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Anita Sarkeesian (courtesy

TTAG Reader Eric writes:

Anita Sarkeesian is a self-proclaimed feminist Canadian-American video game reviewer. She has a history of claiming death threats that aren’t taken seriously by law enforcement (there’s speculation that the threats may be self-generated), and then making unreasonable safety demands to make a political point. She withdrew from a public speaking engagement at Utah State University after administrators refused to make the venue a “gun-free” with pat-downs and metal detectors. Here’s the open letter to the USU community on the cancelation from USU President Albrecht and Provost Cockett . . .

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

As you are aware, several USU staff members received a threatening email at 10:15 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13 regarding Anita Sarkeesian’s talk scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 15. As you probably have read, this email threatened both Ms. Sarkeesian and those who attended her event.

The safety of our students, staff and USU community is paramount to us. USU police were contacted immediately, as were state and federal agencies, including the Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center, the FBI Cyber Terrorism Task Force, and the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit.

Prior to the threat, USU police were already making preparations for security as Ms. Sarkeesian had received threats in the past. After receiving the email, USU police added heightened security measures, including securing the Taggart Student Center auditorium far in advance, ensuring her safety to and from the event, and bringing in additional uniformed and plain-clothed police officers.

Throughout the day, Tuesday, Oct. 14, USU police and administrators worked with state and federal law enforcement agencies to assess the threat to our USU community and Ms. Sarkeesian. Together, we determined that there was no credible threat to students, staff or the speaker, and that this letter was intended to frighten the university into cancelling [sic] the event.

The safety and protection of students and those who attend our events is our foremost priority at Utah State. But we are also an institution of higher learning. In this case, the Center for Women and Gender had invited a nationally known speaker to bring her perspective about an important topic to USU. After a full assessment of the situation, the USU administration, in consultation with law enforcement, chose to continue with the event.

When our law enforcement personnel spoke about security measures, she was concerned that state law prevented the university from keeping people with legal concealed firearm permits from entering the event, and chose to cancel. As a Utah public institution, we follow state law. The Utah law provides that people who legally possess a concealed firearm permit are allowed to carry a firearm on public property, like the USU campus.

We are disappointed that students and other community members did not benefit from her presentation. While we will always prioritize the safety of our community, no threat changes Utah State University’s unwavering advocacy of academic freedom and free speech rights of everyone.


Stan L. Albrecht, President

Noelle Cockett, Vice-President and Provost

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  1. The gamer community apologizes for morons like these. We do not endorse their ignorance, we just tolerate them. We have to.

    • It’s that pesky 1st amendment. The same thing that kept Jack Thompson from banning video games forever is the same thing that allows her to speak freely about whatsoever stupid thing pops into her head.
      Her anti-gun status confuses me, as I’m pretty sure your number 1 problem solving tool in that stack of media is a gun, or more likely several, each bigger and more manly than the last.

      • They had a big to do over threats she received over the internet, sounded like typical stuff that athletes and other prominent people run into on a regular basis, but she decided to take it especially to heart. Common sense would tell you, you can’t hide from the internet forever, you can’t really police the internet or people on it, but you can make yourself secure in your home. Suggesting someone protect themselves is ‘victim blaming’ in her circles though.

        • One the the game tropes that she criticizes (in three parts) is “Damsel in Distress.”

          Ookaaay. So she doesn’t like portrayal of women as victims in need of rescuing.

          Yet here she is, essentially, saying that she’s a damsel in distress seeking to be rescued from peril by the mighty university, wanting it to ensure her safety.

          But alas, the university is helpless to help her because of those misogynistic men who passed legislation that was signed into law by another misogynistic man that allows other misogynistic men to carry guns on campus in order to make the campus unsafe for women.

        • But wait!

          The university administration and police together with state and federal agencies (collectively, The State) determined there was no credible threat.

          So, by cancelling, Anita Sarkeesian is being a positive role model for women how?

          I’m so confused.

        • It really is remarkable that she criticizes the “damsel in distress” trope, but then shows she herself thinks the only way to prevent a D-in-D context is to preemptively stack the house with LEO’s and prevent every possible threat from entering the hall. In other words, she is the damsel-in-distress before a threat even shows up.

          And, just to be consistent, she travels with no security whatever. Which gives the lie to her stated fear, and reveals the entire sequence was simply an agenda-advancing effort. Lame.

        • Still getting a lot of twitter activity from her stupidity today.
          We’re on day #3 now. Tons of fun.

          I hate Feminists.

      • Yeah, that’ the same 1st that gives her the right to encourage game makers to expand their market rather than making almost nothing but games that appeal to an ever narrowing demographic. Occasionally producing games where women and minorities as something other than heavies or brainless props playing to stereotypes does not mean producing them at the exclusion of GTA type power fantasies.

        I imagine in another time a lot of the guys here would be the same people calling civil rights figures communist agitators who needed to pipe down and stop disturbing the peace of good white citizens. From what I understood, the death threats she received were quite targeted and specific. I expect that if I was put in the same situation and, as expected, was utterly lacking resources to hire a security detail to protect myself and my audience from an incident, I would have the good sense to postpone raise funding to host the event at a private facility.

