Somehow a man was given an award at the European Women in Games Conference

Somehow a man was given an award at the European Women in Games Conference

Update 2: Women in Games Jobs has published a blog post about yesterday's awards, specifically the esports side of the show. 

The firm says it believes both men and women need to be involved to tackle the lack of female representation in the pro-gaming scene. 

"WIGJ believes strongly that women and men should ultimately compete together in open tournaments, but that the esports sector as a whole need to do more to break down the barriers that exist to prevent many women reaching the highest levels of competition," the organisation said.

"To do this, it is important for both women and men to work together to tackle the under-representation of women that exists in all areas of esports. Our esports awards exist to celebrate the achievements of both women and men campaigning to make esports more welcoming and inclusive."

Update 1: James Banks, the man who walked away with the Best Presenter prize from yesterday's European Women in Games Conference has given a statement to the BBC in light of posts he made on social media about women. 

Banks says he believes he can do better. 

"I can do better."

"The language I used was childish, and never intended to be anti-feminist, though I can understand the impression that they have created," he said.

"I sincerely apologise for any offence I may have caused. Having worked alongside incredible women in the space, I have always been a champion of women in esports both in-game and in-business, which shall continue.

"Esports as a whole is better off being more inclusive."

Additionally, a member of Women in Games Jobs' board has said the decision to award a man at this event was not discussed internally. 

"As a board member, I didn't approve this decision," they said.

"As far as I know, nobody on the board was consulted about giving this person an award or whether we should give it to a man. There was no discussion.

"We were told on the day. It's a serious misstep that undermines all the great work everyone does for WIGJ and overshadows the amazing conference we've just had.

"The way the organisation is run needs an overhaul and the board needs to be included in all decisions, not just some of them."

Original story: Today in games industry nonsense - a man was given an award at the European Women in Games Conference.

Esports commentator and interviewer James Banks was given the Best Presenter award. Confused about how a man can win this category at a women-centric event? Especially when there are tonnes of talented women in this sector? Yeah, honestly, same.

Organiser Women in Games Jobs has said - when asked by fellow pro-gaming presenter Frankie Ward on Twitter (below) - that he received this prize for his support for women, as well as his presenting talent. But that's not what the award appears to have been for? Plus, let's face it, supporting women should be expected behaviour in this industry in 2018, not something that is deserving of a prize. 

It seems that Banks himself did not know he was up for the award - these were being handed out to people who appeared on panels or gave talks on the day.

Either way, a man receiving and accepting an award at a show nominally meant to celebrate the achievements of women and highlight what needs to be done to improve our industry's sexist culture isn't a great look in the slightest.

Also, if we're going with the angle that Banks has done a great deal to help women, then this - now deleted - tweet about the recent debacle around streaming giant Ninja not wanting to stream with women isn't a great look, either.

We have reached out to Women in Games Jobs to try and find out more about how this happened.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.