The Road to Real Women of Gaming

Creating communities for positive change (By Crymson Pleasure)

In 2013, I was in my 30s and continuing to get more into video games than ever before. Facebook pages were all the rage so I wanted to find one that reflected me. I couldn’t find one, so I decided to make one. I did see a lot of negativity around the phrase ‘gamer girl’ at the time and we wanted to combat that and give everyone a place to feel represented. We didn’t want to be over-sexualized. We didn’t want to be abused. We just wanted to play games.

Seven years is a long time and it shocks me to even say that. Since then we have expanded quite a bit. We now consist of multiple genders, with a website for articles, a Twitch channel for our gaming and ttrpg streams, a YouTube for our past shows, and other shenanigans, all the social media, charity events, a discord server, and an online convention. We’ve been busy. 

I want to say that I feel so lucky to be working with some of the most wonderful people. I have seen them all dare to do the unthinkable for others. Our charity events, Be Someone’s Superhero, You’re Not Alone, and Charities and Champions are special to all of us. Helping kids. Helping people, in general. We’ve dyed hair, eaten terrible things, pulled rabbits out of nowhere at the last second to make sure that we got it done, and entertained as many people as possible. We also get the message out.

Be Someone’s Superhero is about stepping up for others. You don’t have to have a superpower to save someone. Superheroes are so much more than that. Kids at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia can be stuck there for days or months. Every donation we get buys an iPad so they can be distracted from shots or IV’s, gaming consoles so they can continue to have fun and be kids, even in the hospital, toys, DVDs and so much more. Every cent makes those donors Superheroes for them. 

You’re Not Alone focuses mainly on Anti Bullying. A large chunk of us has been bullied in some way, shape, or form. A few of us are suicide survivors. We want people to know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. Be it race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, financial status, or whatever. No one is alone in those struggles and we want to show people that there is another side to it. If I had taken my life as a teenager there would be no Real Women of Gaming. 

Charities & Champions is the most fun event. We get together with other D&D streamers/podcasters and play for 12 hours straight to raise money. So it’s six of us in a room nerding out and making a difference. We allow viewers to donate money and change the very game we are playing. To help the players or hurt us. It’s typically to break us, but it’s always entertaining.

I am proud of the content that we put out. From silly to serious, from article to TTRPG stream, these amazing people put their hearts into it. We are a family and we are all volunteers here. So we 100% do it because we love what we do and we believe in our goal which is to promote inclusivity while celebrating diversity. We want everyone to have a seat at the table, no exceptions.

Gaming, Together

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Hey everyone! I’m Crymson Pleasure, the founder of Real Women of Gaming. I am a stay at home Mom of my 5-year-old daughter, Lilith, and that is my ‘day job’, which is a lot more than most people think it is. On top of that, I am a mental health advocate. I have Complex PTSD and am very open about it, along with anxiety, depression, and ADHD. I run a show on my personal Twitch channel called Coffee w/ Crymson where we talk about mental health/illness from the view of those with mental illness themselves. I’ve spent the past few years in therapy and on medication and it has literally changed my life. I want to take away the stigma and encourage people to seek help when they need it. That is also one of the many reasons we host so many charity events. I am also a huge gamer (TTRPG/Video/Board), horror nerd, writer, and streamer. 

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What We Are Reading…

Critical Play: Radical Game Design

by Mary Flanagan

An examination of subversive games-games designed for political, aesthetic, and social critique. For many players, games are entertainment, diversion, relaxation, fantasy. But what if certain games were something more than this, providing not only outlets for entertainment but a means for creative expression, instruments for conceptual thinking, or tools for social change? In Critical Play, artist and game designer Mary Flanagan examines alternative games-games that challenge the accepted norms embedded within the gaming industry-and argues that games designed by artists and activists are reshaping everyday game culture.

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What We Are Playing…

Sin Sol / No Sun

By micha cárdenas / Critical Realities Studio

“…Sin Sol / No Sun is an augmented reality game that allows users to experience the feelings of a climate change event, in order to deeply consider how climate change disproportionately affects immigrants, trans people and disabled people. Players can find, see and hear a story told through poetry about living through climate change-induced wildfires, from an AI hologram, Aura. Set fifty years in the future, Aura tells the story of environmental collapse from the past, which is our present in 2018. Part environmental archiving project, the environments in the game include actual 3-D scans of present-day forests from the Pacific Northwest. With the goal of multispecies survival and solidarity in mind, Aura’s dog, Roja, leads players on a journey to escape the wildfires and find oxygen capsules which contain poetry, telling more of the story as they progress through the game…”

Winner of the Indiecade 2020 Impact Award

Content Note: Sin Sol contains descriptions of sexual violence.

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That’s all for this month but please, come by and visit the #WildWomanGamer project online.

#WildWomanGamer is curated by Victoria Bennett & published by Wild Women Press.