        And before my screed is taken down, again, for not going with the prevailing groupthink, I would like to offer a suggestion to Ms. Sarkeesian: Acquire a CCW, get good tactical training and master as many principles of armed self-defense as your time allows.

        As with numerous anti-abortion assassinations and racist mass shootings at synagogues and minorities for various reasons as of late; including few high profile mass shooting from an “mens rights” extremists in recent memory; there’s a not insignificant chance that at least one of these griefers will be unhinged and motivated enough to put down the Cheetos, un-ass their mother’s basement, grab and turn rhetoric into action, i.e. become a bad guy with a gun.

        Ms. Sarkeesian, please be armed, be vigilant and keep up the good work.

        • If you think that what she’s doing is “expanding the market”, you don’t know the market very well at all. Radical SJW types who cry “racist, misogynist, etc.” at the drop of a hat aren’t the ones who make the video games industry a larger pure revenue generator than Hollywood.

          In fact, a significant number of the people that are sick of her crap (and that of her fellow travelers & cronies in the industry) are women, minorities, gays/lesbians and transgender folks who are tired of people like her using them as a shield and excuse for pushing a political agenda, and trying to bully the industry when they just want to play & enjoy video games.

          Anyone who disagrees with her and calls out her con job is accused of somehow supporting threats against her when that simply isn’t the case. A thorough investigation should be initiated by the FBI, and the perpetrator should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, whether the applicable charge is Terroristic threats or False report of a crime.

          Furthermore, GamerGate supporters on Twitter have been actively reporting those who harass or threaten Ms. Sarkeesian when they see it, to the tune of several accounts per day on Twitter, and even identified a click-bait “Games Journalist” from Brazil as the perpetrator of many threats against her. Like good citizens who don’t tolerate such actions, they contacted the FBI and Brazilian authorities.

        • Keep up the good work??? You can’t be serious.
          Google “gamergate” and educate yourself on why her and people like her are trash. She can stay in her feminist home for all I care.

        • Screed indeed. Care to provide a specific example where your nonsense was taken down here? That does not seem consistent with SOP.

          This caught my attention:

          “including few high profile mass shooting from an “mens rights” extremists in recent memory; “

          And which “few high profile mass shootings” would those be?

          I did a quick and dirty Google search for “men’s rights mass shootings” and got mostly repetitive hits to the Elliot Rodger story, and that only labeled by the liberal MSM and MSM sympathisizer knee-jerkers.

          That’s an interesting case to call “a few.”

        • Now that Washington D.C. is issuing concealed carry permits, I wonder if “whatever” would also offer the same advice to Family Research Council staff.

        • Keep up the good work? She is a liar, a fraud, a terrible researcher, and is only in it for herself.

          She made a ridiculous amount of money that was many times what it would cost her to play video games and review them. She cherry picks games, doesn’t even play them in many cases, and makes up death threats.

          Thunderf00t on youtube has torn her multiple new ones in multiple videos. Go look them up and educate yourself.

        • Another Robert: Well, at least you were honest enough to call it a “screed”.

          Sure, it was a long rant, but you’re dishonest enough to not specify your claims. Which part of it was dishonest, that people with death threats shouldn’t get CCWs or that threats to your event that include mass shootings targeting the audience shouldn’t be taken seriously?

          AFIraqVet: If you think that what she’s doing is “expanding the market”, you don’t know the market very well at all. And Radical SJW types who cry “racist, misogynist, etc.” at the drop of a hat aren’t the ones who make the video games industry a larger pure revenue generator than Hollywood.

          I don’t know what this Radical SJW types you’re bandying about is but I do know what the numbers say:

          “Here’s the exact breakdown: Of the 59 percent of Americans who play video games, 36 percent are women aged 18 or older. Boys 18 or younger, whom are highly sought after by marketers, only make up 17 percent of the gaming population in the U.S. When not broken down by age, the split between genders is almost even: 48 percent of American gamers are female, while 52 percent are male.”

          The rest of your rant is a collection of partisan talking points and erroneous distractions not worthy of discussion.

          benny: Keep up the good work??? You can’t be serious.
          Google “gamergate” and educate yourself on why her and people like her are trash. She can stay in her feminist home for all I care.

          Googlebombs from Cheetos eaters going into histrionics over an “outsider” daring to critique their favorite fantasies hardly counts as relevant or informative. The simple fact is that any woman with the werwithall to critique media has to go through a level of harassment that far exceeds trolling and shoots right into intimidation.

          “Many journalists have received anonymous death threats at some point in their careers from people who think a promise to execute you in Grand Guignol fashion constitutes effective press criticism. The first death threat tends to leave an unsettling impression, but over time American journalists learn that anonymous death threats, like bloody road-rage howling, can usually be ignored.

