Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Violence and Video Games: Scapegoatism

December 16, 2012

I usually stray away from blogging about sensitive content that may offend people. I would never want to offend any of you, and always try to keep my blogs fun, light, personal and informative. I decided tonight to make a slight change and blog about a relatively unpopular opinion. Now please, before I begin, let it be known I value and appreciate other people’s opinions. I am open-minded and friendly in all my debates, and I do not want anyone to read this and feel I am being patronizing. I write on the subject hoping it will be regarded as an open forum and would love to hear all your opinions on this.

I’m sure by now everyone has heard of the events regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The news of this shook me to my core. It’s always a huge loss for humanity when events like this occur, and unfortunately it seems these events happen all too often. These were children. These children could not have any inclination that when their parents dropped them off at school and kissed them on their foreheads – that this would ultimately be the last time. Their lives were taken from them because someone was sick. The shooter was a 20-year-old boy with a history of mental illness and other disturbances. Now, we will never know the full story of his upbringing and we will absolutely never, ever understand him. We will never know his thought process, his feelings or his motives. Not only did he take the lives of 20+ children, he took the life of his own mother. It’s hard to wrap ones head around because the vast majority of humanity can not relate to this behavior at all. The shooter was more disturbed than we will ever be able to cognitively understand, and that essentially is wholly the reasons for his actions.

More like, Video Games: Society's scapegoat.

More like, Video Games: Society’s scapegoat.

For some reason though, it seems that people are so quick to look past the fact that this child was mentally ill, and rather start placing the blame on other unrelated issues; primarily the finger is pointed at video games. Sure – you can cut me off right now and say that I’m biased because I am a martyr of sorts for the video game industry and community. I can say that I grew up on video games and am extremely well-adjusted, but this isn’t about video games. It should never be about video games. It’s being reported that because this child played Mass Effect 3 that he was “encouraged” to commit this act. What about the millions of others that played Mass Effect 3 – what crimes have they committed? Why whenever there is an act of violence by a young adult are video games thrown into the fray of excuses? What about the young adults not exposed to gaming, what is their excuse? To blame video games for encouraging violence is just a scapegoat for inattentive parents and an easy way out for society. Instead of addressing actual issues like mental health, which is a way bigger issue in regards to violence than it seems anyone wants to admit. We don’t need less video games. We need to be more attentive and offer more support to young adults suffering from any of the array of mental health issues plaguing children. I realize this is easier said than done, but what has been done? Whenever a mass shooting happens people continually talk about the changes that need to be made, but once it’s out of the news it seems to go completely out of mind again until the next incident. It’s so easy to use video games as a distraction from the real issue but let’s be real:

The world has been an extremely violent place since way, way before video games.

The world is a mess. We are so quick to turn away from violence occurring in real-life physical wars going on and place blame on a war simulator instead. Remember when the Columbine shooting happened, and everyone blamed Marilyn Manson? They hardly focused on the two shooters. They immediately blamed Marilyn Manson – not because he was there, not because he personally encouraged them to commit this act, but simply because he made music that these two kids happened to listen to. What if these kids listened to Enya – would she be to blame? I doubt it. Here is an interview with Marilyn Manson from the film Bowling for Columbine. I happen to feel he makes extremely poignant points on actual issues.

Humanity has a lot work to do. A lot of the time I feel embarrassed to be a person. I wish I could just go back to being star-dust and float through space and time unencumbered. Despite the violence, the blaming – the omnipresent sadness that floats in and out of all our lives, there is still so much good in the world. More importantly there is so much good YOU can do as a person. You are an individual and you have so much to offer. We as people have so much power. The power to destroy, but also the power to repair and rejuvenate and make a difference. We are the one species capable of so much on such an individual level. I think if we all stopped being stoic and malcontent, we could really make a difference.

Here are 26 great examples of positive humanity in motion.

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Extra-Life: Play Games, Heal Kids ( Now with more FragDolls! )

September 18, 2012

For those of you that are unaware, I am a Frag Doll finalist. I am one of 9 girls in the running to be the next Frag Doll, and for me that means making my gaming career dreams come true. Beyond career dreams, I will be attaining personal and moral goals of reaching out to people in the gaming community, competing again and working with a group of girls to help build excitement in the industry by organizing events.

One such event is the Extra Life charity they are partaking in. I personally love this charity, and have donated and participated in streams to raise money for a couple of years now. If you’re not familiar with Extra Life the idea is simple – play games, heal kids. You can donate at any time, but most participators organize events in which they stream gaming and work to earn your donations. A lot of these streams go for 12 to 24 hours. All proceeds go to the children’s hospital of the streamers choosing. The Frag Dolls are running several events to raise money to reach their goal amount which they will donate to Oakland Childrens Hospital.

Check out the Frag Dolls YouTube channel and their website for more videos of the girls and more information on their Extra Life shenanigans! This year, whether I make it as a Frag Doll or not I will be supporting Extra Life through the Dolls’ – so please join me for all their streams, and donate! Even if its just a couple bucks, it makes a difference. The beautiful thing about gaming is our community. We are a huge community and we can and do make a huge difference. Think, if you just put off getting that DLC for one more week and donate that money you will quite literally be changing a child’s life for the better. It feels good – I promise! The Dolls reward charitable behavior by offering rewards and give-aways. If you support me and the Dolls, I will be doing my own 12 or 24 hour stream! I know a lot of you have been asking for me to do a 12 hour stream, and if you tweet the Frag Dolls and let them know you’re supporting them through me, I’ll do a personal stream. I have a huge library of games across all sorts of consoles, and would love to play with anyone joining the stream. All money I raise will also go towards the Dolls efforts to helps kids at Oakland Children’s Hospital. Help me help them help kids! Say that three times fast, phew!

