Uncovering sexism and misogyny in the gaming community
Organisation URL: youtube.com/channel/UC7Edgk9RxP7Fm7vjQ1d-cDA
Feminist Frequency (FF) is a video blog by Canadian-American feminist Anita Sarkeesian. She exposes misogyny in video games and pushes for change in the culture.
All her videos are free to watch on YouTube with costs funded by viewers: a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new series for 2014 generated $160,000 funding from supporters, far exceeding her target of $6,000.
One measure of FF's success is the number of views the videos have received: rising from 250,000 for Sarkeesian's earliest efforts, up to 2.1 million for one released last year. She was also given the ambassador award at the 2014 Games Developers Choice Awards, recognition of the importance of her work from the very people whose behaviour she is seeking to change.
Sadly, evidence of the impact of her work can also be measured in the volume of violent, misogynist threats she has received since starting FF. This reached a nadir in August 2014, when Sarkeesian was forced to flee her home after receiving messages on Twitter threatening her life.
Such threats also serve to vividly confirm that her analysis of the dysfunctional culture amongst gamers is correct. She is one of a number of women taking a public line against sexual discrimination or poor representations in video games culture, and facing online threats as a result. Zoe Quinn, the games developer behind Depression Quest was also the subject of threats and hacks.
In response to such incidents, around 2000 gaming professionals signed an open letter in support of a safe, welcoming environment for gamers, stating that "It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish".
Gavin Smith, who nominated the project says, "what they are doing is important and they are doing it under some very frightening circumstances. The social side of tech needs to be sorted."
Image courtesy of Feminist Frequency
Last updated: 05th of September, 2014