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Fuck it. I dumped ice on my head.

All of my pictures of the kumoricon 2014 cosplay competition turned out like utter crap. As penance, as per anime fandom tradition - here is a Nice Boat.
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All of my pictures of the kumoricon 2014 cosplay competition turned out like utter crap. As penance, as per anime fandom tradition - here is a Nice Boat.



EGM #110

This is a huge feature on women in gaming and the games industry that Electronic Gaming Monthly ran. It contains interviews, editorial remarks, and general cultural information from the time period. It carries a lot of “90’s opinions” (in all the resonances that phrase could have) about women, but I think it is a huge historical resource and I would encourage people to share it around. Publications writing about women in games is not new, and this is something to point to in order to make that case. 

I still remember this feature vividly. It was the point at which I paused and realized — whoa, EGM was more than just dudes vomiting up hundreds of screen shots of Japanese games.

More importantly, this article made me really stop and think about gaming stereotypes and assumptions, something that stuck with me. I remember the few girls and women on the gaming forum I frequented at the time being really excited about this piece, and talking about how much they identified with it. Ever since then, many of my perspectives on the medium have been shaped in large part by women in my life — friends, family, online associates, colleagues, role models. 

I never take part in the online shouting matches about gender and games, because adding to the noise won’t accomplish anything except to make like-minded people pat me on the back. I don’t need it. I’m a straight white dude; this discussion shouldn’t be about me. I try to use my place in the press to create a positive impact in less dramatic ways: Giving writing gigs and assignments to women, advocating for protagonists and characters who aren’t stubbly white guys, and constantly praising games that allow anyone to express themselves.

Anyway, Lauren Fielder’s EGM feature from more than 15 years ago helped open my eyes to all of this. A great and essential bit of work, here.



The situation is just intolerable.

There have been a lot of really insightful write-ups recently. A broader perspective—and I almost cringe to say—catch-all by Molly Crabapple left me gasping for breath. This write up, by Elizabeth Sampat giving her thoughts on an industry that’s very dear to me, delivered the final blow and left me in tears.

It’s really rare that I create from a place of grief. It’s just not how I operate. But it’s largely what I have openly felt for the last few days, and reflecting on it, it’s been there for far longer.

This quote from Elizabeth’s piece— “We should have a war memorial for all of the women we have lost to this. We should lay flowers and grieve and see our reflections in stone.”— struck a very literal chord in me.

So yeah, here it is. A place just for me where I can light a candle and remember all of the wonderful people I probably will never get the chance to meet.  Folks that have been driven away by these horrible fucks that have the audacity to think they know what gaming and community is about.

en memoriam.

I have never, in my life, been ashamed to call myself a gamer. Until now. These misogynist little shitbags are a disgrace to our community.

All of us who care about gaming need to step up and save our community, while there is still something about it that’s worth saving.

The End of Gamers



The last few weeks in videogame culture have seen a level of combativeness more marked and bitter than any beforehand.

First, a developer—a woman who makes games who has had so much piled on to her that I don’t want to perpetuate things by naming her—was the target of a…

It’s already been a horrible week in geek culture, and tomorrow is the first day of PAX, so expect it to get worse before it gets better.

I’ve thought a lot about this - I’ve defended the term “Gamer” as a non-Video Game specific term since wayyyy back when jeffgerstmann was still working for Gamespot. In short, Gamer is a term that is bigger than video games and covers more than video games.

It’s a word that embraces members of the Camarilla, Amtgard, Darkon, and any number of LARPing organizations throughout the world. It’s a term that embraces players of D&D (in all its iterations and offshoots), the Storyteller System (in all of its forms), Savage Worlds, GURPS, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, and all the myriad tabletop RPGs that have been published in the past, are published now, and will be published in the future. It embraces the Wargamers (from which the term draws its roots), who play Warhammer (both Fantasy Battles and 40K), War Machine, Legend of the Five Rings, or any of the countless fantasy, SF, and historical wargames that have been published throughout the years. And, of course, it also covers those who play niche tabletop board games, from the ones gaining mainstream acceptance like Catan and Ticket to Ride, to older, more obscure titles like Orcs at the Gates.

Letting the bigots who seek to silence the voices of women and the GLBT community in gaming claim any word for their own to describe themselves gives them armor. It gives them protection. It means that when we call them MRAs or Redpillers, they can thump their chest and say “Your damn right I am.” the same way so many people embraced “geek” and “nerd” as descriptions to protect themselves from mockery in middle school and high school.

To let these hateful bigots, and that’s what they are, claim "gamer" as their word is just too much of a coup for them for it to be allowed to stand. In face of this relentless hate, we cannot retreat. We cannot let them claim any safe haven for their own, as each victory only empowers them.

The only labels that we should allow this scum to possess is the ones we give them - the ones with such universally negative connotations that even if they attempt to embrace those words, they weaken themselves by doing so - Bigot, racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, ablist. By labeling them with their true natures can we strip away their rhetorical armor and deny them power.

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