Episode #26 – “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”

Episode #26 – “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”

Jan 07

Our twenty-sixth features Tzufit and Apple Cider  talking to Dysmorphia of Games and Trips about her experiences with progression raiding, doing PVE content with mostly-male teams, and the baggage of playing WoW while female.

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Below the cut is a full transcript of Episode 26, “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” Many thanks to @IviaRelle for transcribing this episode.

 

Apple Cider: Welcome back everybody! It is once again Justice Points. We are back from all of our awesome holiday fun times, and we’re getting right back into the swing of things. We’re going to be talking about a very awesome topic that we actually have been wanting to cover for quite a long time. We’re gonna be talking about women in progression raiding, experiences, some of the problems, some of the overarching topics that kinda go into that, what it means to be a woman in progression raiding. And we have an amazing guest for this discussion. I- I’m so excited.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: We have with us, this week, as you know her, Dysmorphia from the Twitter. We have her on the show this week. So if everybody wants to say hello.

Dysmorphia: Hello, I’m from the Twitter.

Tzufit: We imagine you’re probably from a few other things too, right?

Dysmorphia: Yeah, so, well I also play WoW, obviously, on Mal’Ganis where my character is named Dysmorphia, so that’s my original Twitter handle, and I have a blog called Games and Trips which talks about women in gaming and nerd culture, though honestly I probably update it, like, once every couple of months now.

Apple Cider: Yeah, I noticed it’s hard for updating blogs, especially right now, ‘cause WoW’s a little dead at the moment. (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Yeah, and I have this kind of private rule for my blog where I feel like if the topic has been well-covered by someone else then I don’t write about it. I don’t feel the need to be like, “And here’s my take which is exactly like fifty other smart people’s takes.”

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: So I try to only write about things that no-one has said yet, and you know actually things are pretty well covered so I don’t end up having that much to say.

Apple Cider: You know, it kinda comes down to what’s more important, the content or the- kind of, your individual take on it, although I will say that I think that Games and Trips was- made quite a substantial impact on how I conceptualize being a nerd gamer lady person sort of thing, so big big props to that.

Dysmorphia: Oh! Thank you, that’s so awesome to hear! Yeah, one of the things that made me happiest was when people would send me messages and be like, “I never thought about this before,” and I’m all, “Well I thought it was really obvious but I guess I’m glad I wrote it down.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah, I think that’s always the- I think it’s good to not recover content, as you said, that somebody else has already covered well, because sometimes it’s nice to just point and say, “Go read this article, it was really well written, I agree with it,” and kind of support somebody that way, but on the other hand, it’s always interesting when you have a take that maybe other people haven’t quite hit on yet.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, and I think sometimes people would come and read my blog who wouldn’t read something else because for some reason, and I don’t understand why, people think I’m really nice and they think I’m not, like, an angry feminist?

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: They’re wrong, I’m really angry, I just don’t have time for arguments, so it’s kind of funny but I mean, hey, that’s good if people are gonna get an idea they wouldn’t otherwise because of that, OK, but I’m really baffled why people think that.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Yeah, it’s been kind of interesting ‘cause- I mean, I know you outside of just the blogging and Twitter sort of stuff, and it’s very interesting how people will perceive me as being very angry and nasty all the time, and then will perceive you as being kind and sweet and nice, and that’s not always really the case. (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Yeah, it’s really funny! Someone at some point was like, “Oh, well, I’m really worried, I don’t want you to become mean like SHE is,” talking about you, and I’m like, “You know that we actually agree on everything?”

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: Like, pretty much everything. So, yeah, it’s baffling, but, whatever, hey. It’s all about opening ideas and minds and about making people change how they behave and, you know, that’s sort of what it comes down to for me. I don’t care that much about people’s soul and if they’re happy or sad about what they’re doing or if they’re sorry, I don’t care about that, I just care what they do and how it affects other people materially in reality, or in, you know, virtual reality, but actually affects other people, I care about their actions ultimately.

Apple Cider: So, let’s get into some of the WoW stuff. Is- how long have you been playing World of Warcraft, and what have you been doing in the game over the years?

Dysmorphia: So, I started playing World of Warcraft in 2008 in the summer, and I was just- so this is a little funny. So I had- I was experiencing dysmenorrhea, you know that feeling that you feel crappy because you’re about to get your period or just getting your period?

Apple Cider: Yes.

Dysmorphia: So I wanted to name my character that, but I got the word wrong.

Tzufit: (Laughing) Oh really? I thought you were gonna tell us that somebody made you change it!

Dysmorphia: Oh no! No, I just got it wrong.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Dysmorphia: But then I was like, hey that’s actually a cool word and then- I made a druid because I wanted- so I play a druid, and I’ve been playing it for the whole time, and I made a druid because I thought, you know, I wanted an elf, it seemed like elves were cool, but I didn’t have BC, so I was like, I can’t be a Blood Elf, and I was like, OK, I’ll be an elf, and I want to be a magic-y elf, oh and look this thing can heal and I had played a lot of JRPGs where healers are super powerful, so I’m like, OK, I definitely want a character that can heal ‘cause that’s the [edited], healing is the best. So I made this elf and I didn’t know that druids shape changed when I made a druid, and then when they changed I was like, OH, great, I have the word morph in my name, that’s awesome, that actually works! So I stuck with it and for a long time I was playing on this super low pop server, just cruising around taking my time leveling, and then, I hit level cap, it was still BC, and I wanted to play, and I thought, well, OK, what role can I play? Hey cool, I’m a druid, I can play any role! This is awesome! And I sort of looked around and what people were looking for were healers, and I was like, OK, I’ll do that! So I got into healing and then I outgrew my little server, and I moved to a bigger server, and I joined a group there and slowly played with them for a bit, got a little better, played with a more intense group, then things sort of fell apart there and I was feeling bleh about it. This was Cataclysm, the beginning of Cataclysm where a lot of guilds were going down the tubes, and I met some friends in real life who played on Mal’Ganis so I was like, “I’ll just go to Mal’Ganis!” And at that point you could change to Horde from Alliance or vice versa, so I  became a Troll and then I started playing on Mal’Ganis with some friends, and that’s where I’ve been raiding for the last… two years, I wanna say? And that’s been really fun.

Tzufit: So has your main always been a resto druid?

Dysmorphia: Yes! There was a really short period in Cataclysm where I played- where I raided on a resto shaman because we had the rotating door of shaman. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this-

Tzufit: Oh yes! (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: But there’s this thing that happens-

Apple Cider: Absolutely!

Dysmorphia: Where you need a shaman, and you recruit a shaman, and the shaman is great, and then they’re like, “I’m quitting the game.” And this happened over and over.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yup!

Dysmorphia: And after a couple of times I’m like, “Look, this is Cataclysm,” and you know how mad I was then, I was like, “We need that mana tide, and I have a resto shaman alt that I enjoy playing, so I’m just going to be this person,” and I was that person, and you know what? Within three months of switching names, I was like, yeah, I’m gonna quit.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: And I’m just gonna go, I’m just gonna cruise around on Mal’Ganis on my druid instead. And I was like, “Yeah sure, I’ll definitely, you know, I’ll still raid with you guys sometimes!” Never showed up again.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Oh no!

Dysmorphia: So that’s the curse of being a resto shaman!

Apple Cider: It’s- yeah, for Cataclysm, when we actually got our ten-man going, I had to step in as a healer instead of my mage, because we were full on DPS but low on healers, so I stepped in as a resto shaman, too. Although, I really didn’t get the opportunity to quit at any point, so. (Laughing)

Tzufit: I know, I’d forgotten about- a very similar thing has happened in my guild over the years, and I’d kind of forgotten about it until you brought it up now and now I’m very worried because our fantastic moonkin, when we need a third healer for fights, he’s recently been playing resto on his shaman, and I’m thinking, “Oh no, I should probably not let him do that anymore, he’s gonna leave us!”

Dysmorphia: Yeah, just make him be a resto druid, resto druids are great right night.

Tzufit: Yeah, he bounces back and forth depending.

Dysmorphia: Though actually the gear between moonkin and resto is really annoying, so we have, in our raid, two resto druids and one of them is a really good moonkin but he’s like, “Oh man, having two sets of gear is so annoying, can we just make the paladin go ret for this fight?

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: And then we have two resto druids and the ret paladin and it’s like, OK.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: It actually works fine, but it’s kind of funny.

Apple Cider: So you do ten-man progression stuff instead of twenty-fives?

Dysmorphia: Yes, I only do tens right now.

