Doing a “Sarkeesian”. And many more to come, I hope!
Apparently, recently I did a “Sarkeesian”. A few days ago, in the Spanish version of this blog, I uploaded a video in which I introduced the X-Card. A tool I find reasonable enough and simple enough to use around the table to increase safety, especially when playing with stranger.
For some reason I won’t qualify, someone who admitted to not having seen the video, read the article or the X-Card document, decided that the X-Card is a stupid thing and that safe spaces are nonsensical bullshit, and accused me of “doing an Sarkeesian”.
For those of you who may not know her, Anita Sarkeesian is a American-Canadian journalist who a few years ago decided to publish a series of videos called Tropes vs. Women in Videogames. The videos are a study of how videogame culture treats female characters in a toxic way.
Although not all videogames are guilty of that, and Sakeesian’s studies can be scrutinised and debated (like any study by anyone), she was victim of an incredibly vicious intimidation and bullying campaign online. Campaign that we have seen repeated numerous times against other women in the industry in the last few years. This campaign was brutal and dangerous enough that Sarkeesian had to abandon her home, protect her immediate relatives and disappear from Twitter for a while.
Despite all that, she continued with her recordings and has become an important and influencing voice within the feminist movement in videogames culture.
According to this man who doesn’t consider safe spaces something worthy of consideration, “doing a Sarkeesian” means: To see a problem that no one has seen or cared about before and study and expose the motives of why it is a problem without anyone asking and expecting people to consider your arguments.
Let’s ignore for a second that this “gentleman” is commenting on a video and a safety net technique without even looking at it. And admitting he has no intention of watching the video or reading the article. Let’s pretend he hasn’t just got his counter-argument out of his ass.
Let’s concentrate in the fact that he implies that “to do a Sarkeesian” is a bad thing.
It took me a while to stop laughing. And believe me I laughed.
Let me see if I have got this one right…
Does he really think that to have the ability to see a problem no one has seen before, the talent and discipline to study that problem in depth and the guts to bring that to the masses, despite the obvious risk is a bad thing?
Does he really think that to have the integrity and desire to do things right and bring change to an industry so more people can enjoy more games in a safer environment is something despicable?
And does he really think that comparing my actions to those of someone I admire and respect as much as Anita Sarkeesian is a form of insult or that it will stop me from doing it again in the future?
I will leave you to answer those questions.