Above: Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency with the games she purchased as part of her research.
Image Credit: Anita Sarkeesian
Many people have tried to silence culture and gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian. In 2015, she is going to get louder.
Sarkeesian, who goes by the name Feminist Frequency online, revealed that she has two new projects in the works for this year. She will soon begin filming a series on the “men and masculinity in video games” as well as a miniseries focused on “positive female” characters. Both of these will join the ongoing Tropes vs. Women that examines how games often take shortcuts and use hurtful stereotypes when presenting women.
Sarkeesian will fund both of these projects using donations to her Feminist Frequency nonprofit organization. She started that group and filed for 501(c)3 nonprofit status last year after her successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign raised nearly $160,000 in 2012.
These videos seem like a response to common counterarguments to Sarkeesian’s series. Some people — often part of Internet hate mobs — have relentlessly pelted her with accusations that she is ignoring positive female characters or how games objectify men. While groups like GamerGate attack her verbally and threaten to kill her, Sarkeesian is coming back in a reasonable manner with these new videos.
In a statement on her Kickstarter page, Sarkeesian explained how things continue to change for her due to harassment.
“While Tropes vs. Women in Video Games was originally a project examining women’s representations,” she wrote, “the extreme harassment that I experience has become an intrinsic and inseparable part of this project, fundamentally changing my life and the landscape in which I release my videos. Gendered online harassment is not a new phenomenon, but the intensity of cybermobs, especially in gaming, is increasing in frequency and severity.”
She says that she now spends half of her time working to deal with harassment on an institutional level. This includes publicly speaking out, but it also includes working behind the scenes with organizations that can do something about the problem.
Here is an example of Sarkeesian’s public speaking when she went on The Colbert Report to talk about harassment in gaming culture:
Kickstarter is an online platform for funding creative projects. Once a project is approved by the Kickstarter team, the creator of the project must set their own goal for how much they would like to raise and a deadline to raise the m… read more »
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