Being a ‘real’ fan part 2: Fake Gamer Girls

Last time I talked about fantitlement: The idea that you have to meet certain arbitrarily set requirements to call yourself a fan of something. This is somewhat an extend of that. Because as a gamer who is also of the female gender, I have the impression that I, more often as males, have to prove that I’m really into games. That is because of the myth of the ‘Fake Gamer Girl’.

The Fake Gamer girl is a female who craves attention from guys. Somehow she can’t get it from ‘normal’ guys, so she pretends to like video games so she can invade the geek game culture to mislead those poor sexually frustrated male gamers into giving her attention. Fake Gamer Girls are everywhere: Online playing Call of Duty, posting sexy pictures of themselves on Instagram, or cosplaying at conventions.

Newsflash: Fake Gamer Girls don’t exist. Or at least, they’re very rare. I hate the term ‘gamer girl’ to begin with, because I don’t understand why my gender has anything to do with my hobby. True, gaming is primary marketed to guys, and it used to be ‘male hobby’, in the long-long-ago, but that doesn’t mean that girls who are into it have to be viewed with so much suspicion. ‘What? A girl who’s into video games? Impossible! She must do it for the attention, that succubus!’.

You know what does exist? Models. Models who pretend to play video games, models who pretend to fix a car, models who pretend to be a carpenter. But we don’t call them ‘Fake Carpenter Girls’, right? But we don’t go around accusing real female carpenters of being ‘fake carpenter girls’ who are only doing it for the attention, right?

 

Yes, there are females who get paid to stream Call of Duty half naked, but you know what? Those are models and actresses. They’re not pretending to be anything. They’re not invading your precious little geek circle. And even if there are girls who post a few pictures of themselves on Instagram, wearing a bikini, licking a controller, what harm are they doing? They might get a few likes! Oh no! Really, there is no malicious intend there guys.

So yea, learn the difference between models and reality and stop accusing female gamers of being ‘fake’, when they tell you that Mario is their favourite game of if they don’t have a favourite Battle Toad (again with the arbitrary standards). Just treat them like your male gaming buddies please.

 

How Captain Jack Harkness came sashaying into my life

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Let me tell you the story of how Captain Jack Harkness came sashaying into my life.

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First, let me explain I’m not talking about the ‘real’ Captain Jack Harkness (although I wouldn’t mind him occupying my house, cuddling up on the couch and claiming a spot in my bed). I’m talking about the furry Captain Jack Harkness.

In February a cat wandered into my backyard. For about a week he kept coming back each day, complaining loudly and keeping my neighbours and myself awake at night. After a week I took pity and because of the bad weather I provided shelter in my shed and started feeding him.

A week later he still came back daily and spend his nights in my shed. I contacted the local animal shelter and someone came by to check if he was chipped. He also got temporary collar with the telephone number on it from the shelter. Actually, funny story, the collar was one of those hospital bands you get with your name on it, and it didn’t fit, I had to attach two together to make a proper fitting collar.

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I also made sure he was being listed online as a ‘found’ cat on different websites.

I already named him Jack, as in Captain Jack Harkness, and he seemed to respond to that name. (He wasn’t neutered and a real ladies man.) Jack needed to walk around with the collar for a week to see if he went back to the original owners.

Needless to say, after a week no call and the animal shelter contacted me to pick up Jack. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to say goodbye because they had a limited window of time to pick him up so my mum took care of that while I was on my way home from work.

Jack needed to stay in quarantine for 2 weeks, so again the original owners were able to pick him up and after two weeks if nobody claimed him he would be neutered and put up for adoption.

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My mum and I were arguing about possibly adopting Jack and we frequently contacted the animal shelter to check how Jack was doing. The animal Shelter discovered he had gingivitis and they would clean it as soon as he was put under for the neutering.

The last day of those two weeks my mum and I were anxiously waiting until we could call the shelter to check how his operation had gone until… the shelter contacted me. The original owners picked him up and took him home, with no other plans made to get him neutered or to fix his gums.

