Vexation

After I started my new job at ArenaNet a few months ago, I was going to respond immediately to the bigoted, ignorant, and narrow-minded views of several people in various gaming communities. Since then I’ve been busy at work and at home, and frankly I haven’t been in much of a mood to blog, nor have I been able to gather the mental focus to sit down and organise my thoughts on this topic until now.

When I introduced myself to the Guild Wars community, I did not discuss my personal life or my personal worldviews at all. However, after some Google searching, some people decided to take it upon themselves to bring up issues related to my personal life and ideological beliefs.  Hearsay being what it is, a few even accused me of starting these discussions about my personal life in the first place.

It made me angry that people, who know nothing about be apart from what they found through Google, targeted me with sexist, misogynistic, anti-feminist, racist, and homophobic comments.

It made me angry that people made sexist and objectifying comments about my appearance. Apparently I am supposed to welcome comments from people (I assume they are males) saying that they’d “hit it” or “tap that” because they found me attractive. Comments that reduce me to an object without agency or will are compliments, right?

It also made me angry that people made racist comments. Oh wait, fetishising me because of my race is supposed to be a positive thing as well? Get a clue, people — it’s not acceptable. It’s racist and ignorant.

It made me angry that people who don’t have any clue about feminism believe that feminists are a threat to their “fun”. Following that line of logic, apparently sexism is fun? Eh, not so much. I find it depressing that the most basic tenet of feminism — equality between the sexes — should be viewed as a threat to the existing (un)acceptable behaviours in gaming communities.

While I am on the subject of feminism — I am a feminist. So what? There are games industry women, more famous, more high-profile, and with more widespread influence, than I who identify as feminist. Feminists are out there.

It’s irritating to read comments from people who mindlessly swallow all the stereotypes they’ve heard about feminism. Moreover, the idea that all feminists are ideologically identical is both stupid and ignorant. The main belief that all feminists hold is simply equality between the sexes. That’s it. Anything beyond that depends upon the individual.

It made me angry that at least one person did not welcome the fact that I am female. It’s a surprising attitude to find in 2008, but it exists. What was almost as surprising as this attitude is the fact that before and after I joined the game, the ratio of female and male Community Managers was identical. Why one would oppose maintaining the same female/male ratio is beyond me; god forbid the ratio ever be equalised at some point in the future.

It made me angry to have people speculate on and make assumptions about my sexual orientation, too. It was not acceptable for people to make the assumption that I am a lesbian, assume that I am out to everyone in my life (including work), and parade these assumptions around as fact — publicly to the internet. News flash: being a feminist does not mean that one is a lesbian and interviewing a founder of LesbianGamers.com for an online magazine doesn’t necessarily mean that one is a lesbian either. One a sidenote, it irritates me that people continue to cling so desperately to their narrow, black and white views of sexuality and sexual orientation, assuming that if someone isn’t heterosexual, they must surely be homosexual because nuances in the human condition apparently do not exist.

Furthermore, the homophobia that some people showed, after they assumed that I was a lesbian, was absolutely repulsive and apalling. There was even a comment from a homophobic “concerned parent” who was convinced that I was personally responsible for corrupting their child because some random members of the Guild Wars community decided to speculate on and discuss my sexual orientation.

Another thing that these people didn’t think about or probably even care about is: what if I was a lesbian and wasn’t out to everyone at work and at home? Did they even care that their comments and discussions could have an impact on my career and personal life? Not everyone in the world is equally tolerant, as evidenced by the “concerned parent” above, and unfortunately gay people often have to choose the terms under which they come out. To rob someone of that choice, regardless of the correctness of the facts, is wrong and thoughtless.

To make things perfectly clear: I am not a lesbian, but I am not not a lesbian. My sexual orientation, whatever it is, isn’t something that I’d even consider discussing with the Guild Wars community at large, much less any other random gaming community.

I did know that people would do Google searches on me. I knew they would find articles I’d written, interviews I’d participted in, and so on. My blog is public, and it’s not hard to link my handle to my real name. However, just because I expected some of these responses doesn’t mean that sexism, homophobia, racism, or all the rest of that shit are remotely acceptable.

Some gamers really need to grow up.

P.S. — Before someone tells me that I’m being too sensitive or that I’m too uptight and just need to get laid… News flash: I am sexed quite regularly, and yet sexism, racism, homophobia, and all the other bigoted and ignorant attitudes that fester in gaming culture still piss me off.

