Anita Sarkeesian, creator behind the Feminist Frequency website and the video series ‘Tropes v.s. Women in Gaming’ which gained critical praise as well as a tsunami of misogynist vitriol, had to briefly leave her home over threats made against her online.
On the Feminist Frequency twitter feed, death threats were made against her, her boyfriend and her family with the user specifying he knew where she lives and this prompted the police being called and Sarkeensian to stay at the friend’s home for the night. This is just the latest in a litany of abuse and threats that Sarkeesian has faced since starting the ‘Tropes vs Women in Gaming’ series back in 2012. The video series details and analyzes various ‘tropes’ in video games most often associated with female characters with a focus on a ‘big picture’, systematic and feminist analysis of these tropes.
Her latest video ‘Women as background decoration part 2’ garnered a lot of attention and put a spotlight on the heavy use of sexual violence against women in games(particularly against female NPCs) and gaming advertisements’. The misogyny and abuse hurled at Sarkeesian for her cultural critique of tropes and patterns within numerous video games that are applied to female characters’ is just another example of the rampant misogyny within the gaming community as well as in the gaming industry. Whether you agreed with her analysis of the various tropes or not, Anita Sarkeesian is speaking truth to power vis a vie sexism and misogyny in gaming and takes on this task to make video games better as a medium. The response from some gamers sadly points out, that as a community; gamers still have a ways to go when it comes to dealing with women, in any capacity, in the gaming community and the industry at large.