Why Law & Order's Gamergate episode pissed me off so much

Last Saturday night I curled up on the couch with my husband and dog, ready to chip away at some of the DVR backlog that inevitably piles up when I’m away on business for a week. I picked Law & Order: SVU, the show that sits half in the “guilty pleasure” and “I still watch this out of some sort of weird ass loyalty” categories for me.

When I saw it was “Intimidation Game”, aka the infamous Gamergate episode, I turned to Mike and said “if we’re going to watch this, I’m going to need a drink.”

This blog isn’t going to be a rundown of everything stupid, inaccurate, or overblown in the episode. Yes, I cringed when Ice-T robotically started talking about Civilization V: Brave New World. Yes, I threw up my hands and exclaimed “how can you only livestream something in 18 countries?!” and snickered at the crazy bizarroland of a video game launch the show created in order to have a plausible reason for their main victim to get kidnapped. All of that was stupid. But if you have seen as much SVU as I have (or even a couple episodes, really, because this happens all the time) you’ll know that their formula requires an over-the-top situation, they don’t love in-depth research, and even if they did perfectly research their topics, they still need to make it palatable and understandable for their audience and their genre. It’s not perfect. At least in the case of this episode, they tried to use gamer lingo and Ice-T sometimes pulled off his translation efforts as he explained to his colleagues what everything meant (although I posit that FAL is not something anyone ever says, although I’m totally going to try and make it a thing. It means “failure at life” by the way. Seriously.)


There are two things I’m pissed off about.


Thank you, Jonathan Mann (AKA my post on the "Factual Feminist" video and its unfortunate attempt to weigh in on issues around women and gaming)

Lately, I've been pretty involved in the discussions around women in gaming and what we do about promoting equality, respect, and safety within the gaming community. Truth be told, it's been a difficult journey for me. Since I'm no longer a visible figure in the gaming industry and don't run a communications department where my personal opinions might draw more attention and endanger myself or negatively impact the company and products I work to promote, I've found myself being more engaged in this topic and help further this conversation in a productive way. 

Man, it's been fucking exhausting and oftentimes soul crushing. 

This week, The Factual Feminist published a video on YouTube asking "Are video games sexist?" Not gonna lie - at the end of the 6 minute video I was actually shaking and wanted to personally say some very unkind things to the woman in the video. Instead, I decided to write up a point-by-point rebuttal to the video (since that seems like a more productive way to further the conversation while also squashing really asinine and bullshit viewpoints.) Those thoughts are below - however, I'm excited to say that Jonathan Mann made an amazing autotune of the video, complete with well-sung points refuting all the claims and assumptions bandied about in the 6-minute monstrosity. Jonathan's video also has an added bonus: I no longer have to post a video I think is so terrible I don't ever want to promote it but I still have a very awesome way to show you that original content (with breaks so you get a breather in between the infuriating blather!) 

Check out the video and give my thoughts a read - and please, remember to think critically on these subjects. These issues aren't black and white. 

Samus and her new stripper heels

Last week, the Internet spent some time talking about Samus Aran’s newest outfit in the upcoming Smash Brothers game for the WiiU and 3DS. While some websites (I’m looking at you, Polygon) wrote dull, short blurbs about the character reveals, others noted the obscenely high heels Samus now wore and decided to take umbrage with this new fact of life. And while a lot of these articles kind of sucked and many were published for the revenue the clicks would garner them because this is a sensational topic, I am more ashamed of those who ignored the issue (or didn't even see it as an issue) more than those who used it for clickbait. It’s a sad day when I’m going to link Kotaku as a notable publication to show, quickly and easily, how fucked up it is to put Samus in stripper heels.

Social media: A grammarian's personal circle of hell

If you are a writer, a reader, or someone who cares at all about the English language, social media probably annoys the shit out of you on a daily basis. The internet is rife with it's/its, they're/their/there, and other grammatical errors that people really should know better than to make.

While my personal pet peeve revolves around the proper use of "less" and "fewer", today we're going to talk about punctuation (and the importance of it.)

Enter our champion: the Badger Football twitter feed.

An entreaty to those who work in social media

Hey, people who work in social media? I have a bone to pick with you.

We all know that Twitter and Facebook are Important Marketing Tools. Like it or not, social media and interactive marketing (and advertising) is effective and on the rise. For this, I’m grateful: my job security is all but a foregone conclusion. Hell, when the Israeli Defense Force has its own verified Twitter account you kind of know that as a person who makes a living in community and social media you have a pretty flexible future work-wise.

Consumerist covers my United debacle.

First off: Thank you, Consumerist, for covering the note I sent you (and posted here) about what happened on my United flight.

As an update: I never received the email I was promised that would confirm my refund was processing. My sister and her husband were flat out told that regardless of what they were promised, they would not get a refund - they were also told neither would I.

I'm working on disputing the charge on my credit card, but I won't give up so easily because what United did was wrong and lying so blatantly to customers should not go unnoticed.

Consumerist Article

In response to gaming and geek culture’s desperate need to disparage women

Sexism exists. As a society we have come come a long way, but sexism still exists and we still have a lot of work to do to change people's attitudes towards women. I believe I am a strong woman. I believe in judging people based on what they do and how they conduct themselves in the world. As such, I am writing this response because I am completely and utterly sick of people who still feel the need to disparage women because they don’t fit a certain mold (note I say people here because both women and men do this and they equally sicken me.)

Today a man named Joe Peacock wrote an article that was featured on CNN titled “Booth babes need not apply” that went on to discuss women who he described as “6s” in the real world, but garbed in a geek tee shirt or cosplay outfit, became “9s”. He said these women were "a pox on our culture" and "just gross."

United Airlines: unable to fix a seatbelt.

This is a story of how United Airlines stranded me in Chicago, I missed my grandfather's funeral, and then United refused to give me a refund.

well that was fun.

This morning I woke up to an email from Surpass Hosting, the place that runs this here site, informing me that my site was suspended because I hadn't paid them. Given that I'm an idiot who forgets renewing yearly payments, I was fairly certain this should be an automatic withdrawal and that someone should have emailed me before suspending my account if that were not the case.

After some investigation, it became clear that my primary email address blocks Surpass Hosting's emails because they are flagged as spam - and I didn't remember my password - and to get my password, I had to get an email from them or login.

As you can imagine, I just had a fun couple of hours.

Welcome back, dahanese.com! I'll try and not forget to pay your bill next year, but chances are, I will.