Correction: Sarkeesian cancelled a planned speech at Utah State University (USU), which is in Logan, Utah and is a different university than the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Apologies.
Women video game developers and critics in Australia are being threatened with rape and murder by American and Canadian gamers as the dispute that has gripped the global gaming community goes global.
Sydney-based independent video game developer and critic ‘Sarah’ said she had received threats as a part of the movement after she voiced her opinion on an online gaming forum. They were pretty blunt about what they were going to do to her for daring to make games that did not depict women as whores or sex objects.
“They were saying that they were going to rape me, they were going to kill me… They ran to friends of theirs, got them together … and started tweeting threats at me,” he said.
Sarah believed the perpetrators had set up a system that sent multiple threats to her account automatically.
Fortunately, they were not that clever. One posted a picture that allowed Sarah to figure out their name because they would screen capped it with their Facebook account in the background so I was able to find out the attackers name, and get a sense of who the other guys were.
They are all young, and they are all from the US and Canada and are all keen to spread their backward brand of misogyny to countries where women are treated a little more equally.
“That was almost a bit more terrifying – that they were this loose group of people that one of them could call up the others and they would attack.”
Unfortunately, because they were not Aussie misogynists they could not be arrested and charged with threatening behaviour.
The movement originated from a debate about whether video game journalists were too close to the industry, but then took a more threatening turn.
Earlier this month American feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian was attacked by people claiming to be from the gamergate movement shortly after posting an online video about the portrayal of women in games.
She was forced to cancel a speech at the University of Utah, after an anonymous threat from somebody who said they were planning to carry out a mass shooting at the event.