The Drama Llama.

So. A few days ago I came across the fact that there has been drama. Drama in minecraft.

Now. Of course we all know the internet loves a good argument, they occur literally everywhere and about any topic you could possibly think of. Usually the voracity of the participants is oppositely-proportional to how little they actually care about it. Which of course just makes things more exciting, Additionally the trolls like to poke with sticks. This rarely helps.

But. Drama in minecraft.

I was confused. Minecraft is a game that is so simple and so approachable, it has no real community structure in the game itself though certainly one can play on a server with others. Now, as I poked the reddit(read Internet*) to find some more information about this, I came across the posts relating to “MinecraftChick”, A female gamer put up as the face of minecraft and used for presenting things at Minecon. Suddenly things started falling into place….

The drama that occurred has been hashed out enough in all kinds of social media, so rewriting or explaining that seems like a waste of my time. However, I do want to reflect a little on my thoughts as I was finding all this out. And also on the merits of the rage that occured afterwards.

The initial reaction I had was that this was probably going to be nerdrage, The girl probably said something silly like quoting a crafting recipe wrong, and all the neckbeards went into attack mode immediately. I’ve seen this happen enough to be pretty desensitized to it, but I decided that I needed to check for myself, I had to look at a few of this girls videos and read the angry posts to see if these were viable complaints. For the record, It’s very sad that whenever a girl is criticized harshly on the internet, the initial reaction has to be “Are these guys just bitter?”

I venture forth! To Youtube!

Righty-o, First video she uploaded… “Right, so this is me, starting…  I don’t even know how to walk..” – Some of the first words uttered in the beginning of her first video, one year ago starting to play minecraft.

Now.. I don’t mean to be an elitist…(I do)..  But How can you not know that? I mean, there’s literally eight keys just on the right side of the keyboard whom all clearly have arrows on them, This is counting numpad of course. Everyone uses the arrow keys, They are used in flash games, to browse websites, to scroll in word.. I mean, they’re just such a basic function of a keyboard that you would have to be from the fifth century to be far enough removed from the cultural knowledge of what an arrow might represent. It is a little baffling that one wouldn’t assume the arrowkeys work, even for non-gamers. Gamers would use WASD. (duh)

Adding to this, WASD is probably as well known as QWERTY to anyone who has used a keyboard for more than a year, Though admittedly WASD will not be as obvious as the arrow keys to the uninformed when it comes down to gaming in particular. It’s a fact that not all people are gamers, this is sad, but it is true.

So, with what I have said above in mind it would be understandable for her to assume the arrow keys were the controls. And upon trying that she should have realised escape would be the key to press to find the control settings, and pow, she would be done. I can excuse not understanding WASD, but that is under the pretense that you are not a gamer… Anyway.. She finally finds out how to move, and promptly walks into the water and drowns.

So… Not a gamer then. She’s a girl who wants to get into gaming, which is something I salute, I’m a gamer who happens to have been blessed with the gift of breasts myself, and I’m kind of a proponent of girls kicking butts.  I know, That might come across as feminist or something, but it’s a noble ambition to have more ladies join in elitist nerdiness. And honestly.. I can give some leeway to a girl who wants to initiate herself into nerdiness in the first place, Because there’s nothing hotter than a girl who gets jokes about who shot first or whether or not these are the droids we are looking for.

The “Reddit Opinion”

Mind you I am not going to pretend this is reddit as a wholes opinion, This is simply the highest voted post attempting to explain the outcry of the many I found, therefore I use it as an example. Albinofawn wrote:

Allow me to explain the general distaste of this woman. It’s pandering. It’s blatant and blaring pandering. “I’m a gamer gurl!! TEEHEEE”. 45 videos into her pod cast playing she couldn’t tell the difference between gravel or stone. She’s the female who wants attention, she’s the female who instead of just saying “I like games.” Has to add gender in front of any game title. “I’m just a girl gamer! Minecraft chick! LAWL.”

