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Oh my Lorem! The Sarkeesian Effect premiere was an even more glorious fiasco than we could have possibly imagined

This popcorn is delicious indeed.
This popcorn is delicious indeed.

Last night was the grand premiere of The Sarkeesian Effect (Team Jordan Owen Edition), and the response from critics and audience members alike has been overwhelming!

That video of crickets has gotten more than 3,344,825 views on Youtube. That’s 371,647 times the number of people who apparently showed up at the Sarkeesian Effect premiere/#GamerGate Meetup at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta last night.

Yep. According to the organizer of the #GamerGate meetup, only nine people showed. Including the director.

Meanwhile, on Reddit’s Kotaku In Action subreddit, one of the main #GamerGate hubs, the excitement was palpable.

seKotaku

Even Jordan Owen — the director of this incarnation of the Sarkeesian Effect — was uncharacteristically quiet; his reports from the premiere consisted mainly of photos of the screen, evidently his attempt to prove to the critics that, yes, the film exists.

Those last two pics seem to suggest that the insidious “Sarkeesian Effect” that gave the film its title is Ms. Sarkeesian’s uncanny ability to cause her critics to wear plaid shirts vaguely similar to her own signature look.

Online, the only people excited about the event that I could find were an assortment of popcorn-munching critics of #GamerGate. And they were mostly excited about the discovery of the official Sarkeesian Effect website.

Sorry, I meant to say the discovery of ANOTHER official Sarkeesian Effect website.

You may vaguely remember the official website, unveiled several months back, an amateurish unfinished job, with crappy graphics; the links on the front page to the film’s trailer, press coverage, Sarkeesian Effect wallpapers (!), and a list of theaters showing the film (!!) all led to this page:

comingsoon

And they still do.

Owen says that this unfinished mess of a website is still the official Sarkeesian Effect website. But now it’s been joined by a second unfinished mess of a website that also seems to be staking a claim as the official Sarkeesian Effect website. It’s not clear if this new site is the handiwork of Davis Aurini, or if Owen hired someone to put it together and just forgot about it.

Weirdly, this last option seems the most probable. Given that the site was promoting the premiere last night — a premiere of Owen’s version of the film, which Aurini had disavowed in advance — it seems unlikely that Aurini had anything to do with it.

While a teensy bit slicker than the original, the new site isn’t quite ready for public consumption. Here, for example, are the bios of some of the famous NAMES interviewed in the film.

selorum1selorum2selorum3

Yes, that’s right: Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s …

Also, Karen Straughan — the blabby FeMRA videoblogger and “Honey Badger” — is actually three women sitting next to each other.

Alas, the now-feuding “filmmakers” behind the “film” don’t fare any better themselves. In addition to giving both of them the Lorem treatment, whoever made the site also managed to misspell Aurini’s last name.

searuni

Clearly, from now on, Davis Aurini will be known as Davis-a-rooni.

Even the site’s Quick FAQs section has an impressive Lorem ratio.

sequick

And, yes, it is true that FILM starring NAME, NAME and NAME, has been featured on MEDIA.

This site, as, er, wildly optimistic about the commercial prospects of The Sarkeesian Effect as the old site, also includes a link to theaters showing the film. But instead of leading to a “Coming Soon” page, the new site links instead to …  a blank page on Google Docs.

segoog

 

I can only hope that the film itself — presumably headed ultimately for a YouTube release — lives up to this amazing website.

Sorry. I mean BOTH films live up to BOTH websites.

H/T — @tortoiseontour, who alerted me to the website and pointed out the misspelling of Aurini’s name.

 

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Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

It almost feels like punching down, in a weird way.

Women, PoC, LGBT+ people and people with mental illnesses/disorders/disabilities/differences mocking misogynistic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist assholes is the opposite of punching down, no matter how badly said assholes failed.

Tyra Lith
Tyra Lith
6 years ago

Downloading that “Ballad of Bathrobe Man and Skull Boy” now. That’s the most amazing thing I’ve heard in a long time. xD

Kootiepatra
Kootiepatra
6 years ago

Women, PoC, LGBT+ people and people with mental illnesses/disorders/disabilities/differences mocking misogynistic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist assholes is the opposite of punching down, no matter how badly said assholes failed.

I’m reminded of that John Scalzi post – Just because these guys lost, doesn’t mean that they weren’t playing at the lowest difficulty setting.

Carayak
Carayak
6 years ago

Oh hey, I found the “i” that went missing from Aruni’s name. It’s in the Press tab, hanging out with the Ariticles.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@johnpavlich
I know what you mean. These guys obviously face lots of challenges just in day-to-day living. So yeah, I feel sorry for them. But they hurt others and I think of this website as reality therapy for them.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@johnpavlich
PS: Good luck with the housing situation! It can be tough out there.

theladyzombie
6 years ago

Every time I look at this tweet by Dan Olsen (@FoldableHuman), I laugh till I cry.

http://imgur.com/eNf6LXz

Here is his Storify. Also good for many laughs.

theladyzombie
6 years ago

Ooops! Sorry ’bout that. Here’s the storify.

https://storify.com/FoldableHuman/has-davis-aurini-ever-seen-a-documentary

tinyorc
6 years ago

sn0rkmaiden:

I keep reading pro GG comments which accuse Sarkeesian of raising more money than she needed, then not making the videos promised. Any truth to that, anyone?

