Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: on passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique

Ian Steadman, Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, Sept 04, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Misogyny is of course not limited to video games, but it is of particular concern there, and its prevalence explains why critic Anita Sarkeesian raised $158K from more than 6,000 backers to make a series of videos on "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games". As Ian Steadman writes in this commentary, it's nothing we wouldn't expect from informed critique in any other discipline. "There’s nothing in what Sarkeesian says about games that you wouldn't expect in a Kael-type film essay," he writes, "but the bile that she’s had to put up with for saying it has been extraordinary." And that's what this article is about - looking at "some of the common ways in which Anita Sarkeesian is portrayed in the gamer community, and how to assess and critique the mistakes that are made in responding to her work." Why is this important here? Because education technology and learning resources can be critiqued in the same way, and and when critics - especially female critics - raise the same sort of issue (or pretty much any issue) in our field (I could name a few) they get essentially the same reaction, and we see the same tropes. To stay silent or to pretend it doesn't happen is to consent, and of course, I do not consent.

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