EDIT: 31 July 2008: Some kindly person has linked this on some fansite forums, and I’m receiving a new influx of comments. I don’t know why people feel the need to resurrect discussion on a post that I wrote well over a month ago, about stuff that happened nearly four months ago. I have moved on. You should probably do the same.

Fear not. The response that I received from the bigoted members of the community has decidedly not affected the way that I approach my job. I practice the fine art of keeping my personal life separate from my professional life. This may explain why, you know, I haven’t expressed my displeasure about these bigoted members of the community in Guild Wars fansite forums.

45 comments

  1. Matenshi Steve · June 18, 2008

    Hi, I’ve read your blog from the beginning, but I’ve never brought myself to leave a comment before. I wanted to let you know that not everyone is a jackass like these people, and that there are people out there who support you. You’re doing a fantastic job in GW. Try to not let anyone get to you too much (although I know that’s easier said than done); they’re not worth it. I may not really know you, but I know that you can rise above all of this crap to be your normal kickass self.

  2. Steven · June 18, 2008

    I have to say I am really dissapointed that the guildwars community has made you feel this way.

    I’ve been playing guildwars since very early on and in those days found it a very welcoming community.

    I must admit that the people I play with are the same people I met in those early days, maybe that says something about the change in dynamic of the players as its popularity exploded, I couldnt really comment any further.

    I randomly stumbled over your blog when reading the gw wiki’s when you first joined with anet, found some of your posts interesting and added the RSS feed to my newsreader to see what else you might have to say about guildwars or gaming or anything in general.

    I think its pretty damn well annoying and childish for anyone to take it beyond that and to the extent you described.

    I honestly hope you have more positive and rewarding experiences with the community on the whole in the future.

  3. Thomas · June 18, 2008

    Sounds rough. I sympathize–although on some level, the “concerned parent” is kind of funny, in a tragic way.

    “Oh no! My son/daughter has heard of the existence of non-straight people!

    That’s it. They’re putting another lock on the bunker in the basement where they keep their spawn, before someone mentions what the “T” in LGBT stands for, and the poor dears are traumatized for life.

    But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’s the job going?

  4. Clamatius · June 18, 2008

    In a nutshell: people suck.

    The only surprising thing about it for me at this point is that I’m still occasionally surprised by just how much people suck.

  5. Vickie · June 18, 2008

    If anything, the “concerned parent” is the very person who’s corrupting their own child.

  6. Josh · June 18, 2008

    Dear golly if only sex could be a cure for the ignorance of others.

    What a win win for the world that would be.

  7. bishless · June 18, 2008

    keep up the good work, brin.

  8. Sarah · June 18, 2008

    I’m sorry to hear about all your problems with gamers. Personally I have no problem with you and wish you the best of luck with Guild Wars! This entry was a good defense, so keep up the good work!

  9. Uj Aya · June 18, 2008

    You are not being too sensitive. They are wrong and the gaming world is sexist and we need to change it.

    Being both female and older, I’ve had many long years to observe the gaming community and it has miles to go before accepting females as equals. I have been flamed in exactly the same way for blog and forum posts suggesting that the sexism exists and that it needs to stop so that more females will join the gaming community.

    Most of the comments center around three things:

    1) I hate sex/am a prude/am frigid
    2) I am gay
    3) I am a feminist man hater

    Obviously this knee-jerk reaction says more about the commenter than the actual topic. Maybe there’s a scientific study out there that I missed, but last time I looked being feminist or gay was not equal to man hating or frigidity. Also the presumption that women who don’t like being harassed or treated badly just don’t like/get any sex is just stupid.

    Please picture the people making these comments as they probably are, 16 year old boys still living in their parents’ house terrified about gender roles and whether or not someone will think THEY are gay……or someone who never got past this stage of their life emotionally. I know plenty of men that treat women with respect and fairness in the gaming community, so I can only assume this is a behavioral problem brought on by stupidity.

    Also, congratulations for not answering the gay question. No one needs to know that but you. Whenever I see someone in game calling another player “gay”, I always pipe up and volunteer that I am gay. Whether I am or not is immaterial, but I have had gay players thank me for standing up.

    IGN: Uj Aya if anyone wants to harass ME for being female, feminist and maybe……..GAY.

