Friday, April 12, 2013

Untitled Spine

I’ve been inspired over the past few weeks to stand up for myself. Ever since PAX East, comments online for my Aria costume have been mixed. I found myself growing the backbone that I’ve been trying to instill since middle school. Was it the best I could do? No. Am I damn proud of what I made with only a month to work on this (at most 25-30 hours)? Absolutely.

The comments that I received were not from other costumers. In fact EVERYONE at PAX East was absolutely amazing. I was incredibly fortunate to meet such people who were nothing but nice. No the comments were from so-called gamers. (All on the Mass Effect Facebook page of all places.) People who have no idea what it takes to make a costume, and feel it is necessary to judge and pick on every single little detail when a fan expresses themselves through an artistic medium.

I was going to ignore them, but then they started to pick apart Rana. For those who don’t know, Rana is THE FACE MODEL for Samara and Morinth from ME2/3. She is sickinginly nice. Anyone who says crap about her or her cosplay (how is she not the most awesome person ever for dressing up as the character that she modeled for? And as someone who has only dove into the series 6-7 months ago, even I knew who Rana was...how are you an "ME superfan" as you call yourself if you don't know her?) will get a response. And then it hit me. I’m so use to defending others, coming to their aid, and when it comes to the trolls that want to pick on me? I ignore them.

I had an epiphany.

After PAX East I realized that true-gamers are inclusive. They support each other. They are not about hate. They don’t exclude others. True gamers respect everyone. As long as you love to game, it doesn’t matter what your size, skin color, religion, gender, sexual preference, government you belong to. Any true gamer that I have met has welcomed everyone, open arms, not singling people out. So I stood up to the people wanting to pick on me. I didn’t go in looking to start an argument, to cuss them out, nor to push the hate onto another person. I wanted to make a stand that what they were saying was completely unnecessary. That if they were true gamers, they would not hate on anyone that expressed their fandom.

And you know what happened next? Nothing. Well not nothing. Someone followed up on a comment about my eye-liner (completely ignoring what I had posted). But everyone else that had been picking on myself and the other costumers went silent.

I call that a victory.

I don’t expect an apology. Ever. But I do hope that at least one of them realizes that gaming is about inclusion. Not exclusion. When we get back to our roots, we will see some amazing things happen in our community.

Follow-up piece to be posted with a tie-in.

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