aNewDomain commentary — Women that design games, and gaming critics of both genders, are dealing with some fierce threats via the Gamergate movement. It’s known as gaming revenge slutting, and it just keeps getting uglier and increasingly hateful. We’re now seeing female game designers canceling lectures because of death threats and rape threats. And the ongoing efforts to drive female gamer celebrities and designers toward humiliation, or even suicide, march on, as you can see by scrolling down below the fold.
Cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian has been especially under fire from trolls and haters for her video productions, the most incendiary of which are embedded in full below. Her latest Women as Background Decoration are good examples of how “sexualized female bodies” serve nothing but gratituous ends to add flavor to today’s hottest gameworlds, perpetuating violence against women in the process. But the stories of other women who have been vilified as part of Gamergate, a so-called gaming “reform” movement that looks to be spinning out of control, are similar. Gamergate, with its aggression and vitriol, is a culture war and gender war.
Warning: The below video contains graphic sexual and violent game footage and is unsuitable for work or family viewing.Check out Anita Sarkeesian’s other videos below.
Here’s Women as Background Decoration: Part 1.
Here’s Anita Sarkeesian’s three part series, Damsel in Distress, embedded in order below. Caution: Graphic violence, language, not suitable for family or workplace viewing.
And here’s her Ms. Male Character video, which drew a ton of backlash before Sarkeesian closed comments on it, below. Warning: Adult language and graphic violence make this video unsuitable for family and workplace viewing.
As Kyle Wagner sums up in Deadspin:
Over the weekend (of Aug. 23-25), a game developer in Boston named Brianna Wu fled her home after an online stalker vowed to rape and kill her. She isn’t the first woman who’s been forced into hiding by aggrieved video game fans associated with Gamergate, the self-styled reform movement that’s become difficult to ignore over the past several months as its beliefs have ramified out from the fever swamps of the Internet into the real world. She probably won’t be the last … “
Here’s an excerpt of posted messages from the dark world of Gamergate:
Aug 25 07.18.18 Any chance we can get Zoe to commit suicide?
Aug 25 07.18.29 if we can get more daming evidence
Aug 25 07.18.29 I think the is a good shot.
Aug 25 07.18.33 like her fucking a train of lack dudes …
Aug 25 07.18.39 fuck off Logan
Aug 25 07.18.39 black
Aug 25 07.18.51 Nah 21st century doing a train is so 90s …
Aug 25 07.18.59 If she commits suicide we lose everything …
Aug 25 07.20.34 If you can’t see how driving Zoe to suicide would fuck this entire thing up then you’re a fucking idiot” see http://deadspin.com/the-future-of-the-culture-wars-is-here-and-its-gamerga-1646145844 “
What is driving these guys to such extreme, threatening behaviour?
There is a real fight between those who embrace the tolerance and have color blindness of the Internet and self-style haters and trolls like those Gamergaters who use the lynching vocabulary you just witnessed.
And recent research has been profiling such haters and trolls. According to research, these individuals often display telltale sadistic motives and mindsets. You know the type. Everyone, Oscar candidate to teenager, has at some point encountered a troll.
Traits of a Hater
In addition to overall sadistic leanings, trolls and haters show other predictable personality traits, characteristics and qualities. These include:
Machiavellianism: a willingness to manipulate and deceive others
Narcissism: feelings of grandiosity and entitlement
Psychopathy: a lack of true remorse and empathy
Sadism: taking pleasure in the suffering of others
A Right to Hate?
The leaders of the Gamergate cultural offensive claim they have First Amendment free speech rights under the U.S. Consitution to make verbal and virtual threats. But that argument only holds water providing Gamergaters target only public figures. It’s why, for instance, bullying is illegal.
Hate speech is not protected speech in the U.S. for non-public figures or even for public figures. The gamergaters make a questionable argument. “Gamergaters risk libel, slander and other charges if someone chooses to take them to the mat,” says Tom Ewing, legal correspondent for aNewDomain.
Still, this war is likely to escalate to ugly proportions and will likely get a lot uglier before the situation gets better.
For aNewDomain, I’m David Michaelis.
Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At aNewDomain.net, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at DavidMc@aNewDomain.net.