Five years on from its debut, the last episode of Tropes vs Women has been released.
Created by Anita Sarkeesian, the series which examined the depiction of females in video games initially started as a Kickstarter looking for $6,000 of backing. Instead, the project went on to raise $160,000 from nearly 7,000 backers.
I knew this day was coming but it always seemed so far away,” Sarkeesian said. This is one of the most emotionally complicated projects I’ve ever created. It has been simultaneously awful and wonderful, and the journey is one which I will most certainly never forget.
It was exciting and gratifying to immediately see that many people had a real interest in feminist criticism of video games, as we blew past the initial funding goal within 24 hours. While this was happening, I was also watching in horror as cybermobs, deeply threatened by the mere idea of feminist analysis of video games, mobilized en masse to disrupt my life.
And while the volume of that harassment has ebbed and flowed at times, it has never ceased, and the legacy of Tropes can never be entirely separated from the deep veins of hostility, entitlement, and misogyny that the reaction to the series revealed in some segments of the gaming community.
Amid the tremendous fear and trauma resulting from the harassment I was experiencing, there were moments of satisfaction and solace as I saw that our videos were reaching people, players and creators of games alike, and encouraging them to think about representations of women in games in ways that they hadn’t before. The messages of support and appreciation we received during that time were especially meaningful, and helped me to persevere and continue believing in the importance and value of the work we were doing.”
Sarkeesian’s remarkable career has certainly enjoyed some incredible highs and devastating lows. She was dubbed a ‘video games avenger’ by Bloomberg in 2014 and appeared on The Colbert Report. She was also named in the 2015 Time 100 list.
However, Sarkeesian has also had to contend with threats on her life and bomb threats against some of her public speaking engagements, as well as an unspeakable amount of very targeted and organised online abuse.
This may be the end of Tropes, but it is absolutely, by no means the end of Feminist Frequency,” Sarkeesian added. We have so much stuff in the works, and I sincerely hope that you will continue to be a part of our journey as we move forward. We’ll be premiering our new show very soon, one that brings our signature feminist media analysis to bear on issues happening right now as we examine the connection between representations in pop culture and the racism, sexism, and transphobia of our current political climate.”
Here’s the final episode: