Real estate braces for another tense night

first_img(Credit: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)New York’s real estate industry braced for another night of uncertainty Tuesday after high-profile instances of looting cast doubt on the city’s recovery.Protesters started gathering again in the afternoon ahead of the city’s moved-up 8 p.m. curfew as shop owners boarded up storefronts. The previous night, looters struck Soho, Midtown and the Fordham Road section of the Bronx, among other areas.Late Tuesday afternoon, the city announced it was banning vehicular traffic to Manhattan south of 96th Street except for essential workers.GFP Real Estate co-CEO Brian Steinwurtzel said the move should help prevent a repeat of the previous night’s mayhem.“From what I could tell, a lot of the looting was organized in a way that cars and vans were showing up to do it,” he said. “I think that will help elimane these groups’ ability to do that again.”ADVERTISEMENTVideos on social media showed cars being used to help loot stores in areas such as Soho, where shop owners spent the day assessing the damage from Monday night.In South Brooklyn, a group claiming to include more than 100 business owners and residents said it was gathering “armed with legal weapons, including baseball bats and more” to protect the community from looters.Steinwurtzel said he believed most of the activists protesting the death of George Floyd were doing so peacefully and that a small number of bad actors were stealing from stores. He added that he spent the day talking with residents, store owners and office tenants about their plans for the city’s reopening following the Covid-19 shutdown, and that the looting cast a dark shadow over what had been a sense of optimism.“I think things had been moving in a really positive direction until the past few days,” he said. “It seems like this is the last thing New York needs.”In some of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods, business improvement districts reversed guidance they had given retailers early in the shutdown against boarding up storefronts.“At the beginning of Covid, we told owners not to board up stores, that it would send the wrong message,” said Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance. “Now we are telling them they should.”Many retailers were preparing to return partially for phase 1 of the city’s planned reopening, set for Monday.“I think all retailers in the city had been making plans to open as soon as they possibly can,” said Peter Braus of Lee & Associates. “This is just going to set them back further.”Kramer Levin attorney Jay Neveloff said it was unclear how the looting and curfews would change stores’ plans to reopen.He did note an anomaly: Looted stores, many of which have been unable to generate sales during the shutdown, may see their first income in weeks — from insurance claims.“It really shows how the world is upside-down right now,” he said.Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229 Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsBlack Lives Matter ProtestsRetailcenter_img Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Business leaders see trouble as homeless flock to Manhattan hotels

first_imgTagsbusiness improvement districtVideo Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinkcenter_img As the city’s restaurants and shops look to bounce back, they’re contending with some serious quality-of-life issues.Nearly 20 percent of the city’s hotels are providing shelter for homeless New Yorkers. The impact on the surrounding streetscape is hard to miss.“When you’re in the business as long as I’ve been, you get to recognize what somebody on heroin looks like,” explained Dan Biederman, head of three business improvement districts in Midtown. “There are a lot of street conditions we’ve never seen in all of our years of running the BIDs.”Barbara Askins, head of the 125th Street Business Improvement District in Harlem, concurred. She said she now has to ask several loiterers to step aside — instead of the usual one — so she can enter her office building.Some stores covered their windows with plywood at the start of the shutdown and more boarded up after looting broke out. Biederman said perhaps a quarter of his districts’ stores that erected plywood have yet to remove it.Although that is temporary, he fears store owners and landlords will replace their open, grated-style barriers with unsightly solid gates that he spent years trying to banish.“We’re quite worried owners and tenants will put solid gates back in once the plywood goes down,” said Biederman, who runs the BIDs for the areas around Bryant Park, Grand Central Terminal and 34th Street. (They should not: According to a 2009 city law, solid gates left in place may remain until July 2026, but only see-through gates may be installed.)Biederman joined Askins and Jessica Lappin, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, Wednesday evening for a TRD Talks webinar to discuss issues facing BIDs. Restaurants were allowed to open for outdoor dining and retail shops for curbside pickup June 22 as the city entered phase 2 of reopening.Lawmakers had planned to allow indoor dining to resume on a limited basis on Monday. But this week Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed that back indefinitely, saying it’s not yet safe given how the virus typically spreads.Lappin, a former City Council member, said restaurateurs are already despondent, and the longer timeline means fewer will be able to stay in business.“It took the city an awfully long time to come up with rules for outdoor dining, which I’m glad that they did and we’ve been working with them, but it’s not that complicated,” she said. “I think it’s going to be grim and I think a lot of these restaurants won’t survive.”Crime statistics are also on the rise, which has many concerned that New York is sliding back to the “bad old days” of the 1970s through the mid ’90s.“It’s not all the way back to the way it was, but the signs of it getting there are changing every day,” Askins said.The panelists agreed that with cuts to the city budget, businesses will look more to BIDs to provide services.Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229last_img read more

