'Bomb Will Be Detonated if Sarkeesian Wins Award', GDC Told

Police called in after email sent to event officials claimed: "The bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more."

632 Comments

An anonymous email sent to 25 organisers of the Game Developers Choice Awards promised that a bomb would kill "at least a dozen" attendees of the show if the feminist essayist Anita Sarkeesian won one of its awards.

Event management say the threat was sent hours before the awards show was set to commence, on March 19, where Sarkeesian was due to become the first female to be presented with the Ambassador Award.

A statement from the show's organisers, published on Kotaku, reads:

"We can confirm that approximately 25 of GDC's organizers received an anonymous email early in the morning of Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 during GDC 2014. The email stated the following: 'A bomb will be detonated at the Game Developer's Choice award ceremony tonight unless Anita Sarkeesian's Ambassador Award is revoked. We estimate the bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more. It would be in your best interest to accept our simple request. This is not a joke. You have been warned.'"

Sarkeesian has won widespread respect from within the industry for her video essays that highlight unflattering depictions of women across a broad spectrum of games.

But her work has agitated a number of gamers, often male, who believe her claims are excessive and unwarranted. Some of these critics have repeatedly threatened Sarkeesian, often with sexual violence, since she became an influential speaker on gender issues in games.

Despite the bomb threats, Anita Sarkeesian received the GDC Ambassador Award without incident. Image: GDC Flickr
Despite the bomb threats, Anita Sarkeesian received the GDC Ambassador Award without incident. Image: GDC Flickr

When informed of the bomb threat, GDC organisers contacted the San Francisco Police Department's Explosive Ordinance Disposal Division, which sent officers and bomb-sniffing dogs to the Moscone Center, where GDC is held.

"Our EOD conducted a sweep of the premises and found nothing," SFPD spokesperson Albie Esparza told Kotaku.

After the sweep, GDC officials decided to not inform attendees of the threat, but say "additional security staff were brought in to conduct random bag checks as attendees entered the Awards."

On the night, Sarkeesian received the Ambassador Award as planned without incident.

"I decided to go on stage and accept the award anyway, but it was a nerve-wracking evening to say the least," she told Kotaku.

"Despite the seriousness of the situation, a group of obsessive cyberstalkers have started a witch hunt against me attempting to prove some sort of paranoid conspiracy theory about fabricated threats. There are ongoing investigations in multiple municipalities regarding death threats targeting me and my family."

She says that a campaign of hate against her has "further compromised my privacy and my personal safety as well as serving as a distraction to authorities during an ongoing investigation."

In August, Sarkeesian informed the FBI about a particular threat that had intimidated her to the extent that she vacated her home and slept at a friend's house.

Episode one of Sarkeesian's "Tropes vs Women" video essays is published below.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for ArcherRO
ArcherRO

Cute how Gamespot didn't let me post that video.care to tell me what was wrong with it?

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ArcherRO

I really don't suport bomb threats but:

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Ding dong the crook is caught.:D

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fabs1

Another story for her to claim victimhood on....


Funny how we've never had gamer terrorism before, yet we're supposed to take it seriously now.

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The1stFishBone

This woman is only 30 years old and does not have a degree in women's studies or psychology. Its ridiculous that her opinions are taken seriously. It is also very stupid for for the gdc to give an award to someone who is not a game developer does not play games and is anti video games in general. She has not conducted any scientific research on the actual impacts of playing games and has only had any relivance to the gaming community for about a year. This is just a publicity stunt by heads of the gdc trying to out politically correct each other. It's not worthy of the attention it receives. Also anyone who would call in a fake bomb threat is a real moron. Hopefully they won't face too harsh a prison sentence.

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ArabrockermanX

Honestly this "feminist" is about as much of a feminist as Rush Limbaugh is a conservative(hint they both just rant to please their ignorant audience).


This type of person is the modern day McCarthy and we should all stand against it.

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People like Rush and Sarkeesian are just out there to make money they don't care about their followers or the political agenda they are supposedly supporting.

Avatar image for ArcherRO
ArcherRO

<< LINK REMOVED >> Check

Anita Sarkeesian, Teleseminar Success Story on Yt.
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Grenadehh

<< LINK REMOVED >> Well McCarthyism is actually quite prominent today and unfortunately, it's in every aspect - political for the most part still. Except now the accusations aren't about being communists, they're about being terrorists, patriots, or basically anything you can possibly think of that more than 2 people will hate someone for.

