#JustaGamer

It has been going on for years.

Female Gamers get mocked, harassed, abused and ridiculed.

The Geek community has made a huge launch to abolish abuse of female community members.

It is time that the Game Community join this movement.

I am a Girl. I am a mother. I am a writer. I am a Gamer.

Back in the early 80’s I would ‘role play’ Thundercats with my brothers and the other neighborhood kids. Or G.I. Joe (Gotta hand it to them for making chicks badass, too bad they were still side characters). I was very much a tom boy, out kicking ass and not taking any crap from the bullies and boys in the area. Thankfully this was not discouraged by my parents and I was never pushed to be anyone other than myself. The girl who loved make up but would kick your ass if you picked on her little brothers.

I would spend mornings before school at a friends house playing Super Mario in the NES. I knew all the tricks.

I was not formally introduced to pen and paper games until High School where a group of us discovered The World of Darkness. Vampire, Werewolf and Mage.  This was after a personal family tragedy that left me doubting my own self worth and the young, strong me was forgotten.

I would hear comments from the male gamers under their breath about how “It figures.” My character description was an attractive woman, confident in her own skin.

Introduce LARPing. OMG! I was in heaven!

A society filled with women notoriously drenched in low self esteem because they are not the Cheer Leader body type. Who have decided to handle that with an overly aggressive attitude against anyone who might threaten “Their” position as a woman among the boys and men of the group.

Women are competitive against other women by nature. It is our need to be the best possible mate match that drives us.

Some women will deny this by saying “I don’t care what other people think of me.” but when you are being honest with yourself you understand that you can’t get away from the desire to be “attractive”. Whatever that means to you as a person.

I am not fat. I am not horribly disfigured.

So naturally the aggression I received as a female in a “mans world” was from the other women who had discovered this wonderful world of make believe. Ignored, back biting, rude rumors flying.  Accusations of ‘sleeping my way to the top’ because I was friends with the guys who started the group and took time to help with the running of things.

I just wanted people to like me.

I will admit I had my own share of aggression due to feelings of social inadequacies. I know that this attitude did not help me gain friends and fellows among the other women of the group.  I like to think that when I return to a LARP community I will be able to look at the other players and say “Sup” with a friendly nod and only receive a nod and “sup” in return.  (Personal growth and all that stuff)

Enter MMORPG’s and the Wonderful World of EverQuest.

At this time I moved from Seattle Wsshington to a tiny little town called Northome Minnesota. Talk about Culture Shock!

EverQuest became my social outlet. My husband (Boyfriend at the time) and I would take turns playing on the one computer we had in 1999 early 2000.

Our son was born in May of 2000.

So new boyfriend, new place, new baby, new everything.  I was feeling disconnected from everything and escaped into EQ. My life became Work, baby, EQ.

Over the years things changed and I spent time in many other MMO’s.

Star Wars: Galaxies, Minions of Mirth, Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest 2, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Asherons, Call, Anarchy Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, E.V.E Online and I am sure I am missing some here.

As you can see I have become a fan of the MMORPG world. I love the stories. I love the social interaction with other people from all over the world. I love that we get the chance to make our own stories in these worlds and share them with others.

What I don’t like is the harassment from other players telling me I am not good enough to join their group because I am not in the top 100 on my server. What I don’t like is logging into voice chat and hearing a dozen male voices go “Oh My God!” when I just say Hello.

What I don’t like is when they find out I am female they start explaining what basic terms mean or that I would be better at my job if I used THIS equipment instead of what I currently have on.

The need to correct my game play when all I want to do is figure it out without the condescension.

As a mom I also get the “We don’t want her in the group because she will have to go afk.” (SO Sorry I am interrupting you by taking care of my kids and practicing good parenting, but that is a different blog about Parenting as a Gamer)

How often has a female player made a male character in order to avoid criticisms? I know of a few.

What can we do as a community to change the Gender Bias that plagues our game play?

Should we be given social tools in game to ‘silence’ players who are offensive?  How would abuse of this be handled?

Can speaking out against the Problem help? What about the players who don’t understand what they are doing wrong? There are those who honestly do not see the damage they are doing. They really don;t understand that asking for a pic to prove you’re a female is insulting. (What does this do to a transgender person?)

Want to join the community in speaking out against Gender Bias? Join the hashtag #justagamer on Twitter and tell us your story.

What are other gamers saying about the issues we face?

Follow:

@Ever_Cae  and @EverCast_Show

http://evercae.tumblr.com/

She was the awesome behind the hashtag #justagamer.

Or

Leave a comment and link to your blog about being #justagamer.

If this post does one thing, I hope it gets you thinking about how you treat other players in your gaming community.

Most started out as a bonding of outcasts from main stream society. Now we are the Main Stream. We need to be better than bigoted Gender Bias AssHats.

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Guild Master on my Resume

One of these days it will be acceptable to put Guild Master, Dungeon Master, Game Master or any variation of the Leader of a group of people involved in a fictional world setting, on your resume.

I would like to think that day is coming sooner rather than later.

That six years as an Assistant Guild Leader in World of Warcraft can actually mean something to other people.

The world of Social Media Work Experience has been limited to such things as Facebook and Twitter or other platforms of that sort. I think businesses are missing out on a huge platform with Online Gaming and MMO’s in particular.

Some companies have jumped on the bandwagon and ‘purchased’ space in places like Second Life or Anarchy Online. (At least I think that was the one with the billboards in game.)

So when is the next step in the development of our computer age? Most people my age have grown up watching the evolution of the Social Media craze. If they are like me, they have been playing MMO’s continuously for  the past 15 years.

