Before I begin, I want to acknowledge my privileged status. I am a Jewish (White in appearance) college-educated male in my mid-twenties. Opportunities in all walks of life have been wide open to me in comparison to people of color and women.

My voice, for good or ill, is treated as more valid than women’s voices by society in general. Many women have written about misogyny and sexism in gaming in particular. I recognize that since I have never personally been a victim of sexual harassment, I can’t claim to speak for them. Hell, I don’t want to speak for them.

Therefore, I encourage women (and men) to make their voices heard. If just one woman is inspired to fight against the patriarchy by my article, then I’ll have succeeded. I want to use my privileged status to help others find their voice and start a dialogue, so please feel free to leave comments below. That said, let the post begin!

Preamble

Video games and gaming culture have gone mainstream. From its humble beginnings in the ’70s, this medium has exploded. Last year, the global gaming industry took in more than $91 billion. As of 2015, there were 1.8 billion gamers in the world. However, many people aren’t aware that over half of all gamers are women. In addition, most of society isn’t aware of its own sexist attitudes.

READ: To combat sexism, you must first know it’s there. Read this article on sexism in DEADPOOL to find out more.

This is particularly the case in gaming culture, where misogyny and sexism are rampant. Recent flare-ups like GamerGate are just the most visible form of this discrimination. And they’re not always private or covert: this summer, the feminist Anita Sarkeesian was publically harassed at a Vidcon Panel. These are not isolated incidents. They are indicative of a regressive culture that is harming women and girls everywhere.

Everyday Sexism And Sexual Harassment

Every day, innocent women are verbally harassed during multiplayer games. They are sent lewd messages, questioned constantly on whether they’re “real” gamers, and barraged with date asks. As if this weren’t enough, whenever they defend themselves, they are ridiculed and dismissed with comments such as “go back in the kitchen” or “make me a sandwich.”

The idea that gaming is a space solely for white males is ingrained in our culture. No matter how many times someone points out that more women own game consoles than men, there will be those who simply ignore them. If they’re women, it’s because they’re obviously SJWs and self-serving attention whores.

If it’s men, it’s because they’re beta level cucks who are obviously screwing a feminazi. And female gaming journalists get the worst of it. If nothing else, GamerGate showed that as a woman, working in gaming is hell.

GamerGate

For those not in the know, 2014 was a bad year to be a woman in gaming. By bad, I mean worse than usual. That is, women were getting death threats instead of “only” nude pic requests. This all culminated with a female game designer and her ex-boyfriend’s blog post.

Zoe Quinn was and is a well-known game developer. In 2014, her ex-wrote a tell-all blog post detailing how she cheated on him. He then shared it on the site 4chan, which is notorious for its subgroups of sexist chat rooms.

I won’t supply the post or the author’s name since I don’t want to give him another platform. However, I will summarize it. He alleged that Quinn cheated on him with a gaming journalist for a popular site. A game Quinn had been working on got a lot of good press. However, none was from Nathan Grayson, the aforementioned journalist. Nevertheless, according to Quinn’s ex, they were sleeping together because he said so.

Zoe Quinn at XoXo Festival

When Quinn saw this post, she naturally was quite upset, describing it this way:

“It was very precise and deliberate…I fully believe it was there to ruin my life. As soon as it hit 4chan, they [harassers] went into ‘get this bitch’ mode. They started doxxing me immediately, asking who had hacking skills.”

Doxxing is a very, very serious issue. It is the practice of posting a person’s contact info such as their phone number, email, and address on social media. This allows trolls and sexual harassers to flood the doxxing victim’s email and voicemail with hate speech and even death threats. This security issue plagued Zoe Quinn for months. Sometimes victims of doxxing find it impossible to stay in their homes for fear of actual assault.

Journalistic Ethics

As the controversy grew, the smarter trolls realized being called sexist isn’t great for one’s image. Therefore, they banded together in an attempt to reframe the narrative. Instead of a misogynistic spat against a female game developer, these GamerGate advocates claimed the spat was all about journalistic ethics.

