2015 looks set to be a banner year for Anita Sarkeesian and her non-profit organisation Feminist Frequency. Far from being cowed by the harassment of the trolls who march under the banner of ‘GamerGate’, Sarkeesian has taken their vitriol as further evidence that Feminist Frequency has plenty of work to do, and intends to increase her output on YouTube and broaden her efforts to that effect.
In a freely available annual report, Feminist Frequency gave a breakdown of 2014’s data, and outlined their plans for the year ahead. On top of the existing YouTube show, Tropes vs Women In Video Games, Sarkeesian has announced she is working on a new series which will examine various portrayals of masculinity in the medium, and a miniseries chronicling positive female games characters.
Both of these new endeavours are bound to attract the attention of GamerGaters, and Sarkeesian is prepared. “When I publish an episode of Tropes vs Women In Video Games the vicious wave of harassment can carry on for weeks or even months,” she says. “In addition to the sexist harassment, the death and rape threats have been persistent and have ranged from annoying to criminal.”
However, she insists that she and her team are going nowhere: “Privately, I am working with online feminists to strategize long-term solutions to deal with the epidemic of online abuse and create mechanisms for support. I am also consulting with tech and gaming companies on how to address issues of online harassment in their own communities.”
Erik Kain at Forbes believes that Sarkeesian has evolved from a “YouTube personality” into a “media talking head”, and credits her with provoking some much needed conversations about gender in the gaming industry on a larger stage, saying; “I would love to see more video game discussion and debate in the mainstream media, and hope that news programs continue to bring Sarkeesian and those with opposing views onto their shows in 2015.”