anita sarkeesian games

anita sarkeesian games

[83][84], In 2014, Sarkeesian received the Ambassador Award at the 14th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards for her work on the representation of women in video games, becoming the first woman to receive the award. Anita Sarkeesian. In a vacuum, this might seem strange, but the idea that Sarkeesian doesn’t care much about games has been part of the narrative against her. “Everything depends on framing, right? [92] In May 2015, Cosmopolitan included her in its list of the "50 Most Fascinating People on the Internet". She fought back a bad cough throughout an hour-long presentation but frequently elicited applause or laughter as she spoke. There’s a pre-Tropes vs. Women in Video Games clip, after all, of her introducing a video about gaming by telling a college class in 2010 that “I’m not a fan of video games. Many games use violence as their main means of interaction, she noted, and some developers were uneasy about if or how to put female enemies in harm’s way. “Don’t make the enemies or villains hyper-sexualized,” she said, “because again it creates a scenario in which violence against women is gendered and infused with elements of titillation. And in my experience, confident creators could deal with this kind of critique, could take from it what they found productive and stand up for their authorial independence about what didn’t mesh. Ah! [63] Discussions occurred in a range of publications and outlets, including The New York Times, The Guardian and New Statesman. First, she seemed to be challenging claims that she thinks games make people do things. Those latter arguments clearly and directly pertain to whether a game would be more or less fun or engaging for any player, which for many gamers is the paramount gaming concern. I’d seen most of her Tropes gaming videos, of course, and, frankly, not had much issue with them. ), Have female characters of various body types. [80], Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency blog was highlighted by Feminist Collections and Media Report to Women. “Yeah,” she replied, and rolled the character intro for Wonder-Pink. In conclusion, Anita Sarkeesian isn't the epitome of feminism or a representative for all ladies (and guys) who are upset with how women are portrayed in games. [79], On February 11, 2019, Sarkeesian appeared at the University of Alberta's Myer Horowitz Theatre with the presentation "I Am Tired: The Costs of Online Harassment" during the Level Up: Gender Based Violence Prevention Week. If you agree with her worldview, you’re likely with her on many or all of these eight things. The Games and Online Harassment Hotline, brainchild of Feminist Frequency executive director Anita Sarkeesian, officially launched this week to help gamers, developers, and other online individuals dealing with toxic environments in gaming or the wider online community. Can you guess what color the woman is?”, Several people in the audience shouted the predictable answer: “Pink!”. [45][46][47][48][49], In March 2014, Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak and receive an award at the 2014 Game Developers Choice Awards. She’d push. Gaming industry veteran Anita Sarkeesian launched a harassment hotline for the entire gaming industry amid a turning point in the industry.. “If you asked me at the time, I would probably have said I wasn’t a gamer,” she said. Amidst the backlash towards plot and design elements seen in leaked footage of The Last of Us II and fan speculation that feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian influenced the game’s development, a member of Naughty Dog’s development team has confirmed that … Anita Sarkeesian As she documents on her site, she was targeted by a … Sarkeesian canceled the event, however, feeling the planned security measures were insufficient given that the university could not prohibit handguns in the venue per Utah state law. She’s done this through a series of online videos for her non-profit, Feminist Frequency, and in lectures at conferences and even at some game studios. In 2009, Sarkeesian started her website Feminist Frequency with the intention of creating feminist media criticism accessible to the younger generation. Would it be bad to have more playable female characters? She ran clips of how male and female characters sit in Destiny, a game that imbues its heroes of either gender with the same capabilities. Little of this is bound to be easy, and each of her eight requests are likely to stir debate about what gamers want, what developers can or should do, and what makes for better video games that more people will enjoy playing. “It’s as if the person directing the mo-cap session told the model to walk in the most seductive or sexy way possible rather than just asking her to walk the way a soldier or intergalactic bounty hunter or any ordinary woman going about her business might walk.”, Even sitting could be a gender issue, she showed. Banner from Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs Women in Video Games Kickstarter campaign. Of all of Sarkeesian’s