Apple Cider: That’s- I- like, I feel like that was a move that a lot of people made at a certain point, especially in Cataclysm and going forward into Mists of Pandaria, because it just- like, as somebody who used to do twenty-fives up until Firelands, basically, and then jumped to tens, it just felt like the content just became easier to herd cats into if you did tens, and some of the fights were a little bit different, a little bit more fun if you did it with the smaller group.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I always enjoyed the social aspect of ten-man raiding more, but I wanted to be a Real Raider, so of course I did twenty-fives when that was the only Real Raider option.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: Yeah, I know that we found, as well, that especially in Cataclysm, and then to a slightly lesser extend but on into Mists of Pandaria, it also got more and more difficult to- and I don’t like the term “carry” but for lack of a better word, to carry people who are a little behind on gear, or a little behind on awareness or DPS or whatever the case may be. In Wrath, it was very possible to bring along a couple of people who maybe weren’t quite at the level of the rest of the raid team to a twenty-five-man and still have that be OK, and still down fights, and that became progressively- it just became completely not true in Cataclysm at some point.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I remember that, when I was just like, “I can’t heal through your [edited] anymore.” And I used to enjoy that! I was like, “Hey, I’m so powerful, I’m going to HoT all the things and you can screw up, that’s fine. Yeah, stand in the fire if it increases your DPS, I don’t care!” but not anymore, so it just became frustrating. I think actually that’s why a lot of healers quit in Cataclysm, it’s not that healing wasn’t fun, it’s that mistakes were less forgiving, so healing couldn’t save everybody’s mistakes anymore.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: Well, and I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Cataclysm healing, too, as- just like you said, in Wrath there really was this feeling of, “I can save anybody, my heals are that fast, my heals are that strong that if I already have a rejuv up on a target and my swiftmend is ready to go, you’re not dying, you’re fine.” You know?

Dysmorphia: Pretty much.

Tzufit: And when that no longer was the case, in Cataclysm, it lost a lot of appeal for people because that is- it was a very cool feeling in Wrath to be able to just stand there and be like, nourish, nourish, nourish, nourish, nourish.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, and I mean, I really like the triage game, so I liked Cataclysm healing, I just realized I didn’t like Cataclysm healing with the people I was playing with.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: Yeah, and that’s a good point. It was hard, it was definitely hard stepping out of Wrath, going into Cataclysm healing, but, you know, doing those five-man heroics when they were incredibly difficult the first couple of weeks was both something that made me wanna bang my head off my desk but also really challenging and rewarding and fun because I was doing them with four other people in my guild who I knew very well and we were working as a team.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I unfortunately found out a lot of the people I had been playing with were not as good as we all thought they were.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing) I think that’s the- I feel like that’s the case in a lot of times, and I feel like that’s kind of what happens to my twenty-five-man team at the end of the day, but I think a lot of it also had to do with burnout, just people were tired of doing that format.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, so then when I switched to my current team, which is on Mal’Ganis, and these are all amazing people, I’ll talk about that more later, but suddenly healing was a lot easier, and I’m like-

Tzufit: It’s amazing!

Dysmorphia: -Either I’m a lot better or these guys, and it was all guys, are not standing in the fire as much! Huh.

Tzufit: Yeah, it’s funny to see your healing numbers actually start to go down because there’s less effective healing for you to do, people are doing the fight correctly.

Apple Cider: So, we’re gonna actually get into the meat of the discussion which is- it’s one thing to do progression raiding, but- so, we kinda got a little bit of a background into how you got into progression raiding in the first place, and healing, but what has it been like, in your experience, progression raiding as a woman? Have you been in experiences that are largely male-dominated? What has that been like for you?

Dysmorphia: Hmm, so, well, it’s funny because sometimes I’ll just be there and I forget that I’m a woman. I know that sounds funny, ‘cause how can you forget, but I just, you know, I’m a Troll right now, not a woman, and so playing around and it’s fun and everything is going well, and then someone is like, “Oh yeah watch out ‘cause those adds are going to totally rape you,” and I’m like, “I certainly hope that’s not what they’re going to do.” And it’s kind of awkward and I feel like, “Hmm, OK, I guess I won’t say anything because I don’t wanna make things awkward for everybody else,” and actually the one time I did say something, things got SUPER awkward and then for two weeks no-one said that, but then they went back to it, and I was like, “I can’t have this fight over and over.”

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: Yeah, see, I have had that experience only twice in my current guild, but I have the luxury of being GM so if I say, “Don’t say that,” they stop saying that.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I’m definitely not in charge, so it’s sort of like-

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: OK, whatever, but you know it’s one of those things where I’m like, I don’t know quite how to explain it to people, I’m like, I’m not offended, I don’t hate you, it’s just, you know, one time out of ten times when you say that, I kind of twitch, and actually that’s what I said, I’m like, “It’s not even like that, it just kind of makes me jump a little, and it’s not offense,” and nine times out of ten it just rolls right off me because I’ve been around this thing for a while and I’ve raided with some pretty salty people, but sometimes it just kind of gets under your skin a little.

Tzufit: The thing that always concerns me is that- you know, and this is not necessarily the case if you’re in a ten-man team with the same people week after week because you know who they are, but you know, you really never know who the people are on the other side of the screen from you. You don’t know what they’ve been through, so it just seems like, you know, if you’re gonna say something like that that could potentially trigger a person- and I’m sure most of the time the people saying these things don’t even have the slightest clue what trigger means, you know, but if you’re gonna say something like that that has the potential to be really harmful for another person, you know, even if that’s not an experience I’ve had or I’ve had to worry about, I don’t- I feel guilty, I guess, about letting you go on saying that thing knowing the damage you could do. It’s like, I’m walking past an armed bomb and not doing anything about it.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Apple Cider: Yeah, but it’s like- I feel really weird because it’s like- I was talking in the pre-shows, most of my raiding experiences have not been with a majority-guy group or with a group that has enough women that that has never really been a problem? There’s been off-colour comments, there’s been jokes that I didn’t approve of, especially because I really got into feminism in a really big way right before I quit twenty-five-man raiding, and then I did ten-man raiding with my uber feminist guild that is awesome, so it’s like, I can only imagine that being in a situation where you are an actual minority in a group, as far as either politics or things like gender goes, I can imagine that that augments how you always can respond to that sort of thing, as well. Especially if it’s somebody you have to be with on a weekly basis.

Dysmorphia: Right, I mean, that’s the thing, you’re like, I like these people, I like playing with them, they just do one thing that annoys me, but on the other hand- so actually, I can sort of dive into this, is part of what’s kept me out of being more hardcore about my raiding, aside from the fact that I’m just not that good and not that dedicated and I started playing WoW at kind of an old age for a gamer, is that I’m very picky about who I play with, so I want to play with people that will make me feel good and if people say crappy things and they’re crapfest 24/7 in the raid, it’s not worth it to me. So, I would rather play with people who can be generally more mature and nicer and calmer and not yell at you- well, not yell at you in a mean way.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Yeah, so that’s kind of funny, one of the things that I’ve experienced, especially with my current team but sometimes with some others too, is, like, what is male camaraderie like? Cause it’s like, I get this amazing window into, like, what are dudes like when they think there’s no women? Especially when I’m PuGing and they haven’t heard my voice yet, like, is this what they’re like? It’s like a secret view into their world.

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: And you know, some of it is pretty cool, like there’s this kind of way of [edited]-talking that dudes do that I feel like women don’t do that much? It’s like, either you’re nice or you’re mean but there isn’t this kind of friendly ribbing as much?

Tzufit: Mm-hmm.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: So when I actually first joined my current group, I knew that they had finally decided I was OK, so we have this one tank who is just super ragey, he’s just kind of like the archetypal warrior who’s ragey but actually underneath it’s like, love, I wanna say?

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Like, seriously, because the thing is as he’s raging he’s narrating what he’s doing, so it’s really communicative, it’s really great as a healer, you’re like, I know exactly what he’s doing, and he’s talking to the other tank and he’s yelling at people and you can tell he’s really watching things. So anyway, this was- actually, in Cataclysm, when druid healing was a little weak, so I would try to pre-HoT as much as possible before a difficult pull, and I was used to having the Night Elf fade thingy- I forgot what it’s called now-

Apple Cider: Shadowmeld.

Tzufit: Shadowmeld.

Dysmorphia: (Chuckling) Well, I didn’t have that, so actually when you hit that button on a Troll you just get an angry face.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: You’re now really angry, it increases your haste, but the animation for it is a giant angry Troll face. So I pre-HoT the tank, and then I hit the button that I’m used to, and suddenly I’m like, I’m an angry Troll and everything is running at me.

Tzufit: (Gasp) Oh no.

Dysmorphia: Yeah. It was really funny, and then he was like, “Why are you doing this?” He just sort of completely went off on me about pre-HoTing, and I’m like, “I’m a druid, this is how I heal you, I have to pre-HoT you,” and he’s like, “Well I’d rather die,” or whatever. It was hilarious and funny, like, even though it’s- like, if you had heard it on the street out of context you probably would have thought that it was really hostile, but I knew at that point, I was like, in.

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Cause he was comfortable enough with me to yell at me like he was at his other tank and everybody else, and, you know, berating druids in general and Trolls in specific and people used to play Alliance, and so on and so forth.

Tzufit: (Laughing) I know that Apple Cider kind of had a learning curve with how my raid leader and I talk to each other (chuckling)-

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Yeah…

Tzufit: Because she’s come along on a couple of flex raids with us, and my raid leader is an older guy and he’s- he was GM before I was, and is our raid leader still now, and he is my other healer, so the two of us have a lot of good natured, you know, competition-ribbing that goes back and forth between each other because we’ve been healing together for a really long time at this point and that’s sort of how we interact with each other, but I’ve heard (chuckling) from other guild members, and then I heard from Apple Cider that it’s hard to tell (laughing) that it’s a joke initially.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I think that’s that camaraderie thing, where you’re like- I mean, I think that’s part of the fun where you can say these things to each other that normally you just wouldn’t, or maybe you would, but I dunno.