  10. Brinstar · June 18, 2008

    Matenshi Steve: Thanks for the comment and support, and thanks for reading. :) I wouldn’t be in this line of work if I couldn’t see the positives of games communities. It’s disappointing that these people have to be such morons.

    Steven: Oh, I’ve had a lot of positive experiences in the GW community. I love the game, and most of the people I’ve met — even people in PUGs — are great.

    Thomas: It’s been irritating at times, but stepping back keeps me sane. The job is going very well, actually. :)

    Clamatius: Indeed people do suck. Is it sad that I’m usually not surprised? :P

    Vickie: Yeah. Not only is that parent so misguided, it’s weird that this parent took the time to rant about me at length.

    Josh: Ha ha, yeah.

    bishless: Cheers. :)

    Sarah: Thanks!

    Uj Aya: Thank you for the support. It’s disappointing how commonplace these backwards attitudes are, isn’t it?

    A problem with dismissing these idiots as 16-year old boys living at home is that it doesn’t hold them accountable for their actions. At any age, and at any level of maturity, these ignorant attitudes are wrong.

  11. steve · June 18, 2008

    Sorry to hear about the troubles with the internet jerks. Thank goodness not everyone is like that. Anyway, keep that chin up. ;)

  12. GregT · June 18, 2008

    Hey Brinstar! I somehow missed your announcement that you were the new Gaile Gray. It makes me want to come back to Guild Wars!

    Congratulations on an awesome job helping to produce an awesome product, and best of luck smacking those trolls down.

  13. Gunch · June 18, 2008

    OMG. Please tell me this kind of crap doesn’t still exist in this day in age.

    “Oh noes! My kiddo is gonna catch the gay from the interwebs in da online games!”

    WTF, seriously!

    Anywho, sorry people are giving you a hard time. Pretty much BS, but people are gonna express their opinions no matter what I guess.

    You are A-OK in my book, and I certainly think you are a million times better than the majority of the people I have associated with over the years.

    And yes, I would gladly let my kids hang out with you, no matter your political, social, religious, or sexual beliefs. You are an upstanding person, and I am glad to have met you.

    P.S. You are a feminist? First I heard of it. :-P

  14. Hey Regina, I’ve been looking the last few days of whats been happening with you and the community. As the previous comments present the facts quite well on the GW community, I am also sorry to have you go through all this. The intensity I saw in GWGuru recently is astonishing. It also frustrates me to know you’ve been disrespected in these many ways by the community. You have been doing a wonderful job Regina with all the crap, suggestions, complaints, and open letters. With all this, you will become stronger though as a person and as a worker. I’ve realized that through no negative experience, we are unable to learn and come out positively reinforced individuals. You will know who you are and what values, strengths, and weaknesses you have, and you can’t read that in a book or advice from a person, but through experience. You’re a strong person Regina to keep going and to stand strong of who you are and just remember the duties of your job and not the persuasive and hostility that comes from those of the community, tune it out. There are people of this community that don’t care about orientation or being a feminist, but passed all that. Thanks again for your hard work and ability to stay strong and communicate within a narrow crowd.

    Thomas

  15. Troy Goodfellow · June 18, 2008

    Ugh. That’s a rough welcome. Community management is a hard job in even the best conditions, but walking in and being the subject of speculation, derision and/or come-ons can’t be a lot of fun. Gaming communities easily slip into the homophobic/sexist/juvenile soup from which they emerged. And there really aren’t many gaming communities that aren’t like that.

    Glad to hear that you are being “sexed quite regularly”, though.

  16. Margret · June 18, 2008

    I have played GuildWars since 2005, and I must say I am both disappointed and ashamed to hear how the community is treating you.

    I am a female gamer, and must say while not entirely homosexual, I am not straight either.

    I have been through something very similar where a best friend decided that me being different is grounds for her to start ridiculing me and my partner in a public forum.

    I want to say kudos for this blog post, and that I agree with everything you said.

  17. guild war godess · June 18, 2008

    i’ve been playing online games for a long time. and have always found there to be more male players than female. i cant blame females for no playing when most of the males online are morons. seems to be more kids online. i hate it i want a nice online game with mature gamers. but sadly i have never found one. there are always people that have there ideals screwed up and am sorry for what has happened to you. i hope you keep up what your are soing if anyone has a problem with it, tuff its there problem not yours.

  18. Tara · June 18, 2008

    That was very well done. Thanks for saying all those things. I don’t know if all these people Googling you and making judgements on you and your life realize that if they were put in the spotlight people would find something just as awful to say about them.