I mean, your cat is away from home for over 5 weeks and after 5 weeks you decide it’s time to go look for him? And you let a cat of 3 years old wander outside without being neutered? Even the people of the animal shelter were very disappointed because they figured out Jack was a really sweet cat and they can’t do anything if the original owners claim him. They even advised me that if Jack showed up at my house again I might call the animal police and report the original owners as neglect.

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So, on good Friday we learned his was being picked up by his original owners and guess who came back at Easter Sunday? Yep, Jack came back home, still not neutered. I was trying to give the original owners a chance so I didn’t feed him or provided him shelter. After a couple of days where Jack kept coming back I caved again and started feeding him.

I called the animal shelter again and explained the story, they would give my contact info to the original owners so I could talk to them.

After a couple of days, I got a call from the original owners and explained what happened, that Jack was in my garden again and it was important that if they wanted to pick him up and take him to the vet I would do my best to help them. I also asked them if they might want to put Jack up for adoption. The owners would think about it and call me back.

Another week gone and I slowly tried to integrate Jack into my home, keeping him inside for a couple of hours at a time and feeding and cuddling him. Oh and the owners didn’t call me. So I tried to call them, left messages and finally I got someone on the phone. Explained again I wanted to adopt him and get him to a vet asap!

They would call me after the weekend with a decision, yeah right! Another week had gone by and finally the original owners decided to give him to me. I made sure I had some papers for them to sign to officially give Jack to me.

A couple of days after they signed I kept Jack inside and he was finally taken to the vet. Oh and I called the animal shelter to tell them the good news. They were equally happy! He already got his annual shots at the shelter so that would save me a bit of cash.

Jack was taken to the vet to get neutered, chipped and checked for kidney problems and cat aids. He came clean!

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We decided to take Jack to my mum for a couple of weeks so he had the chance to heal properly and to get rid of all the scabs he got from fighting all the time outside.

Last week he finally came home and is one happy and purring cat (which he didn’t do the first couple of weeks.) James, my other cat tolerates him and hopefully they will get along in the end.

And that is the story about how Captain Jack Harkness came sashaying into my life.

He sheds like crazy and I’m constantly covered in his sticky hairs (James’ hairs don’t stick a lot) eats like crazy, makes a mess of my house, covering it in cat litter but when he comes for a cuddle I totally melt.

I never planned to get a second cat, but this one choose me and what more can I say? I am now the proud owner of Sir James and Captain Jack Harkness, or is it the other way round?

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, a book review.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Sometimes life can be very strange. A while back I bought the book Hex, written by Dutch writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I was drawn to it by the fact that it was being promoted as the new Dutch fantasy novel.

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For some reason I put it in my bookcase and forgot about it (sorry Thomas).

Earlier this year whilst I was attending Dutch Comic Con, Thomas was there, signing books. I felt a small pang of shame as I remembered that unread book, still in my bookcase, and bummed I didn’t have it with me to get it signed.

Still, I again forgot about it, until two days ago. One of my friends posted a screenshot of the tweet made by Stephen King, the master of horror himself, praising Thomas his book. How epic and cool is that! So I liked that post and yesterday I got a friend request from Thomas himself.

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Maybe this was the universe telling me, read the book! Ok, ok. I got my copy, settled on the couch and… read the book in one go.

Now I have read loads of books, the fact that I own over 700 of them is prove as well. And there aren’t many books I read in one sitting, where I am drawn into it, forget the world around me and keep turning page after page, desperately wanting to know what happens next. This book did.

Slight note. As I understand it, the English version is slightly different from the Dutch version. I read the Dutch one, but now I want to get my hands on an English copy as well.

Synopsis according to Goodreads:

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

Author info according to Goodreads:

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

  • Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands

 

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book. “HEX is reminiscent of vintage Stephen King, and I can think of no higher praise. Chilli

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book.

I’ll try not to give away too many spoilers.

