When upon entering the hall to hear Anita Sarkeesian speak, I can honestly say that I entered with hesitation. I have never been the type of person to become passionate about such a controversial issue as she has with the way that women have been portrayed in media, primarily videogames and I was worried about how my opinion would be swayed as a result of seeing her.
She began her talk about discussing the logistics behind the actual gaming industry and filled my brain with facts that I otherwise would not have known. Her passion towards the industry as a whole was shocking because despite her anger with it, she still seemed to respect it as a form of media that others would generally look over.
Her personal story with the harassment that she has gotten really took me by surprise because she was being harassed in the exact way that she was preaching against, only furthering her point of view on the industry. This caused me to think about other ways that certain groups of people might be getting harassed on other forms of mass communication that I use more actively than the video game culture.
Her discussion about how women are being portrayed within video games can be applied to how women, for example, are being portrayed in just about any form of media, whether it’s television or even your average magazine and that is something that has been prominent for years before the video game culture even came into the light.
Having a younger brother who plays video games almost 24/7 in his bedroom, I was forced to think about his opinion on women and whether or not it has been altered since he’s began to play his games more often. Because I went home this Saturday, I thought to ask him and see how he would respond. He didn’t seem to have a change of view because of it, completely contradicting what Sarkeesian had been preaching the day before to me.
I wonder if it depends on the type of person using the media and their behavior instead of just the video game industry?
I wonder if she would be just as passionate about other forms of media and women or if it’s just the industry of video games?
Should we be concerned about this pattern now with new forms of media, such as the growing power of social media?