We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.

Brenda Davis • 6 years ago

I'm kind of baffled by this. As a thirty-some year old female gamer, I can't think of any games that have offended me in their portrayal of women. And I like them gritty and violent. Sure, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider has a body that rivals Barbie in its ridiculousness, but do you think the developers aren't aware of it? It's a big wink to the audience.

And her impression of the gamer community is bizarre. Why does she make it seem like gamers as a whole are such dirt bags? Whenever a guy learns I'm a gamer, I get nothing but interest and respect. I'm welcomed into the fold. I'm sure there are dirt bag gamers out there - dirt bags are everywhere! Personally, the gamer community makes me feel equal and empowered.

If I want to be condescended to and demoralized for my femininity, I just have to go to the office.

James Howard • 6 years ago

I don't think she makes gamers as a whole seem like dirt bags. Each of her videos begins with a disclaimer that we can enjoy the games she's discussing and still think about them in a critical manner. She's careful to refer to "some men," and in her talks is well aware that most players aren't threatening her.

There are a lot of welcoming communities. Even so, I would not use my own experiences to discount the narratives of exclusion and abuse reported by others. Dirt bags may be in other circles and groups too, but there's often some fertile ground where they take seed. The causes and rationalizations for exclusion in the video game community are specific.

Gail Liebowitz • 6 years ago

Seriously? You don't have to be offended to note the blatant sexism in many games. I don't game much, but as you say, take Tomb Raider. It is completely ridiculous that a woman who expects to explore caves, jungles, and what-have-you would do so in booty shorts and a wee t-shirt. It's not realistic.

On the other hand, here we have people protesting that NOT portraying violence against women is unrealistic.

Apparently the audience is happy to accept unrealism when it means they can stare endlessly at a woman's boobs, but not when it means showing women in a more complex role than that of the victim? Even strong female protagonists are subject to sexism through their clothing.

My point being, along with Sarkesian's apparently, is that the audience appears to accept unrealism when it is sexist against women, then claims they want realism when it ALSO is sexist against women.

Not to mention that history is littered with strong women who are miraculously left out of portrayals in media, as if "women as the victim" was always the case. Even in a situation as horrendous as the Rwandan genocide, there were women hiding potential victims and smuggling them away. If you showed all women in that situation as the perpetual victim, you would not be telling a very good or nuanced story.

HughJastle • 6 years ago

She is like the violent games creates violent crimes people we used to see all the time. Except it's even harder to debate her points because her and her followers view criticism as misogyny

Guest • 6 years ago
Adolphus Gustavus • 6 years ago

She does not allow any at all dissent on her comments. Myself, I've gotten some pretty nasty remarks about my sexuality right here on NPR totally left field, and I am not even a public figure. Honestly, I think trolls think the best way to get under her skin is to attack her with what she speaks against. Think about it, interesting how a supposed crusader against misogynist violence gets immediately targeted by it.

moebius2249 • 6 years ago

Lara Croft in the old days was ridiculously proportioned, but today her proportions are fairly normal.

Guest • 6 years ago
moebius2249 • 6 years ago

Where exactly is the misogyny present in these games? I see the sexism, but the misogyny not so much.

Guest • 6 years ago
moebius2249 • 6 years ago

Join the club.

Adolphus Gustavus • 6 years ago

Turns out there is a glitch. Save your comments before posting!

Anonymous Pi • 6 years ago

Just wondering, NPR, what happened to the several hundred comments that were here earlier and seem to have disappeared? I've written to NPR Management about this before, and if you are going to remove an entire thread of comments that were not being objectively moderated, you owe it to your readers to explain why. Not doing so damages your reputation as an honest source of news.

Art Aficionado • 6 years ago

NPR should make sure their moderators behave in a more professional manner. They delete comments sometimes based on policy... sometime based on whim. There doesn't seem to be a coherent policy on clearing comment boards. Other comment boards from yesterday are still up.

NPR. Hold you moderators to a more professional standard.

Matt Smith • 6 years ago

Wondering the same thing myself. I went to bed seeing around 97 comments and now just ours. An official response from NPR is warrented.

TurtleBrag Mitch • 6 years ago

It's their forum. I don't think they're obligated to do anything.

Guest • 6 years ago

FYI - I eventually got seriously annoyed by this very same phenomenon and I discovered Tom Ashbrook has insisted NONE of the comments on the "On Point" forum are moderated or censored. You can be honest there without worrying if your comment will be deleted.

