Gentlemen: Thank you for loving us as we are. Ladies: Thank you for being who you are

A little over a year ago, I created and launched a video called “The Thank You Project.” It seems like a good time for this video to resurface. My reasoning behind it was to show a different perspective concerning the unnecessary harassment women were receiving. The crime? Being who they are and expressing a passion for what they love.

Women were being treated in a horrible way by men and rather than fight back directly, I decided to find a different group of men who love all these women for being nerdy and geeky. The response I received from my male friends and acquaintances was surprising, overwhelming and nothing short of amazing to me. I even received the support from classy gentlemen like Aidan Scanlan from Bioware, Chris Demarais, Blaine Gibson, and Brandon Farmahini from Rooster Teeth, and one of my favorite inspirational Youtubers, Zach Anner. Everyone who submitted a vid was supportive, accepting and absolutely genuine.

Because of that, I also collaborated with some of my female friends to express our gratitude. People should not have to fear their passions or anything they love. If you love video games, comic books, cosplay, table top games, movies, music… whatever makes you who you are, embrace it. There are days when it seems the world is against you (like in recent weeks), but please remember there are those in that same world who love you. Just as you are. Support each other, love one another, and bring positivity and light into this world.

To the men who stand up for us and see us as fellow nerds and geeks, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

To the ladies who suffer from unspeakable harassment, this video is meant to give you hope and perspective that there are men out there who support you. Please never stop being your beautiful, sassy, empowered, geeky selves.

Extra Life 2014 with Team N2: Ninja Nerds

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It’s that time of year again where gamers from all over the world, well… game! But it is during this time where we unite as one unit, play video and/or tabletop games for 24 hours in an effort to raise money for children in need. If you are not familiar with the concept of Extra Life, please take a few extra minutes to read up on the Children’s Miracle Network. Extra Life, lead by creator Doc Adams and community manager Rick Heaton,  works hand in hand with CMN to raise money for children who are need of extra assistance. Whether it be terminal illness, physical or mental trauma etc.. these children and their families are backed into a very scary corner and there are so many who have no one to turn to for help. Imagine being a mother and hoping and praying that your child will make it through the night. Imagine not being able to help your child because of financial burden. This is where Extra Life comes in. It is an amazing program that helps these families. Last year, Extra Life managed to raise over 4 million in donations thanks to gamers and their supporters. Imagine what we can do this year.

I started doing Extra Life two years ago, and I was amazed that I surpassed my goals each year. In 2012, I did Extra Life on my own. Even though I had a poorly displayed livestream of Resident Evil 6, my friends and family pushed me to my $1,000 goal In 2013, I joined Team Rooster Teeth, lead by Jack Pattillo (who really is a teddy bear of a man if you’ve never met him). I broke my goal of $1,000 early in the gaming marathon and bumped up my goal to $1,500. While I did not make the second goal, I was still grateful to achieve what I had.

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Rooster Teeth as a whole was (I believe) the top Extra Life team last year, managing to raise over $340,000 in donations. AMAZING. I highly recommend being a part of this community. Because of moments like these.

This year, my aim is to lead a small team (called the Ninja Nerds) with a personal goal of $1,500 and a team goal of $2,000. If you would like to join my team, I will welcome you with open arms. Extra Life is a bit special to me because it just so happens to launch in my birthday month. Rather than giving or sending me presents, I would love it if you could donate to my Extra Life page instead. Even if it’s just a dollar, that is an extra dollar that goes straight to a child who needs to battle cancer or some other horrible illness.

So please help me celebrate my birthday, and as always, I will write a story for the person who pledges the highest donation. Two years ago, a friend donated quite a bit and asked that I flesh out the Assassin’s Creed 3 ending, and I came up with this. Last year, I had to write a more personal story for a good friend of mine, but you get the idea. This is the only way I am able to give something back to this awesome community.

If you would like to join the team, please go here. 

If you would like to donate to my personal page, please go here. 

Thanks for reading! Game on, fellow nerds and geeks!

Titan female attire brand, Black Milk Clothing, crushes its own community

In the last 72 hours, Black Milk Clothing received a substantial amount of attention, but it is in no way positive spotlight. BM, based in Australia, is known for their nerdy and geeky printed attire featuring powerhouse franchises such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Mass Effect. They sell an assortment of clothing that ranges from swimsuits to dresses and leggings. It sounds pretty spectacular, and I have to admit, I wanted to purchase a few products from them myself. But I never bought anything from BM and I’m pretty glad I haven’t.