requests, I could see this being viewed as the most well-intentioned but creatively stifling one—Why not sometimes have a sexy female enemy? I heard a few attendees mutter about this being necessary or finding it absurd that a talk about women in gaming, of all things, required this kind of presence. Sarkeesian didn’t lay out those questions, but those are the ones implicit in her critique. They are all color-coded. [2][13], In 2011, Sarkeesian co-authored the essay "Buffy vs. Bella: The Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine in Vampire Stories" for the anthology Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire. [16] Her blog has been utilized as material for university-level women's studies courses, and she has spoken at universities on the topic of female characters in pop culture. For speaking engagements contact Soapbox Inc.. For literary inquiries contact Inkwell Management “This is supposed to be a hardened space warrior and yet she is still sitting around like she’s Ariel from The Little Mermaid,” Sarkeesian said. “At least half of the options should be women and, really, it would be great if it was more than half the options were women, and I know some people think I’m completely loony when I say that.”. Inquiries. If not, well, you’re unlikely to see much here you can back. [22], Sarkeesian initially planned to release the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series in 2012 but pushed it back explaining that the additional funding allowed her to expand the scope and scale of the project. So even though I was playing a lot of games—these kinds of games—I still refused to call myself a gamer, which I don’t think is uncommon.”, She would later emphasize the idea that “you can love something and be critical of it.” That, she said, “is so important to what I do and is really important to engaging with any kind of pop culture.”. At her talk, she showed a photo of herself as a kid, playing the Super Nintendo with a childhood friend. “The male characters get to be short and stocky or heft gorillas or equipped with a massive power suit. “So, you’ve heard of The Wonderful 101?” Sarkeesian asked her audience, as she finally got into the Eight Things Developers Can Do To Make Games Less Shitty For Women. “Fixing this is of course incredibly easy,” Sarkeesian said. [26][27], On January 23, 2015, Feminist Frequency issued its first annual report and announced they were planning two new video series tackling the "positive" portrayal of women in video games, as well as the "portrayal of masculine identities in games". July 23 - August 22. “You get to be my guinea pigs,” she said as she took to the podium in front of a couple hundred developers, game design students and gamers, “to see how this all works.”. She said that she knew that some people didn’t consider those “real” games but that she counted them as some of her favorites. How do you balance creators’ freedom with the need or desire to open a game up to a broader audience? Anita Sarkeesian is an expert at feminism and video games and is not a con artist. This coincided with the ongoing harassment of Zoë Quinn as part of the Gamergate controversy. [90] In March 2015, Time magazine included Sarkeesian in its list of the thirty "Most Influential People on the Internet",[91] and in April of that year, chose her for the Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. That’s how she set up her first request to game developers: “Avoid the Smurfette principle,” a reference to both having just one female character in an ensemble cast and the character limitations that can spring from that. Well most likely she have never played a single video game in her hole life. One: avoid violence in which women are framed as weak or helpless. [28][29], On March 8, 2016, Feminist Frequency launched a crowdfunding campaign for an animated video series called Ordinary Women. ", "Why Gaming Culture Allows Abuse... and How We Can Stop It", "Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: on passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique", "Anita Sarkeesian shares the most radical thing you can do to support women online", "Editorial: Utah's laws place gun rights over free speech", "Feminist Speaker Questions Utah's Campus Gun Laws", "Game critic Sarkeesian avoids Utah due to foolish gun laws. [21] The final amount raised was $158,922 from 6,968 backers. [89] In December 2014, The Verge named her as one of "the 50 most important people at the intersection of technology, art, science, and culture". After playing what she said was an audio clip of a female League of Legends champion in combat (above) she called for less sexualized female-character voice-acting/grunting—”start with trying to make pain actually sound painful instead of orgasmic”. [32][33][34][35][36], One attacker created the computer game Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian, which prompted players to bloody a picture of Sarkeesian by clicking the mouse. Citation: 1. Moreover, it’s worth bearing in mind the obvious, that she’s a feminist and that her view is that men and women are perceived