Gender Segregation in Esports | Morgan Romine

Morgan Romine Dir. of Initiatives at AnyKey talks with Mark Register about gender segregation in Esports

Morgan Romine – I can tell you that the goal is to have men and women playing together, that’s the idea.

We don’t believe in segregation we think everybody at this workshop agreed that segregation is not the goal and it shouldn’t even be the thing that’s active now.

We don’t want there to ever be men’s only and women’s only tournaments.

There should be the main event at the tournament that allows anybody who is good enough to compete.

We do believe there is a time and place for women’s tournaments to help build visibility, help build supportive communities, help connect those players and team members, get those resources pulled together that are necessary to help build up the community because being good enough at that elite level, you have to have numbers, you have to have lots of those representatives who are playing.

You need to get lots of women playing if you want to have women playing at the top level.

Currently if we have only 8% in the audience, it’s far less who are trying to play at that top level.

We have a lot to work on. We have to figure out what are the barriers of entry.

We’ve actually seen a big increase in the numbers of women playing casually, playing at amateur levels, playing with their friends at home, playing in the college leagues, so what’s happening?

There’s something happening that keeps them from considering it in the first place.

Certainly we’ve seen some of the trends of harassment, there are a lot of women who are like “I tried it and it really was unpleasant…so it’s not really worth it to me to get through that.”

Frankly a lot of the men don’t have to deal with that. I should acknowledge that many male competitors also deal with plenty of unpleasantness…it’s not only women who deal with that, or only the unrepresented gamers who deal with that, but I do think it happens to weigh more heavily in the direction of people who are less represented get targeted.

If you’re different, if you stand out for any reason you become a target of the toxicity, which is really not fun and kind of defeats the purpose of playing video games in the first place.

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