Alice Mercier isn’t the real name of the games industry veteran that reporter Josh Mattingly harassed on Facebook. She isn’t willing to give her real name, at least not publicly; she’s afraid of the professional repercussions. This is a theme that will come up again and again over the course of our interview, and every subsequent conversation: weighing the toll of harassment against the cost of confronting it.
Last week, an abridged screencap of Mercier and Mattingly’s Facebook conversation made its way around social media and thengaming news sites. It’s shocking and uncomfortable to read: a stark illustration of the kind of treatment of women in the games industry that gets glossed over or discussed in general terms, but rarely gets exposed in so raw and ugly a form.
Mattingly asks Mercier—her name and face blurred out—for a lead on a project in development at another studio. They make some polite small talk. And then, suddenly, he starts offering to kiss her vagina. She tries to steer the conversation back on track and ignores his sexual comments; he escalates them.
Screencaps and the full story are at the link. Don’t read the comments unless you want to get a headache from rolling your eyes.