It’s often said that feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian is just a left-wing version of infamous anti-video game activist Jack Thompson. She, too, is using moral panic to encourage censorship of the medium. But how similar are they really?
On the face of it, the parallels are striking. Both invoke discredited science, or obliquely allude to a non-existent scientific consensus, to claim that video games can have a negative impact on society, even when the evidence suggests the opposite is probably true. Both want video games regulated and both regularly pop up in the media to denounce a hobby safely and enthusiastically enjoyed by millions.
Both claim to have been victimised by video game fans and sent death threats for their controversial opinions. Both set themselves up as moral guardians, despite using selective quotations, sleights of hand and in some cases outright falsehoods to further their extreme ideological causes. Meanwhile, both demonise their opponents as bigots, children and defectives.
But surely a trendy, cutting-edge third-wave feminist YouTuber who claims to be a life-long lover of gaming can have nothing truly in common with a fusty old religious reactionary who wouldn’t know a controller from his elbow? Surely you need only inspect their published statements to tell them apart?
We’ve assembled a short quiz to find out. Can you tell the difference between the Feminist Frequency presenter’s doom-mongering about video games and the hysterical, fact-free rantings of born-again Thompson? Let us know your score.
One last thing: if you’ve come to the end of the quiz and you fancy a bonus quote, try this on for size:
Children are playing a game that encourages them to have sex with prostitutes and then murder them. This is a silent epidemic of media desensitisation that teaches kids it’s OK to diss people because they are a woman, they’re a different color or they’re from a different place.
Did you guess Sarkeesian? Better luck next time! Did you guess Jack Thompson? Oh, so close! In fact, this quote is from Hillary Clinton, a nightmare amalgamation of Feminist Frequency and Jack Thompson who is running for President.
She’s on a charm offensive at the moment, trying to suck up to young video game fans. But her history of credulousness when it comes to scaremongering about vidya speaks for itself. Just so you know what you’re letting yourselves in for by voting Democrat next year!