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Crime Games Your Rights Online

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls 1262

Sonny Yatsen writes: Anita Sarkeesian, the creator of Tropes vs. Women — a video series exploring negative tropes and misogynistic depictions of women in video games — reports that she has been driven from her home after a series of extremely violent sexual threats made against her. Her videos have previously drawn criticism from many male gamers, often coupled with violent imagery or threats of violence. The Verge story linked has this to say: The threats against Sarkeesian have become a nasty backdrop to her entire project — and her life. If the trolls making them hoped for attention, they've gotten it. They've also inexorably linked criticism of her work, valid or not, with semi-delusional vigilantism, and arguably propelled Tropes vs. Women to its current level of visibility. If a major plank of your platform is that misogyny is a lie propagated by Sarkeesian and other "social justice warriors," it might help to not constantly prove it wrong.
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

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  • Here we go again (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2014 @10:53AM (#47774095)

    Yes the subject is uncomfortable and no she isn't completely correct. Her arguments open to plenty of valid criticism that the female gender is not always misused in video games.

    The problem is and will always be a reactionary subset of people who cannot be peer pressured into behaving like sane human beings on the Internet. You don't respond to a feminist critique by sending her death threats.

  • by Rurik ( 113882 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @10:54AM (#47774099)

    Trolling against her proves many of her points. Many take trolling as a sport to revel in their anonymity, but the threatening comments are extreme.

    In my opinion, her videos are, in places, poorly researched with many leaps of logic mixed with heavy opinions. But, they still contain very valid points and can be civilly debated.

    Evolve, people. At least keep the trolling to a respectable severity.

  • by Sonny Yatsen ( 603655 ) * on Thursday August 28, 2014 @10:58AM (#47774133) Journal

    It seems to me that the first few comments made to Slashdot about this story is indicative of the problem at large. The first comments (made by anonymous cowards) immediately conjectured that Sarkeesian is to blame, that she concoted the death threats as a publicity stunt.

    You must ask yourself honestly : Why is it, when faced with stories like this, is your first instinct to claim that the woman lied or made it up?

  • Re:Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @10:59AM (#47774151) Homepage

    The topic, which you might get if you read the summary, is that she's received credible death threats. Do you think it's okay for people to receive death threats when they say something you don't agree with? E.g., was it okay when they put a price on Salman Rushdie's head?

  • by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:02AM (#47774173)
    I do not personally know of any specific corroboration of this event. However i personally know one female who has told me that she's seen harassment at her job in the game industry. A large number of other females that i don't personally know have reported being harassed either while working in the game industry or while playing games. (Not to mention in a lot of other situations not involving games at all.) A number of males have corroborated a number of those accusations. Joss Whedon was told he should kill himself because he retweeted Sarkeesian.

    So either there's a massive conspiracy to create the appearance of problem where this is none, or women get harassed a lot, as do a lot of men that try to support them (though usually not to the same degree.) And the problem seems to be exacerbated when they try to get involved in gamer or geek culture. (Or at least i am more aware of it in that case.)

    Which means that there's plenty of circumstantial evidence supporting her statement. I'm certainly willing to accept it at face value unless there's some hard evidence presented to disprove it.
  • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:02AM (#47774175)

    You must ask yourself honestly : Why is it, when faced with stories like this, is your first instinct to claim that the woman lied or made it up?

    Because they identify with her tormentors.

  • Re:Her work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:06AM (#47774235) Homepage Journal

    There's this relatively conflation of negative female stereotypes and feminists among MRA types that helps drive this. So they like to take all the bad things old-school misogynists about women, and pretend it's just true of (all) feminists.

    "Emotionally manipulative liars" is one of those old school stereotypes about women, and so AC here takes that typification, and extrapolates it onto Sarkeesian without any sort of evidence to bear out that she's actually like that. It's sad that some people become tentatively aware of gender issues, and immediately turn that into overwhelming sexism.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:07AM (#47774243)
    Really? She insulted a whole gender? I'm male, and last i checked she hadn't said anything that insulted me. And that's aside from the whole point that death threats are an entirely different kettle of fish from just insults.

    "I disagree with your argument, your points are stupid and you are an idiot" is not the same as "I am going to come over to to your house and rape you and kill you."
  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:07AM (#47774249) Homepage
    Or, you know, you might do a little introspection on the fact that a criticism is not an insult, and perhaps there are more than a few grains of truth in what she might have to say.
  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:08AM (#47774251) Homepage
    Obviously such behavior is abhorrent, but it doesn't do to claim that most people that fit in any category are psychos publicly and then be surprised when a few people exibit the behavior and say essentially: See that proves it!. I could easily say all republican are, or all democrates are $INSERT_VOLATILE_CLAIM and then act surprised when a few of them behave that way and say "See! I told you so!", and it would be a similiarly foul conclusion.

    News flash: A lot of people who play video games are immature and / or kids, and a subset of them will behave in this manner when provoked.

    The only conclusion that can be drawn from this, assuming it happened as described, is: "Hey, this is what happened". Anyone surprised it happened doesn't understand the human race at all. It was pretty much guaranteed to happen.
  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:09AM (#47774257) Journal

    I don't believe they can be civilly debated at all.

    Well, no. Not with you and the reason is you are clearly very very bigoted:

    Modern day feminists are not rational.

    There, you've made a gross generalisation about a whole group of people and therefore this one in particular. It is not possible to debate with *you* on this topic because instead of listening to her videos and bringing up points to disagree with you launched into:

    $PERSON is of $GENERAL_CATEGORY. I assert that $GENERAL_CATEGORY is unreasonable in some way and cannot be reasoned with. Therefore $PERSON cannot be reasoned with.

