The hashtag that strikes fear into any rationally minded person may actually have finally done something which can be considered good. Even though I’m not sure I agree.
Yes, the infamous #GamerGate saga really gained momentum when Intel pulled advertising from Gamasutra after they published an inflammatory article from vocal feminist Leigh Alexander.
Basically, Leigh decided to post an article that dismissed gamers, which understandably wasn’t taken kindly by gamers. This resulted in Intel pulling their advertising, a stand that was applauded by the vocal Gamergaters and was slammed by people who feel the movement is more anti-feminism and social justice than anything else.
Well, Intel eventually reinstated their advertising and has now gone one step further by announcing a $300 million fund to increase diversity in its workforce, as well as supporting more diversity in gaming – an obvious nod to the #AntiGamerGate movement.
Currently the Intel technical work force is made up of 30% women and only 2-7% of their entire workforce is black. This is an obvious imbalance and highlights the problem that people are campaigning about. Intel has now promised the funds to historically black colleges and universities, and that it will invest in efforts to bring more women into the gaming industry.
The reasons why there are fewer black people (and all people of colour really) in the technical industry in America are wide and varied and for the love of all that is holy don’t start your racist rubbish in my comments section.
Helping certain groups throw off the yoke of social injustice is great and something that I do support. However, it’s never that straight forward is it?
For one, Intel themselves have stated that only 18% of technical undergraduate degrees are being awarded to women, so the fact that their workforce in technical departments is 30% actually shows that Intel is way ahead of the curve; investing more money might seem to be counter productive and could be seen as a move against other groups.
On the other hand, they have also revealed that if their workforce was properly representative of the qualified technical race breakdown, their black employees would increase by 48% (of the current 2-7%). This highlights two issues, there is a blatant and definite anti-black hiring agenda there, and the number of technically skilled black candidates is far lower than that of other races, which is why they are investing in black colleges.
Personally, I’m a fan of policies that force diversity. Once a certain race or gender has taken control in a specific sphere, it is immeasurably harder for people of other races and genders to break in.
But it’s a tricky road and the first time a white male is passed over for a less qualified black or female employee I expect a lawsuit to be raised.
In related GamerGate news, here is what happens to your traffic stats (read: Gamasutra’s stats) if you are a gaming site that decides to post an article dismissing gamers as a group.
Now Alexa rankings are notoriously terrible but wherever you stand in the GamerGate saga, you probably agree that as a gaming site it was a ridiculous idea posting an article stating
“Traditional ‘gaming’ is sloughing off, culturally and economically, like the carapace of a bug.”
“Gamer” isn’t just a dated demographic label that most people increasingly prefer not to use. Gamers are over. That’s why they’re so mad.
Personally, I still see myself as a gamer and I don’t find that embarrassing. I also see myself as a husband and a father to two young girls. Also a software developer and a journalist.
Being a gamer doesn’t make me what I am, but it does describe one of my many facets and I don’t agree that it’s a bad thing.
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Last Updated: January 7, 2015