    The remove and impersonal nature of the internet lets people say whatever they want without fear. Things they would never say to someone in person, because they can dehumanize you to an idea/concept/stereotype. You aren’t a person, you are a representative of everything they fear and as such there’s nothing wrong with attacking you.

    Bull, I say. You are putting yourself out there to help create a community and all these people are doing is destroying.

  19. guild war godess · June 18, 2008

    just wondered, does Brinstar read our comments and support ?. If so can you please answer me a question how did you come up with the name Brinstar…just been wondering….thx. and always remember that for every person talking crap about you, you have more behind you.

  20. Billiard · June 18, 2008

    Regina,

    Sorry to hear the community is being so immature about these things. It seems that so many people feel ANet employees are fair game, and people seem to forget that behind the names are real people, with real lives and feelings, like themselves.

    There just seems to be something about anonymity of the Internet that brings out the worst in people. I see it all the time on various forums. Sometimes you can do something something about it, many times you cannot. What really bothers me though is the fact that people go after community folks who are trying their best to help the community! It’s like biting the hand that feeds you. What’s more, it’s usually just a small percentage of the population doing this, but the Internet allows their voices to be amplified tremendously.

    I hope you come to see that most of the community is indeed 180 degrees different from this behavior you are seeing. The community wants and needs folks like you, especially now that the game has matured. A lot of folks are still passionate about this game and look forward to hearing more from you about GW and GW2!

  21. Shawn · June 18, 2008

    I think by the overwhelming support of your readers here in these comments, it’s evident that the people who really count are behind you 100%.
    You’re doing a great job so far, and that’s all anyone should be concerned about. It just sucks that reading GWGuru is part of your job, because that place is … well, you know :)
    Keep up the great work, Regina!

  22. DarkNecrid · June 18, 2008

    Sorry to hear you’ve been having a hard time, try to keep up the good work. I don’t understand these people, and their logic tends to fail (yeah, somehow sex is supposed to make you be okay with sexism/racism/etc? Man, if that was the case the human race would be doomed.) and I’m sure there’s a bunch of them who will read this and go HEH….SHE GETS SEXED A LOT or something. It’s dumb. Just try to not let them get you down and focus on the genuine good posts. :) The good thing about forums is that you can always use the report post function, and ignore people, afterall.

  23. Granny Monk · June 18, 2008

    I suppose I am one of those guilty of causing your vexation. On the day that I learned that you would be taking over as Community Relations in Gaile’s place I did the Google search and found your blog and picture. After reading just a few articles from your blog I went back to my guild’s forums and posted “Betcha 10k that the new Community Rep is a dyke!” Now, I am a dyke, and I really like dykes, and I’m certain that my guildmates who know me and know I like dykes did not think I was making a negative comment. To be honest I was excited about the fact that a lesbian/dyke/queer would be in such a high profile position in the game that I’ve come to love.

    I can see that this type of “outting” is inconsiderate and unacceptable, and I honestly apologize for that inconsideration. But I would like to point out that it is also possible that some of the speculation was not at all built around homophobia but just around… hmmmm… Homohopefulness.

  24. *vlad* · June 18, 2008

    ‘The Guild Wars Community’. In other words, people.

    To quote Neal Peart:

    ‘People are basically decent, conventional wisdom would say, but we read about the exceptions in the papers everyday’.

    Another quote by anonymous:

    ‘Don’t let the buggers grind you down’.

    Immaturity is rife in the world of on-line games. Keep your own standards up, and dont get involved in mud-slinging contests with morons.
    ;)

  25. Aevar Volsung · June 18, 2008

    The Guild Wars community is very interested in finding stuff out about you; we’re curious by nature.

    I think having a large volume of material connected with you and readily available on the internet makes you a target. There are people who are xenophobic, where simply uttering the word “feminist” will scare them. Unfortunately, anonymity of the internet allows these people to attack you belligerently without repercussion.

    Anonymity seems to bring out the worst in people and this is widespread in most internet communities. 4chan’s /b/ is a good example methinks.

    And I don’t think it’s going to get any better than that. The easiest solution is to ignore it.

    Anyhow, as a 3rd year player of Guild Wars, I would like to kindly welcome you and apologize on behalf of all good willed players out there.

