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Pop Culture: Gamergate, New Form Of Digital Sexual Harassment

(Image courtesy of Destructoid.com)
(Image courtesy of Destructoid.com)


Anita Sarkeesian, a noted feminist video game critic, recently cancelled a talk at Utah State University after she felt security measures were inadequate to contend with gamers making death threats.

I wish this were an isolated phenomenon but it’s not. Many other feminist game critics have been receiving death threats and having their addresses published in a scandal that has been dubbed “Gamergate.”

(Image courtesy of GeekInsider.com)
(Image courtesy of GeekInsider.com)

First thing is first: This is not okay. You may disagree with what they have to say. This is fine. You’re in America. However, and I really should not need to spell this out, it is not okay to make death threats.

It’s not appropriate, legal, moral, or even remotely funny.

Making dumb comments under blog posts is one thing. Posting death threats is another.  If you want to criticize her viewpoints, fine. However, you should at least read them. Not what other people say about them.

Actually read what they have written. Honestly, I am not sure what there is to criticize.

The feminist vloggers aren’t exactly calling for game bans here. Even if they were, it still would not justify threats of violence. From what I can tell, they’re pointing out some pretty legitimate problems.

Things like a lack of female video game characters that are more damsels in distress or eye candy or a pervasive culture of misogyny in the industry.

I’m not just talking about saying garbage on Xbox Live. Female professionals have reported being sexually harassed at conventions and the like and have received similar vitriol.

Folks, I like video games. However, this kind of stuff needs to stop. Know what else needs to stop? This meme that anyone who calls out trolls who say horrible things on Xbox or sexually harass females is obsessed with “political correctness.”

Sorry, but treating women as human beings is not “political correctness.” It’s acting like a person with home training.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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