Over the weekend, a transgender journalist was allegedly called "it", "thing" and "this one" during a stand-up comedy presentation for Microsoft's XBox One. And it gets worse: after reports of this pretty terrible experience surfaced, that journalist wanted the story pulled because gamers wouldn't stop harassing her. Laura Kate Dale tweeted about the incident over the weekend:
Hope someone from Microsoft sees this. Your presenter made completely dehumanised me in front of an audience. Ruined my Eurogamer.
Shows me for trying to take part and have fun like everyone else.
This isn't the first time people in the video game industry have been jerks to a woman, but what came next was disheartening. Kotaku, a prominent gaming news site, published a story of the incident that included a link to Dale's Twitter feed. That prompted an ugly barrage of attacks on her version of events, and Dale had actually contacted the site to get the story removed because of all the people who began attacking her and her version of events.
"Lying tranny f----ts gonna lie and bitch and moan. Get over it you lied you got caught the internet doesn't like liars," someone tweeted at Dale. "If I dress like a clown and push my shitty victim complex on anyone who calls me out on it, can I get 1,000 followers too?" another added. And one more: "You are aware that popping hormone pills and wearing girl clothes doesn't make you a girl right?"
Eurogamer has said it was investigating the incident. But let's say that there are doubts about Dale's account of events — she still deserves better. There are ways to make that clear without attacking Dale's identity. The response Dale received makes clear is that reporting on a sexist or misogynistic incident in the gaming industry isn't something women are encouraged to do.
And Dale's story is becoming the norm. A little over a week ago, Gamespot, a gaming website, posted a video response to a slew of angry gamers who were mad that the site had given Grand Theft Auto V a 9/10 rating because of its misogynistic overtones. And this past July, a vocal number of sexist gamers lost their minds when Julie Larson Green, a woman, was named the head of Xbox.
"I doubt it was intentional," Dale reportedly said in reference to the quips of "thing" and "it." There are a bunch of angry gamers out there that seem intent on proving otherwise.