TRD Insights: Here’s what tenants pay at Related’s Bronx Terminal Market

first_imgRelated chairman Stephen Ross and Bronx Terminal Market (Getty, Google)As part of its proposal to pay off about $200 million in Israeli bonds that mature this fall, Related Companies has committed to buy back two properties next year from its bond-issuing subsidiary, if necessary.The two properties are an office condominium in Time Warner Center and the 900,000-square-foot Bronx Terminal Market power center in the South Bronx.While the coronavirus shuttered most retailers for months, the Bronx Terminal Market’s anchor tenants — BJ’s Wholesale Club, Home Depot and Target — were deemed “essential,” and remained open. That’s as the pandemic slammed New York City, with the Bronx among the hardest hit.Now, appraisal data filed with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange reveals how much those three retailers and dozens of smaller tenants pay for space in the mall.ADVERTISEMENTThe three primary anchor tenants, each with over 100,000 square feet in the complex, pay a total of $12.7 million in rent per year, or about 40 percent of the total. Nine “junior anchors” contribute another $13.7 million in annual rent, and the 15 remaining tenants pay a total of $4.4 million annually.The appraisal also notes that Amazon recently inked a five-year lease for a vacant parking lot at the property, at $665,000 a year. A short-term license agreement with the Universal Hip Hop Museum — closed until Phase 4 of New York’s reopening — is also not reflected in the rent roll. (The museum plans to open at a separate Bronx Point location in 2023.)Target — whose rent is listed as a remarkably low $6.09 a foot — made an upfront prepayment of $46.4 million, or 75 percent of its rent for the 25-year term of the lease.BJ’s Wholesale Club, Home Depot, and Target are among those essential retailers that have seen significant growth in sales and revenue nationwide amid the pandemic, although these gains have been offset somewhat by increasing costs.The junior anchor tenants at the mall, meanwhile, have seen less positive results. Bed Bath & Beyond saw a 49-percent drop in overall sales in the latest quarter, and says it plans to close 200 stores across the U.S. for good. Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company, CEC Entertainment, filed for bankruptcy last month.Related built the Bronx Terminal Market, formerly known as the Gateway Center, in 2009 for a reported $360 million — along with $2.6 million in Brownfields tax credits. Related’s Israeli bond-issuing subsidiary, Related Commercial Portfolio, owns a 41 percent stake in the property, while an entity known as BTM Strategic Development Partners LLC owns about 50 percent. TagsBronxRelated CompaniesRetailTRD Insights Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Texas condo owner blames Manhattan developer’s son for luxury tower defects

