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Game Critics and Commercial Bribery: the Original #gamergate Controversy

Game Critics and Commercial Bribery: the Original #gamergate Controversy »

Griggs, Behind the Furor Over #Gamergate, CNN.com, , Oct. 19, 2014). The controversy and the hastag #gamergate started when game designer Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend posted an article accusing her of sleeping with a Kotaku.com journalist for positive reviews. This was quickly picked up by many gamers who felt gaming critics lacked integrity either being bought off by publishers or simply rating games based off their own preferences. However, like many things on the internet, it wasn’t long before the movement was overtaken by trolls lashing out at women in the gaming industry in general. Specifically, they targeted women, like Anita Sarkeesian, who spoke out against the current default portrayal of women in videogames as stereotypes. The attacks have included everything from defamation to death threats. Brianna Wu, a female game developer, was forced to leave her home after receiving death threats that included her home address. (Beth Teitell & Callum Borchers, GamerGate anger at women all too real for gamemaker, BostonGlobe.com, Nov. 1, 2014). The Gamergate controversy has become synonymous with arguments about women’s place in videogames. - Read more...

Feminism, the First Amendment, and #Gamergate

Feminism, the First Amendment, and #Gamergate »

This past August, the Internet erupted when Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic, was threatened with mutilation, rape, and other physical harm in response to her video web series criticizing the sexist implications of the way in which women are portrayed in video games. See Julie Bort, After Exposing Sexism in the Video Game Industry, This Woman Received Rape Threats on Twitter, Businessinsider.com, Aug. 27, 2014. Similarly, in 2013 Carolyn Petit, a video game reviewer for GameSpot, came under attack after giving Grand Theft Auto V a "superb" score of 9/10. Despite the high score, Petit wrote, “GTA V has little room for women except to portray them as strippers, prostitutes, long-suffering wives, humorless girlfriends and goofy, new-age feminists we’re meant to laugh at.” Carolyn Petit, Grand Theft Auto V Review, Gamespot.com, Sept. 17, 2013. Gamers circulated a petition asking for her to be fired for her criticism. Sadly, it is not uncommon for critics to be attacked in real life in response to criticizing women’s portrayals in video games and suggesting those portrayals may have a negative effect on male game players. - Read more...