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Developers sound off after abuse accusations

first_imgDevelopers sound off after abuse accusationsPeople across the industry offer support to victims, perspective and calls to action for the rest of their peersBrendan SinclairManaging EditorWednesday 28th August 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareOn Monday, Tetrageddon Games developer Nathalie Lawhead published a post on their site saying that they had been raped by Skyrim composer Jeremy Soule. Their stated goal in coming forward was just to get the story in the public space “so other women can be informed,” but Lawhead coming forward inspired a number of others in the industry to do the same with their own stories of harassment and/or abuse.Each of those stories requires care and time to report properly, and we are considering how best to cover them, both individually as well as part of a larger story the industry has been dealing with (or not, as the case may be) for years. In the meantime, there have been plenty of people throughout the industry speaking up to offer support, insight, and perspective for their peers.”Coming forward about abuse is incredibly difficult and terrifying,” said GameSpot reviews editor Kallie Plagge, who went public with her own story of harassment at IGN two years ago. “I support everyone sharing their stories. I stand with you and I hope you make it through this process as painlessly as possible.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games While many people applauded those who named their accusers, Microsoft creative director Laralyn McWilliams emphasized that people who have been victimized are under no obligation to follow suit.”You own your experiences, though, and it’s YOUR choice to speak, stay silent, or only share what happened in private circles,” she said. “Don’t feel guilty if you choose not to put yourself or your career in jeopardy. Only you can really assess what it would risk for you to speak out.”McWilliams suggested people unsure about speaking out should confide in someone trustworthy first, to get the perspective of articulating their experience to another person before taking further action. She also advised taking a break from the internet to relax and “seek out whatever centers you.”Today’s a tough day for those of us in the games industry that have experienced abuse, trauma, harassment, etc, at the hands of others.Take extra care for yourself. 💕PS. Friends who stay friends with abusers when you know… Reconsider. Your social capital lends legitimacy.— Jean Leggett 💜 hopeless optimist (@JeanLeggett) August 27, 2019Likewise, gaming critic and musician Liz Ryerson noted how tolerating abusers within the industry only creates conditions for further abuse.”Powerful abusers affect the spaces that they exist within in a profoundly negative way that shapes the entire dynamic of the space and enables future abuse from others, far outside the original abuser and their victims,” Ryerson said. “I’m genuinely happy when victims come forward because it feels very validating. even if it’s very painful to hear, it’s stuff that has already happened in the past. at least now there’s a chance for actual accountability and more open discussions of ways to improve the space.”Let’s quickly recap rebuttals to some frequently-asserted falsehoods about allegations of misconduct:- Just because someone treated you well doesn’t mean they treat everyone well.- Just because someone has female friends/allies/fans doesn’t mean they treat every woman well— Elizabeth Sampat (@twoscooters) August 27, 2019Future Games of London studio creative director Elizabeth Sampat had some things for people to keep in mind when hearing stories about co-workers or even friends.”Just because someone treated you well doesn’t mean they treat everyone well,” Sampat said. “Just because someone has female friends/allies/fans doesn’t mean they treat every woman well. Many predators vocally support the demographic of their prey, work within organizations focused on the demographic they prey upon, and position themselves as allies to their prey. Doing so provides cover as well as feeding grounds.”While recent years have seen more stories of poor treatment of women come to light, the only thing new is the attention they are getting. The actual misbehavior has been an issue for years, as a number of developers attested. Zynga lead producer Tami Sigmund told stories of her old co-workers watching pornography and running email lists for nude pictures at work. That sort of behavior creates a hostile work environment for women in a number of ways.”When someone feels like an ‘other’ at their workplace, they often feel vulnerable like their job is at risk with any misstep,” Sigmund said. “These are prime targets for abusers to flex their power on. It’s why we see so much abuse in entertainment, because of the male/female ratio. There is a power than men in games have inherently over women. There are far less of us. We are paid less. We fight harder for promotions. We have to fight our way into leadership. We have to beg for conferences to amplify our voices about topics other than ‘diversity.'”Boss Fight Austin design director Damion Schubert had some horror stories of his early years in the industry more than two decades ago, and while he said the industry has grown up some, it’s also possible for men in the industry to not notice problems going on right around them.”But one time you find out is Layoff Day,” Schubert said. “You go drink with