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Reader Comments (35)

Posted: Jun 24th 2009 7:45PM (Unverified) said

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Good for you, Sera. I had no idea you were trans, but I wish you all the luck and good fortune in the world.

Posted: Jun 24th 2009 8:02PM (Unverified) said

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Totally agree, online games were a place for me to feel as normal as I could at a time when I had no other way to feel right with myself. I am long past that now, by a whole three years, but at the time the MMO world is what held me together in many ways.

As for MMOs being equalizers I can see that too. When all you know is a name, a class, and the way a person talks you can't really have any preconcieved notions of who they are and what they are like. You have to actually learn who they are in game, by talking, which is more interaction that a look on the streets that steers one person away from another just because of who they appear to be.



Posted: Jun 24th 2009 7:53PM (Unverified) said

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Fantastic Sera, loved it. Great job :)

Posted: Jun 24th 2009 8:02PM (Unverified) said

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Nice article, Sera, and good on you for not hiding who you are.

Posted: Jun 24th 2009 8:03PM (Unverified) said

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I applaud you for this article. While I am not a member of the LGBT community, I do fully support and agree with everything you have said. Maybe you can write more articles about your experiences as a trans gender gamer?

Posted: Jun 24th 2009 8:19PM cray said

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I generally create a multitude of characters from every gender and racial background. Strangely I receive different attitudes even when players know who I am. I think part of it is that I have ability to play as my character's role. I can easily pass off as female player, just as I can pass off as big african brute.

So what does this mean? Chalk it up to being a talented roleplayer. I have always played RPGs and MMOs with the intention that I'm "playing pretend". I find it extremely rewarding to play "in-character". I'm still able to communicate with players who tend to "out-of-character" without coming across annoying.

One thing I notice is that the way I interact with other players has tendecy to rub off on others. I play with a lot gamers who are the complete opposite of their avatars and we manage to respect each other's virtual identities. I contribute this to playing the game in the spirit of it's intention, which is all about roleplaying.

Posted: Jun 24th 2009 9:25PM Justpotatoes said

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Thought provoking stuff! Lately, I've been feeling pretty negative about the MMO demographic. I'm tired of having to turn off chat channels because a whole village worth of idiots has decided to play that day. Thank you for the reminder that there's a positive, humanizing side to MMOs too. I admire your courage! :)

Posted: Jun 25th 2009 3:52AM Russell Clarke said

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I thought there was only meant to be 1 idiot per village...hence the phrase "The Village Idiot." You sure you didn't stumble on a convention? :)
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Posted: Jun 25th 2009 12:22PM Justpotatoes said

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lol, I bet it is a convention. Too bad it's being held on my WoW server! ;)
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Posted: Jun 24th 2009 10:36PM (Unverified) said

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"Colin Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased isn't that different from anyone else and is darn proud of it. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog, The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send him an e-mail at colin.brennan AT weblogsinc DOT com. You can also follow him on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan."

Now you're just trying to confuse us. That's a lot of back and forth hers and hims. :)

Posted: Jun 24th 2009 11:07PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Whoops... thanks for the catch. XD I had my swipe edited, but I guess it didn't save. Re-edited it. Thank you. :D
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Posted: Jun 25th 2009 12:58AM (Unverified) said

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For the 15 years I've moved in online communities, I always found this to be true.. and not only on gender issues. As the age old adage goes, on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Or a 15 year old kid (like I was when I was starting out). You are only judged on what you write, and how you behave, without any preconceived notion of what you are like based on appearance, age, social class, wealth, etc.

It's true in WoW and it was true in the hacker communities of the early 90's where I was coming of age. Well recognized and well written Colin.

Posted: Jun 25th 2009 1:32AM (Unverified) said

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may I post this (with credit) to my blog and forum? I'm a bi mom of three kids, at least one of which (my 10 year old) has Asperger's, and we all tend to live in virtual worlds, because it's where we can all be ourselves. You've said so eloquently how I feel about virtual worlds and online games here, that I'd love to share it.

Thank you for writing this. I'm bookmarking the site (this is my first time here!) so I can come back and read more from you!

Posted: Jun 25th 2009 2:37AM Seraphina Brennan said

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While I'd love to say that you totally could re-post this onto your forums with credit, I think our legal people would slap me upside the head with a large trout until I cried. :( Sadly, re-posting the article, even with attribution, isn't kosher, I don't think.

What you can do, however, is throw the link up on your forums. Provide your users with the link in a post, because this article won't be going anywhere. :)
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Posted: Jun 25th 2009 1:46AM organiclockwork said

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As a gay male, I applaud and approve of this article, which happens to be, very likely, the most thought-provoking and well-spoken one posted on Massively in recent memory.

I love the ability to be recognized online for my actions and my words, and not the fact that I happen to be a guy who likes guys.

You're a great columnist and a great person and I'm pleased to have met your acquaintance in my life, and I wish you nothing but the best.

Posted: Jun 25th 2009 2:48AM Prisemy said

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You go girl! :)

Posted: Jun 25th 2009 3:15AM NeuroOmega said

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Although I am not a member of the LGBT community, everything you have said is felt by people from all backgrounds. Who hasn't ever had feelings of not fitting in or acceptance issues at one point in their lives? In an era where video games are constantly portrayed in a negative light, thank you for pointing out the incredible good they can do.

Posted: Jun 25th 2009 3:49AM Russell Clarke said

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Yes, hear hear.

I find it interesting though, how when we all come online, while we sometimes remove the differences and prejudices of real life, we just start to create new differences and new divisions, with new labels e.g. Hardcore PvP vs Care Bears, Twitch Gamers vs Button Mashers, etc etc etc. I suppose it's wired in our genes. There's really no escape.

Posted: Jul 8th 2009 11:15AM (Unverified) said

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Maybe, but if we divide ourselves along lines of our own choosing, rather than the genetic happenstance of race and gender, I still consider it an improvement.
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Posted: Jun 25th 2009 5:46AM Minofan said

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Well that just goes to once again prove my observation skills are still firmly around the 0.1% level.

As another Massively reading gaymer, I'd concur with all the sentiments also.

Nice work. :)

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