Television Interview about Harassment in Gaming

November 3, 2012

Recently, I was interviewed for a TV segment on Canada’s Global News about my experience and the wider epidemic of harassment women face in gaming spaces. Also interviewed were Grace from the website Fat, Ugly or Slutty, Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch founder of game studio Silicon Sisters Interactive & James Portnow from the gaming web show Extra Credits.

I have selectively chosen to do media interviews like this one because I feel it’s important to use the opportunity to highlight the extreme levels of harassment many women face when gaming. While it does take some time away from production work on my Tropes vs Women project (and also makes me more of a target), I hope that by telling my story in the media it will spark wider awareness of this critical issue and ultimately be a small part of moving in the direction of systemic change in the community and in the industry.

The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project research and pre-production is going well and we are currently in the middle of working on the first video in the series! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more news and updates.

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7 Responses to “Television Interview about Harassment in Gaming”

  1. Wow, someone in the video could’ve predicted (and should’ve mentioned the darker sides of “free speech” and free speech’s limits in ‘civilization’) the same kind of harassment of women is even happening BELOW the actual video, as the video talks about the harassment of women…. I imagine the big red bar of dislikes is coming from the privileged males, brainwashed self-hating women, or both, both either in denial of a problem or responsibility.

    I personally think the sex words that got bleeped in the video are not nearly as bad as all the personal words used against women, people of color, non-heterosexual, and more, in the patriarchal white-supremacist “norm.” I can handle the word “fuck (I know it means sex and sex-anything is generally more heavily censored than any kind of human injustice issue, but “fuck” also seems to mean a huge outlet of stress of the user and that’s as far as I accept it)” up to a point, but I have immediate problems when, “bitch,” “slut,” “whore,” and etc. pop up in communication.

    Whenever people who spew hate speech are trying to defend it, let alone, deny it, keep in mind that anywhere there are consumers, employees, employers, or whatever, they should be confined to civility, since we all live in ‘civilization,’ not savage nation. Competition is expected and acceptable, but actions of people should always be judged, not people.

    As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The actions that plagued the civil rights era, for instance, are not completely erased from the ignorant and malevolent society that is still today, as it’s continues to plague another vulnerable group of people. Women.

    Have you recently heard of how X-Box and Halo 4 are going as far as banning these type of people, who give threats to women, now? THIS IS WHY WE NEED IT. Gamers’ Arenas shouldn’t be Patriarchal White Supremacist’s Arenas.
    http://www.themarysue.com/halo-4-execs-bring-out-the-banhammer-threaten-lifetime-suspensions-for-sexism-on-xbox-live/

    Ash Reply:

    Great, apparently X-Box isn’t taking Sexism as seriously as they made it seemed before:

    http://www.themarysue.com/microsoft-clarifies-harassment-policies-for-halo-4-no-changes-to-be-made-to-xbox-lives-code-of-conduct/

    Somebody show them this video to KNOCK SOME SENSE INTO THEM! So Disappointed.

  2. Hi Anita, this video was great. Thanks for making this interview, already we’re seeing sexism and mysoginy in the comment section and that just goes to show how relevant what you’re doing actually is.

    I’m not a gamer myself ( I am a kid of the ninety’s, my stuff was sonic and mario ) and I really hope to find your videos instructive as well as entertaining as always.

    I’ve been meaning to ask you though, don’t you think you should start looking for more staff? As far as I know it’s just you and another woman and well, it seems like a herculean amount of work.

    P.S: I sent you an e-mail a little while ago and can’t wait for your answer, whenever you have the time.

  3. Great interview. I’m glad they interviewed several people on the subject and glad that none of them defended the bad behavior. Sometimes news sites think they’re doing “biased” by having some advocate of violence give “the other side” of the story, so it was nice to see a universal critique of the barbarity in our community against women.

    I can’t wait until the first episode! Keep up the awesome work!

  4. Thanks for putting this here. I live in Canada, but I don’t usually watch the news, so I missed this. This was a really great piece. I am always so excited to learn about initiatives promoting equality and this video explored some really interesting ones! I loved finding out about Silicon Sisters, in particular. I always love the discussions you generate, Anita. Your strength is so inspiring.

  5. This is a well made interview. I think it’s a useful introduction for people who never thought about the topic as a serious issue that has to be discussed in the public, also to develop strategies for fighting harassment online and in games.
    I share Anita’s and every feminist gamer’s passion for gaming and of course it’s not the right way to not game anymore because of insulting and threatening posts. That would mean leaving the male dominated field to males and it won’t change anything. But by continuing with gaming and question sexism in games it is possible to change the status quo.

  6. Oh my goodness.

    I am so sorry that you had to experience that. No one regardless of what gender they are should have to deal with this type of abuse just by playing video games. My boyfriend, who is of course has been a gamer for years, was even shocked to hear all of the vial comments from this interview.

    However, I commend you for participating and posting this because if you hadn’t people would be very oblivious and unaware of this matter.

    Keep up the incredible work.