You can now find Grumpy Bear Druid at grumpybeardruid.com!
Go forth and bookmark!
You can now find Grumpy Bear Druid at grumpybeardruid.com!
Go forth and bookmark!
Okay, so, there are some roleplayers that claim their style as "mature" or "dark", which advertises that they're open to RPing stuff that's for a very limited audience. I mean, they're cool with roleplaying stuff like gore, torture, sexual assault, and stuff of a similar nature.
Stuff that they need to be reminded isn't for everyone.
If your "Roleplaying Style" flag in your RP add-on of choice is "Mature" or "Dark", then we need to talk about consent in RP.
You see, different people roleplay for different reasons. Some want to explore lesser-known areas of the game's lore, others like following the lives of the common people, still others want to be heroes. Some RP to relax and flex their writing muscles. Others RP due to boredom. Some have less-than-honourable reasons for their RP and use it for badness. Whatever reasons folk have for roleplaying, the one thing they tend to have in common is that they're trying to have fun.
It's not fun having content pushed on you that you aren't comfortable with.
The problem most people wind up having with "dark" and "mature" roleplayers - what makes them the butt of several jokes - is the tendency of so many of them to just... thrust whatever edgy stuff they're into on unsuspecting people. That's not cool. It doesn't matter what your beliefs are regarding content warning and "censorship": you have to be considerate.
You can sometimes figure out what sort of RP somebody's willing to do by checking their roleplay profile. World of Warcraft add-ons like XRP, TotalRoleplay, and others allow players to write a description for their character. Lots of people also use these to add warnings and notes of what they are not interested in RPing, while some use them to point out what they're looking for - some of which might be what you're after.
Let's use a tame example here. You're playing a character that's a thief. You're interested in stealing something valuable from another person's character. Send that person a private message telling them that you'd like to roleplay a specific scene (a 'scene' refers to a scenario), and what that scene is. If they agree, great! Have fun! If not? Move on.
If you throw a massive fit or otherwise just try to proceed even though they said "no", you've failed. Go sit in a corner and think about what you've done.
Some types of RP are not meant for this method.
If you're roleplaying things of a far more sensitive nature (themes of torture, grotesque violence, and stuff I don't want to mention here), it's best to put in your profile that you're open to this, that, or the other thing, and look for guilds that are up your alley. There are communities where you can find like-minded folks, such as Darknest. You can put out your feelers on Tumblr and post in specific server tags saying that you're looking for partners for that sort of roleplay.
But for the love of kittens, don't force it on people that you're running into out in the game world.
Have you dealt with people trying to force their style of roleplay on you? How did you deal with it?
Steam is the devil.
Alright, alright, that's a bit of a stretch.
Below is a peek into my Steam account. You see that number that's highlighted in red? Do you see that? Most of those games I've never managed to beat. I start playing them, sure, but do I beat them? Nope.
I collect them, kind of like Pokémon, and then they kind of sit there until I boot something up.
There has to be a solution to this. I mean, it drives me nuts that I have all these games, but have only played a small percentage of them. I keep defaulting back to World of Warcraft since it runs nearly flawlessly on my PC (at low detail, mind you).
Each game I have fits neatly into one of three categories:
MMOs can be further broken down into:
The only games where I've hit the level cap? WoW and SWTOR. Whoops. TSW is a dirty cheater because it technically doesn't have a level cap or levels.
How I tamed my Steam library
When you're in your Steam library and you right-click on a game, there are several options. The option that you want is "Set Categories", which you'll see below in the red box.
This is where the magic happens. When you apply a category to a game, it gets tucked under a heading, which can be collapsed. Games that you can't run can be hidden from your Library (like I had to do with Ark, which wouldn't even load after an hour after my initial foray into Lagtastic Potato Dino Land).
The actual process is fairly simple: type in the name of the category you want, click 'Add Category', make sure the proper box is checked off, and hit 'OK'.