What I loved about this book, first and foremost is that it is set in the region I originally come from (for the people who read the Dutch version of the book). I was born in a smallish town in ‘Brabant’ although not as small as the town ‘Beek’ mentioned in the book. But how the people and townsfolk act is pretty much how I remember it (minus the horror stuff, but then again, I wouldn’t be surprised). It has nothing compared to living in a larger city where you are lucky if your neighbours greet you at all.

Not until the second chapter you finally begin to get a grasp what the story is about, and throughout the book you begin to grasp the situation about Hex. I imagine when reading the book for a second time you will get a lot of aha moments, small little signs you missed the first time because know you know.

It is amazing how Thomas managed to capture todays life, with texting, popular language and big brother is watching you and at the same time describes that small town feel and throw you back into the middle ages as well.

Some of the horror stuff, nope no spoilers, you should really read the book yourself, reminded me a lot of the books written by Bridget Wood and which I think is high praise. Thomas has captured multiple important ethical dilemmas while being subjected to years and years of indoctrination and pear pressure in such a way that it’s almost scary, even if applied to today’s everyday life and how we as people react to say the refugees’ crisis.

If you are susceptible to nightmares I suggest reading this book during the day, or keep a light on at night when you go to bed. Unfortunately, I’m past this point, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me at some points.

Not one point during the book I had a moment where I had that feel of pages being filled, just for the sake of creating pages (which some books do). From beginning to end it captures you and I hate myself sometimes for having a high reading speed and finishing it in a couple of hours.

The book leaves you hunger for more, but as I said, luckily I can read the English version as well!

Thomas, ik had niet gedacht dat Hex zo ontzettend goed zou zijn. Schrijf meer van dit soort boeken, je hoort thuis in de fantasy wereld en ik kan niet wachten tot een eventuele verfilming en meer van je fantastische verhalen.

This books gets a well-deserved 5 out of 5 star review and I recommend you get your hands on a copy and read it, over and over again, because this is a book you can read multiple times.

Have you read it?

Lots of love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

Hot cute girly geek goes Shakespeare!

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. I’ve been on a bit of a cultural tour the last couple of weeks. I started with Shakespeare live, in between watched Captain America Civil War and ended last night with the musical Beauty and the Beast.

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But let us start with Shakespeare live. I started with Coriolanus a couple of years ago and that made me fall in love with Shakespeare. The fact that some well know actors play in the parts is a big help as well.

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I mentioned before we Dutchies are not being raised with Shakespeare as the British are. But I thank National Theatre live and the Royal Shakespeare company for transmitting the live plays to cinemas all over the world. For me this means I have access to amazing plays for a couple of euros and can enjoy going to theatre more often. As plays go I’ve watched Coriolanus, Hamlet, Frankenstein (both versions) War Horse and now Shakespeare live. I also watched Richard the III in London with Martin Freeman starring. (And I visited the Globe theatre a couple of years ago).

It’s amazing to think that all this happened because I had a lower back hernia, started blogging, reviewed Wicked, met one of my best friends thanks to this, who introduced me to Doctor Who and Sherlock, which eventually let me to love Shakespeare. The world is a funny place.

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On the 23rd of April the UK marked the birthday of Shakespeare himself as well as his 400th anniversary of his death. (How sad is it to die on your birthday). Together with loads of celebrations throughout the country the Royal Shakespeare Company prepared a special event, hosted by non-other than David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

It was a truly magnificent evening where a wide range of sketches were prepared to celebrate this event and the works of Shakespeare.

It had interpretive dance, rap, ballet, opera, singing, monologues and dialogues, comedy sketches, and loads more. I can honestly say I was in awe that evening, I laughed, I cried, I cried from laughter. I think not even epic can truly catch the meaning of the evening.

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The line-up was amazing and I’m always in awe that most UK actors who to television and films are schooled in theatre as well. For me that is a sign of a true actor.

If you live in the UK you can watch Shakespeare live from BBC iPlayer and it will still be hosted in cinemas in the US and Australia, and I’m hoping a DVD will be made.

Unfortunately the BBC has blocked pretty much all the sketches from YouTube, I really wanted to show you a line of Hamlets. So have a pic instead.

