Feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian takes on gaming

Anita Sarkeesian

UPDATE: This event was postponed due to the weather. Plans are being made to reschedule the talk at a later date.

Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist critic and outspoken advocate for gender equality in gaming, will deliver the Martin Weiner Lecture in Computer Science at Brandeis University February 9.
The lecture is sponsored by a diverse group of departments, including computer science, English, sociology, the Women’s Studies Research Center, women and gender studies and the social justice and social policy program
“This is a new approach for us,” says professor Jordan Pollack, chair of the computer science department. “Instead of a highly technical lecture, we’re bringing socially relevant material about computers and the Internet to a broader Brandeis audience.”
Sarkeesian rose to prominence with her blog, Feminist Frequency, and a video series called “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” which explores sexism and objectification of female characters in video games. The series tackles myriad forms of misogyny, from the damsel in distress archetype, to violence against women and their portrayal as sex objects, and has millions of YouTube views.
Her social criticism of gaming has made her a target for online harassment, including rape and death threats. 
Hearing about those experiences can be scary, but with a growing number of women entering computer science and technology industries, it’s important to talk about, says Pollack. 
“I hope our students gain an appreciation of the expanding opportunities, as well as the difficulties, facing those in the field,” he says.
The lecture, to be held at the Carl J. Shapiro Theater in the Shapiro Campus Center at 12 p.m., is open to Brandeis students, faculty and staff only. Tickets are free and are available at the Shapiro Campus Center Ticket Office.
In conjunction with the lecture, the Women’s Studies Research Center will be screening “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” on February 10 in the Liberman Miller Lecture Hall from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit the Women’s Studies Research Center.

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