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In this video series, Feminist Frequency will explore five common and recurring stereotypes of female characters in video games
6,968 backers pledged $158,922 to help bring this project to life.

Quick Media Round Up

Posted by Feminist Frequency (Creator)
1 like

This drawing illustrating my battle with the trolls by CatieMonster totally made my day!

Media Round-Up

Below I've posted a few of the interviews and articles that have appeared in the last few days discussing this project, the recent attacks on me and some thoughtful commentary about online harassment in gaming and on the internet in general. (A word of warning before entering the comments in some of these articles)

From Samus to Lara: An Interview With Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency Interview with Carolyn Petit - Gamespot
How Anita Sarkeesian funded a project about video game sexism, and ignited an internet firestorm - PMSClan

Dear Internet This Is Why You Can't Have Anything Nice - New Statesman
Feminist Take on Games Draws Crude Ridicule, Massive Support - Wired

Think sexism's OK in games, you may be in the wrong century - Guardian
Online Misogyny: Can't Ignore It, Can't Not Ignore It - Slate
Lara Croft battles male jerks - Salon

Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games Vs. The Internet - Rock Paper Shotgun
When There’s So Much Bullshit Online, You Forget How to Feel - Jezebel
This Week In Harassment - The Borderhouse Blog
Kickstarter Video Project Attracts Misogynist Horde - The Escapist
Feminist Frequency Kickstarter project smashes target - Games Industry
Backlash to the Feminist Frequency Kickstarter - Geek Feminism
Awful Things Happen When You Try to Make a Video About Video Game Stereotypes - Kotaku
The All-Too-Familiar Harassment Against Feminist Frequency, and What The Gaming Community Can Do About It - The Mary Sue

I'm totally overwhelmed with everything that's happening at the moment but I just want to reiterate that all your words of support, messages, comments, tweets and pledges have meant the world to me during this past week. Unfortunately, the harassment continues unabated but the outpouring of encouragement I've received from gamers, non-gamers and game developers alike gives me hope for the future of gaming!

Sam Watkins likes this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Chris Blume on

      Thongrop Rodsavas - I am thankful for that.
      But I feel like it should be more, somehow.
      What we all want is to reduce sexism.
      We have no direct control over it, though. We have to influence others to do it. (That is, I am not making their game. I have no control over it.)
      So it would be to all of our best interest to make it as easy as possible for them.
      We can't be there to do it for them.
      But we can plant the seed and let them take it from there.
      Having to watch lengthy videos is a barrier to entry. It makes it more difficult.
      So my one thought above might be a sort of checklist.
      "Here is my initial story outline. And Anita provided a checklist for this phase of development to see if any of my characters or themes are in danger of veering toward sexism. So I can just quickly run down this list and be given a head's-up."
      And then perhaps another checklist for a later phase...
      I don't know. It's only one idea.
      The point isn't that one idea, thought. The point is making it as simple as possible for people to reduce their sexism. That is what I'm requesting.

    2. ORrTJ29v on

      ❶Update please

    3. Laurent Maire on

      Hi Jerry Hall, "The idea that the power fantasies of teenage boys must necessarily belittle women is kind of embarrassing" I'm not sure how you got that idea, that's not what I said at all. I think you misread my comment.
      Anita will do whatever she wishes, it's her video series and her freedom of speech. I don't think she needs to do anything in particular. However since she was funded 2660% over her goal I don't think it's unreasonable to express a desire to see a more global approach to the subject, since it's clearly something people wish to see talked about. By 'looking at all sides' I am referring to the many aspects contributing to the demeaning and objectification of women which goes _way_ beyond de-constructing a few obvious stereotypes.
      Some of these might include: marketing outside the video game industry, the masculine culture within its workforce, exploding production costs and homogenization i.e. fear of investment in unproven ideas... examining some of these things may help suggest solutions or a positive hope for the future of more inclusive interactive storytelling. As it stands she'll apparently be examining and presumably ridiculing a range of common tropes which is fine but yeah, I'm not convinced this will do a lot of good on its own. Comparing my suggestion to supporting an exploitative and racist stereotype though is misrepresentative and a little insulting.

    4. Jerry H. on

      @Laurent Maire: The idea that "the power fantasies of teenage boys" must necessarily "belittle women" is kind of embarrassing (and just another example of the patriarchy at work). Saying she needs to look at "all sides" of the sexist tropes in video games is not unlike saying one should consider "all sides" of the practice of blackface when that was common. Why *shouldn't* stereotypes be condemned when they perpetuate sexist ideas and thinking?

