Feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian, who no one noticed until she started criticizing video games for being sexist sometimes, faced another challenge as an anonymous person threatened a massacre if she made a speech. Again, this is over moderate criticism of video games.
The ongoing campaign of harassment against women in gaming has, oddly enough, been better reported by non-gaming sources than gaming news sites. Dubbed #GamerGate, it’s technically a campaign for ethics in journalism – and so, obviously, they’ve allied themselves with Breitbart.com to fight the New York Times. But actually the movement began with long, pointless Youtube videos attacking a developer called Zoe Quinn for sleeping with men. Including a man who gave a good review to her game Depression Quest, except he never once reviewed Depression Quest, meaning the whole justification for the movement is bullshit.
Now, the threat doesn’t mention #GamerGate. But that doesn’t stop Gaters from engaging in the time-honored tradition of conspiracy theorists everywhere: shouting false flag! False flag! everywhere like total assholes.
This isn’t the first time this has happened with Anita Sarkeesian. Back in August, loathsome MRA site Return of the Kings reported that Anita Sarkeesian must have invented threats she showed off: after all, she’s logged out (no one has multiple accounts on Twitter or browses offline, obviously) and the account’s recently made (no one’s ever made a new burner account to get around a ban in the history of the internet)! Plus, isn’t the guy’s grammar too good to be real? And the search bar’s empty – which always happens after going to a account’s page from search results, as I just verified now. It takes 5 seconds to confirm this.
But people ranting about false flags are like cicadas: you can’t seem ’em now, but you know they’ll be back soon and they’re going to be fucking loud when that happens.
I’m pretty sure that politicians get death threats all the time. In fact, quite a few of them have been outright murdered by people. Stephen Sondheim has a musical on the topic if you’re interested.
And here we see someone “proving” the threat was fake by grading it like a damn middle school essay. It must be fake because this manifesto by someone who wanted to shoot people over feminism is too focused on women. Only feminists would know of the Montreal massacre (a major event that spurred gun control in Canada), and you can’t say it’d be an attack like it because there was only one attack (huh?), And this death threat by someone willing to kill people to protect video games from feminism has some weird writing in it, Ergo, false flag. Elsewhere, someone uses a website to prove that a woman wrote this.
There are valid arguments on both sides. For instance, one side thinks saying something about ethics lets you harass women and the other side is full of rational adults who see #GamerGate as the horde of petulant children they are. One side allies with conservative news sites, conservative websites and conservative celebrities and the other side somehow thinks this means they’re a conservative movement. One side angrily reacts to headlines, and the other actually bothers to read things before judging them. One side talks about ethical concerns honestly, and the other only started caring about corruption in the game industry when it let them yell at women. There are truly two sides to this issue, as you can see.
“A few bad apples” is a funny phrase. Now it’s a defense – it’s just a few bad apples, the rest of our group is fine! But the full expression says the opposite: a few bad apples spoil everything. There may be apples in the #GamerGate bunch that aren’t rotten to the core, but they all spring from the same, poison tree.
PS: I apologize to cicadas for comparing you to #GamerGate. Cicadas are great. Bugs are great. Please go look at cool bugs instead of reading anything about #GamerGate.