My categories are so simplistic it hurts. The idea is just to be able to go to a single category that has all the games that are beatable (without taking ages to do so), so while technically there are modes in games like Civ that can be beaten... I'm not interested. That's not why my boyfriend bought it for me. I think he mainly bought it for me so he could listen to me screech and wail about him kicking my ass in it (though we have yet to play together), but I actually play it to run a match against the computer. And build all the ships. Yes.
Below is what my library now looks like, with everything tucked into its category sections.
Oh, look at that. The collection is slightly tamed.
I took this a step further by going in and hiding games that I either can't play because my computer sucks, games that are unplayable for other reasons (like super-old Civ-related games that constantly crash, according to reviews, or don't load at all), or games that were part of packages that I had 0 interest in anyway.
As a bonus, let's look at my MMO category:
Admittedly, some I haven't played in ages (TESO doesn't run well, FFXIV I can't get into it just doesn't hold my attention, STO's next update is 11GB) but holy shit.
A comment on a post I made to Facebook fired up my thinkybits.
See, I'm of the (correct) belief that women belong in gaming, and that the content doesn't keep in mind that we're a little over half the gaming population. Games are unrealistically geared toward men, who are seen as the default in every video game (and other piece of media) and over-represented as a result. Video games make the world look as if it's mostly male when there's an equal split (and there are other genders that receive absolutely no representation and are assumed to not exist).
When someone tries to bring in the casual vs hardcore gamer argument to justify this representational issue, I start seeing red.
Back in my day, "casual" and "hardcore" meant very different things from what people now seem to think they mean. Facebook didn't exist, but puzzling games did, so did simulations and point-and-click, and there was no separation between players of those games and other gamers. Somebody that played the (limited number of) first-person shooters wasn't considered to be more of a gamer than somebody that played Super Mario Bros and other platformers. RPG gamers weren't lesser than somebody that was an avid Tetris player.
I'm not sure when the separation between "casual" and "hardcore" started to be about what gaming platform somebody used instead of how deep into the video game rabbit hole somebody was.
I'm from the generation (early millennials and late boomers) that started seeing hardcore gamers as being the people that dedicated everything to their gaming. There were no bathroom breaks during raids, there was a beer bottle and a sock for those people. Gaming was serious. Mistakes? Meltdown fodder. A casual gamer was viewed as somebody that didn't take things quite as seriously and viewed gaming as a hobby and something fun instead of a job and something that was about as serious as a federal election.
Now, it seems that people (or at least the gamers that want to be gatekeepers to the hobby) separate "casual" and "hardcore" depending upon what type of games people play.
To this brand of gamer, a "casual" gamer plays Facebook games or mobile games, and they tend to cite "Candy Crush" as the main "offender". Facebook and mobile games are made up of just as many genres as other PC and console games, encompassing puzzle, sim, hidden object, point-and-click of other fashions, roleplaying, dungeon crawlers, first-person shooters, MMOs, and more. I'm going to assume that Facebook gamers are generally considered to be people that play Candy Crush Saga (a puzzle game) and the other games are ignored.
In this version of the conversation, a "hardcore gamer" sounds like somebody that plays CounterStrike, HALO, and other FPS-style games or is generally a console gamer (I've heard 'hardcore gamers' insist that FPS games are not meant for PC gaming, even though FPS games had their beginning on PCs) and looks down on people that aren't like them.
The TL;DR version of everything is basically: this conversation is bullshit. The "casual vs hardcore" thing is just another form of gatekeeping, which is something that we really ought to be fighting against, not encouraging. Being "hardcore" isn't a positive, it's a negative - it places the gamer into the position of being completely unwelcoming toward people that are new to the hobby or whose pursuits aren't of a certain kind.
If you play video games of any kind, whether it's Farmville, Tetris, Skyrim, or CounterStrike, you are a gamer. Don't let some self-described "hardcore" blowhard try to tell you that you don't belong - you do, and if you ever have any doubts, drop me a line here or on Twitter. We have to stick together.
Welcome to Frostfire Ridge! Specifically, the areas around your Garrison.
You'll be targeting packs of Coldsnout Boars, Frostwolves, and Icespine Stingers.