    The only person who cannot be reasoned with is *you*.

  • Just tell them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:09AM (#47774263) Homepage Journal

    You must ask yourself honestly : Why is it, when faced with stories like this, is your first instinct to claim that the woman lied or made it up?

    Come on, we all know why it is. Just fucking tell them. Tell them that it's their first instinct because they don't want to believe that they could be part of the problem, however slightly. Tell them that they don't want to believe that people they know and call friends are actually acting like complete shitbags. Tell them that you know that they've been hurt, that they feel worthless and useless and powerless, and that you know they feel more powerful and thus more worthy and useful when they make someone else feel even worse about themselves.

    And then tell them that the only way that they're ever going to feel better is by helping to create a world where we don't just shit all over one another. Because you've got to tie it into their self-interest.

    Naturally, most of them won't listen right away. But perhaps eventually, after continuing to try making the world shittier as a way of making it a nicer place to live, they will start watching where they shit.

  • by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:10AM (#47774279) Homepage
    The sad thing is that a lot of serious trolls aren't 13 year olds. They're 40 year olds, with kids and wives who you think would have some brains, but sadly still seem to get off on just being miserable pricks.
  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:11AM (#47774289) Homepage

    Huh. I'm male, and I didn't feel insulted. I am also concerned about the issues she raised, and support her exploration of them, although I do not always agree with her conclusions. Why is it "insulting the entire gender" to say "gosh, you might want to consider whether using dead female bodies posed in necrophilic-erotic positions is really a healthy or appropriate thing to do." Personally I find it insulting to my gender that the creators of the game thing I would willingly tolerate such imagery. Essentially what the game producers are saying is "men are brutes with no compassion, let's pander to that." It's disgusting and insulting.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:11AM (#47774291) Homepage Journal

    And, of course, she didn't do that. She insulted some common lazy writing and setting shortcuts that are used in fiction that also (sometimes) happen to be rather sexist.

    There's no war on men, and in her latest series(I can't remember her older work perfectly, I seem to recall it's true there too, but let's keep it recent) she never makes even one even vaguely oblique reference to men as a collective. Not one. Neither positive or negative. She talks about assumptions of male audiences a bit, but that's clearly in reference to the thought processes of the developers.

    Don't mistake this as an endorsement of her points all being correct, just none of them are this gendered insult strawman you're using to excuse inexcusable behavior.

  • Slashdot too huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:13AM (#47774317)

    This is EVERYWHERE amongst gaming circles right now, it's really hit the goddamned fan.

    There's this line drawn in the sand and both camps are insisting you MUST be either on side A or side B, there's no middle ground.

    Let it be known, trolls threatening people or harassing them is lame, it's stupid and they deserve mockery. No one should have to endure that.
    The vast vast majority of the politically correct camp, arguing for equality are certainly correct.

    However,... much like religion and many other things in life, there are hardcore fundamentalist type nutcases hijacking things. Pushing it to the extreme.
    If you're a gamer who keeps your finger on the pulse, be it forums, podcasts, news articles, etc, you may have noticed there always seems to be someone, somewhere looking for a reason to find a flaw with what is being said, specifically to the political correctness of it. Something being said is offending someone. It honestly comes across to me like there's some kind of merit badge for being the most guilty, "No,.. no it's *ME*! I'm the one most aware of these issues and *I'm* the most offended on behalf of X Y or Z demographic"
    These people then go on to belittle others and they are endlessly finding new ways to be offended, they've been labelled "SJW's" and honestly I hate to say it but it's a fitting description for some of these people.

    I listened to a recent Eat-Sleep-Game podcast about 6 months back and one of the people on that, who is, well infamous for his excessive guilt tripping (mainly of himself) was discussing something regarding a game with a fellow journalist, something was said and he basically said something along the lines of "well that was clearly due to racism" (or sexism or homophobia) or some such. The problem was, what was said wasn't, it had nothing to do with it, it was completely off the cuff. You could basically hear the person he was talking it with do a o_O wtf. (sorry I don't recall finer specifics) This endless race to be *THE* best person and endlessly thinking about X Y or Z agenda.

    I don't know where the line gets drawn, it seems any little thing is promoting "rape culture" or sexism or some such. I don't want to offend people, I genuinely, honestly do not want to - I don't want to be ignorant and just point and laugh or say stupid things. However I feel like the goalposts are constantly moving. What's not sexist according to politically correct group A, may be a "trigger" for politically correct group B and therefore I'm some kind of scum.

    I really tire of reading my twitter feed and feeling guilty, or feeling like I'm supposed to feel guilty about something or other.
    This post may read like I'm either condoning the actions of the idiot harassers or at least sympathising with them. I'm not. I can say I feel frustrated posting online for fear that *something* I say will offend someone, I'm expressing the frustration through anxiety, keeping my mouth shut and avoiding discussion about the topic. I'm not exploding at people, I'm not threatening, I'm hot even REMOTELY condoning the behaviour of those attacking others. I'm simply saying both sides aren't perfect.

    It's not often I post using anonymous on slashdot but on this topic, I have no choice, because it seems, you're with or against us, I can't begin to argue in any way that hey, maybe both sides are being a bit nutty, unless I outright 100% admit, NOPE YOU GUYS ARE 100% RIGHT AND THEY ARE EVIL or some such. Honestly this is now worse than politics.

