Just when I thought everyone had started to calm down from all the controversy that surrounded the females-only Wonder Woman screenings, something else pops up on my radar. It would seem that King Games, the developers behind the ever-popular “Saga” mobile series (Candy Crush Saga, Soda Crush Saga, etc.), were attempting something similar. The company's Barcelona, Spain branch was planning on having a females-only event. Unlike the Wonder Woman screenings, which mostly continued on despite negative reactions, this event (called Gaming Ladies), was canceled.
Gaming Ladies was meant to be held at King Games' Barcelona office in July. It would have hosted four panels about women in the video game industry and would have been an opportunity for females to network with others of their gender. Before everyone rushes in, I want to take a moment to talk about the relative insignificance of this event. Yes, King Games is a very popular mobile game developer. Their games do reach tons of people, and a great many adore them. But we're talking about one of their offices holding one event. This wasn't a multi-day affair. It was literally set to take place between the hours of around six to eight in the evening on one day. It would have been like a bar calling “Ladies Night” and closing down their place of business for anyone who doesn't identify as female. It's been done before, it will be done again, and the world still cycles onward.
While this is — in the grand scheme of things — a very small drop in the bucket, it was apparently still enough to aggravate at least one particular group of people. That group showed their faces on the Spanish language forum ForoCoches and started to make waves against the event. They stated that they would go incognito as transgender women, supposedly to interfere with the event from the inside. We'll never know what their true plan was, if they were even going to carry it out, because the event was canceled. Supposedly, King Games is willing to give the event a try again in the future if anyone else is still interested.
While the rest of the Internet is re-hashing their arguments from the Wonder Woman screenings, I'm thinking about something a tad different. The Wonder Woman screenings were an attempt at empowerment of all women. The Gaming Ladies event was an attempt at empowering women in the video game industry. But how many of these events is it going to take before people start crying “copy cat” or “attention-seeking?” Everyone's too busy arguing over whether or not gender specific events should even be allowed to stop and wonder when these might be planned just for sake of views. I don't think that was the original plan with either of these two events, but it's not much of a stretch to say that this could happen in the future.
Some events are planned just to cause a ruckus. Some marketing schemes are meant to go viral. One could argue that the Gaming Ladies event was created just to elicit a response similar to that of the Wonder Woman screenings. They could have decided to plan and “host” this event just to get the name of the company out there with some drama attached to it. There's literally no easier way to get your name out there than to start drama (or continue it). Why do you think YouTubers keep uploading videos of themselves talking about other people's problems that they generally have nothing to do with? Because it gets them views!
After a while, these women-only events might be lowered to pure drama. Rather than being attempts to give females a time to shine, they're going to be seen as just another attention-seeking pile of garbage. There's something really wrong with that, but already in such a short time there's a second event with a similar reaction to the first. Seeing the King Games Gaming Ladies event canceled just reminded me of the Wonder Woman screenings and I couldn't help but wonder if they did it purposefully for the drama. I'd like to think they didn't, as this seemed like a genuine attempt to allow women in the video game industry a platform all their own, but nonetheless it back-fired and failed.