The boars come in a couple of flavours: sows and piglets. The piglets don't drop anything and aren't skinnable, but they are worth 200ish XP each at 90. The packs roam from the left/west end of the glacier around your Garrison all the way around to just before the gully where everything else lives - you can also find them along the western coast.
Frostwolves and Stingers are in the ravine and are relatively close together - you can get packs of Frostwolves (which are on each side of the canyon) and be killing pretty much non-stop.
This is a great set of grinding spots for:
Tasty, tasty leather.
If you're working on leveling your skinning or leatherworking, this is a good place to be. Do you have other go-to places for farming in Frostfire Ridge?
If you're looking for more tips on making gold in WoW, you really ought to be checking out The Gold Queen, who has recently released a free gold-making e-mail course and a pay-what-you-want Garrison Gold Guide (which I will be buying when I have a chance). Guys, The Gold Queen has been working hard since 2010 to teach us all how to make gold in this game, and I encourage you to support her in whatever ways you can. She's seriously one of the nicest bloggers in the WoW blogosphere. If you haven't checked out her blog before, you really should.
I'm hoping to get into posting more regularly, but y'all know what they say about ... stuff and things, right.
On top of that, I've moved back home with my parents. This is the second time in five years that I've had to move back, and at my age - I'm nearly 30 - it feels like a massive failure. I know that this isn't my fault, but it still feels pretty crappy.
I'm not quite sure where I'm going from here. I'm still hunting for a job, I'm writing on Fiverr sometimes, and we'll see what happens. I'm really hoping to find full-time work doing something I can be happy with, though if my writing gigs wind up being full-time ... even better.
I have a lot of work to do and I am not sure where to start!
Agency is defined by the Geek Feminism wiki as the ability for a person to act for themselves. Agency has been a part of philosophical feminism for years (the '70s, at best guess, based upon this page on Encyclopedia Britannica) and has been a major component of modern-day discussions on all aspects of feminism.
It also comes up when talking about feminism in video games, as it should, but for the wrong reasons.
There are two approaches to the topic of agency in video games:
1. Agency of female characters in relation to male characters
2. Agency of female characters to defend sexist representation
I am not opposed to examining the agency of female characters in relation to the male characters that they share space with - it's an important thing to look at when examining representation of female characters in games, for sure, and will help us better explain what's going on with the lack of representation and what we want to see.
It's when I see agency used to say, "you can't critique that outfit/role/behaviour because if you do you're crapping on that character's agency!!!" that I start twitching.
You see, this line of thinking ignores the basic truth of video game characters: they are the creations of their writers, and as such, lack personal agency. They are not capable of picking their own clothing, selecting their own role in a storyline, or deciding upon their own behaviour. They are at the mercy of their writers (and artists). When someone uses the argument of "that character likes those clothes" to defend an outfit that is called out as sexist, they're more-or-less calling upon a straw man to defend themselves.
How does agency actually apply?
It's a comparative thing. We compare how and if female characters get to act on their own compared to how and if male characters get to act on their own, how often, and for what reasons. When a female video game character doesn't really have any role other than as set dressing, we can say they have no agency in comparison to their male counterparts. When a female video game character gets to actually do things and be important, we can say she has agency in comparison to her male counterparts.
That's incredibly simplified, I realize, but the only real place that agency has in a conversation about video game characters.
Agency cannot be used to defend a video game character's "choices". All characters in media - books, television, movies, games, you name it - are written to have specific traits, likes, dislikes, to do or not do things. That character did not make that decision, their writer did, and by standing up and saying, "If you dislike this thing the character did you are denying her agency" you are ignoring this very basic fact.
Two things have come up recently regarding video games:
I've had a lot of radio silence here, not because of the above, but because of real-life stuff. The ... "debates" (I can't call them that and not shake my head) were, at worst, laughable. I am not sure which one was worse.
You see, some people - a very small, vocal subset of supporters of one particular online game - insist that feminists that play World of Warcraft aren't feminists at all. If they were, they would not be giving money to a company that regularly shits on representation and is essentially a boys' club. Despite this group saying "feminists", the majority of their attacks were directed toward those that identified as women, so their actual agenda was pretty much "a bunch of men screaming down at women for enjoying something".
