This week marked the end of the Greg Miller and Colin Moriarti era of the Beyond Podcast on IGN. It’s the first big shake up at a mainstream gaming podcast in the wake of gamergate. What could have been a big leap forward in the balance of IGN on air talent (IGN had a podcast for all three consoles none of them have a women voice) has predictably been another incident of kick the can down the road. How many more “next times” are left before it becomes women’s turn?
It wasn’t so many years ago that sports journalism found it’s self in the same place. . While sport’s journalism still has a long way to got (female NFL announcers and halftime talent would be awesome) At least the networks try. When the Ray Rice scandal erupted in August the some of the men of sports journalism stood up. Even while the league failed to grasp the hurt it was causing. Keith Obermann has spent weeks devoting his opening monologue to the cause. Giving a boost to the voices to several female journalists on his show. ESPN even suspended one of it’s own megastar journalist for victim blaming. It may have taken a vocal Twitter campaign to make that happen but ESPN listened. ESPN W will be 5 years old this year. Born out of ESPN managements concous effort to market and invest in women writers and covering women athletes. So my question is when does this happen for women in games?
When do major sites like IGN and Giant Bomb stop kicking the can down the road. When does the industry look at the numbers it’s provided and see that an 8% increase in women players can’t be ignored. When platforms like You Tube and Twitch reach out to women to form by women for women gaming content in the same way they have done for Kinda Funny? When are the numbers enough. When do we see Sillcon Valley’s VC/AAA sponsorship pored into a gaming website for women like it did for ESPN W?
As someone who tried for years to be on-air talent for games media I want to know what it takes? It’s not credentials. I have several corporate voice over credits, loads of acting and public speaking experences and I even attended a prestigious photo and film school. “But Spencer,” you say “you don’t have the journalism cred you need” Look at this article by Mattie Myers who is far more qualified from a journalistic standpoint and also can’t get hired for on air jobs. Most of the men on podcasts and videocasts and streams freely and openly admit to having no training for on camera presence. Yet have been graciously allowed to fail and learn these skills on the company’s dime. When does a major games outlet give a women that same opportunity? When do we get more articles about actual harassment and sexism then articles about what a fictional TV show has to say about it. When does IGN allow a women to give her opinion not just read the top 5 news stories?
As someone who is closer to the end of her “on camera years” then the beginning. I resigned to the fact years ago that it will most likely never happen for me. I just hope that I can kick and scream loud enough to change things for the 20 year old girl who wants to make videos about video games. If any VC/Platform/AAA studio wants to prove me wrong, I’ll be here with technical know how and a list of women a mile long who deserve a shot in front of and behind the camera.