Some important Precursors:
2012: A Timeline
- February: Gaming industry insider Jennifer Hepler receives death threats after comments she made on gaming 5 years ago appear on Reddit.
- February: Capcom’s livestreamed Cross Assault gaming event subjects player Miranda Pakozdi to ongoing sexual harassment by a teammate, who later declares that sexual harassment is just a part of the fighting game culture.
- March: Forbes writer Tara Tiger Brown requests that “Fake geek girls,” “do everyone a favor and call yourself what you are: a casual hobbyist.”
- May: The trailer for the new game Hitman lets us all enjoy the brutal and titillating murder of sexually objectified nuns.
- June: Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft gets turned into a helpless rape victim in order to increase the “protectiveness” of her (presumably male) target audience.
- June: reporter Katie Williams writes about having her gamer status repeatedly questioned and dismissed while trying to demo games at E3.
- June: Also at E-3, several women within the gaming industry speak anonymously about being ignored and having their criticisms and point of views overlooked by the male game designers they work with.
- June-July: Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian receives a month-long backlash of death and rape threats, defamation. hate speech, and even a short-lived game dedicated to punching her in the face, all because she started a Kickstarter project documenting sexism in video games.
- July: A Destructoid writer publicly questioned the validity of Felicia Day’s geek girl status. He lost his job, but was echoed just weeks later by contributors to CNN’s GeekOut! blog. The first, Rob Salkowitz, posited a divide between Twilight fans and gamers at ComicCon, as if no overlap was possible; the second, Joe Peacock, echoed Brown in lambasting the presence of “booth babes” and fake girl gamers.
- July: Simon Pegg comes under fire for objectifying cosplayers at Comic-Con.
- July: comic Kate Leth of Kate or Die sparks a discussion about women being belittled in comic bookshops when she has a dismissive encounter in her local store.
- August: Borderlands lead designer calls the secondary player mode of the new Borderlands 2 game the “girlfriend mode.”
- September: DC Women kicking ass speaks out against ongoing online harassment of herself and other female comic artists.
- September: blogger TangoGnat writes a comparison of similar attempted rape scenes in the opening issues of Amethyst and its reboot.
- October: sexual harassment of a cosplayer in front of a large crowd during a filmed interview at NY ComicCon
If you have more info about other incidences to add to this timeline, please feel free to send it in!
The object of this blog is not to attack the comics and gaming industries but to provide a handy record for anyone who wants background context for their own discussions/articles/research/etc. into the ongoing harassment that women in comics and gaming cultures have undergone in the last 9 months alone.