Image is of a badge in the center is a Hang Loose symbol and the outside is decorated with olive leaves and gold stars. The Badge reads: Declared Awesome
 
I’m about to tell you a story about videogames, kitchens, and internet forums that has a happy ending. Stop laughing, I’m serious.
 

What happened here has never happened to me before in my life, or to any other woman I have ever heard of, so listen up. Listen well all of you. If you’re a Game Dev or you moderate an internet community, or you’re a bunch of women who know how this usually plays out–no matter who the hell you are I promise you that you’ve never seen this before.
 

As you well know, I recently beat the ever-loving bizzle out of Lord Dredmor the hardest way ever (pre-Wizardlands expansion), and these kinds of things (ie: beating a roguelike at all) don’t happen every day, so I visited a number of forums to see if I was really a badass or if maybe everyone already did this. Apparently, no, they had not. It was awesome to be called a badass so many times in one day. This was the greatest feeling ever, and a fine welcome after my long days of dying every time I play a roguelike. I wanted to know and interact with everyone else who loved Dredmor as much as I do. I wanted to be among my people and rejoice.
 

As you also might have noticed, this took a foul turn. What happened is documented in the link there but essentially my first day on the forums I was told to return to the kitchen, in what must have been what guys who don’t know any women think is a normal activity for us.
 

I was really glad when shortly after my post went up I saw a supportive comment on my blog from the forum moderator. Friends, this is highly unusual. For those who don’t know, in the best-case scenario, here’s how forum moderation normally plays out:
 

Human Female: Hey all, I’m here and I play this and I’m not putting effort into hiding my gender for some reason.
 

Human Forum members: Oh, Hi! How can you play that in the kitchen?
 

Human Moderator: Ok, that guy is banned, let’s never speak of this again alright?
 

THREAD DELETED
 

This sucks because now the problem is made invisible. The only good thing is we don’t have to look at those words anymore, but nothing about this feels like justice, inclusion, or problem-solving. Further, a lot of times garbage talk is not moderated, even on forums with moderators, because there’s this idiot idea that if we say stuff like “That’s just the internet” it will all go away and be okay again. But it’s weird because then you look at your forum and the only people there are guys who are wicked good at making kitchen jokes. I guess women just don’t play games?
 

The next thing that happened was a developer at Gaslamp Games named David Baumgart did exactly what has always been needed. He didn’t tweet anything, he didn’t write a singe-y blog post, he didn’t spew inflammatory angershouts, he didn’t silence me, he said this instead:
 

Text is shown from a forum post by David Baumgart, the Gaslamp Games Art Director. It reads: Ok, that's done. Temp ban given and that's considerable restraint. I won't stand for this bloody stupid sandwich

 

You absolutely have to read this. (The clicking makes it bigger)

 
And you know, this response was perfect. I had no desire for Kitchen Joker to be banned. In general, I sincerely want us all to get along, but the price for peace should never be your invalidation as a human for no good reason. By now, we know that’s what it means when the jokes aren’t stopped. One person told me that instead of my awesome reply I should have said nothing to the Kitchen Joker and just asked the mods to ban him. No. Because if he’s a good guy and just didn’t know, maybe he will learn from this. Rather than kicking out all the guys who say stuff we don’t like why not see if they can unlearn the dumb things they think so we can all play together? Otherwise they’ll just collect somewhere else I want to post on the internet and continue annoying me there. We have to make a social change that says no. And sometimes we have to do it with “your mom” jokes.
 

So I was trotting along pretty happy at finally getting to be just a person at last on the Gaslamp Forums, thinking after the temp ban Kitchen Joker would just flutter off and find a better place to call home or (ideally) come back renewed with understanding that the internet isn’t just for making dumb jokes all day toward women. I logged in to see if the new hotfix for Dredmor was up and I saw this PM conversation:
 