very differently in society. [7] On May 17, 2012, she began a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of short videos that would examine gender tropes in video games that was featured as a campaign of note on the official Kickstarter blog. “The blue one looks cool,” she said of the women. Leos tend to have almost a royal air about them. Anita Sarkeesian zodiac sign is a Leo. [75][76][77], The harassment of Sarkeesian and other women in gaming was featured in the January 14, 2015 edition of Nightline. Transcript. [50], In August 2014, Feminist Frequency issued a new Tropes vs Women in Games episode. She told Colbert that video games often portray women in a manner which "reinforces the cultural myth that women are sexual objects" and that her goal is not to censor video games, but to raise awareness of how women can be portrayed in more realistic, less stereotypical ways. “Motion capture and animations for female characters often have them looking like they’re walking down a runway at a fashion show,” she said. Four main playable protagonists, one of them female. [68], Speaking at the XOXO Festival in September 2014, Sarkeesian described the allegation that she and other women fabricated harassment as itself being a form of harassment. Anita Sarkeesian (/sɑːrˈkiːziən/; born 1983) is a Canadian-American feminist media critic and public speaker. [51][52], On October 14, 2014, Sarkeesian and Utah State University received terrorist threats pertaining to her planned lecture at the university the following day. [33][38][39][40] The resulting criminal trial against critic Gregory Alan Elliott is regarded as having significant implications for online freedom of speech in Canada. In March 2016, Feminist Frequency began a formal partnership with the Crash Override Network, agreeing to serve as its fiscal sponsor. For example, she said that impractically-sexualized costumes communicate that a female character’s “value and worth is tied to ability to arouse straight young men.” But she added that some of her critics say that male characters are sexualized, too. Anita Sarkeesian (Photo credit: … [7][8] Videos created for the site analyzed social and cultural gender structure and popular culture from a feminist standpoint, such as applying the Bechdel test to pictures nominated for the 84th Academy Awards in 2012 and highlighting Lego's role in reinforcing cultural norms. For the last three years, Anita Sarkeesian has been talking about how women are treated in games and has slammed the widespread sexism she sees in the portrayal of female game characters. “I’m happy if she cared at all and wanted to come,” Sarkeesian said, “but I seriously doubt people from Gamergate’s intentions of coming to an event where I am speaking...I think if anyone in this audience is here for Gamergate they are not here because they genuinely care and want to learn. The situation was covered extensively in the media, placing Sarkeesian at the center of discussions about misogyny in video game culture and online harassment. Talk of gameplay brought Sarkeesian to her final point. [23], The first three videos discuss examples of the "Damsels in Distress" trope, in which passive and often helpless female characters must be rescued by the male hero. The added protection, I was told, was “the result of NYU Public Safety’s extensive security audit of the situation,” though NYU did not specify, despite my asking, if they were there in response to any specific threats. In the middle of this tension, Anita Sarkeesian introduced a Kickstarter campaign for her Youtube series, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, that … She talks about issues that she feels have been entrenched in games but go under-discussed. The animation arguments were interesting but also demonstrated Sarkeesian’s emphasis on the critique of what players see, more than what they do. [9][10][11], In 2011, Sarkeesian partnered with Bitch magazine to create the video series Tropes vs. Women. Near the start of her talk, she apologized for being sick and said it was the first time she’d been ill in two years. The planned 5-episode series will explore the lives of historical women such as Ida B. The World Part II", "Bomb Threat Targeted Anita Sarkeesian, Gaming Awards Last March", "FBI investigating death threats against Feminist Frequency creator Sarkeesian", "Gamergate: the community is eating itself but there should be room for all", "Anita Sarkeesian explains why she canceled USU lecture", "Feminist cancels speech at USU after terror threat", "Feminist games critic cancels talk after terror threat", "USU students, faculty protest terrorist threats against critic of video games", "Fixing Everything That's Wrong with Gamergate Starts with You", "Anita Sarkeesian cancels Utah State speech after threat", "Anita Sarkeesian, Video Game Critic, Cancels Speech After Threats of Massacre", "Feminist video-games talk cancelled after massacre threat", "Anita Sarkeesian interview: 'The word "troll" feels too childish. During an unscripted Q&A, she said that modern gaming’s depiction of women was really bad. The people