Tag Archives: welcome

Hi from Joana

I’m Joana, I’m 23 and I’m from Brazil. Studying Journalism at the moment in the university, I’m almost at the end of it. I enjoy reading and writing (wrote a little fairy tale book about a princess who cuts heads off). I’m a feminist (yes, so is my princess, who wears trousers) and I love gaming since I was seven, I suppose. I don’t remember when I first got my hands on a joystick, but I remember it was my parents’ Atari 2600. My favourite game back then was Snoopy and the Red Baron. You were Snoopy on top of his house and you had to shoot theses red airplanes that looked like they were from World War I. When you shot them down they turned into a bag of popcorn or something. Awesome.

I got a Mega Drive next, loved Sonic, my childhood hero. Sorry to see what has become of him. I loved Streets of Rage, Tom Jam & Earl, great games. Then I wanted a Super Nintendo, I was fascinated by Donkey Kong Country. When I got to the shop, the guy there put me in front of StarFox 64 on the Nintendo 64. It’s a shooting game in space, in case you don’t know. I couldn’t believe it, it was too good, the controller even shook when I bumped into some obstacle or was shot. I got a N64 and it was one of my best videogames. Loved Zelda Ocarina of Time, still think it’s the greatest game ever. Loved Banjo-Kazooie, Mario 64, Mario Kart, Pokémon Stadium, Zelda Majora’s Mask and many others.

Continuing my videogame saga, once the N64 got old, I got a Gamecube. This one I didn’t play as much, I was studying hard at the time and I didn’t have any friends who got one, so I ended up with few games. My favourite from this videogame was Zelda Twilight Princess. I got a Wii now, I’m so very happy with it. I already have a friend who owns one and we lend each other games. I couldn’t believe it when I played it for the first time in a shop, it was the most fun thing in the world to cut grass in Twilight Princess thanks to the controller. This was the main reason I got a Wii, I love the idea of the character on the screen repeating my movements, it’s so much more immersive for me.

Joana's Mii

Joana's Mii

As for handhelds, I got an original GameBoy (with Pokémon Blue) and a Nintendo DS Lite. I don’t play them as much, but they’re good for when you go to a place where you have to wait and don’t have enough light to read or for when you won’t have much time and just want to have some quick fun.

I always notice the lack of playable female characters on videogames. It’s as if they’re ignoring half of the world’s population. Are they mad? That’s sad for me as I love games so much. I’m a female, I want to play as a female. It’s an identity matter. And, please, a character who is dressed and prepared for the challenges she must face, not wearing small shorts while it’s snowing. Yes, that exists, I’m not exaggerating. Check Tomb Raider Anniversary.

I’m putting my Mii as my picture as I think she is rather cute. And she gets to star in loads of games such as the multiplayer of WarioWare: Smooth Moves. Not a fan of Wii Sports though. Oh, a Mii is an avatar used in the Wii, in case you’re not familiar with them.

What a Twyst.

EJ Robyn

Electrons are Jumping, baby.

I have been very neglectful of writing an intro.  Mostly because I am not a huge blogger and because I am very overwhelmed by the awesome that fills this site. So many wonderful people, all in the same place!

I am honoured and humbled to be included here.  I mostly go for the ranty comedy, which is probably what you will see from me here.
To the point, about me.  I am a Canadian, straight, white, TAB woman.  I’m a game producer for Electron Jump Games. I started gaming when I was very small.  My grandmother was an elementary school teacher, who loved card games, puzzles, crafts and board games.  From there, I played games on the family’s Tandy 1000 until the triumph that was my 7th birthday, when I was given a seemingly difficult choice — a party and many presents, or one big present — the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Of course, the choice was easy, the NES won, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I went to school in hopes of becoming a lawyer, but by second year university, i had decided that that life wasn’t for me.  I completed an interdisciplinary degree – an honours double major in Psychology and Communication and decided I wanted to work in games.

Robyn and Spider-Woman

I have always been a fan of comic characters, but my first love (games) introduced me to my second love (comics).  Playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance (1), I was reminded of Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) who had been a favourite of mine as a child.  Right around that time, Brian Michael Bendis was bringing her back, and I ate it up.  Thus, I am also a fan of comics.  Mostly the heroines and foremost amongst them is Spider-Woman, as per my avatar.  I have gone to a few conventions with Marvel, and done their liveblogs for/with them. I collect heroclix. I’m trying to take up sewing.  I’m a feminist.  I go by Twyst on the internets (like Twitter). That’s me.