We all enjoy problematic media. We are allowed to enjoy problematic things, and we are allowed and expected to criticize those things. That's part of consuming media. We are also in a capitalist society: World of Warcraft will continue despite subscription losses, and has continued despite a steady decline in subscribers. With two new games that are free-to-play and have a "pay for extras" model, plus an online store that sells in-game vanity items, much of the company's money comes from these micro-transactions. Blizzard could go entirely to a free-to-play model and still do fairly well, but that's a conversation for another day.
The idea that just not subscribing to the game anymore will wound Blizzard enough that they'll stop listening to their target audience is ridiculous. Blizzard has listened to female gamers in the past - when they have, it's been by virtue of a hell of a lot of noise being made. If those voices disappear entirely, the game gets taken over by the audience that seeks to shut us down. Blizzard has also proven that subscription losses don't slow them down: this strategy does not work very well in a capitalist society when you're looking at a multi-million dollar company. Lots of people boycott Wal-mart and Nestle for their policies and the awful things they pull - both companies are still doing those awful things and still doing quite well.
The other conversation that popped up was this idea that actually, no, there isn't a problem with female representation in video games because Bayonetta is a power fantasy, and women aren't as prone to violence, and everything is fine because we need female characters that don't fight - like Peach! Besides look at all the men that get killed and abused in these games, what about them??? Also Bioshock wouldn't work the same way if a woman was the lead character, and disagreeing with any of these points means you disrespect women and don't respect women's agency.
I'll concede that Bayonetta can count as a power fantasy. I have to take the word of others for this because I don't know much about this character beyond that she kicks a lot of ass, and from what I understand, generally comes out on top of the situations that she's in. I'll have to assume that she's treated like a hero. Ignoring that the stereotypes surrounding female characters, the "damsel in distress" trope, are all based in misogyny is ignorant as hell. Attributing society telling men not to show emotion with something other than misogyny is also pretty silly. Assuming that female characters don't get put into roles where they can be hurt because "people don't like to see women in pain" is ridiculous - women are shown in pain all the time in media, even punished with it for acting certain ways.
Acting like the "damsel in distress" trope that Peach tends to be shunted into is part and parcel of a non-combat sort of character and must be protected, or something, just makes me twitch. Look: you can have characters that don't fight. They don't have to be helpless, though, and we all know that Peach is anything but helpless. Accusing me of not respecting women's agency because of my dislike of a character trope ignores the fact that these women are fictional and any agency you think they have is false. They are at the mercy of their writers.
As an aside: a woman can replace a man in any character type. Main hero? Yep. Villain? Yep. Hyper-macho warrior trope? Yep. The only thing that's preventing more female characters from being a thing? Writers.
Maybe the audience, at least, the straight cisgender male (assigned male at birth, identifies as male) audience, since they tend to whine and groan whenever a non-straight-white-cis-male winds up in a game, but gaming companies can safely stop listening to them. Why? They aren't the majority share and they never were, that's why.
If you're wondering why you're seeing so many men in games and thinking, "Oh my God! Look at all the men they're killing! This is unacceptable! If they were women people would be up in arms!" instead of "Wow, so men really are the default", you're in the wrong frame of mind.
Now, with that said -- in the course of all of this crap I came to realize that nobody understands what a power fantasy is. A 'power fantasy' is a wish fulfillment fantasy. It's the imaginary super-powered alter-ego of the guy that's constantly getting stomped on. It's Thrall. It's the hero that everyone relies on and is always in control. It's Lt. Barclay's holodeck fantasy, where everyone loves him, he gets the girls, and he's the best at everything.
It's the term 'Mary Sue', but applied mainly to men. Women don't have 'power fantasies', in the world of fiction - we have 'Mary Sues'. That's it. So when I talk about a 'power fantasy', I don't differentiate based on gender - I'm hoping that catches on eventually, because, damn it, I am tired of every amazing female character being classed as a 'Mary Sue'. She's a power fantasy.
