I have some good news and some bad news. It’s actually the same piece of news and it’s either good or bad depending upon how you look at it. And perhaps dependant upon your current mood. Knock on wood – you’re currently content.
Just as we did with our YouTube channel late last year, Sexy Nerd Girl is going on indefinite hiatus across all platforms.
We are about to start seeking distribution for our feature film version of Season 1 of Versus Valerie and need to give that process our undivided attention. The fine folks at the Independent Production Fund – which helped fund part of Season 1 – have put our Season 2 funding on hold until next year. Once we’ve found a distribution channel for our Season 1 feature, we’ll re-apply with them next year for our Season 2 funding.
So the soonest you will be seeing any new Sexy Nerd Girl or Versus Valerie content will likely be 2015.
It’s 5:15am on a Tuesday. I haven’t been able to sleep because I’ve got a hacking cold. It’s currently at the point when every time I cough, a distasteful, slime-like substance suddenly appears in my mouth. It is not swallowable. Unlike my pride.
This sickness prevented me from being present at the taping of the last two Sexy Nerd Girl vlogs before we go on hiatus. I actually did show up to the shoot, but my team sent me home for fear of contracting my bug. Part of me was somewhat relieved. I’m a big suck – I probably would have cried during the shoot.
Val enters her 4th year of existence next week. If you’re me.
It was three years ago this week that Sexy Nerd Girl was born. For me at least.
At that time, this need arose in me to make a show with a female lead character who lives a completely ordinary life, not unlike any of our lives, but she lives it extraordinarily. She’s a Homeric hero with the life of an everywoman. If you wanted to avoid an interstellar war when the aliens make first contact, she’s the person you’d most want present. She would buy them a round of drinks.
Please take a moment to consider voting for Sexy Nerd Girl in the 2013 Canadian Comedy Awards. All Canadians are eligible to vote. Simply register as a public voter on CanadianComedy.ca, then login to your newly formed account and click on VOTE. We’re listed in the Best Web Series category.
BUT LET’S ASSUME FOR A MOMENT that you despise Sexy Nerd Girl. There are 4 other web series that are nominated in our category. All are deserving of this award, IMHO. So really what I’m saying here is, if you’re Canadian, and you like watching Canadian web series, go vote for one of these shows. Thanks. :)
A couple weeks ago I posted a video that I had been working on for a LONG time. About nine months actually. I had the idea for it when a friend of mine posted this article on my Facebook wall. Basically it’s about the experience that many women have when playing video games online…they are sexually harassed simply for being female.
This is an experience I myself have had, and why I tend to shy away from MMOs. I’d rather have fun, without being asked what I’m wearing thank you very much. And for me, simply muting my headset and not listening to that garbage isn’t a solution. But stopping this behaviour all together…now that would be something.
SO, I wrote a script that addresses this issue and I sent bits of it to women of all ages around the world who I met through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. And they sent their videos back. It was a slow process, but eventually I was able to gather all the pieces and edit them into this:
I understand “trash talking” when you’re in competitive mode…but let’s not get personal. No one benefits when other people feel excluded, especially when gaming. After all, you need TEAM PLAYERS in order to game.
I understand that not everyone agrees with me, my message, or my means of expressing it in a video. Some people have commented on the “irony” of this message coming from an account called “SexyNerdGirlPresents”. Some people think that I am just sexualizing female gamers myself, and perpetuating the stereotype that all girls who game are conventionally attractive objects of male fantasy. To this I say … I chose the monicker ‘Sexy Nerd Girl’ for myself a little over a year ago. I wanted something direct, no bullshit, and that expressed how I feel about myself. Not how I want other people to feel about me. People can think what they want… but I feel sexy, and happy, and confident. So yay.
Other people think that by making a video about this that I am being “an attention whore“. (this I find HILARIOUS btw) I suppose people who spoke up for civil rights were also attention whores? And people who make PSAs about the dangers of smoking? To be honest I never thought I’d have to fight people to get a POSITIVE MESSAGE into the universe. I was very surprised to see what a backlash there was to this video, and I ask myself why would anyone have a problem with people who have been abused standing up for themselves?
It disturbs me that so many people have the opinion that it would be better to be silent and accept the status quo, then to campaign for positive change. Women especially were angry about this message. There were a lot of people who said: “just deal with the abusive comments, and stop drawing attention to female gamers.” I’m happy for some people who don’t have a problem with being harassed, but not everyone is like that. Some people would rather that negative attitudes changed, and that women could play and be themselves without having to worry about having their XBL inboxes bombarded with sexist remarks and come-ons.
