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Showing posts from October, 2016

Be Vulnerable: Emotional Play and Toxic Masculinity

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Awhile ago I asked on my Facebook page (because despite help I still suck at Google Plus) why some cismen or male performing folks choose to play as women. The dominant answer I got was:

It lets me be emotional without repercussions.
What the what in the what? Men are playing women characters to explore emotional play because the little box of masculinity we gave them didn't give them access to emotions? I was more surprised than I should have been. A lot of the wonderful people who commented are people I admire and consider friends. They were brave and posted about this subject, or messaged me privately about their feelings.

I spend a lot of time talking about emotionality, emotional labour, feminism, creating space, and holding space but rarely do I point that towards the gamers in my life who struggle with being emotional in the gaming space. By no means is this a commentary on all men gamers or whatever, but there are striking commonalities behind the toxic masculinity we see i…

Game Review: The Hour Between Dog and Wolf

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Unlike a lot of games that have fantastical settings or premises, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf doesn't open up its book or website with flowery language and a captivating blurb. It's not that kind of game and it needs you to know that it's not that kind of game. It opens up with a simple, unsourced quote: "To fight evil we must first understand it, and to understand it we must, for a time, embrace it." That's all the game gives you besides a three paragraph blurb about the game itself, stating it's about a killer and an obsessed hero.

Now if you're like me, you love to dance in the darkness of humanity and see just what we're capable of from a safe and neutral distance. I will watch all the documentaries and films I can about serial killers because there's something inherently fascinating for me about them. I've read transcripts from murder investigations and back before I had a wide emotional spectrum, aka, when I was still on the birth…

Warrior Down: Pretending to be Nice

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I'm in a conversation on the internet about sexism in RPG art. The last poster has told me I'm a fat feminist no one should listen to. It's only been forty minutes since my initial post about sexist art being problematic. We've escalated quickly to this point. I reply that I give zero fucks what he thinks and being an asshole doesn't change the fact that the art is, in fact, gross and exclusionary. A few minutes later I get a post from a male friend who tells me I would get more flies with honey.


Why can't I just be nicer to the people who are participating in abusive behaviour? Why can't I be calm and gently explain why it's problematic nice and slow and with smiley faces and lols so that everyone can know I'm not serious about my oppression? Why can't I pause between the emails, webpage flooding, phone calls, and messages on social media about how awful I am to have a man removed from TAG to calmly explain to them all why he deserved it and wh…

Playing Safe: Making Women Welcome

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You walk into the gaming hall after buying your pass. You're brimming with excitement. What games will you play? What new system will you try? What new gamers will you meet? What new dice will you procure? As you walk in, you're met by the cacophony of gamer voices, coming at you from all sides as people roll dice, mark up character sheets, and proclaim victory. You smile. It's where you're meant to be. You look at the tables around you, all filled with excited people. The first table is all men. You look to the next. All men too. As you begin to glance around, you notice a few people looking at you, and at least one leering. Then you realize: you're awash in a sea of people who aren't like you. You're one in a small group of others. You're a woman.




If there's one question I get asked a lot, besides "Really?" when I refer to how much harassment women receive in the gaming space, it's "But what can I do?" This question is incr…