Gamer Bros Have a Gamer Girlfriend Problem – VICE


Illustration: Ashley Goodall

Published in VICE, August 3 2017.

by Sammi Taylor

In 2012, the lead designer of Borderlands 2 described a playable character he had created for people who “suck at first-person shooter” games. The character was the “girlfriend” mode, he said. In other words, it was a support character. Clearly not “lead player” material.

The comment was a slap in the face for women gamers. Many already felt they weren’t taken seriously, or weren’t welcome in the gaming community, especially following GamerGate, the 2013 harassment campaign that targeted female gamers and critics (and gave troll Milo Yiannopoulos a platform as the new poster boy of the alt-right).

Now new research has emerged on the experience of the “gamer girlfriend,” that is, the experience of women who play games with their partners.

Mahli-Ann Butt, the Australian academic behind this research, says in some ways being a “gamer girlfriend” is positive: by gaming with their partners, women are often shielded from the online harassment prevalent in the gaming public. But so-called gamer girlfriends, who are often introduced to gaming by their partners, also have a history of being viewed as a sidekick to their boyfriend’s gaming, and not a player in their own right.

We asked her about all that.

Read it online at


Landmark study reveals prevalence of sexual assault at RMIT


Photo credit: RMIT University Facebook page, 2016.

Published in Catalyst Magazine, August 2 2017.

by Sammi Taylor.

Over a quarter of RMIT students experienced sexual harassment on campus in 2016, according to a national survey published yesterday.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) report is the first of its kind in Australia. Over 30,000 university students across the country were surveyed, with 579 responses from RMIT. The report reveals the full extent of sexual harassment and assault on university campuses across Australia, and highlights the past failures of academic institutions to support victim-survivors.

Read it online at

‘Who killed my mum?’ Daughter’s heartbreaking plea for Melbourne cold case justice – 9News investigation

by Jonathon Kearsley with Sammi Taylor

Aired on Nine News Melbourne, 6pm bulletin on June 10th 2017. Secondary broadcast on the TODAY show June 11th.

Worked on production of Nine News investigation into the cold case murder of Cindy Crawford. Conducted a solo, longform interview with the Crossthwaite family in Melton and assisted the online iteration of the story.

Read the story online at

The Women Sleeping Their Lives Away to Lose Weight – Broadly


Published in Broadly VICE AU, June 6 2017.

by Sammi Taylor

The “Sleeping Beauty Diet” involves the use of sleep to avoid hunger, with some advocates going as far as sedating themselves. It’s been around for decades, but the fad is still going strong on pro-anorexia blogs.

If you’re not awake, you’re not eating cake. So goes the Sleeping Beauty diet, an extreme dieting practice that pairs sedation with starvation.

Read it online at

Victims of ‘revenge porn’ most likely to be young people, RMIT study finds


Published in Catalyst Magazine, May 10 2017.

by Sammi Taylor

New research out of RMIT has revealed 1 in 5 people are victims of image-based abuse.

The first ever comprehensive study into “revenge porn” and its impacts has revealed the mass scale of victimisation across Australia, with teenagers, people with a disability, Indigenous Australians and members of the LGBTQI+ community most likely to be targeted.

Read the article online.