You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

books_1448404bWell, I finished my first audio book today (Yay me!).  I have always been interested in trying to listen to audio books, but have always shied away from them for the fear of not staying connected to the book.

But over the past few weeks I have been enjoying this book mostly because it is read by Felicia Day herself.  I’m nerdy…no REALLY…I’m SUPER nerdy.  I have collections of video games, role playing games, videos depicting gaming, along with a great number of other nerdy things.  I love watching shows like The Guild and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.  I love playing Setllers of Catan and Empire Builder (My personal fav).  I adore sitting down with friends around a table to a D&D adventure.

Yep…that nerdy.  So hearing that Felicia Day was going to be reading her book was super exciting to me.  I have been a huge fan for quite a few years.  I was so excited to hear how she wanted the book to sound.  And…extra nerdy moment…Joss Whedon wrote AND READ the forward.  So, here is my attempt at talking about a book, something I have only done on an academic level before.

Hearing about Felicia’s life was somehow very natural and authentic.  Felicia talks about all of her positives and negatives with an air of someone who has seen everything as something that has shaped her into the person she is today.  And even better, she does it in a way that feels very much as though she is not upset or bitter over the negative.  So often we do not hear about things like depression in a good way.  And yet, Felicia talks about it so healthily that you cannot help but think that she has grown from the experience of it.

Her chapters on the Guild, World of Warcraft, and GamerGate were by far my favorites (Chapters 5, 6, and 11).

Her narratives on World of Warcraft were so representative of my own experiences in the game that I shed a little tear thinking about the years that I spent raiding in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.  She was definitely right.  It was the people that had me logging on every day to raid for hours.  The relationships that I made kept me coming back, again and again.  I have been blessed to see those relationships come full term, as I have met some of my gaming friends in real life (IRL for those of us who know the term), and have enjoyed meeting each and every one of them!  And yes, some sucky things happened from a gaming addiciton…but some great things happened too!  Those relationships are the reason that I still pay $15 a month even though I can only log on once a week nowadays.

Hearing about Felicia’s experience with The Guild made me love the web show even more, as though I do not already spam watch it to have a feel good day once in a while.

And, finally, listening to Felicia talk about the GamerGate scandal filled me with such rage that I want to destroy said entity for existing in any part of the world that we live in.  The idea that people think that anything they say is okay because they are on the internet fills me with a burning frenzy of hatred for misogyny.  I am a pretty hardcore, in your face, feminist.  Hoping for equality for every person in our world is my biggest dream in life (my Miss America speech everyone!) And I work pretty hard to try and help overcome the effects that sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, and all the other isms, have on our society today.  Listening to Felicia be so scared to speak up about something, hearing her talk about crossing the street instead of meeting fellow gamers head on, it was sad to me.  Most of all, it reminded me of the issues that most women experience because of their gamer status.  Most of the time we are treated fairly by those around us, but once in a while you have a guy that won’t raid with you because you must not know how to tank for a raid because he hears your voice on ventrillo and knows you are a female.  While that should be a laughable situation, I experienced this exact thing during a raid, and it shattered my confidence in tanking for quite some time.  (Tank is a term that applies to the person in the raid that keeps the bosses attention on them, so that damage dealers can kill it without being squished).  And just for the record, I have played a tank in World of Warcraft almost since I started playing.  I am proud to say that I have been an effective tank for almost 7 years, keeping my lower healthed raid operatives alive by not allowing bosses to smoosh them!

Overall, I loved this book.  I loved how Felicia not only brought out her nerdy and awkward side.  I love how she showed us that being weird is not the problem.  Being weird is the solution to finding your own way in life.  Embracing your weird is what makes you great!  Thanks Felicia!

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