    I've got no doubt this post will offend someone somehow, there's no intention to, I don't take delight in offending whoever you are, I'm sorry it offends you. All I can say is, I'm not surprised someone, somewhere is offended, that's life, you can't be everything to everyone.

    God help us slashdot, please take note of dupe news articles though and please let us only discuss this particular event the once this month, I can't take much more of this, it's killing the internet.

  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Agares ( 1890982 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:14AM (#47774347) Journal
    The fact that these threats have been made is more than enough to prove her point. Not all of us men are bad, but there are plenty of stupid males that I have known that add fuel to this fire and show that there is at least some truth to it. It is my fellow men like these ones that really make me mad, and I wonder why any of them would treat a woman like this. I do think that some feminists go over board since some think all men are bad, however there are perfectly reasonable ones as well who get harrased and threatened like this poor lady.
  • by kick6 ( 1081615 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:17AM (#47774371) Homepage

    And of course they are all posting as "Anonymous Coward."

    But of course. No one wants to risk getting Eich'ed or doxxed because they don't toe the SJW/leftoid/women-as-perpetual-victim line. And yes...I'm posting this with my username. I'm sure some extremist feminist will dox me as has been seen to be the "best defense is a good offense" approach to dealing with said transgressions in the Zoe Quinn case.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:18AM (#47774389)

    >liar and an attention seeker

    aka "every human being ever"

  • by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:18AM (#47774391) Homepage

    I don't believe they can be civilly debated at all. Modern day feminists are not rational. My feminist professors in school very clearly, openly and without fear, gave extreme preference to the women in class. It was out in the open for all to see, but because almost every professor was a women, every administrator etc on up the chain, they could operate with impunity.

    Yeah, hi that's called "Existing every damn day as a woman" everywhere outside of feminist classes in college. The sad thing is you notice it sucks, but you don't connect that it sucks when guys do it to women. Not that all men walk around planning how to keep the ladies down, it's more insidious than that because the majority of the time we just don't think about it at all. That's how games get released with no female character options, or female NPC's with redonkulous boobs, because the guys making the game just never put in a second to think "how will women, who are a huge factor in life, think about this".

    I don't wish harm on this woman, but I honestly don't give a rats ass that she is being threatened. She and her kind do more harm to men in this country than anyone else and subsequently more harm to women with their chicken little calls of intolerance and mysogyny. I no longer listen to women that complain about it precisely because of this woman and her ilk. It's all just noise now like calls of racism from Al Sharpton.

    Okay, right there you've just justified every bad feminist example that you whine about. You are the problem.

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:19AM (#47774407) Homepage Journal

    Honestly, no, I don't entirely think that's it. I mean, obviously tribalisism is part of it. She's the outgroup, the threateners are the ingroup. But it's also genuine sexism.

    I know, I know,. You're not allowed to accuse people of being sexist or racist behaviors, because it's like an ad hominem, and you're a social justice warrior, or whatever.

    But bear in mind the "lies about being harmed in order to manipulate" thing is a stereotype about women that misogynistic fucks absolutely love. So they see a woman making that accusation, the stereotype activates in their mind, and they immediately apply it to the current situation.

  • Re:Her work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:20AM (#47774421)

    Did you ever notice that in every commercial the dad is the stupid one?

    That the white guy is always the burglar?

    That the mom is always the smart savior?

    I am really ok with the fact that men are not the weakest and stupidest characters in a video game.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:20AM (#47774423) Homepage Journal

    It's reasonable to expect all people to refrain from credibly threatening the lives of others.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:20AM (#47774439) Journal

    Thanks for proving my point

    Your point was that you haven't read anything by this person, can't quote anything by her and yet dismiss everything she has to say. I'm glad that you agree that I proved my point that you're a raging bigot.

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:22AM (#47774461) Journal
    Why is it, when faced with stories like this, is your first instinct to claim that the woman lied or made it up?

    For the same reason when a woman is raped they immediately blame her for getting herself in that situation.

    She shouldn't have gotten drunk.

    She shouldn't have worn that short skirt.

    She shouldn't have been walking alone at night.

    I once worked with a guy who said if a girl in college got raped when she was drunk it was her fault, except of course if it was his daughter in which case he'd shoot the guy.

    There will always be those who will blame the women just because they can, without considering any other option because their mindset is such that women are always to blame.
  • by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:22AM (#47774465) Homepage

    She posts stuff on the internet, of course she seeks attention. But then, you posted a comment on a popular message board, so you're an attention seeker too!

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deathguppie ( 768263 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:24AM (#47774487)
    I personally have been somewhat critical of Sarkeesian, but hearing this really makes me feel bad. I would never want anything like that to happen to anyone, and I hope things get better for her. Even if I think she's a bit nutty she should have the right to speak her mind without threats of violence.
  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:26AM (#47774521) Homepage

    If any member of the gender is not insulted, the entire gender was not insulted. And honestly, the idea that an appreciable subset of members of the gender would feel insulted by her videos is insulting to the gender, because it is an actual gender stereotype, directed at all members of the gender. Whereas her videos did not engage in gender stereotyping at all, but rather criticized specific game tropes in a way that was entirely compassionate and respectful of that same gender. IOW, she did not say "these tropes work on men, so men suck." She said "these tropes work on men, and promote an attitude toward women that is unnatural and not normal for men." So I would say she's being a lot more generous toward the gender than you are.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:27AM (#47774535)

    Yes, even don't send them death threats.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:27AM (#47774539) Journal

    Your agreement or disagreement is irrelevant. Death threats break the law and can be punished by jail time. Whether you agree or disagree has no bearing on that.

