A new place to write

I've started writing on Medium.

Before, when I had something I wanted to write about, I'd post it here. Usually my posts would get decent traction (and then there was that time that Kotaku had a slow Friday and published an article about one of my blogs.) Most people who come here, though, are people who know me or my friends, and you guys can hear me pontificate about what I write about over a beer or on Mumble. 

So I started writing on Medium. 

I write about work issues and philosophies, tech, women's issues, hobbies, current events: the normal stuff you'd see me writing about before. Right now, I'm publishing about once a week, and so far I've had some really good pick up and positive feedback on my work, which has been really motivating for me to keep going. Medium Staff has even recommended a couple of my articles, making me feel like I'm headed in the right direction. I'm an English and Creative Writing major, after all: it's about time I started holding myself accountable to publish stuff regularly. 

I'll still be writing over here but it will be increasingly personal bloggish type stuff. I'll leave the Big Topics for Medium - and I hope you come read them. Tell me what you liked, what you didn't like, and tell me what you want to hear more of. (Seriously. I need topics. Please send help.) 

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. 

It is getting better

This is a short blog post, but it's an important one.

There's a lot that needs to improve in the world in terms of equality. I spend a lot of time advocating for equality, pointing out problems, and asking difficult and sometimes uncomfortable questions. But the fact of the matter is that things are getting better - not universally, and not as quickly as I think they should. But things have still improved. 

Here's an example: Naughty Dog's development team has more females in it than I think I've ever seen before - and apparently only about 2/3rds of them. I worked at devs I thought had a fair number of females, but their ratios paled in comparison to this picture (and while I don't know the jobs of each of them, it sounds like the diversity of skills is kick ass.) 

Thanks, Naughty Dog. You are awesome. Keep making awesome games and being pretty goddamned rad. 

Why working in gaming doesn’t mean you are okay with sexism

Last night I agreed with someone on an internet forum that the community I posted in was often misogynistic and within 20 minutes was likened to an African slave trader.

Okay, you’re probably pretty confused right now so here’s the explanation: the guy said it because I worked on Duke Nukem Forever (DNF.)

I’m writing today’s post with a bit of a heavy heart because very few people have said something rude like this to me because of my work on that game: I can count them all on one hand. That being said, these people reside almost exclusively within the internet community that I’ve called home for over a decade and they have made my work on that game a rallying cry in an attempt to discredit me when I talk about misogyny, sexism, or inequality in gaming. I’m not going to lie: it’s unpleasant to be threatened, to know that when you want to post about your experiences as a woman you are going to be insulted, so I’ve decided to take that negativity and turn it into a productive discussion.

Let’s talk about sexism and misogyny: an opening gambit to actually having a conversation

I’m not really sure how to start this blog post, so I’m just going to dive right in and get into it. Hi. I’m Elizabeth Tobey. I’m a woman, and I want to have a conversation about sexism and misogyny and what we can do to create more equality between men and women.

Before we begin, let’s frame this post a little: this is the beginning of what I’m going to make into an occasional series on my blog, so please take this as a jumping off point in our conversation and please understand I want this to be a conversation (so many blogs are soapboxes, mine included despite my best intentions sometimes) – so share this, leave a comment, ask questions, tell me what you want to talk about next.  I’m not going to decree something. I’m not going to solve a problem or point a finger: in fact, a big part of what I aim to do here is to try and be a place where we can (figuratively) talk with normal voices, listen to each other rather than waiting for our turn to speak, and stop making this issue into a warzone and instead turn what’s (unfortunately) right now a debate into a dialogue.

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.

On Shitty People (Or, How Elan Gale Made Me Realize Allie Brosh Is The Best Person In the World)

If you are reading this blog, you likely use social media (or at least the internet) and therefore know about Elan Gale’s shenanigans last week. If, somehow, you have a printout of this article, here’s the TL;DR: Elan Gale is a reality TV producer and live tweeted an interchange between him and an angry-holiday-traveler woman (named Diane) on a delayed Thanksgiving flight. Diane was a stereotypical self-righteous, inconvenienced traveler. Elan Gale played out the fantasy of many who have been stuck on a delayed plane with a loud and self-righteous person who believes their delay is worse than everyone else on the plane: he sent her sarcastic notes and alcoholic beverages to tell her to chill the fuck out. Diane, in turn, sent back self-righteously indignant replies, culminating in the climatic final act you could have guessed from the outset: Elan Gale told Diane to eat his dick repeatedly and when the flight was over and he tried to tell her just one last time for the lols, she slapped him.

Bad days in the gaming industry

I run the community department in the gaming industry and I am having a Bad Day.

But not in the way that you think.

This blog entry is not about tirades, mental break downs, or lapses in judgment. There’s a lot of that in our industry, and people who work in my field are particularly notable examples, but that’s not the kind of Bad Day I’m talking about.

I’m personally having a difficult time in life right now and it’s making me realize how much more difficult that makes the outward facing component of my job.

The Johari Personality Experiment

The other day a good friend of mine posted her Johari Window on Facebook. This model, created in the 1950s, was designed to map personality awareness. The subject set up the experiment by selecting 6 words out of a preset grouping of 55 total words. From there, the subject saved those traits and sent the same set of words out to friends and colleagues to help complete the Window.

The results of the experiment break down into 4 categories: Arena (the traits the subject believes of herself and her friends agree about), Façade (traits the subject believes about herself yet are not known to her friends), Blind Spot (traits others believe about the subject, yet the subject does not see), and Unknown (traits no one associates with the subject.)

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.