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12 Dec 2014 06:29

Video game world's dark side on display

Female designers threatened for speaking out; critics say that’s not the whole story

While rejecting the notion that GamerGaters are behind these threats, Yiannopoulos argued that gory, sexualized games like the new “Postal 2” are free speech, too.

“It’s cringeworthy and hilarious and shocking and, for all those reasons, quite brilliant,” he said. “Despite the noise from feminists, and the almost entirely uniform politics of the video games press, games like that are still being made and still finding their audience.”

The share of women and girls in that audience, though, is estimated at 48 percent — and growing. At Gam3rCon, an annual San Diego gathering that coincides with Comic-Con, executive director Josh Stolze meets plenty of female gamers.

He also encounters a few guys who aren’t happy about this. “There’s a vocal minority of gamers who hate women,” said Stolze, a graduate student at UC San Diego.

A debate over feminism and political correctness in video games, Stolze said, could be valuable. But inundating people with death threats?

“That,” he said, “is not people arguing about political correctness.”

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