Recently, some folks have argued against “angry white males” being part of fandom and a whole bunch of other things, some of which weren’t very nice. We at Otherwhere Gazette decided that, in the interest of fairness, would take the opportunity to talk to the Angry Beige Nerd. (We wouldn’t want to get accused of racism for using the dreaded word “white” now would we.”
OG: Mr. Nerd, we want to thank you for sitting down with us today.
ABN: Sure thing. It’s either that, or I have to clean my room. My mom’s been riding my butt over that for a few days now.
OG: We certainly understand. So, first, there are a lot of people claiming that you’re misogynistic due to the whole #GamerGate thing. Why do you hate women?
ABN: I don’t. I mean, I hate it when they shoot me down for some guy with chiseled abs, then complain to me that they can’t find a nice guy. It’s annoying, because it’s like they’re telling me I’m chopped liver, that I’m not a “guy”. But hate women? Why would I do that?
ABN: You got me. [shrugging] I didn’t do it. Most of my friends didn’t either. You get some jerks in any crowd. I mean, didn’t you get a bunch of death threats because you wanted Piers Morgan to go back to England and the “idiotic” gun laws he loved so much?
OG: Yeah. It was an interesting New Years Day, let me tell ya.
ABN: The thing is, you didn’t label all progressives as homicidal, did you?
OG: No, not that I can recall. It was a while back though, so…
ABN: So why am I being labeled as misogynistic because I think gaming journalism needs to hold itself a bit more accountable? It’s ridiculous.
OG: Some are arguing that the problem with #GamerGate is that you’re trying to support the objectification of women in games.
ABN: Yeah, I’m not really sure what they’re talking about on that. Most of the games I play give you a chance to play as either male or female, and some even let you experiment with alternate sexualities. Hell, if you wanted, you could probably pretend your character is trans and no one would give a damn.
What I hate is when they’re complaining about games I love, and acting like I’m somehow wrong because I don’t want to stop playing those games. How about they create some games that are awesome, but hit all their check boxes. They manage that, and I’ll probably play it.
OG: Didn’t the whole thing blow up regarding Zoe Quinn’s game Depression Quest? Isn’t that a case of someone trying to do just that?
ABN: Yeah, I gave DQ a try. It’s the first game I actively wanted to lose. I kept praying for an option that would let me put a pistol in my mouth and pull the trigger. If that’s the best this crowd can manage, I’ll stick with Bioware.
OG: Okay, let’s shift gears just a bit. You’re also a fan of science fiction and fantasy, right?
ABN: Oh yeah, I love it.
OG: You told me before you were familiar with the Sad Puppies slate?
ABN: Yep, and I’m supportive. Generally, at least.
OG: There are some arguments that you and your friends aren’t really part of “fandom” and are intruding where you’re not wanted.
ABN: I hate to break it to those folks, but for a long time, we were fandom. Yeah, there are a lot of folks who aren’t white and male who are part of fandom these days, and that’s a good thing. The problem is, now they’re trying to purge anyone who doesn’t want to bow to their whims. I’m sorry, but wasn’t fandom about being a fan, first and foremost?
These days, they’re whining about this and that, and they’re pretty quick to try and push an agenda that has nothing to do with being a fan of science fiction or fantasy. It’s like the thing with Adam Baldwin. They’re going to boycott a con because he’ll be there. Um…he’s not going to even raise an eyebrow at them.
OG: Well, his support of GamerGate-
ABN: Yeah, he supports GamerGate…because he thinks gaming journalists with ties to game developers should either have to disclose that tie, or not cover games those developers crank out. Yeah, absolutely horrifying.
OG: Okay, let’s get back to science fiction and fantasy. What do you see as the problems there?
ABN: Oh, just that the stuff they’re ready to give awards to blows. They’ve gotten it into their head that science fiction and fantasy books should be all “literary” and maybe they’ll get the love of the literary establishment instead of being viewed as a genre for kids.
OG: Is that such a bad thing?
ABN: If you like that sort of thing, probably not. However, sales of science fiction and fantasy seem to be dropping based on the complaints of low profits from the publishers, yet they keep trying to turn out this crap. I mean, really? Meanwhile, the stuff a lot of us want to read, they’re not interested in publishing.
OG: What about the Hugo Awards? Some think the issue you had with Ancillary Justice, which won both the Nebula and the Hugo last year was because of the idea of all feminine pronouns.
ABN: No, my problem with it was that it’s the only thing on Earth that I found that made me want to play Depression Quest again.
OG: Now, a lot of people love it.
ABN: Good for them. I thought it was freaking awful.
OG: But the Hugo and Nebula voters loved it. There’s no way around that.
ABN: No, there isn’t. But the Nebula’s are voted on by writers, many of whom want to be respected by people who are never going to respect them, and the Hugo’s are voted on by a couple thousand folks. It’s not really representative necessarily of what people are actually reading and really digging.
OG: Alright. Now onto society in general. There are some that think the “nerd” is dead, due to the popularity of things like video game tournaments and the huge box office movies like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy bring in.
ABN: I’ll try and remember that the next time the football team stops by and wedgies me so badly my underoos are flossing my teeth.
OG: I’m being serious here.
ABN: I am too. Being a “nerd” or a “geek” or whatever term you prefer isn’t about whether you’re doing something that other people like. It’s deeper than that. We don’t choose to be nerds. It’s just how we’re wired. It’s really nice of some so-called journalist thinks we don’t really exist anymore.
OG: Fair enough. What about the whole “fake geek girl” thing from about a year ago?
ABN: Hey, if you think you’re one of us, but all you want to do is dress up as characters from things you can’t even hold a conversation on, you’ll pardon me if I’m skeptical.
OG: But is it really fair?
ABN: Honestly? Probably not. But for a lot of us, when a cute girl starts showing interest in things we’re interested in, there’s bound to be a bucket of pig’s blood in our future.
OG: That’s kind of a cynical view of stuff.
ABN: Have you ever had to set up housekeeping in a gym locker?
OG: Going back to fandom for a moment, what do you think is the problem?
ABN: I think some people weren’t hugged enough by their parents myself.
OG: I mean, regarding claims of misogyny.
ABN: Beats me. I’ve always thought women were just as capable as men and should be given ample opportunity, but I don’t think you correct past wrongs by repeating them with the roles flipped. Then again, every time one of them screams “misogyny”, I want to tell them to get their butts back in the kitchen and to fix me a sandwich. Which is weird because I actually prefer to make my own sandwiches.
ABN: Yeah. Mom doesn’t use enough mayo.
OG: Well, thanks for your time. Would you be willing to talk to us later, as new situations come up?
ABN: Oh, absolutely. Especially if I can schedule it to get out of cutting the grass. I hate that crap.
OG: Sounds good. We’ll talk to you later.