Text is shown from a forum post by forum member Hybelkanin. It reads: Good to have access again btw, I missed browsing this forum. Anyway, there must be something I'm missing about my bad no doubt but in my own opinion at least lighthearted kitchen joke. I certainly never intended to put the female attendance off with it, I really thought it would be the most harmless thing. Why am I writing you then ? Well, I want to apologize to gaslamp but especially thecakepie for causing trouble. Typically, you'll find troublemakers on one side of the weight and me on the other. Having quite obviously offended with my posts I sincerely apologize. I've not been able to read anything here since my ban happened, so its quite likely I've missed deleted/edit dramas and such. I hope this incident passed without further flames. I'm sorry about this all, really. While I personally feel this was taken a bit too far considering my own intents with my comments, its good to see the boards are after all strictly moderated. I hope we can move past this and clear the air on this ugly business, and get along famously on the forums from now? I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable continuing on these boards otherwise, the last thing I want is to carry the stamp of a female hating demon. That just isn't me. However this turns out though I'll tell you folks that I will definitely be more careful picking my words/jokes on public boards after this experience. What say you... friends? Or at the very least neutral aligned? Greets from Hybelkanin.

 

Fig. 1 : Mansplaining

 
When I saw this my first reaction will not come off as good feminism. Remember folks, my whole life as a female I’ve been actively trained to make nice, keep people happy, and when they are unhappy FIX IT even if they’re just upsetting themselves because they were jerks and someone said NO MORE JERKS. My Wishful Brain’s programming still booted up and pulled this out: “Awww, how NICE! He wants us to be friends, he must be so sorry, I mean, he SAYS he’s sorry, right?” Goodness. Well I am an autonomous beast so I’ve spent a lot of time reprogramming myself so my Smart Brain turned on. It was like: “You: Wishful Brain, you’re being stupid again. PAY ATTENTION. He says all this stuff about being sorry, but I think he says a lot more about the situation being overblown because his intentions were harmless. He cares more about looking good than he does about how you feel. BULLSHIT ALERT.” Cue the claxons.
 
(PS: in my head claxons sound like Nyan Cat.)
 
I was agast.
 
Still agast.
 
Cold tears formed in my eyes and I thought to myself what I would reply. Would I say, “Hey, this is probably something you should spend time learning about. And I don’t plan on being your friend. Ideally, you should not have contacted me just because you decided your NEED to look good and feel like a Good Guy was more important than my comfort. Next time you’re careless with women try to consider that your needs aren’t better than theirs.” Indeed, I was planning an intelligent yet compassionate response. How proud you must be, Mom.
 
BUT WAIT! I didn’t have to write fuckall.
 
I logged in today (again to check for a delicious hotfix) and I didn’t have to tell this Kitchen Joker anything. Developer DAVID BAUMGART beat me to it:
 

Text is shown from a forum post by Gaslamps Games Art Director David Baumgart. It reads: Hi Hybelkanin, Imagine how alienating it would be for the first response you get from every online forum to be a

 

Ladies, please restrain yourselves from sending marriage proposals.

 
I want to say thank you to David Baumgart, to “Daynab” the forum mod, and to all the future men of the Gaslamp Games forum. I want to welcome all women who enjoy being badasses to play Dungeons of Dredmor, possibly the least sexist game in the world, made by the most inclusive developers known. (And in my opinion, a very fun Roguelike)
 
I also want to say to all of you who want a better games community, here it is. To those who wanted to see things done right, there you have it. I can’t say anymore. This is sincerely, tear-inducingly the best thing that has ever happened to me in the world of games. If you’re reading this and you have no idea why I feel like that, please avail yourself of the hundred years of thought that has been done on the subject of women, feminism, sexism, and see if you can’t learn. This isn’t some opinion, it’s a truth you can understand and it should count as an achievement.
 
 

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122 Responses to “Women Gamers: Gaslamp Games forums are amazing”

  1. On the nonsense of kitchen and sandwich jokes Says:

    […] support women’s rights on the Internet (or you know, simply exist on the Internet as a woman), and you’ll inevitably encounter some form of the following allegedly hilarious […]

  2. Link(s) to the Past: The Week in Links 9/3/12 | nerdyladies.com Says:

    […] Tiffany Martin, of cake-pie.com, had a crappy experience with a gaming forum–and then a really awesome experience. (Hint: The events started with the phrase “Get in the kitchen!”, and ended with an excellent response from a developer.) Women Gamers: Gaslamp Games forums are amazing // Cake-pie  […]

  3. Gaslamp Games | standing alone in complexity Says:

    […] about this community interaction on the Gaslamp Games forums made me want to really play Dungeons of Dredmor again. ^_^ This entry was posted in journal and […]

  4. Zerosion Says:

    I just wanted to make a quick reply. I will start off by saying I absolutely LOVE your name. The Cake Pie XD

    Onto a more serious topic. I have a great deal of respect for both you and the Developer David Baumgart.