          But not all murderous bile is created equal. While readers have vowed to kill or otherwise rough me up over the years, I wouldn’t equate those generic promises with what other writers — especially female ones — say they face routinely on the Web. In a January 2014 Pacific Standard piece titled “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet,” writer Amanda Hess, who covers sex, politics, and culture, documents the anonymous threats to kill, rape, and stalk her for speaking her mind in print.

          Hess is no outlier. Last summer, in a round-up piece about online ugliness against women, the Washington Post‘s Alyssa Rosenberg provided other examples. (See also Kat Stoeffel in New York). A comic-book review by Janelle Asselin was greeted by rape threats. The comments section at the feminist site Jezebel became such a garden of sexual harassment that staffers demanded that their bosses at Gawker rein the section in. After asking on Twitter if anybody knew if any country offered free or subsidized tampons to residents, Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti was told to undergo a hysterectomy or have her vagina sewn shut for asking. “When people say you should be raped and killed for years on end, it takes a toll on your soul,” Valenti told Hess. When men she doesn’t know approach her at public events, she added, “the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.””

          This extended hate campaign from the reactionary set is just another example of why those who use the First Amendment should support and avail themselves of the Second.

          John Galt says: “Now that Washington D.C. is issuing concealed carry permits, I wonder if “whatever” would also offer the same advice to Family Research Council staff.”

          Sure, because I’m not a partisan hack fighting a culture war and taking no prisoners. Every member of the FRC should be packing but I don’t recall any FRC members actually being hunted down and murdered like abortion providers or having their facilities blown-up with bombs ISIS-style.

        • Very reasonable arguments you just presented.

          ” From what I understood, the death threats she received were quite targeted and specific.”

          Yes and when coupled with the fact that her personal information was floating around throughout internetland courtesy of the aforementioned shitbags, I would assume those threats to be credible too. Never understimate the ONE person that gets the hairbrained idea to actually act on it since stranger things have happened. Nobody has a right, really, to downplay them and try and pretend they’re not credible.

          That was my argument from the beginning: get trained, get armed, and defy the asshattery. It sucks that one has to worry about their safety, but the horse, they say, has run out of the barn.

        • @LC said:

          Nobody has a right, really, to downplay them and try and pretend they’re not credible.

          So does that mean the university didn’t have a “right” to publish their open letter?

          The letter which said that university administration and police together with state and federal agencies (collectively, The State) determined there was no credible threat.


        • (Disclaimer: I am not a gamer and have no skin in this game.)

          Just as a matter of curiosity, if Ms. Sarkeesian and her politically-correct crowd don’t like the games that are available, why don’t they (1) not buy/play those games; (2) put together a privately-funded company to develop and market games that meet their feminist standards?

          “If conservatives don’t like a movie/TV show/game/whatever, they turn it off or refuse to spend their money on it. If “progressives” don’t like one of those, they try to ban it.” That’s called “tolerance” by the left.

    • Ugh, this lady.

      Sorry, I have a hard time considering her a “gamer” when she plagiarizes “Let’s Play” content from youtube for her videos after receiving $150,000 from a kickstarter campaign to play those games and make videos in the first place. (search vicsor’s opinion anita’s sources since i doubt i can link directly in comments.

      At best, shes an unapologetic plagiarizer. At worst, a liar and a thief.

      • She’s an opportunistic social justice warrior that sees the video game industry as an as yet untapped source of wealth and attention for her agendas.

        • She would fit right in with the Hollyweird bunch in that she rails against guns, but firearms and heavy weapons galore are permitted and correct in the gorefest video games.

        • She has a “Masters degree in social and political thought”

          What is that??? Is that akin to underwater basket weaving, or high altitude soap carving?
          Face palm.

    • Some in the gamer community may apologize for idiotic, self righteous sjw’s like her but many also are quite frankly sick of her anti-1st amendment crap. So just remember many gamers, even left leaning ones completely disagree with her on a number of issues, such as journalistic integrity, free speech, and gender equality.

  2. You know, it gets real old real fast when someone keeps pissing people off and then acts like they dont understand why theyre getting death threats.

    Also, this womans stance on concealed carriers is pretty similar to some of the militant feminist on campus at bgsu. If youre going to call me a killer for having a chl or a rapist and a sexist for having a dick, you arent going to make a new friend. Although not being a murdering rapist, ill continue to not rape and murder.

  3. That is a very one sided article, this is part of a very large scale harassment campaign against quite a number of women who have some connection to gaming. Can we see some citations for her faking threats?

    Now, I don’t like her attitude about the cops not screening for guns, I expect that it could be arranged for her to speak someplace where that could be done. I’d rather have a bullet proof podium, and armed guards.

    I expect better than this from this web site.

    • How about you make a citation yourself for the unfounded accusation that shadowy “others” are waging an intimidation campaign against one of the most vocal and vile games journalists who actually hates gamers.

      She has been outed as conspiring with other gaming journos and even game companies themselves to sell reviews, throw reviews, or offer sexual favors for good reviews, as well as a now concerted effort to demonize and then marginalize the very people she purports write for.

