I am tired of rape culture in the gaming world.
I am tired of having men be the arbiters of who gets to be a “real” gamer.
I am tired of sometimes remaining silent because I don’t want to be dismissed as “that feminist who only talks about rape culture”.
I am tired of being in situations where I have to choose between feeling comfortable and starting an argument.
I am tired of feeling unsafe for the mere act of expressing an opinion.
I am tired of maintaining mental lists of “guys that are safe”, “guys that are probably safe”, and “guys that are not safe”.
I am also tired of maintaining mental lists of “guys that Get It”, “guys who mean well but sometimes fuck up”, and “guys it’s just not worth talking to”.
I am tired of not being allowed to have boundaries.
I am tired of feeling triggered and remaining silent because I don’t have the mental energy to deal with the bullshit that would arise from speaking out.
I am tired of hearing rape jokes.
I am tired of hearing my friends tell rape jokes.
I am tired of hearing friends who know about my experience of sexual assault casually compare game defeats to rape.
I am tired of sometimes having a moment of fear for my safety when I read particularly vociferous condemnations of me online.
I am tired of asking men to walk me to my hotel or my parking spot while I am at gaming conventions.
I am tired of not talking about the details of my assault, which happened at a gaming convention, because I know that I will be disbelieved, blamed, or both.
I am tired of game scenarios that feature rape.
I am tired of game settings that feature rape.
I am tired of game mechanics that feature rape.
I am tired of game creators and designers defending rape in their creations as “realistic” or “grim” or “gritty” or “historical”.
I am tired of men who write rape being praised for their “creative vision”.
I am tired of seeing people who speak out against rape in popular game material denounced as crazy fascists who hate freedom.
I am tired of gamers who complain when games that feature rape are banned, not translated, or otherwise not made available for English-speaking audiences.
I am tired of being happy that while I’ve been called fat, ugly, crazy, and gay, at least no one has ever threatened to rape me.
I am tired of knowing that men threaten to rape women who venture into gaming spaces, virtual or real, every day and face no consequences.
I am tired of seeing anti-harassment policies become the butt of jokes.
I am tired of men who argue against anti-harassment policies claiming that it will “criminalize just talking to a woman”.
I am tired of anti-harassment policies not being enforced.
I am tired of men who demand to see the tits of female gamers.
I am tired of men who send pictures of their penis to female gamers.
I am tired of men who confuse costumes with consent.
I am tired of seeing women that I admire being threatened, intimidated, and harassed.
I am tired of sometimes being so afraid for my daughter as a future gamer that I feel like I can’t breathe.
I am just SO. FUCKING. TIRED.
I cannot stress enough to my fellow DM’s to have a little history to every proper noun in your game. NPC’s that you named, towns, countries, items, etc; each should have some sort of lore/backstory surrounding it.
If you name the barmaid in the local tavern, Wendy, then she should have hopes, dreams, a personality, and maybe a love interest. Maybe her father runs the tavern. Maybe she is trying to earn enough money to go to the capital. Maybe Wendy speaks with a slow drawl. Make Wendy feel real to your players and when they sit down at the tavern and strike up conversation they’ll feel the better for it. Plus, if they grow to like Wendy you can use her as a plot hook later on.
I once made a barmaid for my players that was trained as a martial artist by her father who ran the bar. She wanted so desperately to be an adventurer and loved trading stories with people who came into the tavern. She always told people how she fought off a mighty dire rat that found it’s way into the cellars with only a dagger and her wits.
I had a group of assassins break into the tavern to kill the heroes who were staying the night and the poor girl got caught in the battle. I was proud when my players used a potion they had received from a goddess to bring her back from near death. They hunted down the group that had hired the assassins and thoroughly annihilated them.
Is the city run by council, king, or a dragon using a human as a mouthpiece? Is the economy trade based, mining based, or based on fishing? Do the lords look down on the peasants or does the law see them as equal? What is the main race? Is it built in the center of a dormant volcano? Think about these and how it would effect the npcs attitudes, clothing, sights, sound, and even how the air smells.
