7/27/2019

I want to talk about something that happened a couple days ago that really upset me. Something that caused me to break my recent vow of “no discourse.” Actually, I want to talk about multiple things that, at first, seem like disparate topics, but all tie together in the end.

I want to talk about “callout culture.”

I’m going to begin by talking about some things that happened four years ago. A lifetime ago by internet standards, but it feels like yesterday when you see how the people affected are doing now.

We all know who Ian Miles Cheong is, right? Screencaps of whatever dumb, racist shit he’s said today has undoubtedly appeared on your social media feeds at least twelve times in the last hour. He’s probably the third most dunkable man on Twitter, right behind Elon Musk and Donald Trump. An unsavory character, for sure. But he wasn’t always that way. There was a time where he, at the very least, pretended that he wasn’t a bigoted asshole. And a lot of people on varying degrees of the left believed him. They trusted him, liked him, considered him a friend. Hell, he managed to kayfabe his way in to Crash Override, back when that was also pretending to not be a total sham. Then a games writer suggested that there should be more Black people in The Witcher 3 and he was like, “fuck this, I’m going back to the right-wing!” and now he’s the reactionary writer we all know and dislike.

Now, what does this have to do with callout culture? Well, remember how I said that there were people that trusted him before he did his Mr. Burns “change of heart, then quickly change back” deal? He made a Twitter post during his “SJW” phase, more or less calling a games personality an asshole that people were afraid to piss off. Said personality then proceeded to prove him right by waiting a month or two after his big heel turn, posting a list of everyone who liked that post, and telling her audience that these were people who “are holding down women of color in games.” Almost every person on that list was a transgender woman. That detail will be important later.

These women all ended up being targeted for harassment. One of these woman I wrote about before: smeared as a nazi sympathizer and an abuser, who would ultimately be abused by her own wife, before getting kicked out of their home in the dead of Winter, because she liked a tweet. Let me reiterate: a trans woman with a physical disability and a heart condition was left in a situation where she could have conceivably died, because of an internet post made by someone else. A cisgender man in Malaysia does something fucked up, and the blame is laid at the feet of a trans woman in Canada.

Here’s another one. Remember “The Allyzone?” A guy at Amazon makes a bad Twitter post while the rest of us are all in bed, and it leads to this years-long mess of bullshit that targets everyone but the guy who coined that term in the first place? Around the same time, there was a trans woman who was making her name keeping tabs on the actions of hate groups, in an attempt to prove that it wasn’t all a bunch of edgy teens trolling each other on 4chan. But because she was mutual Twitter followers with the guy, suddenly she’s now a “performative activist” and a “bad queer ally.” And on top of that, Milo Yiannopoulos called you a pedophile, and he’s a man that has never lied about anything! Again, a cis man does something wrong, and a trans woman on the opposite end of the country gets labeled a pedophile (despite there being physical proof to the contrary).

That is two women, who I am friends with, who had their lives completely torn apart because of things that they didn’t even do. Because of tweets! Do you understand how fucking stupid the term “tweet” is? It brings me actual, physical pain to say or to type. You may as well jam some bamboo shoots under my fingernails every time I have to say “tweet” in an attempt to illustrate how fucked it is that innocent people got destroyed because they were in the fallout range of an internet callout. If you ever wanted to know why I felt that the indie games scene was a transphobic joke for years, and why I still sometimes bristle at the use of the term “AltGames,” now you know.

Now let me bring things to the current day. A popular musician was the subject of a callout because she once talked to and associated with another musician who turned out to be a sexual predator. Not because she herself did anything wrong, but because she knew someone who did. And she’s not the only one; a lot of us were willing to believe this person when they claimed their innocence. Hell, I did.

This woman, a CSA survivor, was accused of being a facilitator of child abuse because she had a tangential connection to an actual abuser. Now, speaking as someone who was also molested as a child, that is probably one of the worst things you can to say to someone like that, maybe second only to “you deserved it.” Unsurprisingly, she ended up having a massive panic attack as a result.