    5. Laurent Maire on

      Congratulations. Full disclosure, I disagree with many of your points and the often dismissive nature of your counter-arguments but if there is one thing I especially loath in life, it's bullies. Everyone has a right to be heard and to make considered and meaningful arguments on their viewpoints. Those gutless cowards who attempt to inflict harm from the safety of their anonymity deserve nothing less than to see the fruit of their labors be the resounding success of this project.

      The issue of demeaning clichés of women in video games is one still very much worth discussing. However I'm not so sure if the tvtrope approach of quantifying the precise meaning of the many embarrassing examples is one that will lead to any real good in the industry. Still, in light of the staggering success and to represent the no-doubt minority of backers with a few doubts I humbly submit the following hopes:

      -A more complete and fully realized documentary looking at all sides and attempting to understand rather than just condemn these stereotypes. I don't expect you to be completely unbiased but an effort to get past the examples, to the heart of the issue, and perhaps present some hope for the future would be really nice to see.
      -Some appreciation of context for early video games and understanding that not all these 'tropes' were designed to belittle women in a general sense but rather to titilate and pander to the power fantasies of teenage boys. The continued use of said clichés of course has no damn excuse other than a financial one.
      -A little less stagey eye-rolling and flat-out dismissal of opposing viewpoints. This shows disrespect and undermines your credibility. Please try and show, through logic and example rather than just heaping on the scorn, as in my honest opinion that advances nothing.

      You're an intelligent and talented woman and I look forward to seeing what you produce with these funds. Thank you for your time.

    6. Missing avatar

      John on

      I also agree with Shayne, that would be awesome

    7. Edgy Page on

      Dear lord, almost 159k.

      I agree with shayne.oneill, a documentary would be pretty jazzy

    8. shayne.oneill on

      What I'd really like to see is now Anita has this money, consider spending much of the balance on doing a full length doco to supliment the short videos. Like get some pro vid folks in and do something that can be shown on TV as a documentary special. That'd have amazing impact. The crazy rage wierdness that surrounded this from limpd*** idiots makes a great narative crutch to start it off. Get some high-power interviews in there with major studios and really make this a must-see doco. Just my 0.5 cents. :)

    9. Thongrop Rodsavas on

      *Mysterious Impregnancy -> The Mystical Pregnancy!

    10. Thongrop Rodsavas on

      @Chris Blume
      While it is true that Anita has never made a video entirely about positive female characters in a media ( as far as I know.), she often mention a solution in her videos, or at least in those Trope vs Women (in films) on her Feminist Frequency blog.

      For example, the Smurfette trope, Anita pointed out that all you need to do is adding more female characters to the main. It's possible to write a story with more than one woman.

      Mysterious Impregnancy : Anita said that pregnancy should be dealt with in a more mature way, not just as a one-throw-away episode. There's a distress and depression after miscarriage. If a writer can't handle this maturely, doing something else is a better idea.

      Woman in a refrigerator : Anita pointed out that the death of a female character should be more meaningful and serve more than just a plot device to develop a male character. The video even compare how the death between male and female heroes/characters are. With that, I think it's simple to come to a solution that "apply what you do to male characters to female charactesr".

      In the lego video, Anita pointed out that Lego already did something right in the first place. That is, to not separate between boys and girls from lego, and market it as a toy for everyone.

      As you can see, solutions are already presented after the problems are pointed out. Because of this, I'm not sure if making a video about solution would fix the problem you pointed out. I believe that people who complain and become her enemies are doing it without having watching any of her videos. Or not watching it with an open mind.

      With that said, I agree that a video about positive female characters is a great idea. :) And I'd contribute if she opens another kickstarter project for that!

    11. Missing avatar

      Chris Blume on

      Hello Anita.
      I'm glad you are taking on this project.

      I have a humble request, though. Would you consider also doing a set of videos for how to fix the problem of sexism in gaming?

      Bringing the problem to light and providing a vocabulary and understanding of sexism in games is an important and necessary first step. However, on its own I don't think it will change the industry.

      I speculate (wildly, perhaps) that many of your opponents are asking themselves "What does she want? What is her goal? To just remind us that games are sexist? Thanks for that..." And the reason I believe they might feel this way is if ALL you are doing is bringing the problem to light--but leaving no course of action for how to solve it--the problem will remain difficult for game developers to address. And all of your effort can be unfairly interpreted as just you complaining or preaching.

