Why Anita Sarkeesian can only do harm to gaming

Anita Sarkeesian Kickstarter

Recently, the name of a self-proclaimed popular culture critic has been all over the major game sites. Anita Sarkeesian has managed to take the full attention of the gaming press by storm. Her site is called Feminist Frequency, and she tries to be a warrior of justice defending the oppressed women in the world of gaming. Fighting for her righteous cause, she focuses on both the harassment women have to endure while playing games online, and the portrayal of women in games, which is, according to her, usually overly sexualised. Recently, her Kickstarter project aiming to gather funding for a video series presenting just how badly women are objectified in games, raised over $160,000 – a large part of which came not from women, but from “white knights” – an embarrassing portion of male gamers internet users that feel the urge to defend a woman whenever they think she needs defending. Now, I hate to be confrontational in any way on this site… But, as a relatively objective, not to mention male gamer with quite some experience with not only gaming, but also the way it is portrayed in media, by both game journalists and ones not very familiar with what gaming really is, I am sure you can already tell that I think Anita Sarkeesian is full of crap.

I give credit where credit is due, and Anita does deserve quite a bit of credit. For one, I have a great doubt whether she’s even really much of a gamer – her videos so far have not really proven that, the fact she decided to buy a bunch of games with part of the Kickstarter money she got only further shows it. Yet, she’s managed to make herself into the speaker of female gamers, she’s been invited to comment on the problems women face in gaming on several major websites and even on TV. And, again, the Kickstarter. She managed to strike a chord with her presentation, and not just any chord, but a $160,000 chord. Nearly 7000 people actually donated. Fame (15 minutes of it, but hey, a vast majority of people never get that far), check. Money, check. Anita is a success. But how does that affect gaming, the very tool leading to that success?

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Why “Between Life and Games”?

My first real post is going to be a short story about why I chose the title of this site.

It was actually suggested by my girlfriend, and I liked it a lot. Aside from the obvious wordplay and the implication that games can be a serious matter, not just a way to recreate and pass the time, there is the inevitable division between the material and the virtual. “Life” is a blanket term for the material world used quite often online, while “Games” are only a part of the virtual one (not any less so than books or movies), but games are the main focus of this site, so I will concentrate on them.

Back when I was young, games and playing outside were the two major things I was busy with aside from school. Already then, the compromise existed. Sometimes, I would choose to play a game instead of studying or playing football. Still, most of the time I would just go outside with my friends. Today, though, I no longer have that choice. Working on a desk with internet access 8 hours a day gives me the chance to keep up-to-date with gaming news, but little time to actually play games anymore. My backlog keeps growing, but I still do my best to put in as much time as I can.

So there I am… Between life and games. I can’t skip work, refuse to see my friends or to take my girlfriend to see a movie because of a game anymore. I’ve grown up, I guess… But games still hold the same magic. They have helped shape me as a person and I will help the people who read my articles with my advice. Because, indeed, there are games that every human being deserves to experience. The magic will never fade away!

The Beginning

Welcome!

My name is Vlado and I am an independent video game journalist from Bulgaria. I am a newcomer in the game journalism field, having only written my reviews and articles on several forums on gaming sites like GameFAQs, GameSpot, Backloggery, UnikGamer and Netrunner2k2. Nevertheless, I have always received generally positive feedback regarding my writing and the content of my work. The goal of this project is to have a single point where my materials will be shared, and to establish another independent viewpoint on the gaming world, safe from any influences but my own impressions of games and the industry.

My systems of choice are PC, PS3 and PSP, meaning I will cover games on many systems from NES/Master System to PS3/Xbox 360/Wii. My preferences currently lie with the PlayStation brand, so expect reviews of games on PlayStation systems more often than others. I will comment about games I’m currently playing, write reviews of games I have finished, and occasionally post news and comment on the video game industry as a whole.

I truly hope you enjoy my work. Feel free to leave a comment, if you’d like.