This is why I hate the concept of the callout: not because I have an insatiable appetite for racism and child pornography and would like to see the providers of such left alone, but because the shit doesn’t work. It never hurts the actual target, and utterly annihilates those on the sidelines. IMC still makes his living as a reactionary writer. Izzy Galvez still works for Amazon*. 4lung is still a popular musician. Hell, you can straight up admit to attempted rape, disappear for a few months, then reemerge with Macaulay Caulkin and Kenny Omega promoting your latest work. My friend’s shitty ex-wife? Fairly big name in the field of video games preservation; you’ve probably played one of the games she saved. A number of you follow her online. Hell, one of you even went to her house a few weeks ago to watch movies and play video games. I’m not about to write a big callout post accusing you all of supporting wife beating. The attempt at no-platforming never hits the mark. It always misses, and hits some unrelated, innocent person, instead. It’s not a coincidence so many people who are cast away tend to be trans, queer, and flat broke. Abusers are still not only still around, but actively thriving. Again, the shit doesn’t work.

*I understand that it’s a bit fucked up to put “said a dumb thing on the internet” in the same category as “being a nazi” and “admitting to being a ‘minor-attracted person’ on your private Twitter,” but I think you understand what I’m trying to get across here. You’re mad at him, but you’re going to take your anger out of someone in the periphery.

Another thing about all of this that gets to me, is how many people attempt to convince you that a person is bad based on screencaps they pulled from Kiwi Farms. Hell, a person that I’m told is a fairly prominent queer voice even outright said that “Kiwi Farms has a use.” Bullshit. Kiwi Farms does not have a use. It has never had a use, and it will never have a use. It is a website that once had a thread on its front page titled, “How to make trannies kill themselves.” I could go into all the heinous, criminal shit that they get up to, but I’ll simply say this: Kiwi Farms is populated by a group of rocket scientists that think I’m into bestiality because I said “dicks out for Harambe.” It’s not “problematic” for anyone, let alone a trans person, to discount anything they say.

And there are those that would say that despite all the terrible things they do, Kiwi Farms has targeted people who turned out to be predators themselves. Basically saying that all the innocent people who have been doxxed, harassed, and stalked for years on end for reasons ranging from “being an outspoken activist” to “saying ‘Abolish ICE’ a few too many times” are expendable, because one or two of them might be bad. These people, who we have already established are being targeted until they commit suicide, are an acceptable loss. You are saying that I am an acceptable loss.

Let me respond as such: Fuck you. I am nobody’s acceptable loss.

To see my fellow transes use this place as a source is pretty fucking depressing, honestly. Though, by now, I should not be surprised. We like to assume that the people who do this are mostly anonymous 16-year olds with K-Pop avatars. And that’s mostly true, but there’s a lot of people doing this shit that are in their 20s, even their 30s. Like, you’re adults! Grow up!

This all brings me to my point: I have given up on trying to endear myself to a community. Trying to do that is what got me dragged into all this bullshit in the first place. Too much toxic bullshit. Too much stupid discourse. And honestly? It’s all because of one thing: everyone is terrified of pissing off cis people. That’s pretty much it. Allyship is a fucking joke, and we work a lot better for them as a concept, not as actual people. When they are reminded that we have thoughts and feelings, and that we shit and fuck like they do, that’s a problem. You want proof of that? Look how they sided with Mike Cernovich, the Gamergate Cum Lawyer, over Chelsea Goddamn Manning. How often does The Discourse revolve around sex? Kink at Pride. Offbeat fetishes being likened to pedophilia, even if children aren’t involved (anyone else remember that poor woman who got harassed for the Nier Automata Force-Femme fanfic she wrote for Waypoint?). How dare you call yourself a bisexual lesbian! It’s fucking stupid. And it muddies the waters when actual predators infiltrate our spaces, claiming that them jacking it to kids is the same as someone in their mid-20s putting something up their butt on their webcam.