Three days ago, one of their social media/PR/Marketing team members posted an Expectation vs Reality picture featuring one of their models and the character Amy from Big Bang Theory. It was titled, “When I try to be a geeky goddess…” Image

Wasn’t the funniest joke or the worst joke when it comes to poking fun at the female image, but as you can assume, some women weren’t all that happy with the post. Where the deeper controversy occurs is when people voiced their opinion and they were severely punished for it. Granted, some of the comments were negative and trollish, but from what I’ve seen, the majority of the BM community is a rather mature audience and they illustrated that with their replies. BM didn’t stand for well articulated responses, so they did the worst thing a company could ever do to its customers/community. They deleted those responses and banned all those people.

Their official response to the first wave of banning is summed up here:

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Needless to say again, that didn’t go very well with quite a few people. Yes, a small percentage of the overall community expressed that the post was not funny, but that small percentage is still comprised of BM customers. To tell your client or customer to “suck it up, deal with it” or to “eff off” is not an effective way of putting out PR fires. Worse yet, BM made a conscious decision to ban people, paying customers, altogether claiming to rid their page of a negative environment.

Someone forgot to remind the BM team that THEY need to suck it up. They posted something, there was a little backlash, but it wasn’t something that ultimately harmed the company. How many times have you talked to a friend, said something without really thinking and your friend responded, “dude… not cool” and you immediately reply is, “yeah, my bad. Anyways, did you know-” and the conversation just picks up after that? No harm truly done, and you remain friends. Companies like BM have to be a little bit more careful with their slip ups because they are a company. They rely on the their products being sold, and they backstabbed the very people that made them the company they are today. Companies should do what they can to make sure that they still have customers. Sure, they may have lost a handful of customers because of a poorly executed joke, but their mismanagement of their Facebook page ensured they lost a lot more than that.

Companies can’t keep everyone happy, that’s just a given. But BM really went out of their way to be the negative environment they claimed to stay away from since this whole thing started. For a more detailed breakdown of the now deleted Facebook post, you can read up on BM’s horrible treatment of their community on this Buzzfeed post and on Jacqui Collins’ blog. Jacqui was a long time supporter of the BM line and because she made several posts that contained well thought out points, non offensive material, and nothing to insult the BM company, they banned her. I read everything she posted. Not one word was disrespectful.

A small note from Jacqui’s blog: I have been buying, wearing, and promoting Black Milk since 2010. Despite being a slender woman of 115lbs, I felt terrible and fat the first time I tried on the Bad Kitty Catsuit I had so excitedly purchased. It was a group of fellow Black Milk fans who brought my confidence back up and made me happy to wear it. That is what Black Milk is supposed to be.  

BM’s final statement, before the entire post was deleted, was this.

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As stated before, I never bought anything from BM. I did like that they apparently stood for female empowerment, making a woman feel and look sexy in her own skin, but now I am definitely sure that they don’t stand for such a thing. If you are still a fan of BM, then you are a fan of BM. If this brand makes you feel beautiful and makes you see yourself in a positive light, then more power to you. Just remember the type of people you are backing. The loyalty isn’t a two way street with this company. To those who are no longer a fan of BM because you felt hurt, betrayed or angry because of how they treated you, I say this:

There are many venues out there that can empower you. I do understand that many of you saw BM as a source to boost your self esteem, that you gravitated toward this community because you all encouraged each other to throw your insecurities out the window and be sexy and free. You can still have that, so don’t be upset. In fact, be happy that BM made it so easy for you to no longer purchase their items. They straight up said that you should leave. The band aid has been ripped off and now you can move on and love something else. There are tons of communities out there that will treat you right even if you butt heads because of difference of opinion. Go out and find something that makes you love you for you.

Continue to respect yourself, and please be confident in yourself because I know many of you who have made BM purchases in the past, and you are some pretty damn sexy women. And it makes me proud to know so many awesome women. BM can be replaced. That little geek inside of you cannot. So let’s go out and find something to nourish that little nerd in us all.

And because I like to have fun myself.

When I express my concerns to a company I love…

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Don’t forget to date.. your best friend!

Conflicting schedules and crazy life events sometimes keep friends away from each other for long periods of time. Don’t forget to spend time with people you love. Don’t let life pass you by, so go out and do something fun and unexpected. Enjoy your life no matter how hard it gets because you have now to make the best of what you have.

Music: Monochrome Effect by Perfume