Game Development in a Hostile Environment

“The truth about Zoe Quinn is that every woman in the industry is one unhinged ex-partner away from being Zoe Quinn, and if that doesn’t scare you, there’s no hope for us at all.” –

I’m learning Unity today!

On the face of it, this may sound like a ridiculous assertion. “What, on your own? You can’t just sit down and learn Unity.” But in fact, I can.

I can learn Unity because I’m an experienced programmer and an experienced game developer. I know all the concepts at work here, which means learning Unity is just a matter of understanding the new framework. But I think I could handle this even if I weren’t.

I can learn Unity because the makers of Unity go to great lengths to ensure that I can learn Unity. They have a 45% market share right now because they take that kind of care. There are tutorials and manuals, video and text instructions, and tons of books for the deeper dive.

But more importantly, I can learn Unity because I’m not afraid. Because I understand that this is within my grasp. Because I know that I am a game developer, and I can master any tool I want for game development.

The problem is…

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It is 2014, and there are people who don’t think I should learn Unity. Some of them don’t think I should be capable of it, because they think women are inherently less capable of being game development. Some of them don’t think I should be allowed, because women don’t belong in game development.

It is 2014, and the people who think I don’t belong in tech or game development are wrong. They have always been wrong, and they will always be wrong.

I am a game developer. I’ve worked on so many games that I have to deliberately count to figure out how many there were, and even then I suspect I’m forgetting something. Between game jams and interactive fiction, commercial credits and indie games, Gamemaker and Inform 7 and Twine and Unreal and more, there have been too many games to remember.

Despite all the harassment and hatred, Zoe isn’t giving up her dreams.

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I’m learning Unity today, and I’m going to make a game with it.

Because I can.
Because no one will stop me.
Because I will not allow anyone to stop me.
Because even if they silenced me, they would not stop me.

I am a game developer and I make games. No matter what the risks are.

Even if the next Zoe Quinn turns out to be me.

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