More than #1ReasonWhy there aren’t more Women in Gaming


In recent times the gaming world has seen a great deal of discussion on the ‘issue’ of women in the industry. From the furore over a female’s plan to discuss the representation of her gender, to the backlash and blame squared at a lady game-dev over comments five years old; the culture of our beloved pastime has not exactly been showing off its best side. The latest example of the dark underbelly of our gaming culture has come not from the trolls, but from the women of games themselves.

Women and men in the gaming and tech industries, as well as gamers from all walks of life, have taken to twitter with the #1ReasonWhy tag to share their own experiences and observations of why women are underrepresented in the field. The list is long and eye-opening, and from it another hashtag has spawned to support and mentor the ladies of gaming; and it all started with a simple question…



At first the responses trickled in, some noting that the answer is more than Twitter’s mere 140 characters can handle, then slowly but surely the reasons began pouring into the feed. A few hours later the hashtag was overflowing with reasons; men and women from varying walks of gaming-life chipped in with their thoughts, experiences, fears and realisations. The continous incidence of discrimination listed is quite sobering, so much so that some individuals were expressing concerned through the tag that it could in fact turn women away from the industry.

Here’s just a snapshot of some of the sentiments as to #1ReasonWhy there is still such a gap between the number of women and men in the industry, despite it being considered by some as a nonissue:



It’s a long list (infinitely longer on twitter), yet despite the disheartening nature of the many, many reasons why women feel alienated from their beloved gaming-world, what also becomes apparent in following the hashtag is the way the community is being strengthen through these shared experiences, and the awareness raised by discussing them. The tweets listed above are just a very brief glimpse of the sentiments popping up, and many are being retold and retweeted due to their relevance to so many people. As with any discussion on ‘women in gaming’, there are still individuals who have joined in to simply disregard the experiences people are giving, as well as steady stream of spam attempting to cash in on the trending tag; yet for once we have a discussion on the issue that has arisen not in response to a single event or experience, but one that is a community movement to reflect upon the industry as a whole.

In response to the numerous expressions of disillusion and concern at the constant stream of reasons, the tag of #1ReasonMentors arose filled with offers of support, advice and mentorship from women who work in the field and have braved various assaults for their gaming-love. The offers of assistance that have sprung forth are certainly reassuring, giving hope and a helping hand to both the girls and young women aspiring to work in the industry, as well as the women currently straining under the weight of the negative aspects of gaming culture.

Update: #1ReasonToBe

To add to the hope inspired by the Mentor tag, @rhipratchett has pushed for women to share their #1 Reason To Be in the games industry, and what they get from it. So head on over to view or share some positive experiences, and reasons why the gaming industry is awesome.

As avid members of the gaming community, we at Esperino are interested to hear what our community think about the reasons why women are underrepresented in the gaming (and tech) industries, so why not  add your opinions in our comment section below or send us a tweet? Why not tell us…

  • What your experiences and reasons are?
  • What you think of the discussion?
  • Where should we (the gaming community) go from here?

To get in on the conversation and share your experiences, you can also head on over to twitter with your #1ReasonWhy or check out the #1ReasonMentors and #1ReasonToBe feeds for some reassurance for your path in the gaming world.



Jess Watson


Jess Watson

Jess is a gamer that doesn't do things by half; she always plays games on insane difficulty, has a gamerscore of over 50k and can easily spend 100+ hours in online matchmaker. There are many games and extras in her collection, but currently her favourite items are her replica Halo Energy Sword, Gears Lancers and Portal Gun.

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  • Tilous

    why aren’t there more black gaming characters?

    or any other race that doesn’t include stereotypes?
    it’s always straight, white bald men. this industry needs to understand the change, why not use an asian gay female as a game character?

    • Jess

      Heck, I’d be intrigued to play a game where the main character is a gay asian woman (as long as it was meaningful to the character rather than a PC token gesture).

      There’s a lot of ways in which our community and culture can grow, and I’m looking forward to the new ideas and games that will come from it :3

  • jony_dols

    Pfft, when it comes to stereotypes in gaming, black people have it easy. Try to name an Irish character in gaming who isn’t A) an alcoholic, B) crazy and/or C) a leprechaun
    Ireland gave the gaming world the Havok engine; time to show us some respect brah’s!

    • Jess

      True that. It’s not just in gaming either, recently an Australian writer covering the Olympics was forced to apologise for articles (which featured in several major papers/sites) on the Irish boxer Katie Taylor and drew heavily on the drunken stereotype.

      So much to do, so little time. But I believe in us gaming peeps!

      Side note: What nationality is the main character in Braid? He makes me think he’s Irish, but I actually have no idea :/ Although, I know that’s not the point; more positive representations needed either way! 

      • jony_dols

        Yeah unfortunately there seems to be an emerging undercurrent of anti-Irish agenda in the Australian press. Russell Barwick from ESPN’s ‘Pardon the Interruption’ whilst also commenting on the Irish Olympic team, stated that it was ‘nothing but an Irish joke’ that Irish athletes didn’t compete for Team GB, a remark that baffled his English co-host Mark Chapman. ‘The Australian’ is even guilty of mocking Qantas’s CEO, Irishman, Alan Joyce’s accent despite him naming Australia’s most influential business leader in 2011.
        Not so sure about Braid, but the aptly named ‘Irish’ (from RDR) took the biscuit when it came to the drunken lout stereotype or how about the drug addicted, whiskey swilling McReary’s in GTA 4! Then again what nationality doesn’t get lampooned by R*, I’m guessing that they must have an Offensive Stereotypes division!

        • Jess

          I wouldn’t say people are anti-Irish in Aus, so much as blissfully unaware of the stereotype’s impact. Perhaps it’s partially to do with our own drinking culture, in that we focus on and admire such stereotypes wherever we might find them? (Hat tip to Russia). It could also relate to feelings of bro-ship from our mishmashed Aussie heritage, which encourages us to pick on familiar cultures without quite grasping the subtleties? Then again… some people are just jerks and say stupid things.
          Whatever the reasons behind why we say stupid things, I do promise that we think you guys are cool! :3