Tzufit: I would never call anybody out on healing numbers, but I do it to him after every other fight because that’s what we do, you know?

Dysmorphia: Yeah. So, actually, this is the thing I love about my- you know, everybody will first say exactly what they did wrong after a wipe, and this-

Tzufit: Yes!

Dysmorphia: So, the people I raid with are intimidating. They are pretty much all former hardcore progression raiders. I think my raid leader used to be in a top-two guild, others are top-fifty, then I’m just a person who, I’m like, “Hey, hi guys, this is the most progressed I’ve ever been.”

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: So I often feel like- I’m like, you know, that impostor syndrome thing. It’s kind of for real there, like, I’m with guys who, this is like their retirement raid after elitist jerks and whatever else, and I’m just like, “Hi, I’m just here for fun, you know,” and I mean obviously I’m also here to progress, because otherwise I wouldn’t be doing that, but it’s- it can be kind of intimidating and you’re around all these people and they’re way more situationally aware than I’ll ever be. Like, they know more classes and, you know, these are people who’ve literally written the book on how to resto druid, right? And I’m like, “Oh, hi, I’m raiding with the person whose guide I’m following as I’m raiding.”

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: And that’s cool, because actually it turns out in person these people- they’re like, they’ve been in that really intense situation and they’ve chosen not to be in it anymore, so they’re actually really mellow. Way more mellow than some of the casual raiders I’ve raided with who are so angry and they’re ready to, like, blame everybody else, and they’ll sit there like, “OK, here’s what I did. OK, here’s a mistake,” and everyone is totally accountable. And the thing is though, normally or previously it’s always been like, whose fault was this wipe? And you’re looking for someone else. And here, it’s like, “Oh no, it was me, oh no, it was my fault, oh you know what I was distracted, oh I sneezed so my swiftmend was off, oh no sorry I was in the wrong place, oh actually I turned my back for a second,” and it gets so crazy, we started this tradition called “roll for blame”, so it just-

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: So everybody will /random and whoever gets the highest number, that’s their fault.

Tzufit: Yeah, that’s one of the things, I’m certainly on nowhere near as talented of a raid team as you are, but we consider ourselves progression raiders, and for us (chuckling) there really is that moment where you realize you’re in a team where, when you wipe, every single person is looking through their combat log to look at their death and to see what killed them, and the immediate reaction is, “What went wrong? What could I do better?” and like you said, everybody speaks up immediately and says, “OK, well here’s what I should’ve done, here’s what I should’ve done,” and sometimes it’s people, like, you know, as a healer you’re usually pretty aware of what went wrong (laughing) and I will occasionally have people speak up and say, “Oh, yeah, I did x, y, and z wrong,” and I’m thinking, you weren’t even a third or fourth cause of the wipe that just happened, but thanks for letting us know!

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I mean, it’s- that’s the thing actually that I love about progression raiding with good people, fun to play with and good at the game, is it just- I mean, it raised my own game, cause I could tell when I joined this team that I was not playing as well as I could be, and just by being with people who are so much better than you, it’s like, I gotta bring it! Like, I really do!

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: And I really improved my play just by simply feeling like I was accountable. No-one was yelling at me, in fact, people were totally nice- except, of course, for the tank, but he yells at everyone so it doesn’t count, and he’s not even the raid leader, he just yells. That’s just kinda his thing. Actually, for a couple of months he stopped yelling and we were all super worried that he was gonna quit the game, like, “What’s wrong with him? He’s not yelling. Is he ill?”

Tzufit: (Laughing) So, out of curiosity, just knowing- I guess- bleh. So, did you know in advance, when you were thinking about getting into a progression style guild or getting into progression raiding, that it was heavily male-dominated and if you did know that, did it give you any qualms about applying or looking into that stuff?

Dysmorphia: I didn’t know. I remember looking at rankings, and that some servers were more progressed than others, and I was like, “Are you kidding me? People keep track of who killed a thing in a videogame first?”

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Like, what? What is this? Like that matters to people? And then of course, as I got sucked into it, I was like, “Of course it matters. Of course it matters!” and now I’m kind of in a more mellow place where I’m like, you know, I wanna do challenging content with my friends at a pace that it comes out, but I really, I never look at the rankings anymore, and actually I couldn’t even look at the rankings because my group is spread across so many different guilds that we don’t have a ranking. So.

Apple Cider: Oh, yeah, it’s- they really didn’t like teams that were atypical and raided outside of a guild after Wrath ended, basically.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, so I mean, we’re basically outside of that normal ranking. I mean, we can tell when we killed a thing, how many pulls it took, and then you know people always do that thing where they’re like, “Well, yes, we’re only on this but we barely raid six hours a week,” and you’re like, “Well, OK.” I mean, that’s actually what we do, we raid only six hours a week, but- so then, I can’t really compare myself in that sense, but on the other hand, it’s like, no, we’re not that dedicated in terms of time, we don’t have that much time, most of the people I play with work full-time, actually a lot of them in really challenging professions, which is- yeah, that’s just how it’s gonna be. So it’s about, you know, it’s progression but it’s not what I would consider hardcore progression, because it’s like, when we’re there we’re there, we’re really dedicated, we’re working our hardest, but we never extend a raid. Raid ends at raid time, ‘cause people have important meetings in the morning, you know?

Tzufit: Right.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: And for me, that’s one of the things that I’ve really found helpful with the team that I’m on, is the age range of people on the team. I’m on the lower end of the age range on our team, and we have people who are mostly in their mid-to-late thirties, and then we have people on into their forties, and as you said, pretty much everybody there has a full-time job, they need to wake up early in the morning, at least half the raid has kids, and as Apple Cider can attest, sometimes the kids are sitting right next to their dads at the computer. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Yeah…

Tzufit: And they get really sad when we wipe, mostly because then there’s this boring period of us running back in where they don’t get to watch things, or they get to watch boring things. So, yeah, I think having an older crew has been very helpful in terms of people who are just kind of- they don’t care about loot drama, that’s so far away from what we’re thinking, it’s just very pragmatic and it gets the job done and that’s something I’ve really appreciated over the years.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I find actually- so, my raid is similarly kind of older, mostly people in their late-20s, 30s, I think a couple in their 40s, and it’s really just- what people value above all is their time. Like, you will get called out for wasting time on trash for going afk, for like- that’s the one thing people will actually get mad about, is you’re wasting our time, and they only have six hours a week of this time, so do not. But, nothing else is really a big deal. It’s just the time. Loot is nice because it helps us progress. Progression is nice, obviously, that’s what we’re there for, but ultimately it’s like, are we having a fun time, are we using our time well? But yeah, to go back to what you said, I had no idea what I was getting into, honestly. I just thought, yeah, I’m just gonna go inside dungeons. You know, the other thing I didn’t get because I was playing jRPGs before is that you do a dungeon more than once.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing) Oh!

Dysmorphia: Why would you- like, you beat it, you’re done, right? Like, I was very confused by that whole concept. So I thought, you know, I’ll become a healer and then I can go inside these cool dungeons cause I knew they were small dungeons ‘cause I’d been doing a lot of five-mans, I love doing five-mans, I love PuGing them, especially before the out-of-grouping thing on a small server if you got a reputation as a good five-man healer, I could log on in the evening and immediately have a group. People were waiting for me, it was really awesome, and then I was- OK, I’ll do the same thing except with bigger dungeons, so I really wanted to go inside these big dungeons, and see what was there, and then slowly I realized what I liked about it, and I liked the challenge and it sort of slowly amped up what I was wanting to do, and I really didn’t have a concept of that it would be mostly guys. In fact, I thought that- so, this is so naive, but I really felt that half the people I was playing with were women, ‘cause that’s half the world, right?

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: And then it just- you know? I just sort of assumed, like, if you have a female character, you’re probably a woman. I mean, you might not be, ‘cause obviously people like to play different things, my first character that I made was a male Tauren ‘cause I thought they looked incredibly badass, but they run so slow.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: So, I had to stop, but- yeah, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I just, you know, and I do this a lot, where I’ll get into a hobby and I’m like, this is so much fun, I love this, and then someday I realize, oh, I’m the only lady here. Huh.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: So once you did start to realize that, did you have any reactions to it? Did it change the way you felt about raiding at all?

Dysmorphia: You know, not really. It made me- well, I suppose it changed it a little bit, it made me more careful about when I would let people know who I was or that I was female. Like, if I was PuGing and I didn’t have to be on voice chat, I would just not talk, but then I knew, you know, the moment that you start Vent and then people hear your voice, and obviously I have a super feminine voice, I could pretend I guess I was a twelve-year-old boy but it wouldn’t be very realistic.

