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Having Thick Skin – Harassment in the Industry

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Note: This article contains graphic language. You can find the original Polygon article here.

I try to avoid the pieces on sexism and harassment mainly because I think I fear attracting that kind of vicious attention, and maybe because sometimes I’m just tired of hearing about it. There comes a time when it becomes exhausting to hear about the brutality that exists in this (and every other) field, to the point where I simply turn my head and focus on something else. Frankly, it’s wrong, and I know that. I compare it to refusing to watch the news because of the negative impact violence and other horrific highlighted stories have on me. It’s not that I’m purposely ignorant; I understand the travesties that take place, particularly against women, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

I think I’m finally getting to the point where I can acknowledge it, call people out on it, and tell them that this is wrong. That maybe if more people become aware of the destruction, more people can stand up to it. Maybe women damaged from this can reclaim their confidence and strength.

An editorial by Brianna Wu on Polygon focused on the harassment women in the gaming industry receive, beginning with a shocking introduction:

“Women are the niggers of gender,” the email said. “If you killed yourself, I wouldn’t even fuck the corpse.”

Wu leads a development studio that makes video games, but she also writes about issues that focus on the equality of women. In her Polygon article, she comments, “My reward is that I regularly have men threatening to rape and commit acts of violence against me.”

“If you are a woman working in the games industry, especially in a public way, you’re going to experience harassment. I imagine telling my 12-year-old self that fulfilling my dream of making games would lead to constant threats. Would she still do it? Would any woman?”

As someone just really starting out in this community with the intent of (hopefully) turning it into a career, these reports are downright terrifying. As a woman just trying to do what I love, this is absolutely depressing… which is probably exactly what the disgusting predators hope to inflict on the internet.

Wu continues her article by highlighting other women’s stories in the industry, beginning each section with a known “myth” that is effectively countered by reality.

The Myth: Everyone in the games industry experiences harassment. Women are just too sensitive about it.

The Reality: If you are a woman in the industry with a critical opinion, you will get a disproportional amount of criticism, hostility, and scrutiny compared to men.

This section, or Case Study, focusing on a woman named Nina explained, “We live in a society that’s sexist in ways it doesn’t understand. One of the consequences is that men are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women. I think it threatens them in a very primal way, and male privilege makes them feel free to last out.

“This is why women are socialized to carefully dance around these issues, disagreeing with men in an extremely gentle manner. Not because women are nicer creatures than men. But because our very survival can depend on it.”

I can remember countless times where I’ve rebuked the unwanted advances of men online with a timid joke. There are several messages I’ve simply ignored, and I’ve pressed the block button numerous times because I didn’t want to deal with it. Sometimes men need to understand one thing: We don’t always dance around subjects because we don’t know what we want. We simply don’t want to be attacked and degraded for saying no. You’d be surprised how often this happens!

I remember a while back when I was focusing on YouTube videos. This was before I had started strictly focusing on PhoenixDown, and I was becoming more popular as a personality. I had a voice that could be heard and a face that could be seen. There was this one guy that had subscribed and followed me. He left thoughtful comments that would positively ignite conversation, and I thought it was incredible. It eased the nervousness and fear that I felt going into video-making, especially considering I mainly focused on Call of Duty (which can be absolutely cancerous).

So when he began sending personal messages pertaining to gaming, I was eager to reply. And then suddenly they changed. They grew more personal, more demanding, to the point where if I didn’t answer, I was cursed at and called names. It was an eye-opener to me as I learned that anyone, anywhere could inflict such vulgarity on someone.

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It’s sounds downright silly and makes us looks extremely insecure when we dance around subjects… but it’s fear that stems from it. Not always… I know many women who dance around subjects because they just don’t know how to speak up and say no. But each situation is handled differently. If I get weird vibes from you, you may just end up ignored.

The third Case Study kind of mirrored what I received, granted in a more vicious way. This focused on Elise who was getting fanfiction that focused on sexual content between her and the anonymous writer.

She added, “The worst part is not knowing who the guy is. Is it someone I talk to on Twitter? Someone who emails me for advice? I could be interacting with this guy all the time and not know it. Everyone’s a suspect.

“Every time I’m interacting with an enthusiastic fan, I’m wondering in the back of my mind, ‘Is it you? Are you doing this to me?’ And then I feel uncomfortable with the interaction. It taints any sense of ease or honest connection.”

And it’s true: You don’t ever recover from this kind of abuse. You just change.