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink “They have worked to entice the unknowing public to purchase expensive defective condos when they knew the condos have significant material defects that will not be repaired, despite their representations to the contrary,” the lawsuit claims.Patel alleges that despite flagging several defects in his unit during an initial walk-through in June 2019, the developer has failed to make repairs. An attorney for Patel, Constantine Pamphilis, said Sackman has proposed “cheap cosmetic fixes” to the defects. He said Patel and his family are in limbo because they haven’t been able to fully move in while waiting for repairs.Patel’s father, who has a medical condition that causes him to walk with uneven footing, has fallen on numerous occasions due to the unit’s angled floors, according to the suit.The lawsuit is seeking at least $2 million in relief and seeks to certify a class of at least 160 condo owners.Write to Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected] Share via Shortlink Sackman Enterprises’ CJ Sackman and 70 Rainey Street in Austin Texas (Sackman via Real Insight; Rendering via Page Architects)A luxury condo owner in Texas claims a Manhattan-based developer put his “inexperienced” son in charge of the building’s construction — which led to an array of defects that included uneven floors, corroded plumbing and curved walls.In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Amit Patel alleges developer Sackman Enterprises, its Texas subsidiary and company executives have failed to fix shoddy work at the 70 Rainey Street condo building in Austin. The proposed class action suit was filed in District Court in Travis County, Texas.The 160-unit condo tower was billed as a luxury property with “thoughtfully crafted architecture, custom kitchens with professional grade appliances, and exceptional finishes throughout the home.” Instead, the complaint alleges, the units — which range in price from $400,000 to $5 million — feature “angled floors, bowed-in walls, poorly cut baseboards, ill-fitting cabinets, uneven and splotchy paint, and/or additional substantial and material defects.” Plumbing fixtures in the units also allegedly quickly eroded.Sackman Enterprises president Carter Sackman tapped his son, C.J., to manage the project despite his son’s inexperience in developing luxury real estate, according to the suit. When C.J. realized he was “in way over his head,” he made false promises to sell units and “cut corners and costs by deviating” from the architect’s design plans, according to the lawsuit.Representatives for the family-run Sackman Enterprises didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment, and C.J. Sackman could not be reached for comment.Read moreWhen luxury leaksTrucking exec sues for missing breakfast bar and private elevator at 56 LeonardThree Hundred Collins allegedly marred by cheap materials, unpaid contractors and duped investors TagsCondo defectscondo developmentlast_img read more

Court lets Fortis off hook for Williamsburg condo defects

first_imgFull Name* Email Address* Share via Shortlink Fortis CEO Jonathan Landau and Bayard Views Condominium at 20 Bayard Street in Williamsburg (Fortis; Google Maps)Since purchasing 37 condo units from bankruptcy nearly a decade ago, a Brooklyn developer has denied that it also acquired responsibility for fixing defects in the building. Now, a court has let the developer off the hook.A panel of Appellate Division judges found that Fortis Property Group isn’t liable for damages or defects that existed at Bayard Views Condominium in Williamsburg before the previous sponsor declared bankruptcy and sold the units.Read moreTexas condo owner blames Manhattan developer’s son for luxury tower defectsLuxury South Beach condo owners sue, alleging defectsCondo owners sue Slate Property Group over construction issues The developer is only responsible for issues at 20 Bayard Street that its representatives “expressly agreed to remedy,” according to an Oct. 7 order.The case could have broader implications for determining who is responsible for faulty construction, especially in cases where the original sponsor is shielded from litigation.“This will encourage and allow the freedom of other people to invest in condo and co-ops,” said attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, who represented Fortis. “This is a really good decision for developers all over New York.”A spokesperson for the condo board said members were disappointed by the court’s ruling. “Notwithstanding the issues caused by FPG, the Bayard Views Condominium has taken it upon ourselves to rectify all construction issues,” the board said in a statement. “Our building is today in great working order because of the perseverance of its owners. In the years that have passed while this case languished in the Courts, the owners of 20 Bayard Street did the work to make the building what it always should have been if FPG had kept its word.” Fortis purchased the Williamsburg condominium’s unsold units in 2011, after the project’s original sponsor, developer Isaac Hager, filed for Chapter 11 protection. Bayard’s condo board sued Fortis in 2014 over various alleged defects, including frequent flooding, bad wiring and HVAC, and cracks in the building’s facade.In 2017 a state Supreme Court judge ruled that Fortis was not liable for these issues, though he left the door open for the condo board to continue to sue Fortis’ principals, Joel Kestenbaum and Jonathan Landau. The board appealed the former part of the order, while Fortis cross-appealed on the latter.The appellate court also reversed the state Supreme Court’s decision on Kestenbaum and Landau, finding that they shouldn’t individually be held liable for the defects. The board argued that the repairs would cost $2 million.A description on StreetEasy of the 62-unit building says it is the tallest building on McCarren Park, offering views that “will lure you in” and interiors that “will make you want to stay forever.” A linked discussion from nine years ago flags the workmanship issues.Still, an upper-floor unit sold for $1,340 per square foot this spring.Contact Kathryn Brenzelcenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Tagsadam leitman baileyFortis Property GroupReal Estate Lawsuitslast_img read more

