Cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian may have moved on from videogames, but Gamergaters (yes, they still exist) haven’t gotten over their obsession with her.
Earlier this month, Sarkeesian put out a video on the legendary Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese woman who wrote the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji, a thousand years ago. The four minute video, a slick production featuring elegant Japanese-art-inspired animation, is part of Sarkeesian’s Ordinary Women: Daring To Defy History series, her followup to Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games.
A video about a female writer who lived over 900 years before videogames were invented might not seem like an obvious target for the inhabitants of Kotaku In Action, the main Gamergate (or perhaps post-Gamergate?) hangout on Reddit. But it’s Sarkeesian, so the fake novel-reader boys on KiA rev up their outrage engines.
In a thread inspired by Sarkeesian’s video, a dedicated Sarkeesian-hater called SupremeReader stirs the pot with a trolly claim that Sarkeesian is guilty of “Armenian appropriation of Japanese culture around the Samhain holiday).” In a followup comment, he posts a photo of Sarkeesian in profile to show off her allegedly distinctive Armenian nose.
Others are outraged that her video, which they hated, wasn’t long enough for their tastes, a complaint that brings to mind the old joke about two diners at a restaurant grousing that “the food is terrible—and such small portions!”
“3 f*cking minutes is a joke of a historic video,” complains spatchbo.
Holy shit are people being seriously scammed by this. My professor from Tokyo Broadcasting is going to lose his shit.
Anita you are a horrible historian. Please do more work. This is so bad its a joke of itself. I can actually say I have a far better education on this than she had 30,000$ to come up with. You are a sad state of whatever you are trying to be. Besides a con-artists.
Rygar_the_Beast offers a similar, and similarly badly written, assessment.
You are trying to bring this women up to the light you think they are not in? A f*ck less than a 4 minute video isnt helping.
F*ck, for 3.50 i can give a person the wiki address to the page for this woman that probably has at least as much info about her in the introductory paragraph.
Sarkeesian’s video, while short, is in fact packed with information. It makes no pretense of being the final word on Murasaki, but rather serves as an intellectual appetizer of sorts, inviting viewers to pick up a copy of The Tale of Genji and read it for themselves.
But apparently Gamergaters find it hard to understand videos that aren’t meandering six-hour monologues over still pictures.