Why I Actually Watched Anita Sarkeesian's Newest Video... And Liked It
by Katy Hollingsworth 6 months ago
Warning: The above video contains a ton of spoilers for a ton of games. She has listed these games in the information for her video, linked above.
I could write a short novel on the drama that is Anita Sarkeesian's Kickstarter project: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.
No, really. You could. Between all the trolling, the hate, the victim-hood and the money, it's a hot mess.
Need a run down on what exactly I'm talking about? Check out her Wiki (don't worry; it's been updated with accurate information and no longer talks about murdering her and her children).
For those of us who actually understand how analysis works, this video is pretty interesting and brings up several good points that are worth exploring. Though the actual analysis doesn't start until around 18 minutes in, Sarkeesian covers an impressive array of games which use the Damsel in Distress device and the Woman in the Refrigerator. Or mixtures thereof.
I don't necessarily agree with everything said in the video (the part where she mentions Dead Space severely ruffled my feathers, but that's because that game is my baby), but it will absolutely encourage me to think about the games I purchase and play.
Considered an extremist at times, Sarkeesian has taken the time to actually improve on herself in this video, addressing not only the problem with portraying women as powerless, but bringing attention to way this can affect male players. She also disclaims in the beginning of the video that just because she's critical of video games doesn't mean she doesn't like them or enjoy playing them. Game developers aren't sitting there thinking of awful ways to write women into stories--most of the time, their messages are just not very well thought out.
Alright, so why does the Internet hate her?
The Internet hates everyone.
Honestly? There are people who can reasonably discuss why they don't agree with Sarkeesian. They can sit down, watch her video without giving themselves an aneurism via rage, and list out the fallacies in her arguments. That's the point of discussion--reaching a solution through the analysis of multiple parties.
As for the other breeds?
You're touching my games and I don't like it
Personally, I think it's this. After reading the /r/games thread on her newest video, it seems to me that people are upset that Sarkeesian is taking the time out of her day to pick on the things they like.
Think about it. Her mentioning of Dead Space ruffled my feathers. Why? Because I liked it. It was a game I enjoyed playing, and I don't like when people pick on things I like.
The hatred for Anita Sarkeesian sparks from her going against the grain and dismissing the hive mind. She's critical of things that people enjoy, and no one likes it. Nevermind that they could learn something from it. She definitely doesn't enjoy playing video games too. She hates fun.
At its core, I believe that it's also a case of the 'hardcore' gamer vs. the casual. Anita isn't viewed as a hardcore gamer, and that works against her. Many believe that the fact she hasn't played games her whole life discredits her--no matter how educated or insightful she is. Her Master's Degree in Social and Political Thought from York University means... little to nothing, obviously. No way she has any idea what she's talking about.
Let's Grow Up A Little
My challenge for you today is to watch this video, and in the comments, discuss why you disagree or like the things she says. Like adults. You know, who can discuss things without calling each other sluts and whores.
Yeah, I Mean Girls'd you. Sorry.