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LeikoEmrald

Why are ya'll giving this Giant Stupid Fraud any coverage. Her videos are trash and insulting to Gamers and Gamers-a-like. I want to know how long she has been playing video games. Also she talks about all this so called "research" it takes to do her videos. So going frame by frame in a video game picking out only the "Sexist" parts of the game is research and she wants this taught in schools. You got to be kidding me.....If i had a child I wouldnt allow my child to be brainwashed by the lies and false infomation she puts out. Bottom line she knew that she was gonna get hate for attacking a very huge and passionate community and She can't take the negative side of it.

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ArcherRO

Gotta love the timing of this "news".

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wheres_my_phone

She makes it seem like the damsel in distress is a bad thing. Chivalry is good and without it more men will leave women to fend for themselves and expect them to do things like get a job and raise the kids alone. These ideas go back thousands and thousands of years and didn't develop out of thin air because Miyamoto wanted to make Donkey Kong. There is a dependence between men and women that's healthy for society and this trope is at the heart of it. It's a good thing and that's part of the reason she gets the hate she does. She's trying to dismantle something that most men and women like.

It goes beyond video games too. I mean, she complains about fiction and how it depicts women. Well, it depicts men in the same ways. That ape represents a man and the way some men treat women. Do any of you guys care about that? I didn't think so. I can tell by the way you are all scratching your balls and reaching for your beer with that confused look on your face. She argues that media influences culture but ignores that culture defines media which is why we see the fictional representations of men and women that we do.

Avatar image for grenadehh
Grenadehh

<< LINK REMOVED >> Chivalry has nothing to do with expecting women to get a job. In fact expecting them not to is sexist. You can support the damsel in distress concept but not acknowledging that women can and should be able to fend for themselves as well as men - the very core of feminism - is contrary to the entire point.

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wheres_my_phone

That wasn't why I said it. Women can work and do their own thing, much like men can take care of babies, but there is a dependence between men and women and this trope represents it. Women are weaker emotionally and physically. They need men and depend on them which is where it comes from. They need someone to protect them physically and emotionally and be there for them.

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Attitude2000

Umm...my mother didn't. My aunt thought she did but now she refers to that man only as poopie. I don't think she's said his actual name in years.

Avatar image for jinzo9988
jinzo9988

@wheres_my_phone The giant problem with attacking the "damsel in distress" concept is three-fold. #1, this has been a plot device for CENTURIES. It's not going away. It works, people are interested in it, and it largely works because it's a physiological fact that men are stronger than women are. Yes, there are women out there that can rip my nuts off, but I'm talking about "base stats" if you want to look at it in RPG terms... it doesn't matter how much gear you get, a pair with the best gear will always have the man coming out ahead because his base stats are higher.

#2, you can't attack this plot device when the female involved makes total sense in terms of the role that she's in. The very first character to appear in that video up there is Princess Peach, calling out for Mario. She's a Princess. She sits on a throne. She doesn't do physical labor. That's the way that it is... and the guy that captures her is like two times taller and wider than she is. Sure, over the years she's been in different roles that have given her strength... I mean take a look at the impending release of Smash Bros. That roster is not all male. Those games don't take away from what she is however.

#3, I would venture to say that most women out there are turned on by a strong man and the idea of feeling safe and comfortable with him around. I'm not talking about a gym rat who smells like armpit-cheese and can't stop talking about his biceps... I'm not talking about a real-life representation of Arnold Schwarzenegger in an 80's action movie either. I'm talking about someone that will take a bullet for her, someone that will hold her shopping bags, someone that'll row the boat they're on while out in the middle of a lake, someone that she feels will protect her while they're out camping in the wilderness. To picture the roles being reversed is to picture something completely ludicrous and unimaginable to what's probably more than 3 quarters of the populace. It's a dynamic that exists in real life, it's the predominant dynamic that's out there, and until that dynamic changes, you're going to continue to see art imitating life. That doesn't mean that it's the only story we should be telling through various mediums of media... but the fact is that it isn't the only story that we tell through various mediums, so what's the problem?