After all, impartiality is important in journalism. These sexist commentators alleged the whole argument wasn’t about women in games, it was about journalistic integrity and honest reviewing. Zoe Quinn refutes the argument that GamerGate was about journalistic ethics:

“I have 16 gigabytes of evidence [of harassment], I’ve got massive amounts of screen grabs. But proof doesn’t matter, logic doesn’t matter – the fact that the review they’re propping up as the excuse for their crusade doesn’t exist and has never existed, that does not matter – it still gets thrown at me constantly…People can just make shit up and you can’t debunk it, they’ll just replay it. This is used to terrorize my family and go after my boyfriend, to ruin his life too for the crime of being associated with me. Now tell me it’s about ethics in games journalism.”

All this reframing, unfortunately, has worked. Many people are convinced that Quinn’s constant invocation of sexism is nothing but an excuse and a charade. Those who feel threatened by women encroaching on “their” space will be more inclined to seek out falsehoods that confirm their own negative biases.

Seeing the fig leaf of journalistic ethics, they cling tightly to it. All the while, these (mostly white) male gamers support the movement’s leaders and all too many become participants in sexism themselves. That is, not just everyday sexism of harassing women gamers online. These GamerGate true believers will doxx people or post disgusting and hurtful things on victims’ Twitter accounts.

Feminist Frequency

Another victim of sexism in video game culture is Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian first came to prominence in 2009 when she created the YouTube channel Feminist Frequency. The channel exposed (and continues to expose) sexism and bigotry in video games, gaming culture, and pop culture in general.

In 2011, she launched her signature series TROPES VS. WOMEN IN VIDEO GAMES. This informative and engrossing series details many hidden facets of misogyny in video games. For exposing many of these things, Sarkeesian has been harassed and ridiculed relentlessly ever since.

LISTEN: ComicsVerse celebrates women in X-Men comics!

In June, Sarkeesian was provoked into verbally berating a group of YouTubers. While she has been a target of harassment before, this was a more clandestine and physical form of intimidation on the part of people opposed to Sarkeesian’s views. This included prominent YouTuber Sargon of Akkad (real name Carl Benjamin).

While attending a VidCon panel, several anti-SJW (Social Justice Warrior) YouTubers, among them Benjamin, filled up the rows in front of the podium at which Sarkeesian stood. They were silent, but recognizing Benjamin and knowing his policies, Sarkeesian rightfully felt threatened.

Sexism in Video Game Culture
Anita Sarkeesian

It was quite clear to Anita Sarkeesian (and most reasonable people) that Carl Benjamin and his followers’ presence was an intimidation tactic. Sarkeesian proceeded to lash out against this menacing presence by name calling and other reactions. It may not look great or be very nice, but lashing out at threats is a natural human reaction, and the feminist critic should be forgiven for her actions.

After all, in her place, would anyone do anything very different? Sure, maybe a Gandhi or MLK would have. However, those figures are famous precisely because they were superhuman in their calm, collected reactions to both implied and actual threats. Knowing that Sarkeesian is merely human, Carl Benjamin and his fellow travelers got the reaction they wanted: reasonable outrage. By provoking Sarkeesian into reacting like a human being, these sexist vloggers claim victory over the dreaded SJWs.

READ: Want more from ComicsVerse’s gaming gurus? Then look no further than our coverage of Momocon 2017!

This is one of the many tactics misogynists and GamerGate-affiliated critics use to bully their opponents. Anita Sarkeesian is one of the few brave souls willing to speak out against misogyny in games and pop culture. She does a great job as her videos are not only engaging but informative as well. For all her good work, she still gets death threats and isn’t taken seriously because she is a woman. This is a shame.

A Reoccurring Issue

Sexism and misogyny are ever present problems. Every day, millions of women are victims of sexual harassment. Intentionally and unintentionally, millions of men victimize women simply because of their gender. In the gaming community, this hurt is just as acute, if not more so. Due to a misguided perception of gaming as a space for white males, many haters heap vitriol on feminists. Critics of sexism in video game culture are doxxed, harassed, intimidated, and threatened daily.

