Anita Sarkeesian has uploaded her second video in the series “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games”, and it’s even better than her first. And this despite the hundreds of dickheads who had her video banned from youtube at first, because they flagged it as “offensive”. That, and all of the comments I read on memebase or below the great IGN article, really made me lose faith in the internet community once more.
The weird thing about this: at university, talking about gender issues and stereotyping has become normal for me. I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t apply my critical thinking to something I love, like games. I can relate to Sarkeesian, because she has done exactly that: she is combining cultural criticism with popular culture. But the “gaming community”, or at least the most vocal members of it, simply refuse to see that “their” medium doesn’t belong to them alone, and isn’t exempt from criticism from everyone who uses it.
Sure, some people think that gender issues are controversial and need to be discussed. But the blank hatred that Sarkeesian received on her project is way way beyond normal, rational discussion. Honestly, no matter what I could say on this topic, it all ends up with sheer incredulity: How can people get SO worked up over this?
At any rate, it is extremely impressive that Sarkeesian hasn’t given up and stands strong despite the hate. If anything, all the abuse has given her project more attention and support. I hope that this series keeps gamers thinking, and people on their toes when it comes to online abuse.
PS: Sarkeesian has co-authored an interesting article on Women in Vampire Fiction – go read it!