Anita Sarkeesian cancels University talk after “massacre” threat.

Anita Sarkeesian has cancelled a planned university lecture in Utah after someone claiming to be a student promised a “Montreal Massacre” if it went ahead, it has emerged.

In the email, which you can read below, the individual making the threat says: “If you do not cancel her talk, a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby Women’s Center. 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 author then goes on to claim that Feminists had ruined his life, and eulogises Marc Lepine – who murdered fourteen women, injured ten women and four men on December 6, 1989, claiming he was fighting feminism.

Despite the threat, the Sarkeesian said that Utah police “wouldn’t take steps to prevent concealed firearms at the event”.

Sarkeesian had requested metal detectors and pat downs at the University for all persons attending the talk. But the University stated that under Utah state law, individuals with a valid permit are allowed to carry concealed firearms and that the event would go ahead as planned.

“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 University said in a statement posted on its website confirming their decision.

Sarkeesian is a controversial figure within the gaming community. Her YouTube series, Tropes vs Women, is dedicated to pointing out instances of misogyny in videogames. It’s a series many in the community have taken issue with, resulting in ongoing threats of violence and abuse aimed at her and her work. This latest threat arrived at the University via email and was subsequently published by The Standard Examiner. It makes for disturbing reading.

Sarkeesian_Threat_email_USUDespite the threat, Sarkeesian has vowed to continue her work:

Sarkeesian also drew direct links with the recent Gamer Gate movement, which has been the source of much controversy recently. Despite the movement officially claiming it is interested in exposing and correcting instances of corruption within the gaming press, many individuals claiming to be associated with the movement have launched a series of threats and attacks on a number of female figures in the industry as well as their supporters. Among their victims are Zoe Quinn, developer of the free indie game Depression Quest, as well as Phil Fish and a number of members of the press.

Jenna wrote about Anita Sarkeesian and the controversies surrounding her, and the issues she raises, recently for Continue Play. You can read her thoughts here.

Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan

Founder, Editor in Chief
When Dale isn't crying over his keyboard about his never-ending workload, he's playing games - lots of them. Dale has a particular love for RPGs, Roguelikes and Metroidvanias.
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