7 Minutes with Brianna Wu
In the past six months, Brianna Wu has become a central figure and a loud voice against the harassment of women in the game sector, or more specifically GamerGate.
#Gamergate started out as a movement to speak up against the ethics of video game journalism. Unfortunately, this hashtag movement quickly manifested into a hateful viral campaign that has repeatedly and consistently terrorized, harassed , and targeted outspoken women in the gaming industry.
Brianna showed her power in this moment. Instead of backing away when the hate mail and death threats intensified, Brianna’s voice only became louder as she continued to champion for women’s rights in the tech sector, a feat that is indicative of her fierce and tenacious character.
Brianna is not just a central figure in one of the biggest scandals to shed light on the misogynistic and archaic values held by many in the gaming industry. More than this, she is a proponent of women’s equality, a highly skilled game developer, an entrepreneur, and an incredibly funny and down to earth person.
Here’s 7 Questions in 7 Minutes with Brianna Wu:
Q: Tell me an interesting fact about yourself
A: I love to run. I actually beat Final Fantasy 13 while running on the treadmill!
Q: What is your philosophy towards your work?
A: The environment that I created with Giant Spacekat is something that I’m really proud of. We treat everyone with so much respect. For example, a woman we recently hired was nervous that because she was pregnant she wouldn’t get the job. But I believe in creating a workspace that’s true to my values. We hire people that we can invest in. Great work comes out of passion and empowering your employees.
Q: Who do you look up to and why?
A: Steve Jobs has a huge influence on me. I connect with him on so many levels. We have the same personality type (ENTJ) and we were both adopted. I feel empowered by his leadership with Apple. I also admire Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian. They show me that it’s important to stand your ground. That kind of integrity is respectable.
Q: What’s a women’s equality issue you’re working to improve?
I’m working to improve hiring practices in the industry. In tech, many people have the destructive idea that simply having a woman on the team means that “diversity is done”. To me, equality is when half the team are women, but the industry fails to understand that. When we hire more women, the problems we have in the tech industry will be gone.
Q: How do you define success and what do you use to measure it?
A: I feel successful doing work that I’m passionate about. Every day I remember that my time is limited, and I ask myself if I really made the most of that day. Revolution 60 is a product that I’m incredibly proud of. It is a product that I believe in. I may not get paid all the time, but I’m making a difference and I’m proud. I feel amazing working for a cause I believe in and making the most of my time.
Q: What do you love about yourself?
A: When I get an idea, I make it happen. I grew up in Mississippi, the poorest state, but my parents were millionaires. It was an interesting dichotomy. My parents bought me computers and a PlayStation dev. They were really awesome in encouraging me to learn whatever I wanted and they pushed me to go ahead and pursue it. Before Revolution 60, I never shipped a game, but I learned and eventually won four game awards. I’m just make things happen.
Q: If you could impart one piece of advice to Women’s iLab readers, what would it be?
A: I believe that women are more emotionally aware and introspective than men. I believe that our increased emotional awareness causes us to doubt ourselves and I know so many talented women that suffer with feeling that they don’t belong here. I want all women to know that there’s never a more perfect time to chase your dreams and believe in yourself. My simple message would be, “I believe in you and you can do anything you need to do. Don’t hold yourself back!”
Even though the world is telling you that you can’t do this, do it anyways. If you try, every woman will be standing beside you. I will be standing beside you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: HONG CHUNG
Shoe lover. Food enthusiast. Travel aficionado. Currently located in the hub of the universe, Boston! A rising graduate from Suffolk University with a double major in Marketing and Information Systems- my passions reside in doing work that is both creative but technical. Not often without my trusty smartphone, feel free to connect with me via my numerous social media channels. I can’t say no to a great brunch and a great conversation with a wonderful stranger!