It’s time we take away that megaphone.” At the end of the video, viewers were encouraged to e-mail Microsoft’s Xbox Live’s team, asking for changes to communication tools and improvements to reporting systems. Microsoft confirmed it was working toward improvements to its community tools.

“For the longest time, people have seen games as a children’s pastime, and we as an industry have stood behind this idea,” said Mr.

Over six days of competition, though, her team’s coach, Aris Bakhtanians, interrogated her on camera about her bra size, said “take off your shirt” and focused the team’s webcam on her chest, feet and legs. But as the only woman on the team, this was too much, especially from her coach, she said. Bakhtanians defending sexual harassment as part of “the fighting game community” that she forfeited the game.

“The gaming industry is actually in the process of changing,” Ms. “That’s a really positive thing, but I think there is a small group of male gamers who feel like gaming belongs to them, and are really terrified of that change happening.” When Sam Killermann, a gamer in Austin, Tex., saw the reaction to Ms.

Sarkeesian’s project, something “broke through,” he said.

Some abandon anonymous play for safer communities or “clans” where good behavior is the norm.

In other game communities, however, sexual threats, taunts and come-ons are common, as is criticism that women’s presence is “distracting” or that they are simply trying to seek attention.

Some have been offered money or virtual “gold” for online sex. Stephen Toulouse, who was the head of enforcement for Xbox Live from 2007 until February, policed the most egregious behavior on the network, owned by Microsoft.

And women were the most frequent target of harassment, he said. Toulouse experienced the wrath of angry gamers firsthand, who figured out where he lived, then called the police with false reports about trouble at his house (more than once, SWAT teams were sent).

Just as on the broader Internet, there are people who delight in piquing anger or frustration in others, or “trolling.” For trolls, offensive language — sexist, racist, homophobic comments — are interchangeable weapons that vary with the target.

“They treat the Internet like a vast game,” where offending others scores points, Mr. But the standard advice to ignore the taunts (“don’t feed the trolls”) is now, in the wake of Ms.

In February, shortly after the Cross Assault tournament, Level Up, an Internet broadcaster of gaming events, barred two commentators who made light of sexual harassment on camera and issued a formal apology, including statements from the commentators.

Even so, Tom Cannon, co-founder of the largest fighting game tournament, EVO, pulled his company’s sponsorship of the weekly Level Up series, saying that “we cannot continue to let ignorant, hateful speech slide.” “The nasty undercurrent in the scene isn’t a joke or a meme,” he said. Bakhtanians, whose actions during the Cross Assault tournament were captured on video, later issued a statement in which he apologized if he had offended anyone. Sarkeesian responded by documenting the harassment, posting online the doctored, pornographic images of herself that her detractors had created.

He also blamed “my own inability in the heat of the moment to defend myself and the community I have loved for over 15 years.” But the issues raised by the Cross Assault episode gained more attention with Anita Sarkeesian’s campaign in May to raise ,000 on Kickstarter to document how women are portrayed in video games. Supporters of her efforts, aghast, donated more than 0,000, further angering her critics.