James Howard • 6 years ago

Wondering too. I don't think it damages their reputation as an honest source of news - the comments aren't really necessary for news. It does make me not want to comment.

Anonymous Pi • 6 years ago

What happened in the comments on the story is an important part of the story, a part of the story that should be told.

pseudohipster • 6 years ago

Not sure how some of us career commentators add anything to the story of anything but sure why not.

Steve Mullis • 6 years ago

It was an error. We're looking into it, thanks.

videmus • 6 years ago

The article was moved from the News section to ATC, and comments were reset automatically. We've seen it happen when articles were moved from some other section to CodeSwitch. It's a known issue.

colt call • 6 years ago

Censorship is the MO of Feminists once their "logic" is eroded by facts and reason.

Cookie Morgan • 6 years ago

Gaius: Feminists have no power to censor. You just like to say that because you can't find any reasonable fact or excuse to counter their complaints. We know you hate all the ways women have tried to gain the equality men have had since the beginning of time. That doesn't make you a very reasonable person. So why should we listen to you?

Matt Engels • 6 years ago

Well, you could start your own news website and run your own comments policy.

Or, you could accept that it was indeed a software issue and an error.

Or, you know, do what commenters do and complain about it on a website provided to you at no (additional) cost.

colt call • 6 years ago

Reddit also censors this type of discussion. As does the Verge, as does a million other sites.

Why? Because if they dont the feminist will accuse them of sexism and the fickle mob known as the public will go "Huhhhh ugga wugga is angry at XYZ!" and turn against them.
Its 21st century McCarthyism.

Guest • 6 years ago
colt call • 6 years ago

Your posts were eroded, making the movement look bad and were therefor removed. Feminists require a platform where they can shout at the top of their lungs but no one can respond.

Matt Engels • 6 years ago

Kind of like you need a platform for your comments? (This free website perhaps?)

colt call • 6 years ago

I should start a kickstarter and get half a million dollars in funding from bleeding hearts who dont know anything about what Im going to talk about and pretend Im into social reform and not just money!

Oh wait Anita already capitalized on that market.

Guest • 6 years ago
colt call • 6 years ago

comments were deleted on reddit and multiple sites. Anyone who speaks against this is censored. Im just waiting for the night of the long knives. Maybe they will call it the night of the long heels.

Cookie Morgan • 6 years ago

Gaius: So you are a comedy conspiracy theorist also? Such talent. It helps to bolster your complete disregard and disrespect for women and the real everyday issues that confront them everyday. It's just as well that we don't have people like you on the side of equal rights for women. You don't understand what it's like to be treated as an inferior and I don't expect you ever will.

Geraldine Merola • 6 years ago

Comments are not "news". They can edit anything they want for any reason they want.

Adolphus Gustavus • 6 years ago

It was a mistake, and it's still good form to allow open discussion.

Geraldine Merola • 6 years ago

"Open discussion" is what happens when people cannot hide behind an alias! If you wish to have unmoderated open discussions then you need to remove the veil of protection an alias provides. I'm fine with the moderators removing the trolls and the provocative comments- they weren't real anyway.

apresminuit • 6 years ago

you think that your opinions are always worth reading? top lel.

this sort of "news" should be kept to your gaming forums, not on something like NPR.

videmus • 6 years ago

Probably because there were too many people posting things that countered Anita's research, and it was deemed to have taken an off-topic turn. NPR wanted to focus on the damsel in distress that emerged from the debate, not on the validity of the claims and counter-claims in the controversy surrounding her.

Imagine Jack Thompson going around the networks telling his sad story of a gentle Christian being threatened by obvious devil worshipers for having the audacity to want video games to be more friendly to all people. Then imagine the media asking questions like "Does the gaming community have an anti-Christian devil worshiping problem?"

Quasimodigliani • 6 years ago

My comments were nothing but complimentary to Ms. Sarkeesian and they all vanished as well, so that can't be it.

Joey N • 6 years ago

I think it's a bug. My notifications on this page are being weird now.

Quasimodigliani • 6 years ago

I'm confused as well. The five comments I left last night were even-keeled and contributed to the discussion. I engaged with other commenters respectfully and without profanity. If the moderators concerned they can close the thread for comments, no need to delete even the non-inflammatory comments. It's not right.

