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.
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:
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.