Lesia and I had a fantastic week at our first GDC and first time in San Francisco.
Many of the talks, round tables and showcases validated a lot of what we currently undertake with our students on Games at Winchester School of Art (WSA), specifically relating to games for change, games and the climate crisis and experimental games, those that tell stories and approaches from the marginalised, the different and the under represented.
The Independent Games Festival and the Experimental Games Workshop really exemplified this at GDC.
Which is why it was sad to return home and read reports of sexual harassment, spiked drinks and likely worse against women at GDC.
I admit I am shocked but more so, I am angry.
Those of you that know me know that a big part of my position and take on games and the tech industry is born out of being sickened to see misogyny I personally witnessed almost 20 years ago at tech events.
I am determined as a father of 3 daughters that games and tech should be a safe space for all women and have thus wanted to help where I could.
The mission is never complete, we at WSA will continue to create and get better at making safe spaces for anyone that wants to make games and loves and understands the power of games.
If you witnessed or were a victim of any harassment at GDC no matter how small you may think it was, call it out. These people don’t belong in the games industry, and it’s time to normalise the utter rejection of this type of behaviour.
Please look to support any initiatives you can as well such as Women in Games in your area or the UK Raise the Game initiative.
There are many more initiatives I am not aware of so please do seek out, the majority, the good people in games and tech and rid this industry of a rotten minority that need to be gone.