If you have been a guild master of an online community or been the dungeon master for a local table top game, then you know how much work and time go into running such a thing.

There have been times when it is Blood, Sweat and Tears to get your team together.

The Koreans are ahead of us in the Computer Age. They have Sponsored Sports Teams of Video Game Players.

People get PAID to play video games.

There is no getting away from it.

So when will it be acceptable to put Guild Master on your Resume? What would you do if you were a business manager and saw:

Guild Master of Noctum Infernus

World of Warcraft

Gnomeragan Server

Character name: Jerix

2007-2011

That is the name of a still active guild in WoW now run by my good friend Adeatheta. My husband was/is Jerix.  We have since stopped playing WoW for personal reasons.

You can look up the information about both the character and the guild online. It will show you the guild standing, activity of the character. Damn near everything the player has done over the life of their game play.

It really is not much different than companies who check out a persons Facebook page to see what they are saying in their personal time. We have ALL heard that story.

Why not learn that the person you just interviewed has been running a top level raiding guild for the last 7 years, achieved World first or Server Firsts due to excellent skills in People management and time management?

I would be interested in learning those things. You can damn well bet that when it comes time for me to hire someone to help assist me as a writer, I am going to be asking for game experience!

Rewriting is a…

Bitch.

Blast.

Thing.

All these words are accurate. If you are writing your first novel or even your 101st then you know exactly what I mean.

I am learning the hard way the rewriting your work is a must. Unless you are God giving the law to Moses on Stone, you will HAVE TO rewrite.

Especially if you are a pants-er like me.

I wrote 50k words for NaNoWriMo last year. 50,000 words. How?

One action sequence after another. My characters fought, had sex, fought some more and no one was really sure why or who they were fighting or screwing!

So now during the rewrite I have to untangle the bodies and figure out who is killing who and who is sleeping with who (or what).

It is Gloriously Aggravating!

I hope to have a decent book out of it by the time it is all said and done. I have taken out the sex for now. It may go back in depending on what the Beta Readers have to say. If they are not needed in the story then great! If the readers like the idea of some hanky panky time (And I am able to write a decent sex scene) then I will include them.

Mostly I just hope the story is good enough that people will want to spend their hard earned dollars on it.

Everything you have ever read, that was worth reading was NOT a first draft.

Rewriting in a MUST.

EverQuest Next

EQN

Like most avid fans of the EQ franchise, I was excited to learn they were working on another.

Part of me screamed “Please God don’t let them screw this up!” remembering the fiasco we endured with Star Wars:Galaxies. A fantastic game that was essentially killed when they “revamped” the game to be class based instead of the popular profession based game that it was.

I learned that SOE Live would be streaming through Twitch.tv and made sure to log on with over 10 thousand other viewers to watch, hoping for some breadcrumb to be tossed our way about the much anticipated game.

We were not too disappointed.

John Smedley of SOE talked briefly on opening day about how excited everyone who was involved in the project was.  “I have to be honest with you. We have completely blown up the design of EverQuest Next.” (Quote found on the EverQuest Next Wikia page http://everquestnext.wikia.com/wiki/Everquest_Next)

The only snippet they offered to whet the appetites of the fan base was a brief play of the “early stages music”. Which, in my opinion, was a brilliant move on their part.

That was it.

The next day at 12pm PST was the official reveal of the biggest secret in MMO history:

EverQuest Next.

And I had just won tickets to an indie writers panel in Seattle from 10am to 12pm!! Oh what a world! I made it to the panel which I will blog about later. It was worth it!

I was able to catch up via my bud and Streamer Kalbuir of Twitch.tv about the basics of what was covered at the event.

Then I found EverQuest Next on YouTube and filled myself in on everything I had missed.

Taking the stage to walk us through was Directer of Development Dave Greorgeson. (I have had the wonderful chance to chat briefly through twitter with Dave. Super nice guy! Very supportive of the fan base)

What he revealed on that stage left me in awe. They had done it again. EverQuest Next takes all of the best aspects of all of the most popular games out there today combining them in such a way as to create an experience like no other. Just like EverQuest in 1999, EverQuest Next promises to be revolutionary to the world of online video games.

Like so many others “Take My Money!”

But they didn’t stop with an amazing game. Oh no.

SOE has gone above and beyond by creating EverQuest Next: Landmark

What is Landmark?

about-landmark-header

 

 

“EverQuest Next Landmark is a Free to Play, next generation online sandbox game. Powered by the ForgeLight Engine, Landmark features cutting edge technology and tools. Build and explore a world unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

Slow your roll here…did that just say Free To Play? Say What?

Landmark is a sandbox game like Minecraft, unlike Minecraft  it is an MMO like most others you are familiar with. Head off into the world to explore the land. When you find a place you want to claim as yours, place your flag and go town! Or should I say Build your town!

For the first time in MMO history, the players are being given the chance to create the world we will be playing in. Dave explained that Landmark will have events open to the players allowing them to build, under specific needs of the devs, the buildings and places that will be part of EverQuest Next. The players vote on the buildings and the best one wins!

As a fan of Minecraft and a builder of huge stadiums in that world, I am extremely excited about this. I will definitely be online building in hopes to win the prize!

As a writer, I know that word of mouth is one of the best ways to generate a fan base. MMO’s are really no different. I hope my excitement about this new game has come through. Encouraging you to check it out and join me when Landmark opens this winter.

For more information about the game and to keep up to date on it as it developes go to http://www.everquestnext.com. Don’t forget to sign up for Beta!

Don’t forget to join me on Twitter @iniriba or my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/iniriba.greymyst

What are you most excited for with EQN? Leave a comment!