      I don't believe you are complaining or preaching. But I suspect that is how it might come across to many if there is no follow-up. And I suspect that is why you have seemed to make some enemies.

      I think it would be immensely helpful if you could take on an additional load of work (sorry) to create perhaps some steps for fixing the sexism problem. It's only an example. But some well thought out steps ordered by difficulty might go a long way. "Here are some simple and easy fixes that I'm sure all game developers can do. Here are a few that are not so simple. They make for a good next-step. And here are some that will be very difficult to address -- might require a change in society as a whole. So they may be beyond our reach for the moment. But knowing they are there on the list at least makes it clear where we stand."

      If you do decide to take on this additional burden I would be happy to contribute more. I would feel much more confident then that this will be the turning point.

      Thanks for your work!

    12. Gregory McIntyre on

      I am a man, I am a gamer. I am appalled at the comments you received, Unfortunately I am not surprised. Hopefully this video series will help convince some to change their views but either way it only took reading about three of those comments before I decided to donate. I wish the best and look forward to watching your videos when they are finished.

    13. Christopher Giroir

      problem = project... god the typos are killing me today...

    14. Christopher Giroir

      Yeah, I also heard about those lunch photos, I'm so excited to hear the plans for what this problem will become now that it's so huge!

    15. Stephen J Broida on

      There's a phrase I recently heard described in this Wired article: "Rage-Donations" - The Wired Article

      Basically, this 9-year old girl was taking photos of her school lunches and with the help of her parents, made a blog about them and their nutrition and what not. After 19 blog entries, she was shut down by higher ups who did not approve of her taking a camera to school (even though she had gotten permission and even support from her teachers). When word got out about this, it angered a lot of people, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver who has an initiative to improve UK school lunches, and drew lots of support from across the country. The overwhelming tide of support has since not only reversed the decision to prohibit the girl from bringing her camera to school, but forced the higher ups to re-examine their lunches and policies, and supported a charity to the point where it can build a new school kitchen in Africa to feed nutritious meals to children.

      This massive outpouring of support for you, I feel is also another form of "Rage-Donations". The shock and disgust caused by these trolls, neanderthals, etc. has had such an effect that you are now almost 25 times past your original goal. I'd like to think that this shows that for every single troglodyte on the internet with nothing better to do than to harass, pester, or worse, there are 25 genuinely good people who will be there to prove them wrong.

      I hope you make the best movie possible with the funds you receive, and wish you the best of luck. I may not be able to contribute much, but it makes happy to see this campaign succeed!

    16. Daniel Schoonover on

      Very proud of you standing up to the idiots that thought they could bring you down. Good luck!

    17. Robin Uney

      Clearly this is a conversation worth having, though I hope your opinion of us 'male white gamers' isn't permanently ruined by the end of it : (

      I look forward to your series, and remain impressed by your courage.

    18. Dave Hoffman on

      Hey, Anita. Just wanted to toss in my little bit of support. I'm a guy, and I self-identify as a feminist and a gamer among other things. I've enjoyed your youtube videos in the past, and I think this project sounds fantastic. Keep up the great work.

    19. Shervyn von Hoerl

      Thank you for standing tall. I hope what you do makes it that much easier for my 6 month old daughter to grow up in a safer, saner world.

    20. Missing avatar

      Keegan Anderson on

      I have rarely been more proud of anyone on the internet. You've strived to create something because you feel it needs to be talked about, and in so doing, you've made yourself a target for everyone who uses the aminity of the internet as a way to try and pummel what is different into submission. Usually when something like that happens, the person doing something different either gives up, or just continues to be bullied and is somehow turned into a pariah. Instead, you've emerged from the flames with widespread support and an apparent calm demeanor. I admire your strength Anita.

      As for the project, it's much needed - good luck.

    21. Missing avatar

      Ihana on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    22. Doone on

      That drawing is awesome, lol. I like how the trolls are hissing at you. Keep serving them the garlic and holy water. They'll crawl back into the darkness. Thank you for keeping it up and congratulations on your success thus far.

    23. Espionage Cosmetics on

      Thank you for creating media and getting the job done. I hope my daughter grows up to take on the world like you.

