Content warning: sexual assault
With this recent wave of horrible harassment and abuse stories coming out, here’s mine.
I went to my first GDC when I was student, it was really expensive and I ended up having 2 roommates in my hostel who were also going to their first GDC. We went to a party (we were told that you brought business cards and networked at parties). It was on the Wednesday evening of GDC and at a bar/club. We had been told that women had to be careful at GDC but we were in a group so we thought we would be okay.
I’m not writing details (this site is anonymous anyway) but I was groped by multiple male developers at this “networking event”. I was wearing jeans and a shirt, and as we walked around the party I was touched on my butt, thighs, lower back, and chest without my consent. It wasn’t even that crowded but it was enough that men would brush past us and touch us. One guy cornered me at at table and tried to put his hand down my pants.
Later, another guy followed my roommate and I back to our hostel (our other roommate ended up leaving early because she wasn’t feeling well), yelling abuse at us when we tried to ignore him. Like, he followed up for 6-7(?) blocks screaming at us. That was the scariest walk of my life.
I know this story doesn’t really compare to a lot of other ones out there right now. I know it won’t be the last time that our industry has this revelation. I just hope we learn from it.