A couple of weeks ago Anita Sarkeesian started a Kickstarter project to document female tropes within videogames and how they impact society. The Kickstarter aims to create videos to educate players and developers about these common stereotypes in hopes that they will see videogames with a more critical eye. It sounds like a cool project and I’ll probably watch the videos when they come out.
Other Internet goers were very unhappy about the project. A vocal minority of gamers launched a full-on harassment of Sarkeesian.
The intimidation and harassment effort has included a torrent of misogyny and hate speech on my YouTube video, repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me, organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded. Thankfully, Kickstarter has been incredibly supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service.
While other victims of harassment on Kickstarter haven’t been as fortunate, I hope Kickstarter will continue to support positive projects despite the hassle of deleting spam and harassing comments.