  • by TangoMargarine ( 1617195 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:27AM (#47774549) Journal

    See about a million youtube discussions thereof for extensive evidence.

    How about I just stab myself in the eye with a fork instead. It would be a lot faster and marginally less painful.

  • Re:Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:28AM (#47774553) Homepage Journal

    How about we agree that stereotypes of any sort in fiction hurt people, and not let that be a fucking excuse for this case of stereotyping real people.

  • Re: Her work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:31AM (#47774585) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, and thus we throw those who go too far in jail. This is kinda how living in a society works. There are limits.

  • by digsbo ( 1292334 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:34AM (#47774611)
    Yes, and, I think it is an interesting thought experiment to take that small minority of bad actors from Ferguson who rioted, and see what would happen if we publicly blamed ALL the black protesters for their actions. Then you can see how silly it is, to say we have a "culture of misogyny", when really we just have some individual people who act in an antisocial and sometimes illegal manner. Blame the offenders, not some arbitrary group they are part of.
  • by firex726 ( 1188453 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:34AM (#47774619)

    Actually she has a history of lying.

    Remember her Bayonetta video? She took it down after being called out by people becuase she had never even played the game before analyzing it; she went off the trailer and box art.

    And then there was the whole calling herself a gamer when right before that she said she had no interest in games and would not want to play them.

    And of course her common tactic of misrepresenting quotes from game industry people if it'll further her agenda.

  • by Yunzil ( 181064 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:46AM (#47774747) Homepage

    You must ask yourself honestly : Why is it, when faced with stories like this, is your first instinct to claim that the woman lied or made it up?

    Because years of experience on the Internet has made it so that my first instinct is always to think that a story is a lie or a fabrication no matter the sex of the person involved.

  • by kbg ( 241421 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:47AM (#47774761)

    That's how games get released with no realistic male character options, or male NPC's with redonkulous muscles, because the guys making the game just never put in a second to think "how will men, who are a huge factor in life, think about this".

    See what I did there?

  • Jeez. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by therealkevinkretz ( 1585825 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:50AM (#47774797)

    I think this over-the-top PC trend is mostly shallow self-crongratulatory (or self-flagellating) mental masturbation - and the groups engaging in it are in their own feedback loop, in frenzied agreement with each other. It's like blaming domestic volence on old silent movies where the good guy saves the woman ties to the railroad tracks.


    Threats and intimidation are wholly unacceptable responses to pretty much *any* idea or (non-violent) opinion or position. Such a response to something that might seem shallow and silly is not only unacceptable, but has the unintended consequence of giving credibility to the silliness.

  • by jmhysong ( 1560115 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:56AM (#47774865) Homepage

    I found her Youtube channel about a month ago and watched a number of her videos. They were informative, entertaining, and well written. I didn't see anything that I disagreed with and thought she was spot on in many cases. It is ridiculous that she has to suffer abuse for just stating the obvious, that there flaws with the way women are depicted in media and video games.

    Anyone who gets so defensive about a video game they didn't develop or take any part in really needs to re-evaluate their mental health.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2014 @11:59AM (#47774887)

    So anonymity is great if you are a battered wife, rape victim, or acid attack victim. But if it is just a case of your opinion not being popular then you no longer deserve it?

  • by Karganeth ( 1017580 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:02PM (#47774933)

    Why is it, when faced with stories like this, is your first instinct to claim that the woman lied or made it up?

    Iti s not because a woman wrote it, its because SARKEESIAN wrote it. FYI she's a fucking professional flamebaiter. She riles people up by creating the most offensive and inflammtry, and MISLEADING videos then cries to the press "help, people are being mean to me". She asked for it and she got it. She WANTS this publicity because it further helps her continue this cycle of bullshit. Do your homework on her before being a SJW (ending your 'people be being mean to her because she woman' ) and you will quickly understand the hatred for her.

  • Re: Her work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kielistic ( 1273232 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:05PM (#47774959)

    I think the issue most people have with her "work" is that for every "[hooker] being abused or murdered" there are orders of magnitude more men being abused and murdered. When Jack Thompson brought up all the killing in video games and said they were bad he was run out of town. Slashdot and the whole of the gaming community rejoiced. But now that the focus is on women it is all of a sudden something worth considering.

    Also the fact that she deliberately does these things that are possible in a game but not encouraged or central in any way and paints them as centre-points to the narrative.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by M1FCJ ( 586251 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:07PM (#47774991) Homepage

    You are free to criticize her, you are not free to issue death or rape threats. It's that simple.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:08PM (#47775001)

    I'm a professional game developer and a life-long gamer, so perhaps it's fair to say that I've got as vested an interest in videogames as most. I've got fond memories of many "saving the princess" games, which of course she takes issue with. Is that really worth such outrage?

    I'm fine with having our industry challenged from time to time. For example, there are worse things in gaming than a "save the princess" plot device, but let's face it, feminist issue aside, it's a horribly cliched trope that could stand to be re-examined. Even if you don't agree with her, I think she raises some interesting points of discussion. I'm watching some of her videos right now actually, and am actually finding them fairly interesting. A direct quote from her video:

    This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it's both possible and even necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it's more problematic or pernicious aspects.

    It takes a certain moral fortitude to listen to criticism of something you care deeply about. Game developers deal with this all the time when a reviewer writes a scathing review of the game you just spent the last two years of your life working on, or when gamers casually dismiss the problems you've spilled blood and tears to solve. It's really hard to put your ego and indignity aside and ask how you could have improved your product rather than lashing out at the one criticizing your work.