Dave Hh • 6 years ago

As someone intimately connected with the state of Utah and USU in particular, I am puzzled by the emphasis of this article. The key points of the story for me are that the speaker received (via official USU channels) a very graphic and specific threatening email. In this email, the potential attacker laid out how he would attack the speech, or if security was too tight, other parts of the campus, using handguns, an assault rifle, and hand-made explosives. The University and the local police then refused to check attendants for fire-arms, because such an act would violate state law. That is why Ms Sarkeesian felt uncomfortable speaking. Someone had threatened to shoot her and other speech attendants, and security would not be allowed to screen attendants for weapons. Personally, I would also find such an environment to be threatening, and I have a hard time holding Ms Sarkeesian's cancellation against her in this case.

Darkside_Hero • 6 years ago

The University and law enforcement said the threat was not credible and saw no reason to cancel the event.

videmus • 6 years ago

When Jack Thompson criticized video games as inculcating a culture of violence, he received vitriol and death threats from trolls among the backlash from gamers, yet they were mentioned only in passing by the media -- journalists and television interviewers choosing to discuss (and mostly dismiss) his flawed research.

When Roger Ebert criticized video games as having no artistic value, he received vitriol and death threats from trolls among the backlash from gamers, yet they were mentioned only in passing by the media -- journalists and television interviewers choosing to discuss his controversial opinion.

Were gamers anti-Christian because Jack Thompson was treated harshly? Were gamers anti-film or anti-highbrow when Roger Ebert was treated harshly?
Of course not, how silly. But when a feminist is equally treated harshly, the only conclusion the media seems to be able to make is that gamers are anti-woman.

There is no reasonable person who believes threats of violence are acceptable. We are talking about the inescapable anonymous trolls who sow chaos in any controversy. These trolls only become an issue worthy of coverage, it seems, when a woman is affected. And only when a woman is affected are people willing to embrace the fallacy of guilt by association.

Gail Liebowitz • 6 years ago

You heard about the first two instances somehow, did you not? So it did come up in the media? I've seen a grand total of two articles touching on GamerGate and feminist video game critiques in non-gaming media sites. I may not be representative, but it doesn't seem to be covered much, especially considering this has been going on for some time. Also, were Jack Thompson and Roger Ebert threatened with a very specific threat at a speaking engagement, which was the instigation of this article?

"But when a feminist is equally treated harshly, the only conclusion the
media seems to be able to make is that gamers are anti-woman."

I don't note the media concluding anything in the above. Can you quote the part of the article in which NPR concludes that gamers are anti-woman? They covered the background and events of what happened, and gave voice to several of the key people involved. Your conclusions are your own.

videmus • 6 years ago

During the Jack Thompson affair, the media focused on the debate, not the sideshow of harassment created by trolls. Now, the media is focused on the trolling sideshow instead of the debate.

The only difference? The moral panic of "thematic elements in games have a deleterious effect on culture" is coming from a feminist instead of a conservative Christian. Suddenly, the "harassed for speaking up" sideshow is the spotlight.

Gail Liebowitz • 6 years ago

You seem to be trying to have it both ways. If the media focus on the cancellation of an event due to death threats, they are focusing on a "sideshow." Yet if they focus on feminist debate, they are concluding that gamers are anti-woman.

I also don't see how you can write an article about the cancellation of the talk, the violent threats, and Utah's carry laws, without focusing a bit on the "side show" that created the threats in the first place.

You don't mention any similar incident occurring to Ebert or Thompson, I note.

videmus • 6 years ago

She chose to cancel the event despite law enforcement finding no credible threat. If Jack Thompson had chosen to cancel a press event citing anonymous trolls would you really go about saying "oh poor Jack Thompson, we need to address this anti-conservative, anti-Christian element in the gaming community"?

Gail Liebowitz • 6 years ago

I'm asking you if they ever received a death threat specifically targeting them at a speaking engagement. Whether they cancelled it or not.

Law enforcement found no "credible" threat? You mean the quote someone posted about no "imminent" threat? Imminent means "about to happen." Law enforcement did not, at any point, say the threat was not credible. They didn't, and still do not, know this. Maybe the person was on another continent and trying to scare her; maybe s/he was next door and stockpiling bullets.

At this point, I believe you are trying to fit the facts to your own world view by twisting them. You want to believe she is overreacting, so you point to the emphasis on threats vs. other people's received threats. Then you say that she overreacted by misrepresenting the position of LEOs involved.

Will Herrick • 6 years ago

It's because this has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks.