Feminist analysis of video game tropes booted off YouTube within hours

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 18:24 EDT
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Anita Sarkeesian screenshot
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Within hours of being uploaded to YouTube, a video analyzing the portrayal of women in video games was removed for an alleged “Terms of Service” violation.

Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist media critic behind the video, suspected the video was flagged by angry gamers.

“Looks like my harassers abused YouTube’s flag function to get my new Tropes vs Women video removed. Not the first time it’s happened,” her website Feminist Frequency tweeted. “We are looking into the issue and will update you all as soon as we know the full story and can get the video restored,” it added.

After appealing “the bogus terms of service violation takedown” the video was restored to YouTube.

Sarkeesian became the target of an intimidation campaign after launching a fundraiser for her “Tropes vs. Women in Games” project.

Gamers were apparently enraged by the idea that someone intended to highlight sexist themes and narratives in their favorite form of media. Sarkeesian was threatened with murder and rape, hackers attempted to breach her website, and fake pornographic images of her were posted online. A web-based game that involved beating up Sarkeesian was even published on NewGrounds.

Her first video, published in March, investigated how the “Damsel in Distress” trope was utilized in video game storylines. Sarkeesian’s latest video examined the “Damsel in the Refrigerator” trope, in which women were victimized as a means to harm — and motivate — a male protagonist.

Watch the video below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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