    It's not like I'm really expecting the general public to restrain from criticism and outright name calling, but I seriously wish it wouldn't devolve to the level of death threats.

  • by Jiro ( 131519 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:09PM (#47775009)

    Mod this up please...

  • Re:Her work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:11PM (#47775035)
    I would rather have people spend less time finding ways to be professionally offended.
  • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:12PM (#47775047) Homepage
    Um, it doesn't matter. It may not be appropriate for a woman to stand there fully naked in the middle of the street, but that still doesn't make it OK for anyone to do anything to her (other than ask if she needs assistance or call the police to deal with the situation).
  • misogyny? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:13PM (#47775067) Journal

    Threatening a misandrist social injustice warrior is not misogyny.

    Shit, I've been threatened online. It wasn't misandry. So stop making this a fucking gender thing and treat it as the simple stupid criminal behaviour that it is.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:16PM (#47775103)

    If you mean in the sense that you can understand what makes religious extremists irrationally angry about some perceived slight, or what makes a mass murderer kill so many people, then sure.

    Often "understand" is taken to mean that you believe there's a rational line of thought behind it. But I hope you mean you understand that some people do utterly despicable things for irrational reasons, and you have some idea what their triggers are. If so, I can get agree with that, I suppose.

  • Re:Her work (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:25PM (#47775241)


    What I am saying is that the world is controlled right now by politically correct, professionally offended people. Everything everywhere is a stereotype.

    Most decent people that are not praying on the simple for the existence of their jobs move on about their lives. You just do not see a bunch of men with real jobs and families to raise waste their time bitching about the horrors of ADT commercials.

    90% of the time you see a person standing up yelling about inequality you can bet that the person doing the yelling is profiting off dividing people and pitching them against each other. Governments entire job right now is putting people into groups and getting them to hate each other while the whole time the politicians use it to gather more power for themselves.

    What people should do is join their communities, use their communities instead of laws to fix the issues in their communities and be as responsible as they can be for their families, their friends and their neighbors. When 60 or 70% of us are doing this in an ongoing basis most of our other problems go away.

    Though it is easier by far to stick a letter or a label on everyone you meet and judge them by that and then instead of getting involved to fix problem you see you can just look to your matching letters and tell them to pass a law to fix it. When it is not fixed you can then look to the letter that is not on you nad blame it on all the people with that damned letter.

  • Re:Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:27PM (#47775261)
    Because video games do not have "brutal depictions of violence against men?"
  • Re:Her work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:29PM (#47775297) Journal

    What people should do is join their communities, use their communities instead of laws to fix the issues in their communities and be as responsible as they can be for their families, their friends and their neighbors.

    Is this not exactly what Sarkeesian is doing? She seems to have garnered significant influence with notable game makers in the community.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:30PM (#47775307) Homepage

    Again you are completely missing the point she was making and the point of this slashdot article. The point she was making is that women in the games she's reviewing are uniformly depicted in these sexualized death poses and sexualized death scenes, and men are not depicted that way. That is gender stereotyping. And the point of TFA is that whether you agree with her about this or not, it's not a reason to threaten her and her parents with torture and death.

  • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:31PM (#47775319)

    Blame is a poor choice of words, but there are definitely activities that cause your probability of being the victim of crime to improve dramatically. If I walked down Harlem yelling racial slurs, I'd have a better chance of getting shanked or shot than say the middle of Austria where'd they just think you're nuts and lock you in an assylum.

    I'm not saying its right or not, but life choices can and do lead to consequences. Do we want to live in a better society where women don't feel afraid to walk down the street at night? Absolutely. Are we there yet now? Not for most of the world. So to -blame- a woman for doing what she should be entitled to do like any man can do is wrong, but surely she puts herself in greater jeopardy for creepers and assholes, absolutely.

  • THESE PEOPLE? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GodInHell ( 258915 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:37PM (#47775411) Homepage
    Who are *these people* who cannot be provoked? People that play video games? Are we really going to say that we cannot even talk about video games now without signing our own death warrants? Is that your point?

    Take her work at face value or call it part of a conspiracy - all she's doing is speaking into a camera on the internet. Ms. Sarkesian is *not* a legislator, she's not out there suing companies and telling them what to do or what not to do. She's just stating her opinion and raising what she considers issues with the messaging of video games.

    WTF is wrong with you?
  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:42PM (#47775487) Homepage

    You're bullying, Mellon. It's like this:

    A. Tell me something you love.

    Maybe you love the Bible. Maybe you love science. Maybe you love The Last Unicorn, by Peter Beagle.

    B. Find something in it that you could make an unseemly story about.

    If you love the Bible, get the story about the guy who had sex with his daughters.

    If you love science, get the story about alpha silverbacks and how they dominate the society.

    If you love The Last Unicorn, get the story about the red bull pushing unicorns into the sea.

    C. Now accuse the fuck out of a person.

    "If you love the Bible, then you define incest as life-defining, and you're not typical. You need to redefine your life, right now."

    "If you think science is true, than you believe that controlling women is the Natural Order. You need to rethink the merits of science, and redefine your life, right now."

    "If you get your rocks off watching the Red Bull dominate unicorns, you're not typical. You need to redefine your life, right now."

    Forcing YOUR interpretations onto others is psychic/emotional violence, and it's also the behavior of a bully.

