jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Warmachine, and its companion game, Hordes, were made in the United States. Warhammer 40,000 was made in Great Britain.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like this explains a lot of the differences between the two games.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

This is the sixteenth chapter of a fanfiction adaptation of Christine Love's visual novel Analogue: A Hate Story. You do not need to have played the game to understand what is going on. This story is designed to be accessible to newcomers as transhumanist dystopian sci-fi, and many liberties were taken with the setting and dialogue, as well as with certain events.

Content note

This short chapter contains a first-person account of a PTSD episode, written by someone who has been clinically diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in real life.

If you're afraid that it would be triggering, or don't want to read something potentially disturbing, you can skip ahead to the next chapter without missing much else. This one is short for a reason.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

There's a MormonAd (basically a pre-internet meme) in one of their church magazines which shows a bug in a bowl of ice cream, and reads "IT'S GREAT EXCEPT FOR THE BAD PARTS."

The ice cream, in this case, is media, and for Mormons the "bad parts" are anything that "drives away the Spirit" ... which means they cause them to feel unacceptable emotions, like cognitive dissonance, sexual arousal, or adult anger and frustration as expressed through profanity. The more hardcore a Mormon is, the more of a learned fear response they have to emotions that normal adults have, which is why more hardcore Mormons used memes like this one: To shame kids for not having that response, and for thinking it was okay to watch R-rated movies and South Park.

You can see why they didn't want Mormon kids watching South Park. Content note: Racism, ablism, and a couple inaccuracies. (1) Click here if you can't see the video.

You see what I did there, with the note just beneath that video? This is how grown-ups handle people's different levels of tolerance for offensive content: By clearly labeling stuff using a shared vocabulary. The point isn't to say "if you like this then you're a racist;" it's to warn actual people of colour (in this case First Nations / Native American people) that "if you watch this then it might ruin your day," and let them make an informed decision.

It's hard to explain or justify doing this to people who've never imagined someone's day actually being ruined by this stuff. Or who chalk it up to "choosing to be offended." Healthy people don't have the kind of PTSD triggers that are caused by discrimination, and the kind of broken people that Mormonism and other abusive societies produce often don't realize they have triggers.

How abuse f**ks kids up, part 22

Claire used to just about go berserk when she saw gratuitous violence against innocents, like in action movies where they dwell on the villains casually killing people. I had no idea that it was because these scenes caused her to feel the anger we were never allowed to have or express, at our father of origin for beating the crap out of us. Because of that, we didn't know how to describe why we felt this way, or how to see the fact that these movies affected us in ways that they didn't affect other people. We thought that either we were broken, or everyone else was.

Don't you just wish, sometimes, that you could make people understand? That you could show those sexist white male jerks on Twitter what it's like to have people make rape jokes around you, or "jokingly" threaten your body with sexual violation?

... yeah, that's what happened to us shortly after we realized that we were transgender.

We got the kind of crash course in feminism that a person gets from presenting as female online, from having our work on GNOME more or less ignored by the male contributors to having irate Final Fantasy XIV players chase us off Tumblr for posting stuff they didn't like. Stuff like screenshots of the kind of blatantly sexist and rape-y stuff that the game is just saturated in, that we put on our sarcastic blog about how "FFXIV Is Totally Not Sexist."

Examples; content note for rape, sexism, and spoilers )

The tl;dr is that it feels like every woman who can be threatened with rape or harassment is, and -- a handful of high-ranking NPCs excepted -- the women in Eorzea all read like they were written by a man who finds sexual harassment funny.

I found the sexism funny, at first. Not because "lolwomen," but because it was so blatant and ridiculous. I started the Tumblr so people could laugh at it. But after a year of being harassed just for pointing it out, and dealing with creepy jerks who were other players in the game, and seeing women get threatened with rape and chased out of their homes just for being women on the Internet, it's not funny to me anymore.

The rape and sexism in FFXIV now feel less like bad jokes, and more like "the bad parts."

It's a great game, except for them. I'm just not sure I can deal with them anymore.