My advice to you is this: be trashy. Be problematic. Be yourself. Because guess what? Even if you do your best to keep your head down, your mouth shut, and your pants on, all it takes is you laughing at the wrong joke and you’re fucked, dude. You will be judged, hated, even doxxed at your most benign, so you might as well go out of your way to make terrible people uncomfortable.

I’ve given up on community. I simply wish to exist as my own person, making the art I want, and chilling out, having a good time not having to worry about upsetting some faceless “influencer” with delusions of adequacy. And if you would like to come with me on this wild ride, feel free to do so. I wish to be there for my friends and loved ones, because they are what’s important. Not some hashtag and staying on the good side of some asshole I’ll never even meet.

And another reason why I’ve given up on community is because I am so tired of seeing these childish, saccharine calls for unity. We have to stick together, ya’ll! There are actual nazis out there, and we need to fight them!

Fuck off.

I do not wish to stand side-by-side with rapists, pedophiles, domestic abusers, white supremacists, gamergate supporters, neoliberals, centrist assimilationists who condemn Chelsea Manning while putting over Contrapoints like she’s the result of Marcia P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera doing the Fusion Dance, jackoffs using Kiwi Farms and Breitbart to harm other trans women, or anyone else that would willingly harm me. And you shouldn’t either! Be there for the people you care about; the ones that won’t leave you on the whims of someone who still thinks this is 2012 Tumblr. That’s what matters.

7/13/2019

A couple of things before I launch into this proper: one, I had to remake my Twitter account not too long ago. Long story short: old one was getting hit by constant mass reporting by The Gamers, and I was tired of being suspended constantly, so you can find me over here now.

Two, someone made fan art for one of my Mario Maker levels! It’s really cool!

This week was a pretty rough one, involving me grappling with my terrible mental health. So naturally, because I’m not so loaded that I can do bourgeois things like “take medication” or “seek therapy,” I figured I would write about it.

The thing about being Bipolar is that you are constantly being assailed by this voice in your head. A voice that will helpfully remind you at every turn how worthless you are; that you don’t have any talent, your friends don’t actually like you, everyone is out to get you. You are kept on a diet of paranoid ideas. When I’m having a bad time, that’s when the voice gets louder, until it finally provokes a response where it feels like I’m being taken over by every negative emotion at once. I get depressed, often times to the point of deleting everything I’ve ever made, or talking about detransitioning, and even suicidal ideation. I get mad; wanting to punch a hole in the wall (which I can’t do because I have tiny girly arms) or scream at someone I don’t like. I want to give in to every self-destructive impulse, and drive away everyone I care about because Fuck Them, They Don’t Like Me Anyway.

I feel guilty and embarrassed every single time this happens. How could I let myself lose control like that? Especially over a catalyst that’s either so painfully minuscule, or completely non-existent. My emotional state reduces me to that of a Heath Ledger Joker roleplay account. And even though I mostly managed to keep my last outburst to myself, I still feel like shit for even thinking that way. “Fuck other people, they’re all assholes and I don’t fucking need them!” “They’re never around when I need them!” “I really wish they would stop lying about liking me or liking my work when it’s obvious that they don’t!” And all this other shit that I know isn’t actually true. What kind of selfish asshole am I? I get frustrated when some of my art does low numbers, and my stupid ass blames everyone else for not sharing it enough, despite the fact that I don’t have a large audience, due to a lot of my own words and actions, and how even if I did, it’s still so easy to get lost in the always-updated timeline of social media. Expecting people who are busy with their own lives to monitor my every move, as though the world revolves around me. It’s stupid and unrealistic and what the hell is wrong with me and so on.

