#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.

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!

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!

 

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.

Racism/Sexism in Nerd/Geek Culture

I know what you’re thinking.

What?! No way are nerds/geeks racist/sexist!

Are you sure about that? I know that those public figures in our awesome fandom of geeky goodness all preach abolish hate and love thy human next to you.

Take a moment and think about racism/sexism and the last Con you where at?

Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Spiderman, Captain America, Ironman, Wonderwoman, BlackWidow, Storm. (How many of you thought that a Black Green Lantern was weird? I thought it was cool and mentally High Five’ed them for it.)

I am not saying that we should reinvent any of these Iconic figures into the “Black Version” or the ‘Chick Version” That can end up just as insulting as saying something rude and bigoted.

What we can do is ignore color/sex as we move forward. (And I am not just talking to the White Guy in his Grandmas basement either. I am talking to Every Person who claims the Title of Geek/Nerd/Dork/Human.)

Background, Life, CHARACTER. Focus there instead of highlighting the things that scream RACE. Search for things that are common across the board. (There are just as many absent white baby daddies out there. And just as many  picket fence Black Families.)

I love watching BBC programming because they have decided that it does not matter what color a person is or what their sexual orientation is. What matters is WHO a person is. Doctor Who, Primeval, Torchwood, Being Human. All these are Big Hitters for BBCAmerica television and the biggest thing I notice is that Race is Never a Problem.

What is a Problem, In my opinion is when people make it a problem.

Now I know that is a touchy subject these day but Ya know what? Get over it! Both Sides! There shouldn’t be Sides. White/Black/Yellow/Purple/Gay/Straight. It should never come into the picture. EVER.

There is Culture. Certainly there is a difference there. Maybe that is why Britain has less issue with color on TV than America does. We like to think of ourselves as a ‘melting pot of culture’ while still clinging desperately to what makes us unique. What makes us who we are. (  I am sure Britain has there share of ‘culture issues’ but I don’t live there so I don’t know.)

Maybe that should be the focus of some of the New Hero. From Great Adversity Comes Great Hero. Overcoming Terrible Things is a common theme among Superheros. Maybe the new heroes should ignore those things we seem to keep focusing on that make us diverse and start highlighting the things that make us all HUMAN.

My Favorite show for abolishing Race is Star Trek. Where RACE is E-Raced and Culture Is Highlighted. Can we be more like That?star-trek-tos

Finding my brand.

Branding.

If you have dreams of becoming a name in something you need a brand. Something that says “Hey, this is me and I am interesting.” Well, I have been narrowing down the things about me that I feel are most important to me that would be interesting to others.

For instance…

I am a gamer. I play online games. I really enjoy them. They are a part of who I am. There are millions of people all over the world who make good money playing video games, making video games, writing books about video games and so on and so forth.

I am a writer. I am a NEW writer. I just finished my first ever manuscript this past NaNoWriMo, but I have always been a writer of words. Poems, blogs, journals and random other smaller things. I have always dreamed of BEING a writer. Everything I have ever done, every class I ever took was geared toward becoming a writer. People love to read. Makes for a great relationship 😀

I am a Mom. I have 7 boys. Yes, seven. I did not mistype. I love kids. I love babies. No I am not having any more thank you very much. Each one of my kids fills me with joy and makes me think “Wow, that is one cool kid.” Yeah, they have issues. No, sometimes I am not the worlds greatest mom in the world. But I try, and that is truly what matters. My kids know I love them and that I would burn down the rainforest if it would save them from some of the crap this world will inevitable toss at them. (I am not against being green or environment or anything but I am totally in love with my family) This, I think is another interesting thing about me. People are always asking “How do you do it?” Answer: “One day at a time and with very little sleep.”

So what does all this have to do with Branding?

Iniriba – Writer, Gamer, Mom.