      GamerGate isn’t going to go away, no matter how often or how loudly Ms Sarkeesian screeches about the inherent misogyny of gamers and how they harass women for kicks (a claim which has been debunked thoroughly and often in the last couple of weeks). It’s all a smoke screen to try and cover up the giant gaping hole in their credibility now that the gaming media almost in its entirety has been shown to be in collusion with one another and even some game companies to “shape the narrative” and force gamers to bend their culture to suit these journo’s tastes.

      The fact is, she and a lot of other people got caught with their pants down and their hands in the cookie jar, and now they’re screaming about hate and misogyny to anyone who will print it to try and cover their asses.

      This lady is in the same amount of physical danger from disgruntled gamers as I am: NONE AT ALL.

      • The more I look into this FASCINATING bit of pop culture, the more I realize how similar it is to Shannon Watts’ accusations of Alan Brooks being a misogynist and stalker.

        PTOG, male and female, we have clearly entered a new phase in the modern culture war, and it DOES have potential effect on gun rights. It’s not just “gaming.”

        The accusations, closing down comments and response in general to the gamers in the gamergate situations rings awfully familiar.

        Playbook something, something something…

    • So, its perfectly reasonable to post public tweets (about August 26th, 2014 threats) about what you are going to do after being threatened including telling the whole world that you are going to stay at a friends house? Something I imagine any LE organization would have told her NOT to do in the first place?

      It may be possible she is just letting her fans know of her actions, of course. But wouldn’t you agree that, after being threatened, the LAST thing you would want to do is advertise your plans? If the perpetrator already has your house address, is it much of a stretch to believe that the same perpetrator would know close friends and such and, with that info and the tweet, be able to track the person to the friends house?

      • That’s an excellent link. This situation very much reminds me of Shannon Watt’s accusations of stalking with apparently no police involvement.

  4. Wouldn’t it be funny if the police were able to link the letter sent to the university back to princess peach and she found herself in hot water for false police reports and wasting resources? Hopefully demanding moms start using this tactic and get caught doing so, this would be an early Birthday present lol.

  5. This article just helped me realize that the gun-grabber mindset is simply an extension of the entitlement mentality which is so pervasive these days.

    Gun grabbers express their entitlement mentality in two key forms:
    (1) Gun-grabbers believe they are entitled to restrict the rights of others.
    (2) Gun-grabbers believe they are entitled to police protection in public and at home.

  6. I always find there to be a big mental disconnect between anti-gun feminists and me. I’m a big strong man who wants a little girl like her to arm up and take some responsibility for her own protection, because I believe girls are just as capable as men.
    She on the other hand, would rather call in big strong men to take care of her problems for her. I’m not sure how she calls herself a feminist when she wants to be relegated to the kitchen while the men folk do all the work.

    • If feminism is about empowering women, wouldn’t feminists want every able-bodied women to be capable of defending herself using the most powerful tool available?

      Oh…wait…sorry…naive moment.

      • When some people feel weak and vulnerable they respond by becoming stronger, others respond by trying to make everyone else as weak and vulnerable. Also when some people find them selves in deep financial trouble they work to improve their income potential while others work to reduce the wealth of others.

        • When in doubt, kill Boris’ goat.

          Politicians, CEO Pay & the Tale of Boris’ Goat

          There is an old Russian fable, with different versions in other countries, about two poor peasants, Ivan and Boris. The only difference between them was that Boris had a goat and Ivan didn’t. One day, Ivan came upon a strange-looking lamp and, when he rubbed it, a genie appeared. She told him that she could grant him just one wish, but it could be anything in the world.

          Ivan said, “I want Boris’ goat to die.”

        • @John: That is the most succinct exposition of the leftist mindset ever. Hope I can remember it for future reference.

        • In the same line as “Boris’ Goat,” it was widely accepted as accurate in the ’70’s to express the difference between Laborite Britain and the status quo U.S. in this way: An American sees a man drive by in a Rolls Royce and says “someday I’m going to own one.” The British unionist sees the same man drive by and says “someday he won’t be able to afford one.”

      • You realize that by expecting women to take some measure of responsibility to defend themselves, you are promoting “rape culture”, don’t you? Just ask the nearest “feminist”…

        • Do you think feminists would prefer arming women with knives instead of guns?

          They seemed to have approved of that Bobbitt woman.

        • Pretty much. The people involved on the SJW side of things are the exact same people who tried to accuse Larry Correia of promoting “rape culture”, through his teaching women how to end the life of an attempted attacker with their legally carried firearms.

        • Could someone please explain to me how empowering women with firearms promotes a “rape culture?”

          Don’t worry, I have a supply of duct tape nearby in case my head explodes.

        • John, it’s because it has nothing to do with “rape culture” per se and everything to do with control.

          The word rape is emotionally charged. By purposefully choosing that term, they know they shut down a LOT of dissenting opinion at the gate – anyone that says, “Hey, but wait,” they get to respond with “Oh, you favor RAPE, uh?”