IGDA asks studios to “clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use”

first_img 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. IGDA asks studios to “clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use”ArenaNet firings show how “interacting with people as a game developer can jeopardize someone’s job and career”Matthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefTuesday 10th July 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleInternational Game Developers AssociationIGDA executive director Jen MacLean has advised game companies to lay out clear guidelines for employee behaviour on social media, in light of the firing of two ArenaNet writers over an altercation on Twitter.As today’s news has shown, the debate between Jessica Price and Peter Fries and their former employer has not yet finished. However, the IGDA believes the incident has highlighted the need for more transparent and consistent guidelines around employee behaviour on social networks.”Often, game developers love engaging with their player base, and the interactions can be very helpful for both the developers and players,” MacLean said in a blog post. “However, without clear information from an employer on social media use, interacting with people as a game developer can jeopardize someone’s job and career, and even their personal safety.”The IGDA strongly encourages its members, both as individuals and as studios and partners, to clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use, both in professional and personal accounts.”MacLean placed emphasis on the way “members of underrepresented communities” are targeted for harassment, and said that all companies should know how they intend to support their staff should that happen, to ensure, “safe, productive, and positive interactions online, especially if they are expected to do so in their roles.”To help with the process, the IGDA has compiled a list of 20 questions with the help of its members, all of which fall under one of five categories: What are the rules for staff about engaging in company controlled online spaces? What are the rules for employees’ personal social media accounts? What will the company do to protect its talent from internet harassment mobs?What are the calibration/discipline/monitoring procedures? Are employees allowed to play the game (if the game is multiplayer)?You can read the full list of 20 questions here.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesIGDA Foundation launches Diverse Game Developers FundThe grant will distribute $300,000 to marginalised developersBy Marie Dealessandri 2 months agoIGDA criticizes industry for ignoring harassment allegationsDeveloper group says it will compile resources for studio leaders to create safe and positive company culturesBy Brendan Sinclair 10 months agoLatest comments (1)Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, Ludia2 years ago The main problem here is that ArenaNet doesn’t recognize the harassment Price was a victim of.So no rule saying how employers should protect employees from harassment will even work if the parts don’t recognize the problem.last_img read more

Earthbound Games raises £750k to self-publish Axiom Soccer

first_imgEarthbound Games raises £750k to self-publish Axiom SoccerFunding comes from individual investors led by board member Neil HeywoodPress ReleaseThursday 20th September 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet Share20th, September 2018: Dundee-based indie game developer Earthbound Games today announced that it has successfully secured £750,000 in equity funding. The finance will support the development and distribution of its flagship PC game, Axiom Soccer, which launches early next year.The investment has been led by board director Neil Heywood, who has extensive games industry experience, and is also on the board of real-time analytics company deltaDNA. Heywood was previously executive chairman and investor at VR audio company Two Big Ears, which was acquired by Facebook in 2016.The funding has been secured through a number of individuals with a track record of investing in the games and technology industries. They include Heywood himself, and Tim Christian, chairman of Dimensional Imaging, and board director at deltaDNA. High-quality games like Axiom Soccer are usually developed by a studio working in partnership with a publisher. The publisher covers the cost of development, marketing and distribution, and controls the product and profits. Breaking with convention, Earthbound Games has decided to self-publish Axiom Soccer. In doing so, the founders will be drawing on decades of industry experience, working on successful games such as the Crackdown series and Grand Theft Auto.The decision to seek external funding and self-publish Axiom Soccer will allow the team to directly connect with the players. They will use continual feedback to improve the player experience, and road-test game elements such as interactive spectator features.Neil Heywood said: “Equity funding and self-publishing isn’t the traditional way to make and distribute high-quality PC games. But if you’ve got a great game, there’s an opportunity to create a community, by communicating directly with the players.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “With Axiom Soccer, we’re doing something new with our approach to funding and publishing, and with some of the interactive features we’re developing. That’s meant we could attract support from a number of backers who are already involved with and enthusiastic about the industry. We all believe that Axiom Soccer is going to be a great success.”Chris Stamp, CEO, Earthbound Games, added: “We’ve put the publishers to the back of the equation with Axiom Soccer. That’s allowed us to take a truly player-first approach, and connect the development of the game with our community.”Having made published games for more than thirty years, it’s incredibly exciting to be working with such a talented team, and to be creating a game which is so finely tuned to the feedback we’re receiving from our players.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesCEO says Paradox “can do better” as Q1 profits plummet”We are not satisfied with the quarter,” CEO Ebba Ljungerud saidBy Marie Dealessandri 13 hours agoStarbreeze’s Q1 losses shrink 95% to $505,000New CEO Tobias Sjögren says “the road ahead is clear” as Payday 3 is fully funded By James Batchelor 14 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Supercell to “slow growth significantly” in coming year