Follow the Frag Dolls!

Twitter

Facebook

Website

YouTube

Twitch.Tv

Lets all harness our inner Dr. Mario and help kids.

By playing video games.

I won’t take no for an answer!

Seriously.

Thanks For Playing: Bastion, Quantum Conundrum, Terraria

July 25, 2012

Oh, hey! So, I was kidnapped briefly by a band of Jawa’s, but after some bartering and slave labor I am back home, blogging safely. I have been asked a lot recently about my YouTube channel and if/when I would ever put content up on it again. I had really only wanted to review The Tester episodes as they aired, because I don’t quite understand the YouTube universe, but people keep subscribing and asking, and I figured hey – it would be another way to get content up on my blog, so why not? Everyone wins. I think.

Regardless, I want to get as much content as I can up on here again, and this would be a great way. Maybe I’ll even get the hang of it. I’ll basically be reviewing and discussing games I’m playing, experiences and eventually I’ll try to get some streams up. I get asked every day what I am currently playing, and making a video and a short blog entry is not only great for me, but an easy way to answer that question. It would be awesome if you guys would answer in a response video, or a comment with what YOU are playing – give me ideas! I am crazy and video game hungry and NOTHING CAN STOP ME.

+10 internet points if you make it through the entire thing.

Maxim Magazine wants a “Girl Gamer”.

April 5, 2012

To a lot of women, gaming and the industry is a proverbial clubhouse with a large “No Girls Allowed” sign nailed to the front. Unfortunately, with sexism still being a prevalent issue in the world in general – primarily in a male dominated industry like gaming, it’s not surprising more girls are not active participators. Like a lot of kids my age, I grew up playing video games and as I grew older, developed an interest in them that transcended just casually playing them. For me, video games have always been my primary interest, I didn’t realize that this was regarded as “unique” until I got into my late teens or early twenties. That is when I started hearing the term “girl gamer” and guys started regarding me as a unicorn of sorts. Granted, I didn’t know a lot of other girls personally that had an interest in the industry, but I never really thought about it NOT being a gender neutral activity. I grew up gaming with a lot of guys, and it was never an issue. Now, at nearly 27, the past several years I have noticed quite a transition within the community. With the gaming community undoubtedly growing larger, it would almost seem “en vogue” to play games. Girls who now never played games are getting into the community, some even competing competitively, or promoting themselves by running YouTube channels about games. Are these girls legitimate, or pandering towards a vulnerable audience? It’s hard to say, but guys will either fawn over them or relentlessly question their authenticity. While other girl gamers should be embracing them as part of their special sub-culture, most are secretly competing to be the “better” girl gamer – as if there can only be one. This community is a double-edged sword. Guys get up in arms about “girl gamers” saying it negates equality, but then either put them on a pedestal or tear them down entirely. Girls focus on the sexism that is so destructively prevalent in gaming, yet rarely embrace and support other female game players. As a community sharing such a consummate love for one common denominator, we are surely doing a great job segregating ourselves.

This brings me to Maxim Magazines Gamer Girl contest. I will admit that I had some reservations about the contest. I knew Maxim probably cared little about the girls credentials and passion for the industry, and was probably looking for the nicest pair of peripherals instead. It aggravated me to think so many fantastical qualified girls would be overshadowed by professional models looking for an easy way into getting noticed by Maxim. I decided even though I am not typical Maxim material, that I am more than qualified to represent the community. I decided to compete, not necessarily to win but to represent female gamers in a positive light. To draw attention to the fact that this community is suffering from a debilitating separation. There is absolutely no problem with a girl being proud that she games, just like it’s okay for any other person to be proud of whatever it is they do. Men, and even other girls mistake this as attention seeking. I am hoping that men will notice not all of us depend on playing games to define us or to garner attention. I am hoping other girls can put aside their egotistical self-perseverance and embrace other female game players as part of their family. So far, this contest is a prime example of the “Dark Side” of the community. A lot of girls pandering their sexuality and not their credibility at all, and on the other side, there are lots of men that seemingly come to the site solely to tear the women apart. Why? This mental process eludes me. I read and hear very often that men wish they could find a female to game with, and when they are presented with a proverbial buffet they act like monkeys and throw their own shit.

In my honest opinion, I will support any girl taking an interest in the industry, like I do with any of my male friends. There shouldn’t be such a division within the community and industry, but we are the ones perpetuating these stereotypes. There are already an overwhelming amount of ladies pleading they are “the real deal” while trying to discredit other gamers. This is embarrassing to not only the individual, but to gamers as a whole. Contests like this truly bring out the worst in people, with the only silver lining being you can network and make some great industry friends throughout the process. I truly feel when men stop perpetuating all the misogyny in gaming, maybe girls will feel the need to stop impetuously proving themselves. I am realistic enough to understand we can’t 100% eliminate sexism within the community, because to do that sexism has to be extinguished in its entirety – and I just don’t see that ever coming to fruition. What we can do though, is break down these stereotypes and truly embrace our reverence for the industry and view every gamer as equal. Whether you’re a competitive gamer, casual, trophy hunter, FPS only or you prefer PC over console – It shouldn’t matter; I have my fingers crossed for the day that it doesn’t.