Kim Swift's rallying call against industry sexism

Kim Swift's rallying call against industry sexism
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 3rd 2013 at 11:44AM

Portal co-creator tells women devs to 'be visible, be outspoken, be strong, and be smart'

Airtight Games creative director Kim Swift has called on women developers to tackle sexism in the game industry.

In a new blog post, the Quantum Conundrum creator admitted that sexism is a common occurrence for many women in the game industry, and said that the recent furore over twitter on the matter under the 1reasonwhy hashtag was just “the tip of the iceberg”.

In November, hundreds of women developers spoke out on rampant game industry sexism, with some lamenting the sector for hindering their chances of progression due to gender and making female players feel unwelcome in gaming.

“As a participator in the 1ReasonWhy hash tag, I am ashamed to admit that I am scared of sharing everything; I’m scared of sharing the worst of it,” said Swift.

“I am fearful of delving below the surface. Talking about this subject in public is terrifying because frankly you never know when retribution is going to rear its ugly head and what sort of consequences will come about because of your words. To tell all, in many ways, either means having nothing to lose, anonymity or extreme bravery, none of which I possess.”

Swift went on to say that she hoped that being a success in gaming could help inspire young girls to make a career in the industry, and called on other women developers to be more visible and outspoken to help improve gender inequality, but admitted this could take as long as 20 years.

“So here comes my point. This is a numbers game, people,” said Swift.

“If you want diversity in gaming subjects: If you want a more fair, unbiased workplace: If you want the industry to just plain grow up: Then we need to change the makeup of our industry, because games are a reflection of their creators.

“I see the solution to this problem coming not a year from now, not five years from now, but twenty. When this current generation of kids sees the good example that we should be setting now. And though we may not be able to tell it completely like it is just yet, there’s still plenty we can do to help future generations of game developers.

“So ladies, my call to arms is this: Be visible. Be outspoken. Be strong. Be smart. Be kind. Be everything that the younger versions of us could’ve pointed to and proudly said:

“Girls make games too.”