Sarkeesian on sexism in video games, and becoming a hate-target for talking about it


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She’s a heroic woman, enacting real positive change. She’s making games a better place, and she is a model for coolness under hater-pressure. I hope she continues to rock the hell on.


Why is the tropes versus women video series not completed yet anita?

you gonna pay for the artwork you stole or let’s play videos you ripped off?


No one deserves to be threatened over pointing out that many video games depict women unrealistically and unflaterringly. Let’s face it, there are plenty of examples to draw from.

It’s tough to navigate my feelings on the topic itself. Just as the romance novel industry has a penchant for completely unrealistic men, I think there’s a place for unrealistic women in our stories, if just to explore both the fantasy and the ugliness of it.

But it’s very important we’re reminded by the conscientious that video games often don’t offer a fair representation of women, and that we should question why this is so. That some one who does this gets threatened with violence only makes the case stronger.



That some one who does this gets threatened with violence only makes the case stronger.

no it doesn’t she or one of he followers spammed 4chan (see that hornets nest over there? why don’t we go hit it with a stick.) it included an image of Anita that did not appear anywhere else on the Internet, truth be damned. Anita would never play damsel herself and cry when people caught onto her ploy.

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Seems to me you’re only interested in ad hominem attacks and have nothing to offer to the actual subject itself. Like the threats of violence, it reveals the weakness of your position.


This is kinda weird. She (cowkitty) is insisting that fair-use only exists when the fair-user is a non-profit?

That does not appear to be factual. That would mean, f’r instance, that the New York Times has no fair-use provision for quoting in a book review.

Since she cites "the guidelines in section 107 Copyright Law.
" … but the harping on guideline #1 suggests that she thinks that all of the guidelines must be fulfilled for fair use:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

These are guidelines to be taken into consideration, not a checklist. Not a set of laws.

Then again, IANAL.

I also see the situation has been resolved, although she still harps on the non-profit status thing.


It’s pretty creepy to see the kind of butthurt rage her commentary has provoked. Like rolling up a carpet to see an entire ecosystem has grown up without the light of day. It was bad enough when males were fighting holy wars over mac vs pc. Now it looks like a kind of fight for apartheid, like they shouldn’t have to share gamer space with anyone but other neckbeards.

All I can think of, is that videogames were single-player only for far too long. As soon as true multiplayer became an option, and then massively multiplayer, these games could no longer be some teenager’s masturbatory fantasy, they started to overlap with the actual real world, where human beings have an interest in how they’re being portrayed.

It’s bizarre and perverse that half the human population are having to reclaim their media imagery in the same way that homosexuals and black people have had to do. But it’s also inevitable.


Agreed. I prefer my fantasy to NOT be reality.

It’s a fair point.

I don’t think Anita is saying that we eradicate those types of games (they have their place after all). However, her problem is that the vast majority of games are those kinds of games.


There are far too many games for the vast majority of them to be anything.

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Not really. In truth action games have the largest chunk of the marketplace. According to Stastista, as of 2013, action games were the biggest sellers, and made up 31.9% of sales. Next in line was shooters (a sub-class of action) with 20.0%. So using those numbers, just those two categories do make up over half of the market.

That’s true even though (according to the U of Wash) the average game player is 35, and 40% of game players are women. “In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (34 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).”

It’s interesting to note is that, “Eighty-four percent of all games sold in 2008 were rated “E” for Everyone, “T” for Teen, or “E10+” for Everyone 10+.” Those numbers reflect the fact that not all action games are violent or misogynistic in nature. “Guitar Hero” is a wildly popular action game. Then again, so is “The Legend of Zelda” which is considered to be an offender.

So, game genres exist, and players (like book readers or movie watchers) do have genre preferences. Claiming that because a large amount of something exists that many of them can’t be one type doesn’t really make any sense. When a type of something is popular, a lot of that type will be made. (There are a lot of McDonalds in the world!)

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That chart seems to just be console game sales. There’s a separate chart for PC game sales where strategy and casual games lead the way. Either way, the breakdown of genres is what people tend to buy, not what games are made. The majority of music sales by RIAA labels might be in a few genres, but that doesn’t mean people don’t make and release other types of music.

That’s what “majority” and percentages are for. They explain that some amount is a part of a greater whole. Rather than just griping, you could have bothered to provide the figures that you felt were somehow missing. Guess I’ll do it for you.

In 2013, Strategy (38.4%) and Casual (28.3%) games took over PCs from RPGs (now 12.3%). So strategy and RPGs alone still make up 50% of PC sales. Prior to this year, RPGs had topped PC games for a few years (in 2012, it was RPGs 28%, Casual 26.7%, Strategy 24.9%). (It should be noted that “StarCraft” is classed as a strategy game - the genre name doesn’t just refer to dominoes.)

@OtherMichael - The artist may be wrong about fair use being only for non-commercial works (s/may/is/), and fair use has rarely ever been succesfully claimed for the use of complete works).

None of which is relevant to my point. There are thousands of games released every year. I don’t know how many video games have been released since the start. There are hundreds of thousands just on the Google Play store right now. What category could you use to encompass “the vast majority of them”?

I bet you were just so happy when you found what looked like a non-sexist reason to hate Sarkeesian, weren’t you? Now you can bag on her and pretend you’re not an asshole at the same time!


I can’t decide what I like more about Anita Sarkeesian’s videos - that they point out fairly obvious problems within video game writing or that they make all the creeps crawl out of the woodwork. This topic already has some stellar posts. Keep that hate coming, guys!


So this doesn’t go on for hours as a side issue to the more important issue at hand (read “the actual topic”) I’ll say this and happily walk away. Feel free to post last and have a last word if you feel you need to (because it seems like that’s where this is heading). I will read it.

I provided you with current information for platform gaming. That didn’t satisfy you. Then, to make you happy, I also posted PC gaming. That didn’t satisfy you either. I believe I understand that you are referring to games not paid for, independent games or experimental games. Here’s the problem. Those numbers can’t be tracked, not unless you want to invite people to track your usage, and most gamers have little interest in anyone doing so. You’re asking for the highly improbable. So, what I actually provided was the best information available from the paying market. It also happens to be the same market Sarkeesian was focusing on.

Independent games don’t necessarily compete in the same marketplace as the other games being reviewed. (Mainstream media isn’t the same as independent media for film or books either.) Here’s a link to a list of games used in one review by Sarkeesian. I’m providing it so you can see that she focused on mainly paid-for, typically console, games with just a few exceptions.

You may want to discuss every game ever made, but even if you go back to my first post, you’ll note that I said “marketplace” as in “spent money”. Games are big business, and whether or not customers support a certain type of genre (and the content it has) is a specific question worth asking. That’s because in a paying market like gaming, to some degree it’s the customers who decide what the content will be like. It’s only if they want misogyny that it will exist.

You do understand how a feedback loop works, right?

Just because males have traditionally made up the audience for games made for male audiences doesn’t mean that the market has spoken and misogyny wins.

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