With the feverish festivities of San Diego Comic Con well gone and the eve of its New York successor looming, geeks everywhere are on the hunt for something to hold them over. Activities like cosplay work, recovering from GISHWHES, crying over Breaking Bad and arguing over how terribly the new Star Wars movies were butchered have proven to be the most popular bets, with crowd favorite, Gaming, in the lead. What’s that, you say? The last video game you played was Diddy Kong Racing? The only thing you remember about tabletop games was that time your best friend kicked you to the Licorice Castle in Candy Land (and you’re still bitter about it)? Well, have a seat and I’ll regale you with all the up-to-date news on which games to invest in (and more importantly, which ones to hold off on) and how to handle the sea of angry trolls lurking beneath the still waters of gameland.
To kick off this two-part invention, I had the opportunity to chat with HelloGiggles’ very own gamer-extraordinaire and queen geek, Michele Morrow. Known to the rest of nerd culture as the Lady Sylvanas and the co-creator of FortPlay on the Skydart YouTube channel, Michele has spent the last handful of years establishing herself as a scream-queen actor and vlogging personality, making appearances and hosting shows on notable outlets such as Bite Sized TV’s Chicks With Joysticks and writing regular columns for Nerdist. She serves as resident gaming expert and fan of all things nerdy here on HelloGiggles, so who better to convince you to update your console than the Duchess of High Geekery herself?
Hi, Michele– let’s start off with something simple. Why do you think gaming is such a big part of Geek Culture?
Michele: Gaming is immersive! They each govern their own imaginative, expansive worlds. Challenge, escape, role-play, social interaction…. we can dive into the lore, go for achievements, or play quick matches. Some people are inspired by it, and for some people it’s a lifestyle.
What do you think it is about gaming in general that makes so many women afraid to jump into it?
M: Marketing. One of my first articles on HelloGiggles, “Your Princess Is No Longer In Another Castle”, goes pretty deep into it. In the beginning, it was simply new tech. But then, of course, it had to be promoted. Video games were getting more “mature”, so the industry needed to branch outside their original family demographic. They stopped casting girls in video game commercials almost entirely and started branding toward the male audience. I witnessed this growing up. It’s an old stigma, but to be honest, we’ve broken through a lot of it [recently].
Still, it can be tough for females to break into gaming without a slew of sexist or lewd comments being thrown their way. How do you recommend women handle this?
M: It depends. I have lots of friends who’ve dealt with the internet’s wrath and it sucks. If your dream is to be a gaming personality, your first rule is: don’t feed the trolls. Taking anonymous comments to heart on the internet leads to tears and/or frustration – so do not respond unless absolutely necessary. If the comments seriously bother you as a person and the way you’re able to function, then just delete or ban that person. Someone else may tell you not to delete the trolls, but I just think… why give them your forum to spread their hate? If you have a strong passion, don’t ever let others poison your creative space.