Gaming Academic Freedom

ACADEME BLOG

Last week, at a meeting of the Academic Freedom Committee of the Professional Staff Congress (the CUNY faculty union), the name Anita Sarkeesian came up. Though she is not an academic (in the sense of being employed by a college or university), she felt forced to cancel an appearance at Utah State University due to threats against her life and the inability of campus security to provide adequate protection (they could not prohibit guns in the room). Sarkeesian is a blogger and videographer dedicated to critical examination of depictions of women in popular culture. The reason for the harassment is distressingly simple: Sarkeesian want to move culture, and video-gaming culture in particular, from its mindless misogyny into inclusive mind-sets. She gave a talk in September:

Over 20 minutes, she coolly analyzed the strategies that trolls have used to harass her, rooting their fears in a gaming culture that is slowly changing to…

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