Prominent staff at the gaming site IGN say they’ve walked out today in the wake of allegations late last week that a former editor sexually harassed two women at the company.
On Friday night, Plagge said on Twitter that while working as a social media contractor at IGN last year, she and another female employee were sexually harassed by former editor Vince Ingenito. In her tweet, and in an interview with Kotaku on Saturday, Plagge said that she saw Ingenito as a mentor but grew gradually uncomfortable when he made sexual remarks and “manipulative and abusive comments” toward her and one of her co-workers, whose name she did not want used without that woman’s permission. One example Plagge brought up on Twitter: “‘When I was your age I could go all night.’ He put his hand on my arm. ‘I just want one more night like that.’”
What bothered Plagge the most, she said during a phone call, was what happened after she and her co-worker reported the incident to IGN’s human resources department in July 2016. Plagge said that she and the other woman were told to sit and work in a glass conference room—“a fishbowl”—while IGN decided what to do. Then, Plagge said, she was forced to sign a document saying that she had conducted herself inappropriately, without being told what she had done.
“That is the worst thing about this, is not the harassment, it’s what happened after,” Plagge said. “I deeply deeply regret [contacting HR]. It was just an absolutely traumatic experience for me.”
Plagge said she felt anxious and uncomfortable at work in the coming months, until she decided in December 2016 to leave for a new job at GameSpot. “It got to the point where I couldn’t work for multiple hours a day because I was having panic attacks, so I decided to quit,” she said.