Tuesday Freebies: the edition with infinite class

Well, folks. I’m hard at work on another paid post, and it’s an art post! And it will be glorious. (And maybe a bit NSFW.) Unfortunately, it’s not done yet and I won’t get a chance to finish it until tomorrow. So in the mean time, let’s have some freebies!

Things that are useful

This post is a fantastic look at communication styles, and how clashing communication styles can cause women to just quietly leave gaming groups without ever addressing the problems that are bothering them. This should be required reading for GMs who frequently game with new people.

Also, I really do try to avoid linking to The Escapist, because seriously fuck them and their #GamerGate apologism. However, this piece is an excellent look at swords and those who say it’s “unrealistic” to portray women fighting with them.

Lastly, this isn’t useful so much as “really effing cool”, but I could totally see this getting used in tabletop campaign, so… Turns out, a Swiss taxidermist did a facial reconstruction of the tattooed Siberian princess that was unearthed last year. And she looks so metal! I’m totally going to play her in a game some time.

Thing related to #GamerGate

The incomparable Leigh Alexander gave a talk about 90’s culture and how it ties into trends that led to the current state of game culture. It’s super fascinating (especially for me as a child of the 90’s), and the entire talk is online for free. Though make sure you skip to about 10:00, since before that they were just streaming technical difficulties in setting up the stream. Of particular note, the second question that she took was some dude trying to punk her using #GamerGate talking points. Beautifully, she dismantled him and his BS question – politely, and with infinite class. It was pretty much the best. (Transcription of the exchange is here for those who don’t want to watch the whole video.)

Also of note, Feminist Frequency released its first annual report since becoming a registered charity. And like everything that Anita Sarkeesian has a hand in, I am super impressed by how polished it is, and how it paints an honest picture of the current state of game culture while also remaining full of hope for the future.

Lastly, you may have heard about the flap over several feminist Wikipedia articles being censured for their part in a dispute over articles about #GamerGate. Turns out, initial reports may have been exaggerated? This is an interesting behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on that manages to be informative without being boring.

Things I wrote!

Lastly, I posted the following on G+ in a private thread in response to someone asking how people with longer-running Patreons feel that Patreon has affected their art. It covers ground I haven’t previously covered here, so I thought I’d repost my comment in full here on my blog:

Okay, so disclaimer, I’m using it to support my blog. So, you know, is blogging “art” and all that…

I think the first and most important factor for me is that I wouldn’t have been able to re-launch my blog without Patreon support. I would need to chase other paying work. That is a not-inconsiderable factor. If you are economic circumstances that privilege you from needing to consider profitability of art that you make, that’s awesome! However, for myself and other artists with constrained budgets, Patreon is invaluable simply because it gives us freedom to make what we want to and not simply what will sell like gangbusters.

Now, from a personal standpoint, what has it meant to me personally and my work?

If anything, I find that my standards for what should be a paid post have risen since I first started blogging again. I’ll admit that it’s in small part due to the scrutiny that I’ve gotten from some quarters over being a “professional victim”. But mostly it’s because I want my patrons to stick with me for the long haul, and since I’ve hit a plateau in terms of patron support it’s important to me that I maintain strict standards of quality/quantity in terms of posts that I make as paid.

As far as does it influence what I choose to blog about? Sure. Of course it does. Some of that in good ways and some of that in not so good ways.

The not-so-good is that because I feel pressured to deliver quality posts, I sometimes fall into being silent when I don’t feel like I have things of worth to say. And that’s a trap! (I wrote about it at length here.) I’m trying to be better at not doing that, and also trying to do more free, off-the-cuff things so I don’t fall into that trap of not making paid posts because I’m feeling particularly worthless that day.

However, the good is twofold. First, that the accountability that I feel to my patrons has pushed me to improve my craft. I spend more time on my posts than I did pre-Patreon, for the most part. And I think the difference shows. Also, again because I feel pressure to deliver value, I’ve pushed myself to break out of my comfort zone and start experimenting with different kinds of posts. Like Claustrophobia! That was done with the intention of making it a Patreon thing. I never would have thought to do that sort of thing pre-Patreon, because I wouldn’t have been able to believe that people might find it valuable.

It’s not 100% awesome. There are the above difficulties. I also did another roundup of pros and cons here.

And then there’s just practical stuff. Like how Patreon’s UI SUCKS DONKEY BALLS. But for me, it’s been a game changer. And I think it’s a great thing for art overall, and for me as an artist personally.

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Freebies: the edition with infinite class

  1. In cases where you feel you have nothing to write, would you consider taking “requests” from Patrons?

    I sometimes come across a video game or a movie that I like, but where I also recognize problematic elements. Unfortunately that recognition is often vague: I don’t have the right words to describe it, or I feel like I’ve just overlooked something but I can’t tell what. Often I wish there was a social-justice-oriented review of the product to help verbalize/crystallize my feelings about it.

    It would definitely fit into the “Patrons pay you to do a thing” paradigm, and you’d be more sure that at least one Patron would be pleased with the efforts. You could even do a little web-vote thing to decide among multiple ideas.

  2. Sword weights in RPGs have always been a joke. As has their depiction of use. Like using longswords with one and only one hand or using a katana with a tower shield…

    Also, Samantha Swords is freakin’ awesome.

  3. Thanks for the Leigh Alexander video…some good stuff there.

    I *did* find the Siberian princess thing a tad morbid.

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