I’ve seen a lot of articles lately where people are actively defending a person that is very controversial to say the least: Anita Sarkeesian. It wasn’t that long ago when a person like her was laughed at by the same media. Not that long ago there was a man called Jack Thompson, who tried to go after games in the same fashion. When that happened, gamers and the gaming media went after it and disproved him. Forward into 2015, we have a media who actively defend someone who is known to steal gameplay footage, not have sufficient research, be 3 years late with her own series of videos and did not improve the quality of her videos that she promised.
When Jack Thompson went after games, the gaming industry went out and defended the industry. They defended it with a ferocity like no other, showing facts and defending games and gamers. Jack Thompson got threats back then, but nobody seemed to care. He wanted to go the legal way of making it illegal to give games to children if the game wasn’t rated for that age group. He essentially wanted to “protect children”.
In 2015, there is a different tone in the industry. It’s an industry that now says gamers are over and that we’re sexist, or whatever buzz word they are using that day. We somehow hate women and don’t want them in the industry, even tho actual gamers know that the industry was built by the hands of not only men, but women like Roberta Williams and Jane Jensen who famously made King’s Quest . The same industry had no problem defending gaming when it came to violence and death. They defended it with a vigor, but in 2015 they accuse gamers of hating women and minorities which is ironic, for the fact that the majority of them are strait white males, and hardcore gaming communities like the fighting game community or the MOBA Community are some of the most diverse places around. There is no link between violence and games, there is nothing suggesting that the opposite applies with sexism. Games do not make people more sexist, but for some reason journalists and the industry think, and almost desperately want this to be so.
Let’s take a look at a recent event where Anita Sarkeesian talked. She had 8 specific things she wants to change in games.
- Avoid the Smurfette principle (don’t have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less “girl” or “woman.”)
- “Lingerie is not armor” (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)
- Have female characters of various body types
- Don’t over-emphasize female characters’ rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character’s.
- Include more female characters of color.
- Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.
- Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic
- Include female enemies, but don’t sexualize those enemies
Web site, Kotaku goes on to exclaim:
“Her supporters cheer the idea that her influence may transform the medium; her critics fear that.”
This is totally false. Her critics never get addressed because she ignores it. She has yet to get any tough questions during her speeches. She has yet to hold debate or an interview where critical questions are asked. This list of hers is just a puritan suggestion box, meant to sham creators, and is projected as a replacement, rather than adding more options to the industry. I will defend her right to say anything she wants how she wants, but she is completely ignoring all criticism against her and her ideas and claiming it is harassment. Nobody is actively going out criticizing her in the industry when this list proves that she only wants to push her own agenda.
She has even said herself now on two occasions that she is not a gamer. The latest one was during her latest speech:
“She described her relationship with gaming as “complicated.”
Going on to say:
“I bought into the bogus myth that, in order to be a real gamer, you had to be playing _GTA_ or Call of Duty or _God of War _or other testosterone-infused macho posturing games which often had a sexist, toxic culture that surrounded them. So even though I was playing a lot of games—these kinds of games—I still refused to call myself a gamer, which I don’t think is uncommon.”
So why are people even covering her when she’s shown that her research in her video series is virtually non-existent? Why is so different from the Jack Thompson of old and Anita Sarkeesian of new. Is it your weird American Guilt Culture? A Cult? Kool Aid? Let us know what you think below.