In 2014, it was impossible to get away from Anita Sarkeesian’s presence. This is not even her fault. It is my fault. It is IGN’s fault. It is Kotaku’s fault. It is everybody’s fault. We keep talking about her because we’re in love with her.
However, one thing that keeps happening is that she keeps constantly being framed as a threat and all reaction to her is constantly blown completely out of proportion. She has been called “Video game’s greatest adversary.” UNTRUE! She is a blip on any radar. Gaming’s greatest adversary are gamers themselves with their sense of entitlements as well as anonymously, aggressively attacking other people. Gaming’s greatest adversary is the perception many of us still face. According to many people, gamers are fat, lazy and living in, you guessed it, your momma’s basement (message!). There is nothing true about that. Most gamers are in their 30’s and holding down jobs to pay for such an expensive habit.
Anita Sarkeesian’s days on gaming’s radar should be over, but due to the vocal minority that can’t stand when (gasp!) a woman chooses to dispense her point of view (as erroneous as I feel some of her points are), here we are still watching what Anita is doing. Recently,
somebody, a complete tool decided to petition EA because they were under the impression Anita Sarkeesian was working on Mirror’s Edge 2. I did some digging and she isn’t “working” on the game, at best she consulted on sexism and that’s the end of that. She is not actively involved in the process. I’m willing to bet that she does not have time. Anyways, the petition itself has sexism splashed all over it. Let us take a look at some quotes.
“Anita Sarkeesian has no credibility or experience in game development. She is merely a self proclaimed critic and her opinions should offer no sound foundations in the development of this or any game. She has no experience in the industry.”
Why doesn’t she have experience? She’s a media critic, she critiques media and has been talking about the subject for well over a year and presumably she has done or had people assist her with research as evidenced by her lifting other people’s YouTube playthroughs to present as her own. She’s not developing Mirror’s Edge, but she is pretty proficient at critiquing media.
“Anita does not speak for gamers, female or otherwise, on the difficulty or appeal of games. She only offers personal insights catering to her own agenda. In fact, she went so far as to say that women needed a whole new “simplified” control set for this game, based on her personal experiences, passing them off as the opinion of the female gaming community.”
I host a podcast with somebody who has similar views on sexism as Anita and she is all woman, let me assure you. Even though she plays similar games, she sees it through a different lens as a result of different life experiences. Scenes where I am able to chuckle, she may groan or have an eyeroll at the overt sexism. The only point is pointing out Anita whining over the difficulty of the game and women needing a whole new simplified set. I can’t verify her saying that but even suggesting women need a simplified anything when compared to a man is absolute sexism. Therefore it is ridiculous Anita would even say that.
“In the past, Anita has even spoken against her status as a gamer, only to rebut her stance to serve her own purposes.”
They are referring to her double standard positioning as evidenced by this. [Edit – 24/12/2014 – It came to my attention that the video was broken. I have replaced it with a video by somebody else containing the same footage.]
Here is the crazy thing about that video that people often overlook. She says she had to learn a lot about video games to do the work she did on the series. Would you rather she went off her opinion based on screenshots? The fact that she can reach similar conclusions as actual female gamers is mildly impressive. That is what people should focus on but because you need credibility to be a gamer, a lot of gamers immediately dismiss her.
“We are not against strong portrayls [sic] of women in video games, but believe that consultations on games should be given by more credible and experienced sources”
Like who? Jade Raymond? Who is also a woman who has strong opinions on sexism or the advancement of women in gaming (and film and television for that matter). The difference between Jade and Anita is Jade has programming as a background and Anita has a communications degree. They are both able bodied women, with brains who can identify sexism. You don’t need to lift a controller to understand that concept.
The petition goes on to call her ignorant but we’ll just wrap it up here because the irony of calling somebody ignorant while you remain as such is laughable.
Good Night and Good Luck
The Jaded Gamer