the people who got laid off, and women who have been dealing with shitty men for YEARS will suddenly feel the freedom to speak. And let me tell you, every time that happens, other women at the table will, almost without hesitation, say ‘I know!’ or ‘Oh my god, not you too!'”He added, “It’s a huge problem, very hard to fix. But I do think that we, as game developers, can do a much better job of keeping our corner of the yard clean. Be better. Call out those who aren’t. Be supportive of those who have stories to tell.”Evolve senior PR specialist Astrid Rosemarin had some specific calls to action for how one might keep their corner of the yard clean.”Don’t invite them to your event or conference,” she said. “Don’t signal boost their social media posts, calls for work, or collaboration. Don’t refer them as industry buds when people ask for recommendations on who to work with. Don’t give them copies of your game for feedback or review.”Naturally, developer support groups are also speaking up. Game Workers Unite said it is closely following the news and offered assistance to help those who suffered abuse take action, with anonymity guaranteed. Meanwhile, the International Game Developers Association pointed anyone who had been harassed or had witnessed harassment to its resources page with information about legal recourse, self-care, online security, and advice for advocates and allies.”Many brave game developers have brought to light harassment they have experienced,” the organization said. “The IGDA has a zero tolerance policy for harassment, as all game developers should, and we will thoroughly investigate all complaints against staff and volunteers. We must work together to create a welcoming and inclusive community in which all developers feel safe and thrive.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your companylast_img read more

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Historic sites get more visitors thanks to ‘Hamilton’ fans

first_img This Aug. 22, 2014 file photo, shows Alexander Hamilton’s tomb in the graveyard at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. The inscription calls him a “patriot of incorruptible integrity, the soldier of approved valour, the statesman of consummate wisdom.” Hamilton was fatally shot in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File) This Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, shows the Alexander Hamilton Room at the Museum of American Finance in Lower Manhattan. Hamilton, the Founding Father pictured on the $10 bill, was America’s first Treasury Secretary, and is credited with creating a modern financial system, funding the national debt, and establishing a mint with the dollar as currency. He founded the Bank of New York on the site where the finance museum is located. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File) This Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, shows Hamilton Park in Weehawken, N.J., on the Hudson River across from Manhattan. The plaque and bust of Alexander Hamilton is near the dueling grounds where Hamilton was fatally shot by Aaron Burr in 1804. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz. File) NEW YORK | Historic sites connected to Alexander Hamilton are getting a lot more visitors than they used to, thanks to a little Broadway show you might have heard about.Fans of the musical “Hamilton,” which won 11 Tony Awards Sunday, are hunting down every Hamilton spot they can think of, from his home in Harlem, to his burial site in Lower Manhattan, to Hamilton Park in Weehawken, New Jersey, near the dueling grounds where he was shot by Aaron Burr.Kerissa Bearce, 35, an instructional technology coach from Fort Worth, Texas, visited all those sites and many more when she came to New York to see the show with two friends. “I pretty much don’t remember anything about the founding of my country, but now I’m learning all of it,” Bearce said.Bearce is among thousands of “Hamilton” fans boosting visitor numbers at historic sites that in the past were barely on tourists’ radars. Hamilton Grange, his Harlem home and a National Park site, had as many visitors in the first five months of this year as it did in all of 2015 — more than 35,000 people. And that’s a 75 percent increase over the 21,000 visitors who toured the Grange in 2014, the year before “Hamilton” opened. Artifacts at the site include a piano that Hamilton’s daughter Angelica played. A replica of the instrument is featured in the show.But fans are also finding their way to more obscure spots, like the Schuyler-Hamilton House in Morristown, New Jersey, where Hamilton courted his wife Eliza.“We have 5-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 30-year-olds coming here now,” said Pat Sanftner, who gives tours of the Schuyler-Hamilton House. “We did not have that audience in our museum before. We had 60-year-olds. It’s wonderful to have these conversations now with visitors. We’re not just teaching. They’re questioning us and they’re thinking.”Tourists have always visited Hamilton’s tomb in the graveyard at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. But now, not only are more people paying their respects, but they’re also looking for the graves of Hamilton’s wife, sister-in-law, son and his buddy Hercules Mulligan. “Visitors also now leave flowers, stones, coins, notes, even a potted plant, at Hamilton’s monument and on Eliza’s stone just in front of it,” said Trinity spokeswoman Lynn Goswick.The show’s star and creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, wrote