May 24, 2024

Gaming Nonprofit Feminist Frequency to Close After 15 Years

After 15 years, Anita Sarkeesian has announced that her media criticism and nonprofit industry resource center Feminist Frequency is shutting down.

The group’s largest project, the Games and Online Harassment Hotline, will officially shutter at the end of September, while the remainder of Feminist Frequency is planned to conclude its work by the end of 2023.

In a press release announcing the news, Sarkeesian explained why she was shuttering the initiative:

“I started this project to fill a need that was missing in the media criticism and video games space,” Sarkeesian said. “Over the past decade and a half, along with an invaluable team of staff members and industry partners, we’ve accomplished so much to be proud of. Feminist Frequency grew into something I never could have anticipated when it began all those years ago. At this point, I think it’s important to share that exhaustion and burnout—not uncommon in the nonprofit world—have taken their toll. The work we’ve done to effect change in the industry made a difference, and all of us at Feminist Frequency and the Games and Online Harassment Hotline are hopeful to see improvements continue to be made. But the time has come to close this chapter and rest before starting the next phase of my professional life.”

While Feminist Frequency may be winding down, the director of the Games and Online Harassment Hotline Jae Lin will maintain ReSpec, an accountability support space spun off of the Hotline. The Hotline website will remain online to provide a hub of resources to the industry as well. Feminist Frequency co-host Kat Spada will continue to produce free episodes of the Feminist Frequency podcast, and past episodes will remain online.

Sarkeesian launched Feminist Frequency in 2009 as a dedicated space for feminist media criticism, and expanded it over the years to include notable efforts such as the video series Tropes vs. Women and another animated series called Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History. The Games and Online Harassment Hotline launched in 2020 as a resource for individuals in gaming and online spaces seeking support from harassment and bullying. Per the press release, it has since fielded 650 inquiries, and “dozens of companies” have sought support to improve their internal work cultures – an effort we spoke to Sarkeesian and Take This head Eve Crevoshay about earlier this year.

Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to rvalentine@ign.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *