Sunday, May 29, 2016

Event 3

(excuse my face in this picture)

Angela Washko is a feminist who works in the world of warcraft video game to try and get rid of sexist language and actions in the game. She works at Carnegie Melon college. She makes performances and videos, within video games as a type of protest art.She publishes writing, hosts a feminist radio show, and creates exhibitions. She has played the game world of warcraft for 10 years. World of warcraft is a very popular game and has 8 million players right now. That is why her work in the game is so important because it reaches so many people.

Angela founded a counsel to get rid of sexism and racism. She talked to people live in the game to get rid of the derogatory language she has heard so much of in the ten years she has played the game. Women who play World of War Craft are commonly asked to do sexual favors in the game. She took videos of these conversations and other ones that were sexist. She originally wanted to change the bad language used in the game, but realized this was unrealistic so she tried to understand it and create a safe space for players to react to culture.

One of the many concepts that Angela explored in World of Warcraft is why in most recent years males have started playing female avatars? 55% of female avatars are played by men. Less than 1 % of females play male avatars. Angela found that men choose women characters because they wanted to follow around and sexualize their own characters. She found this out through a number of conversations with avatars. These conversations were usually extremely sexist however they improved over the years when she stopped using her own opinions and telling people that she was a researcher. 

Banged is a project that Angela has been working on. The project is centered on one of the internets most misogynist people  (Roosh V). He has traveled around the world to teach men how to have sex with as many girl as possible and wrote “rape books.” He and his followers are known as a certified hate group. Roosh wants to make rape legal on public property. He founded the site reaxxion that is safe space for “manly” internet men. Angela wanted to interview Roosh for her project. She emailed him a question per day because thats the only way he would even communicate with her. She eventually faceTimed him in a  2 hour long faceTime interview. She later wanted to find women who have slept with Roosh and listen to their side because people of the internet only hear Roosh's side. She was eventually contacted by women who have been with him. However, because she has been threatened, she does not know how to move forward with this information. 

I thought this event was super interesting. Angela was a great speaker and kept me enraptured throughout her entire speech. I love the work that she is doing and think that it is extremely beneficial to the gaming sphere. I think her demonstrations in the game world of war craft brought together the scientific gaming world and the artistic feminist movement. 


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