Or the opposite happens: something I make gets popular, and I get all sorts of wonderful positive reviews and compliments, and I can’t accept them. I know where all of my mistakes and flaws are, this wasn’t my best, and on top of that, I’m the worthless jerk-off who made it, so what kind of fucking asshole would sit there and say otherwise? That’s the fucked up part: I can never be happy. Either I make something that has a low “engagement,” and I get mad that it’s not more popular (not really for money reasons; more due to a massive amount of childhood trauma that’s too long to get into here), or I make something everyone loves, and I get mad that nobody is honest enough to tear it apart like it deserves. Like I deserve. I opened this post with that Mario fanart, and I’m of two minds. The first part is being really happy that someone liked something of mine so much that they drew a picture to show it. The other part of me is second guessing everything. I don’t deserve that kind of adulation. What’s this person’s game? Is this a joke?

Now, looking at this logically, it’s fucking stupid. There is no way a Japanese woman on a pseudonymous video game comments section, who I will most likely never meet or speak to at any point in my life, took time out of her life to draw a picture of something I worked on just to fuck with me. There are potentially millions of people on the Mario Maker server, someone singling me out of all those people is fucking ludicrous. But when you’re sick, you aren’t thinking logically.

There was a documentary released last year called Bipolar Rock n’ Roller. It follows Mauro Ranallo, a sports announcer, as he does his job while struggling with Bipolar and anxiety. There’s a scene where he’s in a hotel room after calling this major fight. He’s looking at Twitter on his phone, reading all the positive comments fans are giving him for the job he did. Mauro responds by throwing his phone down on the desk, taking his glasses off, and just saying “fuck off.” Because he knows all the mistakes he made that night, and all the small ways he thinks he fucked up. Who would praise that?

Like I said, it’s very hard to be happy, even when you have every reason to be.

Last year, there was an incident. I was working on a project with my friend Gabi. One of the worst kept secrets in the world is how much I care about and for her. I’d rather fucking crawl through broken glass than do anything to hurt her. Anyways. We were working on this game, and I was doing the graphics. The project called for all of the enemy sprites to have a special keyframe where they were at a 45 degree angle. Now, when you’re working with an image that’s 16 x 16 pixels, you can’t just click “rotate” in Photoshop and call it good. You’re left with an indecipherable blob. So you have to redraw everything, which doesn’t sound that difficult! I had no problem doing them at their regular angles. But for whatever reason, I could not redraw these characters in a way that didn’t look terrible. And I started getting that frustration-driven cloud forming over me again. I wasn’t mad the project. I certainly wasn’t mad at Gabi. I was mad at myself, because I couldn’t do something that seemed so fucking simple, and I was letting everyone down. And Gabi sensed it, trying to calm me down, telling me that what I done was perfectly fine, but I wasn’t really hearing it that night. And that froze my heart in place. Because I realized that, holy shit, I had shown someone I care about my “dark side.” That thing I try to keep hidden as best I can (at least, in a 1-on-1 setting; my old social media feeds are a different story). And it wasn’t even me at my worst. I wasn’t yelling, or being a dumbshit edgelord, I was just having a hard time and not being able to deal with it like a non-crazy person. The last thing I want to do is have that part of me exposed to someone that should never have to see that. Now, I’m all but certain she’s completely forgotten about this (or at least, until she reads about here), but I still feel guilty about it even now.

The part that really scares me about all of this, and why I brought up that old incident, is because I don’t know what the “real me” is. Am I the easy-going idiot who plays too many video games and wants nothing more than a quiet life with my friends? Or am I the angry, bitter, selfish piece of shit that yells and wants to get into fights because I’m self-destructive and it’s a good way to disguise the fact there is nobody on this planet I hate more than myself? I don’t know. And it’s hard, but I’m trying really hard to make that first description the “real me” some day.

I can’t let that other side win. It’s a constant battle, one that I feel like surrendering to sometimes. But there are a lot of people who have stuck with me, despite multiple reasons why they shouldn’t, and I guess I owe it to them to try, even if I don’t always feel like doing it for myself. My fucked up brain has actually been pretty alright today, which is why I’m able to write this now, and I would like for that to keep happening. But there’s no guarantee. It’s not an enemy attack, or a natural disaster, The Bad Times can come back without warning, or reason. But I promise I’ll keep trying.