    24. Scott Macmillan on

      Thanks for doing this, Anita. I'm a game developer, and utterly appalled by the crap you're being forced to wade through. I'm horrible about supporting projects that are already going to succeed without me - but you have my $10 dollars because a) I need to come out against this garbage, and b) I damn well want my name on your site.

      In the interim, I'm watching your previous videos, continuing to learn, and continuing to think. Thanks for that, and everything else. Keep on with the good fight.

    25. Missing avatar

      David Ennever on

      Just wanted to say THANK YOU, for feministfrequency and for this project. You are awesome.

      Despite how it might seem sometimes, these hateful people are not the majority -- and projects like yours are the reason they're not going to win.

    26. A.By on

      Funny comic in the update, though I do think that Lollipop Chainsaw doesn't really constitute a sexist game. It stereotypes Juliet as a typical blondie eye candy teenager, but at the same time, her capabilities, her intelligence, and the writing for her dialogue is great. In general, the game makes everyone a stereotype. Her decapitated boyfriend Nick is a somewhat douchy, egotistical jock, her mentor is the "perverted old mentor" character, the villain is a whiny emo, and the first boss is a hate-spewing angry punk rocker. I'm certainly not going to argue with anyone about it, because it is a pretty borderland case since it DOES stereotype Juliet. As the comic says, it simply isn't sexy, and is played for laughs, in the same way that Nick's douchy jock trope is.

      Reposting here because I totally forgot that I could respond to updates. :v

    27. Lucas Anderson on

      Congratulations again! I am also curious about what you're going to spend all that extra money on, but unlike the trolls who swear your a nefarious con-artist, I'm sure you'll figure something good out. Sadly, don't think the trolling will stop when the videos come out. Prepare for the onslaught to continue with "look how cheap and crappy this video is!" and "bullshit!" and so forth. Still, keep on being awesome and don't let the filth silence you!

    28. Missing avatar

      Jennifer Zickerman on

      I LOVE YOUR SUCCESS SO MUCH! I feel like this is a terrific revenge on the trolls. Good will prevail! I'm so proud to be a tiny part of this.

    29. Missing avatar

      thegreyarcher on

      I have no idea what you are going to do with such a huge amount of extra money that I'm sure you never expected to receive or what extra content you may offer. I pledged to the Order of the Stick drive and I know Rich Burlew never imagined his Kickstarter would go so high as it did.

      Whatever the case may be, this project is going to turn out so awesome! So glad I found this Kickstarter, and found you. Your previous work is really great!!!

      Anita, despite all the awful things that have happened because some people are horrible, horrible trolls - thank you for persevering and seeing this project through. You are a hero to many, and now you a hero to me as well. Keep up the good work and keep your chin up!

    30. Missing avatar

      Louis Langdeau on

      +1 to Marcus' suggestion. While Magic is definitely not the worst offender in all of gaming for sexualizing female characters, they've definitely had their bad moments. Not to mention the culture surrounding the game itself. It's gotten to the point where I have actually told female friends of mine that they shouldn't go to tourneys. While people like Patrick Chapin are a tribute to the Magic community, there's still some -serious- growth that needs to happen there. Mind you, we've been trying for years to get Magic players to shower, and that hasn't exactly gone well either, so I'm not sure how much hope I would hold for meaningful change :P

      On another note, I just watched a good amount of your YouTube videos (since I'd never heard of you before this whole fiasco), and they were really good. Hopefully it will be even better now that you have the money for some serious production values. Star wipes galore!

    31. shayne.oneill on

      @Marcus , thats actually not a bad idea. Much of the misogyny in computer games have roots in tabletop type games and thus as a sort of genealogy of sexism, it could be interesting to explore.

    32. shayne.oneill on

      This is awesome stuff Anita, and its great that your taking your sword to the troglodytes trying to drag you down. You are a powerful person and I'm proud of your stance your taking.

      I will say this to any man upset about this. If you have a mother, sister, daughter, lover, or simply have female friends, your wellbeing and happiness is intrinsically tied with theirs and thus you should support feminism, because attacks on them are attacks on you too! How would you feel if your sister was treated Anita has been treated. You'd be hulking the fuck out in anger. Well then you should feel that angry when other women are treated that way as well, because your sister/lover/mother/etc might be next.

      Good on you Anita. I feel better knowing your fighting this fight. SOMEONE has to do it!

