Anita Sarkeesian's TED talk

Anita Sarkeesian, the vlogger behind Feminist Frequency and the Women vs Tropes Kickstarter, has a TED talk, at TEDxWomen 2012, now up on YouTube.  The talk is about the backlash to her Kickstarter -- a huge, organized hate campaign against her and her project. Trigger warning: misogyny.

Unfortunately I didn't have any money at the time all this harassment was going on, so I wasn't able to donate.  As a result, I don't have access to the news updates -- but I do have access to the headlines, which inform me that production started in late July of this year, since which point there have been two further updates.  I can't wait until this series comes out.

Male gaze and game design

(via Felicia Day on Tumblr) Brandon Sheffield at Gamasutra has written an excellent post about male gaze, and its relationship to video game design.  This is "gaze" in the philosophical sense -- not the sense of looking, but the effect of being looked at.  One does not perform the gaze, one experiences it.

Sheffield explores the way that this concept, and especially male gaze, the concept specifically focused on the way hetoronormative, conventional, male expectations about the world get imposed with priority over all others.  In doing so, he neatly outlines and connects a lot of the major problems in gaming culture re: feminism at the moment.

In doing so, he also comes out with a lot of vivid examples, and great metaphors, like this one:

Where does this knee-jerk anger come from? There is no anger quite like that of the privileged. Here we see it in the raw. In this instance; "We heterosexual males like boobs in our games, and we'll be damned if you're going to take them away." Because they feel threatened, they lash out without thinking about it, like a dog that thinks you want to take its bone away. The behavior seems nonsensical, but it's predictable. (Emphasis mine)

I suggest it either way, but especially if you haven't already caught up on the state of feminism and gaming culture lately, Sheffield's post is a great read.