Feminist Video Game Critic Visits MSU

By Kristine Goodrich
The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Great Article in which video game critic Anita Sarkessian gives eight concrete examples of ways in which the video game industry can support the empowerment of women. One example includes putting female characters in armor or sports bras, not lingerie!  Another suggestion is to include female characters with varied body types in the videos created.

MANKATO

Anita Sarkeesian is a critic of video games, but not a hater.

“It’s both possible and necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while also to be critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects,” she said.

In fact she’s loved playing games since she was in grade school, despite growing up in an era when she was told that “games were not for girls,” the 32-year-old said.

Yet until she studied the depiction of women in media in graduate school, she never considered herself a gamer.

“I bought into the myth that in order to be real gamer you had to be playing testosterone-infused macho-posturing games,” she said.

She went on to become a well-known critic of how women are represented in video games.

The activist, whom a Los Angeles Times reporter recently called “the world’s most famous video game critic,” spoke to a sizable crowd at Minnesota State University Monday evening.

Sarkeesian’s visit was sponsored by MSU’s Department of Gender & Women’s Studies. It was the 12th of an annual speaker series in honor of former department chair Carol Ortman Perkins.

The Canadian-American is creator of Feminist Frequency, a nonprofit website with blogs and videos “analyzing pop culture from a critical feminist perspective.”

Sarkeesian and her website are best known for “Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games,” a series of online videos appraising female stereotypes in gaming.

The male-dominated industry tends to objectify and alienate women, she contends.

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