Anita Sarkeesian is in a special position. Not only does she publicly and academically dissect video games from a feminist perspective, but she is able to transfer that magnifying glass onto herself, since her work has made her a well-known figure within the industry. In a talk at XOXO in Portland, Sarkeesian breaks down the violent response to her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series.
As the Joystiq comments section will attest, the Tropes vs. Women videos incite heightened emotions from seemingly long-time gaming fans – emotions including anger, disgust and outrage at any attempt to point out that video games have historically been marketed toward a heterosexual male audience, even while the gaming consumer base has shifted to include more diverse voices. As she discusses, these reactions are even more extreme when directed at Sarkeesian personally, ranging from fake Twitter accounts and fabricated speeches, to death and rape threats that include her home address alongside violent imagery.