first_img A year ago Seems like there’s a slight misunderstanding in the title and article itself. Paananen did not say they were going to slow growth (in terms of headcount) in the coming year, rather he was stating this is something they had already done based on discussions early last year:”Anyway, last year some of our game developers actually got concerned that the company might be getting too big too fast as we grew to just over 300 in size. We had a big discussion about this and, as a result, decided to slow down our growth significantly until we feel confident that we can keep our culture intact despite the growth.”He’s just commenting on something they’ve already done, and that they’ve stuck to their founding values, he hasn’t stated they’ll slow down even more after already ‘slowing’ last year. Supercell to “slow growth significantly” in coming yearAs mobile studio enters its second decade, CEO Ilkka Paananen reaffirms goal to be “as small as possible”Rebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterTuesday 11th February 2020Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleSupercellThe Finnish developer of Clash of Clans and Brawl Stars is preparing to enter its second decade of existence not with major changes, but with a reaffirmation of its existing philosophy.In a letter published today by CEO Ilkka Paananen, he reflected on the company’s milestones over the past year while looking ahead to its plans for 2020 — most of which involve continuing to do what the company has already done successfully for its first decade: make a lot of games, kill some of them, and release the ones it thinks will success long-term.Killing games has been part of the studio’s culture for some time, with it only fully releasing a total of five titles in ten years — a fairly small amount for a mobile company. While many of those cancellations go on behind the scenes, earlier this year the game Rush Wars was cancelled three months after its beta release.This decision, as with past decisions to kill games, was made by its development team, said Paananen:”The team behind the game killed it because based on the beta, they felt like this was not going to be a game that lots of people would play for years nor would it be remembered forever,” he wrote. “The early gameplay was lots of fun, but it just did not carry over to the endgame.”I feel proud of the decision the team made. I cannot even imagine how painful it is to kill your own darling, something that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. That said, this is how we all want Supercell to operate: we should only release games that are of exceptional quality, games that the players love and games that have a shot at being remembered forever. Very importantly, at Supercell these types of decisions are always owned by the team who is behind the game. We feel that it is critical that the people who are responsible for the game also get to decide about its future.”Along the same lines of those in the studio deciding its future, Paananen also said that in the coming year, Supercell would be curbing its personnel growth significantly — not through layoffs, but simply through slowing the rate it had been moving at, a rate that has seen the company increase to around 300 employees at last count.”A major component of our mission – i.e. to be the best place for the best teams to develop games – involves keeping the company as small as possible,” Paananen said. “This is because we believe smaller size minimizes the amount of bureaucracy and processes while maximizing room for innovation. And, we all simply like to work in a smaller company! Anyway, last year some of our game developers actually got concerned that the company might be getting too big too fast as we grew to just over 300 in size. We had a big discussion about this and, as a result, decided to slow down our growth significantly until we feel confident that we can keep our culture intact despite the growth.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “For someone outside Supercell, the above might sound really odd, even very inward focused. But, we believe that without our unique culture, and the small-company feel that goes with it, we could not develop the best games for you. Balancing things is not always easy and, as you may guess, we have our internal struggles, too.”In the same letter, Paananen reported that Supercell had seen revenue of $1.56 billion in 2019 — down slightly from last year’s $1.6 billion and the third drop in three years. However, the drop makes sense given that Brawl Stars didn’t quite reach the same level of success as 2016’s Clash Royale (or, prior to that, Clash of Clans).The company’s profit before taxes was $577 million.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Mobile newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesSupercell ordered to pay Gree $92m in lawsuitJury found developer had infringed on six patents protecting Gree’s technologyBy Danielle Partis YesterdayMetacore secures €150m credit line from SupercellThe funding will go towards growing the Merge Mansion developer’s team and expand its operationsBy Marie Dealessandri 5 days agoLatest comments (1)Daniel Indie Game Dev Edited 1 times. Last edit by Daniel on 12th February 2020 2:44pm 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

