Warning: The following program contains frightening and disturbing dialogue.
Brianna Wu is one of many women who have been viciously harassed and threatened by men who believe women have no right to be video game developers or commentators. Wu's experiences are part of the inspiration for a recent episode of Law & Order SVU. Wu talks about her experiences and what we need to do to change tech culture.
The introduction of the I-phone Wu says created an explosion of women gamers. There has been disgust and contempt toward women gamers from the beginning. "It's a systematic problem where women do not have a seat at the table. [the gaming industry] crushes women every step of the way. Men in this field have to learn to start listening."
Wu has described herself as, “barely a feminist” when she started the company in 2010. She wanted to create games with strong female characters, but believed it was best to “just do a good job and don’t make a big deal out of it.”
Working in the game industry, Wu found herself frequently frustrated by what she described as the “boys club” mentality in games, which was much worse than any of the other industries she’d worked in. This was reflected in the tone of their first game Revolution 60, which featured an all-female cast of special operatives, in a game many describe as having strong feminist overtones. Revolution 60 shipped in July of 2014 to critically acclaimed reviews from Macworld, Kotaku, Gamebreaker, 148Apps, and others. A sequel is currently in the works.
Five months ago Wu started receiving death threats through Twitter and email. She has received 46 death threats in that time. She describes in detail the devastating effect this is having on her life and business. Unlike the story portrayed on Law and Order, Wu has received very little response from law enforcement for these destructive threats.
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