New report details sexual harassment and gender discrimination at Nintendo of America

Nintendo is famous for having a family-friendly image and game that people of all ages can enjoy. But a report from kotaku paints a picture of a company not so different from other gaming giants that have previously been accused of promoting a “fraternity boy” workplace culture. The publication spoke to several female playtesters who shared how they were harassed by co-workers and paid less than their male counterparts.

One of kotaku The main source is a former games tester named Hannah, who was reportedly told she was less outspoken after reporting the inappropriate behavior of a full-time Nintendo employee in a workplace group chat. The employee reportedly published a copy of a Reddit post that detailed why Vaporeon was the best Pokemon to have sex with and justified why it was okay to be sexually attracted to Paimon, a Genshin Impact NPC with a childlike appearance.

Hannah, who was a contractor, also found that she was being paid $3 less than a male junior tester and struggled to get her contracting agency to agree to a raise. As a queer worker, she was subject to inappropriate comments from male colleagues whose advances she had also rejected. “Oh, you’re a lesbian. It’s kind of sad,” a much older colleague told her shortly after she started working in the company.

Hannah’s experience is similar to that of many other testers kotaku had interviewed passed. Some of them talked about how Melvin Forrest, a product test manager at Nintendo of America, “followed all the associated girls,” often commenting on their weight and looks. They said Forrest was responsible for deciding contractor schedules and who gets to return after a project, so female testers were forced to get along with him. Another contractor was hounded for months by a more experienced tester, but the well-connected perpetrator threatened to fire her if she reported him.

A common complaint between the sources was the lack of advancement opportunities. “Your chance [of being converted to full time] As a girl it was probably worse. Usually it’s boys [who get promoted]. They are usually all friends. They watch the Super Bowl together,” said a product tester who worked with us The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild said.

As kotaku noted, one of the main reasons why these problems persist is the under-representation of women in the company. Sources estimate that the percentage of female contractors testing games for Nintendo is only about 10 percent, and it’s not often that they’re turned into full-time employees. The company’s data also shows that women make up only about 37 percent of all full-time employees at Nintendo of America.

While the gaming giant didn’t respond kotaku In an internal memo, company boss Doug Bowser previously answered questions about Activision Blizzard’s sexist “frat boy” culture. “With all of you, I have been following the latest developments at Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity within the company. I find these reports disturbing and disturbing. They contradict both my values ​​and Nintendo’s beliefs, values ​​and policies,” he said.

The testers who spoke to the publication for this particular report are just a few of the contractors who recently decided to speak out against the company. Two former workers even filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing Nintendo of America of retaliation, surveillance and coercion. We’ve reached out to the company for comment and will update this story when we receive feedback.

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