A new crowdfunding campaign has popped up over on Kickstarter from Toronto, Canada native Liana Kerzner. The name of the project is called Lady Bits By Liana Kerzner, and it’s aimed at being a series about discussing females in gaming.
Now I know what the typical response is to something like this: “Didn’t Anita Sarkeesian already do this?”
The answer is yes… and no. Sarkeesian used the platform to play a damsel in distress to rack in a lot of money from white knights after making a video showing that she wasn’t strong enough to deal with the criticisms and trolling from people on the internet. She then used that money to make a series of soliloquizes about Tropes vs Women in Games, talking at the audience and censoring any sort of two-way feedback.
Sarkeesian’s goal was to supplant the way women were portrayed in games (regardless of their portrayal), and demonize content aimed at mostly male gamers by convincing developers to subvert demographic targeting. It worked.
Liana wants to do the opposite in terms of topical discussions… hoping to bridge a two-way street of conversation between the topics regarding females in gaming, and the way the audience perceives females, sexuality and sexism in gaming. You can get an idea of what the series is like with the pitch video below.
Some of the community on Kotaku in Action are torn, tired, and fatigued. While some of them support the campaign, others do not.
A good portion of people have kind of “noped!” out of the conversation, and understandably so. Since 2012 the topic of feminism, diversity, representation and sexism have been at the forefront of conversation in the world of gaming. It’s become quite exhaustive for a lot of people. Not only that, but the gaming community have been demonized and attacked so much by the media over the last five years that a lot of people are now perpetually on edge.
Just recently there was some moderate backlash against Darksiders 3 because some people thought the game might be another one of those anti-male, pro-feminist titles pushing a message of third-wave feminism and SJW talking points. Keep in mind that we have no detailed info on Darksiders 3 yet, but the well has been poisoned so badly that just seeing a female lead in movies or games have people on edge… and rightfully so.
When moviegoers opted out of seeing the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters they were called “sexists” and “racists”. Even movie critics were called “misogynists” for saying they didn’t want to see the film.
The well, in a way, is almost beyond poisoned. It’s like feces-laden poison resting at the bottom, smelling as awful as it looks, and no less deadly. Most people just want to avoid the well altogether, and travel far and wide elsewhere to quench their entertainment thirsts.
In this case, I think Kerzner has good intentions. If this were the series that aired back in 2012 instead of the original “Tropes vs Women in Games”, I’m sure the reception would be far more positive.
However, identity politics has created burnout in a lot of people. They’re just tired.
If, however, you are not tired of this topic and you feel it’s something you would like to continue to discuss – especially in a format that offers two way communication – then you can help support and further the discussion by visiting the Lady Bits Kickstarter page.
The project still has around a month to go before completion, and Kerzner is already halfway to completion as of the writing of this article.