Also, to the people who think this video was about simply “drawing attention to women who game”, maybe you missed the point and you don’t know what abuse I’m referring to? If that’s the case, please check out the articles/websites I’ve linked to above as well as a few others. There are a LOT of examples out there of the kind of hate speech that I’m hoping will come to an end.
Some viewers have suggested that I’ve “made a video to hide behind”. This just baffles me. Hide behind? My face, my name, and all my social media platforms are connected to this video. People have the freedom of dissent… directly to my inbox. And the women who graciously donated their time to make this video – they also bared their identities for the public. I only hope that they aren’t attacked by trolls. I think the video made it pretty clear that they had had enough of being under attack.
Another popular opinion amongst comments is that “iphone games” are not in fact games. No? I would argue that iPhone is simply a new platform in the gaming market. You can already group-play on several iPhones with a Wifi network and in a few years, you’ll be able to play MMOs on your iPhone as well. I included iPhone in the list of “consoles” because I was incorporating the present gaming climate and looking towards the future…and it IS the future. That’s a Val guarantee.
And along the same lines as the previous comment, people have suggested that Atari should not have been included in the list. I’m assuming that people who suggested this are under the age of 30, or even 20. Gaming pioneers are not gamers? These trolls need to check their facts. Furthermore, I think this in-fighting amongst gamers is part of the same problem. Not everyone feels like they’re on the same team. There is the male vs. female argument (we’ve established), but there are console wars going on as well. Who cares if you play on PS3 or Xbox? This is just fighting for fighting’s sake. And what should be an inclusive community of nerds becomes exclusive and aggressive. Nerd on nerd violence. Gross.
But, as a positive response to my manifesto, this video by NewChallenger was posted. I’m really excited by the spirit of this video, although ideally women won’t simply have to “mute the dickwads”…hopefully the dickwads won’t be dickwads anymore, and they’ll mute this behaviour themselves with a little encouragement.
People have suggested in comments that if you don’t want to get picked on as a gamer girl or girl gamer, that you should simply hide your identity as a female, and don’t use a “sexy” picture or a “sexy” username. But the message in my video was meant to challenge people to ask for a world where it won’t matter what picture or name you want to represent yourself – people will treat you with respect…and not be dickwads about it.
It has become clear to me now that campaigning for change will result in backlash. Change is scary. Especially for the “privileged people” who will have to give up some of their privileges in order to accommodate the change. But just because something is hard, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth fighting for. And the change is happening already. The number of women gamers is growing rapidly, but of course not everyone has accepted this reality, or embraced it. This will take some time, but I’m confident that the future’s lookin’ pretty nifty.
Anyways, thank you to everyone who supports the pursuit of equality. :)
Rant over. End of line.
**And also, please feel free to leave a comment if you like!
When I called my mother last night to talk about the article…she was out!
But since I had been fuming all day, and creating my perfect defense for calling myself “sexy” on the internets…I was practically bubbling over with the anticipation of laying it on her. So…she might have received a few long winded messages from yours truly to the effect of:
#1: Mother, I appreciate that you’re concerned about me…but you have to trust me. I’m a grown woman, and I’ve been taking care of myself for years. What I do to express myself is no concern of yours, and what I call myself is my own business. I have a reason for calling myself “sexy” nerd girl, and that reason is….BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
#2: I got cut off. Okay so I call myself “sexy” nerd girl because I feel sexy, as in I feel confident. Not because I’m some kind of sex worker on the internet, or I dress up in revealing outfits…that’s not the case at all! I feel like it’s important for people to express what makes them feel “sexy”…it’s all about pride, Mother. So there is no way you’re going to make me feel ashamed of….BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
#3: Arg! I got cut off again. All I really want to say is that I love making videos, and I like my monicker too. I hope it inspires other nerdy women to feel sexy! And I’m super happy that my vlogs got press, I love that people are watching them. I thought you’d be proud me but noooooooooo you have to….BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
#4: Sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude in that last one, but can’t you just be proud of me? People like my videos. It’s a good thing. Have a good night. Bye.
Sumptin’ like that anyways…and she hasn’t called back yet. She’s either really mad, feeling really guilty – or she’s just hung over. My guess is hung over.