Despite the best efforts of some within gaming over the last few years, sexism continues to be an ongoing problem for women working at any level across the industry. The relaunch of G4TV has not been able to avoid this, with newer talent like Fiona Nova, Gina Darling, and Indiana “Froskurinn” Black regularly the target of viewers between the shows’ live chats, comment sections, and social media. However, Froskurinn took the chance to hit back at some of these viewers, and sexism across gaming, on one of the latest episodes of Xplay.
Before joining the G4 relaunch, Froskurinn was best known as a color commentator regularly covering games across the League of Legends Pro League and League European Championship. She stepped away from the LPL and LEC in January 2021, saying at the time she wanted to look into working in a managerial or development role in the games industry. It was then announced in February 2021 she had signed with G4, joining fellow esports broadcasters Ovilee May and Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez.
As mentioned, Froskurinn spoke out against the sexism she and other women at G4 had experienced since the relaunch during a segment on Xplay dubbed “The Airing of Gaming Grievances.” She admitted her original grievance was going to focus on Red Dead Online, but she decided to use her time to focus on sexism to air her frustration with some of the viewers’ “backlash” over not being as attractive as original G4 hosts Olivia Munn and Morgan Webb. Another example she gives is how she will receive “special flame just for being a woman” when she will be criticised while another host, like Adam Sessler, is not despite reading from the same script.
Froskurinn goes on to applaud the work of the team at G4, both in front and behind the camera, who are giving their all to the relaunch despite the toxicity aimed at the female-half of the team there. She also managed to fit in a shot at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive caster Duncan “Thorin” Shields, who recently came under fire for his Twitter meltdowns saying the ESL’s all-female circuit was toxic and discriminatory against men.
The comments are another, poignant example of how more people across gaming are standing up to spoken and unspoken sexism which has been part of the industry for a long time. Froskurinn’s experience with toxic viewers is one many other women, whether it is some lesser-known member of a dev team or a well-known personality like Valkyrae, have experienced professionally and personally in some manner. Up until the last few years, though, these stories were often not heard or just brushed aside while the industry simply kept moving forward with little to no meaningful change.
However, the last decade has shown a shifting mindset within the industry as women speak out about their experiences in an effort to bring about true change. The most recent example of this can be seen at Activision Blizzard, which finds itself consumed by allegations of sexism and workplace harassment reaching as high as CEO Bobby Kotick. It remains to be seen how things will unfold, but if Activision Blizzard can be hit this hard by these allegations, it may be a sign attitudes are finally moving in the right direction.