Gaming Community Condemns Misogyny


An open letter condemning harrassment in the gaming community has attracted the support of 2,000 gamers and members of the industry.

The letter follows a string of abusive comments and even death threats made against Anita Sarkeesian, who runs the video blog Feminist Frequency. She started a crowdfunded series of lengthy and detailed YouTube videos called Tropes vs Women in Video Games looking at the stereotypical role of female characters (and non-player characters.)

Sarkeesian reported receiving misogynistic abuse right from starting the series, which raised $150,000 in crowdfunding, far in excess of her target of $6,000. Following the latest installment, “Women as Background Decoration”, she says she’s received more significant threats, including one from somebody who appeared to know where she lived.

News of the abuse prompted Andreas Zecher of independent game studio Spaces of Play to begin collecting signatures for an open letter addressing the gaming community as a whole. The letter argued that:

everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened.

It also appealed for anyone who sees harrassing speech to report it to the relevant websites and to publicly highlight and condemn the abuse.

Zecher has welcomed the response to the letter, but warns that it’s not a solution in itself: ” Writing and signing a letter is easy. Making change happen is hard.”


10 Responses to Gaming Community Condemns Misogyny

  1. I used to like this website. but supporting a professional victim and giving them publicity is socially wrong and immoral. i was hoping for better from this website. i’m going to have to let you go aswell as kotaku . sorry goodbye

      • How is your abrasive response better than Dean’s divisiveness?
        We need more discourse and less discord. All “Good Riddance” does is confirm that Dean was correct that this site wasn’t for them, thereby limiting the possible discussion.

    • Dean, how is that even germane to THIS post? This is about Andreas Zecher’s open letter to stop bullying and harassment. Just because your opinion about Sarkeesian is that she is a “professional victim” (WTH is that?) does that automatically prevent you from supporting supporting a campaign to stop bullying?

    • 2000 may not be a very big piece of the ‘gaming community’. Note, however, that a significant (majority?) of the names are individuals working for or leading game studios.

      I do suspect that means that the discussion will have an impact on gaming.

  2. Misogyny like racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism is intrinsically wrong especially when acted upon. It is true among a minority of gamers there is a problem with misogyny and other such things, and that improvements can and should be made. With that said through this is not an example of someone trying to make a small step towards that nobel goal of making the gaming community better than it is now as it reeks of corruption. News of this petition has been covered by TheDrum, BBC, Metro, National Headlines, Beauty World News, vgchartz and more all in a very similar manner. If this was organic coverage it wouldn’t occur like this especially since compared to many petitions this one is microscopic.