My favorite city is one that my players never got to, due to an overly busy schedule for everyone. It was the capitol to a massive trade empire, that on the surface was run by a council of mixed races, but behind it all was a large group of Mind Flayers who had taken well to psychic vampirism. People in the city often were forgetful and sometimes spaced out during conversations. The city was crumbling as the Flayers became greedier.
Adding a little lore to things helps your players suspend disbelief, and enjoy your world a little more. If they can’t feel a realness to it, they can’t care, and if they can’t care, they probably won’t have fun.
THIS. IS. INFURIATING.
I know that Good Morning America isn’t news, I know that they don’t matter, and I know that it doesn’t matter what they think about online video. But after watching this puffy hatchet job, I could not not post about it. Let’s just go through this point by point.
- Jenna Marbles is the “Queen of Clicks.” This is a seemingly innocuous phrase, but it’s indicative of the attitude here, making Jenna’s success not about the significance of what she does, but about a meaningless activity that other people do “clicking.” It removes all significance from the interaction people have with Jenna. This is what we call a backhanded compliment.
- “So Many teens and tweens hanging on her every word.” This is GMA’s attempt at attempting to make this story relevant to the people (moms) who watch their show. Except they miss the point that MOST OF THOSE MOMS WATCH JENNA MARBLES! They have no idea…NOT IDEA of Jenna’s reach because (apparently) they have NEVER USED AN INTERNET.
- Which is pretty insane considering that apparently she has “over a billion followers” on YouTube. This is a fact that can be checked and found wanting with a very limited understanding of reality (never mind the internet) since only 750 million people in the world SPEAK ENGLISH.
- “She may just be the most famous person you’ve never heard of.” Another backhanded compliment.
- Next we compare her facebook to JLaw and her instagram to Oprah…more attempts to connect with the issues moms in America really care about.
- “And all for making videos about, well, nothing.” REALLY?! DID YOU WATCH ANY OF THE VIDEOS?! First, comedy doesn’t have to be about something. But more importantly, Jenna’s videos aren’t about nothing, they’re about culture and sexism and growing up. Hiding in amongst all that “nothing” are often poignant insights.
And now we arrive at the interview portion, which is the most frustrating for me, and has to be much worse for Jenna. They intersperse Jenna’s comments with the most inane and out of context clips they can find, and then ask Jenna a total of TWO QUESTIONS.
1. What does it feel like to get a bunch of views? Which is innocuous.
…and the kicker…
2. Do you think you deserve to have as many fans as you do?
Which is just…makes me…on fire…flames!
The only way to ask that question is if you, as an interviewer, have made your mind up that the person does NOT deserve their success. And in the end, that’s how the entire segment feels to me, a bunch of people making fun of a creator who they are threatened by and who they do not understand. And of course they’re threatened by it, Jenna Marbles (on her own, with a cheap camera) can make a video that gets more viewed by more people than an episode of Good Morning America.
Instead of talking about anything interesting or criticizing Jenna for legitimate reasons (which they could have done) GMA spent five minutes making fun of one of the most influential creators that exists in the world right now. But what’s worse is they didn’t criticize her for legitimate reasons, they made fun of her for NOT MATTERING…for not being important…for being a meaningless cultural blip that they’re certain will just disappear. You wanna talk about something ridiculous…it’s you GMA, not Jenna.
Again, I don’t care that GMA doesn’t care about online video. I’m happy flying under the cultural radar for another few years, doing interesting things without legacy media paying attention (or, even with them actively attempting to marginalize us.) But I couldn’t watch this load of BS without commenting on it.
So Jenna, while I don’t agree with everything you’ve ever said, you absolutely deserve your success. You are innovative, intelligent, and hilarious. GMA is acting like you’re the new girl in school that all the cute boys like better than them and, guess what, you are.
Really well said. It’s like the kids at a prep school who feel they have family legacy trying to talk down to a kid who got in based on their grades.
She doesn’t want to go to your shitty school, GMA. She’s part of an initiative to build her own, like all of us.
You may not like her but don’t bitch cause she’s doing well. More power to jenna even if I’m not really a fan.