(1) Joseph Smith initially claimed only that he'd been "forgiven of his sins," and only later started saying God told him all religions were wrong. Also, he first tried to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon in Canada, instead of founding a religion with it. It wasn't until after Mormonism picked up steam that he started having affairs and soliciting children, at least the ones that we know about.

I don't know what the Quakers have to do with anything, aside from generally being awesome (and living on the Moon).

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

tl;dr The overheat mechanic from the BattleTech / MechWarrior games is a really good metaphor for being triggered when you have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Detailed explanation

BattleTech is a board game played with miniatures which represent BattleMechs, which are basically big walking tanks. It has a whole slew of spinoff games and novels, including the MechWarrior PC and console games, which most people are probably more likely to have heard of.

Most of the games let you customize your mech. The big limiting factor, though, that keeps you from slapping on as many weapons as you want and mashing the fire button, is the fact that firing weapons heats up your mech and can cause it to shut down.

Click here if you can't see the video.

Someone I knew once put twelve fire-linked extended-range large lasers on a single mech chassis, just to see what would happen. As he put it, the "fire" button doubled as the ejection seat switch.

It's an easy mechanic to get the hang of, because it's ludicrously detailed but all the details make intuitive sense. Using energy weapons overheats you faster than using projectile weapons. Operating a mech on a desert planet generates more heat than driving it through the tundra. Standing hip-deep in water while firing weapons helps cool your mech down. And if you want, when building your mech you can skimp on armour plating or advanced electronics and put in a bunch of heat sinks, which work exactly like you'd expect.

How this relates to PTSD

Having your PTSD triggered is not the same as "choosing to be offended," or throwing a fit because you aren't getting your way. (In my experience, the people most likely to accuse others of doing that are narcissists, who all seem to think it's a legit debate tactic or parenting method when it's them doing it.)

PTSD triggers are called triggers because they're reflexive responses, like the ones most people have upon seeing a jump scare or being tapped on the knee with a hammer. They can immediately put someone into "fight or flight" mode. But when you've been socialized not to do either (like in my case), or you "heat up" too much or too rapidly, they can make you just freeze up instead.

Just last night, someone said something that created a huge spike of "heat" during an FFXIV raid, when I already wasn't doing too well, and I shut down just like a BattleMech that overheated. I was watching the fight going on around me, and I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. I could barely even think. I felt like a deer in their headlights.

I'm having trouble even writing this, because I remember how I felt and I freeze up again.

What you can do

It's not hard to explain how to deal with someone who has PTSD. There are really common triggers to avoid, like rape jokes and anything sexist / cissexist / homophobic. There are signs to look out for, like that deer-in-the-headlights look and someone freezing up and being unable to talk, or suddenly becoming really defensive. And there are things you can do, like say "I'm sorry if that was a trigger" and "it's okay if you need to take a break."

You don't have to understand how it feels to be triggered if you can just think of a mech shutting down, and let the person cool off and get back to "all systems nominal."

Click here if you can't see the video.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Enforcing of gender roles, lack of respect for others' identities.

After going to the psychiatrist the other day, we and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy went to the local games store to play Warmahordes. I still haven't finished painting my models, but I cut out a bunch of counters and cards so that we can play games using proxies for the models in the other starter box sets. Also things like blast and spray templates. (This was a lot of work, and I'm very proud of the results.)

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

One of the first things that our new therapist did was diagnose us with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in addition to anxiety and depression. Despite having a credentialed professional certify us as being this way, we still have a lot of lingering incredulousness at the concept.

Cut for ablist example. )

The problem is, ignoring it won't make it go away.

A few days ago, our home internet went out for the second time in a month. We called tech support for our ISP, in the process finding out that our free government cellphone service had been canceled even though we made a call to keep our account active like they asked. We then went online using our mobile broadband modem (which gets 500 MB of completely free data per month through a company which very aggressively upsells you on stuff), and let a few people know on Skype before logging out.

