No skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry


I blinked at my phone, fighting simultaneous urges to hurl my phone across the room in anger and cry. Later that day, someone texted me my address — telling me they’d “See me when I least expected it.”

I haven’t been out to my car at night by myself since January 2nd.

My name is Brianna Wu. I lead a development studio that makes games. Sometimes, I write about issues in the games industry that relate to the equality of women. My reward is that I regularly have men threatening to rape and commit acts of violence against me.

An awful story about a serious and ongoing problem in general but specific in this regard to the gaming industry.

  • SockRolid

    Saw Brianna’s talk at AltConf in SF last month. I have personally never seen any such harassment of women in my years in the tech industry, but I’m not a woman.

    Brianna mentioned “death by 1000 cuts, a series of micro aggressions” as being unacceptable in the workplace. Well guess what. Men do that to each other as well. Just FYI.

    • CJ

      Your comment suggests you didn’t read the linked article, or you would have read this:


      “Women in the industry are told by men what is valid for us to feel. The conversations tend not to recognize the reality of the situation, and the very real threats that can occur at gaming events or in our day-to-day lives. We’re told it doesn’t matter, to grow a thicker skin, and that men go through the same thing.”

    • David Malcolm Puranen

      Dude, I’m a man. While heternormative men may homophobically flirt with one another, and constantly play gay chicken (Seriously guys just blow each other and get it out of your systems!), one thing is clear. You are wrong. Men do not undergo the sort of harassment that women do in almost any situations.

      Unless you have the most absolutely aggressive gay man in the world working with you, there is no way that you are objectified, talked about as if your whole being was wrapped up in the shape of your ass, or had to walk in and hear your coworkers talking about whether you’re the hottest person in the department on a weekly basis. (And I actually work in a place that is on the upper end of a good place for women to work at)

      Now don’t get me wrong, not all women are rose petals and cinnamon. Lots are terrible unkind people. But that doesn’t mean that the wonderful or terrible women are being judged on the same scale as you are, they’re not.

  • satcomer

    I really hope this author (hint she is a reporter not a developer) is speaking the truth and not one of these new “victim” industry people.

    • famousringo

      No, she’s actually a developer. This is an opinion column. Her studio’s game, Revolution 60, just launched on the App Store.

    • I have no idea what the point of your comment is.