One of the first heralds that the world of gaming was going to be severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic was the cancellation of E3 2020, making this the first year without an E3 since the trade show began in 1995. With numerous online replacements and the bad taste left behind by an enormous data breach following the 2019 show, not to mention companies like Sony pulling away from the event, there’s been plenty of reasons to question E3’s future.
And now, E3 has become embroiled in another controversy, with an ill-conceived tweet linking to a sexist article going up on the E3 Twitter account. The since-deleted tweet contained a link along with the text “Great list of games women gamers are playing–any of your favorites make the cut?”
The article it linked to was called 25 Online Games That Women Enjoy on Parade, and it was an SEO-optimized list of games that “women play,” peppered with quotes from user reviews and market research. Games included Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood, Solitaire, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
The issue here is not that these are lesser or inferior games–the article was extremely prescriptive about the sorts of games that are “for” women, and was clearly produced to produce key word clicks rather than actually presenting recommendations, and included many sterotypes (“Diamond’s are a girl’s best friend,” the Bejeweled Classic entry reads).
The list seems to have been taken down, too, but we would not link to it regardless.
After an outcry, the E3 Twitter account removed the tweet and posted a brief apology.
E3 2021 is scheduled for June 15 to 17 next year. It’ll likely look very different from previous E3s, though.
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