Dungeons & Dragons Legend of Drizzt, available for FREE on downloadable digital audiobook through Audible.com for a limited time.
I narrated my first audio book (short story)! It’s a #Drizzt story from RA Salvatore. And it’s FREE from Audible, along with a bunch of other amazing narrators like Wil Wheaton and…just look at the list it’s a cool bunch :) Celebrating 40 years!
I loved Drizzt as a kid, and couldn’t say no, and the experience was super enjoyable, I hope you like listening.
I like everything. Or at least I did, for 48 hours. Literally everything Facebook sent my way, I liked—-even if I hated it.
It’s so funny that I stumbled upon this article this morning, because I woke up irrationally livid at Facebook anyway. Why? Because for a while now, I feel like FB has been closing me in a box, and unless I play by their rules, I am losing access to the people who want to be reached by me.
I have almost a million followers on FB. But I reach a very small percentage of people with every post on average. And this isn’t by my fans’ choice. Not a day goes by when I don’t see comments like, ‘Hey why am I not getting your updates anymore?” I’m helpless to explain exactly why, but I have a good inkling.
In order to scale with the number of people we collect on our accounts, FB has had to implement technology to filter our feeds. Because they’ve learned that “social” media is just that, and we can’t just dump people when we get bored with them or want to move on in life. So the FB algorithm filters my content based on how many likes people make on the things I share. (Because closing people into interest pockets makes it easier to make money on them, I get it.)
So how do I, as an individual, fight this type of “downgrading” of certain types of content I share? Well, I could cater to the algorithm more. I could do this by sharing things I know will be popular!
Easiest way to do that? Share pictures of my face, my body and things based on my appearance.
Yes, I guess this is human nature to give feedback on our appearances, that’s why we’re swimming in a world of selfies. But because our new virtual statuses are built on this type of feedback, it is training us to output things that will be popular, and that, in turn, tells women that achieving high statuses online means sharing things about their looks. To the detriment of anything else. Or else get buried and excised from the people around you. In a sense, we’re hostage to the algorithm.
Who thinks this is a good thing?!
And I think this is more than just about my own online engagement, it’s about FB specifically. I see way less of this on other platforms, this filtering of “everything but the most reinforced” content. FB is training people to feed the algorithmic machine with things that will please the most mainstream. Reinforcing the median taste level. I think this methodology is marginalizing people who think out of the box, closing them in enclaves of people who only like exactly what they like. Trapping us in our own echo chambers of reinforcement, where we’re not influencing or being influenced by opposing thoughts. And in addition, we’re being tricked into believing that our small worlds are much bigger than they really are in the grand scheme of things.
Neither of these things is helping anyone’s reality.
I don’t think it’s healthy. Or good for us as a society. I think the internet is an amazing place, where you can connect with people who are like you, and be accepted when you don’t feel accepted in real life, but the drive to make money and clean up the platform to scale properly is not helping us, it’s taking the good things about what the internet can do to the opposite extreme.
Don’t look for my account to share more selfies than usual, or pictures of me in cute outfits. That’s not my style. Look for me to share the exact same stuff I always do.
Unfortunately, you might have to go way out of your way to look at all.
Content warning: This post contains graphic language, slurs and triggering content
This article is heartbreaking. And true.
There is a reason I throttled back on doing a lot of creative gaming content a few years ago. And why I still avoid taking some jobs in the gaming world when they’re offered to me. And why, when we have a female host on any of our Geek and Sundry gaming shows, we have to monitor the comments on YouTube extra, to remove the many comments that are offensive and pollute our community’s spirit of equality. Because I hate that shit.
There is an endemic acceptance in the gamer world that “well, it comes with the territory” when a woman receives threats and harassment and the hateful anonymous internet dialogue is focused on her body and whether they would “do” her or not. I don’t know why this became okay. It’s a vocal minority that has been given way too much power over the industry dialogue, and I am so happy to see more and more articles like this shining the light on what reasonable gamer men and women have been conned into accepting as a given.
NOTHING is a given in this world. And frankly, it taints the art form we so love and keeps it back from becoming more respected and more diverse to not at least TRY to fight it. Gaming deserves more than complacency in this area.
Even posting this link will cause me to receive hateful Tumblr PMs. I can always tell when something I write gets linked on certain places on the internet (like 4 Chan or a few other forums of troll-hood), because I’ll immediately get dozens of hate mails along the veins of what is posted in this article.
Well, I’m a lucky one to be prominent enough to have 10 supporters for every hater. I mostly feel sorry for girls and women who aren’t in my position, who may just give up on gaming when they’re too beaten down to fight anymore.
We have to change that. For the good of what we love doing, gamers! Okay, back to work :)
We got a kinda crappy time slot on Sat, but if you can make it I’d appreciate it! We’ll have some cool things to announce, I promise.
ALSO PER REQUESTS:
Geek and Sundry has an offsite event THURSDAY AND FRIDAY at Jolt n’ Joes, that’s two blocks from the convention center.
Our schedule will be up this week, but lots of video games and board games and panels, and I’ll be there on and off all day doing stuff, including a signing at 10am on Thurs. I’ll link the website post when it’s up, hope to see you there!