Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Femenist Frequency launched a kickstarter campaign last year to produce Tropes Vs Women in Video Games, a YouTube-based video series that explores the portrayal of females in video games;
“The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective.”
While the project is noteworthy in itself, Tropes Vs Women in Video Games was thrust in to the spotlight after the campaign received a tirade of abuse from bigoted, dickless specimens of the male species. We’re all aware of the place of the ‘troll’ in video culture, but no-one was prepared for the onslaught and severity that was levelled at Anita and her campaign.
“The intimidation and harassment effort has included a torrent of misogyny and hate speech on my YouTube video, repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me, organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded.”
You can have a read of the offending YouTube comments, but unfortunately Anita has had to take the drastic step of restricting comments across the platform to try and salvage some normality on her channel. Despite, or some argue because of, the maelstrom of hate surrounding Tropes Vs Women in Video Games, Anita not only succeeded in raising the $6,000 for the project but instead raised up to $160,000 that she can use to fund future projects. As for Tropes Vs Women in Video Games, the series has been completed and the first episode Damsel in Distress is now live.
There is so much more to discuss about the project, and we’ve contacted Anita to see if she’d be willing to talk about her experience, but for now, enjoy the first episode and let us know your thoughts below.