Terrorist Threats Will Not Save Video Games

Terrorist Threats Will Not Save Video Games

Let’s talk about something that’s a little screwed up. It involved Anita Sarkeesian, writer/author of Feminist Frequency that some gamers have come to associate with everything that is wrong with the gaming world. This one feminist author’s status as a speaker for women’s rights and simultaneous icon for misguided gamers looking to “campaign for truth in gaming” or “keep gaming pure for gamers” has made headlines recently, and not for good reasons. Recently, she was scheduled to give a talk at Utah State University. This talk was canceled due to a terrorist threat.

The email, written by an anonymous USU student, threatened to commit the “deadliest school shooting in American History” should Anita Sarkeesian be allowed to speak. Claiming that his attack would be “Montreal Massacre style” the anonymous writer claimed he had “a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs,” at his disposal. He signed the note Marc Lepine, who was the perpetrator of a 1989 mass shooting in Montreal.

The e-mail was very disturbing. It said that “feminism ruined his life” and that he would write a “manifesto in blood” and that he would “take revenge” on both Sarkeesian and feminists in the crowd. He claimed that the feminists in attendance would not be able to defend themselves, that “one way or another, I’m going to make sure they die.” It said that Anita Sarkeesian would “die screaming like the craven little whore that she is.”

If this sounds like something out of a slasher flick to you, it does to us too. But this is real, written by a real person, threatened to a real crowd. Back when Jack Thompson was claiming video games cause school shootings, we as gamers came together to stand against him and the negative stereotype surrounding games, and now a school shooting has quite literally been threatened due to feminism in gaming.

I’m not going to start talking about #GamerGate again, or about misogyny, or anything like that. I’ve beaten that dead horse until it looked like an enemy from The Evil Within .

What I am going to say is this: what do you expect to gain by making threats? Not just this threat, all the threats that have been made to Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, and the many other people who support them. Do you honestly think that the “right” side of this argument will win by making threats of violence? Do you truly think that threats of the mass slaughter of innocents is something that the right, and just do?

That’s what honestly and truly frightens me about the way this culture war has evolved. There are people out there making real threats, chasing people from their homes, shutting down schools.. and for what? Gaming!?

Terrorist Threats Will Not Save Video Games

Let me tell you something. Lots of controversial people have spoken at colleges before. Big name political figures that were protested and picketed by student bodies have spoken at colleges all around the nation. Liberal and conservative figureheads have spoken despite huge angry mobs booing them and shouting at them… and I have NEVER seen mass school shootings threatened for these speakers. These are people, people who hold real power, people who can affect how we live our daily lives, facing down groups that honestly think they are steering the country down to ruin and they were met with peaceful protest. But feminism for some reason sparks a desire to massacre the innocent.

It’s time to take a good long look in the mirror. There are a lot of people who say, “I don’t support harassment or violence” yet cling to these ideals of anti-feminism. Look at your bedfellows… and consider your position. I’m not sure any just and right position was ever threatened into being accepted by the public.

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