ABC’s Nightline explores Gamergate

A segment from the popular ABC News program focuses on the death threats, discrimination and abuse directed toward women in the gaming industry

2013_lara_croft_tomb_raider-wideABC News’s Nightline aired a segment during its Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 edition on the “Gamergate” (not to be confused with Gamers Gate) controversy that has targeted women in games journalism and female gamers with death threats and other abuse in recent months all in response to gamers seeking change in the gaming industry when it comes to how women are portrayed and treated.

“The death threats and the swirling controversy became part of what’s now known as ‘Gamergate.’ What started as an online spat about the ethics of gaming journalism has quickly escalated into a war between those calling for a change in the gaming industry and a small, but hardcore, group of gamers who resist change,” says the article accompanying the video on ABC News’s website.

The article goes on to point out that adult female gamers actually outnumber teen male gamers these days, according to a study by the ESA, yet games still tend to feature male protagonists on a quest to avenge the death or kidnapping of a female character.

“More than half of all gamers in the United States are female, according to a(n) Entertainment Software Association study. And in fact, according to that same study that polled active gamers in the United States, more adult women, 36 percent, are playing video games than teenage boys, 17 percent,” says the article.

The segment also explores the idea of ethics in gaming journalism, the work forces at developers and publishers being male-dominated and the experience of game critic Anita Sarkeesian, who was threatened with death, rape and other such violence after criticizing misogyny in games.

We’ve embedded the full segment below for your viewing pleasure. How do you feel about Gamergate? Have you been a victim of discrimination toward women when it comes to gaming? Would you like to see women portrayed more dominantly and in more heroic roles in video games? How do you feel about the death threats and other abuse toward women in the gaming industry? Let us know in the comments or get a conversation going on Facebook or Twitter!

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