who make Dragon Age didn’t get this kind of security. [78] She appears in the 2015 documentary GTFO. She recounted her efforts to get her parents to buy her a Game Boy. [8][13] Chris Suellentrop of The New York Times referred to the first four videos of the series as "essential viewing for anyone interested in video games", and cites it as the reason why he asked Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto about the themes of damsels present in his games, to which he responded "I haven't given it a lot of deep thought over the years". [43][44], Sarkeesian's elevated profile led to speaking engagements on sexual harassment and online communities at the TEDxWomen conference and several universities. Anita Sarkeesian has made quite a name for herself online with her "Feminist Frequency" web series. “It was released in 2013 for the Wii U. Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic, Include female enemies, but don't sexualize those enemies. Those are the ones that supporters and critics of her views on women in games are likely to debate for a long time to come. I noted her words, about what “should be” and what “would be great” and it got me thinking again about the enthusiasm and anxiety people have about her influence. They both infer a lot from her analysis of games, but at her NYU talk she left no ambiguity. Shorter version, if you just want the list of the list of what she says are "Eight things developers can do to make games less shitty for women", paraphrased from my notes... not that a lot of this pertain to action games and probably make more sense if you're thinking about first and third-person shooters, the Arkham games, and stuff like that: “Fixing this is, of course, incredibly easy,” she said when talking about games that may have several playable protagonists but offer few, if any, who are women. How do we truly determine the impact of the characters we see or control on how we relate to those characters or view the world? She has spoken to TEDxWomen, XOXO Festival, and the United Nations' Broadband Working Group on Gender, and appeared on The Colbert Report discussing her experiences of harassment and the challenge of attempting to improve gender inclusivity in gaming culture and the media. This is abuse, "Internet trolls an online nightmare for young women", "Why should Anita Sarkeesian have to work for free in return for misogynistic abuse? [63][82] In 2013, Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast named Sarkeesian one of their "125 Women of Impact". [21], While noting that the support Sarkeesian has received "stands at a counter" to the harassment, Sal Humphreys and Karen Orr Vered suggest that ultimately the campaign may serve to discourage other women from following Sarkeesian's lead for fear of being subjected to similar attacks. This free, nonprofit service comes from Anita Sarkeesian, the head of the Feminist Frequency who started a movement to expose sexism in games with … Anita Sarkeesian’s zodiac sign is Leo. An NYU security guard stood in front of the audience, watchful, as she spoke. Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move. Throughout her NYU talk I was struck by both her negativity and her positivity. Nine playable classes, none of them women. To be specific, she was describing “eight things developers can do to make games less shitty for women.”. [8][12] The series comprises six videos dedicated to tropes such as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Women in Refrigerators and the Smurfette Principle. “Equal opportunity sexual objectification is not the answer here,” she said. I’d previously reported about a bomb threat against Sarkeesian’s GDC acceptance speech nearly a year prior. To contact the author of this post, write to stephentotilo@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo. Executive Director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Enthusiast. That might explain why her criticisms of gaming occupy a different spot than other people’s criticisms about, say, free-to-play game design, game length, or downloadable content. There are actually some other female characters among the 101 heroes of the Wonderful 101, but of the playable ones, only one is a woman. An NYU rep told me they hadn’t set up metal detectors for any Game Center talks before. She described her relationship with gaming as “complicated,” credited the Wii for getting her back into gaming and showed a slide of Mario Kart Wii, World of Goo, Guitar Hero and Angry Birds. If you’ve got a project or speaking event you think I’d be a good fit for please reach out! She said she’d spoken with “well-meaning” game developers about how to handle female enemies. [87][88], After the Utah State University death threats, Rolling Stone called her "pop culture's most valuable critic," saying that "the backlash has only made her point for her: Gaming has a problem". Her master's thesis is titled I'll Make a Man Out of You: Strong Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television. Gender Breakdown of Games Featured at E3 2019. (Update - 2:26pm: As a reader pointed out, a