Tweets mean serious now.
Gaming chair manufacturer Vertagear apologized today after sharing a sexist meme on Twitter. The image, which shows a “Male” streamer’s feed primarily focused on the game and a “Female” streamer’s feed primarily focused on the streamer, advances the sexist narrative that women who stream games are doing so only to earn attention, and not because they’re interested in the games they play. The message was removed after quickly drawing criticism as misogynistic.
“Discrimination and bias are the opposite of what we want to create,” Vertagear says, “and they completely jeopardize the values we stand for. Unfortunately, we were slow to see the mistakes being made and have hurt many people with a recent Tweet that we made. We take full responsibility for the pain that it has caused to members of our community. We will make things right and set ourselves as a better example for others.”
The tweet followed other recent offensive messages about women, which still remain on the company’s Twitter account at time of publication. A similar meme, posted on June 28, portrays women and men’s attitudes to gaming as different, with the caption “Has a gamer PC. Uses it only for Facebook,” beside the image of a woman.
A new guideline and further measures have been put in place to avoid a repeat of the offensive tweet, Vertagear says. “While we still hope to keep things entertaining for our fans, we’ll try our best to be more sensitive to the type of content that can cause pain and agony to different groups of people,” Vertagear said in its statement. “Every aspect of the way we generate content in the future will be reviewed.”
The initial apology from the company fell short of explicitly decrying sexist behaviour against women in gaming, but a second apology, seen below, mentions the issue more clearly.
Already a common issue online, you would expect gaming companies to steer clear of such inappropriate imagery and the much larger, dangerous, and inaccurate concepts they represent. After all, what sort of message does this send to Vertagear’s customers that identify as women?