By Shinryujin 29 Comments
2 Controversial names in title, heh.
Anonymous versus Sarkeesian
I had recently discovered through someone I subscribed to on Youtube, that Anonymous had gathered and released information regarding Anita Sarkeesian. Many separate videos had been made over the past year or so dismantling Anita's criticism regarding sexism in video games. Things got more interesting a few months ago when new information surfaced that hints towards Anita's ulterior motives. What we found out was...
Anita is a scam.
Well, the main message ends here. What follows is my personal opinion.
Something Doesn't Click
I watched her Tropes vs Women series so far, and some things had always bugged me, some things that simply didn't click for me. I wasn't really sure, but I've been watching other people's critique of her videos and they had put it into words for me. A lot of great points have been brought up, thus I only have these few to add.
Why does she need money for this? Video game studies, insight, opinion, etc. writings and videos has been done for free and voluntarily so. This is my first giant red flag in this matter.
I suspected that Kickstarter served a dual-purpose for her, as a marketing scheme and to make money, any amount of money; which is brilliant and thoroughly devious. Think about it; normally, a producer pays a marketer to bring customers to him / her, essentially buying customers. Anita reverses this by making the customers pay her to bring themselves to her, thus making herself the producer and marketer, giving her all the benefits, and shouldering none of the cost.
Referring mainly to her TEDxWomen speech. She plays the victim card really hard. The mentality is that, "I'm being persecuted, therefore I must be right". Plus the term really fits her marketing tactic; "professional" meaning being really good at it and she makes money by doing it. Anita abuses society's perception regarding gender to further her cause.
Ironically, she then turns around and speaks out against the Damsel in Distress trope, yet she uses it when it suit her. Hypocrisy.
Her critique against the Damsel in Distress trope is basically this. We generally accept that not saving people is bad, but then she tries to explain that saving people is also bad. Thus, there is no way to satisfy her; she has set up the situation in such a way that there is no winning move. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Are Video Games Sexist?
Or rather, depends on how you define sexism.
The way I see it, sexism presumes the intent to discriminate with the result of harm done to the target of discrimination. In general, video games are not that. It just so happens that most game developers and players are straight male, and they / we do what we are most familiar with. It's not a boys' club, or a sausage fest (picked up that term somewhere). We don't prop up a "No Women Allowed" sign. Everyone is welcome. It just so happens that percentage wise, more men are interested in video games than women are. Men are not to blame. We do not go out of our way to stomp on women.
Yes, more can be done to better represent the rest of the spectrum of humans; but at the same time, don't attribute to video games what isn't there. Yes, video games do have the potential to gain wider acceptance and achieve greater things; but at the same time, sometimes we just want to have fun.