Xavier Profile picture
22 Jul, 17 tweets, 3 min read
Something for my fellow men in gamedev, especially those just now entering the industry:

There are a lot of things you may run into that aren't directly harmful to people in the same way as sexual harassment, but they still contribute to hostile environments and harm.
There's a strong chance I'm going to get flak for saying this publicly, but it's worth bringing up because it's an example of how small things contribute to building environments that are hostile to women and all kinds of other marginalized people in gamedev.
When I was on the latest Ratchet and Clank game, there was an incredibly heated discussion that happened between the game director, art director, the lead writer, the lead character TD, and myself.

It was about Rivet, the female lead.
Note that three of the people above, including myself, are no longer at Insomniac. I'm not going to tag them because they're adults I trust to comment if they feel it's appropriate.
The discussion — or argument, really — was basically about whether we should make Rivet look more stereotypically feminine looking. That is, should she have wider hips, visible breasts (or bumps in her suit), and other physical traits we normally associate with cartoony women.
The argument basically broke down like this:

The game director and art director wanted her to have a visibly, fairly stereotypically feminine look.

The lead writer, the lead character TD, and I wanted to keep her as-is.
This is where things get into territory that men like myself in gamedev need to pay REALLY FUCKING CLOSE ATTENTION.

The lead writer was a woman. The lead character TD was a trans person who, at the time, had not transitioned.
Everyone else in the discussion was a white cis male.
At the time the argument occurred, there were two women and one female-presenting trans person on the team. That trans person had lived their life up to that point as a woman, and had the lived experience thereof.

Everyone else on the 20+ person team was a man.
So.

Two thirds of the women on the team, as well as one cis white man (me), were telling the art director and game lead that Rivet should not, as an alien space fox, have wide hips and titties.
We believed that:

1. It went against the message of the game, which is that anyone can be a hero regardless of how they look
2. You don't need to be stereotypically feminine to be a woman
3. RIVET IS A FUCKING ALIEN SPACE FOX, JUST LIKE RATCHET
The argument had been going on for about half an hour before I finally pulled one of the framed Ratchet and Clank posters down from the wall, put it in front of both leads, and told them to look at the damn thing and tell me how much Ratchet looked like a human man.
The argument largely petered out after that point, with all parties leaving incredibly frustrated, and myself leaving the company a few weeks later.
So.

Fellow men in gamedev.

This is an example of one of the VERY SMALL THINGS that build up over time to make life miserable for women and marginalized people in our industry.

Something as simple as putting titties on a space rat can harm people.
It breaks people's trust when you allow things like this to happen unchallenged. If you don't push back against tiny little things, like giving Rivet tits, you're essentially saying those things don't matter.

If the small things don't matter, where's the line for bigger things?
I am not perfect and I have let things like this happen unchecked before. It happened at my first job, and I regret some of the choices I made when making characters there.

It's not fucking worth it.

Speaking up about small things heads off Blizzard-scale bullshit.
For the game journalists reading this:

No, I will not be commenting for the article you're inevitably writing.

Do not contact me unless it's to talk directly about the work that I do, and how technical processes can be demystified for people interested in making games.

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More from @xavierck3d

22 Jul
On this note, here are some useful threads for people needing to write cover letter and resumes, as well as general tips on freelancing.

Short thread.
Here's a thread about writing cover letters. It gives a simple format, as well as a real-world example of a cover letter I used which helped me get an interview.

Here's an example of how you can format your resume, including an example of my resume from just before I got my current job.

Read 5 tweets
22 Jul
Adding to this thread from yesterday:

Fellow men, we're all part of the problem. As a white man in the game industry, I enjoy a ton of privilege, and that also makes me part of the system that causes the issues we see at places like Blizzard.

We all share responsibility.
But just because we're part of the problem doesn't mean we can't take action to remedy it. A systemic problem can be changed by people in the system changing how they behave.

We can help fix the system by making changes in how we behave.
You're in the system. You're part of it whether or not you want to be.

Change how you act, react, and how you move forward.

That's how you help. Change yourself to help fix the problem.

Call out bad behavior. Give people room. Listen.
Read 4 tweets
22 Jul
It's an open secret that ActiBlizz has terrible culture, so the only thing that actually surprises me is that it's taken this long for a lawsuit like this to receive publicity
Well here's some fucking nightmare fuel for you.

Jesus christ
Read 4 tweets
21 Jul
The cape is different colors on the inside and outside.

I have to rearrange all the UVs.

Everything.
ALWAYS

LOOK

AT

THE

CONCEPT
Thank you for giving me space to vent, Twitter.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
THIS is why I fucking hate Kotaku.

Regardless of how you feel about a video game, its monetization strategy, or who made it, this isn't journalism.

This is taking a garbage gaming forum take and elevating it to a headline on a website visited by millions of people.

Fuck this. Image
I'll be first in line to say vicious things about free-to-play gaming and the way this stuff takes advantage of people with gambling addictions, but a headline saying something "looks like shit" is just one more way this fucking website is actively harmful to people in gamedev
Whoever wrote this, and ESPECIALLY whoever greenlit the headline for posting on a Twitter account with OVER TWO MILLION FOLLOWERS, was irresponsible and is only making life more difficult for people who are now going to be terrified of putting that game on their resumes
Read 5 tweets
19 Jul
Doing a thing Image
We roasted some cherry tomatoes and then I folded them into the dough along with some shredded asiago cheese

Hoping it turns out well 🤞
SOON Image
Read 4 tweets

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