Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

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! ^_^

Moving on

So, the journey of being harassed, and communicating with the server owner at Evocraft has come to an end. Now what?

Well, first of all, the server now has the rules listed when one joins, and require a player to accept them to gain access to certain features of the server. The screen shot shows the interface:

I think that is a step in the right direction, and I like to think I had something to do with it. It is reaffirming to me that the way to enact positive change is by speaking up and discussing an issue.

Redstone is a gateway circuitry

The other thing that I am happy to share is feen.ca. Unfortunately, my timing isn’t great, since according to the information page on Reddit (edit: and an updated post), “the power supply committed suicide. everything’s down until I get another PSU now :(“.

Anyhow, Malmater and I have been playing there for about a week or so, and we are having a blast. It isn’t PvP or survival like the other server, but it still allows for a great amount of expression. I’ve met some cool people, and we actually spent time showing off our creations to each other. It is a completely different experience, of course. ^_^

I found it because I told Judy that I was looking for a civil server, and I might as well look for one that is explicitly LGBT-friendly. She pointed me to that info page and I was able to contact the server owner and get playing.

I would wear a dress

Aside from that, over the weekend the news hit about the LAN party that is prohibiting women from attending, based on their idea that women are treated poorly by the other participants (or some such nonsense; read Lesley’s post, it is an excellent breakdown).

Of course there is frustration, and even heartbreak, upon hearing this, but I see it as a Bat-signal. We have an opportunity to discuss this now, and we as gamers shouldn’t pass up this chance. I am sure there will be emotions running hot, and a lot more frustration, but this is important. And if you are curious about what some other people are saying on the subject, may I point you to the gaming article on Geek Feminism Wiki?

And remember, the first move of the conventional person will be an attempt to invalidate and shutdown the conversation. Don’t lose your voice! Be bold! And if you need, contact me; there are places I know of where your voice will ring loud and clear. ^_^