EDIT: If you have a problem with this post, please go here. If then, you still have a problem with it, well, go somewhere else.
For decades, it's been two groups - cool kids, and geeks. Jocks and nerds. The popular people, social butterflies, and the smart, socially awkward outcasts. This is a pretty well-known division and it's only in recent years that it's become cool to be a nerd. Perhaps because now everyone's online, and the internet is our fucking playground. While the cool people are still busy spamming "LOL ur so funy" with giant glittering emoticons over MSN, checking their AOL e-mail that came free when they signed up with AOL as their ISP, and are still using Vista and are utterly lost when they pick up adware and Norton AntiVirus fails to deal with it. Or perhaps they just think that 30,000 pop-ups appearing randomly and all those shortcuts to Casino.net that appeared spontaneously on their desktop are supposed to be there.
Am I bitter? Yes. Why? Because they picked on us, all of us, for years, for being smart, educated, and caring about learning and not content with spending our existence having the emotional depth of a puddle.
But now, as Hardison says, "It's the age of the geek, baby", and suddenly every fucker wants to be a jedi.
No. You don't get to do that. You don't get to make a level 1 blood-elf in WoW, run around naked spamming /dance, giggling and getting items free from pre-pubescent boys who aren't yet cynical enough to believe that there are no women on the internet. Don't button-bash your way through Street Fighter, pick Eddie in Tekken (cheapest fucking character ever, although on a tangent I had a friend in high school who could play devastatingly well as Ling Xiaoyu, I'm pretty sure it was some kind of cultural Chinese mind-merge thing because I could never do her Lotus Twist) or play Final Fantasy 8 and be utterly convinced that that makes you one of us.
My Twitter followers will realise that this post is the result of the MichellePhail bandwagon, which tonight, I joined.
I probably should have, but contrary to popular opinion, I wasn't looking to jump into a teeming mass of drama, or deal with yet another psychologically unstable, self-proclaimed style icon. I probably wouldn't have been that fazed if she kicked orphans.
What convinced me, was this.
(To be fair, Phan isn't the first attractive woman who's attempted to falsely brand themselves as a geek to gain more popularity. And equally, I hate all of those women, too. )
Phan owns every new-generation console and happily proclaims that she plays WoW as well. She's a hardcore gamer girl, after all. She even made a new Youtube channel. About gaming.
That was the thing that really tipped me over the edge, from mildly annoyed and into psychotic rage. I'm aware that this rant won't be my most coherent, because I'm just too fucking angry. You could have kicked some orphans, Phan, you could have talked about how you like to kill your rabbit, or torture your cat.
Her new channel, which goes on and on about what a cool girl gamer she is, because you know, girl gamers who are cute Asian girls are totally rare and sexy and will get her even more subscribers, has three videos that she appeared to take part in. One of them is simply a trailer of other video footage, another is a short Streetfighter match in which she cheats to win, and the third is her doing a painting of Aeris & Cloud from FFVII, while talking over the J-pop-sounding music some asinine, superficial generic bullshit about people's hearts and goodness and rainbows and puppies and junk. The other videos are posted by her collaborator. These are the videos that actually have anything to do with gaming.
This video channel actually hosted a contest which involved playing against Phan on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and it was later revealed that it was her ex-boyfriend playing in her place, not her.
But, because she's so hardcore, she was probably spending her time playing other games, right? Like WoW, for example, MMORPGs can be pretty damn addictive. I remember clocking an average of 9 hours a day back when I got into Guild Wars. You might say I have no life, Phan, but see, make-up and geekery actually is my life, a life I like, and you stole it. Checking up on her character, Ricebunny, which was created in 2008, today it's... level 26. She played WoW for just over a month, and hasn't played it in almost two and a half years.
You know what, Phan? If you were a gamer, you'd know not to name your product line "IQQU". When I heard it, I honestly thought someone was making a "QQ moar" joke with the name. Way to name your skincare line after the most infamous gaming meme there is! No one who has played an MMO for any length of time could have made this mistake. You probably should just fucking QQ now.
She has two Xbox 360s, a PS3, and reportedly walks around with a PS3 controller in her purse. I have no idea why though, since her Xbox Live profile hasn't moved since 2009 and she's completed 62% of one game for her PS3. Clearly you play so much, you must be armed with an extra console controller at all times. She made a big fuss of being incredibly grateful to a hotel for providing her room with a PS3 because she was, supposedly, so torn up about missing E3. Looks like she made great use of that, then.
I can see gaming is a serious, hardcore passion for her. Obviously what I need to be doing is posting photos of myself in front of my consoles in order to secure my nerd-cred. You can read more, specifically, about this perverse pretence over here. Some people seem to be missing the point, which is not that I don't think Phan is "enough" of a gamer to qualify for our elite ranks, it's that she fucking isn't one, at all! Shockingly, one of the prerequisites if you're going to label yourself a gamer and refer to it constantly, taking photographs of yourself next to your consoles over and over, is actually playing games. Like, not telling people you play WoW 'cause you're such a nerd, when you haven't for almost two and a half years. Like that.
I know this post is pretty personal and venomous, but you know what, fuck it. Fuck Michelle Phan. Stealing my culture is pretty fucking personal. We have enough to contend with, with ditzy girls who do show up in games giggling with names like LuvMeAngel16 expecting fanboys to give them free crap, without people just pretending they've picked up a controller in the last year when they haven't. Playing 3 Final Fantasy games doesn't make you a fucking gamer, a nerd, or whatever culture you think it's totally cool to adopt. Some of us wear our geekdom as a badge of countercultural pride, long before it was cool, and endured, because we believe that things like sharks, lasers, pirates and ninjas are seriously awesome and that you won't be fucking laughing when we finish building our robot army.
If you decided being a vegetarian was a cool social label you wanted, because hey, it makes you look like you care about animal rights, and shit, right? Except that you weren't a vegetarian, and you ate every animal except for, let's say, venison, but you took pictures of yourself next to carrots, so that ought to count.
Then people would be pretty pissed that you were calling yourself a vegetarian despite not being one just for the image. This wouldn't be acceptable, so why is you lying and stealing my subculture acceptable?
Don't try to fucking appropriate my culture because you think it will make you more popular, and you're utterly devoid of your own. How desperate do you have to be to lie about facets of your personality, and what you enjoy? It makes you look pathetic, it reflects poorly on female geeks in general, and it pisses us off to boot.
Speaking for female gamers everywhere, Phan; do not want. GTFO our subculture and get the fuck off our internets.
EDIT: For clarification, the source of my rage isn't "you don't play enough games to justify being called a gamer/hardcore gamer" it's "you are repeatedly and pervasively lying about having any genuine or sustained interest in gaming at all in order to benefit for the social status now attached to it."
I don't hate people who don't game, game a little, hate gaming, or only play Jenga. I hate people who pretend to like something they don't, something which I deeply love, in order to make themselves look "cool". If you believe that she actually does play, and enjoy games, then you and I will continue to disagree, and the world will keep spinning.