          It’s a clever rhetorical trick that the progressives use A LOT. They set up a false dichotomy with one prong so emotionally charged that it forces the conversation seamlessly into the prong they seek to promulgate.

          It is not at all unlike those poll questions that go something like “Do you favor raising tax or do you favor starving children?”

          Control the dialog and set the narrative…that’s all it is. It’s not about rape, equality or justice.

  7. As a gamer I’m all too familiar with her bastardized form of feminism. Interesting aspect of this, the university, from what I’ve read, was fully prepared to go ahead with the event. This is ass backwards from how most schools react to threats, which is to lock the place down like a prison. That they didn’t take the threat seriously, well I can only speculate, but they must have felt confident the threats weren’t credible. Not that I put it past internet trolls to make dumb threats like they have for a laugh at someone else’s expense.

  8. The University probably believed that anyone stupid enough to threaten an armed audience wouldn’t be leaving vertical.

    • This.
      Utah universities are the last schools on earth someone is going to successfully carry out a shooting. Too many sheep with very sharp hooves for the wolves to think about victimizing them.

  9. Am I missing something? Those all seem like the hosting orgs words, with a very brief summary of what she’s said.

    For just a bit of the much larger context, read this for example:

    TTAG has pointed out the nasty nature of comments on anti gun websites, but a woman speaking about almost anything in the gaming world gets torrents of far nastier comments and plenty of flat out threats. You don’t think that’s appropriate here (witness your comments policy), but you mock them for canceling an event where a massacre was threatened.

    • What seems completely ludicrous is the idea that policies on licensed concealed carrier would have anything whatsoever to do with the odds of someone making good on the threat. If someone intended to kill a speaker at an event, do you think they’d be foiled by campus CC rules? The request for a metal detector and pat-downs might or might not be reasonable, but why mention it in the same breath with CC policy? No logical connection between the two whatsoever. This is what I would mock.

    • I don’t think anyone is questioning the horrible online abuse she’s received since this whole gamergate crap started. Its abhorrent to say the least. The question I think the post is asking is, does removing CC firearms from a venue really make it safer or is that just something that builds a false sense of security. If I was her I’d want everyone in the audience carrying. All in all, I HIGHLY doubt any of these threats would ever be carried out (the internet is full of loudmouth idiots) but it’s not me being threatened so I can’t say with certainty how I’d feel in the same situation. I do know that I’d continue to be exercising my right to carry though.

    • For anyone interested in an article NOT written by a games developer looking to shine her own star with a ton of media attention, this is a much better summation.

      What’s not mentioned in her article is the equal (or greater number) of similar terrible threats leveled at supporters of the GamerGate tag, which also include women and even a 10 year-old child. None of that is in any way tolerable, and plenty of good cause for the recipients to seek adequate protection, but the entire story needs to be told instead of one person’s agenda-driven version of things.

    • They ( assuming “they” is the University) didn’t cancel; she backed out. RF is applauding them, not mocking them. And no one threatened a “massacre”; at most, one person was threatened, and the university did not find even that threat to be particularly credible. Other than that, great post, Ronald

  10. I guess princes peach does not believe in her cause well enough to be a potential martyr. That’s how you can tell the real believers from those making $$ off of it.

    • If it tells you anything, this one raised $160,000 last year (after asking for only a fraction of that) on Kickstarter for a series of videos that were supposed to be delivered in DVD box set form by the end of August 2013. Fast Forward nearly a year and a half later: Less than half the promised videos have actually been made, no DVD box set and she’s out soliciting more donations for other projects.

      • Sounds similar to mooching off one’s parents.

        Make a lot of promises to get a job, beg for money, demand special treatment, play the victim, fail to follow through on promises.

        Wash, rinse, repeat.

  11. We are disappointed that students and other community members did not benefit from her presentation.

    What possible benefit could the students receive from that twit (sic)?

    • Even bad examples are worth SOMETHING.

      That’s why I occasionally watch the TV show COPS.

      “That ain’t mine! These ain’t my pants!”; kills me every time.

      And watching saggy pants/shorts trip-up a running perp? Priceless…

  12. I’ve actually seen some of her youtube vids. To me it was absolute drivel. Had no knowledge of her faking threats, but I do understand she managed to talk a lot of very stupid people into contributing a hundred thousand or so simoleans to her. Unless USU is populated primarily by the lower half of the IQ scale, I expect they “benefitted” more by her absence than by her presentation. Kudos to the U. for not succumbing to terminal political correctness in this case.

  13. I don’t get it. Some self-styled reviewer of toys, with a penchant for shameless self-promotion, backs out of a speaking engagement?

    The real story here is that the university is spending money bringing a ridiculous speaker to campus to pontificate on what sounds like a fabricated topic. Your taxpayer Pell grant money at work.

  14. I have a mildly popular YouTube channel. I get threats from people from time to time. I’ve yet to stop doing videos (however badly) or expect YouTube to keep me safe from words.