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: Actually, so I’m considering getting into League of Legends, and I’m thinking my plan is I’ll just pretend I’m a really young boy. So, I mean, WoW did have a little bit of a reputation as being kind of like a dangerous place for women just sort of in general, and then after I’d been leveling for a while and playing dungeons and it was fine, it didn’t occur to me that raiding and especially progression raiding would be such a different world. And yeah, it’s just- you know, it’s weird, a lot of the time I forget about it, and then something will suddenly just draw it out, like people will say something really sexist and you’re like, wait a minute, hold on a second, and then you wonder, wait, do they just assume that there’s no women here, and then sometimes I feel really obligated to speak up and be like, “Hi, yes, I’m here,” like when people say women don’t play WoW, that’s when I queue up voice chat, and I’m like, “Hello! Yes! In fact, I do.”

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing) Yeah, it’s always-

Dysmorphia: It’s that kind of contrariness in my spirit, when someone says something [edited] I feel like I have to say something, even if it gets me into a fight or whatever. So that’s more like PuGing, obviously once they know who I am I don’t hide- like, I’m not going to raid with people and not let them know who I am.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: But I used to do a lot of PuGing, and that was the thing, where people would just assume everyone in the group was male, and the funny thing that would happen, especially in a bigger PuG, is someone would say, “Of course there’s no women who play WoW,” or some other [edited] thing, and I would be like, “No, actually, I’m female.” And you know, a lot of the time, someone else would say, “Yeah, so am I, so screw you.”

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: But someone would need to say it first, and I’m pretty OK with being the person who says it first. And you know, I feel like sometimes when you’re in that situation, it doesn’t even matter that you’re saying anything feminist or progressive or anything like that at all, just being there, just stepping in and being there and just playing the game in the normal fashion, that somehow is this kind of revolutionary act, which is weird! Like, I just wanna play a game, I’m just doing this to relax, this is what I do to get away from the [edited], but somehow just showing up is enough to push people’s buttons.

Apple Cider: Yeah, it’s- it doesn’t have to be super radical, it’s just breaking into a space that does get painted as way more male than anything else, like, I feel that the acceptance of World of Warcraft as being a fairly diverse group to some degree is gaining more ground, because of- and I think this is a little bit odd, but you know, gaining more ground is having a very diverse crowd, because there’s many women who talk about playing WoW, it’s such a big game, there’s no way that it could not be diverse, and that there’s a lot more casual aspects and I use that with air quotes, “casual” aspects to the game, and I think that’s where people think that all the women are, and then when you still get to things that have a considerable high level to them, like raiding, PvP, you know, arenas and things like that, I think that’s where people still think that all the women have vanished from, so being in a raid and being a woman and doing jobs and things like that still is kind of viewed as- like you’re a unicorn or something.

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: Yeah, a little bit, and that’s kind of- I mean, that’s weird, ‘cause I mean, I’ve raided- when I raided twenty-fives, there were always other women on my team. I think the only reason I’m the only one right now is it’s a ten-person group, so, you know, odds are lower.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: I think it’s interesting because you see that divide even in content creation within the WoW community. Like, if you think about WoW bloggers, there are a LOT of women WoW bloggers out there, but, to Apple Cider’s point, a lot of them do tend to cover the stuff that people kind of unfairly label as “casual” and therefore lesser, versus when you think about your theorycrafters, not universally but a lot of them, when you think about the big streamers, the big names out there, most of them tend to be men, still.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, that’s true. Certainly with the theorycrafters, I don’t know that much about the streamers. Actually, someone asked about that on Twitter, about-

Tzufit: Yeah!

Dysmorphia: About streamers.

Tzufit: This is from ashveridian on Twitter, asked, “How does Dysmorphia feel about the lack of women streaming high-end play on the same level as-” and then they list several male streamers here who have very large personally loyal fanbases, despite them being present that content. I’m not sure exactly what that was supposed to say.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, so I don’t really watch that much raid streaming, so I can’t speak about it that much. The one person I used to watch regularly was this woman who played with Juggernaut, Ryoushii? I- uh, OK, I’m probably saying this wrong.

Apple Cider: Ryoushii?

Dysmorphia: She went by Koush, like, [Koushirou] was her streamer name, and that stream was awesome because Juggernaut was a pretty progressive guild, and she made these amazing snark comments throughout, where she just would comment on everybody, and in the meantime you also have Sebudai who is sort of famous for being the asshole raid leader, you know, there’s that whole meme with him saying mean things, like, “OK, we have to go back to ubers because you people don’t know anything.”

Apple Cider: Yeah, it’s not rocket surgery, basically.

Dysmorphia: Exactly!

Apple Cider: For people that don’t know.

Dysmorphia: It’s the not rocket surgery guy, and you know, that was an amazing stream to watch and to listen to, but then Juggernaut shut its doors and the next guild that she was with didn’t let her stream the voice chat, and honestly I watch a stream if I’m going to watch it to see how they play together, not to watch other people play a videogame but to actually see how they communicate, so without the voice stream I’m like, “Meh.” So, my experience is that the one streamer I ever followed was a woman, so I don’t know.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing) It’s cool- I think that’s a good thing to maybe poke at. Let’s talk about that. Is- there still is an absence of high end content. theorycrafters, streamers, and I wanna say that I don’t wanna say that there are none, because there are, there are quite a few women that are doing high level streaming pvp, raiding, raid streams, but also I wanna say that there really are not a lot of women theorycrafters, though. That is a place- and, I mean, that is pretty much the domain of raiding is, you know, raiding was very heavily tied to theorycrafting communities. Absence of women there, and I (sigh) I wanna say that there’s maybe some definite reasons for that, and it’s not because women are terrible at math. (Chuckles)

Tzufit: Yeah. (Chuckles) I know, from a streaming perspective, I mean I can speak to that a little bit as somebody who’s kind of been dabbling in streaming recently, and I’m not exactly sure where I wanna go with it, but I’ve spoken to my guild, they’re fine with me streaming, they’re fine with me streaming our vent chat, you know, as long as I give them the heads up that we’re doing it, but I really hesitate to stream our progression raid nights or anything, because I just don’t wanna deal with what I feel like would kind of be the inevitable criticism that could potentially go along with that, and some of it is just not wanting to deal with that criticism in general while I’m sitting there trying to do progression raiding, but some of it is specifically, I will start talking, they’ll know I’m a woman, and then do I really need to deal with that whole thing while I’m trying to do this too?

Dysmorphia: Yeah, and that makes sense. I mean, I’ve seen enough people reacting to women streamers on Twitch and so on to be like, do I ever wanna put up with that [edited]? No! I do not.

Tzufit: Mmhmm. Why aren’t you using a webcam, just, you know, any of these things.

Apple Cider: Oh yeah.

Dysmorphia: I just don’t wanna. And then it’s weird because when a man does something [edited], you’re just like, you’re doing a [edited] thing, here’s [edited] thing x that you’re doing, blah blah blah. If you’re a woman and you’re doing a [edited] thing, immediately the gendered slurs start.

Tzufit: Mmhmm!

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: It’s like, if I’m a bad player, if I’m doing something shitty, if I’m sub-optimally clipped, like, sure, sing it, but don’t, you know, start using- that’s a thing that gets me, and that’s why I don’t really wanna go there.

Apple Cider: Yeah. It’s- I think that this is really- this really gross expectation for if you’re putting out anything out there publicly, that as a woman that’s the sort of criticism you’re always going to get, and always is that you’re reflecting on your gender badly if you [edited] up, whereas if you do good, it’s remarkable. It doesn’t reflect on the gender as a whole, it’s an anomaly.

Tzufit: Yeah!

Dysmorphia: You’re the exception. If you’re good you’re the exception, if you’re bad then you’re just proving the rule that everybody is bad.

Apple Cider: Yeah, and I feel that that feeling, that gatekeeping, that exceptional double-street sort of criticism is also maybe why there are fewer streamers, fewer high-end theorycrafting women, because it just feels like a community that has kept a lot of women out because of that criticism, and I feel like- and I’ve had brushes with it, even as somebody who is not a high level player, like, I started doing streaming, right? I started doing streaming very recently because I finally- you know, my computer stopped being terrible, so I could actually do streaming, and I’m not doing anything particularly exciting, like, all I’m doing is soloing stuff as a death knight, that’s all I’m doing, and people will just kind of come in and demand things on you, like, why are you doing this, why are you not- like Tzufit said, why are you not using a camera, and just condescending you, and I feel like that’s kind of also what you get if you decide to put yourself out there as a voice of authority, which again-

Tzufit: Yeah, absolutely.

Apple Cider: Which is again maybe why a lot of women never got involved in theorycrafting, it’s not because I don’t think women are not intellectually capable enough, because I definitely don’t think that’s the case, it’s just, how are you going to break into a community that has so long prided itself on being factually accurate and then not have to deal with that constant and unending stream of people checking you for having the audacity to be an authority on something as a woman in gaming.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, that’s true. But, you know, I was just thinking as you were talking about this, like, what- are there any women theorycrafters I can think of, and right now two came to mind, one is Vixsin who does the resto shaman stuff, and I remember when I was playing a resto shaman, I’m like, “Holy crap, there isn’t enough resto shaman theorycraft!” So there was her and then theres also Beruthiel who does a bunch of resto druid stuff. Coincidentally, both doing healing things, and I think you guys covered that in a previous episode.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: Women gravitating towards healing.

Tzufit: Mmhmm.

