1. OptimalCynic says

    The thing I don’t get is how they’re using “but everyone gets death threats” as though that’s some kind of rebuttal. That doesn’t refute her point, it just says that it’s an *even bigger problem*!

  2. David Marjanović says

    I was going to say.

    “Best” example so far (I’m reading the whole page and am almost halfway down now): Yan D @yanderiction, 7:52 pm, 23 Jan:

    @femfreq @JimSterling Threats ARE an accepted part of gaming, except in non-cunt lingo its called *trash talk*. But sure, Keep milkin it.

  3. says

    It says something when the nicest messages consist of “get cancer.” There’s a lot of irony overload in that horrible mess, too:

    @femfreq Death threats and rape threats are in the culture of gaming… Have you ever played an Online game? Get used to it…

  4. David Marjanović says

    Ooh. It gets “better”. Here’s a self-referential one!

    Plenty of trigger warnings.

    Feminist Frequency @femfreq Jan 21
    Death and rape threats should never be considered normal in gaming or anywhere else. It’s time for a paradigm shift.

    Harvey Dent @harveyisay
    @femfreq it’s a normal. It’s part of gaming, stop being such a pussy or I’ll rape you.

    Congratulations, Mr. Dent! You are King of Shit Mountain! *deafening applause*

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how the “trash talk” is occurring outside of the actual game, unlike normal sports. Outside of the game it becomes threats and harassment. Look at where you are misogynist, no game is going one, except in your feeble mind.

  6. David Marjanović says

    Oops. The above is from 1:57 am on 24 January.

    And the very next one, by Michael Jankowski @ pwn0graph at 3:43 am, goes full Dear Muslima on her:

    @femfreq well try sorting issues like Saudi Arabias REAL patriarchy instead of telling me how to sit on public transport you silly cunt!

    How horrible. His right to block the way might even be infringed. *goes to buy pearls for clutching*

  7. monad says

    @1 OptimalCynic:
    Well, it’s not a rebuttal if you actually oppose death threats. It would only a rebuttal if you are think you are fighting a zero-sum war, and the only reason you care at all is that they turn out to be bad publicity for your side.
    So I do get it; it’s one more way of saying “I’m horrible!”

  8. David Marjanović says

    Another self-referential one, this time about death instead of rape! ItsDualChart @ItsDualChart, 12:01 pm, still 24 Jan:

    @femfreq die you dumb bitch everyone is threatened in games thats what we do learn bitch


    @femfreq if you really got death threats you dumb bitch i wish you died

    At 4:45 there’s Starman going by @UndoxedGuy. I wonder.

  9. edmond says

    Sheesh, I was trying to enjoy lunch. Couldn’t we just have a nice picture of a thorny tapeworm head, or something more pleasant like that?

  10. David Marjanović says

    Delightful racism by ——————- (that’s 19 hyphens, I counted twice), @kush4days1, 9:18 am, 25 Jan.

    Harassment is like climate change: it’s not happening, and it’s not their fault, and it’s actually a good thing – all at the same time, or at least within 2 hours and 16 minutes of each other (6:22 pm to 8:38 pm, still on 25 Jan).

    Delicious projection of, well, Godwin’s Law by Heavenly Wanderer @HeavenlyWanderr (sic) in Mjölndal, Sweden, at 1:30 pm on 26 Jan.

    Musix @MusixTS, 7:19, 26 Jan:

    I hve never said this before to someone but please just die

    Ooh! Ooh! I know the translation for this one! It is: O noez, look what you made me do!

  11. David Marjanović says

    Oh. Outsmarted by the helpful software. 19 searchable hyphens:


  12. mickll says

    Remember these guys are the ones who accuse feminists of putting “feels before reals”.

    How long has this ongoing tantrum over criticism of high tech toys gone on for now?

  13. Moggie says

    “Threats ARE an accepted part of gaming”
    “Death threats and rape threats are in the culture of gaming”
    “it’s a normal. It’s part of gaming”
    “everyone is threatened in games”

    They… they think real life is a game?

  14. frugaltoque says

    And yet I’ve been told repeatedly that Sarkeesian and her friends are manufacturing all of these accounts and sending the insults to themselves in order to get attention.
    I can do nought but salute their determination, if so. That’s an exceptional amount of faking. The hardest part would be putting all of the spelling and grammar mistakes in.

  15. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah yes, the quave zeroes are being heard from (not quite the picture they see themselves as).

  16. Ganner says

    They think “saying we’re going to kill and rape each other is just our culture!” is an acceptable defense. Gamer culture is fucking disgustingly awful.

  17. says

    15 tweets in and I’d had enough.

    The hardest part would be putting all of the spelling and grammar mistakes in.

    Yeah, no shit. Too much gaming, not enough reading.

  18. w00dview says

    Jesus Christ, reading this has made me realise that I love gaming itself but gaming culture can go die in a fire if death and rape threats are like, totes, normal, bro. The sheer vitriol and nastiness of these remarks shows the incredible entitlements many male gamers have to being catered to (nearly) exclusively. Other demographics want to be represented and the gamer clubhouse is just not big enough to include “those” people. Really sad how one of my favourite hobbies seems to be a magnet for reactionary arsewipes.

