TV

Stephen Colbert Took On #GamerGate In Glorious Fashion

We’ve talked about GamerGate and the misogyny surrounding it before. But leave it to Stephen Colbert to explain the movement, and then destroy it, in about ten minutes.

Colbert recaps the movement in the above clip in a subtly cutting way, mostly using media coverage to make his point, and then brings in Anita Sarkeesian:

Essentially the whole thing is Colbert acting like a jackass and Sarkeesian calmly laying out the basics of the issue, before Colbert comes around, agrees to be a feminist, and shakes Sarkeesian’s hand. It won’t put a fork in GamerGate, but I do want to make one very important point here.

Sarkeesian wasn’t entirely unknown before she started analyzing tropes in video games, but she wasn’t exactly on Colbert’s radar, either. She was mostly an intellectual and a pop-culture critic with a video blog and working for various feminist publications. Then she went on Kickstarter to ask for money to do a series about video games and how they treat women. She wanted $6,000 and got it within twenty-four hours.

Really, that should have been the end of it. People who enjoyed her work wanted to see more of it, so they paid her for it, the end. But it wasn’t. The harassment started, and it hasn’t stopped. And so, when the media who wanted to cover it needed somebody highly visible who was getting harassed, somebody with experience in front of the camera and an intellectual background… their first choice was Anita Sarkeesian.

The goal of GamerGate was to bury Sarkeesian, and others like her. And instead, it’s given her a much wider profile. So, congratulations, GamerGaters: You’ve just discovered what karma feels like.

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