Lake Desire’s Intro

Hello.  I’m Ariel Wetzel, also known in virtual spaces as Lake Desire.  I’ve blogged about feminism and videogames since 2005 on my site New Game Plus.  I’m also a contributor at Feminist Science Fiction – The Blog! I’m thrilled to be invited to a group feminist gaming blog.

Ariel (Lake Desire) at at her dinosaur themed 25th birthday party.

Ariel (Lake Desire) at at her dinosaur themed 25th birthday party.

Identity-wise, I am 25 years old, white, working-class, cyborg, vegan, temporarily able-bodied (I learned that term on this blog!), queer (bisexual but currently in a relationship with a queer cis-man), and mostly cis-female with some gender-queering habits.  I’m a first generation university student, and somehow have been accepted into the ivory tower as a graduate student in English at University of Washington. I study science fiction, women’s studies, radical politics, and cyberculture.  Politically, I am a social anarchist, meaning I believe in a non-hierarchial participatory economy that is run democratically by workers and consumers.  I also believe in collective liberation, which means that all of our struggles against oppression are interconnected and we will all benefit from the liberation of one another.

I’ve been less active in blogging over the past few years as I’ve gotten more involved in offline activism, but I am slowly trying to integrate blogging and non-academic writing back into my life.  Currently, I am active in organizing my fellow graduate students against privatization and demanding more democratic control of our workplace and university.  In the past, I have in the past been active in feminist, anarchist, animal rights, anti-war and anti-racist groups.

I may not sound like your typical gamer, but I’ve been playing since I was a toddler.  I’ve tried to quit a few times, especially after I spent my entire freshman year of college playing Final Fantasy XI instead of making friends, but these days I manage to keep a balance.  Gaming, for me, is largely social, whether it’s board games and D&D, or a Wii party game or Xbox Live.  I’m frugal, so I’m usually play whatever last year’s hot game was.  I’m currently playing Resident Evil 5 with a friend, and recently beat Bioshock and Mass Effect.

I look forward to getting to know you all.

P.S. I am “lakedesire” on Xbox live if you’d like to friend me.

O Hai!

The lolcat says "Oh hai!"

No, I wasn't about to do anything...why do you ask?

Oh, hai!  I’m Jadelyn, a 24-year-old bisexual white ciswoman.  My collection of identities includes feminist, Witch, polyamorous, progressive, queer activist, trans ally, fat-positive/HAES advocate, anti-racism ally, anti-ableism ally, and probably a few others I’m forgetting.  Oh, and also gamer, of course.

These days I’m unemployed, living with my (male) fiance Ozzmodious, trying to finish my degree in Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz.  The rest of the time I’m reading fantasy, blogging over at my home blog, WitchWords, writing fiction, making jewelry, Tweeting, and gaming.

A female Mesmer character from Guild Wars

No, I DON'T play MMOs. Guild Wars is the one exception.

As far as gaming goes, I’m a semi-casual gamer, mostly into console gaming.  I started out with Red Faction 2 for the PS2, playing against my brother every day after school when I was a teenager, then migrating over to the Xbox when I moved out and had to get my own console.  These days, I’m a fan of the 360, although I also play Warhammer 40K, Shadowrun, D&D, and Warlord, and I have some friends trying to pull me into Magic.  I don’t like MMOs much, and refuse to play WoW as a matter of principle.  I’m currently replaying Mirror’s Edge for the nth time, since we got a used copy for Ozz’s PS3 while we wait for me to find work so I can buy a 360 – say what you will about the thinness of the plot, the gameplay is unspeakably fun – and I’m about to start on Prototype, now that Ozz has finished with it.  If I can ever get my shit together enough to start, I’ll be running a Shadowrun campaign long-distance with my family and friends out in Tennessee, and like I mentioned, Ozz and his friends are trying to teach me Magic.  Any suggestions on what kind of deck I should build, please feel free to offer!

Around these parts, I’ll be focusing mainly on the intersection of feminism and gaming, perhaps with some emphasis on queer issues in gaming, simply because that’s what affects me most.  Once I have a job and can afford Gamefly again, I will start posting semi-regular game reviews from a feminist progressive perspective.  Because gods know your average game reviewers don’t think to let you know things like, “There is not one single woman character in this game that is anything more than a one-dimensional sex object with ginormous breasts that the designers spent way too much time on the physics of.”  And for as often as that’s a problem in gaming, you’d think someone would say so once in awhile.

Hello World!

Me in my home world in Metaplace

Me in my home world in Metaplace

This is a gaming blog so I will start with the gaming credentials.  I am a woman gamer that has been playing since I first spied an Atari 2600 at my aunts house when I was around eight years old.  Space Invaders was the game and after playing it the entire visit I was hooked.  My parents sealed the deal when they bought me and my brother a ColecoVision for Christmas that year.