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Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

 

New series review: Wynonna Earp

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks. Today I will be reviewing Wynonna Earp, or at least the couple of episodes that have been aired up until now (that’s just 4!!!).

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I’m always on the look-out for new series to watch, yep, I have no life, at least not a social one (well, a partially social life). And this time I stumbled upon Wynonna Earp. Or as I call it, hopefully the female version of Supernatural, set in the Wild Wild West if Jo was still alive.

Wynonna Earp is brought to you by the syfy channel and it has that same feeling as a lot of their series. I don’t know what that is, but if you’ve been watching a lot of series you immediately can tell if it’s produced by syfy, or CW or HBO or any other network.

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Originally starting out as a comic book series and riding the success of the Marvel / DC brought to our screens. It specifies as an Action/Western/Fantasy/Horror series. Yep….

According to IMDB: Based on the IDW Comic, Wynonna Earp follows Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures. With her unique abilities, and a posse of dysfunctional allies, she’s the only thing that can bring the paranormal to justice.

But like I said before, it feels like the female version of Supernatural, only the sisters don’t travel cross-country but stay in Purgatory, the town, not the gateway to Hell.

I mean, there is Wynonna herself, leather jacket wearing, drinking, swearing, bad-ass with a gun, older sister coming back to her hometown where just about everyone hates her. She lost her father (shot him) and her sister, has a nasty prophecy hanging above her head and a special gun that can kill demons! Oh and she is trying to protect her still alive sister. (Dean)

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And we have Waverly, the younger sister, trying to bad-ass herself, bit of a dork, super smart, speaks Latin, does a lot of research, had an imaginary friend called Bobo, and wants nothing more than help big sis killing demons. (Sam)

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Agent Dolls, bit of a mystery man, can get his hands on some really old, creepy occult objects, knows his occult stuff, trying to teach Wynonna how to kill demons and other monsters and how to shoot. Doesn’t take shit from no-one but somehow will protect the girls. (Bobby)

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Doc Holliday, once a good-guy, now we don’t know yet, seems to be working for both parties, the good and the evil side, old but still good looking, there is some tension between him and Wynonna and you’re constantly wondering if she is gonna kill him or f*ck him. (Cas)

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And we have demons, not the black-eyed ones but these have red eyes, are stuck in Purgatory, again the town and trying to get out before Wynonna kills them with her special gun. If they are killed they get sucked back into hell, looks pretty cool.

So, we’re four episodes in and I kinda like it. It’s funny, I like strong female leads, it reminds me of Supernatural, I don’t know, it appeals to me for some reason.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? And no I haven’t read the comics so no spoilers!!!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy

Being a ‘real’ fan, part 1: Fantitlement

We are all a fan of something. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. Maybe it’s Doctor Who or Sherlock. Maybe you like video games or anime, you probably have a favourite band or musician. Fandom can be something wonderful. You can meet like-minded people and make new friends. But something caught my attention lately. Something that irks me. Because I’ve come across people that seem to think that there is a very important difference between ‘fake’ fans and ‘real’ fans. And I hate that idea. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write about it, but also the subject became more complicated and more elaborate. That’s why I’m splitting this up in 4 parts, with this post as the first.

Fan entitlement, or fantitlement as I like to call it, is something I’ve come across many times. I’ll be writing this mostly from my perspective as a gamer, but it happens in other media too. Let me first define ‘fantitlement’: The idea that you have to meet certain requirements to call yourself a true fan. It happened many times to me, online as well as in real life, that when I introduce myself as a gamer, people start asking me about what games I play, how many consoles I have, if I play games on PC too, if I have finished all the games, etc., which could be out of genuine interest, but often it’s something else. They’re interrogating me. Testing if I’m a ‘real gamer’, or just pretending to be. Funny thing is, that the requirements that I have to meet are always arbitrarily set by my conversation partner. Some of you may have seen my Zelda collection, still someone managed to tell me that I’m not a real Zelda fan because I’ve never finished the first 2 games (which came out in 1986 and 1987). Some might not call me a real gamer because I mainly play on consoles. Some might call me casual gamer because I like Nintendo a lot.