T. Rowe Price names Rob Sharps president

first_img 4 Why Tony Robbins, tax shelters and financial advisers don’t mix Sharps is a 23-year veteran of T. Rowe Price and was the longtime portfolio manager of its U.S. large-cap growth equity strategy. In addition to serving as president, he remains the company’s head of investments and group chief investment officer.Named to the new post of chief operating officer is Céline Dufétel. Both she and Sharps will report to Stromberg.Dufétel joined T. Rowe Price in 2017 as its chief financial officer and treasurer. She has been in charge of the company’s financial activities, investor relations, strategy, risk oversight, corporate real estate and workplace services, global investment operations, and enterprise change.As she takes on the role of COO in addition to CFO and treasurer, Dufétel’s responsibilities will expand to include global client account services, effective April 1, and global technology, effective July 1.[More: T. Rowe Price steps up its game to serve financial advisers] The Gates divorce: Lessons for financial advisers House panel unanimously passes SECURE 2.0 5 The T. Rowe Price Group has named Rob Sharps president. That position had been held by Bill Stromberg, who will remain the fund company’s chief executive and board chairman. For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here,MOST READ InvestCloud to acquire Advicent and NaviPlan planning software 2 Subscribe for original insights, commentary and analysis of the issues facing the financial advice community, from the InvestmentNews team. Newsletters House committee poised to advance SECURE 2.0 retirement savings bill 3 1last_img read more

