Sarkeesian on sexism in video games, and becoming a hate-target for talking about it


Mother Jones reporter Nina Liss-Schultz asked Anita Sarkeesian why she thinks she has been targeted by knuckle-dragging assholes on the internet–vicious threats, death, rape, and beatings by haters who happen to be men, and believe that women like Sarkeesian should shut up and stay out of their clubhouse.

Her reply:

"We are witnessing a very slow and painful cultural shift. Some male gamers with a deep sense of entitlement are terrified of change. They believe games should continue to cater exclusively to young heterosexual men with ever more extreme virtual power fantasies. So this group is violently resisting any movement in the direction of a more inclusive gaming space…

"I wouldn't call it a silver lining, but with more women speaking up, online harassment is beginning to be taken more seriously. Pressure is being put on services like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to take responsibility for their communities, and for news sites to have stricter moderation of their comment sections. Demands for law enforcement and government agencies to take digital threats of violence seriously are just now starting to gain wider exposure. We're also seeing a small handful of game developers and publishers who are actively exploring ways to create less-toxic online gaming environments."

The whole interview is worth reading. And don't miss her breakdown of groanworthy gaming gender tropes: "How Sexist Is Your Favorite Video Game?"

[HT: Mike Mechanic]