Victims like Zoe Quinn are driven from their homes and often lose their jobs. This is a serious issue. Gender equality affects everyone. Therefore, everyone must constantly be on guard against sexism in its many forms. Fighting back against reactionary forces and people is the only way for compassion and equality to triumph.

There is both reason to hope and reason to fear for progressive change in the future of gender relations. In gaming, more than half of all consumers are women. For better or worse, money talks louder than anything else in our market driven world. If women can make their voices heard more — and men finally decide to hear them — then video game companies will listen.

As well, focus on gender issues has increased due to the pernicious influence of the Trump White House. This is a double-edged sword and provides both misogynists and feminists with ammunition. With movements such as the Women’s March garnering widespread support, there is hope that gender equality will improve in the future. Nevertheless, we must always be aware of the reactionary forces protecting the status quo and the Glass Ceiling.

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48 Comments

  1. Hagard

    August 27, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    If this is the quality of your pages writing then I don’t feel I can really do more than leave this reply as it is not a sight for ethical minds.
    I’m very sorry to have seen this as writing like this only serves to back up those you wish to oppose & gives them ammunition you.

    Reply

  2. Sharon Baumgold

    August 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I think that Ernest Cline had an interesting take on sexism and racism in gaming in “Ready Player One” and his following book, “Armada.”

    Reply

  3. lopus78

    August 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    If it makes the Author of the this article feel any better your voice is less valid to me than the voice of any women I know

    Reply

  4. PR Department

    August 25, 2017 at 4:14 am

    Anita called, Your check is in the mail.

    Reply

  5. Nice Memer

    August 25, 2017 at 2:55 am

    > Go to Archive(dot)is
    > Search “admission quest” in the lower, dark blue bar
    > Click on the first archived link
    > Look at author’s name
    > Look at the publish date
    > Look at the screenshot
    > Look at the “must have games”
    > Look at the article tags

    None of it was from Nathan Grayson? Also, do you have any evidence from that “16 gigs?” Because I can dig up evidence of Quinn harassing and threatening a black woman, as well as sending her followers after her.

    Reply

  6. vlweb3dVallen Davis

    August 24, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    I DOUBT THAT THIS ARTICLE WAS EVEN WRITTEN BY A MAN – but by some crazed feminist using a so-called “pen name”. This article is hot garbage and rife with emotional drama.

    But more importantly, this article is chock full of LIES after LIES after LIES. Its like you don’t even know what the word “libel” means. This is even beyond an embarrassment of an article – it is outright “gutter sludge journalism”.

    You should be ASHAMED of yourself, for trying to fill up an article with so many OBVIOUS LIES that anyone can easily debunk ( as they are doing right now ). But then again, if you even knew what the word “shame” meant, you would have never written this trash in the first place.

    Disgusting.

    Reply

  7. Rush

    August 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Shocking that you can claim with a straight face that Anita was harassed. It’s no secret that she was the one doing the harassing. There is plenty of video proof and witness testimony.

    What’s it like to be so filthy with lies, Sam Schenerman? I really wouldn’t know, personally. Does it feel good? You wouldn’t change a thing about yourself?

    Reply

  8. Merrill Davis

    August 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Wow. I mean…. WOW…. This article is so wrong that Flat Earthers and 9/11 Truthers believe it.

    Reply

  9. Jaysen Chesko

    August 24, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Do you know what libel is? Because this is libel. It’s a complete fabrication of the events of VidCon

    Anita called Carl out publicly.
    Anita called Carl a “garbage human”
    When Carl said, from the floor, that he just wanted a talk, she went “Whatever, dude.”

    There’s miles of footage of that very event by dozens of people on both sides of the PC battle line.

    If Mr. Benjamin does decide to sue you, I’d pay for tickets.