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wheres_my_phone

totally. I don't understand why she criticizes it. men and women are free to be how they like, and not every women wants to be thought of that way, but not every woman is. it's just a common representation of the relationship between men and women, and it's a good one. I've never met anyone who takes issue with something like that and even the boyish girls I know still fall into the princess who needs a warrior to protect them role. Not that they need be like that, but it's an accurate way to describe their needs and the types of values they look for in men. Miss Feminist wants to believe it's not true or that the idea is the problem, almost as if it exists in a vacuum, but it's more like she's living on Mars and is critiquing a story that she's never read.

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Grenadehh

@jinzo9988 Technically anyone can rip your nuts off except maybe a baby. The force required is the the same amount of force required to pluck an apple from an apple tree. Hope that made your day better. lol

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Buck_Swaggler

I complain too. Can I have a career?

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ArcherRO

<< LINK REMOVED >> Make sure you have a patreon account ready.

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Martyr77

Why is GS reporting on this scam artist? CONSTANTLY. I have yet to see an article about Zoe or the girl who just shot a guy for a PS4. Why aren't THOSE pieces of news being covered?

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LightEffect

This has gone too far. Guys, I know we love them, BUT IT'S FUCKING VIDEO GAMES. These guys should be found because this is not internet trolling, this is a serious problem and some idiots are actually threatening peoples lives. That is not cool.

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WolfGrey

Well if you were hoping for some kind of wave to make her step down...all you did here was give her more momentum. I hate that trash just as much as anyone should(she is a fraud, a thief, and has squandered numerous people out of money in her little deals) but this isn't the right away to go about getting rid of her.


They shouldn't involve innocent people like this. She isn't innocent at all but still.


She is damaging to the industry, she is a con artist, and she has not a single good fiber in her for taking advantage of people like she does. But making her a martyr? That's gonna do far worse for us gamers than good.

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ArabrockermanX

<< LINK REMOVED >> She's a cancer to society just like Rush Limbaugh or anyone else who chooses to breath hatred to the masses.

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toddx77

I love how this article fails to mention how she flat out lies in her videos and steals other peoples work while not giving them credit and instead paints her as some hero.

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NTM23

@toddx77


She may do that, I don't actually know as I have never listened to her stuff, and hardly have heard about her aside from all this stuff, but still, it's not a reason to make all these threats; it's not funny, and it never will be, especially considering it's not even a threat against her, but to others. I'm not saying she should win, but threats of this kind are too much.

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Attitude2000

I saw a video, but it went too long. Everything is taken out of context. One point is women pinned to walls and scantily clad. If you're pinning people to walls, who is worrying about maintaining clothes?

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DefconRave

To those complaining about the awards: Obama won the Nobel peace prize (LOL) and Kim Kardashian won woman of the year @ GQ (lolwut?). Bottomline, don't put any credence on awards, they don't mean jacksh*t.

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Grenadehh

@DefconRave Interesting admission of the truth there. Maybe you (not you specifically) should all apply that to video games next time you say "LOLWUT LAST OF US WON LIKE 2949824 AWARDS OBVIOUSLY IT'S AMAZING."



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DefconRave

Speaking for myself I never bring up awards for "ownage" but I get what you're saying.

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toddx77

<< LINK REMOVED >> Lets not forget the fact she doesn't even play games and yet she is getting awards from game developers.

Avatar image for Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I think only real terrorists should be allowed to send false, anonymous threats as a part of their terror campaign and waste our law enforcement resources. Everyone else who just want to look like big men while laboring a point should own up to their threats and not hide behind the mask of anonymity. ISIS actually made good on their threats. I am so disappointed in my countrymen.

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daviz88

Game Developers Choice Awards? for what exactly?


Avatar image for Oloryn
Oloryn

As a 32 year old, male gamer, I've gamed my entire life without hearing about who this woman is, or being tangibly influenced by her actions. Anyone seriously looking to harm someone over video games is in need of help.

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toddx77

<< LINK REMOVED >> You are lucky, keep on not knowing anything about her as it will give you a headache lol

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Grenadehh

@toddx77 @Oloryn I enjoy watching people utterly destroy her "arguments" on youtube. Her face is kind of annoying but it's not all that bad to look at - she could wear her hair differently imo. As long as you ignore the fact that you are staring at a raging hypocritical ******** and watching bullshit spew from her mouth.

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LightEffect

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> No one is worth bomb threats or physical harm.

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jackzor123

Dem some angry ass nerds