Along with game developer Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian is likely one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to online harassment. Both have been targets of intense cyber-abuse campaigns stemming from the GamerGate movement, and like Quinn, Sarkeesian is tackling the problem head on. She’s going to continue giving speeches and making videos examining media (what she calls public efforts), but the digital abuse she’s receiving has changed her long-term goal:
“There is also work being done behind the scenes in private meetings and consultations with major social media and gaming platforms, and by partnering with other organizations to form a task force with the goal of ending online harassment.”
In a letter prefacing her Feminist Frequency organization’s 2014 spending report (PDF), Sarkeesian says that she spends about half of her time raising awareness on the topic and helping to change policies on an institutional level — this is much more than a side-project for her. If you’re skeptical about how feasible this is, you need not look any further than Intel’s $300 million response to GamerGate and game developer Naughty Dog’s work on The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann presenting Sarkeesian with the Game Developer’s Choice Ambassador Award in 2014
Her ultimate goal for Feminist Frequency, now a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization, she says, is to make it a network of programming examining all manner of media with a “systemic/intersectional/anti-oppression lens.” As an extension of that, she’s addressing one of the most common responses (at least in our comment section) to the Tropes series: that it’s one-sided and ignores the ways that men and masculinity are portrayed in video games. You know, like the stereotypical hyper-macho, ‘roided out, womanizing space marine, for example.
Tropes vs. Women in Video Games isn’t going anywhere, either. Production’s underway on the year’s first episode exploring the concept of “women as reward.” That’s not all: A series showcasing positive depictions of women in games is en route, too. For a peek at where else Sarkeesian sees Feminist Frequency going in 2015, take a look through the brief, colorful and surprisingly palatable report linked below.
[Image credit: Infomastern/Flickr]
Source: Feminist Frequency (Dropbox)