Ep. 13: The Unbearable Anxiety of Tweeting

Subtweeting is all the rage these days. And no, we don’t mean tweeting from a Subway. Rae Sterling, writer and twitter role-player, joins us this week to talk about how (and why) passive-aggressiveness crops up in online gaming spaces. Join us this week to learn more about Twitter roleplay, the benefit and detriment of anonymity on the internet, and the toxic effects of passive-aggression on community-building.

While the anonymity of the internet is what has allowed Rae to really delve deep into the cathartic (and often therapeutic) world of role-play, Rae thinks that anonymity also makes space for people to dredge up the worst part of themselves in the form of trolling, pile-ons, and emotional abuse. Subtweeting and vaguebooking is a way that a lot of folks deal with the fear of internet aggression, but these indirect forms of communication wind up creating toxic play spaces. Subtweeting, indirectly tweeting something about someone without mentioning their name (even though it’s KIND OF clear who the person tweeting is referring to), can have surprisingly devastating effects on individuals and communities. Add in an anxiety disorder? The effects become ten-fold!

This episode is part four in Gaming Broad(ly)’s series on violence and video games. Continuing from previous conversations, this week we look at how just the FEAR of violence in online gaming spaces causes ripple effects that impact even our conversations and interpersonal relationships. For the full conversation, start with “Episode 10: Moral Combat—Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong” with researchers Chris Ferguson and Patrick Markey on the (lack of) data about video games causing real life acts of violence, followed by “Episode 11: Why Are You So Angry?”, with Ian Danskin of Innuendo Studios, to learn more about why folks get so, well, aggressive about making sure games stay violent. Part three will bring you to “Episode 12: Why Are You Afraid of Virtual Reality?” with Gijs Molsbergen for a discussion on virtual reality, violence and trauma, and the responsibility of VR advocates to make psychologically healthy and enjoyable VR experiences.

Rae Sterling (they/them) is a gender adjacent in-progress writer of both comics and prose based in Austin, Texas. In their spare time, they work full time at Austin Books and Comics and at reading more than your daily suggested serving of comics to keep up with the ever-moving world. They participate in online role-playing on Twitter and Tumblr, play Overwatch, and describe themselves as “bad at video games”. Their passions include speaking loudly and to whomever will listen about both LGBT+ comic books, diversity in comics, and the importance of all-ages comics in the lives of young readers. In Austin, Rae is working hard to become a source of information to both schools and parents for all-ages graphic novels and comic books.

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Stuff we mentioned…
Slime Rancher
Dream Daddy
Fighting Games (like Moral Combat, Tekken, etc.)
Twitter Roleplay
Tumblr Roleplay
Shadow Banning
Passive-aggressive behavior

JD (The Broad)
Website: GamingBroadly.com
Twitter: @JayDeeCepticon
Instagram: @JayDeeCepticon

Rae Stirling (The Cast)
Twitter: @dragonosaurus
Website: Genretastic.com

Gaming Broad(cast) is the official podcast of GamingBroadly.com. Want to be the first to know when new episodes are released? Sign up for the occasional(ly) playful newsletter updates written just for you by JD herself. Thank you to all those who have liked, subscribed, and commented about Gaming Broad(cast) on iTunes! You can also follow us on PodbeanStitcherGoogle Music, or subscribe directly using our RSS feed. Thanks to Los Kurados for the use of their song “Rojo Y Azul” for the intro and outro music of our podcast.