Electronics Arts, Ubisoft and over 2,000 people have signed a letter that pushes for an end to discrimination in the video games industry after death threats were sent to a feminist reviewer last week.
The letter, which has been penned by games developer Andreas Zecher from Spaces of Play, calls on people that witness threats on Twitch, Facebook and Twitter to report them to the relevant authorities.
“We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish,” it reads. “If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites. If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.”
Zecher’s letter came after feminist reviewer Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency received numerous death threats on Twitter after posting a new video in her series that takes a snapshot of misogyny in the gaming industry.
Sarkeesian’s latest video looked at the tendency for games to employ "largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavouring into game worlds".
Some of the threats were described as “very scary” by Sarkeesian and she contacted the police after one had suggested they know where she lives thus forcing her to go and stay with a friend.
Sarkeesian, who won the Developers Choice ambassador award earlier this year, has suffered misogynist abuse on various occasions and in a later tweet vowed “I’m not giving up. But this harassment of women in tech must stop”.