    • Games? Guns? Arts and crafts?

      I have a very small gaming channel, mostly just started for myself and my friends. But I’ve tossed around the idea of getting a camera and doing some gun videos, too. Devildog Gamer has a great gaming channel with some videos from the range.

  15. Think about what the University stated. That was run past their lawyers first before release.
    What they are really saying is her claim is BS and not credible.

    They just don’t want to get sued.

    • And as another poster noted, you can be bloody well sure if they were prepared to move forward with the presentation they were absolutely convinced that the “threats” were not credible. Can you imagine the liability horror they would face if something did happen and they had arguably “ignored” a truly credible threat?

  16. I know early teen gamers have a tendency to be incredibly homophobic and mysoginistic. But this is not a general trend of gamers. I used to LANgame with a group and my ex-wife, then girlfriend, would join in. She said she was surprised to be treated with courtesy and respect, and she was a fairly good competitor in her own right usually scoring in the top 3 of 15+. To confuse people we would swap characters and IDs. She was a fairly ruthless player.

    • “I know early teen gamers have a tendency to be incredibly homophobic and mysoginistic. But this is not a general trend of gamers.”

      It might be just that age group in general, its a middle school mentality that is more or less the common attitude on the internet when people have some sort of anonymity.

      Man I miss lan parties, I was never able to find an awesome enough woman that wanted/could some kick some pixel ass with me. Gotta give you mad props on that one 🙂

  17. Yes, Anita, the best thing to do when you receive credible death threats is to post on your PUBLIC Twitter account about it, instead of removing your online presence.

    Unless, of course, it’s just a false-flag move designed expressly to silence critics and drum up sympathy from her fellow man-jawed harpies and flabby white knight supporters…

    First it was “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, and now it’s “The Feminist Who Cried Sexism/Rape/Muh Sojiny/Oppression”.

  18. I’ve managed to avoid knowing much about “Gamergate” through sheer force of will, but as far as I understand it involves this woman getting pissed at how videogames often depict Boobs n’ Stuff, and gamers are pissed at her for demanding less Boobs n’ Stuff in videogames.

    There’s plenty of reasons for videogame Boobs n’ Stuff; most people in the game industry are guys, most people in the game consumer market are guys, and there’s plenty of firm, bouncy evidence that Boobs n’ Stuff helps other goods and services to sell like hotcakes to guys. Her not liking this has an affect on marketplace realities the same way my not liking gravity allows me to fly.

    Of course, this dingbat has options: she can either encourage more women to enter the industry to create natural equality in representation down the line, she can try to use the legal system to enforce artificial equality that makes everyone unhappy, or she can just -God forbid- accept the fact that her explicit approval is not and never will be a requirement for other people to live their own lives as they please.

    • Not as much as it used to be (the male / female gamer ratio ) – but pretty much everyone in games, male or female is portrayed as an “ideal”. Shirtless heroes with six packs – it’s equal opportunity usually.

      I admit it’d be nice to see some female characters in some games instead of having to play as a “dood” all the time , but it’s hardly an issue to waste -outrage- on.

    • Actually some 40% of the gamer population is supposed to be female. Also I see no complaints concerning the over abundance of shirtless and obscenely muscled male characters. The portrayal of female characters likely has less to do with playing to male players as it dose with being a successful tactic that sels games to both men and women. However advanced games become and predictions of “realistic” games always being on the horizon people game to escape not mimic reality. Given the freedom to create a world normalcy is not often the choice, and from what I see “girl gamers” rarely create modest realistic avatars when given the choice.

      • 60% is still “most,” guys. It doesn’t undermine my main point that nobody asked her to be our cultural watchdog, and people really don’t appreciate those who appoint themselves to the position.

      • Of course not. Given the chance to escape, anyone is going to idealize their form. Anyone. Well… certain fetishes aside I suppose.

        Loading a fantasy world up with “normal, blah, average, representative” characters isn’t a feminist issue; it’s just boring. Why did the superhero genre in comics do so well for so long?

        Nobody wants to read about (or play) an average overweight accountant. (Unless said accountant can shoot lightning out of their ass, or something.)

        The whole notion is ridiculous on its face. Again my only exception would be that there were a few more female player-character options so that some of us can feel “okay hey that’s me”, but if people want to look fantastically idealistic and superhero-proportioned?

        Go for it. That’s half the point.

        • The best games you can play if you want to play as yourself would be a Bethesda game, notably Skyrim or Fallout. Want to play as a 3d avatar of yourself? Go ahead, use the character creator. Fallout New Vegas had the most egalitarian society I have ever seen. You could create a bisexual female character, and hit on both your openly gay female companion and half the men you come across, and nobody tries to gaybash your character. It does help that your character is wearing body armor and carrying an M-16.

    • Gamer gate is about some guy separated (I’m thinking dumped by) his girlfriend, and posted a bunch of crap smearing her all over the internet, and gamer gate is all the people attacking her for what he said she did, and attacking any woman who opens her mouth about the rape and death threats.

