Terror threat made against visiting speaker


Anita Sarkeesian’s appearance on Utah State’s campus Wednesday has been cancelled. The announcement comes in light of a threatening letter from an anonymous source.

Numerous Utah State University personnel received an email Tuesday stating that if the Common Hour presentation by feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian was not cancelled, “a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby Women’s Center.”

USU officials confirmed that the terror threat was made via an anonymous email by an individual claiming to be a student at the university. The message was sent to Ann Austin, director of the Center for Women and Gender, as well as several other university personnel.

“I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs. This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it,” the email states.

Sarkeesian, the founder of video blog “Feminist Frequency” has been under attack since 2012 receiving similar death threats since she launched a fundraising campaign for the creation of the video series “Tropes vs Women in Video Games” which analyzes the depiction of women in video games.

The email states that “Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman.”

It continues, ” I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”

Initially the event was to go on as planned, however an announcement came late Tuesday night from Tim Vitale, executive director of public relations and marketing at USU, that it would be cancelled.

“Utah State University police is coordinating the threat information with other local, state and federal agencies, including the Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center, the FBI Cyber Terrorism Task Force, and the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. After a careful assessment of the threat it has been determined it is similar to other threats that Sarkeesian has received in the past, and all university business will be conducted as scheduled tomorrow,” the release states.

Sarkeesian is one of many women who have received similar threats as part of a controversy in video game culture referred to as Gamergate, which concerns the issues of sexism and misogyny in video games and gaming culture. This weekend, game developer Brianna Wu had to leave her home after receiving numerous death threats on Twitter, some including her home address. Sarkeesian and Wu are just two of the women who are openly critical of Gamergate.

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  1. sadandconcerned

    I want whoever sent this letter to know that they are now a terrorist. I was looking forward to this speech, and do not appreciate these pathetic fear tactics. I am proud of our right to carry, and this threat is an abuse of that right. This terrorist claims to stand for something right, but his actions stand on the side of evil.

  2. Skip

    I am all for anonymity on the internet. I will continue to fight for it. I do not condone the actions of the scum that wrote the e-mail. I am a video game engineer. It’s definitely not easy.

    Video game development needs academics to analyze the problems with the industry. Workers in video games pull long hours out of fear of losing their job. Look at EA Spouse (http://ea-spouse.livejournal.com/274.html). I wish the individual\s making threats would stop the terrorism and try to actually make a game.

  3. JoeJoe

    Sexism in games? Men don’t identify with women, just like women don’t identify with men. You don’t see a picture of an assault rifle on the front cover of Cosmo Magazine, and you don’t see men trying to change exclusively female content.

    What blows my mind is that Sarkesian is trying to change something where 47 percent of the gaming community are female, and the gaming market is saturated with female tropes of women both portrayed as frail and weak, and strong and lethal.

    That being said, shame on the person dealing out death threats.

  4. CraftyMan

    According to the Entertainment Software Association Study, there are more female gamers than there are male gamers. However, when we talk about key demographics, the hardcore gamers nests more male gamers that female gamers. Hardcore being gamers that play about 20 hours every week. The ratio is about 7 to 1

    However, this niche of players aren’t patriarchal people who needs to be exterminated. The gaming community has become EXTREMELY inclusive. There is a vast plethora of games not advertising sexism and man-power, and portray women as the heroes and even have them well garbed in most instances.

    In a recent study, Millennial males are actually less prone to sexism and violence than previous generations. You don’t see these men attacking women’s magazines or Opera or the View. Why? They don’t identify with women. They identify with other men.

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