Lord Help Me, I’m Weighing in on #Gamergate

Well hello there first time visitor that wandered over because I dared reference a controversial hashtag! Welcome to my little corner of the internet. Please, stay a while. Peruse my archives. Get informed. Check out LabRat’s and Popehat’s posts on the subject. Or, you know, skip straight to the comment section and tell me how I’m wrong, dox me (heh*) since I’m a girl and a gamer with an opinion, or write me off as a “Social Justice Warrior**”. It’s really up to you.

Seriously, why is this still a thing? Yes, there is a real and needed conversation that needs to happen about ethics in game journalism. Hell, all journalism. Hanging this around a non-controversy about a positive review that never happened of a boring game that no one wants to play because the developer’s jilted ex wrote a screed about said game developer whoring herself out for a review that never happened is not exactly the place to start. While some well-meaning people are trying to have a rational conversation, this particular hashtag has brought out a subset of bonafide misogynists the likes of which have been quite rightly run out of the rest of polite society.

Don’t like Anita Sarkeesian? Great, me neither. I think the vast majority of what comes out of her pie hole is whiny tripe, and most of the time she should be laughed off the stage. Which would be the rational response. Threatening her? Publishing her home address? Yeah, not cool. Seriously, we’re dealing with the kind of people that think a reasonable response to a woman complaining about sexism in gaming is to design a video game where the player gets to punch a woman in the face. Classy. You know what would have been a completely reasonable response to her asking for money to make feminist videos? Not give her any money. I sure as heck didn’t. Other people did. That’s how the free market works. No one is forcing you to support her.

Observant readers will have caught that I only said most of what comes out of her pie hole is whiny tripe. That’s because some of what she says is true. There is sexism in the gaming industry. But honestly, we’ve come a long way since Atari had a game about raping Native American women and Nintendo created a strong female character only to have her flaunt her pixelated body around in a bikini as a reward for finishing the game.

Also, Gamergate itself has shown the world that women are unjustly targeted, bullied, and harassed in gaming. Fine, so I’ll agree that Anita Sarkeesian intentionally stirs up the masses with her diatribes. And yes, I believe she has fabricated some of the threats she claims. But Felicia Day? She wrote one post (which has apparently been taken down) lamenting the ugliness surrounding the Gamergate controversy and was doxxed herself.

You know what, I like some of the tropes in gaming. I like the idea of teaching our sons that if they learn of a damsel in distress that they should battle demons to save her. I also want to show our daughters that there is no shame in being rescued. At the same time, I want our daughters to know that they are allowed to kick some bad guy(or girl) ass and save themselves too. Also, I like strong women portrayed as sexy. I don’t want to feel like I have to make a choice between being strong and capable or sexy and feminine.

Gaming is not being invaded by women. We’ve been here all along. Must I show you my Atari 2600? How about my Magic deck? Oh right, just tits. The perpetually offended social justice warriors will continue to be perpetually offended. It’s what they do. What aren’t going to be able to do is drive young white men out of gaming. Game developers will continue to make games that sell, and young white men are a good chunk of the market share. For everything wrong that Anita Sarkeesian says, she’s right that women are a good chunk as well, and we’d like to be marketed to. Really, people are mad that there are women saying, “Hey! I have money here that I’d like to throw at you if you’d just not kick so much sand in my face.”

Is it really too much to ask for women to be treated like people? Why that such an offensive to request to a subset of the gaming community is beyond my comprehension. What’s even more baffling is seeing otherwise mature, rational people defending the behavior of that subset. Or at the very least, affiliating themselves with them.

I point out: even 4chan has banned gamergate discussions. Why? Because those threads have extensive doxxing and coordinated harassment planning in them. Which is one of those few things 4chan doesn’t permit. When fucking 4chan has disavowed you because of your shitty tactics, it’s time to re-evaluate your life choices and choice of allies in particular. -LabRat

It’s time to disavow gamergate. Give the hashtag over to the trolls and let it collapse in on itself. If we need to talk about the issues it has brought to light, fine. But really, I just want to go shoot zombies in the face.

*I’m not skeered of you.

**Does that come with armor and a big sword? Bet it shows lots of skin. Chainmaille bikinis are so 1998.

Thoughts on 36

Thirty six. Doesn’t really seem like any sort of landmark. Just one more trip around the sun. It’s a mathematically interesting number. Second number being double the first and the whole thing is divisible by 9. At 9 years old, I was in the third grade. My little finger was already crooked due to a playground fight where it was broken. I would go on to break my arm that summer; just in time to start the fourth grade in a cast.

9 years later, the world considered me an adult. This is the year I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed and totaled my first car. In fact, I think my face may have still been swollen from the oral surgery when I went careening into the median on I-40. No, I was not on any kind of pain meds at the time.

9 years after that, I would find myself working for my current employer. First job I felt like I really got on my own. Prior ones obtained through some connection.

Today I have officially been an adult for as long as I was a child, at least in the eyes of the law. It marks the point where my adult days outnumber those of my childhood. What a thing that is? This is also the year my son will be able to get his driver’s license. I think that means I can officially shew the kids off of my lawn now.

We shall see if this is finally the year that Weird Al recognizes our shared date of birth.

Elsewhere

If I’m going to be funny on the internet, I should really make with the funny here.

and

And a thought for my readers, now that Oklahoma has to recognize marriage licenses from New Jersey, how long until New Jersey has to recognize my carry permit? I mean, it’s not like civil rights should apply to everyone, everywhere. Particularly those rights actually mentioned in the Constitution.

Personally, I’m for consenting adults marrying who they want, smoking what they want, and having the right to protect themselves with an assault rifle if they so choose.

Kilted to Kick Cancer: JayG!

