If you have been following me on Twitter for a while, you know that I am a huge fan and an active community member for Rooster Teeth. RT is a production/video game type company based in Austin, TX, and they are best known for the web series Red vs Blue. They’ve grown so much in the last few years that they’ve expanded their company to include an array of online content, so they create weekly recap videos to give fans a run down of what was uploaded during the current week. Last week, I was asked to submit a short video that will be featured in Rooster Teeth’s weekly recap video. JJ, a very talented video editor who works for RT, asked if I was interested in submitting something for a fan created recap vid, and I was more than ecstatic. I recorded my bit, sent it in, and waited anxiously for the finished product.
The video can be seen here. RT is known to show an enormous amount of fan love, so for this to be compiled and showcase fans from all over the world was amazing. I was incredibly happy and honored to be a part of it. Then I saw this comment.
I honestly laughed and just shrugged it off. Clearly, I do not lack pigmentation, so I thought nothing of it. But then I started reading more comments that went from “glad to see RT is so diverse in who they choose to put in their vids” and the one seen above.
Should race matter? In this case, no. I don’t feel that it should at all. At the very core, we are all RT fans. It shouldn’t matter what our gender is, what color our skin is, or where we are from when it comes to loving the same thing. A community, especially one that reaches all over the world, encompasses such a variety of people from all different backgrounds and that is what makes this community so beautiful and special. A handful of people were picked and chosen for this recap video because JJ felt we were reliable, would work well together, and he wanted the video to showcase a balance of male and female RT fans.
Should race matter in general? I will say, yes, and hear me out before you jump to the “but we should all be equal” standpoint. What I mean by race should matter is that I am proud to be of Asian descent. With my upbringing came a lot of cultural influences like traditions and food. I’m half Chinese, half Japanese, so there’s a lot of history with who I am and where I come from. It’s part of my identity. I am also a woman (spoiler alert!), and I am proud to be one. And there are instances when I don’t care that I am reminded I am a woman. Here’s an example of what I mean.
Over the years, there has been a very interesting shift in the perception of the “girl gamer.” When I was a teenager, I was labeled as a girl gamer, and it was fun and cool, and offered a lot of opportunities to talk to other gamers whether they be male or female. Back in the day, the girl gamer was almost looked upon as the holy grail (there were not as many female gamers back then). Call a woman a girl gamer now, and she may actually be insulted. Why? Because, you specify that she is a woman plus she is a gamer. Some women just like being called gamers; they want to be thought of on equal ground as male gamers. To me, it doesn’t matter either way. I’m a woman, and I love video games. Nothing will change that no matter what you call me. When I hear someone call me a girl gamer, I think, “hell yeah. I’m a woman. And I game. That makes me doubly awesome,” and I think nothing else of it. That label isn’t insulting me, in fact, it empowers me. A lot of women will not agree with me on that point, but that’s how I feel.
When you step back and look at yourself, look at all the different roles you play in life, you’ll find that you wear a lot of hats. I’m a woman, I’m Asian, I’m American, I’m a gamer, I’m a dog rescuer, I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, I’m an employee, I’m a friend, I’m a writer.. I am ALL of these things. These identities are pieces to my puzzle and they make me who I am. So when I’m part of a project that allows me to collaborate with a bunch of other people, I’m part of a team. Gender and race don’t matter. But if you ask me who I am and what makes me unique, I will give you a longer list than what I wrote at the beginning of this paragraph. At the end of the day, I’m still Jackie and no one can take that away from me.