Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

June 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

I am a dork, I forgot to mention this until I was just reminded… by the message thanking me for funding the project.

Anyhow, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games is a web video series by Anita Sarkeesian, the person running Feminist Frequency. It is important to me, because by examining these tropes, we have a tool to expose people to what they mean, and give us a chance create new and positive ideas that encourage equality, as well as just being more creative.

There are a lot of great projects on Kickstarter, but this one was in particularly interesting and disturbing. You can read the full post on the harassment Sarkeesian received, here is an excerpt:

The intimidation and harassment effort has included a torrent of misogyny and hate speech on my YouTube video, repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me, organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded. Thankfully, Kickstarter has been incredibly supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service.

The sad thing is this kind of backlash happens all the time whenever women dare to speak up about gender and video games.

That is unacceptable! It is difficult enough to have an active voice and share in a culture that marginalizes your contribution by default, but this is so over the top, it is painful to hear. In order to improve our collective quality of life, it is essential that we are able to hear everyone’s voice. This cast the broad and diverse gaming community is a shameful light, mostly because all the chilled folks are having fun and increasing their hand-eye coordination, rather than spewing hate speech at people.

Anyhow, be on the lookout for these videos, and next time I will be better about posting early enough for you to support a great project like this! ^_^

2 responses to Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

  1. As difficult and frustrating as it must have been to endure attacks like this, in some sense this is encouraging, because it means that something as overtly innocuous as a careful analysis of the functions of women in video games is incredibly threatening to certain groups of people. Hegemony is a useful concept for me, and knowledge like this threatens the hegemony of people that benefit from the current distribution of power between genders. What I’m saying basically, is, that the backlash is like proof that Sarkeesian is on the right track.

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