GamerGate, feminism, Anita Sarkeesian, and gamer identity: these topics dominated online conversations throughout the latter half of 2014 — but how many people actually care? Is it a just vocal minority that are engaged in these debates, leaving most gamers to play their games in peace, isolated from gaming’s larger context, culture, and community?
In a recent episode of Less Than or Equal, I posited that most consumers in the gaming industry have no awareness of these issues and movements. To test that theory, I found four gamers who are not on Twitter and, despite enjoying such games as Call of Duty, Smash Bros., and Xenosaga, had never heard of GamerGate or Feminist Frequency. I asked each guest in turn the same four questions: what is a gamer; who is Anita Sarkeesian; what is a feminist; and what is GamerGate? After having the honor of introducing them to these concepts, I recorded their reactions.
These four guests represent a cross-section of gaming, coming from different ages (22–36), genders, ethnicities, marital and parental status, geographies, professions, political/religious/sexual orientations, and gaming platforms. All four are personal friends of mine and are identified in this episode’s audio by first name only.