Video games have been slowly sinking their way into popular culture for several years now, and as an avid gamer, this excites me — assuming better games will spawn from the simple fact more people are buying them.
As a pristine example of their impact, video game news has recently made front page of the New York Times. But did it make the front page because of societal impact or artistic scope? No.
It made the front page because of death threats.
Anita Sarkeesian is a well-known feminist who especially discusses the objectification of women in video games. Obviously, some of the many male gamers in the world do not approve of this. Surprisingly, some of the many male gamers in the world hate this so much they are threatening to rape and murder Sarkeesian, presumably for trying to take away their “Grand Theft Auto V lap dances.”
These threats intensified to the point where a man promised to attend Sarkeesian’s speech at Utah State and enact “the deadliest school shooting in American History.”
At the point where people are willing to murder each other because of $60 worth of virtual reality, the country has gone about 10 steps too far. In fact, I do not understand why men become so militantly upset about feminism in general.
One of the most basic core beliefs in American culture is equality for all races, sexes and creeds, and it is a simple fact that women are not ranked equally with men.
For a movement such as feminism not to exist with the current state of our culture is counterintuitive.
Of course, I am aware that many people believe feminism is where prude, angry women get together in knitting circles and plan the downfall of the male sex.
This group does not represent the majority of feminists in the world and I would assume there are less of these kinds of feminists than there are members of the Ku Klux Klan — who, by the way, number around one 100,000th of a percent of the American population.
Beyond feminist phobias, I think society has learned enough from the last century to know when you begin to feel murdering innocent people is the only way to follow your beliefs, your beliefs are wrong.
If anyone disagrees with this statement, I hear ISIS recruitment websites are not hard to find.
On the other hand, Sarkeesian also goes too far at times. For the record, I am still siding myself with the woman who has not sent death threats, but I also do not want to advocate for one-sided arguments. When I heard about the Utah State situation I decided to watch one of Sarkeesian’s “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” videos on YouTube, and she does indeed seem to forward a slightly radical ideal.
Her video had many strong points about the video game industry’s history of objectification of women, but I noticed in many of her examples, which used games that I know well, her arguments were made completely out of context.
I also noticed her entire argument did not appear to be based on women’s equality but on the complete eradication of sexual representation in video games.
From an artistic viewpoint, removing things such as brothels and strip clubs from a medium that prides itself on perfecting the art of simulating the natural world seems almost a loss … almost.
But regardless of what any feminist says, or what either side of the argument may be, I hope to see a future where innocent people do not have to fear for their lives because somebody tried to take virtual nudity away.