GAME_JAM walkout was an incident in March 2014 in which indie games developers participating in a Youtube reality series walked off the set in protest, partly due to an attempt by the show's producers to elicit commentary about women developers and their attractiveness.
Jared Rosen, a journalist in attendence, documented the walk-out:
- It went on down the line. Is Zoe [Quinn] off her game? Are women coders a disadvantage to their groups? Point by point, the questions were shot down, until he reached Adriel’s team and asked if they were at any sort of advantage by having a pretty girl with them.
- I cannot begin to impress upon you the psychological effect this line had on everyone. The idea that these professionals, who stake their livelihoods on code and design, might be reduced to “pretty faces” and antiquated gender stereotypes, an idea perpetuated by the guy who was ostensibly in charge, was like hitting the biggest nerve in the history of nerves with a pneumatic drill. Adriel [Wallick] built shit that flies around in space. It’s probably flying around in space right now.
- She erupted, and [Matti Leshem] once more pulled back his camera, making sure to privately half-apologize that he “marched with the women in the ’70s” with “flowers in his hair.” Finally, he cornered Zoe with a camera as everyone left for dinner, trying one last time to get a rise out of her. She told him to go fuck himself and marched off set. And that is precisely when everyone else realized something was wrong.
Participants wrote about it:
- Game Jam Walkout | The Mary Sue (April 2): “GAME_JAM was supposed to be a YouTube-based webseries, a reality show about four teams of game developers competing to win prizes and promote their careers. According to many of the folks involved, it was hamstrung by terrible contracts, mismanaged sponsorship, and a director who sought every opportunity to fabricate conflict against the will of participants, and a general misunderstanding of what game development actually involved. But the thing that united the sixteen contestants into walking off the show was when it attempted to get them to impugn the place of women in coding and game making.”
- Game Developers Ditch YouTube Reality Show After Uncomfortable First Day of Filming | Mashable