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Feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian receives latest in series of death threats



Feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian receiving the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award.
Feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian receiving the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award.
Trish Tunney / trishtunney.com

Utah State University staff received an anonymous terror threat over a live event with Anita Sarkeesian, a vlogger who's angered some gaming fans with her feminist critique of sexism in video games.

The anonymous email sent to Utah State staff promised "the deadliest school shooting in American history" because "feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all the others they've wronged," the Standard Examiner reports.

Despite the threats, Utah State is going ahead with the presentation by Sarkeesian, according to the Standard Examiner. The FBI says that the threat was similar to ones that other venues who've hosted Sarkeesian have received, and they don't believe it came from a student at the school.

Sarkeesian has come under fire from gamers who disagree with her critique, and Sarkeesian has also been caught up in the recent #gamergate controversy, which began this summer. It started when an angry ex-boyfriend accused female game developer Zoe Quinn of an inappropriate relationship with a reporter for video game news site Kotaku, and while evidence hasn't shown that this relationship affected any coverage, it ignited an online firestorm.

It's a discussion that's been criticized for including numerous sexist attacks on women associated with the gaming industry, with those on the other side saying that it's not about sexism but, instead, their attempt to point out problems with journalistic ethics in video game journalism.

Sarkeesian notes that she's been under attack by members of the gaming community for the last two years over her feminist critiques of video games, and sees #gamergate as that same harassment with a new cover.

She described #gamergate on Twitter as "a sexist temper-tantrum targeting women, feminists, and allies working for change in the games industry." She also notes that #gamergate has brought with it the worst harassment she's ever face, to the point where she left her home due to the threats after calling the authorities.

For more of Sarkeesian's perspective on the attacks against women from some gamers and her own experiences, watch her talk from last month's XOXO conference:

Anita Sarkeesian at XOXO

You can also see what the hubbub is all about — watch Sarkeesian's latest Tropes vs. Women in Video Games videos looking at sexism in video games below (warning: contains mature content):

Anita Sarkeesian Tropes vs. Women video

Anita Sarkeesian Tropes vs Women video 2