Creator of the Feminist Frequency games-related video blog series and target of mindless harassment online and off, Anita Sarkeesian, has been in the news an awful lot this year. Speaking against many aspects of video games, she has been the verbal, online and physical target of gamers who feel she has no place in the video game industry.
As a result of that, rumours started to swirl a couple of months ago that Sarkeesian had been hired by popular games studio Electronic Arts (EA) to assist with the development of the female-protagonist title Mirror’s Edge 2. Some members of the gaming industry were so upset about the news, that they started a Change.org petition and lobbied EA to remove her from the team.
“Anita Sarkeesian has no credibility or experience in game development. She is merely a self-proclaimed critic and her opinions should offer no sound foundations in the development of this or any game. She has no experience in the industry,” the petition read, which was started by Danielle Bristol.
At the time of writing, the petition had 47 775 supporters – only 2 225 short of its 50 000 goal.
Apparently the creators and signatories of the petition are as poor at fact checking as they are at understanding the value a popular critic can lend to the process of games development (a lot – games companies are often desperate to get advice from journos before release). EA yesterday responded to the petition, and the rumours, saying that Sarkeesian is not involved in the development process.
“This petition is based on inaccurate information. EA is not working with Anita Sarkeesian on development of Mirror’s Edge,” it responded on the petition’s page.