Dysmorphia: But, I mean, that’s the only two I can think of, and I’m pretty involved in the theorycrafting community as a sort of consumer of theorycrafting, so yeah. That’s just two, out of- I don’t know, dozens.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: I think- you know, for me, too, anytime I’ve published a post that borders on theorycrafting or borders on saying, “You should play this class this way,” I am like- my defenses are immediately raised, you know? I hit that publish button and I’m not excited about finishing a post or really happy to put it out there. It’s like, I’m gonna hit this button and then I’m gonna wait for the criticism to roll in, because-

Dysmorphia: Because you know it will!

Tzufit: Yeah! And I think that a lot of times, women’s content is scrutinized at a different level anyway, so if there’s a minor error, I mean, the problem is, this is the internet so anytime anybody catches a minor error about anything, they’re gonna tell you about it, but I think that the scrutiny is a little bit harsher or a little more thorough a lot of the time if you know that it’s a woman who produced the content, because your immediate reaction is, well she probably doesn’t know what she’s talking about anyway.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I think you’re right about that. So it’s just like- I mean, it’s just not- I don’t want to say the theorycrafting community’s mean, because it’s not mean, but it’s definitely very nitpicky. I mean, these are the people who, before you had the proper combat logging, would sit there and look at their little dummy numbers for hours, so it takes a certain kind of mind like a steel trap to even get into it in the first place, but then you’re right, I think that there is an additional level of scrutiny if you’re a woman writing about it.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: Like, how dare you? Which is weird, but OK.

Apple Cider: Yeah, exactly. (Laughing) Well, and I feel like that has a detrimental effect, like, the one time that I really kind of stepped up to the plate to give advice to mages about their play- and I’m, I mean, I’m not a noob to mage playing. I’ve been playing a mage for nine years, I’m not somebody that is exceptionally [edited] about the class. But, you know, I made a post about what were good times to use heroism, just from common sense rules that I had sort of always followed, and I got checked by two very prominent theorycrafters, despite the fact that I was using information that was contrary to what they had come up with regards to perfect and optimal heroism/time warp/bloodlust use, despite the fact that that information had not been publicly released to the non-theorycrafting, non-high-end-raiding community on the virtue that it was not information that they considered that we needed to have. So I was wrong, because I was giving out the wrong information, but I didn’t have the actual right information that they had decided prior to this, so it was like this weird catch-22 but I had a lot of nerd guys coming up on my doorstep to yell at me for giving out inaccurate information that I hadn’t been provided prior to, and it very much felt like any other conversation that I have with angry men on the internet. It was no different than a feminism conversation where men come to tell me that I’m wrong, and they’re operating with a very different set of expectations and lived experiences and it was- I never did anything like that ever again. I didn’t want to deal with it. I didn’t want to deal with them again, and I didn’t want to deal with that kind of hubris and arrogance because I think a lot of the high-end play community, being considered so homogeneously full of dudes, they do get this idea that they’re always right and that their perspectives are always correct in every instance, and somebody who is a double outsider could not possibly have anything of merit to say on the subject, whether it be raiding or pvp or theorycrafting, anything like that. It’s- and it- that sort of stuff, you carry that with you on top of every other thing that you carry with you as a woman playing a video game, especially World of Warcraft, and it starts to become this matched set of baggage that you frequently don’t get into that stuff because you have to deal with the criticism, you have to deal with the double standards, you have to deal with dealing with men that think they’re always right and then you have, on top of that, the matters of, are they going to respect me? Are they going to talk about sexist stuff, are they gonna make rape jokes that further degrade me? And then on top of that you have whatever else you’ve been carrying around in your psyche for however many years before you even got into videogames.

Dysmorphia: Actually, that’s how I got into following theorycrafting, is I had this sense of profound inadequacy ‘cause I didn’t start playing WoW until I think I was- I wanna say thirty or twenty-nine, but you know, old by gamer standards, so I figured, “I’ll never have the reflexes these dudes do, never! Cause I’m old!” Like, it’s not gonna happen, so I have to work on my theory knowledge. So I started reading a lot of theorycrafting thinking, I’m just gonna make my gear as good as possible and make my spell spread correct, use the right thing in the right time, because I’m not going to get out of the fire quite as timely as these other people, but I can get the theory! So that’s how I got into the theorycraft part of progression raiding, but I never did the theorycraft myself ‘cause I’m not really a math person. I’m pretty analytical, but I’m not a math person.

Tzufit: I think that’s one of the things that’s interesting about theorycrafting is that there’s so little thought or concern or value given to the delivery. Like, if you’re telling somebody that they’re wrong, it’s always extraordinarily blunt, a lot of the time it’s, if not blunt, then mean, you know? There’s no finesse to it at all, and there’s sometimes, depending on who you speak to, certainly not all theorycrafters are like this, but a lot of people don’t really appreciate questions where they kind of ask you to expand a little bit or explain on a slightly lower level so that you can get, “OK, I know that they made it to C, but how did they get past A and B to get there?” And sometimes that’s really treated very condescendingly or as a waste of time, and I do- I think I can understand that point of view because I can see how it feels like an attack because, “I’ve done all the math to get past A and B and C is clearly the answer and I can’t help you if you don’t understand how to do the math,” but when that’s the automatic reaction, and when it’s delivered in a very blunt or

condescending way it is extraordinarily alienating and really does turn people away who maybe would be writing more, would be asking more, would be doing better if they had received a slightly different tone of response.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s part of the gatekeeping of raiding, ‘cause I feel like raiding used to be a lot more exclusive than it is now, so it was like, if you’re even raiding, you’re already top dog. If you’re raiding well enough that you’re reading theorycrafting, you’re already kind of like a nerd lord, and so you already have enough arrogance that no matter how arrogant someone is being, you’re like, whatever, or at least that’s what’s expected. I think that’s the thing, is that they expect that everyone else has this super thick shell, and if you’re an actual squishy human you’re squished.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Well, I think that kind of goes back to maybe that there’s- I feel like people are operating on different pages and it comes to their psychological on-ramp to this sort of stuff, ‘cause I think that women coming into gaming have a far different set of baggage that they’re coming in with, and that it clashes a lot when you are dealing with a largely analytical group of people, where it comes off as blunt ‘cause they’re dealing with numbers and it’s not about feelings and you’re coming into it with perhaps feelings and maybe some of the things that go on when you are dealing with gaming, which can be feeling inadequate, feeling like you’re just faking it, like you’re not good enough or will never be good enough, or you just don’t get it or you’re too [edited] or that sort of thing.

Dysmorphia: You know, what this also reminds me of is there’s this tendency when people are talking about the difficulty of a game to really underplay it. They’ll just be like, oh yeah, this is trivial, shouldn’t be a problem, and I know when I hear that from certain people, I’m just like, this is not information. They’re just saying that.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Like, I in fact don’t know the difficulty of what they just played, and then sometimes when you talk to them and you find out what they mean by trivial, like when I was talking about the druid- the healer trial thingy that they put in now? Where you can do gold and then endless and whatever.

Tzufit: Mmhmm.

Apple Cider: Oh yeah, proving grounds.

Dysmorphia: Proving grounds! That’s the thing, which I loved, I did them until I got the title “proving healer” which I wore until the first time I caused a healing wipe and I was like, well.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: So, now I’m champion of Orgrimmar or whatever it is, defender of Orgrimmar. So, I was talking to one of these people about, like, oh hey, how hard is this? And they were like, you know, it’s not that bad, it’s pretty easy, it only took me about four hours of wiping. And I’m like, oh, OK, that’s a really great calibration. Like, now I know when you say “easy” you have a REALLY different idea about what is easy.

Tzufit: Yeah! (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: Cause if you say it’s easy, I’m like, you got it in two or three tries, right? And you say it’s easy because it only took four hours, and some analysis. So I’m like, OK, alright, so it’s kind of funny ‘cause I’m like, is this machismo talking, or is this just people expecting a different level? And I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: I don’t know either. My inclination is that it’s probably a little bit of both, but yeah, I certainly- if someone told me trivial, four hours would not be anywhere on my radar.

Dysmorphia: Right? Cause trivial is like, I could do it in a day.

Tzufit: Yeah!

Dysmorphia: Oh, OK! Alright, then!

Apple Cider: (Chuckling) Well, OK, so here’s a question from me to you, is, have you ever run into a situation where- I mean, I feel like a lot of our discussion on this show has- and this is kind of very funny, is that I think even in the course of this episode that all of us have been self-deprecating to some degree? Despite the fact that I think that we’re all pretty confident players. Have you ever run into a situation where it was something that you felt accomplished about or felt confident about, and you had somebody assume that you weren’t actually confident or good at what you did or just assumed that you were just a noob about it?

Dysmorphia: Hmm, like in WoW?

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: Uh..

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Chuckling) I was trying to think, I don’t really think I have either.