part of “Hamilton” at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan’s Washington Heights. The mansion’s executive director Carol Ward estimates that half of their visitors now come because of the show. “We’ve been riding the wave,” Ward said. “The show has gotten people interested in history in a completely new, fresh way.”The Morris-Jumel Mansion is known for a dinner party hosted there by President George Washington for his cabinet, attended by Hamilton, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. (A different dinner party depicted in the show’s song “The Room Where It Happens” took place at Jefferson’s residence, now marked with a plaque at 57 Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan.) But the mansion has a Burr connection too: Burr married the rich widow who owned the house. She later divorced Burr, and her lawyer was Hamilton’s son.A truly obscure spot on the Hamilton trail is a well where a woman’s body was found in 1800, located in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Hamilton and Burr defended the woman’s lover against a murder charge, and while the well isn’t mentioned in the musical, the trial is referenced in one song. That was enough to send Bearce and her friends looking for the well, now located inside the COS clothing store on Spring Street.“We were in pursuit of that well,” said Bearce.Other pilgrimage sites include Hamilton statues in Central Park and at Columbia University. A sign outside 82 Jane St. in Greenwich Village marks the site where Hamilton was taken to die after the duel left him mortally wounded.Some destinations are advertising in the Broadway Playbill for “Hamilton,” including the Caribbean island of Nevis, where Hamilton was born, and the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street, where Hamilton founded the Bank of New York. The museum has an Alexander Hamilton Room.The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society (AHA) has been holding Hamilton celebrations since 2012, but bigger turnouts are expected this year for AHA’s Celebrate Hamilton programs. Events scheduled for July include the “Young Immigrant Hamilton Tour,” July 7-8, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where Hamilton attended prep school, and a July 7 talk about Hamilton as “Spymaster,” focusing on his espionage work, at Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan.The New-York Historical Society launches “Summer of Hamilton” July 4 with a variety of programs plus artifacts like the pamphlet admitting Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds. Hamilton items already on display at the society include a pair of statues depicting him and Burr facing off in the duel, along with replicas of their pistols.The “I Love NY” tourism campaign is pitching sites from a “Path Through History” trail using lyrics from the show. For example, as Washington’s “right-hand man,” Hamilton was a guest at the Van Wyck Homestead in Fishkill, New York. Eliza’s sister Angelica sings she’s “always by your side” at Eliza’s wedding to Hamilton at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany. And at the Dutchess County Courthouse in Poughkeepsie, Hamilton argued for ratification of the Constitution, as in, “We’re making history.”Online:SUMMER OF HAMILTON: https://www.nyhistory.org/summer-hamiltonALEXANDER HAMILTON AWARENESS SOCIETY: https://the-aha-society.com/index.php/initiatives/official-events/89-celebratehamilton/217-celebratehamilton-2016HAMILTON GRANGE: https://www.nps.gov/hagr/MORRIS-JUMEL MANSION: https://www.morrisjumel.org/SCHUYLER-HAMILTON HOUSE: https://www.njdar.org/schuyler-hamilton.htmlThis story corrects Bearce’s age. This Jan. 10, 2015 file photo, shows the dining room at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York. President George Washington hosted a dinner party here for his cabinet in 1790, including Secretary Treasurer Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Vice President John Adams. Washington used the mansion for his military headquarters in 1776. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File)center_img In this June 3, 2016 photo, a visitor to the cemetery of Trinity Church, stops at the grave of Alexander Hamilton, in New York’s Financial District. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Richard Drew) This June 25, 2015 photo shows The Grange, the home that Alexander Hamilton moved his family into in 1802 in the Harlem section of New York City. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz) This Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, shows a black plaque at 82 Jane St. in New York marking the site where Alexander Hamilton died in 1804. Hamilton was shot in a duel by Aaron Burr in Weehawken, N.J., and died here a day later. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File) This Jan. 20, 2015 file photo taken in the Schuyler-Hamilton House in Morristown, N.J., shows curator Patricia Sanftner holding pictures of Alexander Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. Hamilton, who was George Washington’s aide de camp, courted Schuyler at the house while troops were encamped at Morristown in 1779 and 1780 during the Revolutionary War. The house, also known as the Jabez Campfield House, is owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Interest in historic sites associated with Hamilton has increased thanks to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File)last_img read more

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