Since then I have played just about everything except for the latest systems since I switched to only gaming on my PC and Wii is the last few years.  My favorite games are RPG or in recent years MMOGs, though I will play anything at least once just to see if I like it.  As for virtual worlds I spend a huge amount of time in Metaplace, a new virtual world created by Raph Koster, and I’m a very active creator of content there, but I also drop into Second Life from time to time.  Currently, I am playing Champions Online and Dragon Age is on my list of games that I really need to get a hold of when my budget allows.

Which minority groups do I belong to and why am I here?  To start I wasn’t always a woman gamer, I started off as a guy gamer, well on the outside I was.  I was born a boy and lived my life as a man until I was 29.  I just couldn’t take it any more and had to come clean to the world that I was a woman and have always felt like one.  My whole life was thrown up in the air and what came down was mostly shattered into pieces.  Relationships were strained or ruined, arguments were had, and life continued only this time with me completely happy for the first time in my life.

The smoke cleared and 4 years later I am in a new job, in a new house, and have disappeared as a man completely.  They call it stealth in the Transsexual (TS) community when one of us disappears completely as our birth gender, a term I have always hated because it implies lying.  My past didn’t disappear because I lied about my past or had huge amounts of surgery or moved to a new city, though many TS people do these things to live free of their past.  I am stealth because I don’t look like a man, don’t sound like a man, so no one ever thinks to ask me if I used to be a man.  My life reset and the only things that stayed with me were my family, well those that hadn’t dropped me out of their lives.  I am happily married to my wife of six years, if our marriage is still valid is another confusing question that varies state to state, we have a son that is five and I have a daughter from my previous marriage.  To the world, I am an out lesbian with a couple of really cool kids living in a very conservative area that doesn’t particularly like out lesbians.  Inside, I feel guilty that I am not doing enough to make sure TS people like me aren’t forgotten and ignored, even if you can’t tell we are here we could be your coworkers, your neighbors, or your friends.

Many TS people become an invisible minority and invisible minorities have a really hard time not being discriminated against.  I am here to make sure I speak up for myself as a TS woman, a lesbian, and a mother that happens to be a gamer.  Games were my first coping mechanism, they were a place where I could be myself or lose myself completely and I can’t think of a more fitting way to give back than talk about how games apply to me as a person and how they look from my unique angle.

- chooseareality

Deirdra’s Obligatory Welcome Post

Me, circa June 2009.

Me, circa June 2009.

Devastatingly witty greetings to you, dear readers of the newly minted Border House! My name is Deirdra and I design and develop video games. I will also be one of your friendly neighbourhood contributors to this here blog, which I look forward to, seeing as it’s run by extremely awesome people. Maybe if I stick around long enough, the collective awesomeness of everyone here will rub off on me a little bit. We can only hope…

Anyway, apparently, I’m supposed to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m a mid-twenties female-bodied human being of mixed race, born in the Canadian prairies and currently residing in Vancouver, BC. Several of my childhood experiences, as documented in this short Flash game, taught me that I was a failure at belonging to the dominant culture in which I was raised, which eventually led me to adopt an identity as an outsider; bearing that in mind, my interest in feminism, anti-racism, and other anti-oppression work is very much a personal one. The fact that people are allowed to be marginalised and silenced in our society for what to me are extremely trivial reasons completely boggles my mind… and yet it happens all the time, all around us, to the extent that many of us are conditioned to not even notice it exists.

Me, as I appear in my faux-pretentious indie game, "Des Rêves Élastiques Avec Mille Insectes Nommés Georges"

Me, as I appear in my faux-pretentious indie game, "Des Rêves Élastiques Avec Mille Insectes Nommés Georges"

As for my gamer cred… since I am, of course, a member of the generation that was born around the same time as the NES, I’ve been playing video games for as long as I’ve been able to push buttons. (Much to the detriment of my older cousins, whom I have vague memories of annoying by yanking away the controller and mashing to my heart’s content whilst causing the on-screen avatar to die a horrible death.) Most of my gaming was done on the PC, because my parents wouldn’t let me have a console, so I cut my teeth on shareware games such as Commander Keen and Wacky Wheels, and edutainment titles of the likes of  Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Of course, it was when I discovered LucasArts adventure games — particularly Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and the Monkey Island series — that I had an uncontrollable urge to someday grow up to write games that were every bit as creative, imaginative, and witty as they were. Several years of schooling and tinkering around with tool sets later, I’ve gotten to the point that I can make a living doing so. Of course, in those intervening years, the game industry, shall we say… changed a little bit, to the point that the kinds of games that made me want to get into this business in the first place ceased to be thought of as commercially viable by the industry, and that bland, ultra-violent testosterone fests were where all the money was at. As such, I put much of my hope and energy into the “indie” side of the industry, both in terms of my day job and the personal projects I undertake in my spare time — and this, as you may have guessed, is where I will be focussing the bulk of my posts to this site.

