You don’t know me, but someone pointed me to this post and I was touched and absolutely devastated by your story. I am so sorry. I am a bird owner and bird lover. I currently own a very amusing (yet continually starved for attention) conure, and I care about her the way my friends care for their children, which I am sure sounds weird to some people, but makes sense to bird owners like us. I just wanted to reach out and tell you that you are very brave, and you are very, very admirable for doing everything you could and dropping every cent in an attempt to save the remaining bird. I can’t even begin to understand how you felt when this all happened, but you have my sympathy and my respect for doing what you could, sharing your story, and explaining to people the importance of adopting a bird with intent of taking care of it. I understand what you are saying completely, and it’s all too often birds go to unsuitable homes or end up in the hands of a young child who shouldn’t have a bird as a pet. You seem like a very attentive bird owner and a caring person, and I hope you find peace soon; and I know that in the future, you will be giving more birds a wonderful home and companionship. Again, my deepest sympathies and my utmost respect. This too will pass.
razorthecurse said: I had no idea you had a blog on here, well now that's just one more place to see your thoughts on stuff and things, it's so rad~
I’m everywhere. If there’s a social network somewhere, I’m probably there.
collectionseclectic said: Just wanted to say that I have loved your videos since I first saw your work with Paw. I was sad when you went on your hiatus (though recognized that you had your reasons.) When I found your new youtube channel, I was so excited that I soaked in all the videos that I could, and still always watch for every new video. Keep up the awesome video game rambling.
Thank you very much. I love hearing from long time fans. It makes me feel all fuzzy.
It’s rare that I post something political or even remotely caustic. But every now and then, I have the desire to share something that I find important. I hope this speaks to you.
Recently, I read an article that really affected me. It was about harassment in the video game industry, particularly aimed at women. If you would like to read the article, it can be found right here. I do urge you to read it even if it makes you feel angry or uncomfortable because it will make the article I am about to write make far more sense, and if you know me at all, you already know that I never make any sense and I need all the help I can get.
When I was done reading this article, I knew I wanted to write a little something about it. Maybe I could share my own experiences; after all, I am a female with a role in the video gaming community as a video game reviewer. …Or whatever. I am not even sure if I “review” games as much as I just babble eccentrically about them. Perhaps I am a video game babbler. Or a video game RAMBLER. Or a video game GAMBLER. After all, you have to know when to hold them. When to fold them. …What was I saying again?
Ah yes, so I am a female video game rambler. Hi! If you are new here and have no idea who I am, then it’s nice to meet you. I’m PUR. Specifically, I discuss retro PC games for the most part, but I’ve loved a variety of console games for a long time. I love computers, tattoos, pizza, art, The Cure, and white contact lenses are beautiful to me.
Here’s a bit of background on me: I grew up very passive and reclusive with very few friends. I was drawn to computers and video games at a young age; when I was 5, I played my first computer game, and when I was 7, I owned my first computer, as well as a few consoles I begged Santa to bring me for Christmas. However, I never did get that Sega Game Gear. FUCK YOU Santa; you ruined Christmas of ‘93.
Because I did have very few friends, video gaming was completely gender neutral to me. I assumed that everyone, no matter which gender or what age, enjoyed video games. It was the same way for computers until I wrote a report about how much I loved my Tandy 1000 when I was in second grade. The other kids laughed at me, called me a dork, and in general, avoided me. I didn’t really know why, but looking back I can understand it. At that point, computers were not household items, if you can even imagine that. Everyone and their dog has a computer in their house now, and not just one. Two. Three. Maybe even four, if you’re sassy like me. Or obsessed. Same thing.
I digress, I was laughed at because it just “wasn’t cool” yet. And I was teased very harshly by other females who didn’t understand my love for what they deemed “boy things.” Just thinking about it makes me realize that we have made some good strides and that kids don’t label tech, computer games, or video games as “boy things” nearly as much anymore. In fact, I think my 8 year old niece has an iPad now and it’s completely “cool.” In 1992, however? It was not cool. I was not cool. Not even a little bit.
