Actually, this is turning out to be a pretty great story, and Anita Sarkeesian is playing her hand beautifully.
Here’s the fucked up thing: Anita gets death threats all the time. As a woman trying to bring a feminist message into gamer culture, she’s a constant target for harassment, and she’s given any number of public lectures under threat of violence. What was different about today is Utah’s conceal-carry gun laws.
No matter how much USU or the police assured Sarkeesian of her safety, they still couldn’t prevent people from legally bringing concealed firearms to the venue, and after the overt threat of a mass shooting at the event, she was able to leverage her cancelation into a national story. It’s really quite impressive.
I’m glad that she canceled the event, and I’m glad that this story is getting so much attention. Up until today, only a handful of gamers and feminists even knew who Anita Sarkeesian was. This is going to elevate her profile to the national stage, freshly dipped in righteousness, with a galvanized message about how much we all need feminism in a culture so obviously steeped in misogynistic violence.
And the cowardly twerp who wrote the death threat? I’ll bet a thousand bucks right now that he’ll be spending the holidays (and likely the next few years) in federal prison. The FBI is damn good at finding little neckbearded fuckboys who think they know how to mask an IP address, especially when there’s the added pressure of national publicity.
It started out fucked-up, but I have a feeling this story will have a happy ending.