Hopefully this is enough of an infodump to give you a sense of who I am and what I do; if you’d like to know more, there’s a website for that. Until then, I bid you all adieu, and look forward to what becomes of this interesting new space!

Hi I’m Jalestra

Jalestra

Jalestra

Hi, I’m Jalestra…or Angi. I’m a stay at home married mom of 5 children that I homeschool. I don’t particularly identify with groupings so well. I can say I’m deaf and a woman and I’m pagan and I’m poor and I’m overweight. I’ve been discriminated as each of those and as a breastfeeding mom and a defenseless child.  In order to understand where I come from on many of my opinions it’s good to know I’m from Texas and I was an abused child.

The thing is, being all these things, I probably overlook a lot of what some folk call discrimination. In some cases I do roll my eyes, because I feel that folks take it too far. This is not because I am anti-anything, this is because I was abused. It’s really hard to take offense at many of the insults thrown our way because words have never hurt me the way a fist has. Not that I wasn’t verbally abused, I was. But you know, broken bones have always hurt far more. Insults just meant I wasn’t getting hit. So when someone says something against women or against gays I usually let them be. If they want to feel that way, provided they aren’t with me or in my home, that’s their right. I will try to engage a discussion, but I will not hit them over the head with it. I find that trying to shove things down someone’s throat usually had the opposite affect and I want to be as effective as possible.

It’s no surprise to find that originally fantasy stories were my way of escaping my life. Then came the discovery of table top RPGs. I played D&D for years with a group of guys before it was cool to be a gaming female. It was always cool for the guys. You usually had a bunch of guys who didn’t get a lot of females in their lives, so they always thought I was awesome. It was 10 years before I moved to online MMO’s starting with Redmoon and covering many others until I’ve settled on my 2 fave MMO’s, Guild Wars and City of Heroes/City of Villains, and I’ve been a member of Second Life for 4 years. Actually my biggest problem with any game is not gender or lifestyle but lack of captions! Games have incorporated a lot of speaking parts and many game designers do not run captions for those of us that are deaf. It’s irritating, but I’ve learned to turn my attention to games where it doesn’t matter or where there are captions. Occasionally I may point out a deaf friendly game just because you should know.

While many here are far more active than I am, I’ve learned to work with my environment. In Texas the minds of many folks are pretty set, you have to work to change those minds. So I work on a smaller scale. I’m the one who sits beside the bigots who watch the marches on TV, maybe the other bloggers have been in some of these, and engage a discussion. I don’t argue or yell, there’s plenty of room to point out problems. Not that I don’t want to march or don’t want to do my part, but I take my smaller part because I can’t do those things. Part of my posts may not be gaming specific, but the arguments I encounter when dealing with people. I don’t only want to share the problems that come from living as a deaf pagan female in the state of Texas, but also to share WHY some of these views exist. Why do men treat women as subservient and how to change their minds. Many times the reason behind the behavior isn’t as mean as it seems.

I’m not “feminist” or “gay friendly” or whatever box people would like to shove me in. I’m a human being and I try to treat everyone who is a human being like one. I don’t like associating with groups, because I can’t control them and thus can’t control the values they share. Those values may not be bad, but they may be something I don’t want to be a part of. To me, the things all of us are asking for are simple human things. All of us just want what any other human being has, and a decent human being will grant them that. The right to marry who we love, the right to be treated equally, the right to a chance at life that anyone else has. My beliefs get very complicated because for me life isn’t black and white, but an ever changing shade of gray.

So you may see posts that show an argument I’ve had with someone and my analysis of why they feel this way, you could find facts on overweight discrimination and scientific studies, you will find problems with gaming and deaf/gay/female/etc people, you can find my discoveries of how others live and my own struggles to understand where they are coming from. I want discussion, I want you to challenge my ideas, I want you to ask questions,  but I also want you to treat me like a human being, because I will treat you as such.

Muse introduces her musings!

