It’s all fun & games … until the haters are exposed
Thanks to courageous feminist media critics like Anita Sarkeesian, we’re finally seeing some high-profile discussion and debate about the atrocious levels of misogyny and online harassment that pervade video game culture.
In this excerpt from our new film Joystick Warriors, Sarkeesian and a number of other leading media critics explore why so many guys react violently when women and girls attempt to enter — or expose — the hate-filled arena of online gaming, where masculine insecurity and hypermasculine posturing reign supreme.If you’re looking to engage your students in these issues, Joystick Warriors is an ideal classroom resource, one that encourages students to take a step back and think critically about the potentially destructive real-world effects of violent video games and online gaming culture.
Drawing on the insights of media scholars, military analysts, combat veterans, and gamers themselves, Joystick Warriors shines a light on the grotesque and brutal levels of misogyny and violence that pervade game culture, showing how it works to normalize and glamorize violent masculinity while cultivating dangerously regressive attitudes about women and femininity.
Here’s what educators have been saying about Joystick Warriors…
Joystick Warriors combines incredible insightfulness with accessibility. Even as someone who devotes my career to studying the normalization of violence and the gendered dynamics of that normalization, I found this video strikingly original and deeply engaging.
Laura Sjoberg | Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida
Joystick Warriors really nails the perennial question of violence and video games.
Roger Stahl | Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia
Essential viewing for all. Makes a significant contribution to the urgent discussion about the impact violent entertainment has on society.
Jo Comerford | Former Executive Director of the National Priorities Project
Smart, engaging, and thought-provoking. It could not be more timely or important.
Nancy Carlsson-Paige | Author of The War Play Dilemma
A vivid and sometimes startling journey into gaming worlds and their most violent extremes, this film leaves little doubt about the imbrication of empire and masculinity driving the bodily habituations that video games demand.
Jasbir Puar | Associate Professor of Women's & Gender Studies at Rutgers University
Joystick Warriors is sobering, articulate, and willing to ask questions and seek answers beyond the overly-reductive, blame-game red herrings of whether or not video games cause violence or create violent people. Instead, the film reveals the imbricated relationships between games, the commodification and aestheticization of violence, the fantasies of control and interactivity, the military-industrial-entertainment complex, as well as race, gender, class, and nation.
Edmond Chang | Assistant Professor of English at Drew University
This is a fabulous resource for teaching about the geopolitics of video games and makes a very timely and valuable contribution to the emerging debates around video games and popular culture.
Marcus Power | Professor of Geography at Durham University
Joystick Warriors presents a much more nuanced and productive discussion of violent video games and their effects than the traditional question of whether violent game exposure increases aggression.
Bruce D. Bartholow | Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri
As a media literacy educator, Joystick Warriors is a necessity for my classroom.
Alexis Ladd | Co-founder of the Massachusetts Media Literacy Consortium