#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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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.

Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines

I met Jess Haines on Twitter (@Jess_Haines) when she and Yasmine Galenorn were tweeting weird vids at each other. Really Weird Vids.

We began to chat a bit and exchange a few vids. Turns out we are both RPG Gamers back in the days of Vampire: The Masquerade  and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. With that common ground we have hit it off fairly decent. Not to mention the love of all things Urban Fantasy related.

It was not until recently that I actually purchased her books. (You can find a 4 book set on Amazon here ). I went in with high hopes that a fellow Pen and Paper gamer would know how to create a great story. I was not disappointed!

Hunted by the Others is a First person story of struggling Private investigator Shiarra as she grudgingly takes a job working for Veronica, a powerful magic user, who asks her to find a statue currently owned by the local Vamp celeb Royce.

With bills screaming at her and rent over due, she takes the job.

Shia is plunged head first into the world of the Others as the plot thickens and Everyone is out to either Kill her or convert her to their cause.

This book flew by and I am so glad I purchased the 4pack set! While there are a few loose ends at the end of the book and I felt it was a bit long in closing, I have faith that Jess will bring the loose ends back into the fold through out the next few books.

If you are in need of an Urban Fantasy book, go check out Hunted by the Others. You won’t regret it.

New Look, Same Great…awe who am I tryin to kid? hehe

What do you think?! Huh? You like it? I had to find something that was Me, my writing and the voices in my head.

The book I am working on right now has the Greek Gods in modern-day. Walking around. Yeah. I hope to get a bit of a dark feel to it with some hot sex and combat. (not at the same time). There is a light in the dark. Hope. hehe

The other book is about a sorceress. Who owns a nightclub. And falls for a police detective who also happens to be a werewolf.

Last book ties in with the sorcress…same world different POV. MC is a werewolf. (This one is the rest of the story behind the short bit I did called Full Moon Station which I am debating on posting here or putting up on Amazon. Talking to my friend and fellow writer Jennifer Sights who also has a blog here on WordPress! Check her out!) Let me know what you think, post it or not? Leave a comment below!

There is an Epic Fantasy bit I would like to do later on when I have had more experience as a writer and a Hard core Sci Fi because I love the genre so much I took a class on it High School.

In addition to the great new background I am rocking, I have added two new things I will be talking about after Nanoinsanity is over.

Reviews.

There are three things I adore enough that I would write about them and feel confident that I would not sound completely stupid.

Books.

PC Video Games.

Music.

I look forward to sharing what I am reading, playing or listening to and what I thought of them after.

DONT FORGET!! Facebook and Twitter ————————————————————————->>>> Over here on the sidebar! Like the page and Follow the Twitter! I like you so won’t you like me too? (I may not autofollow on twitter unless you take a moment to drop me a “Hey! I followed you from WordPress!)

I am always interested in what people have to say so don’t be shy, if you find yourself wanting to answer any of my random questions GO FOR IT!

Have a Great Day! I am off to try to catch up on my word count!! (I am at 30,582 and need 33,333 but would like 34,000 by tonight.)

Another Bonus

Today was a crazy mix of wonderful and not so wonderful.

Lets start with the Not So: I missed out on some very valuable writing time do to a side tracked mind caught up in Mindless entertainment. I know, I know. But you got a great blog topic right? I suppose. You are probably also going to point out that I did get my word count in for the day ending at a grand 25,128 at 1:30am Pacific.

OK, OK….Fine no so much bad after all.

On to the Wonderful. I got a few new followers on Twitter. One is none other than New York Times Bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn herself! I know right?! (I did allow myself a fangirl squeal which made her laugh)

I started following Yasmine before I had read her work because she was a local author and a Bestseller. (I am all about connecting with peers here. Who better to ask about the writing industry than other writing professionals?) I got to know her fun quirkyness over twitter feeds and came to really enjoy her as a person who was not afraid to be herself no matter what kind of crap life happens to toss at her. I respect that. So when the chance came for me to purchase her new book Shadow Rising, you bet yer ass I bought it!

I was going to save the book as a treaty reward for a finished 50k manuscript but I just couldn’t resist. I started in on the story a bit at a time giving myself only a few pages between frenzied typing sessions. (I am not anywhere near the middle of the book let alone the end but expect a review here after NaNoWriMo)

At first I was not going to read anything at all because I felt that it would interrupt the voice of my own characters. Honestly I am still a bit leery about that happening but I have had some of my better sessions after a quick mental break into the mind of another writer of the same genre. It gives me the boost I need to say to myself “I can do this. I want to write something this cool.”

Another thing I have on my mind tonight is the discussion of a writer building his/her platform. (SIGH) I have twitter and I have this blog. I do have a Facebook under the Name Iniriba (internet name/pen name). I am so new to this whole thing I am still likely to see that someone has followed my page or read my blog seconds after they do so.

I try not to let the number (or lack thereof) views and followers discourage me. I will write like I have thousands of views now. Hopefully, over time, those of you who have joined me now will have the pleasure of seeing how I have grown and improved over time.

To learn more about Yasmine, check out her website at galenorn.com

Who is your favorite fiction Author? Why? Leave a comment below!