When we woke up, we found that our modem's plan had been used up, because we hadn't turned off Windows Update. The plan would reset in two days, or we could buy another 500 MB for $10. We did not have $10 because everything was earmarked for rent. On top of that, while discussing the finances we found out we owed someone a large (to us) sum of money because of a misunderstanding that we felt responsible for.

We freaked the hell out.

We started apologizing compulsively for causing the problem, for being the problem, for existing. We told people (and honestly believed) that our life was not worth the sum in question. We felt completely helpless and powerless, and yet knew that we had to try somehow to repay it in full even though every day made us go further in debt.

None of this makes any sense, from a distance. We weren't dealing with bill collectors or landlords (the cash set aside for them wasn't the problem). We were dealing with our partners. Of course they would pay the $10 so we could have (limited) internet access while waiting to get a new modem. Of course they would take responsibility for the misunderstanding and get everything taken care of, just like they've done with our finances for awhile. They were more worried about us, and wanted to have us online with them.

But that's not how we saw it. Because having PTSD means that your triggers take you back to the original situation that traumatized you. And we're badly triggered by finances, and by being deprived of things that we need. We feel like at any time everything can be taken away from us, and when it does we'll deserve it. So when stuff goes wrong all at once, really fast, in ways that we didn't expect, we don't feel like "ugh, there goes the power again. What do I pay these noobs for!?" We feel like

Cut for extremely depressive and body-negative rambling. )

We've been physically ill for the past few days. The day it all happened, we slept for about 16 hours on and off. Our system was flooded with stress hormones, and we still feel anxious and on edge. We had horrible heartburn, to the point where we got nauseous if we stood up for too long and had to elevate our head in order to sleep. And that's not even getting into the more unpleasant symptoms. >_o

Reality is that which does not go away if you stop believing in it. Unfortunately, the reality seems to be that we're very sick, and might never recover from this. Not unless we avoid our triggers completely ... which in this society seems almost impossible.

If only they knew they were making things worse.

EDIT: In hindsight, I think part of the reason we feel hyper and nervous is because we just had our Celexa dose increased by 50 percent and our brain hasn't had time to adjust yet. I remember we felt like this right after going on it originally. I don't think it's what made us physically ill, though. And we had actually worked through our initial distress about things, right up until we realized the part about owing money, and because of the internet being out weren't able to effectively talk to our loved ones about it.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

... who believe in one fewer god.

That's how [personal profile] aliaspseudonym summed up the discussion I had last night with someone from FFXIV, which prompted a friends-locked ragepost right afterwards. Please note that the "Christians" being compared to here are the non-pluralistic ones, who believe there's only one real god and only one right way to relate to him.

Content note: Homophobia, theophobia, being angry, and swears, all behind the cut. Click here to skip if you are reading the entry by itself.

Read more... )

I think that getting angry, then thinking more calmly about it, and continuing to maintain my boundaries and not see myself as the problem, is the healthiest response I've had to being comprehensively invalidated in awhile.

At the same time, though, this whole thing was an unpleasant reminder that I don't get to pretend to be normal. I thought I could, I really hoped that I could, but I'm one of the "monsters" that [personal profile] avia talks about. Who can't be understood or accepted, if anyone sees what she is. Not by society at large; not even by supposedly progressive sectors of society like the LGBT-friendly Free Company I was in, in FFXIV.

(Please note that during the conversation, this person also said stuff that was blindingly offensive and ignorant, about neurodiverse people and plural systems.)

I'm not tying myself to a Free Company, or another club or guild organization, unless it's a small group of friends like the people that I know on Dreamwidth. I'm tired of being triggered every day, and not knowing how to escape except by logging out. I don't think I get to have that experience, of feeling camaraderie and acceptance with large groups of people, and I think I'm okay with that. Because I would rather hold out for people who accept me, than erase "unacceptable" parts of myself to have friends (as opposed to purely professional relationships).

I am going to ****ing platinum that game, and I am going to do it my way.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
A few random things, in order from least to most depressing and building up to unpleasant realizations.

Trigger warning for talk of depression, parental abuse, terrible trouble with socializing, and canned sandwiches. Especially the canned sandwiches.

Read more... )

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~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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