Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: toxic masculinity

Get your gate-keeping out of my games

Recently, in the RKG group, there was a post by a guy (gender relevant) which stated that it may be an unpopular opinion, but you cannot say you truly beat Bloodborne unless you do the Chalice Dungeons and beat all the bosses (paraphrasing). I posted my opinion which basically is who the fuck cares? I was more diplomatic than that, but it’s what it boils down to. I hate gate-keeping in…well, anything, but I notice it most often in things I care about, naturally.

First of all, just fucking state your opinion. That’s tangential to my rant, but it irks me when someone starts anything with ‘this may be unpopular’. Own your shit! Who cares if it’s unpopular or not? Of course, I might be particularly cynical in this instance because all of my opinions are unpopular. Well, not all, but many of them. In addition, my whole lifestyle is unpopular in one way or another, so I’ve become inured to it. In addition, it has a whiff of excuse giving in the beginning. Kind of like, ‘I’m not racist, but’ blah, blah, blah.

Again, that’s just a side note to the real irritation–men who unilaterally decide the markers that make someone a TRUE whatever fan. I later tweeted on Twitter that while I loved the Souls games, I hated this aspect of ‘the community’.

Side note: I love the Souls games with the intent to replay them. I love Sekiro, but it broke me. I intellectually thought Bloodborne was a good game, but I didn’t love it. I would replay it if it were on the PC, but I don’t like playing on the PS4. I would replay Sekiro until the cows came home if I could co-op. I understand why I can’t, but I’m not willing to spend ten hours on bird daddy or the last boss once again. So when I’m talking about the community, I mean the FromSoft community in general.

Anyway, I know the gate-keeping thing isn’t specific to FromSoft games, but there’s something about this kind of game that brings out the extreme toxic masculinity. I think it’s because the games are difficult to begin with, so if you play them, it’s easy to get an attitude about it. I will say beating a FromSoft boss is unlike any other feeling, especially after hours of failing against the same boss. There is a dopamine hit unlike any other, and it’s why I continue to play the games.

Part of my disgust is because who gets to be the keeper of the gate and why? Historically, it has been men. Mostly white straight cis dudes who hang every  part of their identity on their knowledge of a certain thing. It’s a way to keep people out, and it’s similar to a ‘no girls allowed’ sign. It’s a way to make someone feel better about himself.


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Lay Down Your Guns, Boys

I woke up to the news of the Las Vegas shooting, and I had a complex set of reactions. First, horror. Second, anger. Third, disbelief. Fourth, resignation. They happened rapidly and in that particular order. Sadly, the disbelief was just for how many people were injured/killed. It wasn’t that it happened, oh no. That’s a daily occurrence in America, and it barely gets a yawn from the press. The only reason this made the national news is because over 500 people were hurt and at least 58 people killed (according to ABC News). The scope is unfathomable, and it’s certainly newsworthy. I think the horror and anger are self-explanatory. The resignation, however, is because nothing will change. We’ll all be shocked and horrified–for a day or three. The politicians will say it’s terrible, and they’ll pray loudly for the families and friends of the victims. Then, they will continue to do exactly jack and shit about gun laws and other problems besetting America (more on that in a bit), and keep trying to take healthcare away from as many Americans as possible.

Let me be clear. Normally, when I’m railing about politicians, it’s implicitly understood that I mean Republicans. In this case, however, Democrats haven’t done much more to change our gun culture. I don’t think Democrats are as wedded to their guns as are Republicans, but it’s not a priority to them at all. Even PBO recognized the futility of trying to tackle this issue and mostly took a pass on it.

I’m not a fan of trotting out ‘the children’, but when Sandy Hook happened without barely a ripple in the national discussion of our peculiar brand of violence, I knew we had lost that fight. Most Americans at least give lip service to the sanctity of children’s lives, but we allowed Sandy Hook to happen with only the meekest of protests. That’s when I knew that we had accepted guns and some people’s inordinate love for them as an acceptable trade-off for losing lives at the blunt end of them.

I went on a Twitter rant right after I heard about it because I can’t believe we’re still putting up with this shit. Here it is:


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