Like I said, this happens in other media too. I’m sure there are a lot of people who will say that you’re not a real Doctor Who fan if you’ve never watched to original series or if you don’t particularly hate Stephen Moffat. Or are telling you that you can’t be a Marvel fan if you’ve only seen the movies but never read a comic. That you can’t say you love anime when you’ve only seen Spirited Away and Death Note.

Well people, I call bullshit. Maybe someone didn’t put as much dedication in his or her fandom as you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t call themselves a fan. You’re not entitled to the title of fan either. ‘Fan’ isn’t a badge of honour that you have to deserve. Maybe someone just has different priorities money-wise. Maybe someone was born in the wrong era, maybe someone doesn’t have as much free time as you. Maybe they are uninformed and they just don’t know about the other cool stuff that’s available. Or maybe, Gods forbid, they don’t exactly like the same things you do.

I once came across a girl who said to me that she was a huge Zelda fan. After a short conversation I found out the she thought that Twilight Princess was the only Zelda game that existed. There are 2 things I could do at that point: Laugh in her face, brag about my impeccable Zelda knowledge, and make her cry. 2) Tell her that there are more games like that, share my fondness of the franchise with her, and make her happy. The choice it not that hard right? Be happy that there are more people that enjoy the things you love, and share that joy! Don’t make fandom a competition!

Are you a series snob?

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Today I want to address something that’s been bugging me for a while now.

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Being a series snob. For those who grew up or already were adults in the 90’s and a geek things finally started to look up, series wise. (This might have happened earlier, but I was born early 80’s and grew up in the 90’s and can only talk about my own experience.) series and particularly sci-fi series became a thing.

Pre-download and pre-streaming services, yes those were scary days, we had one channel in the Netherlands supplying us with those epic series all the way from the US. You had to make sure you were home to watch it, or videotape the latest episode, 1 episode a week! Oh the horror!

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But… It was something you were looking forward to, I even remember discussing episodes at length with friends prior and after it aired. There wasn’t much diversity so if it was slightly sci-fi or fantasy like, you watched it and kept on watching it until you liked it, because that was it!

The fond memories I have while watching the X-files, a couple of very obscure series I don’t even know the name of. Star Trek during dinner and my mum complaining about the gruesome prosthetics that made her loose her appetite. The adventures of Buffy and her Scooby gang and whether you had the hots for Spike or Angel. Friday night and Babylon 5 with a bowl of crisps, or chips depending on which side of the big pond you live. Cue the nostalgic feelings please.

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Back to today. We have basically everything on demand. Netflix on the telly, illegal downloading, semi-illegal streaming on line, DVD’s are fairly cheap if you want to wait two months. And more series than you can possibly watch in an entire lifetime, even though we, or I, try.

With the overabundance of different series I find myself getting more critical about what I watch. I have my popular regular series, namely the big 3 (SuperWhoLock) and about a dozen or so I also follow. I often start new series, but whenever the CGI is very bad, for example Grimm, I give up very easily. I do this as well with series I find too confusing (as in I don’t have to watch every freaking second or I might miss an important plot). If the story line disappoints me and it’s more of the same every damned week, bye bye series. (how many freaking doppelgangers can you have parading on the screen).

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Some series get a second go because there’s an actor on it I admire, Arrow is such a series. I love John Barrowman, but I know Oliver has been stuck on the damned island by now. Just stop with the freaking flash backs.

Some series are entertaining enough even though totally unrealistic, Scorpion anyone? Seriously you have an IQ of 170 and use Bing as a search engine???

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Also, I love crossovers! Arrow and the Flash, the Flash and Supergirl, now if someone, and I’m looking at both Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, made a Doctor Who / Sherlock crossover I would be over the moon.

But going back to my original point. I’m more critical in watching my series and not very loyal in watching it all the way towards the end. I give up when it doesn’t interest me any longer. Much faster nowadays than a couple of years ago.

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Are you a series snob? Let me know in the comments.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy