#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.

When gamers cry…an NPC is Born.

Do gamers cry?

Do they feel anything for their fellow players?

Who else but another gamer can understand some of the things we go through? YouMadBro? Dodging Trolls. Hours spent getting through dungeons to get that slot item or crafting the best gear! Making it to the top of the PVP lists! Mad skillz bro!

I read an article linked to Twitter today about a little girl who was honored by “MechWarrior” after she lost her fight with cancer.  A specially designed ‘mech chassie’ you can purchase for $10 was created. The money goes to the Canadian Cancer Society ( here is the link to the article http://t.co/hP1wveNIbI).

I took the time to read through the forums and found dozens of comments from gamers of all walks who shared their story of a friend, loved one, co-worker, who had been honored by their game of choice in a similar manner.

I myself have experienced 2 unexpected deaths of fellow gamers. One of which was a very dear friend of mine who I had never met in person but considered to be family.

His name was Bilin. (His given name was Chris.) He has an NPC named after him in the MMO game Dark Age of Camelot. h-Bilinhttp://camelot.allakhazam.com/db/search.html?cmob=3944

He died suddenly when his gall bladder burst. My husband and I received a phone call from his sister telling us the news. Our number had been in his favorites listed as Family.

The other was a guild member in World of Warcraft. Our guild was always thought of as our gamer family so when someone from his family took the time to log in and explain to the rest of us about his sudden passing it was like hearing a cousin or aunt had died. I was grateful that they understood how important this extended family was enough to inform us of his passing.

We RIP’ed his characters Information in the Guild Roster letting future members know his status and informing future guild leads to leave them on the roster.

I hope the the friends and family who don’t game learn what a wonderful community of people there are that play video games. That we are willing to come together in support of each other when times are difficult. Being a virtual shoulder to lean on during times of grief.

Most people see just a bunch of lazy boys sitting eating chips, doing nothing but staring at a computer or TV all day long. They don’t catch the social interaction that happened, because until just recently most of that was done through text.

Regardless of what game you happen to play, if you learn someone is also a gamer, your ideas about them shift. Gamers come from all walks of life (Take the woman who ran for political office who was a WoW player). So before you get the idea in your head that we are all lazy slobs who don’t have jobs and are too fat,ugly, stupid for society to want us, remember we are people (and some studies show we are SMART people!) Flesh and Blood Humans.

Video games have been a social outlet for the social outcast to the celebrity. The bonds forged in the Field of Bone on  Kunark, or the Triumph of Defeating DeathWing are made in the fires of a Dwarven Forge! Allowing people to be who they are and not judged by how they look or what job they have.

We are Gamers! We are Family!

So, Do gamers cry?

Yes, we do.

Do gamers care about flesh and blood human beings?

Yes, we do.

Game Review: NeverWinter

Ah NeverWinter.

I have only played until about level 10. A dwarf cleric and a Teisling Sorceress. I have not grouped with anyone yet. I guess I really can’t give an accurate review if I have not played the game for longer than a few hours.

Which brings me to say that it just has not grabbed my attention as much as I thought it would.

I adore that the game is Free to Play! On my limited budget, that is fantastic. (Try paying a monthly sub for 2 accounts with 6 kids and a new writers income or lack there-of!)

Maybe I have just not given the game a chance. Or maybe my days of Video Gaming are coming to a close. I don’t know.

The graphics are alright. I guess I expected a bit more but for a F2P they are not bad. Gameplay seems smooth and I have not trouble getting through dungeons solo on either character I play.
As a F2P you on get 2 character slots available but all the race/class options are there. (Except a new race option that will be coming. That shows up as a shadow-figure.)
The amount of lore and storyline available in this game is staggering! You can spend days just reading things. The voice acting is excellent making it easy to get immersed in the world.
For fans of the NeverWinter games and book series, it is a treat to walk around in a free play environment visiting places you have read about. The designers did a great job bringing the vision of the writers to life.

I look forward to getting further in the game and seeing some of the other areas available to explore.

I will be playing off and on as I work on my novel. I use it as incentive to finish my word counts. 😀

Was this helpful? Have you played NeverWinter? What did you think of the game? Leave your comments!

Game Re-Review: EverQuest

EverQuest is the grand-daddy of MMORPG’s. Anyone who tells you different is misinformed.

My husband and I bought the game way back in the early part of 1999 but did not get the chance to actually play until later that year. We fell away from the game over the years. Playing just about everything else, but we always came back to EverQuest and the friends we met there who feel like family now. Most are still with us but a few have passed on. I will think of them always as family.

Those first few notes of music bring back a wave of nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ of mmorpg. Before the chat was filled with kids (referring to anyone with a childlike attitude) who spend their time telling other people how bad they are at a video game. Before the days of instant gratification gear and “do it for me” characters.

A few gaming friends and I decided to hop back in to the world of Norrath and see how things were under their F2P (Free to Play). Unlike WarHammer Online, I still had access to my original account and the characters I put so much time and energy into without needed to purchase a subscription. We had a few players in the group who had never played the game so we went to a different server and started fresh.

They allow a decent selection of races and classes for the f2p players and give the option to purchase restricted class/race by those types you would prefer rather than require you to purchase the subscription. So even if you choose to remain a f2p member but want to play a restricted class/race you can.

After a bit of fumbling with the 2 characters I had made prior, I created a barbarian warrior woman named Kobia. (I LOVE using mmos to build on character development for my books).

The characters seem stiff and the controls somewhat archaic if you are used to some of the newer online games, but after a while and a bit of tweaking the controls, you get the hang of it again.

So much has changed I hardly recognized the Caverns that you first start out in. It was a feature added to the game after several expansions to help new gamers learn how to control their character and the basics of the game play mechanics. I still think they did a fantastic job in the tutorial area. They give you enough information to get you started if you are all alone. There is still plenty to learn beyond what they teach but the community still seems willing to help out a new player.
We never did make it out of the tutorial, at least I didn’t, before I had to log out and play mom. We still had a lot of fun and I found myself wanting to dig into researching character information again and how to build a better warrior in EverQuest.

If you are a competitive gamer who wants to check out where it all started, you might want to check out the FAQ available in-game and the website to learn what combos of character/race/player stats would be best for you. There must be dozens of websites and forums about EverQuest now.

EverQuest offers all the features you could wish from any MMORPG including built-in voice chat option as well as expansive storylines for those interested in the RPG aspects and PVP servers for those who want to test their skills against other players.

If you don’t mind a game that will require a bit of a learning curve to play, I would recommend popping on and checking it out. Otherwise you can watch some of the action on live stream at mmorpgcom or Insomniacs Gaming.

I will also be doing some streaming from time to time as well as posting videos to my YouTube channel:

http://www.twitch.tv/iniriba

OR

http://www.youtube.com/user/Iniriba

and as always you can find me on twitter @iniriba

If you have a game or book you would like me to review leave a comment below with a link to information about it.

Thanks for reading!

 

Special thanks go out to @Grakulan, @insomniacsgamin, @kisage65 and always @Barameistu for playing EverQuest with me!