Dysmorphia: So I mean, yeah, I’m kind of self-deprecating and stuff, but I feel like I’m realistic, I know where I stand, you know? Like, I remember when I used to play in a more casual guild with more casual people, and they would talk about how badass they were, and I looked at my numbers, I looked at my spell spread, I looked at progression, and I was like, guys, we’re ranked four-thousandth. Like, it’s fine, but don’t be an ass. Or do you feel like you’re amazing, I’m like, no, I’m fine. I know what amazing is, I’ve watched the stream, I’ve looked at logs, I know what the potential is, and I’m not amazing, I’m fine. You’re fine. We’re all fine. Get over yourself.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah, and I think- and you kind of brought this up earlier, that this is sort of a thing that you experience sometimes in casual guilds, where the perception- and the blues have talked about this too, the perception of how big the skill gap is between somebody who’s, say, able to clear Siege of Orgrimmar on normal versus somebody who’s in a top-fifty guild, a lot of casual players perceive that as being, well yeah, they’re a little bit better than me, they have a lot more time on their hands but other than that we’re pretty much equal, and- no. Noooo. (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: People who are good, they’re REALLY good!

Tzufit: Yeah, this is the thing that they do. I mean, it’s a totally different thing. I once was talking to somebody and compared it to, it’s like, so if I play an intramural baseball game with a couple friends once a week, all of a sudden I assume that I’m ready to be in the World Series because I have experienced baseball on a certain level, and I think in WoW people tend to do that because there aren’t these barriers the way that there are in a lot of sports where it’s like you’re in this league or this league or this league, and with WoW, and maybe this will change a little bit once we have mythic raiding, with WoW because it’s so linear and there’s not really a clear differentiation between somebody who can do a couple heroic fights and somebody who does heroic fights and is in the race to world first, since by perception it seems like you’re all in the same race, it feels like, oh, hey, yeah, we’ve got a lot in common, when in reality it’s again, like I said, you’re playing intramural baseball and they’re in the world series. It’s totally different

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I think that’s a good analogy, and I think a lot of times people think that, oh, well, yeah, these guys are more progressed than me because they have better gear, not realizing that-

Tzufit: They have WORSE gear!

Dysmorphia: They have worse gear. Like, they have better gear than you now, months into it when they’ve cleared heroics several times and you’re still working on normals. But they were clearing that content with worse gear. Actually, one of the things I loved was the live raid they had at Blizzcon when they had people do a raid that was totally new custom content, and you just see them, it was too bad they didn’t stream the audio, but I know why, because I’m sure they were cussing and saying horrible things, but the cussing is fine but the horrible things, you know, anyway. You see these people and this is content they’ve never seen, and they do a pull and within one pull they’re figuring it out. On the second pull, they have a strategy, and you’re like, this is so beyond what most of us will ever do.

Tzufit: Exactly!

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: Like, both in terms of their reactive gameplay right there, how well they’re playing their character, how quickly they’re assessing the situation, their awareness, they’re just like- they’re geniuses, so yeah, I’m like- I kind of compare myself with WoW, where I am in terms of weight lifting, I’m like, you know, I’m a lot stronger than a person who’s never lifted, but when you compare to someone who’s actually competing, I’m a weakling, right? Same with raiding, compared to someone who just LFRs, yeah, I’m amazing, but compared to people who actually are ranked top, I’m like, you know, no. I’m nowhere in that world. I mean, I am at the very first step of that world, but I’ll never actually be that good. That was actually the thing that was a little bit bummed me out when I started getting more into it, and I was like, “You know, just cause I’m in a small server, once I can have a chance to prove myself and a new thing starts, I mean, a new tier or whatever, then I will actually be that good,” and then it was like, “No. Nope.” There are hard limits of how much attention I can pay, my reaction times, my dedication, and just like my emotional state. Right, so I feel like people who are really dedicated hardcore progression raiders, they get- you get into that state, which I’m sure you’ve both experienced, where you’re raiding and you’re really frustrated and it’s not fun anymore, actually, when you’re just wiping, and even you personally are making a mistake and it’s just painful, cause you know you’re holding back the whole group, and it’s just the worst, and that’s when I’m like, I’m done. Like, let’s call it, you know? We’ve done ten pulls, fifteen pulls, it’s late, I’m tired, you know, do I really care? Someone’s yelling at me, [edited] this, [edited] this! And the people who are really into it, I think they get to that state and something else happens in their brain. Something else.

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Tzufit: Yeah!

Dysmorphia: Something that lets them go, “No, [edited] this, I’m gonna get this!

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: [Edited] you, [edited] this! And I’m like, [edited] this I’m getting tea.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Dysmorphia: So that’s the difference, I think. I mean, aside from the skill or whatever, there’s a certain attitude that hardcore progression raiders have that I think most people don’t have, and until you’ve actually done progression raiding itself and found your own wall and been up against that wall, you don’t even know. You don’t know that you have that thing where you’re just suddenly going to stop caring, but that happened to me. I used to have a raid leader who was really mean, and he- the way that he would motivate people was by yelling at them, and the funny thing is also he refused to curse, ‘cause I think he was Mormon, so it was against his religion to curse, so he would come up with novel fake curses, but he was meaner than anybody who was throwing curse words around ever, and every now and again he would curse, that’s when you’re like, whoa. He’s committing a sin because we’re that bad. So, it was really serious.

Tzufit: Oh no.

Dysmorphia: Yeah. We made him break his moral thing because we were that bad.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: You had to feel kind of bad! “Whoa, he said [edited]. Wow. Oh my god.” So the thing is, that would get some of the people in my raid motivated, and I could see how their motivation worked, that him yelling at them actually giving fifty dkp minus for real, like, it made them go and it made me just wanna kick my router. Like, I was just like, no. Sorry. I’m thirty.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Yeah, it’s- here’s the thing, though, is that having watched really good players, like, I’ve had friends that play on very, very upper levels, is- the only thing I get really side-eye about, other than the fact that the culture seems to be still overwhelmingly problematic with their language, is that there is, in some areas, this joke or even seriousness that women will never be able to attain that level of play. That is just something that is not available to them, they will not ever be that good, they’re not capable of being that good, despite the fact that you would think that high-end raiding has a fairly definable level of merit that you can achieve. Like, if you get a title, if you can beat a boss, if you can get ranked on a fight, then that would prove that you’re able to do that, but it feels like in the highest levels of raiding, despite the fact that there are women who do it, the overall feeling is that women are not capable of that, and I’ve noticed that to some degree, that there are people that think that.

Dysmorphia: There is! That happens and, you know, there’s even famous guilds that just right up refuse to recruit women, which is so [edited], like, what is this, 1950?

Apple Cider: Yeah. It’s a video game! Like, it’s a- seriously, it’s a VIDEO. GAME.

Tzufit: It’s amazing to me that- and I imagine that Warcraft or Blizzard would probably not wanna have to dive into the problems that this would cause, but it is amazing to me that that’s not against the terms of service.

Apple Cider: It’s- it’s probably because people- they do want people to be able to form their own groups in a manner that is fitting, but yeah, oh, I think it’s complete [edited] that I have heard high-level guilds be like, uhhmm, yeah no girls. No girls allowed.

Tzufit: I- just maybe a week or two ago I saw somebody on Twitter posting a picture of someone on their server recruiting in trade chat who specifically said, no women.

Apple Cider: Yeah, and I- I think some of the people use that as a joke, maybe, but on the other hand, you don’t necessarily have to say no women for your raid if you create a culture that is so abjectly hostile that no women would ever want to be there. So, it’s like kind of the thing and I feel like a lot of high-end raiding is a culture that is so hostile to women or the game community in general is so hostile to women that maybe that is why there don’t seem to be as many women playing at the highest levels, because we’re not given the same kind of encouragement and the same safe environment to be a good player. Like, I’ve talked to some women that play at the highest levels who have had to basically ignore the [edited] that people in their raid teams say about women in order to compete at the level that they wish to play World of Warcraft at.

Dysmorphia: Yes. I mean, I’ve heard that from high-end raider women, that they just kind of- they grow a thicker skin or they put up some kind of privacy barriers. One of my old friends plays super high level, and I know that her strategy is she’s incredibly private, and she just focuses on her DPS and she’s really good at what she does but she’s very very private, she has a very clear line.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: So you’ll never see her stream or she’ll never talk on her stream because that’s how she stays- cause she loves, it you know? I mean- that’s- actually, I want to go back to that, there’s a lot of [edited], right? But I feel like the women who are doing high end raiding, and I’m not doing super high end I’m doing progression but nonetheless, women who are getting into raiding, we kind of have to love it more, and I know that sounds like a weird reason, but because there’s such a barrier because there’s so much [edited] along the way, if you don’t love it, if it’s not awesome to you, you’re just- you’re gonna stop, you’re gonna find something else to do. So, there are- it’s just like, maybe that’s why there’s fewer women, part of it is that you have to be this person who is completely dedicated to it to even just be normal in it. You just, you can’t be like, I guess I’ll do that, and just kind of I guess do it, because you’ll get discouraged along the way. You have to have this intense drive to even just be baseline.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: Yeah, and I can only imagine how disheartening it would be to be someone who had that drive and had the ability and got to that point where they’re in a top-fifty, top-hundred guild, and they start raiding with that group and realize, I’m with terrible terrible people.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: I know we had- she has very sadly retired from the game, but one of my best friends in WoW was a woman who played with our group since BC, and she was always our top DPSer, she was phenomenal. She mastered three different DPS classes, and- well, actually, I think four specs if you count the fact that she did both enhance and elemental at various points in her WoW career. And she could’ve gone anywhere. She could easily have been in a top-fifty guild, but it wasn’t something that she desired, because she wanted to raid with people that she enjoyed, and I think it’s a really tough decision- it’s a tough decision for anybody, to want to go into the really hardcore raiding because- I don’t know if you all remember a few years ago when somebody from one of the top end guilds published a blog post that was basically his day and what he did in twenty four hours when they were actually in the middle of progression content, and it’s like an eight-hour work day, followed by WoW until four o’clock in the morning, and then two or three hours of sleep. You know? It just- it takes an [edited] amount of dedication, it really does, but to be a woman on top of that, it takes all of that dedication, all of that ability, and a willingness to not- to not allow yourself to think about how terrible some of the things are that are said to you or said around you.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, you just put up these walls. I mean, I feel like you put up these walls at any level of play, but the higher you go, the more it’s like, you know, when you want to be in the top-ten guilds, there’s not- there’s ten, you know?

