I'm a gamer. I've always been a gamer. I grew up with Link and Zelda, Mario and Luigi, Cloud Strife and Leon S. Kennedy.
Since I was a really small kid, I always loved video games. I would sit down in front of the TV for hours, watching my brother play The Legend of Zelda, hypnotized. I grew up in these universes, which is probably why I spend most of my time fighting dragons in my mind, now.
But as I played video games, there's one thing that felt wrong : females. I couldn't relate to any female I was seeing in the games. I wanted, in fact, to become the male hero, never the female one. They were just too... weak, too sexy, too objectified.
Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, highlighted why I (and probably many other gamer girls) couldn't relate to women in games, in 2012, in her videos on Youtube, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. She showed how women were depicted in games : sex toys, objects, accessories. If they are important characters, they are without personalities, weak and in need to be saved by the hero, dependant on everyone.
Women in video games are empty. And Anita Sarkeesian showed it into her videos. She also started a war.
Instantly, her videos created an uproar in the gaming community : male players took her exposition of the female condition in the gaming industry as an insult and a request for games to change. Which wasn't the case (I saw her videos, and Anita only explains the facts, never mentions what should change). And that was how Gamergate was born and that's also when Anita started being intimidated and harassed.
The attacks she receives for exposing the reality of female characters in games stirred sickening reactions by people, mostly gamers, all around the world. And when I write that it's sickening, I'm not over-reacting :
That was in 2012. In 2014, things got out of hand, once more. Last October, Anita was supposed to appear at the Utah State University and give a speech. The university received terrorist threats, which were associated with Gamergate, announcing they were going to orchestre a massacre if they let Anita speak. Because of this, her speech was cancelled.
And it wasn't the last of what Anita Sarkeesian would go through.
I admire her. I think she is inspiring because she continued doing what she believed in, even though she was threatened, even though she was hated upon in ways that are beyond my understanding. She's a strong woman, a strong person.
And apparently, I'm not the only one to think so. In April 2015, Anita Sarkeesian was chosen to be in Time's Magazine annual list of 100 most influencial people in the world.
Thank you Anita for showing the world that women aren't sex objects, and for enduring all of this hate.