    It's too bad that some teenage boy somewhere has rushed into Anita's damsel-in-distress gambit, but gamers everywhere and gamer culture are NOT the problem. Attack that kid, DON'T attack gamers as a culture -- which is what she's been doing.

    Have you seen ye olde XKCD, where if a boy does poorly in math, it's "Damn, you suck at math," but if a girl does poorly in math, its "Damn, girls suck at math?" Well, the same here, but in reverse, and then further, socially embraced: When women are acidic towards men, it's "Damn, you're an aggressive individual." But when some teenage boy is acidic towards women, it's "Damn, gamer culture is to blame, and we need to re-engineer the thoughts and feelings of gamers everywhere, using social bullying."

  • by DahGhostfacedFiddlah ( 470393 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:46PM (#47775557)

    Or almost as if someone was tweeting constantly (if the screenshot were taken 30 seconds earlier, it *also* would have been 12 seconds after the last tweet).

    Almost as if someone were sent a link while they weren't logged in to twitter, and took a screenshot.

    Now, nothing's impossible, but you'll need a hell of a lot more evidence to show this was staged. And speaking with such certainty based on such flimsy evidence just makes you look like another troll.

  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:53PM (#47775639)
    Anita's early "Tropes" videos suggested what she'd like to see in a video game. What people didn't seem to broadcast was how Anita's master plan for a game that she'd be happy with falls directly into the exact same tropes that she is critical of. This is the problem with painting anything with a broad brush: at some point NO ONE who goes by such rules can possibly do anything right unless they simply do nothing at all. The underlying game seems to be to make everything vaguely unacceptable, then selectively clarify as time moves forward such that what you like sounds morally OK while what you dislike is evil and is all that is wrong with the world.

    Anita has a reputation for exploiting "trolls" for personal profit, so I don't buy any of it. The only video she enabled YouTube comments on was the Kickstarter one. Why? So that she could show people how abused she was and get pity money for it. The rabbit hole for Sarkeesian goes pretty deep. It's hard to trust her on her word when it comes to trolling because she used trolling to get $150K in sympathy cash.

    I saw the images of the tweets she received. "Credible" is not even in the room while they're being read: no picture, no name, not an aged account, and obvious troll is obvious.
  • Re:Her work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @12:59PM (#47775715)
    You might want to look to the rest of my posts on this subject. If there was real death threats made I already stated that the perp should be prosecuted.

    Also ...

    I would rather have people spend less time finding ways to be professionally offended.

    In no way states that I think we must stand and prevent her from doing what I think is wrong. I only stated that I would rather she not do it.

    It was a single line clearly written. So either you never read my post and just attacked "because", or ...

    You could find no way to attack what I said but really needed to attack anyway and just attacked me for for stuff I was very clear that I did not say.

    This is not a very efficient way to get to the truth of a thing. I am leaning toward the assumption that getting to the truth of the subject here holds no real interest for you.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @01:15PM (#47775997) Homepage

    Anybody that would consider her being a hate-monger is out of touch with reality.

  • Re:THESE PEOPLE? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tarius8105 ( 683929 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @01:25PM (#47776141)

    Death threats in any situation are inexcusable but she is drawing attention away from her videos and highlighting death threats not to prove her points but to play the victim. Every internet celebrity, especially the controversial ones, receive death threats. I'm not an internet celebrity and I receive death threats on the internet.

    Now to the problem, she is trying to be influential in how companies operate and through laws indirectly. She is a radical feminist. She is expressing an opinion as fact because she is implying with her videos that she researched the matter thoroughly on an academic level (you know like without bias, coming to conclusion after examining the sample data and evidence, and not cherry-picking to make things meet the already formed conclusion before the research started). The problem is the audience she is catering these videos to are either dumb or like her and already drew the conclusion to begin with. People who do these things are not harmless, while in this instance her "research" imposes no foreseeable health consequences but it is no different than what Jenny McCarthy has done for scaring people about vaccines.

  • Re: Her work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2014 @01:32PM (#47776237)

    If you push people, it is expected that they will act, regardless of the law preventing certain actions.

    Sure, they should act - by rationally and calmly debating her points with facts, counter-examples, and sound logic.

    Do you really believe that death, rape, and dismemberment threats are acceptable responses to somebody saying something that "kinda maybe hurt your feelings, a little bit, but not really, because their comments weren't even directed at you?"

    It's funny that so many here keep whining about Sarkeesian being "professionally offended" - she seems far less offended by the stereotypes of women that she's criticizing than the people responding to her criticism with, "Oh yeah? Well I'll fucking MURDER you and your WHOLE FAMILY." Which person is the thin-skinned one in that calculation, again?

  • by DahGhostfacedFiddlah ( 470393 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @01:42PM (#47776437)

    That doesn't in fact answer the questions raised in the image

    • * The account was created just to make the offensive tweets - granted.
    • * Screencap taken 12 seconds after the last tweet - The image gives no indication how many tweets were made in total. If this were in the middle of a stream of tweets, then any screenshot would have been taken soon after the "last tweet".
    • * No Search, no login - the url could be typed, instant messaged, or searched from Google. As another poster said, somone could see the tweet on their phone, want a screencap, and type the URL into a computer
    • * Who screencapped this??? - I don't know???
    • * Perfect spelling/capitalization - I didn't address this because I didn't think it needed to be addressed. If I were to go rogue, it would definitely be at this quality and pace. Just because someone's a troll doesn't mean they lack typing/thinking skills.

    Did I miss anything?

  • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @02:13PM (#47776943) Homepage Journal
    But when some teenage boy is acidic towards women, it's "Damn, gamer culture is to blame, and we need to re-engineer the thoughts and feelings of gamers everywhere, using social bullying."