Edward Elric? Not a power fantasy. He's rarely in control, he screws up, and often, people don't believe he's all that amazing until they see his skills at work. Even then, he's not.
Ellen Ripley? Not a power fantasy. You don't have power fantasies in horror, where survival is by the skin of your teeth and you are not in control. Ripley is amazing, and awesome, but she's neither in control, nor super-powerful. This doesn't make her less amazing.
I could almost consider Paula in Earthbound a power fantasy because she's adored by everyone in her home town, she's an incredibly powerful psychic, and she's the key to defeating the Big Bad at the end of the game. No Paula, no dead super-powerful alien presence.
So that was my adventure with bad and clueless gamer-types over the past while and I am mentally exhausted just going over this all over again, oh my gosh.
My last post may have given the wrong impression.
That's okay! It happens.
Let me recap: last post, I mentioned a few different tropes of orchood that crop up in the roleplay community and how the OOC attitudes that accompany them are a problem/pain in the arse. Now I'm going to turn around and tell you that those particular tropes themselves can actually be perfectly okay in roleplay*.
The Green Klingon trope has been around since the dawn of the green orc, and is pretty common as far as orc character types go. It's kinda a thing in Warcraft lore, too, though probably not to the same degree as it is in the playerbase. It can actually be really fun when played in contrast to the exact opposite sorts - shove this orc into a clan of mercenaries and watch as a lot of facepalming occurs from that orc's fellow mercs whenever the honour speeches come up. Watch the honour-obsessed orc stumble into situations that they simply aren't used to, maybe involving fluffy animals, and see what happens. It can be a generational argument: the old-timer that's seen it all and finds no honour in killing butting heads with the younger, stubborn warrior whose entire military existence has been an orgy of battle and can see no other honourable way to be.
Hyper-Masculine "elves are girly and girls don't belong in battle" characters tend to come from OOC attitudes. There's no way around it: nothing in-game states that women don't belong in battle that doesn't get proven horribly incorrect. The running joke that elves are girly and ha ha girly is bad just plain needs to die. If somebody really insists that they want to play this character type, fine, but maybe think about why this character thinks this way. Do they hate the idea of something smaller being just as good as they are at what they do? Are they so super-competitive that it's morphed into, well, Duke Nukem from hell? Maybe they’ll embark on a character arc where they start off horrible and wind up learning how wrong they were all along? I’m sure there are ways to pull this concept off without being a horrible OOC dick about it, it’s up to other people to figure them out, I guess.
Lastly, we have the “Thrall” archetype, which is typically a young or young-ish shaman that’s wise beyond their years, and also happens to have a great relationship with the spirits and may be incredibly powerful for their age or what-have-you. This isn’t as bizarre for the game world as it might seem to a lot of people: we’re playing heroes, for goodness sake. The fact that our characters can summon portals, smash dragons in the face with their shield, or do any number of things that we, in real life, can’t, is pretty amazing. It should then come as no surprise that our characters can be a bit over-the-top as well.
There are the “wise old shaman” sorts, by the way - I haven’t forgotten them! - they just don’t seem nearly as popular as the wise young shaman.
Coming up in a future article: ideas for the enterprising orc roleplayer.
* Keeping in mind that I'm not going to tell people that their roleplay isn't okay unless it's, you know, forcing awful things on people without their consent. I'm not the roleplay police.
In many a roleplay community, there are only a few types of orcs:
Allow me to explain.
Type #1 is, more or less, a green Klingon. If you aren't familiar with the Klingons from Star Trek, they're a race of warrior aliens that put honour above all else. Players of this sort of orc play it completely seriously, and occasionally to a ridiculous - albeit unfunny - degree.
Type #2 uses the tired old trope of the hyper-masculine warrior that mixes up male and female elves, trash-talks elves in their own cities, and treats women like trash (even though that doesn't actually fly in-universe). They genuinely believe that women are weaker and shouldn't be in battle. This type of orc spends a lot of time picking fights and being a massive douchebag IC and OOC.
