Veteran game industry professionals Brenda Romero and Alice Mercier admit they might have made some erroneous conclusions about the nature of men in the games industry, the women told Subtle Blend over the weekend.
“I went clubbing on Friday and took Brenda as my wingman,” Mercier said. “I’m coming off a pretty brutal divorce and I wanted to get my twerk on. Anyway, the place ended up being a bit of a meat market. Neither of us had been to a place like that in a while, so it was sort of surprising how many disgusting things dudes said to us. By the end of the night, we both kind of had this horrible realization that getting embarrassing come-ons from douchebags can happen anywhere. It has nothing to do with video games and it doesn’t rise to the level of sexual harassment.”
Mercier said her experience led to second thoughts about an earlier incident that led to the resignation of Indiestatik founder Josh Mattingly after he clumsily, crudely hit on the recent divorcee in a private Facebook conversation. (“Alice Mercier” is an alias used by the unidentified woman to speak to the games press about the incident.)
“Like, when Josh flat out told me he wanted to kiss my vagina, I was pissed and ready to sue Indiestatik to make sure this never happened to any woman ever again,” Mercier said. “It took me a while, but I’ve finally realized there’s no actual recourse to this, because we don’t work together, and Josh doesn’t have any kind of authority over me. He was just this sad son of a bitch who doesn’t know how to hit on chicks without being a skeez.”
At last week’s Game Developers Conference, Brenda Romero made an impassioned speech about an incident where an unnamed developer from a different company allegedly drew Romero’s attention to the outline of his erection while the two shared a drink at a trade show. Like Mercier, she’s beginning to consider games culture may be an extraneous, unrelated variable in the equation: “I spend a lot of time on Tumblr and Twitter looking at what my fellow Strong Female Games Professionals say about men in this industry, so I kind of lost sight of the fact that this behavior isn’t directly linked to video games in any way.”
Romero continued: “A guy who buys you one drink then points at his dick is half a fuckin’ social retard, whether it be at a trade show or a shitty dance club infested with college kids. It sucks, but unless the dude is your boss or a coworker, you turn him down with extreme prejudice and move on. You don’t have to run to the press about it.”