chapter  2
15 Pages

Corporate responsibility and gender in digital games

WithThorsten Busch, Florence Chee, Alison Harvey

The complex relationship between gender and technology has been discussed for decades, yet corporate responsibility scholars have by and large ignored it to date. This chapter thus addresses gender and technology from a corporate responsibility perspective by focusing on extreme cases of harassment that women in the digital games industry have endured in recent years. In doing so, we frame gender discrimination as both a widespread blind spot within the games industry and as an increasingly important focus of stakeholder management that technology companies need to take more seriously if they wish to contribute to social inclusion. Mainstream success has made the games industry the biggest media industry globally in recent years, but a vocal minority of self-identified “real gamers” has been aggressively pursuing anyone fighting for games culture to become more inclusive and equitable. One of the most disturbing aspects of this culture war has been massive online harassment campaigns against groups that have been struggling for legitimacy and representation within both the games industry itself and the games it produces. The chapter specifically addresses the issue of gender-based 32harassment with reference to the cases of Anita Sarkeesian, Gamergate and Intel, to illustrate that overcoming exclusion is a large-scale societal challenge with strong implications for how we think about corporate responsibility in a digital age.