Sarkeesian did indeed make significantly more money than her stated goal. The project was fully funded within 24 hours after launch, long before the harassment kicked in. But because of the sheer scale and vitriol of the campaign, her Kickstarter got a lot of media attention, which in turn lead to a significant increase in backers. But that’s how Kickstarter works. There’s no cap on how overfunded a project can be, and there’s no obligation for the project to do anything with that extra money. Stretch goals are purely optional.

Sarkeesian’s original project was produce five videos of 10-20 minutes each detailing a pervasive sexist trope in videogames. She expanded this to 12 videos after far exceeded her funding goal (bearing in mind she was under no obligation to do this). That’s roughly 180 minutes of video.

However, because the project was now being subjected to massive levels of scrutiny both from supporters and detractors, and particularly from angry man-babies looking for anyone excuse to tear her to shreds, Sarkeesian decided to change the format of the videos, making them longer and detailed. She produced 20-30 minute videos, usually multi-part series exploring the same trope, going in for deeper analysis of a wider variety of games. To date, she has produced six videos such videos. In response to the criticism that her view of women in games is too negative, she’s also produced two 10 minutes videos on positive female characters. So that’s about 170 minutes of video total, with another one in the works.

So yeah, she hasn’t delivered exactly what she said she would, but the quality of her content has improved significantly and, as far as I know, the vast majority of her backers are happy with the direction she’s taken. When a project is ridiculously overfunded, the scope necessarily becomes more ambitious and there are often delays as the creators figure out where to funnel all the extra money. Most people who don’t rabidly despise Sarkeesian for being a feminist understand and accept this.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

It’s funny. All the allegations of fraud have come from gamegaters. I haven’t seen any of her donors making such allegations. For whatever reason, the not your shield guys didn’t think to include “angry Feminist Frequency backer” in their army of sock puppets.

Bina
6 years ago

Women, PoC, LGBT+ people and people with mental illnesses/disorders/disabilities/differences mocking misogynistic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist assholes is the opposite of punching down, no matter how badly said assholes failed.

But it’s about ethics in game journamalism!!!1111elebenhundredeleben!

And yeah. Just because these guys clearly flunked film school, and their “exposé” exposes nothing so much as their own stupidity and ineptitude (and that of their interviewees as well), doesn’t mean that they weren’t picking on those they perceive as being weaker.

Or in this case, one woman who’s already been dogpiled by idiots. AND received death threats from same.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

I for one backed Sarkeesian and am ridiculously happy with the direction she’s taken.

gelar
gelar
6 years ago

For whatever reason, the not your shield guys didn’t think to include “angry Feminist Frequency backer” in their army of sock puppets.

Who knows! Maybe they did, and the calibre of their criticism amounted to, “she lied about Hitman!” so it didn’t gain traction.

katz
6 years ago

Given that they made thousands of dollars and clearly pocketed the vast majority of it, I’m not going to feel too sorry for them being failures.

indifferentsky
6 years ago

Sargon of Akkad being called on his bullshit. Yeah I don’t like who made the video either, but she put a lot of good work in to this, and makes some points crystal clear.

deniseeliza
6 years ago

It’s funny. All the allegations of fraud have come from gamegaters. I haven’t seen any of her donors making such allegations. For whatever reason, the not your shield guys didn’t think to include “angry Feminist Frequency backer” in their army of sock puppets.

Very true. If she was such a fraudster you’d think that the people she actually defrauded would care. It seems like most people think they got their money’s worth (and I imagine most people felt that way as soon as they donated, as “sticking it to misogynist assholes by throwing money at Anita Sarkeesian” was probably the main point).

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@John Pavlich,

I know what you mean. When people have failed as spectacularly as Owen and Aurini just did, it’s hard to feel much satisfaction. Though I don’t feel at all sorry for Aurini, he’s completely disowned the project and is tweeting about ‘Jordan’s movie’ failing; if it had succeeded we all know he’d be taking all the credit for ‘our movie’. But despite his obnoxiousness, I do feel sorry for Owen, I think he’s been more sinned against than sinning.

I’m actually not all that surprised no one showed up, GGers are scattered everywhere, and it’s costlier and more troublesome to fly out to Atlanta than it is to throw a few dollars into a patreon. I’ll bet even the project’s loyalist supporters still expect to see this film for free on YouTube.

I’m sorry to hear about your housing situation, I hope it gets resolved in your favour. I was also sorry to hear about the loss of your mother on previous threads, I hope you’re bearing up okay.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@Tinyorc, thanks for the detailed response, and to others who have made the similar points.