    Reply

  10. maxwellflitton

    August 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I’m going to be serious here. Sargon should actually consider compiling the videos and articles like this and take them to court. There’s a lot of lies that can be clearly proven wrong. It’s shocking that groups completely ignore facts. Even when there’s direct video evidence. Seriously, legal action is the only way to stop these unfair hit pieces. Reason clearly isn’t working.

    Reply

  11. Elilla Shadowheart

    August 24, 2017 at 1:25 am

    What? Nothing about Quinn harassing, doxing, and abusing a bunch of lonely, suicidal virgins on wizardchan?

    Reply

  12. Lop Treadmill (@LopTreadmill)

    August 23, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    What a shit loser web site this is. Fucking lame.

    Reply

  13. Attack Helicopter D (@vertualedge)

    August 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Sam Schenerman you are a liar. Worse still you are protecting a scam artist and an abuser. You are shameful and a fraud. I urge you to dig deeper into this matter (don’t just take the scam artist Sarkeesian’s word for it) and reconsider the life choices that have led you to produce this reprehensible libel.

    Reply

  14. Andrew Murray

    August 23, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    All the videos and eyewitness accounts demonstrated that it was Skarseesian who harassed people at vidcon. One being an audience member and another being a fellow panelist. The sexism in video game culture is entirely fabricated based on shallow looks into the marketing of video games. Skarseesian’s entire video series has been debunked countless times by gamers of many types, and the petty, dishonest reporting that has been done about this is disgusting.

    Reply

  15. Hunterwulf

    August 23, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    WTF ——> “the feminist Anita Sarkeesian was publicly harassed at a Vidcon Panel”

    The exact opposite is what happened, Anita Sarkeesian was the one who publicly harassed, insulted and verbally attacks Sargon, everyone saw what happened, it was recorded on vid, this blatant lying only proves how intellectually dishonest and insecure you are, and that applies to all the SJWs, third-wave feminists and leftists who propagate this poorly disguised pathetic lie.

    SHAME ON YOU.

    Reply

  16. Ian F Broom

    August 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    To assume your article of work has any correlation to your heritage and/or religious status is a “curious” way to open and validate your opinion. I highly suspect that this is yet another agenda driven, identitarian sponsored publication. SAM SCHENERMAN If you truly believe this shallow one sided garbage then I can not fault you for this opinion. I have read your other articles and found the similar divisive identity politics flavor. SAM SCHENERMAN all we truly have is our name and the work we attach to it. Journalism used to be about objectivity and allow the reader to form his/her own opinion. This article tried to force a one sided opinion down my throat in a form of ideological rape.

    Reply

  17. JK

    August 23, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I think your writer needs a refresher as to what Eron Gjoni actually claimed in the ZoePost and the supporting evidence.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/500n93/gamergate_ground_zero_what_eron_gjoni_said_in_the/

    Reply

  18. Threadnaught

    August 23, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Slander is spoken, libel is written.

    Reply

  19. carl

    August 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Looks like someone is trying to pad their resume for CNN.

    Reply

  20. Trent C👌🍦🍦 (@TPoppaPuff)

    August 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    If this article had any more lies it would be called CNN. This is hot garbage to the highest degree. I mean, does anyone who write for a living have any shame? Or are they so disillusioned that lying to push their agenda is excusable? No self-awareness whatsoever.

    Reply

  21. Janna

    August 23, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    The accusations of “intimidation” are rediculous. Ever been to a feminist rally? Those psycho’s follow Anita’s lead and they regularily engage in outright terrorism (bomb threats and other violence on top of hearing damaging horns, screaming and insults.

    All we have here is a priviliged authoritarian creating drama to push a victim narative. You want to talk provocation, Anita goes out of her way to bring out the worst of the worst and then uses them to broadbrush those who critisize her. She knows exactly what she is doing.

    Almost everyone has encountered some sort of abuse on line. It takes a psychopath or narcisist to actively cultivate it as a career.

    Reply

  22. Ryan

    August 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    “Sarkeesian was provoked…”

    In other words, Sargon “had it coming”. I mean did you see how he was dressed? Filthy slut.