Long story short, I grew up very interested in hobbies and work that happened to be male dominated. I had studied fiction writing in college, but felt the school I studied at was pretentious (and I, of course, being the punked out rebel that I was, didn’t want any part of it), so I dropped out and studied computer applications and software and some web development. Before I graduated, I apprenticed at a tattoo parlor, wanting to be a body piercer.
Being a body piercer at the parlor I worked at was perhaps the experience that really got my skin all beaten and weathered. Sexism seemed deeply routed at the place I worked, and though I tried to stick it out, I eventually said “fuck it”, and went onto bigger and much better things. Women who came into the parlor were often judged by their body, and the artists would make snide remarks after they had left. I was teased very much in the same way - and one person even suggested I lose weight. (keep in mind, this was after I had lost 100 pounds. Nothing quite like losing a massive amount of weight only to be told you need to lose more, huh?) Because apparently, that will make me a better body piercer. And apparently, you don’t need to lose weight despite being about 300 pounds. And apparently, I just want to shove my piercing needle into your eyeball for being a dimwit.
Don’t worry, I didn’t hurt anyone. At least, not physically. It may seem like I am derailing here, but bear with me. This will all tie together.
Let’s move forward a bit, to more recent times. Until I started doing videos on the internet, I still had no idea there were so many issues in the gaming community. In real life I have a lot of male and female friends, and we game together. And nobody harassed anyone and everyone was equal. When I started spending more time on the internet, I realized how fucking psychotic people can be.
I love being a video producer, and I looooove talking about retro video games if ya couldn’t tell. Because I had been through numerous things that built my skin up, I am mentally capable of handling a lot of bullshit. Because to me, it IS bullshit. I get personal slights and dumb insults all the time. Since they mean virtually nothing to me, I move along and keep going since the majority of people who watch my stuff or know who I am enjoy my content and what I have to say. This is both good and bad. It’s good that I can write off idiots. I hate idiots. And I stab idiots in the eyeballs with my piercing needle.
Okay, no I don’t. But it’s tempting. It also helps that I’ve taken kickboxing for years, so it’s very easy for me to, in my mind, kick the living shit out of people I don’t like. But this is also a bad thing, because I should not have had to endure so much idiocy to get to this point in the first place. But these things I am talking about are just dumb comments, and they are not on the same level as a death threat or a rape threat. Those are legitimately frightening, and it doesn’t matter how thick skinned you are; it’s going to affect you. And nobody has the right to say, “Get over it.” YOU get over it. YOU get over the fact that my genetics are different than yours, and move right the fuck along. I don’t have to get over shit. You aren’t “teaching me a lesson” or “exhibiting tough love” or anything even remotely sane by tossing around barbed words.
I look back at my elementary school years, and they were pretty…pathetic. As stated before, I was a very passive girl. In fact, I was so passive that I would simply let other boys and girls pick on me, steal my lunch, poor drinks into my locker, copy off my homework, etc. I would LET kids do these things. Pathetic. Passive Sarah, that’s pathetic. Why did you convince yourself that, “Well, I’m quiet and unpopular and these things happen…and I should deal with it. And there’s nothing I can do.” <— tell me that doesn’t sound completely stupid. It may seem like I am being harsh on my former self, but it’s genuinely how I feel. I should have stuck up for myself. I should have told someone, “Hey! This isn’t okay. This isn’t okay at all. I shouldn’t have to laugh this off…this sucks.”
I did a complete 180 over time and confronted all of my fears head on. After my Dad passed on, I became interested in body mod despite being deathly afraid of needles. I made new friends. I spoke up in class. I also dropped 100 pounds because FUCK YOU BODY, YOU CAN’T CONTROL ME or something like that. Honestly, in the midst of becoming what I felt like was a stronger person, I probably got a little out of control and rebellious, but I attribute those things to who I am today.