      Sexism is a separate issue (vs attacking people for talking about it), there was a very interesting essay by a female game developer where she talked about it, including her own automatic following of sexist stereotyping and such. She found it rather disturbing when she went back, and realized how biased she was against women, if you look at what she did when she was trying to be fair, and how it felt biased too much in their favor when it was fair. But that’s another issue.

      Speaking as someone who worked in the game industry a bit in the late 1990s, it was buy adds if you want a good review back then, TTAG has talked about the issue in the gun press, and some car magazines have gone on about it (England’s Car has gone in detail about what article pissed off which companies who stopped advertising, and how long it took them to get over it, as much as 8 years in some cases).

      So I expect there is some corruption in the game review business, not that I’ve heard of gamergate bringing anything credible to light (well, the guy who started it claimed it was how his ex got some reviews, but he’s not all that credible, and presents no evidence beyond his word).

      • A sincere thanks are in order; I’m quite relieved that the story behind “GamerGate” is even dumber than I estimated.

        • It’s not, he gave you the ‘sensitized’ view that people are pushing that it was ‘all about the women’.

          It’s not.

          The real story was how nearly every single gaming ‘media’ outlet was collaborating to not only push agendas and policy, but were having person and sexual relationships with people in the development field, not disclosing that, and giving them preferential treatment.

          This would be like a TTAG writer being involved with string pullers at oh, Remington, not disclosing that, and then defending them non stop if some major QC or corruption scandal popped up. And it wasn’t just one person, it was many, it was nearly every single ‘journalist’.

          The issue was beyond the woman after literally the first day, but all those ‘journalists’ want to make it about that because it’s easier to defend a poor, victimized women than massive industry corruption.

          If you think media corruption is a ‘non story’, that’s your choice, but at least try to actually understand why people are upset and not ‘oh they all hate women’.

        • “but were having person and sexual relationships with people in the development field”

          So far I’ve only heard of that “Depression Quest” dev accused of sleeping with gaming jurnos by her *ex boyfriend*. Not much else, much less any evidence. I mean, come on. We’re going off the word of an ex?

      • I think the real controversy in “gamergate” is that people trust these reviews so much. Just go watch some damn “let’s plays”.

      • The gamersgate and zoe quinn situation is a giant clusterfvck where there are no good guys, and everybody is an asshole. Kind of like the Team Glock scandal. Just a cluster of giant proportions where it is wise to not take sides.

        One thing is certain: the internet breeds conditions rife with rampant assclownery and outright dispicable behavior.

        I think there are legit arguments by the gamersgate community (such as Zoe being a self-interested, egocentric lunatic that was emotionally abusive and deliberately sabotaged an event favoring female developers), although once the rape threats and misogyny exploded, and the ex-boyfriend embarked upon several acts of fvckhattery, any legit points get drowned out. I may dislike Zoe and her counterparts for their idiotic behavior, although what occurred was unacceptable. I would have been armed, hoping one of those neckbearded cowards decided to walk up my doorway (yes hoped is the right word. If you make rape threats, post personal information online, and deliberately slander me, you deserve 00 buck in the belly)

  19. Sarkeesian is probably the most stereotypical feminist alive today. Go look up her videos on youtube (she spent $150,000 in kickstarter money to make 5 videos at $30,000 per video, so they better be good, right?).
    I guarantee you will be stupider after watching one of the videos than before.

    • Exactly. Based on what I could stomach of the few vids I started to watch, she is to “feminist” what that “Annoying Librarian” is to librarians: a walking, talking, cliché.

      • Boy Howdy! Few kind words were spoken for a game in which the primary objective was to have your character run across the screen in order to rape a girl.

        Very low res, to be sure, but very ungentlemanly too.

  20. I was just about to email this story to TTAG – but … i’ts already here.

    Funny she wants the seminar “gun free” but everywhere else she goes… that’s fine. She feels safe everywhere but the seminar. Living in dreamland.

    Also why, if someone was seriously considering shooting her during the seminar, would they announce it prior to the shooting? More than likely they didn’t want her to speak at the university and they were rewarded for their efforts as she cancelled the event.

      • Signs only stop people who aren’t looking to cause trouble in the first place, I am constantly amazed at how some people just don’t understand that.

  21. Sort of reminds me of high school when students would phone in SLA or some other liberation army bomb threats to get out of class and have a giant party in the parking lot.

  22. I hope the person making the death threats gets found out and prosecuted.

    That said, Ms. Sarkeesian obviously doesn’t care very much about the issue if she’s willing to run away so easily. Most people with some backbone and intellectual integrity would give the middle finger to whomever is doing this and double-down.

    • It seems likely she just concluded that the U.S.U. audience would be unreceptive to her narrative, so she decided to play up the threats angle, once she regretted accepting the invitation. Spinning it with some drama is good pollitics. Heck, she got some ink here at TTAG…..

    • Right on +1

      If somebody made threats on my life, they would be in for a RUDE fvcking awakening if they decided to get the hairbrained idea to follow through with their plan.

