Indie Game Development Leader Rami Ismail Condemns Harassment That Shut down Gaming Ladies Event in Spain
When Gaming Ladies scheduled their networking event for women game developers in Barcelona, Spain, internet trolls reared their ugly heads in efforts to shut down the event entirely. In response to the wide amount of threats received that would, in turn, make the event an unpleasant and even dangerous to attendees, the event’s sponsor and maker of Candy Crush Saga, King, was forced to cancel the women-only gathering. Indie game development leader Rami Ismail, co-founder of Nuclear Throne developer Vlambeer, condemns the harassment that brought about this turn of events and scolds reactionary hate-mobs that that support such revolting actions.
At the beginning of indie game development leader Rami Ismail’s talk at Gamelab, the international game industry event in Barcelona, he condemned the actions of the group that closed the women-centric conference, saying that the event was set up to be a safe space for women to gather and talk about their industry. Gamers and game developers should not defend harassment in any way, not “even by accident.”
“Special interest groups exist in the industry,” Rami Ismail stated. “We can learn from having open and honest discussions about shared issues. Groups like this exist for C++ developers or orchestral music. They can talk about issues in a safe space without the worry of harassment. That’s no different from an event like this for women.”
He also made note on how terribly this would reflect on the Spanish game industry, proclaiming “I don’t care if you agree or disagree with them. What is important is that you show your support for events like these, to show people who are passionate about games, that our industry is welcoming and safe. Game development is affected by this. This is damaging. This news goes around the world. How professional is this industry if people can’t go to a meetup safely? That’s not the fault of the organizers. That’s the fault of the harassers.”
King’s company event focuses on diversity, but in the wake of hate-fueled threats by way-too-offended mobs of men so emotionally distraught that women had put together a game conference that they went as far as to plot to pose as transsexual women to infiltrate the conference, it was clear that the hostility shown posed a threat to the actual attendees of the event to the point where King found it in everyone’s best interest to postpone it.
King commented, “At King, we’re committed to fostering a culture of diversity and equality and have a number of initiatives in place to support this goal.
In this instance, we agreed to host a ‘Gaming Ladies’ event at the King office in Barcelona and the event attracted a lot of interest, mainly positive but some people had negative feedback to the fact it was an all-women event. We have decided to put this event on hold for the moment for two reasons. Firstly, we want to consider the feedback we’ve received around the event and secondly, for the safety of our staff and people registered to attend.”