  26. Dark Necrid · June 18, 2008

    Which mini did you get? :O

    also

    “Dark Necrid: Most of the forums have been okay. A lot of that stuff above was from individual guild forums, alliance forums, and user blogs. I think if that shit had gone down on the larger fansite forums, it would have got shut down, much like the GuildWiki discussion speculating about my sexuality got shut down.”

    Yes, it most definitely would have. Guru may be bad, but it isn’t that bad. That, and I do believe being an elite fansite, ArenaNet has some form of control over it anyways, since they don’t want to lose that gap. It sucks but if it ever came down to it, I am pretty sure you could force their hand anyways. :P

    I think a lot of people just get angry and say a lot of stuff they don’t mean on the internet…it’s so much easier to do when no one knows who you are. Even I have been upset and said things like the CR sucks or whatever, but that’s only because I become frustrated at times and feel like my side of the game (PvP) is sorely underrepresented ever since Alex Weekes left. :( There’s a bunch of issues in PvP right now, not even just mechanics and bugs, but like the Master of Damage schtick, and such, and I do tend to get a little mad sometimes, but I do think Gaile said it best (not an exact quote but something along the lines of…) “If they didn’t like the game, they’d get angry and quit. Sometimes its the people who get angry the most that really love the game” or something like that (so so long ago…*sigh*). Obviously I would never sink so low as to homophobic/sexuality/etc tendacies (I don’t even care that you are a girl…as it should be. Just so long as you do a good job!), and I’m not trying to excuse those people either, just trying to excuse the people who might get angry at your performance ever.

    I think you’re perfectly fine in the way you handled this, and don’t think you’re uptight at all. It’s good to let this stuff out in some form anyways, rather than letting it build up, psychologically. So kudos to you!

    (btw, if you get a White Rabbit or Mad King Thom I’m gonna be jealous!)

  27. Brinstar · June 18, 2008

    Steve: Thank you.

    GregT: It would be more accurate to say that I’m always who I was and Gaile Gray is still who she is. She’s just moved on to other things within the company. ;)

    Thanks for the well wishes.

    Gunch: Hey Gunch, thanks a bunch. (ZOMG that rhymes! :p) Anyway, thanks for the thoughts.

    One day I will visit your neck of the woods, hopefully soon and I can say Hi to Ling and Emily again and meet the new little one. :)

    Thomas T.: That Guru thread didn’t go without notice amongst the folks in my ‘pod’ either and they also marveled at the self-entitlement issues that so many people seem to have.

    Cheers for the thoughts and thanks.

    Troy: Thankfully the stuff in this post doesn’t seem to be an issue for most people now. I haven’t responded publicly at all within th Guild Wars community, as it would serve little purpose and focus attention on where it shouldn’t be.

    Margret: Sorry you had to go through those shitty experiences. :(

    Thanks for posting the comment. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to post this, because of the existing negativity within the community that brought about the post in the first place.

    guild war godess: Thanks.

    My nickname, ‘Brinstar’, comes from an area in the Metroid games.

    Tara: Thanks. :)

    I doubt that many of those people would say those things to my face if they actually met me.

    Billiard: Thanks for the support.

    Actually, since you mention it, I’ve found that many people in the community are pretty cool.

    Shawn: Thanks, a bunch.

    Oh yes, I definitely know Guru…

    It’s nice to see the sensible folk speak up against the idiocy on the internet. Every time I see that happen on the forums, it makes me happy.

    Dark Necrid: Most of the forums have been okay. A lot of that stuff above was from individual guild forums, alliance forums, and user blogs. I think if that shit had gone down on the larger fansite forums, it would have got shut down, much like the GuildWiki discussion speculating about my sexuality got shut down.

    Granny Monnk: You’re definitely not the only one who expressed positive opinions about who you speculated may have been a queer Community Manager for such a big game. I’m genuinely happy that a few folks commented positively about this, and publicly at that. My problem is that the entire situation descended rapidly to completely false assumptions because the speculation was based upon tenuously-joined “facts: (e.g. linking feminism to lesbianism).

    I am definitely queer-friendly, and that’s all I’ll say about that, since I’ve already addressed the sexual orientation issue in the post. :)

    *vlad*: Thanks.

    The entire reason I’ve kept all of this away from any of the GW fansites is precisely because I’d get so many moronic responses and frankly the topics I’ve raised in this post pertain to me personally, so I figured my personal site was the best home for this sort of stuff.

