Anita Sarkeesian - Her views, My Stance
If you're familiar with the gaming industry and do work in Twitch/Youtube, or follow a number of gaming critics, reviewers, etc on various social media. You might already know who Anita is.
If you are like me, someone who didn't know of her until recently, then this hub will be perfect on telling you who she is. Also, I'll be covering the bits about her that she is known for over the internet.
Her work as a whole
Anita's work began in 2012 when she kick started a video series called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. Anita is a feminist. Her work is related to the entertainment world, more importantly revolving around video games. Her work seeks to eliminate or lessen, the tropes of women in video games.
Such examples of tropes: The Damsel in Distress, Princess Peach always being caught by Bowser and Mario/Luigi must rescue her time and time again. Sexual Desires/Rewards, Many games that include a erotically dressed heroine, or damsel in distress that the plot will dance around, or this will motivate the player to rescue them.
Anita seeks women to be just another thing you've encountered in a video game. She would like to see more character options for female versions, and for games to be neutral and treating both genders equally. She strives for equal portrayals of women in video gaming as a whole.
In one of her talks, Anita showed a projector slide of several female protagonists. These women were portraying the quality of female characters that Anita seeks more of in video games. Some of these characters were from big time triple A video games backed by big publishers, while others were small time indie companies.
Two of the characters that I could instantly pick out were:
Chell - From the Portal Series
Faith - the playable character in Mirror's Edge
Further in this talk, she covers several things, such as animations for women, clothing styles, the women and how they act, and how they react to events.
She's praised some other games for not only having women characters just being another person in the game, but also how they were dressed.
Bioshock Infinite: A first person shooter game. In this game features a military group of the people who created the city, The Founders. The Founder soldiers are all dressed in Battle Dress Uniforms. Some of these soldiers featured are women characters, they move and act like their male counterparts and are just another enemy you face in the game and must defeat.
Dark Souls 2: Dark Souls 2 is a hardcore dark fantasy 3rd person action-role playing game. It features challenging gameplay, stats, frightening bosses, and character customization. Whether you make your character a male or a female, all of the clothing is very realistic fitting and there is no scale mail bikini's that's only feature is to excite male players. Even the many female NPCs you meet are what women should act like in video games. Companions and allies that you can rely on for help and merchants that sell valuable items.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown: A Science fiction turn based tactical video game. You can create a squad of soldiers from many countries in the world, they add further face customization and gender customization. Men and women soldiers both are equipped with the same BDU and act and move very much the same.
These are good examples of what Anita would like to see more in games. Less sultry dressed maidens that you must rescue and be the main plot of the game. She would like to see more animations based on how female soldiers would move and act, and she would like clothing based less on sexy designs and more on practicality and based from soldier uniforms or athletes. She also went on to say that it would be nice if female characters were a bigger choice in video games. Such as a group of 5 or 6 characters, having 2 or 3 of them being women would be a great change.
Founder female soldier, Faith, and Chell
Controversy & Harassment
Since Anita has shown up on the internet since 2012, she has become a constant victim of harassment in many forms. Let's begin a short description on that.
It began in 2012 with her kick starter series being discovered by various gamers who took to the internet and spoke of Anita, that she would crush the gaming industry and take everyone's video games away. This event sent Anita from being a small name that barely anyone knew about. To now, a large portion of the internet around the gaming culture to know of the name Anita Sarkeesian. It was covered over the news with center of discussions about misogyny in video game culture and online harassment.
As time goes on and to this day, Anita is regularly harassed about her views in the gaming industry. She's had her personal information hacked and distributed to the internet, her social media and website has been repeatedly hacked. She received various threats and continues to. Horrible games have been made about her on New Grounds. Sexist and misogynistic comments always follow her name. Her Youtube channel was being repeatedly flagged by people attempting to shut her up and to shut her down.
An act of hate at E3 2015
Angryjoe briefly covers Anita in his 2013 controversies. Anita's part begins at 24:32 in the video
My Views on Anita's work
Much like AngryJoe, there are some thing Anita has stated that I don't fully agree with, but I do stand by her on many things, such as the gaming industry is male dominated, that many tropes such as scantily clad women, and damsel in distress are over used, I would like to see different options, and different stories explored. I would also enjoy there being more female protagonists and main characters in more of the video games I play. Even if I don't agree, or I find some of her goals set too high, I will defend her right for her to speak her opinion, any human begin has a right to different thoughts and opinions.
As for her harassment, that is ridiculous. If Angryjoe can state his dislike with some of Anita's work and not have to rile up a community of people to flag her videos, or personally attack her. Why can't anyone else?
People who enjoy video games as a whole, are often looked upon by the media as violent, sexist, and hateful people. All of the people who were responsible on 4Chan, GamerGate, and the ones to flag her videos and makes threats and sexist comments, they all just sent the entire gaming community back a few steps. On the internet where one woman cannot even state her opinion, without being abused and harassed, that is unacceptable.
Thank you all for reading this article, I hoped to inform you that Anita isn't the devil in disguise, she is just a women that would like to feel that her gender is being respectfully shown in such a wide entertainment audience, that is video games.
If you have any comments you'd like to make about Anita and what you think of her work, or your reaction to her harassment, please feel free to post down below.
I also must state some personal thoughts to Anita, that I hope that she has been able to get over the trauma her past attacks might have caused. I hope she keeps doing what she does, and I hope one day to see some game developers take a more opened mind to the roles of women in video games.
You've been wonderful thank you again!