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: Like, there’s ten, and let’s say you’re a mage and one of them is looking for a mage. That’s it, that’s where you’re going to play. That’s kind of it.

Tzufit: Right.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: And if you don’t like the culture, there’s nothing to do about that.

Dysmorphia: Well, you can quit, you can not-play at that level. But I mean, I’ve met people who, when the alternative was to not play at that level, they’re just like, I’m not interested in being casual. This is, like, they’re a competitive person, they wanna do it, they wanna be the best or they’re not interested.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Well, it’s- I mean, I know there are women who play in the top ten. I know there are women, there have been women in guilds like Paragon, Blood Legion, that sort of thing. But, it just makes you wonder, because I don’t see many guilds that are that high up go on record to say that they care about their raiders enough to create an environment where people feel like playing, and then there’s this common-sense idea that, oh, there are just not a lot of women in high-end raiding. Well, if you don’t make spaces that are accommodating for that, of course you’re not. If you, as Blood Legion or Midwinter or Paragon don’t go on the record to say, we care about competition and progression and being the best but we don’t necessarily care about making that space for everybody, well, of course you’re not gonna get everybody. You’re going to get men ages eighteen to twenty-five, etcetera.

Dysmorphia: You know, I feel like I wanna just take issue with the word accommodating, because that might make people think like it’s going to be like, oh they’ll coddle your women or whatever.

Apple Cider: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Dysmorphia: No, just make it not hostile. Like, just make it not actively hostile. You don’t have to be nice to your lady raiders, just don’t be a [edited]. Don’t be awful, and that’s a different thing to ask for. Cause I get it, it’s a competitive atmosphere, and it’s gonna be kind of intense at times, but just like, don’t be actively [edited], and even if that was the change, that would be huge. I actually feel like that was the thing in Juggernaut, or at least that was the impression I got, is that they were not actively [edited] to women, which is why they had a woman raiding with them the whole time, or- I mean, I’m guessing. I’m speculating at this point, but from what I know from Juggernaut, for example, is it was a very competitive guild, but they kind of tried not to be [edited], so hey.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: And it wasn’t like a cuddly place by any means, I mean, this is the rocket surgery guy we’re talking about.

Apple Cider: Yeah. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: I feel like you can get yelled at and you can be competitive but it’s like, my experiences with how I’ve seen high-end raiding act is it’s just full of really disgusting language, and I’m not gonna say all women are upset by that. Like, I know there are women who obviously do not have the same problems with language as I do, they do not have the same problems with rape jokes as I do, you know? That happens. But-

Dysmorphia: But some people are just less sensitive to it. Hey, if that’s how you are, that’s great. I mean, I feel like I’m kind of one of those people where if someone starts [edited] I’ll finish it.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: I used to do well enough PuGing when I played on Kel’thuzad which is a high pop Alliance server, and people would just say the most awful things when they heard me being female on vent, and I would just sort of say things that were even more awful, and they would be like, whoa. Cause I mean, you hear my voice, I sound like a little girl, and then suddenly this little girl is saying horrifying things about tentacles and you’re just like, oh. OK. And I’m like, yeah! Yeah, you think you can freak me out! I’ve seen stranger things than you in my breakfast cereal.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Well it’s- (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: So I mean, on the other hand, that’s my coping strategy, and I need a coping strategy because that’s the situation, and my coping strategy is to be a weirdo, right? So.

Apple Cider: Yeah. It’s- I dunno, it’s like, I feel like it’s kind of moved away from this a little bit, thankfully. I remember when, on every server, a lot of the reasons why women weren’t allowed in top raiding guilds was because they’d “cause drama”.

Dysmorphia: Oh yeah!

Apple Cider: Because men losing their [edited] over women being sexy or cute or dating people in- it was this real, like, you can’t [edited] date people in your workplace sort of rules with raiding. Like, I know that- I remember very distinctly that my entire raid ground to a halt so that we could all go look at the Death and Taxes forums when the officers started posting nudes of this girl that had been dating two people in the guild.

Dysmorphia: Oh, god.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Yeah. Um, and so that’s one of the things that I always heard when I was still interested in high-end progression raiding, was this idea of no couples because the woman’s always [edited] and no women in our guilds because they just cause drama. Never mind the fact that it takes more than one person to cause drama, and it’s usually guys pitching a fit that they can’t date a woman or that she’s dating more than one person, or the fact that having a woman in your guild turns your men into [edited], but-

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: I digress.

Tzufit: Well, I think the implied assumption behind women cause drama in raiding guilds is that women must only be there because they wanna date one of these ultimate nerd dudes, right?

Dysmorphia: Yeah.

Apple Cider: They cyber their way in to get purps. Women cyber to get- which-

Dysmorphia: Hey, uh, Orc dude, do you wanna Orc I guess?

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Yeah, actually, I had to have a lot of strategies for deflecting flirtation, which I think everybody does, and so I would do it with humor or by being really weird, so that people would just be like, I don’t wanna go there.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) I think maybe one of the reasons why the women only get purps from cybering thing actually declined to some degree is because it’s so easy to get purples now.

Dysmorphia: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Yeah.

Apple Cider: Thank you for giving us purples so that us women wouldn’t have to be picked on for apparently cybering officers for purps. (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: See now the funny thing is, speaking of coping strategies, because I was so worried that people would think that about me, I would turn down gear.

Apple Cider: Really?! That is interesting.

Dysmorphia: I would- I refused to take gear from anyone or gold from anyone or help from anyone.

Apple Cider: Huh. Wow.

Dysmorphia: So, like, obviously if I had the DKP, I’d spend the DKP, right? DKP is DKP, but I would deliberately try to just, like, if someone tried to pass gear to me I’d be like, no. Nope. No.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: And, you know, now that I think about it, that was my strategy when I was dating when I was younger, ‘cause I got the impression, apparently correctly, that when you’re a teenager, if a guy buys you a thing, he expects that you will have sex with him.

Apple Cider: Yes.

Dysmorphia: And I had decided I wouldn’t have sex until I was eighteen, and I just sort of at some point was like, yeah I’m just not gonna do that. So, I refused all gifts from men.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Which really weirded out boyfriends. I’d be like, those are nice roses, but no thanks.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Like- (Laughing) Which is, you know, I mean, that’s [edited] up, but it worked for me, so whatever. And then I guess I did the same thing with gear, I was like, no, no, I don’t want gifts of gear or anything like that, ever.

Apple Cider: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense, ‘cause I know I’ve- I’m still bad about that. I’m still bad about the whole, like, gifts mean sex thing. I still have problems with that, but whenever it- see, and this, again, is so weird because I raided in a very different environment where there were a lot of women and it was a very mixed bag and all of the men were older and in committed relationships, I didn’t have to deal with that [edited]. At no point did somebody turn around and go, oh, did you get those purples because you were dating somebody? There’s no way I could date anybody, they were all married! (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah. And that’s the experience in my guild now, too, is, again, because we’re an older group, everybody’s married, two of us- there are four people on the team that are- I don’t even know how to say this correctly. My raid leader and his wife are on the team, and then myself and my partner are on the team, so, you know, so there’s just no expectation of that anybody is there for any reason other than because we like to raid.

Apple Cider: Yeah. I do really think that a lot of that idea about women has really changed due to the fact that raiding, even at the highest levels, is not really as hard to get into anymore. There’s no attunements, you don’t have to suck up to the top five people on your guild or your server to get into a forty-man, that sort of thing.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I think you’re right about that. The on-ramp right now for raiding is really easy. I could quit for a year and come back, and if they keep the current mechanism, I could just, in a month on my own, get myself up to the shape where I’d be worth bringing for a raid.

Apple Cider: Yeah. That is- I didn’t even think about it until now, because I- when I was raiding, that was still a big thing, the whole women cybering to get epics and things like that, winning over the loot council, officers giving shit to their girlfriends and stuff like that. I was raiding in that time period, so the fact that I don’t really hear that as much now because literally everybody can get purples, you know, oh, welcome to the utopian feminist paradise of epic gear that I have always dreamed about where everybody gets all of the gear that they’re, you know, uh, achieved through their own merits.

Dysmorphia: Awesome!