  19. John Horstman says

    This is much worse than it was fifteen to twenty years ago. Back when I was a young’un, I played a lot of Starcraft and Counter-Strike on the Information Superhighway. I don’t remember encountering rape threats at all – indeed, “rape” as a synonym for “overwhelming defeat” had not yet become standard language – and death threats were all situated firmly within the context of the game – there were no threats that someone would come to my house or anything like that (nor were there such threats directed at other users that I noticed, not even women, though I acknowledge that I might just not have been primed to look for them). The closest I encountered to real-world threats were claims that someone was cracking my computer in retribution for defeat or suspected cheating to delete info or give me viruses or something (all bullshit, of course). “Gay” as a generalized slur was starting to come into vogue with the idiot-adolescent crowd, so there was definitely persistent homophobia, which I reveled in mocking mercilessly, and accusations of cheating (H4X!!11!!!) were rampant. The gendered attacks are NOT a long-standing part of “gamer culture” – I’m suspicious that the people claiming such hadn’t even been born when, say, Starcraft was released (while I remember playing that demo* and thinking it was the most incredible game I had ever played). So what they’re really saying is that they grew up in cultures where overt misogyny (and racism – I was initially more shocked by the overt racism on display, as that has been far less common in my life than overt misogyny) is normalized, and they brought that to gaming when they became gamers: it’s always been normal FOR THEM, and being empathy-challenged (sometimes bordering on outright solipsism), they don’t understand that what’s true for them isn’t actually universally true. Or they’re engaging in intentional historical revisionism.

    *Anyone remember free demos that gave you the first few levels to play or a single character profile/loadout to play online so that you could verify that you liked the game and that it was compatible with your hardware before buying?

  20. says

    They think “saying we’re going to kill and rape each other is just our culture!” is an acceptable defense. Gamer culture is fucking disgustingly awful.

    Nail on the head. It reminds me of the “if it’s not generally illegal, then it must be fine” defense. Sure, making random online gendered threats probably shouldn’t be a contributor to prison overcrowding, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. They must not understand that “testing the limits of the rules set by the game designer to the every possible limit” isn’t the best way to “win” the game called “real life”.

  21. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Ah. Look, an atheist. Or a bad typist. Perhaps both. Perhaps neither:

    Big L

    @femfreq get hitchslapped and die you fucking ghoul

  22. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Nope, confirmed atheist with a thing for Hitchens.

    I wonder if the overlap is significant or attributable to a trait other than gaming. Seems to be a lot more atheists singing the praises of the anti-Sarkeesian pro-gamergators. Perhaps it’s just strange bedfellows. Or not really strange, so much as it is icky.

  23. John Horstman says

    Also, I second Ganner and changerofbits in finding it odd/confusing/repugnant that an awful lot of people seem convinced that “it’s not illegal” or “it’s normal” are valid defenses, as though that means one should engage in the behavior in question. As an anarchist (ideally – I recognize the pragmatic problems with instantly dissolving formal government), I’m not a big fan of making anything illegal, but that doesn’t mean I think any or every behavior is okay.

  24. says

    Even if it were part of the culture, all this says to me is: ‘Right. Change that, then.’

    Lots of things are part of culture. Other things, they were, but aren’t (or at least not so much) now. None of it has to be. This is the hallmark of our species: that we learn, we inherit culture, and cultures can be changed. The insistence of some that this is all some god’s will–or some iron law of nature–notwithstanding…

    (/But it’s a moment for reflection, anyway, I guess, noticing this commonality between misogynist trolls and anti-abolitionists.)

  25. says


    I wonder if the overlap is significant or attributable to a trait other than gaming.

    My first guess would be libertarianism. There’s a lot of overlap between libertarians and atheists, libertarians and gamers, and libertarians and all manner of assholery.

  26. Ichthyic says

    here’s an experiment to try:

    create a new thread. take the non-gender identifying insults from Sarkeesian’s feed.

    now, claim they are from Richard’s feed, and mention something about how amused richard was.

    watch the hugely different comments you get.

    oh, don’t forget to put a picture of an aquarium in the background.

  27. Ichthyic says

    …I’m assuming everyone knows who I mean by “Richard” around here, but you never can tell.

  28. sambarge says

    Frugaltoque @ #17

    And yet I’ve been told repeatedly that Sarkeesian and her friends are manufacturing all of these accounts and sending the insults to themselves in order to get attention.

    I selected 10 of the tweeters who included death and/or rape threats in their tweets at random (so many to pick from!) and followed them back to their twitter pages and Facebook pages. If these are manufactured, Sarkeesian can teach the CIA a thing or two about making up whole lives out of thin air. They all have followers, friends, photos, etc.

    If I was the sort of person who made their living online, I might actually contact their friends (girlfriend, wives, daughters) with screencaps of their comments. I really wish I had the commitment to it but I’m afraid that I’m lazy.

