Sexual Harassment in Video Games: Changing Gamer Culture Inside the Industry

Sexual harassment in video games has been a staple of the industry for a long time now. To many people, this aspect of gamer culture has been a secret rarely spoken aloud. However, harassment victims are slowly chipping away at the “Code of Silence.”

Riot Games will reportedly pay a $100 million settlement to address claims of sexual harassment, discrimination and other issues. Activision Blizzard is on blast about a culture of misconduct. The game company has fired several alleged bad actors after a sexual harassment probe. Now, more workers are free to speak out since California passed new legislation to make it harder for companies to silence harassment victims using NDAs.

Workers in the video game industry have the spotlight and are affecting real change at game studios. The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. want to help support these changes. Here is how you can fight harassment if you work for a video game developer with a toxic culture.

How to Fight Sexual Harassment in Video Games If You Work in the Industry

Efforts to change sexist gamer culture in the video game industry are taking big strides. However, there is still a long way to go to eliminate sexual harassment in video games. Day-to-day, women in the industry and gamers are still facing persecution due to their sex or gender. In order to keep moving forward, we must continue to learn and speak out. If you are in a sexual harassment situation, remember to take the following steps:

  • Evaluate the situation: How is the harassment taking place? Does the company you work for take sexual harassment seriously? What would it take to remedy the situation? Does the company need to ask someone to leave or would a culture change fix the problem? When fighting sexual harassment in video games, it helps to have a goal.
  • Document incidents: Record the date, time and location of the harassment. What situation occurred and who was responsible? Were there any witnesses? Who saw what happened? Keep these records private and backed up. Try not to use your work computer to collect them and do not secretly record interactions with your harasser. California requires two-party consent when it comes to the recording of private conversations. Failing to get the consent of others involved in your audio or video recording could be an illegal invasion of privacy.
  • Speak up: To engender change, you must take action. Directly and politely confront your harasser. This may actually stop the harassment, but if it does not stop, escalate the issue. Check your company’s policies on sexual harassment and find out where you should report the harassment (usually your immediate supervisor or the HR department). If the harassment continues then you can make a complaint to the EEOC.
  • Protect yourself: During this process, do not isolate yourself. Were others mistreated? Connect with them. Talk to close and trusted family members and friends for support. There may be pushback on you, so having this emotional support will help you stay the course. Most of all, consult a sexual harassment attorney throughout the entirety of your ordeal. A lawyer will help guide you through what is happening and help you protect yourself legally. If you need to file a lawsuit down the line, already having an attorney on your side may help the process.

For more information about how you can address sexual harassment in the workplace, please take advantage of the resources provided by Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. We are an employment law firm with over 30 years of experience helping workers who were wrongfully terminated, harassed or discriminated against. Call (310) 997-4431 or fill out our confidential online form today for a free consultation.

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