On last night’s episode of The Colbert Report, the Comedy Central host took on Gamergate, gaming’s biggest controversy. The segment also included a surprise guest—feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian.
As is pretty well documented, Gamergate is a diffuse movement that bills itself as a “consumer revolt” geared toward addressing the perceived ethical failures in video game journalism. Make no mistake, there are many well-intentioned people under the Gamergate banner that are honestly in it for that reason—although, as Colbert points out, Gamergate’s biggest claims are baseless, and despite proponents’ best efforts, the Gamergate hashtag has becoming synonymous with the harassment of women in the games industry.
Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency YouTube videos have endured frequent and sustained ire and harassment from many gamers who have gone on to become Gamergate proponents—just read her mentions on Twitter, or the comments on just about any blog post that mentions her work in a positive light. Her interview with Colbert is brief but entertaining, and worthwhile not just as piece on Gamergate, but on one of the sad truths about the video game industry: that while great strides are being made every day, the culture is still quite hostile towards women, and that needs to change. Check out the interview below.