      By capitulating and running away, she is empowering the 3IQ dimwits.

    • The media doesn’t care because 97.5% of people don’t care. The people who do care don’t watch the mainstream media anyway.

      • Don’t be quite so dismissive. You are looking at this one dimensionally. You hear “games” or “gamers” and think something very specific and that that something does not apply to you.

        Perhaps the importance of this story will make more sense if you open up a bit and realize that this story is EXACTLY aligned with MDA, the MSM and their treatment of us.

        That is, you can almost word-for-word lift some of the gamergate drama and overlay it onto the gun rights debate. Shannon’s accusations of concealed carriers being stalkers ring a bell? Misogyny in the ‘gun culture’ is a phrase we hear a lot, too.

        I would not be the least bit surprised to find the exact same pattern executing itself in other cultural areas.

        Rest assured the social justice warrior mindset is exactly the same mindset used to gain support for civilian disarmament.

  23. Robert, you got the first sentence wrong. It should read:
    Anita Sarkeesian, professional victim, and social justice warrior, is a self-proclaimed feminist Canadian-American video game reviewer

  24. As a level designer/indie dev, I am so frakking tired of this shit. This is a person who would have had little to no publicity and I guarantee 90% of the people who have heard her name now, would NEVER have heard it without the scandal. Controversy sells right?

    But honestly, this is an industry dominated by passive aggressive liberal group think. Play along with the agenda or be black listed, thats the end game.

    • “This is a person who would have had little to no publicity and I guarantee 90% of the people who have heard her name now, would NEVER have heard it without the scandal. Controversy sells right?”

      Wait. Are you talking about Shannon Watts?

  25. The Internet being what it is there are an astronomical number of threats on pages, forums, blogs, etc… against virtually everyone on earth. Most of which are never seen by their stated target.

    So if a detailed, specific threat is made and nobody with any pull reads it does it not still count as a threat?

    Everybody needs to stop taking what they read on the Internet so seriously. Journalists reporting what’s on Twitter included.

    It’s all one gigantic troll on everyone. Stop feeding it.

  26. She got more publicity by flipping out and cancelling her event because the “evil university” wouldn’t “do the right thing” and “ban guns on campus” than she ever would have by not being a drama queen.

    Agenda? You betcha.

  27. Feminists are big on insisting that women be included into male-dominated fields under the promise that those field will be “improved” by including them.

    Reviewing the results of that inclusion we find invariably that women insist on changing everything in the field to suit themselves, including but not limited to lowering the standards, and then ultimately ruining it for everyone.

    The NFL is a great example. This gaming field will be ruined by including women (have you seen the garbage this Anita gal’s women-only game-developing group has create?? no one will buy or play that stuff voluntarily … just more lowering of standards)

    Look to the NRA as an example of an institution that has NOT bowed to feminist demands. See how they have prospered & grown as a result.

  28. >> Anita Sarkeesian is a self-proclaimed feminist Canadian-American video game reviewer. She has a history of claiming death threats that aren’t taken seriously by law enforcement (there’s speculation that the threats may be self-generated), and then making unreasonable safety demands to make a political point.

    Look, I’m no fan by Sarkeesian by a long shot, but if you’re going to bring up the background to this whole thing, maybe you should make it a little bit less one sided. The death threats that she gets online are quite real (all it takes is looking at Twitter and some Reddit boards), and as for the “aren’t taken seriously” part, it only takes one serious threat – and you don’t know which one it is. In other circumstances, given the mentality of your average poster here, I suspect people would advocate camping at home with a shotgun, so why the sudden dismissive attitude?

    As for “faking” the threats, that is basically just speculation with zero solid evidence to it, and a lot of conjecture. Again, if you repeat it, at least have the decency to mention that much.

  29. This is not the first time we have dealt with anti-gun nonsense from members of the gaming media, particularly, one laura parker on gamespot.

    The funny thing is that every gamer that I know (somebody that plays games) is also a gun owner and supports the RTKBA, because they are used to video games being scalegoated for every massacre that occurs. For them, it is a double whammy and I dont blame them for making the issue contentious. It is further proof that the game media is an obsolete dinosaur and it is desperately clinging on in a era where gamers have their own opinions formulated on other media elements besides the “gaming main stream media” (like ign and gamespot etc)

    People like Anita and their social experimenters live in a delusional lala land where they actually believe in the bullshit that is “gun free zones” and think they are making a point by pulling stunts like this. Kudos to them for living in a free country and having an opinion, but im going to voice mine: if you received death threats previously, maybe it would be a good idea to embrace the concept of defending yourself…just saying…

    For people’s information, I consider myself a equal rights advocate, so I largely agree with Anita’s positions from “evil ol feminism”. I know, people must think all gun owners are evangelical christians (although ive seen a large number of pro-gun liberals and centrists post here).

  30. Not this website too. I am getting sick of tired of this chick’s crap. The threat’s fake just like all her previous claims. It’s for attention.


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