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Anita Sarkeesian takes Gamergate to task on ‘Colbert’

Watch Stephen Colbert's partisan persona struggle to defend Gamergate. 


Ramon Ramirez

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 30, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 7:40 am CDT

Stephen Colbert led Wednesday’s Report with a segment dedicated to Gamergate—including an interview with perhaps the movement’s strongest public enemy, Anita Sarkeesian.

Sarkeesian was there to use Colbert’s hardliner political hack persona as a mirror that served to embarrass the Gamergaters’ base arguments. It worked masterfully. Here are the eight most important exchanges from the interview segment.

1) “There is something going on,” Sarkesian said about the significance of Gamergate. “Women being harassed.”

2) “You and the other feminazis in the gamer world are coming for our balls.” —Colbert

3) “I didn’t know you brought a posse.” —Colbert breaking character, reacting to audience applause for Sarkeesian.

4) Colbert: “I’m saving the princess, am I supposed to let the princess die?” Sarkeesian: “It’s a bigger issue to talk about the industry as a whole and how it perpetuates these images of misogyny.”

5) Sarkeesian: “We are asking for games to be more inclusive … for gaming to acknowledge that we exist.” Colbert: “Have separate but equal games.”

6) “We’re seeing mobile games, we’re seeing indie games—that’s what Gamergate is responding to. … We are saying gaming can no longer be this little boys club anymore.” —Sarkeesian

7) “[Gamergaters are] lashing out because we’re challenging the status quo of gaming as a male-dominated space.” —Sarkeesian

8) “We are talking about ethics in gamer journalism. Do you understand how huge that is? If we can’t trust Entertainment Tonight or TMZ where would we be?” —Colbert, slipping in the rallying cry turned meme.

Colbert kicked off the program with a detailed background into Gamergate’s ins and outs. His continued talent for exposing a moment with a series of self-serious facts was in peak form. After proclaiming himself an ardent “gamesman,” and making all sorts of mostly strong puns, he closed that opening bit with this gem: “There’s a traditional gamer lifestyle. God ordained that it is one man, one joystick. Read your bible, folks, it’s right there in Sega Genesis.”

Photo via Ramon Ramirez

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*First Published: Oct 30, 2014, 5:07 am CDT