Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Thursday, 29 January 2015

This Is What One Week Of Trolling Looks Like When You Take On #GamerGate

The Debrief: Anita Sarkeesian is basically just trying to get more female representation in video games. Really…

Anita Sarkeesian, who hosts a webseries looking at the way women are represented in pop culture, has shown in very real physical terms just how much harassment she gets on Twitter in a week. And it’s worrying.

What did she do to deserve all the trolling? Well, her video series, Feminist Frequency, has taken a long hard look at #Gamergate and been critical of it.

We can’t get into all the dizzyingly specific details of some gamer guys’ pathetic quest to shut out women’s right to being treated as equals. But basically, as we learned from this great piece on Deadspin, the face of gaming is changing, games journalism and representation of women in games should probably catch up with it, but some gamers really don’t want that to be the case. They unite under the banner ‘#Gamergate’.

READ MORE: #GamerGate Is Gross, But Here’s How Minecraft Is Going To Change The World Of Female Gaming

And a hell of a lot of them have been harassing women who speak out against their movement. One is Anita. She’s had death threats, rape threats, people mocking up images of her being sexually assaulted and sending them to her, and it all got so intense she had to move home and report the trolling to the police, reports The Washington Post.

Now? It continues. Anita uploaded a Tumblr post which features screengrabs of all the harassment she’s had on Twitter alone (her videos and Tumblr posts also get angry responses) in the week from 20 January to 26 January.

And this is what it looks like.

 

Trust us, the comments are horrible: ‘im going to kill you’. ‘RETWEET ME OR I WILL BOMB YOUR HOUSE AT NIGHT!’ ‘please die’, ‘You Stupid Ass Bitch I Will Fuck You In The Ass So Hard I Would Break The 9.5 Earthquake Record And Leave That Ass Jiggling ForDays’. And on, and on, and on, 157 times in just one week. That’s 8,164 times a year. If these trolls use 140 characters per tweet, it’s 1,142,960 characters of hate. If they stick with the ‘go die’ approach, that’s 48,984 characters of hate.

Which gets you to thinking, why don’t they spend their time doing something better?

READ MORE: Why 2014 Was The Year That Women In Sci Fi Kicked Ass

One man’s response to Anita’s Tumblr post? Tweeting Anita to say: ‘“harassing” will continue and accelerate. We’re not going to stop until no one will openly admit to being feminist’

It’s grim, and hopefully is the last dying cry of a group of blokes who are basically ever closer to seeing their disproportionate amount of power taken from them. However, in the mean time, maybe something more can be done?

As well as making people more accountable for their actions by arresting them when they do stuff like this, there’s a whole culture that needs to be changed. Call us crazy, but maybe representing women as protagonists in gaming would help some gamers come round to the idea that women don’t deserve this treatment.

Plus, if you have to harass someone to make your point, maybe it’s not a point worth making.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Sweden’s Got A Brilliant Idea To End Sexism In Games

Sexism, Trolls And Rape Threats: What It’s Really Like To Be A Female Gamer

Tampon Run, Where You Chuck Tampons At Enemies, Is Our New Favourite Game

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Tags: Going viral, Sexism