    Aevar Volsung: Curiosity, I expected. False assumptions and dissemination of false facts, I did not. Unfortunately I also expected some bigotry (and those expectations came true), but that comes with the territory.

    Yup, ignore it I have — I haven’t addressed it at all on the forums or anywhere connected with the game. However, I’m free to express my personal feelings and opinions on my own site, and I decided that it was better to speak out about this asshattery than to let idiots silence me.

    I’m a 3rd year player of Guild Wars as well. I get my third year birthday present this month. Woo hoo!

    Thanks!

  28. Twyst · June 18, 2008

    I’m glad that you posted a response the foolishness. I know it can be incredibly upsetting and frustrating for this crap to come up and i couldnt bring myself to go back to the Guru post after seeing it the first night.
    After my guild fell apart and then semi-attacked me for being a female officer in my guild, i quit.
    I still miss it sometimes, but seeing what happened to you on the site left a really bitter taste in my mouth. Seeing these posts of support from your GW people makes me miss GW again ;)

  29. Reaper · June 18, 2008

    Regina,I haven’t followed any of the updates since Gaile Gray,but I haven’t heard any complaints about you. I really think the things those ‘children’ post are absurd. They don’t give you a break.If I knew who it was,I’d spam them under in-game. ^^

    But believe me,I support you.And many other people.Don’t let go,girl,you’re a great GM!

    ~Greets Reaper.

  30. PBlue · June 18, 2008

    I was wondering why, unlike Gaile, you didn’t come online that often (well, at least not when I was on), so I decided to check the forums, but it didn’t become clear. So I went to look at your blog again. There it all became clear to me.

    It must be hard to try and do so much good for the gw community, and getting stupid remarks and insults in return.

    I noticed lately, all the community does is /wine and /nag and I’m ashamed about it. Nobody seems to remember the word “respect”.

    Although you are a Kurzick (hehe) I look up to you. It’s hard to replace Gaile, and she made the job seem so easy. But a lot of people clearly don’t get the fact that this is a very hard job. You communicate with millions of people, who call you by your first name, think you are their friend, want answers from you, want you to grant there every guild wars wish, etc.
    I really know how you feel, but gamers must face the fact that game girls are alive and kicking (their butt!) So respect, from female gamer to female gamer!

    Keep up the good work and hope I can maybe high-five you ingame once ^^

  31. Juno · June 18, 2008

    My 1st comment here, i know your blog for while…while before you went to GW (by the way congratz on both).
    The main reason am posting (not because am a GW player, which i am) is why are ppl so [bigoted slur removed]!

    On topic:
    I couldn´t care less of what people think of you!
    Am pleased i have a new face at @GW. New ppl new ideas.
    About you being female? com’on ppl!! we all know gaming community keep delaying emancipation day so….

    Keep up the good work!

  32. barb dybwad · June 18, 2008

    never underestimate the magnitude of Stupidity on the Internetz. much as i love it and given that it makes many wonderful things possible, it also offers an easy method for every asshat under the sun to spew ignorant drivel under the cloak of anonymity. it sucks that your initial experience stepping into such an amazing opportunity had to involve dealing with this egregious (and sadly all too familiar) level of crap.

    however i’m glad to hear that from the sound of “doesn’t seem to be an issue for most people now” later in the comments that the vitriol has subsided to a large degree. hoping you’re having megafun in the new job. onward and upward!!

  33. Brinstar · June 18, 2008

    I’d like to call people’s attention to something here. I would prefer if people didn’t use ableist terms, such as “retard” as I would like this to be an inclusive space. “Retard” is used as a derogatory insult, and it’s offensive towards those with mental illness. I’ve used such terms in the past, and after increasing my anti-oppression knowledge, there are terms I’m no longer comfortable using or hearing. So if you’re commenting, please keep this in mind. Thanks!

  34. Brinstar · June 18, 2008

    Dark Necrid: I haven’t got my mini yet. I’m supposed to get it sometime this month, but I forgot the exact day. I’m hoping for a Raptor or Roaring Ether.

    Twyst: Thank you. :-) I know all of the players aren’t like this, but not speaking up against this shit doesn’t do anything to change it, so after much thought and some discussion, I decided to write about my experience. Sorry you had such a shitty time in your guild. It sounds frustrating and upsetting.

    Reaper: Oh, there are complaints against me, just as there are complaints about every public figure. I just take it all in stride. Thanks for the support, Reaper.

