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Why working in gaming doesn’t mean you are okay with sexism

Last night I agreed with someone on an internet forum that the community I posted in was often misogynistic and within 20 minutes was likened to an African slave trader.

Okay, you’re probably pretty confused right now so here’s the explanation: the guy said it because I worked on Duke Nukem Forever (DNF.)

I’m writing today’s post with a bit of a heavy heart because very few people have said something rude like this to me because of my work on that game: I can count them all on one hand. That being said, these people reside almost exclusively within the internet community that I’ve called home for over a decade and they have made my work on that game a rallying cry in an attempt to discredit me when I talk about misogyny, sexism, or inequality in gaming. I’m not going to lie: it’s unpleasant to be threatened, to know that when you want to post about your experiences as a woman you are going to be insulted, so I’ve decided to take that negativity and turn it into a productive discussion.

Let’s talk about sexism and misogyny: an opening gambit to actually having a conversation

I’m not really sure how to start this blog post, so I’m just going to dive right in and get into it. Hi. I’m Elizabeth Tobey. I’m a woman, and I want to have a conversation about sexism and misogyny and what we can do to create more equality between men and women.

Before we begin, let’s frame this post a little: this is the beginning of what I’m going to make into an occasional series on my blog, so please take this as a jumping off point in our conversation and please understand I want this to be a conversation (so many blogs are soapboxes, mine included despite my best intentions sometimes) – so share this, leave a comment, ask questions, tell me what you want to talk about next.  I’m not going to decree something. I’m not going to solve a problem or point a finger: in fact, a big part of what I aim to do here is to try and be a place where we can (figuratively) talk with normal voices, listen to each other rather than waiting for our turn to speak, and stop making this issue into a warzone and instead turn what’s (unfortunately) right now a debate into a dialogue.

This blog is called Toodle-oo because Google's informal synonym for goodbye is toodle-oo and that is the best.

Today is my last day at Trion Worlds. I feel weird even typing that, because in some ways, these past two years have flown by and in so many others, this company is my home, my family, and I feel like I’ve known these people and games for my entire life. Trion Worlds is, without question, the best company I have ever worked for.


This blog is, technically, a good bye – but I am refusing to actually acknowledge that this is actually a true “goodbye” because while I won’t be coming to Redwood Shores anymore, I’ll still be in our games every day, talking to the people who make them and love them, and those are the places that really matter to us, anyway, right?

Bad days in the gaming industry

I run the community department in the gaming industry and I am having a Bad Day.

But not in the way that you think.

This blog entry is not about tirades, mental break downs, or lapses in judgment. There’s a lot of that in our industry, and people who work in my field are particularly notable examples, but that’s not the kind of Bad Day I’m talking about.

I’m personally having a difficult time in life right now and it’s making me realize how much more difficult that makes the outward facing component of my job.

How to Win at the Game of Twitter or: Making Your Numbers Bigger and How That Shouldn't Be What We're Focused On

Today, I want to talk about humans’ fascination with making their numbers bigger. As a gamer, I think I run with a crowd who are more obsessed with this notion than the general population but the psychological root of the issue is the same for everyone: we like getting more. We want to be bigger and better. We see and seek out competition in the most inane places and that single-minded focus quite often is detrimental to achieving a much more worthwhile and valuable goal.

For today’s blog post, I’m specifically talking about Twitter and how so many accounts lose sight of creating quality content for their Followers because all they are about is getting more.

An entreaty to those who work in social media

Hey, people who work in social media? I have a bone to pick with you.

We all know that Twitter and Facebook are Important Marketing Tools. Like it or not, social media and interactive marketing (and advertising) is effective and on the rise. For this, I’m grateful: my job security is all but a foregone conclusion. Hell, when the Israeli Defense Force has its own verified Twitter account you kind of know that as a person who makes a living in community and social media you have a pretty flexible future work-wise.

A happy follow up

Last night I fired up XCOM: Enemy Unknown and lost myself in it for over an hour and a half (streaming - alas, I killed two of my viewers. SORRY GUYS.) After I ended, I got a friendly message from an XCOMer who had... yes, you are guessing correctly... watched the credits.

GOOD NEWS EVERYONE: I'm in them as the title that I had during the time I worked on the game.

The downsides of not archiving

After Friday's brief stint on Kotaku, I found out that all the blog posts I made during my tenure at my old company had been taken down. I did some digging over the weekend in an attempt to find them again, but seems the Wayback Machine archived last in 2011, when I had 27 posts (if memory serves me, I had over 60 when I left.)

The issue of credits

If you follow video games at all, you probably are aware that who goes where in credits can often become A Big Deal. And while having your name scroll by after a game completes is, indeed, an awesome ego boost, it’s more than that: it’s an official record of years of work.

In May, I moved over from 2K Games to Trion Worlds, leaving my position as Senior Manager of Interactive Marketing to become Director of Community. In doing so, I left behind two projects that I had been working on for years: Borderlands 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. (I’d had my hands in a number of further off projects, but those were the two proverbial babies I had to let go before I saw them through to the end. If you’ve worked in games, you probably can understand how rough this can be.)

The Folly in Making a Definitive Community Manager Guide

I started in the games industry back in 2006 as a Community Manager. Looking back, it was pretty awesome because the role was virtually undefined and as a newcomer to the industry and the title, I had no idea what I was doing and subsequently made everything up as I went along. Six years later, I'm pretty confident that it all worked out.

As someone who lives and breathes communities (not just as for job but in a fairly obsessive way throughout my day) I read a lot about the topic and follow quite a few CMs on Twitter. Today, @SixOkay (Justin, for those who don't answer to handles more readily than real names) retweeted an article stating it had the definitive job guide for a Community Manager. Ever skeptical, I clicked, and now I have my response to what I read.

Before you begin, you might want to take a read at the article: http://socialfresh.com/a-definitive-community-manager-job-description/