Type #3 is generally played by a massive Thrall fanboy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just results in a bunch of identical types of super-wise, mystical and mysterious Shaman with a difficult past and a lot of emotional baggage.
These characterizations aren't actually the problem, though, it's the OOC attitudes that go with them.
Approximately 90% of the time, orc roleplayers that fall into these common tropes have a very particular sort of attitude where their way is the right way and everyone else is doing it wrong. All orcs, in their opinion, are concerned with honour and honour only, are super macho, and obviously superior. These players have the attitudes of their characters with regard to just about everything, and have a tendency to take in-character issues out of character.
A lot of douchebags are attracted to the orcs because they have this image of the big, tough warrior race and they come off as being incredibly masculine. Where other orc roleplayers can acknowledge other aspects of the race, or even just not take them so damned seriously, these people can't. If you're familiar with Stormrise Warband before Thorium Brotherhood's death, you know what I mean.
What are your experiences with orc roleplay? Do you have some good ones, or are your experiences mainly bad? What characteristics do you notice in your good experiences?
World of Warcraft and I have a complex relationship.
I started playing in my second year of College: I was depressed (but did not understand what I was going through), I was angry (in general), and I was growing bored with the games I had been playing. A friend introduced me, insisting I play on his server - a PvP server - and I created a Troll rogue. The rest is history, as they say, and here we are.
I love the people I met through the game. I like that I can play it on my 7-year-old MacBook and my nearly-2-year-old HP laptop without too many performance issues. I like how easy it is to adapt to after an absence, and how wonderful parts of the community can be. I adore the creative minds that come together in those parts of the community to share content about the game that they love.
There is also a lot to dislike.
At one time, I could respect the game's writing. The story behind Wrath of the Lich King was wonderful; both sides came together against a threat larger than themselves. It closed on a somewhat uncertain note, after all, would Bolvar really be able to handle the fate he'd dumped on himself or would he wind up following Arthas' lead? We may never know. Even in Cataclysm, although it was boring as hell to play through more than once, the story at least made sense - Deathwing seemed like a genuine threat, and evidence of what he could do was all around us. He left a lasting impression.
Mists of Pandaria, too, I could respect: it was a great big cautionary tale about the impact the faction war has not just on the world around the Alliance and Horde, but the people, as well. It was a great big cry of "YOU ARE ALL IDIOTS, WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS".
I don't mention Burning Crusade because it was so long ago that I don't remember it, but what I do remember is all of the wonderful storylines people had for their Blood Elves and how many different spots in the game's story they could come from. Kael'thas loyalist? Ex-Kael loyalist? Blood Knight? Stories of survivors of the Scourge Invasion? So much wonderful storytelling.
With Warlords of Draenor, we have... an alternate timeline where I, at least, am not entirely sure how it impacts the current one, and a lot of energy going into this thing that could instead be going into repairing the relationship between the factions and cleaning up what's left of past problems. Half of Silvermoon is still in ruins, Gilneas is still out of the hands of its people, the Pandaren were sort of dumped into the middle of this war and we haven't heard much from their faction leaders. There are many options and Blizzard went with Orclords of Orcnor.
I was very excited about the expansion when it first launched, I admit, and that excitement waned and gradually puttered out as time went on. I love Khadgar. I love Gul'dan's voice actor (okay, that's mainly because he was the voice of Kai Leng as well). That is... about all I get out of this expansion.
Well. Garrisons. But even that isn't as exciting for me as it used to be and feels more like something I have to do to make money in the game (because I don't want to pay for my subscription with my actual money).
Blizzard's attitude toward the players having gotten worse doesn't help, either. Players wanted flying, so Blizzard threw it in after a lot of whining and did so in a kind of passive-aggressive way -- because to earn it on your account, you have to jump through a bunch of hoops.
Much like a lot of the "this game was better in Vanilla!" players, I guess I see this game through nostalgia goggles - I want to feel the same way I felt about it when I was first playing. I want it to feel new, and interesting, and like the world isn't at a stand-still while everyone works on saving an alternate reality that should not exist.