A huge reason I keep doing videos is to inspire people. I’ve gotten a lot of messages from females saying they want so badly to do what I do. To be a part of the gaming community. And the reason for not even trying is always the same. ”I am too afraid. I’m afraid I will be unwelcomed, and I am afraid of being threatened.” And it devastates me to think that, “Yes. That can be true…this does happen,” and not everyone can or wants to put up with bullshit like that, and I don’t blame them. But I do want to show strength, intelligence, bravery, and sometimes even a “FUCK YOU” attitude. Even though I know I can’t quell some of these fears, which are completely justified, I want people to know I am on their side. And it’s not right, and you shouldn’t just have to live and die by the sword. If you are a public figure, especially a female, there is never justification to “Well, you are a public figure and you’re a girl, so you need to learn to deal with it.” While there is merit to having thick skin, the fact that we even tell people this is absurd. Isn’t it a little strange when threats are so commonplace, you resort to the “you’re too sensitive, just live with it” reasoning? Because I think it’s more than strange. I think it’s psychotic, dumb, and kind of a cop out reasoning. And I dislike cop outs. A lot.
Something that was mentioned in the article on polygon really made me think about some of my own experiences with other YouTube producers. It said, “Women get special treatment because they are women…”
I would like to be completely candid about something. Being a female has in no way benefited me in terms of treatment, hits, or friendships with other producers. In fact, it has hindered all of these things. It is inconvenient. A few years ago I was talking to a producer whom I thought I was friends with about potentially doing other types of content. Let’s call him Bob. Bob told me the only reason I get hits on some of my content is because of my gender, because “Be honest, no one would watch this if you weren’t (a girl.)” He went on to claim, behind my back, that whenever I talk about something sad on Twitter, it’s because I was attention whoring. He also went on to judge and make snide remarks at other more successful YouTubers, both male and female, but mostly female. My response to all of this is: Why am I not the most popular producer ON THE PLANET if my gender makes it easier? Wouldn’t people be all over me? Not like, literally all over me. I’d have a problem if people swarmed by body like bees or something. But yeah, where’s my damn 1 million subs? Keep in mind, I am in no way complaining about my popularity or my hits. I am so fucking grateful for what I have, and I ADORE my fans. I don’t even know why people listen to me half the time, but it’s been really awesome and I would never take that for granted. I do take issue with the fact that someone would think my biology is the only reason for noting my videos. That’s silly.
I remember watching a documentary on Vh1. I think it was about Whitesnake. You know, Whitesnake! Here I go again on my OOoOOoOWn!! Yeah! METAL. Anyway. The lead singer of Whitesnake was reflecting on comments that claimed the only reason he sold any records was because of his looks and good hair. And his response has stuck with me. Paraphrased, “Whitesnake has sold millions of records. I don’t think people bought them because of my hair.” Here’s the thing, while his hair might be very appealing to people, (much like how having a female perspective on video games), it’s not the sole reason for success.
The “treatment”, whether intentional or not, from other gaming YouTubers has been really up and down. On one hand, I was supported by some AMAZING people right off the bat because they saw I was doing content that other people were not. I cover DOS/Retro PC games, and there’s not TOO many people who choose that as their main focus. Right now, consoles are way more popular and relatable, whereas the things I cover are very niche. I am fortunate to have supporters who recognized my potential and had the same interest I did. It wasn’t special treatment as much as it was other people wanting me to succeed. And I just cannot express enough how much I love the colleagues I was fortunate to become REALLY close friends with. On the other hand, I felt like there were some producers I highly respected and very much wanted to be at least acquaintances with who felt like, “Well, I’ll follow her on Twitter. And maybe I’ll respond to her…but…she’s a girl, and girls attract drama and shit storms so I’ma keep my distance. Actually, I don’t want to give her ANY special treatment because who knows what would happen…maybe I’ll get harassed for even consorting with her…” Yes, who knows what will happen. You might make a new friend or learn about new content, or hell; even just exhibiting support for fellow female colleagues may just reflect positively on girls who were otherwise too scared to join the community. Maybe, by showing support to your colleagues and making them feel welcome, other people won’t be so scared. MAYBE, yes MAYBE, some things can change for the better. What I am saying is, I’ve experienced the opposite of what one would call “special treatment.” I didn’t get ANY acknowledgement at all because people were so scared of giving me special treatment, they decided to avoid me altogether. The fact that people want to avoid females on the internet so they can also avoid harassment is very telling. I’m not sure I can blame these people entirely, but it’s certainly not respectable in my eyes. But again, these are just my own personal experiences and how I personally feel about them. If you are a YouTuber - friend, colleague, stranger, doesn’t matter - I urge you to think about what I just said, and question yourself. Does this make sense to you? ARE you one of those people? It’s not easier. It’s not a free ride. I promise you this.
Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I don’t see a point in putting out content. Sometimes I wonder, “Gee, who will call me a slut for having tattoos TODAY?" or "Who’s gonna avoid me because they think I’m an attention whore TODAY?" But since I have a highly addictive personality and can’t seem to quit doing things once I start them, I’m basically just going to keep producing content until I get gray and saggy or something. And I am genuinely sorry to all who have felt unwelcome or scared or have been threatened like I have. I’m personally trying to break some of those barriers and instill strength and courage within other females, and perhaps voicing things like this will inspire change. I know this blog was kind of rambly and perhaps not the most cohesive thing ever written, but hopefully it will speak to some of you. Keep in mind that these are all truths to me - sad truths that I experienced that actually happened and do happen, and I realize that I just smacked everyone upside the head with these issues, but if I didn’t think sharing this would be a good thing to SOMEONE, I would not have shared it. I also genuinely think that we’ve made progress, and I do see and experience good things happening even though there’s still a lot that needs to change. Despite everything, no matter what you are going through, I want you to keep trying. I want you to keep going, and I want you to break those damn molds. Do it. And remember; nothing good ever happened by ignoring things.
tahmfish said: Do they sell TimTams in the US, or do you have to import them?
They sell them at the World Market stores, thank goodness! The package doesn’t say Tim Tams, but they are absolutely Tim Tams. Not sure why that is.
starlightsrandomstuff said: 3 questions: What was your first tattoo, Why did you start getting tattoos, and what drove you to start making youtube videos. Great to see other women doing youtubing!
My first tattoo was some Kanji lettering on my right arm. It’s since been covered up, but the symbols meant “Strength”, “Father”, and “Difference.” I started getting tattoos because I felt really uncomfortable with myself, and wanted to do something to empower me. When I was a teenager, I got into a lot of online art groups and I found a few artists who illustrated fantasy characters with piercings and tattoos, and I just thought it was so cool. Aesthetically, body mod has always interested me, and after getting my first tattoo when I was 17, I felt empowered, badass, and rebellious. Especially since I chose to get it at a less reputable place to by pass the age law back then. I’ve gotten a lot smarter with my tattoo choices since then; even though the Kanji is covered, it’s still there. ;)
I started doing YouTube videos for similar purposes. Beyond just wanting to break a few molds because I noticed there weren’t as many women doing these kind of videos, I also just enjoy it because I am so passionate about retro video games. They are a huge part of my life that I like to share with other people. I also want to inspire other women to not be afraid to do this, despite there being some hateful people out there. Don’t be afraid. You can be thick skinned, you can get past the obstacles, and you can be yourself.
vcrfromheck said: I'm planning to get novelty contact lenses, for a play I'm doing this April, but don't normally wear contacts or glasses. What did you experience when getting yours, and do you have advice on the when, where, and how of purchasing, wearing, and looking after such things? (I'll probably get white ones like you have.)
You know, I really didn’t have any problems getting mine. http://extremesfx.com/ The only problem I had was that I couldn’t get prescription ones, so I can’t see shit when I wear them. You would take care of them the same way you take care of any other contact lenses! Same solution, same contact lens case. I would look through the site I linked and see if there are any you like; all the prices are listed. They are actually quite nice if you don’t require a prescription!
