Documentary on sexism in games hits Kickstarter

Crowd-funding campaign for "GTFO: A Film About Women In Gaming" from NYC filmmaker intent on "exposing the harassment of women in video games."


New York City-based filmmaker Shannon Sun-Higginson has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a film aimed at "exposing the harassment of women in video games." Sun-Higgison is seeking $20,000 for the film, to be called GTFO: A Film About Women In Gaming.

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The film will feature gamers, bloggers, scholars, developers, and "experts." A trailer is available on the campaign's Kickstarter page.

"I am just a casual gamer, so I was shocked about a year ago when a friend told me about the abuse that many female gamers and other industry figures endure on a daily basis," Sun-Higginson wrote. "I immediately began researching and filming this documentary, titled 'GTFO' in reference to the exclusionary response that many women encounter while gaming."

Sun-Higgison acknowledged that not all gamers are "trolls or abusers," but wants to make GTFO: A Film About Women In Gaming because sexism in games "is a real problem and it's time that the non-gaming public know about it."

"Nobody should have to endure being called a derogatory term simply because of their gender (or race, religion, or sexual orientation, for that matter)," she said. "It is not only offensive to the victim and detrimental to the public image of the industry, but it also discourages countless women who want to be part of new and creative media."

The purpose of the film, Sun-Higginson said, is to reveal the experiences of women in the gaming industry "both good and bad," and also to lay out steps that can be taken to "change the environment for the better." She said she has already filmed various interviews, tournaments, classes, and conventions, but needs the $20,000 to finish the project.

Sun-Higginson also published a budget plan for the $20,000, should the project be successful. Thirty percent will go towards shooting expenses, 30 percent to post-production costs, 30 percent to licensing rights for game footage, and the remaining 10 percent for festival submissions and promotion.

At press time, the campaign for GTFO: A Film About Women In Gaming had amassed $11,584 from 322 backers with ten days remaining. If successful, the film will launch by March 2014.

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