I keep hoping I'll get that, even though I know I won't.
[Images are from finalfantasy.wikia.com!]
I was eleven years old when Final Fantasy 7 was released.
As a major Final Fantasy freak and Nintendo fangirl, I was hugely disappointed that it wouldn't be a Nintendo product, like my first loves - FFII and FFIII (IV and VI, respectively) were. Y'all have no idea how down I was - I was so hoping it would be a N64 title. I experienced the game, in part, through a friend and her Playstation until I purchased the PC version of the game not long after it was released in 1998.
I was in love. That game became my world until that computer died and my parents surprised me with a Playstation of my own. All my writing, art, and roleplay was centred around FFVII. It built my expectations for other RPGs.
I spent the summer playing that game from start to finish when I was 15, after not getting to complete it when I had it on PC. My strategy guide was worn out. I bred Chocobos until I got a gold one, and I kicked massive butt in the Gold Saucer's raceway. I went for full completion of that game and it was the first video game I'd ever actually cared enough about to do that in, though I suppose it was also the first game I'd ever played with so many extra features (that I can remember).
It's hard to explain why FFVII clicked so hard with me. There was something about the story that I sincerely enjoyed, how this rag-tag group of people from very different walks of life were able to come together against a threat that they didn't completely understand, that turned out to be way more than they'd bargained for. I mean, they started as a bunch of terrorists fighting for the underprivileged in the slums beneath Midgar - nobody ever really expected to be facing off against someone like Sephiroth, or dealing with experiments and all the creepy shit Hojo brought to the table.
With all the dark elements it was still a very Final Fantasy title, though I know a lot of people disagree with me on this. FFVII had its light moments, the familiar recurring names and themes that tie the series together, and it left a hell of a lot of questions in the end.
At least, for me.
Questions that have since been cleared up by follow-up games (which I have yet to play, sadly) and interviews and such.
FFVII created one of the most iconic villains since Kefka. Sephiroth is a character that haunts me eighteen years later, a man who discovered secrets relating to his birth (though not the full picture) and snapped, taking an entire town with him, and went on to try to become a god. I can't stand Cloud, but I adore Sephiroth. I dunno, man, I dunno. Cloud just came off as a wet blanket and I was really hopeful that he wouldn't be leading the party again when Cid got to take over. I survived the crushing disappointment, though.
Now I hear that FFVI may be getting a re-make, too. Honestly? I'd put that game on-par with FFVII if I'd managed to beat it ever. I have bad luck with emulator games and computers dying.
Anybody else as excited as I am?
A Toxic Roleplayer is a player that employs various methods of emotional abuse to get what they want out of their roleplay partner(s) at the expense of that person’s happiness, including but not limited to a hell of a lot of guilt-tripping, isolation of their victim from other roleplay, jealousy over other roleplay, and making the victim feel like they are imagining the toxic behaviour. In order to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about here, I strongly suggest reading the Emotional Abuse in Roleplay compilation by Captain-Ameribunny on Tumblr. Her explanation of the impact of emotional abuse is far, far better than anything I could come up with.
I have dealt with and watched others deal with several toxic roleplayers over my time in various RP communities. Every single one of them was an emotional abuser -- that’s why they’re toxic -- and resulted in my friends (and me) dealing with a lot of stress. Victims of emotional abuse can suffer from anxiety, depression, various physical ailments (including chronic headaches), low self-esteem, and even more serious issues, most of which require treatment -- some of which, like medication and therapy, are expensive.
I bring this up because, over the past several months between Wyrmrest Accord and Moon Guard, defenders of several toxic roleplayers have been accusing those who call out their beloved partners of “being mean” and “perpetuating drama”. They want the victims of these people to “get over it” despite the fact that these people suffered abuse. Bringing up this abuse was ruining their roleplay, after all, and they’re tired of hearing about it.
