Anita Sarkeesian to present in CSU Ballroom

YouTuber to address violence toward women in video games

Anita Sarkeesian will visit our campus on April 11, 7:00 pm in CSU Ballroom. She is a media critic, public speaker and the creator of Feminist Frequency, “a video web series about the representations of women in pop culture,” according to feministfrequency.com. She drew public attention for describing stereotypical images of women in video games from her video series ‘Tropes vs Women in Video Games.’

It is a well-known fact that talking about the impact of video games is a hot issue and never-ending topic. Nevertheless, it matters since there are a number of gamers all over the world and videos games will not go anywhere. It is obvious that being exposed to brutality affects people in a way.

Anita Sarkeesian’s focus is on violence against women in video games. She tells in her series ‘Tropes vs Women in Video Games,’ women are victimized and degenerated into a tool of sexuality.

Most women characters are sacrificed in a way and male characters occupy major storyline. Women are depicted as subordinate characters for male protagonists. They are submissive and even beg male protagonist to kill themselves; but of course, it’s for the “plot’s sake.” She argues video games are male-dominated and tilted to men’s preference.

But the problem is this violence is not only women’s problem but also men’s.

Gender issues exist in every field and it is a real-world problem. But when it comes to video games, it has to be discussed as more than a gender issue. Most video games themselves are generally violent whether they target men or women. Video games have to be talked in terms of general violence, not just an issue of women.

Most video games contain shooting. Once you start the game, you are able to pick any gun depending of your preference, shoot, and eliminate as many of the targets as you want.

‘Joystick Warriors’ from Media Education Foundation points out that militarism in video games has drastically increased. Considering this industry is constantly expanding, game making companies are required to make the game more vivid, more graphic, and more real. This is when the virtual world needs references from real-world military. Game developers often cooperate with people from military to give body to characters on a 2D screen.

Also, U.S. army uses video games as a recruitment tool, not only as simulation for training, Joystick Warriors said. One interesting aspect is that even though Americans have no actual war experience, many Americans feel like they are connected to war somehow because of the ‘Army experience.’ This can lead to an abstract concept of wars that is really happening somewhere.

In this respect, video games have to be discussed broadly and thoroughly. Video games are not a bad thing end altogether. It is definitely fun, and it is up to people to play responsibly. But this has become a huge mainstream culture.

Female violence has to be improved in video games, and in terms of the culture, we need to start considering the big picture.

Tickets for the Anita Sarkeesian event are available at the Women’s Center, CSU 218. Tickets are free for students, staff, and faculty and $5 for community members, cash only.

For more information, contact wcenter@mnsu.edu.

Photo: “Anita Sarkeesian” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Infomastern 

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