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Death threats force Anita Sarkeesian out of her home

- August 27th, 2014

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Anita Sarkeesian, the controversial creator of the Women Vs. Tropes In Video Games series, says she had to leave her home after one of her many naysayers threatened to kill her, her boyfriend and her family in a series of tweets that appears to have included her address.

 

Sarkeesian posted a screenshot of the threats, which you can see after the cut. Be warned: The content is extremely graphic.

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Anita Sarkeesian: Dragons are seen as more realistic than a world without sexual violence

- August 26th, 2014

Anita Sarkeesian concludes her latest installment of the feather-ruffling Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games series with a pertinent question: Why do we think depictions of brutalized women are necessary to make a game feel real?

After a thoughtful and lengthy dissection of how video games use violence against women as background decoration or lazy character development, singling out games like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Bioshock, Watch Dogs, God of War and Hitman, Sarkeesian explains:

It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game world would feel too unrealistic or not historically accurate.

What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend and break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection? We’re perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons in a massive invisible backpack, but somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.

 

Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games is here at last

- March 8th, 2013

They called her names. They threatened her. They even made a video game about punching her in the face. But the haters couldn’t stop pop-culture critic Anita Sarkeesian from producing her Kickstarter-funded video series, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.

The first episode hit the tubes today, and be warned, it goes after some of gaming’s sacred crows. But, as Sarkeesian says: “Remember that it’s both possible and even necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.”

Amen, sister.

 

 

 

‘Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian’ maker disappears from Twitter

- July 9th, 2012

Ben (Bendilin) Spurr, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., man who made headlines after creating a video game where users could punch feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian in the face has disappeared from Twitter. His account has been suspended, and the Twitter Powers That Be have not said why.

This comes after two straight days of defending himself online from people who find these kind of shenanigans abhorrent. He repeatedly insisted he deplores sexism, despite a Steam profile that indicates otherwise.

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Toronto activist Steph Guthrie was one of the first people to call out Spurr on Twitter, sparking a long and drawn out debate, out of which a lot of thoughtful posts and discussions were born. Guthrie has documented the whole thing in a very thorough Storify, seen below:

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Sault Ste. Marie man gives Canadians a bad name

- July 6th, 2012

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Ben Spurr has honoured his community and this great nation of ours by designing a video game in which participants get to beat the living crap out of a young woman. Specifically, U.S. blogger Anita Sarkeesian, who had the nerve to plan to eventually discuss tropes of women in videogames.

It’s a heartwarming tale of a hometown boy done good. Writes the Sault Star:

The backlash includes the game, which was posted to www.newgrounds.com by a user calling himself Bendilin, 25, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

The game’s creator accuses Sarkeesian of “scamming,” money out of donors, and claims she, “Uses the excuse that she is a woman to get away with whatever she damn well please (sic).”

Ah yes! It’s a classic twist on the Nigerian Royalty scam, but instead of duping people out of money on false pretenses, Sarkeesian accepts voluntary donations through a reputable fundraising site and explains exactly what she’s going to do with the money. Genius!

In the game, cleverly named “Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian,” users click on a picture of the research student and watch as she develops bruises and cuts. But in case you were worried there might be some misogyny at play here, relax! The game’s creator has rationally explained that his artistic endeavour “isn’t about ‘punching women.’  It’s about punching a selfish person. There’s a difference.”

What a beautiful expression of gender equality. I hereby declare sexism defeated.