    Well that's the problem, if it only were just A boy you would be correct. There is widespread racism, homophobia, and misogynous behavior in the gaming community, and yeah, there needs to be a change.
  • by mod prime ( 3597787 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:01PM (#47777527)

    Oh noes, a content producer made a six figure lump sum for several years work - she must be criticized for not representing the games industry in its entirety, using a small set of unrepresentative examples to represent the whole - clearly she is open target for vicious criticism.
    The games industry aren't content producers, never make any money and so are definitely blameless in the content they produce and should not be subject to negative criticism of any kind because so doing makes you a hate-baiter who is insulting the people that consume the content.

    Her videos aren't about how gamers hate women. They are how women are commonly portrayed as sexual targets or victims in the games industry, to the point that it has a whole forest of tropes associated with it. That isn't because women are hated, it's that game designers seem to think without sexual imagery that appeals to men, they wouldn't sell as many games. Which is usually true only because big games tend to actually suck and they need to be visually appealing. There are plenty of games which are neutral or otherwise fine - but there are too many (big sellers) in which women exist only for the aesthetic appeal of men.Do you have any evidence of her saying that gamers are haters? Or have you conflated criticism of people involved in making games you enjoy as criticism of your group and therefore of you? That would be a little foolish, I think, so I hope that's not the case.

    Incidentally, there are plenty of other people tackling the news, film and religious groups - so you don't have to worry that Sarkeesian is alone. I'm going to be frank - some of the ugliness that comes out of the gaming and tech industry is pretty damned ugly. If you want to see what women get for criticizing men in a religious-based discussion then you might look to Jen McCreight,Greta Christina, Aayan Hirsi Ali, Maryam Namazie. They tend to get death and rape threats for pointing out that the religious (and irreligious) cultures are still too infused with misogyny. It's not all that different than with the game industry, only gamers have less excuse than religious people because Assassin's Creed 2 is not a central part of (most) gamers' identity.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:08PM (#47777603)
    I watched one video, and it was 13 minutes of man hate. I'm pretty sure that saying testosterone is a negative trait is in fact insulting an entire gender.
  • Re: Her work (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HappyHead ( 11389 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:12PM (#47777651)

    Who are you to judge someone else's lifestyle choices or sexual orientations?

    A sane, rational, non sociopathic human being with the capacity to feel empathy for others? Don't pull the " YOU CAN'T JUDGE ME!!!!111one1! " crap, it's pointless, and stupid. Every human being judges every other human being they encounter, every time they encounter them. You're judging the person you're responding to by trying to claim they aren't suited to make judgements about others. And yes, if you get off on looking at mutilated, naked, dead women, I'm judging you to be unsuited to belong in civilized society. So will any other sane, rational, non sociopath. Deal with it.

    Those games are perfectly legal.

    There are plenty of "perfectly legal" actions which are flat out disgusting and immoral. If the only defense you can come up with for disgusting hateful behavior is that "it isn't specifically illegal!", then you're admitting that you've already lost the argument.

  • by CronoCloud ( 590650 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noruaduolconorc>> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:17PM (#47777719)

    The gaming community is being singled out for being misogynist, over the film/tv industry, over the music business, over religious groups, because they are a relatively easy target who won't put up as much of a fight.

    She is focusing on the gaming community.... OTHER people focus on film, TV, music, other groups. The gaming community is NOT being singled out.

  • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:45PM (#47777985) Homepage Journal
    I have yet to hear a SINGLE rational objection to her critique of video game genres. Lets's play a game, called 'spot the hate-mongering'. Which is it:

    1) "Women are often portrayed as helpless and passive in common video game tropes."

    2) "Jews are filthy money grubbers, who are out to take over the world."

    Now, one of theses statements is ignorant, racist hate-mongering. The other is a neutral observation of a fact. I don't expect you to correctly identify the one that is actual hate-mongering because of your prior posting, but for the sake of the game, give it a try.

    Calling what she is saying 'hate-mongering', illustrates that you are TOO FUCKING STUPID TO BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK EVER AGAIN. So, please for the general quality of life on the planet earth, run your balls through a meat grinder and french kiss a wood chipper.
  • Re: Her work (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @04:00PM (#47778149)

    Testosterone is also the hormone that makes women horny. So she is saying only frigid bitches are not evil.

  • by WebCowboy ( 196209 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @04:15PM (#47778325)

    It is evident from your posts here that you have some personal issues to deal with.

    It is NOT normal to lash out with a vitriolic tirade of graphic sexual threats under ANY circumstances, much less being "provoked" by inflammatory speech. It is sick, and it should not be tolerated or even expected in a peaceful civilized society.

    You don't let a thief go or belittle the victim because the door wasn't locked at the time or there were no bars on the windows so a break in should have been expected. You don't defend a rapist and blame a rape victim because she wore a bikini to the beach on a hot day. And yoy certainly don't threaten someone with grave injury or death because what they say offends you. Actions of this sort are those of sick, twisted people...not always evil people as they could be victims of their upbringings, but sick people who need help nonetheless.

  • Re:THESE PEOPLE? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mod prime ( 3597787 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @05:06PM (#47778899)

    Trying to influence society is not 'the problem', its typical human behaviour that many people make a vocation of. Please do explain how expressing critical views on art can be dangerous and is akin to persuading people not to vaccinate the children in their care, I'm fascinated.