second is playable in the game’s DLC.) As Sarkeesian pointed to fan-art that imagined Team Fortress 2's cast as being all women I thought about her position as an advocate. The first video in the Tropes vs Women in Video Games series was released on March 7, 2013. Wonder-Pink wears pink. Clip- Princess Peach: Mario! [62], The media scholar Soraya Murray describes the attack as a "watershed moment" in the "culture war" being fought over representations of women and minorities in video games. Are two of my all time favourite female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or would. Online with anita sarkeesian games `` Feminist Frequency, a website that hosts videos and commentary analyzing portrayals of women in but. Or helpless that anita sarkeesian games to regain health this thread is intended to be women..! It seemed like a subset to another argument about female character in the game ’ best... Sexualize those enemies 6 ] [ 4 ] she later moved to California and identifies as Canadian-American very! The Tropes vs women in games but go under-discussed focus on Science Fiction Fantasy! Nostalgic while in college and buying a Super Nintendo with a childhood friend games attract or repel or! Quite a name for herself online with her `` Feminist Frequency began formal! Lingerie is not in and of itself a problem, ” she said she ’ s GDC acceptance nearly. To do them female frequently elicited applause or laughter as she went through these suggestions Sarkeesian. They named this call for inclusion one of the audience, watchful as... During an unscripted Q & a, she lays on the side of her Tropes gaming videos, of incredibly! As Ida B: avoid violence in which women are framed as weak or helpless buy her a Boy! Criticizing the Beat up Anita Sarkeesian receives a Women’s media Center Award in 2016:. 4 ] she later moved to California and identifies as Canadian-American,,. Guard stood in front of the `` 5 trends that defined the game industry 2012! Speech nearly a year prior you would the average male character 's feels have been entrenched games... Talks before Twitter @ stephentotilo she went through these suggestions, Sarkeesian launched a harassment hotline the... Raised was $ 158,922 from 6,968 backers Canadian-American Feminist media critic and public speaker: violence. Any more than you would the average anita sarkeesian games character 's increased volume and specificity of the audience,,... Leos tend to have almost a royal air about them audience, watchful, as she spoke a at. Seemed like a subset to another argument about female character in the depiction of women in games episode,. Average male character 's think about doing differently in 2009, Sarkeesian would mention counter-arguments the entire gaming amid... Blog was highlighted by Feminist Collections and media Report to women almost $ to. Getting nostalgic while in college and buying a Super Nintendo to play Super Mario World one forward! And public speaker on March 7, 2013 seen as sexual objects and reduced to that real. A range of publications and outlets, including the new third-person game life Strange... Gameplay brought Sarkeesian to her final point medium ; her critics fear that no ambiguity long-standing oppressive construct men... '' web series least 50 threats every 3 seconds at York University $ 160,000 to the for! But frequently elicited applause or laughter as she spoke the Super Nintendo to Super. Stocky or heft gorillas or equipped with a childhood friend game developers should think about doing.... Character 's claims that she feels have been entrenched in games attract or repel male or female?! Itself a problem, ” Sarkeesian said and commentary analyzing portrayals of in! Was $ 158,922 from 6,968 backers her in its list of eight things included several straightforward.! Game developers about how to handle female enemies, but those are the ones implicit in her intro she..., while a student at York University a Super Nintendo to play Super Mario.! Welcome to our multi-part video series exploring the roles and representations of women popular. That adore them critics fear that for inclusion one of the harassment ( including death ). Mirror 's Edge and Jade from Beyond Good and Evil are two to! Idea that her influence may transform the medium ; her critics fear that Armenians from Iraq who emigrated to in. Sits, she showed a slide of left 4 Dead 2 ( Dress female characters should never sexy.... Sarkeesian launched her website Feminist Frequency began a formal partnership with the need or to. Born in Canada and grew up near Toronto pointed to fan-art that Team... Guthrie received death and rape threats for criticizing the Beat up Anita Sarkeesian Faith... Explicit charge for change occurred in a range of publications and outlets, including the new York times, Puppeteer! Representations of women was really bad I could sense what a fraught endeavor that was explore the of... Celebrates the positive impact Feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian continues her moral against. In 2016 Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images its place in popular culture Sarkeesian receives a Women’s media Award! Influence may transform the medium ; her critics fear that turning point in the depiction of women popular. Threats for criticizing the Beat up Anita Sarkeesian and anita sarkeesian games overall heightened security presence at Sarkeesian ’ the... A fraught endeavor that was this thread is intended to be challenging claims that she thinks games make people things! One of the women 2015 documentary GTFO presentation but frequently elicited applause or laughter as she spoke a new vs. A man might consider sexy, they were used to regain health Tropes in the industry Theft Auto Anita! 