Having a thick skin beneath such magnified attacks–not criticism–is nearly impossible when your entire being is being mangled. Thankfully, I’m very grateful that the majority of the attention I receive is positive and inspiring, but maybe it’s time to stand up and acknowledge that horrible things are happening to people–to women– who are simply doing what they love. I wouldn’t want people to turn their heads if the same was happening on here (and I know most of my readers wouldn’t). And for that, I say thank you!

Review – Town of Salem (Beta)

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I wrote an initial preview to Town of Salem not too long ago on DualShockers, and now that more features have been included, I decided to bite the bullet and write an updated review. Keep in mind that this game is still considered to be in beta so changes, fixes for bugs, and other additions will eventually be implemented.

In Town of Salem, you are placed in a town full of different roles. These roles all have their particular missions, but some are more evil than others. Town members must work to find and eliminate all members of the Mafia. Members of the Mafia must use their individual roles to kill all of the Town members. However, other neutral roles can wreck havoc in the town, including serial killers and arsonists who kill for their own pleasure. Visit the Town of Salem Wiki to learn more about the roles and alignments. The main catch? You don’t know who is a Town member and who is part of the Mafia. Read the rest of this page »

Review – Hemlock Grove Season 2

 

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Note: This review will contain minor spoilers for Hemlock Grove. Read at your own risk. 

Hemlock Grove, an original Netflix series, received less-than-stellar critic reviews for its first season. The negativity was slightly understandable– it was slow and drawn-out and it had odd characters that had no time to fully develop, which made the season feel like it was chopped too short. In my review of the first season, I acknowledged the thought that a continuation would give proper time to these intriguing characters and the mysteries that surround them. Season two manages to successfully do that.

Read the rest of this page »

Daniel Radcliffe Embraces Evil in new ‘Horns’ Teaser [UPDATED]

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In a new horror tale based on Joe Hill’s dark fantasy novel, Daniel Radcliffe sprouts horns and welcomes in some evil in the new teaser trailer for HornsRead the rest of this page »

The Horrors of Gamestop and the Nostalgia of Final Fantasy X

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Note: This contains spoilers for Final Fantasy X. You really need to play it if you’re seriously worried about spoilers… 

Final Fantasy X was the last “new” Final Fantasy I invested time in. I was in middle school, an angst-filled outcast who hated anything to do with school… so while I was home (or pretending to be sick), I filled my time with video games. I think maybe this was the point in my life where I really appreciated the escape video games presented. No other game took up my time like Final Fantasy X despite the fact that I didn’t make it very far into the game. When I was younger, I managed to make it into the second battle against the Al Bhed who were attempting to kidnap Yuna once again. The Crawler managed to kill me way too many times, and suddenly it was years later, the PS2 was obsolete, and I couldn’t even find my original FFX copy. When I found it again, the disc was so scratched that it was obviously unplayable.

I was heartbroken.

So of course when FFX HD was released, my inner child demanded that I get it. Read the rest of this page »

Celebrate Independence Day the GTA Way With new Independence Day Special

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In association with Ammu-Nation, Los Santos is introducing a new way to celebrate with the Independence Day Special. This free DLC includes new vehicles, customization options, and properties to help bring out your gun-slinging redneck side. Also… fireworks. Read the rest of this page »

Review – Transformers: Age of Extinction

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Warning: This review contains some minor spoilers from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Enter at your own risk! 

Transformers has already met the big screen three times already, with each one trying to overwhelm the successor with scale and content. Age of Extinction is no different, in fact, it stresses this fact as it stretches the explosions, scope, and action into something that’s just a tad bit unnecessary. But when people think of Michael Bay and Transformers, they think of massive explosions and a roller coaster ride of action. Because of this, Age of Extinction is exactly what you expect. Read the rest of this page »

The New Legend of Korra Game — Should We Remain Skeptical?

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The Legend of Korra is one of my favorite shows of all time (even though it doesn’t match my love for The Last Airbender), and while video games of the Avatar universe have been made, none of them managed to make a positive impression. So when the new Legend of Korra game was announced, I was immediately skeptical.

There is so much potential that surrounds the thought of an Avatar game, including the mythology and thick backgrounds that really transform the show into a story filled with complexities. Properly translating this into a game would be amazing!

Mitch Dyer and Jose Otero of IGN had the chance to try out the game, and they responded with positive notes. Read the rest of this page »

Release Date for Pacific Rim 2 Announced, Includes Info of Animated Series

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Legendary Pictures has officially greenlit the sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s film Pacific Rim, which is slated to hit theaters April 7, 2017. It has previously been reported that del Toro was working on a script with Zak Penn, and it has also been revealed that original co-writer Travis Beacham was also collaborating with the two. Read the rest of this page »

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