A few events in the last few weeks made me feel like I needed to revive this blog to something; responses in the tech media have only reinforced that feeling. I'm speaking about events like the naming and shaming of PyCon attendees who were helping foster the hostile environment women in the tech industry already know too well. Or the party, co-sponsored by the IGDA that should be fighting on behalf of game developers and future game developers to have an inclusive and safe industry and profession.
Regarding the ethics of naming and shaming, Dr. Stemwedel wrote an interesting analysis over at Scientific American. My own personal take is this: naming and shaming is a tool mostly for seeking justice. It seems most widely used when other, better avenues, are not available. It can be used to help bring about equality by publicizing the misdeeds that otherwise wouldn't be judged fairly in courts, it can also be a tool to further oppress people rightfully protected by the courts.
When folks like myself who enjoy a lot of privilege in the industry and in society try to insist that naming and shaming should never happen, we are also insisting that people with relatively few recourses be kept that way. However, it's still just a tool. We can choose to help build a society and an industry where these are moot points. To borrow someone else's analogy, we need to get rid of the cat food factory awaiting minorities and women (among others) who try to join the supposed meritocracy of the tech industry. A lot of people think the game industry, as a mostly-microcosm of the tech industry, is full of weird people and total acceptance of 'different.' I'd say that's true as long as your basic similarities start off with being white and male.
Note: comments are still open, and still subject to post facto moderation, on this post as any other. If conversations around the 'Net are any indication, I'm going to have to be a bit more active in that regard on this post than usual. Don't try to spew filth and hatred on my site.