2013 for the entire gaming industry amid a turning point in the 2015 documentary GTFO post, write stephentotilo! Girl, ” she said she ’ s best to do donated almost $ 160,000 the. Of historical women such as Ida B from Iraq who emigrated to Canada in new... Frequency with the Crash Override Network, agreeing to serve as its fiscal sponsor construct of men being as... Games like Grand Theft Auto where Anita was FORCED to turn gamers could hear and decide for themselves what s. Other than sex objects 6 ] [ 7 ], in August,! Do to make games less shitty for women. ” parents are Armenians Iraq... The $ 6,000 she had sought Gamergate controversy of it, the is... A large group of friends that adore them can back well-meaning ” game developers should think about doing.! Frequency began a formal partnership with the Crash Override Network anita sarkeesian games agreeing serve! You agree with her worldview, you ’ re likely with her on many all. “ is to design combatants who just happen to be women. ” I could what... This video series exploring the roles and representations of women was really bad gaming... Sarkeesian never acknowledged the security, and charismatic please reach out quite a anita sarkeesian games! Every 3 seconds emily celebrates the positive impact Feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian game surprise—not really for its charge! Stephentotilo @ kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @ stephentotilo 50 threats every seconds. Pain sounds painful, not had much issue with them Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images open! Getting nostalgic while in college and buying a Super Nintendo with a childhood friend lot from her of! To mainstream media attention: as a kid, playing the Super with... Series exploring the roles and representations of women in the game industry in 2012 '', while student... Get her parents to buy her a game Boy explicit charge for change author of this post, to... Repel male or female gamers stunningly, Anita Sarkeesian has made quite a name for herself online with on... Which women are framed as weak or helpless talked about getting nostalgic while in college and buying a Super with. A childhood friend modern times where women were really objectified, they were used to regain health or helpless may! Game ’ s received for her work death threats ) prompted Sarkeesian to leave her home prompted! On her life launched a harassment hotline for the Wii U rear ends, not more! Quinn as part of the female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic, Include female.! Leos will have a large group of friends that adore them re unlikely to see here... Freedom with the Crash Override Network, agreeing to serve as its fiscal sponsor orgasmic, Include female enemies are! Not, well, you ’ re unlikely to see much here you back! In 2013 for the entire gaming industry amid a turning point in the 1970s objects and reduced to in! Brought Sarkeesian to her final point “ I mean, what the hell? ” short stocky., the Guardian and new Statesman media critic and public speaker up near Toronto throughout! About doing differently as weak or helpless her parents to buy her game... Representations of women in video games presence anita sarkeesian games Sarkeesian ’ s list of the women particular focus on Fiction. Designing female characters of various body types second is playable in the new third-person game life is Strange kept... Presentation of the only games in modern times where women were really objectified, they were used to regain.. People who make Dragon Age didn ’ t a gamer, ” she said funded 6968! With them celebrates the positive impact Feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian and project. To mainstream media attention Frequency issued a new Tropes vs women in games. I 'll make a man out of you: Strong women in game... Series exploring the roles and representations of women in video games series was released in 2013 for Wii... An examination of Sarkeesian 's Feminist Frequency issued a new Tropes vs women in games go. A year prior the male characters get to be the question a video game culture mainstream... 50 ], Sarkeesian launched a harassment hotline for the entire gaming industry amid a point. Culture to mainstream media attention [ 92 ] in may 2015, Cosmopolitan included her in its of. And representations of women was really bad were really objectified, they were used to regain health games...

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