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: It’s a little communism, you know? From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Ohh…

Tzufit: So, in this most recent raid, we actually got a trinket that’s named after you. (Chuckling) So, and since that’s one of the things that a lot of people in the WoW community really aspire to, or really want to happen for themselves, I’m just curious how you heard about it, what your reaction was, how you feel about being memorialized in that way.

Dysmorphia: So, I remember someone mentioned it to me on Twitter, and I was like, my first reaction when I saw it was, oh well, you know, dysmorphic is a word, I’m sure it’s not about me. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Like, oh, what a funny coinkidink. That’s really cute, but I’m sure it’s not about me, and then I got confirmation that, no no, we named that after you, and I was like, oh wow! It was like I felt- um, it was sort of humbling, actually, ‘cause I’m like, I don’t feel like I’ve done anything to deserve it, I’m not a big voice in the community. Like, I know that the reason why it was done is it was sort of an inside joke because of people I’m friends with, so it’s not- you know, it’s not like a tribute to an important person, it’s more like, hey, we’re friends, I was looking for names, and your name just happened to make a cool trinket name, and then the fact that it’s a really good druid trinket-

Tzufit: Yeah!

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: It was really sweet, that really made me happy, ‘cause, you know, I’ve seen a lot of other ones where things are named after people and it’s not good for their class.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: And that also is kind of a joke, where it’s not good for their class, and you’re like… or, I know one guy who has a cloak named after him this tier, and he’s like, well, I guess it’s the thought that counts?

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Whereas I’m like, I’m going to use this trinket, so I have the flex version of it now. I’m still waiting for the real one to drop, but it was-

Tzufit: Yeah, I think I told you, I-

Dysmorphia: But my first reaction was like, “Can’t possibly be me, obviously,” and then the second one was like, “Oh, that’s so sweet! And it’s a good trinket! Wow!”

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: But yeah, I haven’t seen the real one drop yet, only the flex one. I guess flex is real, but you know what I mean, I haven’t seen the normal version drop yet.

Tzufit: Yeah, I think I told you on Twitter that we’ve only seen it once, and it was of course warforged, of course it was, and our resto shaman got it, so.

Dysmorphia: Yeah, I think it’s good for every healer this tier, so it’s kinda nice.

Tzufit: It’s- I would take it, as a mistweaver monk, but the spirit is not the best, but the amount of intellect on it? Totally worth it.

Dysmorphia: (Laughing) Yeah, actually, so, when I did finally get confirmation that it was me, I was so happy about it that I bragged to all my friends that I used to play Dungeons and Dragons with.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: So that’s me. Super nerd, bragging to my former D&D party, I’m like, GUESS WHAT GUYS?

Tzufit: I have arrived in WoW!

Dysmorphia: I’m like, yeah.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: And they were like, yeah, actually, that’s cool.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: Even though they all think that WoW is kind of silly, because they’re all like, “Eh, D&D is where it’s at, WoW is for nerds.”

Apple Cider: Yeah. I don’t know, I’m super- whenever people I know get items named after them, I’m always a tiny little bit jealous but I’m also super happy because it’s like- it’s nice to see people that I know or know of via the internet getting props in that way. And they’re always usually kind of like cute names, too, so- you know, like, I know that a couple of WoW Insider staffers got stuff named after them on Ordos as well, and that was just kind of- I thought that was also really cute. You know, it’s nice to have Blizzard recognize people in the community, especially stuff named after women in the community? So. (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah.

Dysmorphia: I didn’t even think about that! But yeah, so that was- you know what, that was the one thing I wanted to talk about that I forgot about. So, at Blizzcon I met up with my raid group, which is a ten person raid group that somehow nineteen people were at our dinner because, you know, people quit but they still wanna come with is, and so here we are at a restaurant at Disneyland, and I look around and I’m like, huh. They’re all dudes.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Dysmorphia: And- cause it’s like, when I’m raiding with them, I forget! You know, they’re Orcs and they’re Undeads and they’re- you know, we even have one Blood Elf. Blech.

Tzufit: (chuckling)

Dysmorphia: And you know, Trolls and so on, and you forget, or I forget that I’m the only lady there, and then suddenly when it’s in person, like, that’s undeniable. But then, after talking to people for fifteen minutes, I again forget that, oh, I’m the only woman here. It’s weird, it’s like, these are my friends, I like playing with them. So that’s sort of the thing, it’s like, I wish there were more women, but at the same time, the people I’m playing with are really fun. It doesn’t have to be terrible just because you’re the only woman. So, that’s- I guess that’s my happy note to end with, you know, even though you’re the only woman, it doesn’t have to be a bad or negative thing, it can just be like, OK. I mean, I wish there were more, but I’m having fun with these people, they’re really fun to play with, we have a good time. They treat me as a fellow raider, they’re not weird about it, they’re not mean to me just because I’m a woman, if they’re mean to me it’s because I did something [edited] in the game and it’s fun. It doesn’t deter me from playing and having a good time.

Apple Cider: Well, that is a- probably a good note to end on. We’re gonna talk about some other things for the show, but seriously, it’s been awesome to have you share your experiences, Dysmorphia, and have you on the show.

Tzufit: Yeah, thank you!

Dysmorphia: Well thank you for having me it’s been really fun.

Tzufit: So, for those of you who are listening on Stitcher or download via iTunes, you probably noticed that we have skipped over the twenty-fifth episode and gone straight to the twenty-sixth. And we do apologize for the inconvenience, unfortunately we used a different system to record when we were doing our twenty-fifth episode because we did a call-in show and because Skype doesn’t like to play nice with a lot of things, we lost the recording in the process. So, we do just want to reiterate as we did say in the livestream how much we appreciate everybody listening to the show and sticking with us for these first twenty-five episodes and if you would still like to take a look at that episode, it is available on our website on the Twitch stream, we have set up a highlight for it so that you can watch the whole thing there.

Apple Cider: Yeah, it’s- just go to our blog and you can actually hear us talk, it’s just the audio is really not able to be scraped out of it and- just chalk it up to the fact that Skype is terrible. So- (Laughing) In other news, we have signed up for Patreon. Patreon is a service that allows fans of particular content creators to donate money on a continual basis as people produce content. So, it’s kind of a little bit different than Kickstarter, where you’re funding a project and it’s a finite thing. Patreon allows you to basically, in the very literal sense of the word, patronize an artist at a set donation level every month or every episode. We’ve chosen to do it once a month, so if you donate a dollar, you pay one dollar every single month and it will go to us and will help us run the show, research, it’s- you are not gonna get anything different from the show if you don’t donate, it is literally just a service for donations that allows us to give us a little bit extra perks to the people that do donate and it also kind of just helps us with our time, with our research, potentially doing things like upgrading our technical equipment, like our microphones, our computers, and it also just allows us to do more things in the future. So, if you wanna check it out, we are at patreon.com/JusticePoints if you wanna donate, we also have a button on the side of our blog, if you wanna check it out. It does take major credit cards, but also takes PayPal now, so if that is a thing that you like to use, that is something you can do, and you can donate a little bit of money to us every month.

Tzufit: We also got another five-star review on iTunes that we just wanted to read a little bit of. This is from VeryTastyCupcake who has an A-plus username, and the review is titled, “How dare a podcast about WoW ask me to think critically?” and the reviewer says, “I really enjoy this podcast. While some people might think that feminism and social justice issues might be a bit heavy for a game, I appreciate being offered a lens through which I can view the game to give it added depth and meaning. For some people, this might be just another MMORPG, but for many it’s more than quest chains, raids, and loot. It’s about the community, there are real people who play this game, and seeing how real life issues are reflected or addressed in-game can be educational and enriching. While I don’t always agree with Tzufit and Apple Cider Mage, I applaud them for sharing their thoughts and interpretations of lore and social interactions within WoW. Ever since I started listening, I’ve found myself paying more attention to quest text, characters, and their lore, and even how players interact with each other, and asking myself how I feel about them.” So, the review goes on on iTunes, and so thank you very much to the person who left us that review! We greatly appreciate it, and we would appreciate any additional ratings or reviews that you guys might want to give us on iTunes. We’re still having a little bit of issue with folks giving us one-star ratings, related to the subject material, and then not leaving any reviews behind, so anything that you, our actual, wonderful, amazing listeners can do to help us counteract that problem would be very very much appreciated.

Apple Cider: Yes. I’d also like to note that we do have a Patreon donor, our first donor, Zaralynda. Thank you very much, she donated- she’s donating ten dollars monthly to our podcast. Wonderful, awesome, thank you so much!

Tzufit: Thank you!

Apple Cider: Yup. Anybody that donates to our Patreon gets mentioned on the show, on the latest episode. So, if you wanna go check that out. But, thank you very much Zaralynda, you are awesome!

Tzufit: And at the beginning of the show you did hear our temporary theme song. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: That was recorded during the twenty-fifth anniversary episode. That was by one of our listeners, Boddi, who took it upon himself to give us a theme song and we love it and thank you Boddi. If anybody else wants to give a stab at creating a theme song for us, we will happily listen to that and potentially play it on the show, as well.

Apple Cider: Yeah, if you wanna email us at justicepointspodcast@gmail.com (laughing) you can send us an MP3, we will play it on the show, so. (Laughing) We wanna thank you very much for listening and we will be back next week and also to thank you to Dysmorphia for coming on the show!

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