Writing an editorial about why someone is significant feels ridiculous. However, in lieu of the recent Twitter comments by Ryan Perez, and the backlash in the gaming community, regardless of how miniscule, I think talking about Felicia Day is warranted. Initially, my gut reaction was to tackle the reason why those commenting on the whole incident felt they were "nerd enough" to pass judgement on anyone, male or female. Then I realized there's a bigger problem here – willful ignorance. Hopefully, someone will read this article and learn something about Felicia Day they didn't previously know.
It's amazing how much damage 140 characters can do. Whether Perez was drunk or not familiar with how Twitter puts your opinions out in the open for all of the Internet to see and comment on, he had obviously been thinking about Day and what she means to him. This raises a lot of questions:
– If Day was male, would her presence have been so questionable?
– Does Perez feel as though men are being tricked?
– Does this mean that Perez doesn't think male gamers are smart enough to determine when someone is pandering to their gender and when someone is genuine?
– From this perspective, why is trusting a man so much easier?
– If such distrust is felt, what is stopping anyone from Googling someone to learn more about them?
Regardless of whether anyone can provide answers to them, maybe asking ourselves these questions before saying something hurtful about someone else – an actual human being – could do us all a lot of good.
In any interview, Day talks about her love of gaming and familial ties to nerd-culture, but her level of gaming cred doesn't – or shouldn't – even be under the microscope. She says she loves games and I take her word for it. Just like how I trust any man that says he has been playing for years. There's a definite gender disconnect here and the whole occurrence oozes with long-running issues. Women must prove their dedication, whereas men can just exist and are assumed to be a gamer. Short of Day going to every household and playing a video game against each nay-sayer, the internet may just have to settle for believing her.
Being a gamer isn't the only criticism brought against Day in this outburst. Some people – I am not excluding this to men alone – feel that Day has done very little for the gaming community outside of being a figurehead. An actress placed into a role that she has adopted and now flaunts on the internet. Everyone shouts to the heavens that she had nothing to offer in the Guild outside of physically being there. These people must have never watched the credits. Day is the producer of the Guild. Can she get a little credit for that? No? Okay, I'll keep going then. Day created the show, thought it up with her own brain. Not enough yet? She wrote all 56 episodes of the show with her feminine hands. Day doesn't just stand around saying lines someone else has written for her, she is the Guild.
If that wasn't justification enough for her contribution to the gaming community, many are neglecting to mention Geek & Sundry, her newly launched YouTube production company, featuring shows such as The Guild, Paul & Storm's Learning Town musical, and TableTop. Day isn't just an actress. Acting seems to be the least of her interests as of late. She's creative and nerdy, a strong female presence behind the scenes of successful productions. Just because Day isn't jumping around screaming "Look at me! Look at what I did today! Aren't I a huge nerd?" does not exclude her from the mass majority. She allows her actions to speak for her, which is a fantastically humble trait.
Let's boil it down – Day is a gamer at heart who also happens to also be an actress, something that shouldn't be damning toward her personality. She has made a career out of pushing a burgeoning medium to provide free programs for gamers. I'd say that's more than I've ever done for the gaming community. How about you?