In case you haven't been keeping up with the latest in the world of gaming, then you may not know all about #Gamergate and the fact that females in the gaming industry are treated pretty horrifically.
There's a lot more to it than that, but essentially a bunch of keyboard warriors have made some very serious threats against female gamers, in particular reviewers, and it has been causing a huge storm. It has, however, also gotten the attention of the mainstream media, and now the gaming world is being forced to reassess both its treatment of women and the attitudes that many of those involved in it have towards the opposite sex.
21-year-old Australian Alanah Pearce is one of those reviewers who gets regular abuse on social media, and she has come up with a novel way of dealing with those threats, many of which come from young males that, as she points out, she has never met. Instead of responding and giving them what they want, she decided to go one level up and...tell their mothers.
Sometimes young boys on Facebook send me rape threats, so I've started telling their mothers. pic.twitter.com/0Cbs81eXiE
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) November 28, 2014
The response, as you might be able to tell from the nearly 40,000 retweets it got, has gone viral, and she even appeared on the news in Australia to chat about her response to it.
Alanah said that she had contacted several of the abusers' parents by digging around on Facebook and other social media, and while only one has responded, the others have yet to see her messages and this first move has gotten people speaking about it. She also wrote that a lot of the people that are sending the comments really don't understand what they're saying or how hurtful the comments are, and having it exposed to their family might make it hit home a lot more.
Speaking on a blog on the issue of sexism in gaming a while back, she said "It’s demoralising, it’s discouraging, it takes the work you’re proud of and tells you it’s worth absolutely nothing more than the sexual value that is tied to your gender. These kind of extremely invasive and excessively vulgar comments are physically sickening".
Something tells us that she may be getting a bit more abuse as a result of this getting plenty of attention, but she's got a good way to handle it now.