusade” refers to writing about gender issues. Two, If writing about gender issues is the bullshit crusade, then writing about gender issues is bringing the quality of the content down.

      This is how I interpreted this sentence. And it is one of the things that offended me.

      If you want to claim that “bullshit crusade” does not refer to gender issues in general, but to the particular approach these two authors have taken, then please clarify that in your future posts. I do not claim I know what you meant – sure, one can be about as obtuse as it is possible to be on the internet – but I do know how you sound.

      So, instead of baiting people with your tone and then arguing over details with obligatory sleights of hand (I was demeaning feminism, really?), I suggest that you for future references try to be more precise with what you mean. Otherwise you will never have a productive discussion in your life.

      • Outsider says:

        See, this is the problem with injecting this issue into a games forum, I’m sure you and I could be having completely normal and enjoyable discussions on the merit or lack of merit of games, but instead I’m expressing my desire to avoid this circus and you’re making a fool of yourself.

        You went swinging for the fences on something you *thought* you read, and discriminated against what you *thought* was my race, age and gender, and you’re going to try and lecture me on a “baiting tone”? You obviously have problems with people you consider white and male, so how about you deal with your problems offline rather than try to foist them on me in an unrelated discussion.

        I won’t curb my annoyance with your dishonest tactics or start parsing my words to cater people who try to peg commenter’s vital stats and then use them as a bludgeon to derail an argument they’re losing whilst reinforcing their own prejudices.

        You want to talk about games? Excellent, I’ll “see you on the other side”, but I’d strongly advise against trying to engage me on this subject again.

        • realmenhuntinpacks says:

          Well, let me just say that I’m entirely with Not Marvellous on this. They make a fine and eloquent case.

        • Not Marvelous says:

          Hey, I apologize I came off as a jerk. Arguments of this sort are never nice and always leave me with a bad feeling in my gut. If nothing else, I’m kinda glad I at least got you riled up – because that’s how your comment that started this exchange affected me.

          Games themselves do not affect me that way though, so I bet any arguments between us there would be way more civil.

          • Outsider says:

            Thanks, Not Marvelous. I agree about the unpleasantness of it all. I can’t lay all that blame on you, no one was forcing my hand in typing my repsonses. I too apologize for coming off as a jerk, I was pretty aggressive.

            I’ll see you again in better circumstances!

  48. cptgone says:

    the gender wage gap is even wider in the sex industry.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Bingo. And something no one ever mentions is how the “gender wage gap” meme is largely designed to undervalue hazardous blue collar jobs and tradeswork by attempting to compare it to work which is utterly unlike it and not at all hazardous.

      Of course this is me airing my frustration at the utter dupliciity of much of the women’s movement.

  49. hungrytales says:

    “Because, er, women don’t draw as well?” Apparently.

    Er, John. Don’t you see? What you really achieved building this anecdotal argument is you got rational people’s minds here sprouting doubt where there previously was none.

    You see, you have to decide if the gaming industry is run by sexist bastards or by bloodsucking, profit-chasing moneygrabbers i.e. capitalists. You can’t have them both. Surely the first thing those pesky capitalists would do, in their blind run for profit, would be firing those overpaid men, and hiring those equally qualified women for less money. No?

    • darkChozo says:

      That’s a false argument. If we assume that the people doing the hiring are non-rational actors, then it’s reasonable to assume that they can misjudge the value of an employee based on factors like gender. That would be consistent both with capitalism (She would be less valuable as an employee so therefore it’s in my best interest to pay her less money) and with sexism (She’s a woman, and therefore is less valuable).

  50. Kefren says:

    Just to be the pedant: sexism is about sexes, male and female are sexes. This article is about sex, not gender. link to karldrinkwater.blogspot.com (I’m directing this at the headline).
    PS “MORE FROM ROCK, PAPER, SHOTGUN” is irritating. We already have “Read our finest words” and tags, and the homepage features. I block the horrible popout quotes, how do I block these, oh people who understand the arcane art of blocking filters? Especially for people who read every post anyway! Twice! :-)

    • cptgone says:

      OK, i’ll rephrase my earlier post:
      the sex wage gap is even wider in the gender industry.

    • darkChozo says:

      Because the data comes from a survey, it’s implicitly self-identified and therefore is gender.

      I’ve heard that you can specify elements to block by CSS class; blocking the class “OUTBRAIN” should do what you want. Don’t know enough specifics to help further. :)

      • Kefren says:

        “Because the data comes from a survey, it’s implicitly self-identified and therefore is gender.”
        Often in surveys the question is “Gender: male / female”. Respondents have no choice apart from answer the question or not – if they answer it then it doesn’t mean they agree with the term gender, just that they have no choice. Of course, they could avoid answering, but some surveys won’t accept your data unless you answer every question, and by then you may have filled four pages of answers and not want your time wasted.

        Simplest is:
        “Are you: male / female”
        which gets round the incorrect language issue.

        Thanks for the blocking tip, I’ll play around with it!