7/6/2019: what i’ve been playing

Hello friends. I’ve been busy dealing with severe allergy attacks that have left me in a lot of pain and dealing with blurry eyesight, plus the usual bipolar brain shit (not fun). So in an attempt at keeping my thought process positive, I would do another “games I’ve been playing” post.

Hell Night

This game is pretty cool. It’s a 1998 Playstation game that combines two aesthetics that I really love: point-and-click exploring loaded with 90s pre-rendered CGI, and blocky corridors with warped textures. Now, while I liked it, I was also very disappointed with it.

Let me explain: the plot of Hell Night is a young man getting onboard the nearest subway car after being harassed on the street by some religious zealots. The car derails, killing everyone inside except for him, a teenage girl named Naomi who follows you around during the game, and a serial killer on the run named Kamiya. And while the main character and Naomi are figuring out what the fuck just happened, a monster tears his way in, gunning after the two of them, so they run away. They run to the end of the tunnel, where a bunch of special ops soldiers are waiting for them, ready to gun them down. But they get distracted by the monster, which kills all but one of them. And while all that’s going on, the MC and Naomi take off into the sewers, which then leads to the entrance of a secret underground city called the Tokyo Mesh. The Mesh was built from the remains on an abandoned military base, which has since been taken over by a cult, and is home to its members, along with refugees and sketchy people. And so now the object of the game is to escape from the Mesh, while also being endlessly pursued by the monster. There’s also some bits involving Cosmic Horror, if you’re into that.

Now, if you’re like me, that concept sounds cool as shit. A game that combines horror with slight Cyberpunk/Kowloon Walled City elements and has the visual gestalt of the games in the back of Gamefan magazine that I would fantasize about playing as a kid. And like I said, it’s good. But the problems come in when you realize that the Mesh is not as fleshed out as it should be for a game like this. NPCs don’t really do much or have a whole lot of character beyond saying a couple of goofy lines, giving/receiving items, or getting killed. The Mesh itself is mostly a series of dark corridors with generic, unmarked doors leading you to the characters, or to completely empty rooms. I felt that there should have been better care taken with the narrative structure of the game.

The monster is pretty well done. The game does feel like a precursor to Alien Isolation. There’s puzzle solving and exploration, all while having to avoid a single enemy capable of killing you instantly. And unlike most horror games, this monster does not just lumber towards you; this motherfucker will full-on sprint after you from a dark hallway, scaring the shit out of you. And by “you,” I mean “me.”

But then around the mid-way point, the monster either stops showing up, or due to the stage design, is so easy to avoid that he becomes more of a formality than a threat. And then the end of the game comes, where he becomes the single most annoying thing you can deal with, causing me to spend well over an hour in a single area, unable to bypass him. It’s hard to scare me when you’re bothering me.

All that being said though, the game is still cool, and you should probably fire it up in your emulator of choice.

Samurai Shodown V Special

Gabi and I have been playing some matches on Fightcade together, in addition to me taking on random players here and there. My Ukyo is mostly untouchable.

Super Mario Maker 2

It’s probably counter-intuitive to buy a game completely based around level design while I’m actively working on my own game, which is currently taking way too fucking long to finish for my liking. But whatever, I’m having fun with it, and people are liking my stages, which gives me a bit of relief knowing that if people are liking what I’m doing with Mario, then they’ll also probably enjoy Slimegirl.

Go play my levels:

And that’s pretty much about it for now. Mostly needed to take this time out to be positive, and not let the bad energy get to me moreso than it has this week. I’m about two months away from one full year of sobriety, so beating the bad brains to avoid falling back into that pit is a good thing. Don’t know what my next post will be; maybe a Developer Diary, or I can try and dig out some more old retail shit besides these two lanyards I have laying around my house. But until then, see you around.

Oh right, gotta post a song too.

Kaela Kimura- Know You Love Me