    I have never tolerated such discrimination, and I never will. I was raised better than that. This whole situation reminds me of one at my workplace recently, although on a different end of the spectrum I believe such things relate to each other.

    This last Sunday I went into work and looked at the fridge, seeing how its my responsibility to take care of it. Upon looking in there I found out that someone had been drawing swastikas and writing Hitler in the fridge. I am not religious, but the utter disrespect for the Jewish people and the events that transpired in WW2 infuriates me. Believe me when I say that everyone heard about this. I dont know who did it but its really frustrating to see that kind of thing. Discrimination of anyone or anything is a sad sight. :/ Sorry you had to go through that. On behalf of all guys, my apologies.

    [Reply]

  5. Zerosion Says:

    Also before this id never heard of Dungeons of Dredmor. I have to go check it out now ^^ thanks.

    [Reply]

  6. TFG Says:

    This is incredible!
    So very much <3<3<3<3<3<3<3!!!

    [Reply]

  7. Psiweapon Says:

    Hey there CakePie!

    Seen you back at the temple, already knew about your xbox hueg DoD feat (I don’t even play GR! I’m still stuck in DM!)

    What I didn’t know was that your success was so promptly met by such a jerk on Gaslamp Forums. Gah.

    I bet that guy’s dick feels smaller since you beat the game the way you did. That dbaumgart pounced on him like the fist of an angry god probably doesn’t help, either.

    [Reply]

    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    Thanks for coming by, if you came from the temple then you must be a big roguelike fan. I encourage you to come by once in a while, I’m planning to write some Dredmor guides as well as some content about other rogues I play and love (powder, tome, crawl, FTL, and more). As a fan I’d be excited about suggestions, if you have any, about what you’d like to read about rogues.

    What’s really funny is that my success was never challenged on the gaslamp forums. Read closely, the guy posted his comment at me in the INTRO thread. He hadn’t even seen that I beat dredmor on GR/PD random.

    I did get a few comments here on cake-pie.com that I left unapproved because they were just dicks feeling smaller at my accomplishment. Some were outright abusive, some were threats. Some tried to tear me down and I wasn’t having any of that.

    It was fun to read your comment and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around the net.

    [Reply]

  8. Michelle Says:

    I do feel an overwhelming urge to send a marriage proposal! Perfectly explained, perfectly pitched. So unfortunately rare.

    [Reply]

    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    Isn’t it too bad that it’s so rare? I’ll be glad when treating women as having equal status is so common no one will think it’s heroic anymore.

    [Reply]

  9. GatfromKI Says:

    I love your awesome reply. Really.

    See, when I’ve nothing better to do, I troll on the internet – or more preciselly, I counter-troll (on french forums, because my english language is quite limited). And your awesome reply is an awesome counter-troll. I love it!

    [Reply]

    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    Thank you for what you said. The whole thing was a shocking experience (in a wonderful way) and I’m so glad other people got to know about what happened.

    I know what you mean about counter-trolling (: It can help but it’s always good to know when to use it and when to try to dialogue ^_^ Some trolls are just one rational tête-à-tête from being on the right side (:

    I appreciate your comment and your point of view!

    [Reply]

  10. Lecari Says:

    Hey,

    I know this is quite an old post, but I stumbled across it today and just wanted to reply to say that this is a great story – I wish this would happen more often. I’ve never heard of Dungeons of Dredmor until now but your experience means I will certainly now give it a try.

    Thank you for sharing your experience!

    -Lecari

    [Reply]

    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    Lecari,

    Yep, it’s an old post but somehow it seems to be relevant even today, a year later, don’t you think? Thank you for stopping by and reading, I still love when I see a comment like this one.

    You say you might give Dungeons of Dredmor a try? I definitely recommend playing it, and if I can offer some advice (esp if it’s your first roguelike) take it slow, and expect to die a lot! It’s fun! Hehe, if you do play it, you should come back and let me know what you think of it~

    [Reply]

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Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 13th August 2012
Filled Under: Games