From San Francisco there are quite serious accusations: some women were allegedly drugged, molested and assaulted on Thursday evening, in one of the events that framed the Game Developers Conference 2023 di San Francisco.
It was to bring it back Leena van Denver, video game developer and writer currently working on the survival horror adventure Dead Static Drive. Although “a lot of things have improved for women in the video game industry”, explains the author, during GDC 2023 women would have been “belittled and stripped of their roles, relentlessly beaten and drugged with tainted drinks by some predatory men”.
According to his testimony, two women they were allegedly “led to a hotel room for a ‘proposal’ by a man of power, who then attacked them”. The photos of the alleged perpetrators (it is not clear how many there are) and various information about them are now circulating in some group chats, as a warning sign for other women, while the victims of the attack have already received support.
“We’ve always watched each other’s backs, but now you predators better know who you’re dealing with. We know who you are and who you (currently) work with. We have more information than ever before, and many ideas on how to use it; not even the fury of hell is a match for that of an informed woman. Get away from our industry,” warned Leena van Deventer.
Second Guy BlombergPR Vice President of Stride and founder of Games Industry Gathering, there is a possibility that the facts told by van Deventer have happened during a karaoke event which he himself helped organize. “We were told that people were drugged on Thursday night in San Francisco, most likely during the karaoke event we organized. Luckily they had friends who took care of them and overall they are fine. I am very sorry that had to have such a horrific experience, it’s absolutely not their fault, and we’re already working on locating the f***ing asshole who did this.”
Both van Deventer and Blomberg referred victims to the Games and Online Harassment Hotline, which in turn tweeted: “Every year, there are stories of groping, drugging, harassment and many other examples of attempts to create opportunities for aggression during events like the GDC. It breaks our hearts and infuriates us that it all feels normal, like something you have to endure and hope to avoid with any luck.”
Women at GDC this year have been belittled and undermined in their roles, been hit on relentlessly, and had their drinks spiked by predatory men.
Two women were even lured up to a hotel room by a man in a position of power for a “pitch”, where he then assaulted them.
— Leena 🌵 (@LeenaVanD) March 24, 2023
I’m so very sorry they had to go through such a horrifying experience, it’s absolutely not their fault, and we’re already in the process of tracking down the fucking scumbag who did this.
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— Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg 🔜 PAX East (@YugSTAR) March 25, 2023
Every year, there are stories about groping, drugging, harassment, and even more stories of countless attempts to create opportunities for assault at games industry events like #GDC23. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating that this feels so normalized…
Text SUPPORT to 23368. pic.twitter.com/XGpwcO8nvt
— Games and Online Harassment Hotline (@GamesHotline) March 25, 2023