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Stephen Colbert tackles GamerGate with Anita Sarkeesian

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Comedian Stephen Colbert tackled the controversial topic of GamerGate last night on his television series The Colbert Report, hosting media critic and GamerGate target Anita Sarkeesian as a special guest.

In Colbert's usual fashion, he started his discussion of GamerGate with his special brand of commentary, using sarcasm and wit and pointing out the ridiculous nature of what's become a movement against women in the video gaming industry.

Colbert showed clips of GamerGate news making the rounds, focusing on the rape and death threats that women have received after speaking out against it.

"God ordained that it is one man, one joystick," says Colbert. "Read your Bible, folks. It's right there in Sega Genesis."

The advent of GamerGate began when a group of gamers started charging journalists and critics like Sarkeesian of cronyism with video game developers, challenging ethics in video game journalism. During the discussion, Colbert sarcastically asked why there wasn't ethics in gaming journalism, as there is in entertainment journalism, mentioning both Entertainment Tonight and TMZ.

However, GamerGate quickly became a movement known for the harassment and threatening of women in the industry, including Sarkeesian, that included threats of sexual assault, bomb threats and death threats.

Most recently, Sarkeesian canceled a speech at a university after receiving a threat of a mass shooting there (the university refused to add security measurements for the event, citing state laws that protect concealed weapons carriers).

During his discussion with Sarkeesian, Colbert, who is also an avid gamer, brought up a very important point about those being targeted with harassment and threats: men who have spoken out against GamerGate have not received such harassment.

 

Sarkeesian explained that GamerGate's focus is basically about specifically attacking women involved in video gaming.

"It's actually men going after women in really, hostile, aggressive ways," she explains. "That's what GamerGate is about, it's about terrorizing women for being involved in this industry, for being involved in this hobby."

Colbert ended his segment with Sarkeesian by asking if he, as a man, could be a feminist. Sarkeesian asked him a simple question: does he believe in equal rights for women? Colbert answered with a "yes." Sarkeesian told him that, yes, he was a feminist.

Photo Credit: Susanne Nilsson/Wiki Commons

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