“Let’s talk about diverse voices being heard in the gaming realm. Where do you think we are right now and where do we need to go from here?
Laura Hudson:: What I would say about games is something similar to what I would say about a lot of tech and a lot of industries, particularly ones that are male-dominated. There’s an attitude within a lot of corporate cultures, that it’s not that they want to exclude women, it’s that they don’t particularly do a lot to include them.
It’s easy for a lot of these workplace cultures to be hostile to women — or people of color or differently abled people — in ways that they don’t necessarily understand are hostile. And there’s more of an expectation that women or different types of people have to adapt to it. They don’t really change anything about the culture and then wonder why there aren’t more diverse people there, then they shrug and say, “Well, they’re not interested.”
If companies and game developers really care about these issues, then they need to deal with it on a deeper level than just saying that they want more diverse employees. It requires a slightly more transformative approach. I don’t think we’re there. After last year, I think there are a lot of women who have come to perceive games as an even more hostile place than they had before. I’d like to see more work around trying to counteract that.
What sort of work to you have in mind when you say that?
LH: Partly it’s hiring practices. If you just throw the doors open and say, well, we’re not going to change anything about ourselves and anyone can come through the door, you’re going to perpetuate the cycle of the people who always have historically been there.
You know, there’s this notion that in a meritocracy you just throw open the doors and anyone who comes in is the most deserving. I think that’s not always the case. When you’re dealing with environments and industries that have been hostile to women in the past, you have to do a little extra work.
You actually have to seek out that diversity and not just wait for it to come to you…”