The New York Times published a column written by Anita Sarkeesian today in which she describes how the Nintendo Wii changed video games for the better. She writes that the Wii introduced a whole new audience to video games, breaking the barrier of who can be called a \’gamer\’.
\”The Wii helped pave the way for the current explosion of popular indie, mobile and experimental titles — everything from serious, text-based games about mental illness to addictive mobile games about multiples of three; dance games like Dance Central, physics-based games like Angry Birds, artistic games like Monument Valley and immersive story-exploration games like Gone Home. Many offer an accessible learning curve or simple controls, and can be played right on your phone, making gaming available to new and diverse audiences,\” writes Sarkeesian.
Sarkeesian is a well known feminist commentator and is active through her YouTube channel \’Feminist Frequency\’. Her video series \’Tropes vs Women in Video Games\’ is especially famous for criticizing destructive portrayals of women in video games. In recent weeks Sarkeesian has come under the spotlight when she canceled a lecture at Utah State University due to a gun threat against her lecture.
In her column in the New York Times, Sarkeesian describes the alienating experience as a little girl trying to play video games marketed towards boys. It wasn\’t until Sarkeesian was in college that she could play games such as Spore, Mirror’s Edge, and Portal that she felt included by gaming culture.
Sarkeesian ends the piece saying the identity of the \”gamer\” is now nonexistent because everyone plays games, not just boys.