I keep reading the same accusations, which if founded would be worthy of investigation. But, as everyone points out, none of her backers seem to have any complaints. In any case of fraud, those who have been defrauded will invariably have something to say about it, very telling Owen/Arooni couldn’t find anyone with an actual personal grievance against Sarkeesian.

davidgerard
6 years ago

The key point is: even if Aurini is a *jawdroppingly* incompetent filmmaker, that doesn’t mean Owen isn’t one too.

dslucia1
dslucia1
6 years ago

I’m gobsmacked by the fact that GribbleGorp has managed to keep itself alive through sheer force of angry, impotent will. And then I’m sad because of all the stupid I see being thrown around by willfully ignorant people misunderstanding things on purpose just so that they can continue to be upset. And then I’m confused when they accuse “SJWs” of being perpetually upset. And then I’m upset because these people are going to be a stain on the gaming community for years to come, when we were just finally managing to buck the “lonely basement-dwelling loser” stereotype, even if online gaming has continued to be an abhorrent mass of awful no matter where you go.

Basically, I’m very willing to believe there’s some sort of “Sarkeesian Effect”, but rather than whatever GibbleGroks think it is, it’s something that causes angry people to get even more angry about things that really shouldn’t make them so angry, and then they spread that anger around to other people who won’t care enough to look into it enough to acquire an informed opinion.

GrumpyOldSocialJusticeMangina

I think the logic of the comment on Sarkeesian’s makeup and earrings is as follows:
All feminists are unalterably opposed to makeup and any other form of personal adornment.
Sarkeesian is a feminist.
Therefore Sarkeesian is required to be unalterably opposed to makeup and any other form of personal adornment.
But Sarkeesian is wearing makeup and earrings. Therefore she is a stinking hypocrite.
In other words, they are invoking the Manosphere Mythical Feminist.

Nitram
6 years ago

Figures they would see criticisms of putting a bow on it as criticisms of bows. Do they enjoy looking so dense? The idea of Ms. Male Character is that characters are default male. Individuals are default male. When creating a female character, a bow is slapped on and pacman is now ms. Pacman. This doesn’t just happen in video games. You see a bug, or a squirrel, it’s a “he”. Every living thing is default male in our collective psyches. Ugh, Anita did a better job explaining this.

sn0rkmaiden
6 years ago

@Nitram,

in the light of that, I was quite proud when my son decided his favourite stuffed animal (the one that goes everywhere) was a she, he decided this with no prompting I swear. Of course everyone else assumes it’s a he and has to be corrected.

B
B
6 years ago

I really could not get through a paragraph of this article without cackling, and even after there were laugh tremors.

jpageusmc
6 years ago

@deniseeliza

Just to play devil’s advocate here, an easy explanation as to why any of Anita’s backers “don’t care” that they may or may not have been defrauded is because they believe that she is honest, and have no need to look in any deeper to her allocation system. As well, such people may instinctively label any such critical attempts to do so as “biased and unfounded,” dismissing them outright.

With that being said, it does not auger well when the very financial statistics that Anita herself released indicate that her income was almost 7 times her expenses. To presumably “make up” for this, her proposed budget for 2015 is over 6 times higher than her 2014 budget. It doesn’t take an expert economist to tell you that sextupling one’s business within a year is wildly unreasonable. To put it in perspective, an business with a 20% annual budget increase (or 30 times less than Anita’s proposal) would be seen as excellent.

It must be said with the reference to the obvious irony here, that a whopping 90% of her 2014 revenue was from Q4 of that year, coinciding of course with the GamerGate explosion. It can be inferred that people who may have chosen her side against the other were wildly overeager to show their support. This overeagerness belies an inherent non-willingness for fact-checking and follow-up due to the polarizing nature of the conflict and that those donating fiercely believed their side was right (hence, the gigantic explosion of donations in Q4 of last year).

I think this is where any critics of Anita would be coming from, commenting that, based on the above, it could be seen that she is “pocketing” hundreds of thousands of dollars, which, if this will indeed turn out to be the case, is absolutely worthy of criticism no matter what side one is on, but especially for those who are actually donating their own money. However, temperance must be had, due to the vast majority of the donated revenue coming from the latter quarter of the previous year.

What cannot be argued though, is that GamerGate was clearly the impetus for the majority of her donated revenue, which certainly would displease any pro-Gamergate believer, knowing not only was their ‘arch-enemy’ Anita was so well-funded, but that they themselves and/or their peers were the primary motivating factor driving Anita’s supporters to donate to her.

The key thing to take away from all this that blindly believing in one side because you hate the other is not a reasonable justification for that belief. One should always critically assess the whole situation instead, otherwise one gets caught into a never-ending “well they did this, so I did this back!” cycle, as is so often seen.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/01/24/anita-sarkeesian-releases-kickstarter-breakdown-raised-440000-in-2014/

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