Video Game Feminist Anita Sarkeesian Opens Up On GamerGate
As the creator and host of the online series "Feminist Frequency," Sarkeesian has experienced firsthand the sexism that women in the industry face.
In of her series' episodes, "Tropes Vs. Women," she discussed the prevalent negative portrayal of female characters in popular video games. Almost immediately after the episodes were released online, Sarkeesian came under fire from those criticizing her work.
According to Sarkeesian, such reactions are prompted by sexist and misogynistic views about the role of women in the tech industry.
"There's a toxicity within gaming culture, and also in tech culture, that drives this misogynist hatred, this reactionary backlash against women who have anything to say, especially those who have critiques or who are feminists," she said.
"There's this huge drive to silence us, and if they can't silence us, they try to discredit us in an effort to push us out," she added.
She then explained that the whole GamerGate issue was started in an attempt to drive women out of the gaming and tech industry.
"GamerGate is really a sexist temper tantrum," Sarkeesian said. "They're going after and targeting women who are trying to make changes in the industry. They're attacking anyone who supports women."
"It's trying to hold on to this status quo, this illusion that gaming is for men, that it can never change, that it can never be more inclusive than that," she added.
Despite numerous reports about GamerGate and the increasing number of women in the industry experiencing cyber bullying and abuse, Sarkeesian noted that the issue has changed how people view issues about sexism, Eurogamer reported.
"What's happening is that the industry is changing," she explained. "People are starting to acknowledge that the industry has a problem with women, that sexism and misogyny are quite prevalent in the larger culture and within the games."
"Developers are starting to talk within their studios about how they want their games and their representations to change," Sarkeesian continued. "There's this overarching feeling of, 'We have a problem and we're gonna fix this."