    33. Marcus Evenstar on

      I'm really forward to this series and very glad to see the support from so many quarters. I know you've got lots of research to do over a dozen videos. You are going be watching a ~lot~ of pure awful and I don't envy the task.
      But, if I might ask, you find a way to look into table-top games? Women usually aren't made welcome in combat strategy games (i.e hex grids with lots of markers) and collectable card games (e.g Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc) have some serious stereotyping. There are also great examples of games with strong female characters (e.g. Arkham Horror).

    34. Missing avatar

      Iris Close on

      Thank you for doing what you do, Anita! Your commentaries are awesome and insightful, and your persistence/bravery in the face of all of this misguided backlash is inspiring. I'm looking forward to seeing the new videos!

    35. Cameron MacFarland on

      After reading about the hatred towards Felicity Day's most recent video, including personal attacks against her simply because she's a she, I came across your own battle against the misogynistic trolls with this kickstarter.

      As a long time fan of your blog I immediately jumped at the chance to help out in some way. You seem to enjoy what you do and as a male gamer I also enjoy your analysis of pop cultures treatment of gender, class and race. As a male gamer I'd like to say we're not all like that. But I'm sure you knew that already.

    36. Missing avatar

      K. P. Badertscher on

      Well, pity backers dollars are just as green as any other supporter, I suppose. But the Tropes vs. Women video series is quite good. I can't wait to see what she will do with a bigger budget.

    37. Missing avatar

      Matthew on

      Apologies for may 'fellow' gamers. *shudder* Extremely happy you're going to continue. As a guy who likes to think he gets all the problems but likely doesn't, I'm looking forward to learning from this. Thank you for stepping up, and let us know what else we can do if anything.

    38. Missing avatar

      Nubcakes on

      Just to point out, Many people myself included supported this solely because of the trolls who attempt to censor her through fear and harassment. That shit is unacceptable and our conscience dictates that we support the underdog even if we don't care for her material.

    39. Ralph Trickey on

      Remember that the supporters are willing to spend $$$ while the others aren't. If someone on the other side is willing to put up a kickstarter with a real name and ask for real money, then they matter, otherwise they don't.

    40. Missing avatar

      Niilo Van Steinburg on

      You're amazing and my extended family from Victoria, BC to Montreal, QC is cheering you on!

    41. Christopher Giroir

      I'm not trying to say it should be called a feminist game... but I don't think it deserves the portrayal in the comic either, just disappointing me since I enjoyed the first two pages of the comic.

    42. Pyradox on

      I don't know what the deal with Lollipop Chainsaw is - I'd say satire because that's kind of Suda's thing - but usually his games have a lot more depth than just a cheerleader killing zombies with a chainsaw.

      I haven't played it so I can't really say more than that, just that as someone who generally likes the writing and characters in his games, I was pretty surprised when it was announced.

    43. Nerd Atlas Blog on

      You have my complete and unyielding support. NerdAtlas is proud to support you and your project!

    44. Missing avatar

      Richard Parkin on

      man i'm pretty sure a game where the female protagonist is constantly subjected to gendered insults is not a feminist game by any stretch

    45. Simon Isenberg on

      "My mother is the reason my sisters and I wear our vaginas proudly" makes me cringe in exactly the same way as "My father is the reason my brothers and I wear our dicks proudly" does.
      Anyway, that pic posted here was my favorite from the little comic. :)

    46. Missing avatar

      multijoe on

      So do you have any ideas what to do with your 'surplus' yet Anita? The sum you're acquired is absolutely astounding and must really open up what you can do as a media-creator. Full time researchers? Large scale interactive website?

    47. Christopher Giroir

      Lollipop Chainsaw*, got the title wrong :-(

    48. Christopher Giroir

      Unfortunately I got really sad with the rest of the comic strip that you linked to. Please play Lollypop Cheerleaders at some point for this movie series. The main character (while sexy) comes from a long line of women zombie hunters who kick ass. One amazing quote from the opening story is "My mother is the reason my sisters and I wear our vaginas proudly". My wife is loving that game due to the strength of the main character and the crazyness of the story.

      Don't just form opinions of it based on the cover. Seems like this is the perfect place to go into games like this in more depth. Regardless the game doesn't deserve to be called Chainsaw Hookerz.

    49. Alix Severance on

      Great quote Michael!

      We as a community need to keep challenging these poor trolls brains into actually thinking. If they are threatened enough with intelligence and fact maybe just one of them will change their ways. And if one can change, then many more can.