The Summer Game Fest 2023 kicked off last night and featured upcoming looks of some anticipated games. However it didn’t feature a single woman.
With Summer Game Fest taking over as perhaps the biggest gaming showcase of the year, it should have been a night dedicated to all the people who make such games possible. However, viewers soon noticed that none of the show’s guests or presenters were women.
Summer Game Fest 2023 Featured No Women Onstage
The showcase featured around two hours of gaming content, showing us everything from an upcoming Path of Exile 2 release to finally giving us a release date for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Despite the show featuring many games created by a diverse bunch of developers, you would think this would have been highlighted onstage. However, it was not.
Over the course of the show, the stage was dominated by males who stood alongside host Geoff Keighley. This included Nicholas Cage talking about his upcoming cameo in Dead by Daylight and Insomniac’s Bryan Inthihar revealing the Spider-Man release date, to name a few.
Lack of representation
With an industry seemingly trying their hardest to be more inclusive, the lack of women, trans and nonbinary people on stage was very noticeable. As a result, the show has been met with backlash and calls for women to actually be involved next year. However, as you can expect, not everybody is surprised.
“It is disappointing to love an industry that will never love you back, that practically sees including you as a nuisance,” tweeted Natalie Flores. “From the biggest media sites having all-white all-male roundtables to no women on the SGF stage… i would internalize it if it wasn’t so embarrassing to see.”
Black Twitch UK Co-Founder Ebonix also took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
“It gets to a point where you even ask yourself after X number of panels and talks about representation in the gaming industry.. what the point of wasting our time is if in 2023 the face of gaming is still”, she said alongside a screenshot of the all-white male panel.
In reply to this, Alanah Pearce revealed that she had previously argued with one of the pictured men.
“Tbh I argued with one of the men on this panel about the importance of including more women + POC in this kind of programming and he said he didn’t see the point,” she said.
As you can expect, the online backlash was met with some people who didn’t see the issue. Misogynistic and sexist comments arose with some people claiming that women did not make up a big enough percentage of the gaming industry.
However, this myth was quickly debunked thanks to Video Game Industry Analyst Mat Piscatella who revealed some interesting statistics.
He ended the thread by saying, “If you’re looking for the point, person at @IGN, half your potential audience are women.”
Despite the announcement of some highly-anticipated games, the night was unfortunately overshadowed by its lack of diversity. Hopefully the backlash will make them rethink their format for the next Summer Game Fest.
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