    Reply

  23. Ryan

    August 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Oh my god, “my voice is treated as more valid”, barf. How is that not the same thing as screaming “I’M BETTER THAN YOU!!” This SJW cult behavior has reached levels of narcissism and condescension that I can’t even laugh at anymore. It’s not just the blatant lying, it’s the stomach churning, ironic racism and misogyny you people constantly exhibit at every opportunity. Seemingly with zero self-awareness. Grow up, look in a mirror, change your life because you’re wasting it and it’s pathetic.

    Reply

  24. Tom

    August 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Nice slander, every article gets better and better, I wish i had the skill to construe and manipulate information to push a narrative like that. I guess i’ll keep practising so i can join comicsverse one day, of course I will complete my gender, ethnic studies and liberal arts degrees alongside this practise. And I’ll be just like you guys going on libelous tirades and then I’ll know my life is complete.

    Reply

  25. Johnny

    August 23, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Another fiction essay it seems…

    Its a smear piece and a poor one at that.

    I give it 2.5 out of 10, only because comicverse was dumb enough to pick it up.

    Sam, you need to ante up your game, this is barely high school level reporting.

    If you ever want to grow up and tackle big fishes and win, you need to do your homework….

    Reply

  26. Jake

    August 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    You are disingenuous at best, a fucking moron at worse… maybe a combo of the two

    Reply

  27. Snake Blissken

    August 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    “In June, Sarkeesian was provoked into verbally berating a group of YouTubers. While she has been a target of harassment before, this was a more clandestine and physical form of intimidation on the part of people opposed to Sarkeesian’s views. This included prominent YouTuber Sargon of Akkad (real name Carl Benjamin).”

    There’s lot to tear apart in this article, but I’m going to focus on this one. Sargon didn’t post about Anita until almost a full year after “Tropes vs. Gamers” launched, Anita was screaming about harassment months before Sargon ever commented on the issue. I know it’s convenient for your narrative to pretend that Sargon is some ringleader who unleashes his unholy forces on his enemies, but Anita’s video series got almost no reaction (or YouTube views) before she started screaming harassment, and it helped her cash in big times.

    Reply

  28. Robert

    August 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Seems the author of this article has a contentious relationship with facts and evidence. But hey, why follow the facts when you have an ideology to tell you what’s true? Utter garbage.

    Reply

  29. People Aren't Dumb Enough To Believe This

    August 23, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    It’s almost as if the author either,

    A. Didn’t do any research whatsoever or
    B. Is intentionally ignoring facts in order to push a narrative or
    C. Both of the above

    WEIIIIIIIIRD, NO WAAAAAAAY, PEOPLE LYING TO COVER FOR ANITA!!!!!! IMPOSSIBRUUUU

    Reply

  30. Iky

    August 23, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Slanderous lies galore in this “article”. Must have been all that “White Privilege” that forced you to commit spew so many demonstrable lies.

    Reply

  31. Dan

    August 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Horrible lies you are spreading in this article. Despicable.

    Reply

  32. Jesse Bach

    August 23, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I’m never shocked or amazed anymore to see a “20 something” make up lies and create false narratives on the internet anymore. The level of obfuscation and intentional virtue signalling here is off the charts. Shame on you.

    Reply

  33. oobilly

    August 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    We know who Anita is sleeping with now… 😉 what a crock this article is.

    Reply

  34. Uncle Ruckus

    August 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    It’ll be a shame if you write lies upon lies and get away with it… you should be ashamed of youself…

    Reply

  35. Cyborgwolf

    August 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Wow, it’s actually amazing you have absolutely 0 facts rights in your article.
    Congrats

    Reply

  36. TriP

    August 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Wow. Rarely have I seen so many lies in a single article. This is absolutely despicable. You should be fired for this slanderous libel.