What a woman games journalist experiences in a week

first_img 2 months ago My partner has been a writer for just over five years, she has received only one death threat, this is the same amount I have experienced in the same amount of time. We are no pushers of the status quo; both of us write to agitate for regionalism, direct democracy for England on a local level, and environmental action. What we write is controversial. Online harassment caused us both to lose our jobs twice; as Antifa labeled us Fascists despite us being Anarcho-Syndicalists. The general public however has not harassed us despite us writing for larger-scale changes to society than intersectionality based writers.The difference is that we don’t create a dualistic image of the world, we don’t actively target groups that capital has declared it okay to target, your writings tend to fall for the usual scapegoats and blame the little man rather than punching up against market engineered consumerism. You falsify issues such as players disliking female characters, you proceed to show an image of Lara Croft, a poster woman of gaming adored by males, Aloy from Zero Dawn has from day one been loved by male consumers. Your language “deal with it” implies a reasonable amount of people are against such characters and that you’re there to scold them for not consuming as you do, for not thinking as you do. It is clear from what each gender is playing currently (https://www.polygon.com/2017/1/20/14337282/games-for-women-and-girls) that in fact the award-winning, record-breaking, action-adventure games you shared were largely purchased by males. If your message had been affirmative of women rather than an accusation…You’re right regarding the harassment and hyperbole surrounding writing today but you must understand this crosses any industry, racial or gender-related lines. Writers are seen as a bigger, more powerful part of society than they are, I get accused of writing “Just to get votes”, yet the organisation I write for is not a political party. The responses you’re screenshotting are largely the irony enjoyed by the young far-right such as ZoomerWaffen, they’re more harmless than you think, but I know that fear it can create for days, I feel the same when Antifa shared my content under false assertions.Doxxing is a massive danger, my partner has been doxxed and it prompted us to move so she wasn’t on public transport for hours a day, The problem becomes not what you say or write but what others can falsely paint it as and convince others of.Stop blaming the little man, punch up, other than that a great article. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. What a woman games journalist experiences in a weekThe scale of abuse that women journalists receive for doing their jobs is a major issue — we need accountability and real consequencesMary GushieThursday 18th February 2021Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareIt’s time we talk about a very serious issue happening within the games industry, both at the professional and fan level: the way women journalists are treated with toxic behaviour, and the simple steps we can take to ensure this kind of harassment stops.Many women journalists experience some form of harassment when reporting on the games industry. It has been said that women receive an extreme amount of harassment when compared to their male counterparts, as it is not only based on their work but also their gender. Unfortunately, this has become ‘the norm’ for women journalists. This has been considered acceptable for a while now, and we are told to “just ignore it.” However, the problem must be discussed and action needs to be taken.The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conducted a global survey of over 900 women journalists last year, and the results are frightening: 73% of women journalists who responded had experienced online violence in the course of their work. That is close to three out of four women who will experience that treatment just for doing their job. Their work is journalism; simply creating or producing a report on current events based around facts and opinions for broadcast or publication. These issues have yet to be addressed.When I tailor my content to highlight issues of female representation in the games industry, I receive more hate Professionally speaking, I have been a journalist for over ten years, and while I have done a wide range of work for a variety of outlets, my focus has always been on highlighting issues and experiences in the games industry through a female lens. Over the course of those ten years I have heard from women firsthand how I have helped them be more vocal and realize that they are not alone. I have also been lucky to meet some wonderful industry folks and attend events. My journey has made me become an advocate for women in the games space. This includes sharing my own personal story of abuse at the hands of someone from Ubisoft last year. On the other hand, over that same ten year period I received countless death threats, harassment and hurtful comments. At times it was an occasional trolling comment; other times it was dozens of comments ranging from sexism to outright toxicity and hatred. It appears that when I tailor my content to highlight issues of female representation in the games industry, I receive more hate. But the issue is not whether I can effectively advocate for women; the issue is that I and many other female journalists are receiving these types of messages based on our gender or the very topic of advocacy. What happened early this yearIn December last year, I wrote a piece on the toxic culture around women in the games industry. While I did receive some backlash, it was nothing compared to what happened this January. I posted a tweet commenting on the notion that men do not like to play as female characters. While this is a generalized statement on my social media page, it was meant to be a quick-witted observation on the industry at the time. I paired it with a comment — “deal with it” — and images of strong female lead characters: Ellie from The Last of Us, Claire Redfield from Resident Evil, Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. Little did I know that this tweet would cause such debate and result in multiple attacks on myself, my character, and my work.Eventually, the tweet ended up being reposted from an account that has a reputation for controversial views, with the caption “games journalisming.” Almost instantly, my mentions were filled with hate towards my writing, my beliefs and even my looks, but that was not the end of it. The same account also hosts a Youtube channel with over one million subscribers, and it published a video about my tweet, claiming that I was attacking men, that I was a horrible journalist, and taking my stance just to gain a profit. This was simply a tweet, not tied to any of my work, and therefore there was no profit to be had — ironic given that the account used the tweet to feed its subscribers new content, which in turn is a way to gain profit via Youtube revenue. As my mentions on social media became filled with people questioning my career, sending me hate, and claiming that I should disappear, I struggled with what to do. Twitter seems to be a huge driving force in allowing this type of behaviour to occur. It has been said that “women are abused on Twitter every 30 seconds,” offering further proof that toxic behaviour against women continues to happen at a rapid rate, especially women who may be at the forefront of journalism. Many women journalists become the focus of hate campaigns