  29. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Threats of violence issued while playing a violent game aren’t exactly uncommon, but those threats are basically always understood to mean that the violence is intended to be delivered to the other player’s character(s) in-game. Those who are pretending that this somehow excuses the threats of violence against Anita (and other Gator targets) are being disingenuous as fuck.

  30. anteprepro says

    History of Gaming:

    Pac-Man hits the arcades. Ten year olds across the nation start threatening each other with shivs for extra quarters.
    Atari becomes a home console and Pong sweeps the nation. Siblings begin threatening one another with castration and dancing in one another’s entrails.
    Super Mario Bros. becomes a worldwide hit. Children across the nation start missing homework, threaten teachers with rape if given bad grades.
    The first Console Wars begin, with Sega and its classic Sonic the Hedgehog series. Schools report video game related gangs, regularly threatening an escalation into violence over the superiority of their own console.
    The 64 bit era arrives. Reports across the nation find that teenagers are randomly shouting out that they plan to rape whatever is on the screen in front of them.

    Truly it was always this way.

    Alternatively: This really only become a thing with online cooperative play, due to jackasses. In that case, the story ends thusly:

    “And nothing was problematic at all with a culture filled with rape and death threats.
    The End.”

  31. Holms says

    They may as well be saying “Slavery is an acceptable part of the culture (as determined by white people)! Don’t try improving your lot! Get back in the field and stop complaining!”

    Because as we all know, ‘part of the culture’ means ‘never change anything at all’ amirite…

  32. Akira MacKenzie says

    This is much worse than it was fifteen to twenty years ago.

    That was because the infant Internet (and online gaming) was still mainly accessible by a much smaller, somewhat more educated segment of population.

    These days, every shit with a smartphone can become a full-fledged representative our misogynistic rape culture.

  33. says


    I wonder if the overlap is significant or attributable to a trait other than gaming.


    Actually, when reading this post by PZ I was wondering: Is the usual dudebro Dawkinite funderthootie segment of the atheist population telling him to stop complaining, too, or do they think it’s wrong for people to react like this?
    probably the later. Because he’s one of the good guys (with special emphasis on the guy part) while Anita Sarkeesian clearly deserves all that shit (while insisting that this shit is actually not bad and horrible at all, mind you!)

  34. MadHatter says

    I’ve played video games since I was just a little one with an Atari. Played online with the first Battlenet and some others (about 20 years ago I just realized). I followed that through the first MMORGs too. I even made a couple of real-life friends that way.

    However, I can almost pinpoint when playing online became unfun for me. Flirtation was a common occurrence, if you were female-character you got flirted with. You could still play just fine though, and for the most part players were nice and jerks got ejected. That was when it was all text based. Later on I avoided playing with a mic because if they knew for sure you were a woman the flirtation just got annoying. But with the rise in popularity of online gaming I watched the sexual nastiness go up incredibly, and it seemed overnight. I started avoiding certain games because of the people that played them online. Then I started avoiding games I had previously enjoyed too. To the point that the last time I attempted to play online with random people I immediately quit, and that was several years ago. It changed how I interact with gaming entirely. The popularity of gaming brought with it the misogyny and amplified it tremendously.

    This “culture” and the idea that games have always been “boys only” is just bullshit. Like so many other things it appears that way now because boys pushed girls away and erased those already present. They amp up the “culture” to continue driving women away too. I imagine it’s a very old story (development of comp. sci. comes to mind).

  35. Gregory Greenwood says

    Bit it is all totes really about integrity in gaming journalism, amiright? I mean, you can’t have upstanding gaming journalists without the unfettered right to issue rape and death threats to any woman on the internet who dares to have an opinion because reasons. Reasons whose forth step is ‘profit’…

    There is no excuse for this kind of bigoted poison, but alongide the harrassers themselves you will alays find legions of idiots who wave it all away with a smug ‘bous will be boys’ mindset, and those enablers are very nearly as bad as the misogynists themselves. The culture of gaming (and indeed all forms of ‘nerd culture’) has to fundamentally change, lest it degenerate into a cesspool of sexist man-children or, far worse, leads someone to enact these vile rape and murder fantasies they keep pewing onto the internet.

  36. David Marjanović says

    …I’m assuming everyone knows who I mean by “Richard” around here, but you never can tell.

    Dawkins? I really don’t think people here would cheer on the death threats he gets, with perhaps one exception who shall remain unnamed (it’s not you, of course, and not me either) and wouldn’t keep it up for long either. Some, I’m sure, would say he should stop being amused and take serious precautions for his safety.

  37. caseyrock says

    If you all like city building games, then I’d suggest taking a look at the upcoming Cities Skylines from Paradox Interactive. They have a great development team that only adds to what is shaping up to be an outstanding game (unlike SimCity). I’m waiting for it patiently, but enjoy the YouTube previews where the devs talk about the game and what they enjoy most about it.

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says


    Oiiii dumbasses, have they ever heard self fulfilling prophecy?

    Yep, you fulfill our prophecy of you being inane and irrelevant with every post.