Kotaku: Nintendo of America’s female testers faced a “frat house” environment, including sexual harassment

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The work environment at Nintendo of America has come under a lot of criticism recently, mainly due to the company’s attempts to prevent employees from unionizing. Unfortunately, Kotaku released a report that this isn’t just a union buster that Nintendo of America did. This time it’s the company’s game testers.

Although these game testers were hired by Aerotek, which was later reorganized into Aston Carter, they did their jobs at Nintendo of America headquarters and interacted with Nintendo’s full-time employees. According to Kotaku, “nintendoThe careers page indicated that approximately 25% of the positions advertised for its North American headquarters were contract”.

Unfortunately, several game testers claim that some Nintendo of America employees, including full-time employees who are not under contract with any third party, have sexually harassed them in various ways. Complaints include harassment, unwanted and inappropriate comments, and inappropriate advances.

While not everyone accused of this behavior is named, Nintendo of America Product Testing Department Head Melvin Forrest and Nintendo of America Product Tester Eric Bush are both directly mentioned as doing part of the people involved in this behavior. Some of the unnamed employees also include full-time Nintendo employees and other Aerotek contractors. According to one game tester, an anonymous Nintendo of America employee “was constantly making really rude jokes and comments, but he was everyone’s friend there.”

There are also allegations of sexism, with female game testers less likely to be recruited by Nintendo of America as full-time employees than males. Women also do not benefit from career advancement. One game tester even noted that “after working at Nintendo for nine years, she discovered that a more junior male contractor in her testing department was making $19 an hour when she was making $16”. Kotaku also says that “one woman said she stayed at the same base salary for six years until she got a higher offer elsewhere and threatened to leave. Another woman was offered double her current salary when she worked for another company.” A video game tester also complains about favoritism and cronyism.

Unfortunately, lesbian game testers received an extra layer of mistreatment. Complaints include inappropriate comments and inappropriate advances even after being told about the victim’s sexuality. A lesbian game tester mentions that “during breaks, she and another tester she was dating held hands. She says an Aerotek supervisor called them into the contracts office and reprimanded them for violating the agency’s ‘no-touching policy’, which was rarely enforced for heterosexual couples showing affection at the desk “.

This “brotherhood” environment, which a former game tester who worked on Zelda: Breath Of The Wild described as, wasn’t a brief thing either. This behavior is reported by various game testers as far back as 2009 and as recently as 2020. Nintendo management even received a letter last February from a dozen game testers from Lotcheck, which “perform final performance checks games on Nintendo consoles”. asking Nintendo’s management to “improve working conditions for testers,” calling the department a “dangerous and uncomfortable environment for testers.”

Unfortunately, not only Nintendo of America and Aerotek did very little to stop this behavior, if anything. But even reporting the bad behavior was risky because, as one game tester explained, “we didn’t say anything because if you [did], you have been called hypersensitive”. The stalking victim says the stalker threatened to have them fired if they reported his behavior. Another game tester said people who made her feel uncomfortable “also asked me not to go to HR about it because I would ‘misinterpret'”, making me feel guilty about my own faintness”.

As for the present, it is unknown. A current game tester, via Kotaku, states that “HR in the building where most of Nintendo’s full-time employees work is actively trying to ‘advance diversity and inclusion’ within NOA.” She also acknowledged that “each of the various buildings associated with Nintendo[’s Redmond campus] all are [a] little microcosm…there’s not as much chance of meeting people from other parts of the business”. Kotaku contacted representatives from Nintendo, Aerotek, and Aston Carter about the whole thing, but never received a response.

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Article source https://mynintendonews.com/2022/08/17/kotaku-nintendo-of-americas-female-testers-faced-a-frat-house-environment-including-sexual-harassment/

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