for simply reporting on or voicing their opinion about a controversial topic, regardless of the context of said topic or opinion. Twitter continues to claim that abuse violates its stated rules, and this includes tweets that promote violence and/or threats against people. However, when I reported numerous tweets at me, nothing was done. Below are some samples of the messages I have received:The fine lineWhen it comes to speech online, it can be a fine line between what is problematic and what is not. Unfortunately, when messages that are hateful and promote violence are reported, even if the offending individual is banned from the platform the message was on, it does not stop the user from creating a new account. There are little to no consequences for those who commit this type of offence. Online harassment is the type of crime that can be difficult to track, and therefore it is often overlooked. Trolling inhabits a grey zone between freedom of speech and anonymous attacks. Many women journalists, including myself, have to deal with the consequences on our own. Sometimes that means deactivating social media accounts, which hurts the promotion of our work and the development of our personal brands. These threats can quickly lead to journalists having to change their phone numbers due to numerous calls, or having to change addresses due to doxxing. Threats can quickly lead to journalists having to change their phone numbers, or having to change addresses due to doxxing These are very real factors that women journalists have to deal with over the course of their careers, and this can take a toll on mental health. Having to constantly worry about comments under an article, where people post about your appearance, comments of a sexual nature, threats, and the uncertainty of what someone behind the computer could possibly do — it leaves women journalists questioning their entire careers and worth as people. I have focused my career on highlighting this type of toxic behaviour towards women in the industry, so it was expected that not everyone would agree with me and I would receive hate. I am an advocate for a reason, and I am realistic about that coming with opposing opinions. However, there is a difference between someone expressing their opinion on an article and attacking a journalist based on their gender. The very nature of participating in a discussion is to hear other viewpoints and opinions and learn from the parties involved. That’s how expressing an opinion can to an actual discussion. At times, this is not the treatment or respect women journalists have the luxury of experiencing. More often than not, a woman will receive hate on every article or tweet, just because she has become a target. I write all of this in hope of creating the opportunity to have a respectful discussion about the treatment of women in the games industry.What’s the solution?Please take a moment to think about the facts — with 73% of women journalists receiving online harassment, this needs to be at the forefront of discussion more often. While some may not agree with what a journalist has to say, we are humans trying to do our jobs. The world is a frustrating place and it’s easy to shoot the messenger, but before tearing someone down, insulting their appearance, or threatening them with terrifying violence simply because they dared to type words on a page, think about the fact this is a real person you are alienating. An article of this nature will no longer need to be written if we take a moment to talk about our opinions without responding with direct attacks. Is wanting to be treated fairly too much to ask? Women have been more vocal in sharing, but the sole pressure of change cannot be placed on women only But there needs to be accountability and real consequences when this type of behaviour happens. While we cannot expect everything to change at once, social platforms enforcing stricter rules will in time change the ability to harass in the first place. This will encourage women to be more open about their experiences and create a safer space for everyone. When a woman journalist is threatened online, it needs to be taken seriously. Social media and streaming sites need to do a better job when it comes to security measures. Response rates need to be quicker when an attack is reported, and the banning of a user’s IP should become a consequence when the threat is severe. Women journalists need to continue to raise awareness of these issues and talk about them publicly — it’s why I continue to do so — but this can only happen if they feel safe. In order to mitigate their emotions, women journalists can set boundaries or rules by blocking certain words, turning notifications off, or attempting to ignore comments. This can help to alleviate the mental stress that women endure when receiving such harassment. Things are changing. Women have been taking a stand and trying to bring about a positive force for good — such as the widespread abuse allegations that started in 2019, which sparked discussion over what women have to endure while working in the games industry. We saw a resurgence of this last year, as more women openly shared experiences they had experienced at companies such as Ubisoft — myself included. Related Jobs3D Artist – Mobile Studio – Midlands UK & Europe Big PlanetProducer Indie Game Studio France UK & Europe Big PlanetSenior C++ Unreal Programmer – PC and Console Studio – Austria South East Big PlanetDiscover more jobs in games Women have been more vocal in sharing, but the sole pressure of change cannot be placed on women only — it needs to be done across the board. Journalism can be a stressful job for anyone, but women take on an added layer of strain. There is a constant and overwhelming fear of getting bombarded with hate-filled comments attacking not only your work, but your appearance and your character. It can be extremely discouraging when the offenders so rarely face any consequences, which results in so many women suffering in silence, or giving up careers they were passionate about because someone was exceptionally insulting, slanderous, or “just joking.” We all need to work together to be better. We need to acknowledge toxic and destructive behavior, and instead of attacking others when they ask for help, trying to repair the broken parts of the industry so many of us love, and want to work in. With over ten years experience, Mary Gushie allows her personality and passion for the industry shine through in her journalism. She is a huge advocate for women in gaming — @girlfromcanada.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesActivision no longer working with Call of Duty actor after hateful sexist commentsA video resurfaced on social media showing Jeff Leach making offensive, sexual and threatening remarks targeting women By Marie Dealessandri YesterdayHow Women in Gaming survived its publisher’s demiseMeagan Marie explains how Crystal Dynamics stepped in after Prima Games, the original publisher of her book, shut down right after launchBy Brendan Sinclair 4 days agoLatest comments (2)John Blythe 3D Environmental Artist Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Blythe on 19th February 2021 10:13am 5Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyGil Salvado 3D/2D Artist 2 months ago Social media platforms at the moment are like classrooms without any teachers present to enforce rules and guidelines for social behaviour. Our society needs to change as well but on a global scale, though I’m afraid that will be the hardest.Thank you very much for this article Mary.last_img read more