Sexism at Riot Games


#1

There are a lot of powerful storieshere. Personally, as a trans woman who got into data analysis specifically for video games and looked to riot as a potential place to go, this was beyond disheartening. It’s a heavy read that I didn’t see a post on. From my own experience, I don’t work in a tech field and the first retirement party I attended included a clearly married man showing off the creep shots he’s taken of a coworkers chest to her face

sigh

Some choice quotes from the article:

Among the people we spoke to, three women described being groomed for promotions, and doing jobs above their title and pay grade, until men were suddenly brought in to replace them. Both male and female sources have described seeing unsolicited and unwelcome pictures of male genitalia from bosses or colleagues. One woman saw an e-mail thread about what it would be like to “penetrate her,” in which a colleague added that she’d be a good target to sleep with and not call again. Another said a colleague once informed her, apparently as a compliment, that she was on a list getting passed around by senior leaders detailing who they’d sleep with. Two former employees said they felt pressure to leave after making their concerns about gender discrimination known. One former male employee said that Riot’s “bro culture” is more pronounced behind closed doors, and hurts men too: One of Riot’s male senior leaders regularly grabbed his genitals, the source said, adding, “If he walked into a meeting with no women he’d just fart on someone’s face.”

A 2015 e-mail about the hiring disparity written by a female employee and sent to Kotaku reads, “I’ve heard women described as ‘aggressive’ and ‘too ambitious’ during hiring panels rather than focus on their career skills or aptitude. I recall a lot of phrases that have given me pause, and I’ve NEVER seen these sorts of phrases applied to male hires: ‘She interrupted me a lot during the phone interview,’ ‘she’s annoying,”’ or ‘we don’t want people in this role who are ambitious because they’ll want to move out of it quickly.’” The e-mailer added that the problem gets deeper when “our hiring panels are, just by the sheer result of the ratio of men to women at Riot, mostly straight/white/male.”


#2

Thank you for sharing this article. What’s so baffling and harrowing to me is how this features so many examples of systemic sexism at work - all these roadblocks that are costing people their financial security and sanity - and how all of those accounts can just be denied as long as there is no exterior preassure to do so.


#3

Honestly not terribly shocked considering the culture around their game.

They talk about how they are trying so very hard to make their game less of a toxic cesspool while not having the guts to actually do anything meaningful. I’ve played LoL, Dota2, SMITE, and now mostly HotS and LoL by far has and still continues to have the worst community of any game I have ever seen.

They unbanned the streamer Loltyler1, a person who’s whole shtick from what I could see was to be as toxic as possible, after he switched to playing Dota2 because he took his audience with him. What kind of message are you sending your players if you are going to unban a guy that staff themselves have called out on social media for being a PoS?

As soon as something like that happened I would be looking for a new job. What kind of man children run this place?


#4

Fantastic article.


There have also been women sharing their experiences in response to this article on twitter, this is one of them.

I hate this aspect of gaming: the reductionist term is “bro gamers” I guess but it’s the culture that rewards and encourages extroverted and aggressive behavior. Treats introverts like there is something wrong with them that has to be fixed to succeed.
This is speculation but if a lot of these men weren’t belittled for their hobbies as being non masculine in the past, maybe they wouldn’t have so much to prove now. Not sure if that applies anymore though.


#5

Meagan Marie’s (currently CM at Crystal Dynamics) contribution is worth reading too.


#6

i just keep thinking about this twitter exchange from a month ago between Jennifer Scheurle, who lamented that a job she recently applied for necessitated that she have multiple (!) games for which she had over 500+ hours of play (!!) - which several people suspected to be a Riot position - and a male developer who worked on fucking Angry Birds who defended that completely absurd requirement


#7

“Do you play one thousand hours of angry birds, steve”

Lmfao oh dear god I’m rolling.

If you want to be a riot designer, be prepared to spend your hours researching the game. Make sure you’re eager to learn more about it for the sake of design. Sure. But not everyone at riot needs to know their game to do the job and more importantly, outside of general moba knowledge you really don’t have to play an extensive amount to specialize in a SINGLE game. Bah. Anyway


#8

How is this still allowed in 2018?