Eradicating Violence against Women in the Gaming Industry: Insights from the Dialogue “Violence is Not a Game”

Guest Post by

Fernanda Martínez

In an increasingly digitized world, video games have become an integral part of modern life, attracting millions of people of all ages and genders. However, this growing popularity has not been without issues, especially when it comes to violence and harassment targeting women in the gaming industry. To address this concerning topic, the “Violence is Not a Game” dialogue was held, organized by Movistar and L’Oréal Groupe. This event brought together experts, players, and advocates for women’s rights to reflect on how to eradicate gender-based violence in this virtual space.

Speakers at the event included prominent figures in the gaming and advocacy fields, such as Olimpia Coral, a Mexican activist; Mariana Baños, the Founder of Fundación Origen; Kalipso, a competitive gaming host and content creator in eSports; and Jennifer Romero, the Creative Director of Twitch and an ambassador for Women in Games.

With a global audience of 3.1 billion players, the gaming industry is a diverse landscape that mirrors the composition of today’s society. Surprisingly, 46% of players are women, underscoring the significant presence of women in this field. In the context of Mexico, a country with a vibrant gaming culture, 55.8 million individuals enjoy video games, with a 41% female participation rate. These statistics highlight the importance of addressing gender-related issues within the gamer community.

In digital environments, violence and harassment can take various forms, all of which are detrimental to the gaming experience and the wellbeing of women. Some of these manifestations include:

  • Insults and offensive language: Comments reflecting racism, sexism, homophobia, or other forms of discrimination.
  • Sexual harassment: Unwanted messages of a sexual nature, inappropriate propositions, or explicit images.
  • Discrimination and hatred: Treating female players negatively based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, or other personal traits.
  • Cyberbullying: Repeated and intentional harassment aimed at intimidating or defaming female players.
  • Griefing: Deliberately sabotaging the gaming experience of others.
  • Doxxing: Revealing personal information without consent.
  • Harassment: Directing abusive comments via voice chat or monitoring the activities of female players negatively.
  • Censorship: Limiting equal participation of female players on platforms.

The “Violence is Not a Game” dialogue emphasized the need for individuals to identify these behaviors and take measures to protect themselves and their community. Awareness and education are crucial to transforming digital spaces into safe and respectful environments for everyone.

It is essential for everyone to be aware of their rights as gamers to promote an inclusive and respectful environment in the gaming world. As this industry continues to captivate audiences of all ages, it becomes even more important to foster positive, conscious, and responsible digital experiences that benefit society. The creation of a safe, inclusive, and sustainable digital world is vital to ensure the wellbeing and mental health of all involved, contributing to a more empathetic and connected society.

The gaming world generates opportunities to connect people and bring them together in an environment that should be safe and guided by positive values. When diverse experiences and perspectives are brought to the table, everything becomes enriched. Dialogues like the one led by Movistar and L’Oréal Groupe, who are working on the issue through their initiatives #mynamemygame and #bravetogether respectively, are a clear example of how collaboration and the exchange of ideas can lead to the creation of a more inclusive, diverse, and respectful digital world.

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