    Reply

  37. Lvenger

    August 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Did you actually watch the video of Anita getting ‘harassed’? Or are you just regurgitating the same old bullshit surrounding this event? Anita called out her harassers from a position of power on the panel and called one of them a “garbage human being.” Doesn’t sound like she’s the victim here, more like she was the bully. Next time you want to write a piece of journalism, try researching the facts instead of spreading misinformation like a dumbass.

    Reply

  38. MolonLabe0928🇺🇸 (@MolonLabe_0928)

    August 23, 2017 at 11:27 am

    This is absolutely false, and borderlines on libel and slander. Anita did the harassing, because she’s from the cult of echo chambers and can’t handle being disagreed with. Those of us that are gamers know just how idiotic she is, because she doesn’t actually know anything about gaming culture.

    GamerGate was not about anything more than payola reviews and gamers being tired of being marginalized by hacks like yourself who are hipster converts to gaming and consider yourself a moral authority.

    Reply

  39. Marinus Kramer

    August 23, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Quinn is no victim, she a perp

    Reply

  40. Marinus Kramer

    August 23, 2017 at 11:23 am

    that;s not what happened, you utter inferior critter, Sarkeesian harassed somebody. Hack journo’s need to get the boot

    Reply

  41. ANDREW PETERS

    August 23, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Remember the FBI investigated gamergate and found nothing but somehow this guy claims to have 16 gigs of evidence

    Reply

  42. Liam McNulty

    August 23, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Exactly, she was the harasser.

    And the start of that article? “I’m privileged”… Fuck off.

    Reply

  43. Liam McNulty

    August 23, 2017 at 10:59 am

    This is literally a fucking lie. It was Anita that did the harassing, there is even video evidence of it! You are as disingenuous as they come.

    Fake news.

    Reply

  44. Edward

    August 23, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Perhaps this author should do some actual research about what happened at vidcon with Anita Sarkeesian. She was not harassed, she took offense that people who disagree with her were watching her quietly. Have the author show the proof of this harassment or retract this portion of the story.

    Reply

  45. Fuckayou Liar

    August 23, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Utter despicable lies and revisionism.

    Reply

  46. Adam Shepherd

    August 23, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Anita Sarkeesian was not “publically harassed” at that vidcon panel, SHE attacked someone who contested some of her views online

    Reply

  47. Jordan

    August 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

    why are you lying?
    people are not stupid, they know your not telling the full truth.

    Reply

  48. Ark

    August 23, 2017 at 6:35 am

    There is some interesting historical re-visioning going on here. A lot of it not actually supported by any data. Claims galore, not one link to evidence. You think feminist theory made good points? how about each and everyone of their videos has been completely debunked on their own merits. Not personal attacks on her, but taking each point the video makes and explaining why they are wrong. You talk as if Quinn is some innocent person and not someone with a history of going after people who just want to be left alone. Gamergate was and is about journalistic ethics and now is also about pushing back against people with ideologistic desire to censor a medium and force people to think and act in certain ways. The FBI did investigate Gamergate though, and what they discovered according the the FOI request, was that the harassment was coming from third party trolls. Supporting the claims that the Gamergaters had been making from the get go. The thing about Zoe Quinn’s 16 gigs of evidence, its never shown to anyone.

    The constant referring to positive reviews is a strawman argument, its not one being made by the gamergate side. That was bebunked very early on and was more a result of people rehashing what they learned in one place somewhere else and getting it wrong. I assume you played Chinese whispers as a child. Its also factually incorrect to blame GG for the doxing, as thats a weapon AGG wields. Those in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones afterall.

    I’m curious if you can explain something though. If sexism and misogyny are rampant, and women are leaving the tech industry in droves. Why is it that the % of women working in the industry is higher then the % of women coming through the education pipeline with the qualifications to work in the industry? Surely if the industry was that problematic towards that one sex, that sex would actually be showing a lower % not a higher one. How about the studies showing women actually have a 2 to 1 hiring advantages in some areas? The anecdotal evidence from head hunter companies about how capable qualified women are in high demand, but low in supply?

    Reply

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