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Anita Sarkeesian to create new series looking at masculinity in video games

Anita Sarkeesian to create new series looking at masculinity in video games

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Anita Sarkeesian has had an incredibly momentous 2014, to put it extremely mildly, and it's looking like 2015 will be even bigger. Her nonprofit group, Feminist Frequency, has released its first annual report (available as a PDF), which both chronicles its tentpole year and outlines its ambitious plans for the months ahead.

In addition to producing new episodes of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, Feminist Frequency is planning to begin two new video series: one that examines "the representation of men and masculinity in video games" and a miniseries that presents "examples of positive female characters in video games." Tropes vs. Women in Video Games made Sarkeesian a primary antagonist for last year's Gamergate movement and the target of widespread harrassment and multiple threats of violence. For a handy refresher, here's Sarkeesian discussing Gamergate with incoming CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert:

Other 2015 plans include hiring new staff members, a rebranding that includes new logo design / website / merchandise, and an objective to "continue and expand efforts to advocate for equitable online spaces by educating and consulting on issues of gendered online harassment." In a letter posted on her Kickstarter page, Sarkeesian describes how the goals of Feminist Frequency have changed due in part to both increased donations as well as, conversely, increased online harassment.

"While Tropes vs Women in Video Games was originally a project examining women's representations, the extreme harassment that I experience has become an intrinsic and inseparable part of this project, fundamentally changing my life and the landscape in which I release my videos. Gendered online harassment is not a new phenomenon, but the intensity of cyber mobs, especially in gaming, is increasing in frequency and severity. It became apparent to me that I should speak up and use my experience to help expose the epidemic of online abuse. Nearly half of my time is spent raising awareness on the epidemic of online harassment and working to help change policies on the institutional level. Some of these efforts are done publicly through Feminist Frequency's website and social media presence, as well as countless media interviews and at public speaking events. But there is also work being done behind the scenes in private meetings and consultations with major social media and gaming platforms, and by partnering with other organizations to form a task force with the goal of ending online harassment."

Feminist Frequency, which officially became a 501(c)3 nonprofit in May 2014, has grown exponentially in the past 12 months. While 2014 expenditures totaled $64,200, the proposed budget for this year is more than six times that figure ($400,000). Donations in Q4 alone totaled $397,778, which accounts for more than 90 percent the group's total donation revenue last year.