    PBlue: Gaile used to spend a lot of her free time going in-game, which I don’t do. When I’m in-game talking to players, I always do it on company time, and usually when there’s something to talk about/reveal. I know why the majority of the community are acting the way they’re acting, but that’s another topic for discussion. Thank you for your support.

    Juno: Firstly, thanks for reading. Secondly, thank you for commenting. Thirdly, thanks for the support. :)

    barb: Yeah, I’m with you on that. I love the internet and I love technology and gaming culture, but there’s another side to it that makes me hate it so. Cheers!

  35. Pai · June 18, 2008

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re getting flak from lowlifes trying to put you in your place… I can only hope that others who see this happening have their awareness raised to the very real problem of misogyny in the gaming community.

  36. Josh · June 18, 2008

    Just wanted to add my voice to those offering support; you’ve done a fantastic job so far as the GW community manager. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched in awe as you deftly handle ‘situations’ on the Wiki and various forums. I think we’re very lucky to have you.

    I’d thought about inserting a few extra words of wisdom and whatnot, but they sounded trite and are probably nothing you haven’t already heard.

    So instead I’ll say that I really enjoy reading your blog and I respect your unwillingness to be cowed by the ignorant and narrow-minded. Keep on kicking ass, Regina.

  37. hex · June 18, 2008

    Hi Regina-
    I agree that your personal life has nothing to do with your professional life and I’m sorry that people drag that into it. That said I wonder what you expected when you read forums? It’s pretty common practice to be targeted online and made fun of/harassed/etc in forums. It’s not anything new, and it’s not anything restricted to you or your beliefs. Try to look past the crap and value the good posts.

  38. Brinstar · June 18, 2008

    @Pai and Josh:

    Thanks for your support!

    @ hex:

    I wonder what you expected when you read forums?

    Did you actually read my blog post? Pleae re-read this bit: “I did know that people would do Google searches on me. I knew they would find articles I’d written, interviews I’d participted in, and so on. My blog is public, and it’s not hard to link my handle to my real name. However, just because I expected some of these responses doesn’t mean that sexism, homophobia, racism, or all the rest of that shit are remotely acceptable.

    it’s not anything restricted to you or your beliefs.

    Uh, yes it actually was. Please re-read the part of my post where I explained the rampant anti-feminist sentiment that exists in the vast majority of gaming communities. Re-read the part where I talk about the racist response in gaming communities to my appearance. Re-read the part where I criticize the homophobic response to my suspected gayness. Re-read the part where I talk about the sexism and objectification. Just re-read the entire thing and get back to me when you understand what this post was about. Thanks!

  39. Steve - Kojun · June 18, 2008

    This blog entry is awesome. Finally to read something like this is very warming to me. As a gaming male I am constantly upset and surprised by the comments made by others. Some of the lurid derisive acid I read others saying about Gaile on private forums and the like was disheartening, and being on the internet for some time, that’s saying something.

    The tendency to outright blame CR is annoying and childish. No need to say more there.

    I often put myself in the shoes of others. In your case Regina, I would feel a commitment and duty to gamers to say as much as I could, to make things as fun and open as possible in a positive and gamers friendly atmosphere. But, it must be difficult with the terse and judgmental opinions voiced so often and so directly.

    Anyway much of this has contributed to my dislike of playing Guild Wars. I LOVE the game, it’s a good hobby for me and very rewarding on a gameplay level to make builds, use heroes and make good friends online. But the community; I don’t want to tar and feather everybody, it’s silly to do so, but I am aiming at forums and such. They can be very unwelcoming and I think that maybe the CR should stay away from such places and do their job as best they can in other, more progressive, formats. The wiki being one.

    Also, I am often shocked that gamers, especially female gamers, attack feminism under the guise that there should be no need to address gender issues as admitting they need addressing is to admit they are not equal. This attitude is truly grating and so aggressive. They seem to forget the thousands of years of oppression and injustice women has suffered through – like it never happened and then one day, bam, everything is fine and equal….

    Thanks for this little blog. Good stuff.

  40. Taffy · June 18, 2008

    It’s very sad that there are people who do this over forums, like you say they would probably never do it to your face.

    But we are not all like that, I’ve never been in or even seen a guild that would allow such things on their forums or chat. I’ve been playing the game almost 3 years, and would not put up with that kind of comments from anyone.

    Keep with it, the Guild wars community needs you and I think you have done a good job so far.