    I'm completely unclear how it is cherry picking. Her series is showcasing examples of poor portrayals of women (stereotypes and tropes particularly) in computer games, so obviously she is going to pick games where she can find examples of poor portrays of women!

    Have you quantified 'internet celebrity' harassment to conclude that Anita is getting a normal amount? You certainly implied you had done so when you stated your opinion as fact in your opening paragraph.

  • Re: Her work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dixie_Flatline ( 5077 ) <> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @05:39PM (#47779209) Homepage

    Men die in the same way! And in much more gruesome and jovial manners. I think when this occasionally happens to women and it's considered more important is more of a reflection of our attitudes of men's lives being less important than women's than any negative view there is of women. You can't honestly believe that male video game characters do not die in heinous ways more than female characters. You don't think it's interesting that you find that totally normal for men and something that needs to be stopped for women? Women cannot be the same part of a narrative as a men unless they can actually be put in the same part. Which according to Sarkeesian and yourself they cannot be because *reasons*.

    So if you watch the latest video, she does touch on that somewhat. I'm going to assume you haven't (or at least, that someone reading our discussion hasn't) and point out the salient bits.

    First, that when men die in these games, they're generally an antagonist or actor that actually has a measure of agency. They're killed because they were involved in a conflict that revolved around more than just their gender or their victimhood.

    Second, part of why you're gruesomely killing the men in these games is often justified by the violence that the men are (arbitrarily) enacting against women. The women die as props to show off how bad someone is in a wild caricature of evil. She's right in pointing out that violence against women is most often perpetrated by 'normal' men. A woman is FAR more likely to be raped by a friend or family member than a random bad man on the street.

    Third, men die in ways that aren't overtly sexualised. Women die on beds in lingerie with their legs spread and their tits hanging out. They're still T&A even after brutal violence.

    She's right that sexual and sexualised violence is used as a lazy shortcut to show how bad a person is. You can instantly justify murdering someone brutally (to bring it back to your complaint) if we've just shown them as hitting a woman or raping them. It's not the nicest cycle.

    Given that we know men are far more likely to be murdered or die in war would it not be a good idea to hold off on this bit of violence? You can do what you want in your games. But when you're trying to tell other people they're being bad or "insensitive" based on the games they create or like to play you actually are trying to make them feel bad so that they stop.

    The worst part about her criticisms is that she actually doesn't understand the tropes she's talking about. Or she just makes up new tropes. Tropes are pretty much a necessary part of storytelling. That's why we call them tropes. They've been around since the advent of storytelling. All stories are just rehashes and variations of old ones.

    I don't think people have to stop doing anything. But I think they DO need to think about what they're doing, understand whether it's appropriate narratively, and make those decisions with open eyes. Speaking personally, for the first ten years of my career, I definitely didn't think about this stuff as much. Maybe I would've spoken up more about certain things if I had.

    I understand that the word 'trope' actually has several meanings, but in this context, she's using the word 'trope' as 'cliché'. You DON'T need to write something that relies heavily on clichés. At the very least, you don't need to write something that heavily relies on the sorts of tropes that may be damaging to our ideas about women.

    I really can't agree with that. Using her same irrational argument style you could paint that same problems onto any media. You think playwriting needs to respond to this criticism if it wants to be credible in the world? Shakespeare the misogynist! The gaming community tried to respond with the appropriate "you're going to have to do better" and explained why to her. She chose instead to focus on people making fun of her for saying stupid things. Everybody with

  • Re: Her work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brantondaveperson ( 1023687 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @07:30PM (#47780123) Homepage

    This is what she actually says - and is the only mention of testosterone in the entire thirteen minutes: (from her transcript)

    They can start by deemphasizing the macho testosterone and the combat, and create universally appealing sets that include occupations and adventure scenarios for children of all genders.

    I am struggling to understand how this is suggesting that testosterone is evil. She additionally - and correctly - notes how women do not appear in their advertising playing with lego. She most certainly does not suggest that fathers and sons playing together is a bad thing - she instead suggests that there is a very strong gender bias going on in the Lego world. And she is right of course - with an 18-1 ratio of male to female minifigs I fail to see how any other conclusion could be reached.

    There was one thing that annoyed me though - she kept on referring to Lego as 'Legos'. Americans. Please stop doing this.

  • Re: Her work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HappyHead ( 11389 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @07:42PM (#47780233)
    First, your math is way off if you've got your comment/threat numbers that far backwards.

    Second, if you actually watch her videos, instead of just the clips of them interspersed through thunderf00t's angry ranting, you'll find that yes, she actually does debunk them, and covers the "numbers game" you're taking about with your "a million male characters die for every female character" thing. "Random ninja being shot/chopped down in a fight" is not the same thing as "mostly naked woman splayed out on a bed with a knife in her as a prop". Those random ninjas? They're wearing masks and could just as easily be very flat chested women. Yes, that's sarcasm. I'm not suggesting that anyone actually believes that they're female, but really, there's no way of knowing, and their gender isn't related to why they're being killed, and the game would be the same if they were male, female, or genderless robots in costumes. The sad part? If they were intended to be female ninjas that you're mowing through? Instead of the full ninja armor/pajamas they're wearing, they'd be mostly naked.

    Now take that nude female corpse on the bed, not even killed by the player - killed by the antagonist as a "see how evil he is?" prop. How many male victims are portrayed in the same way? No, the answer isn't "millions", it's "nearly never".

    Your constant claims that she won't address these points are sounding like Fox News complaining that Obama won't fight the ISIS groups that he's currently bombing the shit out of.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.