A respectful community that is down to earth and supportive like the minecraft community felt disrespected by flaunting said abomination in front of them. Most are stating the company really needed an outgoing friendly face, which is understandable. But instead of actually picking SOMEONE (male or female) who showed an outright passion for the game, wasn’t clearly attention whoring, and had a decent gaming background.. they picked some chick off youtube who wore a pink wig and had to wiki on how to walk in minecraft.

WASD was foreign to her, how to not drown in minecraft puzzled her for a good 9 minutes. She wasn’t a part of the community, she was separate from it. Someone from the outside looking in seeing a vast opportunity to garnish attention and get delirious fan base simply due to her gender. She wasn’t funny, she wasn’t a great public speaker, and further more she isn’t a good gamer. To tack that as a ‘face’ onto minecraft was utterly insulting.

I am shamed by my gender. And feel empathetic toward the male counterparts who didn’t fall for the “Tee hee gamer guuurl” bit and stayed true to their opinions only to get dashed for it. It was a poor choice to get her, her followers may disagree but I promise you there are SO MANY MORE who agree. And that could be why the r/minecraft community reacted the way it did.

My conclusion

The nerdrage in this instance was not entirely uncalled for. There are many very viable reasons to say that the girl in this instance was an attempt at pandering to the community, and the opinion as quoted above points this out well. It isn’t about your gender as much as it is about your passion for games, or understanding of games. I do however think that some of the complaints are a little more personal than they are necessary, pointing out she wears a wig for instance, is over the line. There could be reasons for it, whether medical or physical. The point is that both those categories are personal.

Some people wear wigs. Some people have to, and It’s over the line to criticize someone for their appearance. If said appearance doesn’t matter to you as you claim in terms of gender or just dress-sense or other physical traits, you shouldn’t mention it yourself either. It exposes hypocrisy, and it’s not nice. I mean, Is it really not enough that she’s just not experienced enough for the job? Either as a speaker or as a gamer she lacks the experience to be a leading voice within the community. That’s more than enough to disqualify her. There really is no reason to make your own argument seem weaker by exposing a prejudice against her.

I’ll admit it myself, she annoys me. But Still, I don’t think anyone should bash her for her way of being or her appearance or anything like it. I wouldn’t want her representing EVE Online though, which is the game I myself am a resident Elitist in, And therefore I sympathise greatly with the minecraft community. If she is simply not experienced enough to stand on her own two feet about the subject matter she should not have gotten the job. It really is as simple as that.

There was a woman on the broadcast PvP tournament a few years ago in EVE, whom was not an experienced pvp’er and was there as a “pvp expert”. It offended me, I’m an experienced Pvp’er myself of the womanly kind, and it made me want to sign up for the role sometime simply so I could kill the rumour that girls can’t game. I was mostly offended because she didn’t know what she was talking about, and as one of the first girls on the broadcast in many years she was just fulfilling the “ditzy girl” stereotype.

She got a lot of this though, the rage, the personal attacks at her appearance and general dislike because she was not experienced enough to stand on her own two legs. It gave the impression that she was placed there to placate the viewers. To make it seem like it wasn’t just a guys game. – But it isn’t a guys game, There are a lot of girls who play it, It’s a Nerds game. And yet… the opinion is still prevalent in EVE that “Girls don’t play EVE”

So. This is something that crops up in many games, Still girls are sometimes met with disbelief if they are heard on teamspeak, sometimes believed to clearly be attentionwhoring simply for mentioning their gender. And other times they are assumed to be men simply because a lot of guys have exploited the fact that girls have wonderfull soft bits and nerds want to touch them too. Hopefully at some point we, the world, will get over this. Women are here to stay, a lot of us have been here all along, and all we want is to be treated like gamers. Not “gamer girls”.

Beyond that though, feel free to treat us like girls regardless. I may be a fairly hardcore and long-time gamer, but farting competitions and long talks about your trip to the toilet are still fucking disgusting.

-Tsu.

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