If you don’t know who Aisha Tyler is, shame on you. Here’s a quick rundown of her expansive resume: She’s an actress, comedian, author, talk show host, and runs a successful podcast. Currently, she’s the voice of gorgeous, sasquatch-handed Lana Kane in Archer, which has wrapped up its fourth hilarious season. Tyler also emceed the Interactive Awards at SXSW 2013, and she interviews some of the more awesome comedians, musicians and actors, on her podcast Girl On Guy. She tweets voraciously. This July, she’ll host Whose Line Is It, Anyway? when it comes to The CW for its big television comeback.
Basically, Tyler crushes it, and we love her for it.
Recently, the actress/comedian/everything else woman was briefly interviewed by PolicyMic.com where she discussed in an article called “Aisha Tyler: How Gamers Can Help Stop Sexual Violence” some of the fallout from the gaming world when she hosted Ubisoft’s press conference at E3 2012. Tyler reminded addressed the response to the open letter she penned on her Facebook page to all the basement-dwelling, woman-fearing, light-scorning trolls that inhibit and inhabit the gaming world.
And for the record, for every sexist or negative comment I had online, there were 10 or more encouraging or supportive ones. So while there is still an outspoken contingent of people in the gaming community who try to discourage or lash out at women gamers, for the most part the community becomes more welcoming every day. I love games; and gamers all have that in common. A love of gameplay tends to level the field.
If you must engage, employ your allies. There are far more positive voices in the gaming community than negative ones. Retweeting a negative or sexist comment puts that person on blast with the larger community. Usually your friends and followers will do the dirty work of ripping this person a new one for you, which I admit with some sheepishness can be very enjoyable to watch.
I play.I’ve played since I was a little kid. Since I begged my dad to buy me a Nintendo LCD Donkey Kong, Jr. Since I blew through three weeks’ allowance playing Defender at the laundromat. Since you were a twinge in the left side of your daddy’s underoos.
I’ve been a gamer since I made friends with a girl in the 5th grade just to get at her Atari. Since I missed the bus playing Galaga after school. Since I missed the start of Return of the Jedi playing Tempest in the theater lobby.
You think you know. You don’t know.
I’ve been a gamer since before you could read. Since I aced midterms after staying up all night playing Evil Tetris. Since I became dorm champ at Leisure Suit Larry. Since I double-wielded on Time Crisis 3 at Fuddrucker’s.
I was a voice in not one, but two major video game titles. I hosted the Reach Beta tutorial. I was a Gears of War superfan panelist at ComicCon. I hosted the Ubisoft presser at E3 2012. I didn’t do any of it for the money. For most I got paid next to nothing, and for some, less than that.
I did it because I love video games. Because I’ve dreamt since I was a kid of being in one of the games I love. How many games have you done voices for? How many cons have you repped at? Your buddy’s Unreal Tournament garage deathmatch doesn’t count.
I go to E3 each year because I love video games. Because new titles still get me high. Because I still love getting swag. Love wearing my gamer pride on my sleeve. People ask me what console I play. Motherfucker, ALL of them.
I get invited to E3 because real gamers know I’m a gamer. I don’t do it for the money. I have plenty of money. I don’t do it for the fame.
I do it because I love video games.
I don’t give out my gamertag because I don’t want a mess of noob jackholes lining up to assassinate me on XBL. I don’t give a shit what you think about my gamerscore. I don’t play to prove a point. I don’t play to be the best.
I play because I love it. I play. I’ve been playing my whole life. I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t apologize for it. It’s who I am. To the core.
I’m a gamer.
So to all the haters out there who claim I don’t play; To the GAF dicks, Gamespot trolls, To every illiterate racist douchebag on Youtube: Flame away. Go nuts. Post every jackass comment your heart desires. I’ll still be playing when your mom’s kicked you out of her basement and you have to sell your old-ass console and get a real job.
For now, I say to you respectfully, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, GFYS.