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That’s right folks! Today’s Kilted to Kick Cancer highlight is that bald-headed biker dude.

You know, I was just going to quietly* donate so I could stack the deck in my favor of winning the York Arms lower that he’s raffling off. You know, because I can’t just have one half built rifle in the living room. Two is one and one is none, right?

And then he went and upped the anty

And if you were the lucky winner of the York Arms stripped lower, you could build one just like you want, too. Tell you what. I’ll even up the ante: If I make it into the top three by the end, I’ll toss in a Brownells High Standard lower parts kit to the prize package so that you can (partially) complete your lower. A custom, one-of-a-kind AR-15 lower *AND* a parts kit with which to finish it. And all you have to do is be the lucky winner – but you have to donate to win, and the more you donate, the better your chances…

 

Curse you and your competitive ways! My plans! Foiled! *shakes tiny fist at the sky*

So, if you want to reduce my chances of winning the lower while increasing the likely hood of it actually reaching its potential, then head on over and donate. Remember, your donation is tax-deductible. Make sure to select Team JayG if you want in on the raffle.

Really, whatever team you pick, you’re striking a blow at the beast that targets the men we love.

*Yes, that’s a lie. You all know I don’t do anything quietly.

 

For The Children

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You may have noticed the thermometer over there in my sidebar. Yes, I’m doing a marathon. No, I am not running. I’m just not into activities that have cute little euphemisms for losing bowel control. But I can do this one, and you can sponsor me. Just click on the pic up there or the link in my sidebar. No ice needed.

I am honored to work for a company that gives so much back to the communities where we do business. They have supported the Children’s Miracle Network for many years now, but this is the first year they have challenged those of us in the corporate office to get involved. I couldn’t say no. I have seen the lives that these hospitals have touched. Treating kids is expensive and children’s hospitals never turn a child away regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

I know, you are all picking your teams for Kilted to Kick Cancer right now and I encourage you to do so, but I would be honored if you would consider sponsoring me in this endeavor. Or at least cheer me on for my mile a day. If you’d like, give me some suggestions for how my mile should be completed each day. The rules say run, walk, or achieve forward motion.

On Charity and Stupid Human Tricks

For better or worse, the viral ice bucket challenge has everyone talking. Sure, people are annoyed. It was a publicity stunt using a silly challenge and peer pressure to attempt to do some good. And regardless of how you feel about such things, it drove a lot of money to an organization that wasn’t getting much attention previously. Overall, I call it a win.

Will some of that money be mismanaged and wasted in administrative costs? Possibly. Non-profit corporations do have legitimate administrative costs, but they are most certainly not immune to greed and corruption. And yes, many of the charity behemoths are overseen by overpaid administrators. I don’t expect the CEO of a non-profit to live in abject poverty just because managing a charity is their full time job, but I also don’t believe they should be getting rich off the kindness of strangers either. It’s reasonable to expect that the majority of the dollars I give to a given charity actually go towards the stated goal of said charity. (The ALS Association is rated B+ by charity watch. It has also been evaluated by the BBB and Charity Navigator.)

I had never given to The ALS Association prior to the ice bucket event. I may or may not give to them again, but some of their new donors will likely be repeat donors. This is a good thing, and I hope they continue to manage their proceeds well. For them, this stunt is a wild success that should rightfully be celebrated.

But what does it mean for other charities? There are a few that are very near and dear to my heart that will be hurt by this stunt. Many people, including yours truly, only have so much that can be budgeted to charitable giving. Every dollar I give to charity ABC is a dollar I can’t give to charity XYZ. I wish I had more dollars to go around, but my mortgage company insists that they get a good chunk of the dollars I’ve got.

And then we run into charity fatigue. Sure, they are all good causes but I just get so tired of everyone asking for my hard-earned money. Heck, I’m about to ramp up to ask you for even more with this weekend’s game-a-thon to benefit Hotdogs for the Homeless. Then we will jump straight into Kilted to Kick Cancer (now a bonafide 501c3) for the month of September. Not to mention I’m doing a marathon for the Children’s Miracle Network (sponsor me?). All before the whole world turns pink and talks about boobs.

I get it. I’m tired too and dammit I want to spend some of my cash on ME. Because sometimes I’m selfish, and I have every right to be.

But I’m also a believer in these charities and what they are doing. Yeah, I want to feel like I can be a part of something great, something that makes the world a little brighter. There’s enough strife and misery to go around. The outlook may be bleak and depressing, but I simply must believe there is hope. The alternative is unbearable.

Yes, I and others like me will continue to do silly, crazy stunts for charity. I hope you get a laugh out of it. I hope it makes you smile. I’d love for you to contribute, but only because you want to be a part of it too and not because I’ve guilted you into it. Or give to win a prize. Or give to see me do something ridiculous (I lack shame and love attention, if I can channel that into something good, everyone wins). Or don’t. We can still be friends.

In the next few weeks, I’ll obviously be highlighting the charities linked above, but I’d like to hear from you. What charities or causes are near and dear to your heart and why? Or maybe it’s not a charity. I will always be proud of the way we’ve banded together to help out one of our own even without the fancy tax documents. Go ahead and give yourselves another pat on the back for that, by the way. But I’d love to hear about your passions. Do you make blankets for newborns? Pick up trash? Feed the hungry? Scoop poop at the animal shelter? Go ahead, toot your own horn in the comments.

PSA: Don’t Set Yourself On Fire

According to the Blogess, there are kids setting themselves on fire for YouTube. And that source of all knowledge and term papers, Wikipedia confirms that is in fact a thing.

Um…

Don’t set yourself on fire.

Because apparently some people need to be told that.

Or maybe I should say, if you’re stupid enough to set yourself on fire, stay away from other flammable things and thank you for culling the gene pool.