    And your PS made me giggle. Keep smiling, most of us play these games for fun.

  41. Taurucis · June 18, 2008

    Hi, just finished reading through all this and wow… I really know what you’re talking about.

    I am a girl gamer myself, although there was a period of time when I pretended to be male because of harassment.

    IMHO Guild Wars is very polarized when it comes to how friendly people are… either they wind up on your friends list or you want to scrub them off the face of the earth. And sadly the friendly people are getting few and far between.

    However I have to say that I’ve found the Guild Wars community to be the most sexist out of all the online communities I’ve met.

    There’s a gay guy I know on Guild Wars, he’s very open about it, and usually when people learn about it they say “oh ok, that’s cool” … well, except for the immature kiddies that freak out…

    However I sometimes get branded as “lesbian” because I don’t let some male warrior /dance in front of me, or I don’t strip my characters armor off for money. And then the real fun begins when the whole district gets curious… ¬¬’

    I get a lot of crap from people (mostly guys) because I’m a tomboy and a bit of a feminist, if I got a dollar for every time someone told me “fix me a sandwich woman” or “girls suck at gaming” or other sexist crap, I’d be able to afford a WoW subscription for me and my brother.

    Ah well, don’t let those kids get to you, their misogynistic attitude will be what keeps them from getting a girlfriend/wife later on.

    Cheers
    ~Taurucis

    P.S. I hope this message was not too hard to understand, when I write long sentences they come out funny, especially if I have to write them in a tiny box.

  42. Dylan · June 18, 2008

    Hi, Regina.

    I hope you don’t mind me commenting – I’m not trying to piss you off more by continuing to resurrect the long ago finished with discussion – but I’d like to just let you know we’re (the GW community) not all like that. There are some of us that also face the same issues on the forums and in game that you described in your post.

    It’s incredibly disheartening to think these kinds of attitudes still exist (and experience them first hand), and I for one am sorry you’re facing this kind of backlash – about things that have nothing to do with anybody else, or your job – so much more than the rest of us given your position.

    All I can say is stay strong and resolute, and know that there are plenty of us in the community that support you and your position (that sounded a little patronizing, but it wasn’t meant to be. I just find it such a shame that idiots still exist in the vast quantity in which they do)

  43. Brinstar · June 18, 2008

    Related to the ongoing #1ReasonWhy discussion currently happening on Twitter, I am temporarily suspending my policy of closing comments after one year. That Twitter hashtag is quite relevant to this post and people may wish to comment about it in light of this new discussion. I do this in solidarity with other industry women who’ve had similar experiences with sexism or other experiences, to further discussion.

    All other comment policies hold.

  44. Moosefaces · June 18, 2008

    So if you aren’t a lesbian and not not a lesbian, does that make you a Sylvari? :D

    All kidding aside, I’m sorry to bring this to attention yet again, but in my defense, you posted it to Twitter, that’s fair game! :D

    Ok, now all kidding aside (I promise!), I’ve already said some things on Twitter to you about my personal experiences and what I’m trying to do to combat all of this stuff.

    I tend to get a bit wordy, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I just wanted to say that I really admire you as a community manager. You are one of my favorites of who I follow. While I no longer want to work in the video game industry (this doesn’t have to do with me being a woman, more job stability), I still think I want to pursue Community Management. You and Martin are actually the two I look to as mentors and guidelines of really awesome community managers. I hope that whatever I end up doing (especially if it’s community management), I do it with the same balance of passion and discipline that you and Martin show.

    I also admire how you can just shirk off the negativity and not let it bother you, or at least not let the public see it bother you. I know that eventually it might get to you (I know from personal experience that sometimes it does), but I admire the strength you show to the public. You show them that you are here to stay and you aren’t going to let it get to you. I really, truly, admire that and I hope someday to be that strong. I think I’m getting there…but I think I still have quite a ways to go, too.

    Anyway, I said this wasn’t going to get wordy. I’m a terrible liar. :D Actually, this is pretty good compared to some comments I’ve left on blogs.

    Just keep fighting the good fight and thank you for posting this on Twitter. I really appreciate it. It needs to get out there, we need to beat it into people’s heads that it’s NOT OKAY to treat people like this, regardless if it’s just “on the internet”. People forget that there are real humans behind those screens. A good rule of thumb I live by is “if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it on the internet”. It’s served me pretty well so far.

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