Muse Carmona, my Second Life avatar: a pink neko with leopard skin, dressed in a ripped punk hot pink shirt and tutu, black bodysuit, and oversized light pink legwarmers, with oversized wings, seated on the ground, looking pensive

Muse Carmona, my Second Life avatar

Hi! I’m Katherine  / Muse. I’m a 27 year old disabled, white, cis female gender/queer high femme who feels ambivalent about using all these labels.  For most of my life I’ve been a Northern migrant doing online and offline community work in the gorgeously special dirty South (for the last four years in the unique culture of Atlanta), which deeply inflects how I think about things.

My current “day job” is developing web-based educational materials at the Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access to teach university faculty how to make their courses more accessible to people with disabilities.  In my copious spare time, I am community liaison for GimpGirl, an online community for women with disabilities, I work with the virtual world development firm The Vesuvius Group, and I go to grad school at Georgia Tech’s Digital Media Program.  I’m also really passionate about my work with the community arts & activism organization Alternate Roots. Within Second Life, I’m active with the activism organization for nonprofits Nonprofit Commons. My research is about disability & accessibility in virtual worlds.  And I twitter.

I currently spend most of my playing time in Second Life and have avatars in a wide range of other virtual worlds (There.com, Metaplace, Open Sim).  Guild Wars is my favorite MMO ever!  I also enjoy single player adventure games/RPGs (like the Spiderweb Software games and Diablo), though I don’t have much time for them these days. I expect to be posting short news about issues in virtual worlds and social media, especially disability issues.  I’m also very interested in social activism in virtual worlds & social media more generally and plan to post about that too.  I’m really excited to participate in this project and feel honored to be in the company of so many awesome feminist gamers!

Hello, world!


Jessoteric, in the flesh

Jessoteric, in the flesh.

First thing’s first – my name’s Jessica, or Jessoteric as some folks know me. I am very excited to have the chance to contribute to The Border House, even if it means that I have to do one thing I always dread – introducing myself!

I’m a straight ally in my mid-twenties, and was born and raised in San Diego, California among people from many different backgrounds, as my parents were both pursuing degrees until I was nearly old enough to do the same. I graduated last year from San Diego State University with a BA in Sociology, and focused my studies on Microsociology and qualitative research methods.

These days I work for a startup virtual world creation company, and am an avid reader and casual gamer in my time off. I particularly enjoy tabletop gaming (D&D), MMORPGS, casual social games, and am currently somewhat addicted to LittleBigPlanet (I know, SO last year – but it’s freaking adorable, and some of the puzzles are absolutely devious!).

Random Fact #123: I take pictures of eyes a lot.

Random Fact #123: I take pictures of eyes a lot.

I am not terribly new to feminism – but activism has been slowly becoming a larger part of my life.

After Prop 8 in California passed last year, I was heartbroken, and realized that to truly affect the world that I would have to speak out – not just in the presence of those who believe in equality already, but publicly to those whose hearts and minds have not yet been changed. I hope that through this blog we will be able to raise awareness about the inequalities that are so ingrained into our society that they’ve become “normal” to us – only by continuously questioning our norms can we create positive change in our society.

I look forward to lots of great, thought-provoking discussions here – if you wonder what I do when I am not here, check out these links!

Tumblr

Twitter

Your face is a mess

My WoW mains: Suffragette in T9 tank gear, and Amazonne at the height of Outland absurdity.

My WoW mains: Suffragette in T9 tank gear, and Amazonne at the height of Outland absurdity.

For the last little bit, I’ve been going by Hot Tramp online, as a nod to Bowie’s hip-shaking classic “Rebel, Rebel.” My blogging waxes and wanes; sometimes, I’ve got opinions coming out of my ears, and sometimes it’s a chore to find anything to rant about.

I’m a pansexual polyamorous feminist ciswoman who’s working on being a white anti-racist ally who doesn’t suck. I’m a fat-positive in-betweenie. I’m mentally ill, and struggling to understand disability, ableism, and my own ability level. I’m an agnostic who was raised vaguely protestant and whose family is now Jewish.

Although I sure loved Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt back in the day, my video gaming ground to a halt once the NES went out of style. Pen-and-paper RPGs were my thing in high school and college — second ed AD&D, third ed D&D, and Exalted mostly. You know how politicians say they “experimented” with drugs in their flaming youth? Let’s say I “experimented” with LARPing. A sordid, shameful experience, really. This year, the peer pressure finally got to me and I installed WoW. Seven months later, I’m an altaholic achievement addict in a hard-mode raiding guild. Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be tanks.

When I’m not wiping on Algalon, I read and write fanfiction and give people relationship advice despite my stunning lack of qualifications. I just finished Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and Mad Men season 2. My Pandora stations play mainly disco-heavy house, classic rock, laid back nineties hip-hop, and disgustingly catchy girlpop. I knit sporadically and go dancing far less often than I should.