Feminist Frequency creator Anita Sarkeesian appeared on satirical US political show The Colbert Report last night.
Host Stephen Colbert, himself a spoof of right-leaning political TV pundits, span out several lines mocking the misogynist side of the GamerGate argument including yes, there’s a traditional gamer lifestyle, God ordained that there was one man and one joystick – its right there in Sega Genesis”.
COLBERT: Let’s put this on the line, let’s call this what it is – you and the other feminazis in the gamer world are coming for our balls to snip ’em off, put them into a little felt purse and take them away so we have to play your non-violent games, right?”
SARKEESIAN: "No. There is something going on but what it is is women being harassed and threatened and terrorised."
COLBERT: "But you first attacked male gamers for enjoying looking at big breasted women with tiny armour that barely covers their nipples. What is wrong with that? I like what that looks like. I’m a man baby. Newsflash. I like it."
SARKEESIAN: "One of the problems with that is that it actually reinforces the myth that women are sexual objects and sexual playthings for male amusement and we’re not."
COLBERT: "We’re saving them. They’re damsels in distress. I’m saving the princess. Am I supposed to let the princess die? is that what you want? That’s kind of harsh. That’s kind of hostile."
SARKEESIAN: "Maybe the princess shouldn’t be a damsel, she could save herself."
COLBERT: "Why do you think that women are being threatened? Because it’s almost entirely women that are being threatened in GamerGate."
SARKEESIAN: "I think women are perceived as threatening because we are asking for games to be more inclusive and that we’re asking games to acknowledge that we exist and we love games. We have this wide range of games, we’re seeing mobile games and we’re seeing indie games and an influx of these different kinds of games and that’s what GamerGate is responding to. They’re actually responding to the fact that gaming can no longer be this little boys club any more. There are many of us women who have been playing games our whole lives so they’re lashing out as we’re challenging the status quo of gaming as a male dominated space."
COLBERT: "What about accusations of collusion between designers, feminists and journalists? We’re talking about ethics in gamer journalism. Do you understand how huge that is? I mean, what if there was no ethics in Hollywood journalism? If we can’t trust Entertainment Tonight or TMZ then where does that leave us? Is that what you want for gamer journalism?"
SARKEESIAN: "That is a compelling way to reframe the fact that this actually attacks on women. Attacks on ethics in journalism is not what’s happening in any way. It’d actually men going after women in really hostile, aggressive ways. That’s what GamerGate is about."
COLBERT: "As a man am I allowed to be a feminist?"
SARKEESIAN: "Do you believe that women should have equal rights to men and that we should fight for those rights?"
SARKEESIAN: "Great, then you’re a feminist."
* pair shake hands
It speaks volumes of the weakness of the remaining GamerGate movement that some chose to highlight a moment when Sarkeesian opted against naming three particular games that were guilty of objectifying women and instead said it was an industry-wide problem.
GamerGaters say that this somehow proves Sarkeesian has little working knowledge of the games industry. In actual fact these claims just prove that they have little working knowledge of Sarkeesian.
Some GamerGaters are even circulating the video as evidence of support for their movement. Seriously.
The truth about GamerGate is that it sadly lives on in the form of the harassment still being targeted at a select number of women in the industry. In terms of it being a valid or topical debate, however, GamerGate is dead. It has been discredited to death, driven to suicide by its endless torrent of illogical and unintelligible anger and bile. What remains now at least serves to strengthen the conviction that gaming can change for the better for this fiasco.
Here’s the video: