Sunday, June 17, 2012

I need to feel secure

Soooo...there may be a few more of the introspective picture posts, but I'm already sick of myself angsting on the blog. I suppose that's a sign of some (limited) maturity--it only took me a couple of weeks to start rolling my eyes.

So, first up: trolling vs. women, which is a huge topic I'm not going to completely break down today, but I wanted to highlight a couple things from that article.

First, let's go back to Anita Sarkeesian's video project (which closed a day ago, with a truly staggering amount of money raised). She set out reasonable goals, explained why she thought five videos focusing on typical video game tropes for female characters was worth six grand. She explained it well, and yeah--as anyone who's filmed video knows, it takes a bit of financial outlay not to peg the geek-in-the-basement-on-webcam look. Sarkeesian knows this, and also offered an additional incentive--she'd cover eight more topics if she got twelve grand.

Simple, right? Pretty basic. She's young, she's pretty, she has a following, she's smart as a whip, and she knows her community. She figured she'd get the six grand, fairly effortlessly, and thought she might even stretch it to ten grand. And for those funds, she'd revamp her studio, cover all research costs--including buying any videogames necessary and contacting any video game companies for rights to use extended clips if she needed to...and--this was the big selling point for me--after making this set of videos, she  would be hosting them free. (Which also covers sending promotional copies to any schools and universities who request them.)

This was a bigger deal than you might think, but she did one more thing, which was absolutely brilliant--she left the comments for the YouTube launch video open and uncensored.

As I've mentioned previously, within five hours she had started receiving a minor deluge of negative comments. But it didn't stop there. It continued, and it got worse, to the point where she routinely received death and rape threats from embittered male gamers with nothing better to do every few minutes.

Honestly, she couldn't have launched a better campaign as to why these videos are so vital, right now, if she'd paid a group of folks to do it. All those comments--many of which she's now hosting on her website to document the level of misogynistic ire leveled at her over the course of funding this--were so over the top, so completely hateful, that the part of the internet that's not comprised of those selfsame embittered jerks rose up in supporting outrage.

When the project closed, it closed with a whopping gift of $158,917 for her. Which, I have no doubt, she will use to keep both her website, and her videos, running strong for quite some time.

Next up, fan rage from a different area, and this one's just baffling: Felicia Day wrote and sung a charming little song about love that spans cultures--in the song, it's between a gamer girl and a country boy. It's really well done, makes its point clearly, fits as a frothy summer country song, and it's funny.

All of those are good things, right? Well...

For reasons I still don't understand, that same embittered male gamer pool of hate rose up and attacked her. Mainly for not "understanding" and for not "being a true gamer". Which just weirds out my brain, because the big reason she started the Guild as a web series is because she was such a fanatic player of WoW, and she suddenly realized that she's really not alone--there were then, and still are today, a ton of folks online because MMORPGs have replaced actual socializing with other humans for them.

(Note: as someone who usually doesn't leave the house herself--though my reasons have more to do with the Nasty Bright Thing overhead than fears of socializing outside--I get that. And a lot of people get that. Which is part of what makes the show watchable.)

A brief selection, reproduced below, for your edification:
We the true male gaming community are offended that women who supposedly are the same as us still date fucking asshole that they have nothing in common with.
sad is that I can actually sing, and this girl gets this kind of exposure when all she is , is a sorta pretty face.

I am way cooler than Felicia Day, I make effin video games.
She gets this kind of exposure because she's a girl that can pander to nerds.
Most "gamer girls" are actually garbage at games. Like, she doesn't have to wear tettris leggings or anything, but is it too much to ask for one to be under 150lbs and also be able to play through a Resident Evil game?
idk why people think felicia is attractive, She is so ugly
If a guy went around shoving (supposedly) traditionally feminine acts in girls faces and constantly reminded them they were a... I dunno, "BOY BAKER", or some shit, girls would get kinda pissed off, right? I'm tired of this "Yeah, I'm a GAMER GIRL" shit. You're not a "gamer girl". You're a gamer. You don't hold the frakking controller with your vagina, so why bring it into the conversation.
It goes on, but I think you get the point.

The video itself is fun; the two biggest real complaints that people are giving her is they don't like her in yellow eyeshadow (I think that was a deliberate aesthetic choice for the vid to make the point, but yeah, eyeshadow + red hair can be tricky to pull off), and they're not fans of country music. That being said, even the folks who don't like country are saying it was a cute concept, and go her.

Until you get--for lack of a better word--the trolls involved.

I think my main problem with that as a descriptive word is not that it's not accurate--it pretty much is--but because in the gay community, "troll" had a specific meaning several years back. To call someone a "troll" meant you were describing them as disturbing and creepy--it always translated to a fairly well-to-do, generally white, older gay man who picked the youngest men he could find for twisted sex. These relationships, start to finish, were abusive and overpowered--every time the clueless young soul wanted to leave, the troll would toss more money at them and they would stay--unhappy, abused and scared.

I'm just not able to completely divorce that meaning from what the net now terms trolls, but--now that I'm thinking about it--that may not be the worst thing. Because I hear "troll" and I immediately think "dangerous and creepy". That may not be wrong, either.

And overall, the internet needs far, far less of them.

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