In 2010, all I wanted was to be a part of TGWTG. I remember seeing if I could be an article writer or something small to get my foot in the door with the site. I just remember it meaning so much to me, if I could just be a part of this group of producers who seemed to love each other and have fun with this medium of video reviews. Eventually, I did get on the site by doing short little let’s plays with Paw. But I remember not really knowing anyone on the site. I don’t find myself to be a shy person at all, but for whatever reason, I had a hard time talking to people. I remember Justin getting a hold of me via facebook. He sent me a warm welcome, added me to skype no questions asked, and was in general, very upbeat and friendly.
We got to be friends. I met him in real life at Magfest 9, 2011. I remember being terrified of just about everything. It was my first time being on a panel, my first time meeting other producers, and my first time as a personality that people recognized. When I met Justin, his face literally lit up, and even though we had never met, he was so happy to meet me, and insisted I take a picture. I bitched about it in classic Roses “Oh come on, don’t take my fucking picture. Oh FINE. Take it.” I saw the picture later and thought, “Oh man, that’s a lovely picture! I’m glad I took that. ARE MY GLASSES CROOKED? Oh well.”
Around the middle of 2011 to mid 2012, something in me seriously started to snap, and I found myself having a hard time. Despite my feelings, I decided to go to E3. Unsurprisingly, I was miserable. I was crying a lot. Justin called me and consoled me while I was in my in my hotel room. I met up with him on the floor, near tears, and he invited me to spend the day with him, Mark, and Samantha. He made my E3 experience tolerable. He made sure to not leave T-Bone and myself out of anything. The next day, we went to the arcade and we had a ball. He knew I was feeling glum, and honestly, I was probably a complete and utter drag at E3, but he made it something I could get through.
After a longish hiatus from the internet (a hiatus in which I worked hard to recover from my own suicide attempts), I slowly let people back into my life. Justin was one of the first. We talked a lot about what had happened. About how I felt shunned, unloved, like a failure, but I assured him that I had come back and that I was going to change my life, come hell or high water. Sometimes, he would respond with “I know how you feel, Roses…” But he was always more concerned about my well being than his own, and more often than not, he would not elaborate on his feelings. But he would continually check up on me to make sure I was still on the right path, and he passed no judgement on me. Because he was just not that type of person. In fact, I would go as far to say that Justin was the least judgmental person I had ever met.
Sometimes we commiserated together. General feelings of not fitting in. But he always spoke with hope and confidence, and he never gave me any indication that there was something darker underneath. But looking back now, I can’t help but feel angry and overwhelmed. Remembering him saying he wanted to keep me around, and now knowing that I can’t be there for him is about the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I knew some things brought him down, but I never thought it could lead to something so severe. I know that feeling right before you consider taking your life. That feeling of not having a way out. Of complete and under pain and worthlessness, and when I think about it, I feel like throwing up. Justin… you were loved. I wish I could have made you feel the way you made me feel when we spoke. I know that it’s irrational to dwell on the past, but I can’t help but feel angry. Not at Justin. Just at the situation.
So I offer everyone this: don’t take anyone for granted. And never, ever accuse someone’s problems of being dumb, or not worth discussing. We all react to things differently, and we are all affected by different things. Do not ever brush things off. Trivial things are sometimes more important than you think. Holding onto grudges and stupid…stupid arguments. Why? There’s no point. There’s more to life than that. We’re all people, here. We’re all trying to find something to make us happy in this life together. Tell someone you love them. That could make a difference. That could change someone’s mind.
My love and sympathies go out to anyone feeling low and fucked up. I know I am feeling about a million different ways of fucked up right now. But I know it will get better, too. And I will always remember Justin as a hopeful person who reminded me of why I came back, and why I started befriended people again. Because people are worth befriending. And people are worth your time.