There is absolutely no reason for victims of a toxic roleplayer to stay silent about what they went through and dealt with. Warning others about this sort of person is a community service because it can and will save some people from stress, anxiety, depression, and other serious health issues; if that isn’t good enough, what is? Telling people about what you went through with this person and what behaviours to watch out for can prepare other people so that they can decide whether or not to engage, and if they do decide to engage, they at least know what to look out for.
If you have dealt with a toxic roleplayer, or if you know of one, it is of the utmost importance that you pass on your knowledge. By warning others of this sort of person you help protect your community from a force that can tear it apart by setting members against one another, victims against those that doubt them, friends against friends. The toxic roleplayer often insists that they are not the problem, that everyone else is what’s wrong, they’re the real victim, but as you start asking questions and making mention of your own tale you’ll find that you aren’t the only one.
You will run into people that will shoot you down, doubt your story and evidence, doubt the stories of the people that will inevitably pipe in with their experiences, and even make excuses for the abuser. You will run into people that will say all kinds of horrible things about you and defend the abuse or claim that you’re taking things the wrong way, or that because the person didn’t do those things to them that it’s not a problem. You’re going to run into a lot of bullshit -- but you’re not alone. You’re surrounded by people that have been through the exact same shit and made it out alive. There’s a big community of abuse survivors that will stand with you and you’ll most likely discover other victims of the exact same person along the way.
We need to keep sharing these stories. We need to keep warning others. With any luck, one day, we’ll have roleplay communities that actually support victims instead of treating them like shit - until then, we’re going to have to keep making it very clear that we’re going to keep sharing our stories and we’re going to keep calling out toxic roleplayers.
It’s important for the health of our servers and the people that inhabit them.
... It really comes together!
This past week, Alyzande of The Gold Queen put her expertise to work to help another single mom pay for her WoW subscription after some financial difficulties forced her to cancel it. They met in a Facebook group for moms of kids with autism and Alyzande was very aware of how the game helped her friend de-stress. The prospect of watching another mom lose her biggest outlet from financial difficulties didn't sit well, so she decided she'd roll on her friend's US-based server to make her the gold that would be needed for a WoW token.
Needless to say, the story exploded once Alyzande tweeted about what she was doing and checked to see if anybody wanted to keep her company on Livestream.
You should really go read the story on The Gold Queen and let her know how awesome the whole thing really is! Go now! Do it! I'll wait here.
... Are you back? Don't forget to say hi -- okay, okay.
With all of the bad crap I hear and post about from the WoW community (and gaming community in general), a story like this is one that is just plain needed. It's a good reminder that there are people behind those Trolls and Night Elves that have real feelings, real needs, and real reasons for playing this game and sinking so much time and effort into it. This game, and others, are sanctuaries for people. I know I keep coming back because it helps me when I'm having bad mental health days. It's familiar, it's easy to get back into (re-learning the game is simple), and there's still stuff for me to do after all this time.
Hello world, this is Grumpy Bear Druid. You might know me as Matojo, the blogger behind Troll Bouquet from 2008/9 to 2012/13, or from a variety of other places. You might remember that my postings were kinda on the aggressive side (and maybe a little rude) and that I had a lot of opinions.
I still have a lot of opinions. I'm not sure if I've chilled out much or not, but I suppose we'll find out!
I recently decided that I needed a proper gaming blog. It didn't make sense to me to throw in gaming content with incredibly non-gaming stuff when I could have one place to geek out where it would make sense and I could actually start collecting a proper gaming blog roll and everything. I've missed the WoW blogosphere a lot. Folks, if you're a little skeered about getting into blogging and you're not sure where to start? That community is a good place. There are lots of good people there.
Real life is pretty weird for me so I figure this exercise will be a good one. I'll be posting on roleplay stuff - like etiquette, "guides", ideas, and stuff like that - as well as leveling, adventures in LFG, bashing my head against old content, and the occasional gold post (though I still highly recommend The Gold Queen for your gold-making needs, seriously, she's awesome and you should be reading her blog). Yes, I'm still a feminist and yes, I care about Blizzard's screw-ups and I'll still talk about those (sorry, dudebros, this space is not safe for you).
Welcome aboard! I look forward to roaring in your general directions.