Edgar of all trades

Master of all

Something happened earlier tonight which caused some interesting debates to fire off. Before I get into it, full disclosure, I am friends with Michele Boyd and have briefly gamed with Milynn Sarley. Furthermore, I may come off possibly as a jerk or at least a hypocrite, and you could be right. I’m ok with that. These are my opinions and could quite possible be wrong.

Let me set the stage up, earlier tonight four women calling themselves Team Unicorn released this video on break.com. Watch it if you haven’t seen it and make your own opinions about it.

Here are their names linked to their twitter feeds:

Team Unicorn: @TeamUnicornFTW
Michele Boyd: @MicheleBoyd
Clare Grant: @ClareGrant
Milynn Sarley: @TheGamerChick
Rileah Vanderbilt: @Rileah

After watching the music video, I want to quote the description provided by Break, I believe:

This music video parody proves Geek and Gamer Girls really do exist. Extra geek cred for appearances by a rapping Seth Green, Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff and Stan Lee.

Lyrics and mp3 available here: http://brk.to/gamergirlsong

Team Unicorn – http://www.facebook.com/TeamUnicornFTW

From what I can see, most people loved this parody. There were a few people that did not like the direction this video took. I wanted to address these issues, I will not name names, I just want to discuss some points I saw brought up and give my take on the video and why I believe it should not be dismissed the way some have. I will also say that I do not at all harbor any negative feelings towards anyone, everyone is entitled to their opinions and I respect that. Don’t hate me!

The main issue that was brought up was that the women in the video are all beautiful and do not represent gamer girls because they come in all shapes and sizes.

Someone brought up a good video that discusses sexualizing women in the gaming culture. Watch it here.

Admittedly, it’s a bit unfair to point fingers. A lot of these girls may be legit gamers who just enjoy flaunting what they got, and it would be really unfair for me to demand that they set a good example.

From the video linked right above. He goes on to say:

but at the same time we have so few other types of female presences in gaming and this can’t be helping either gender feel more comfortable with one another in the game space. And women feel alienated, men feel manipulated, I’m just saying…

Felicia Day recently posted a blog post on her well maintained website [self reference har har] titled Women in Tech. Within it she links several articles that are very good reads on the gender subject.

Team Unicorn is a group of women who are friends, geeks, gamers, actresses and all happen to be beautiful women. Also, they’re a group. Like a troupe.

Comments like “they’re all beautiful” and “they don’t represent all geek and gamer girls” would be factual statements. They’re not saying they represent all geek and gamer girls. They’re not even saying they’re beautiful. Sure, they’re showing it and practically saying it on their video, but the video itself is a parody. Parodies are done over the top. The song is basically California Gurls by Katy Parry feat Snoop, only with their own lyrics.

The thing that made me blog tonight were the comments that basically suggested adding “variety” because the girls are all beautiful. That really sounds to me like they’re saying “Add some ugly girls” which just sounds absurd. Team Unicorn has four members. They all appeared in this parody. If other people joined them, they’ll appear in future things they work on, I am sure. What is this need to say geek and gamer girls have to be frumpy? If they want to wear makeup or heels or whatever “girly” thing they want, it is their prerogative.

As part of the parody, they had what has normally been the “norm” of geekdom, the nerdy guys. You don’t see male models, like myself I might add, complaining that buff guys were not represented. Yes, this is a weak argument, I will move on, I just wanted to call myself a buff model type.

The origin of their troup/group name, Team Unicorn, is in their press release – “Geek girls are like unicorns: technically they don’t exist – except in this awesome musical parody by Team Unicorn!” again lampooning the fact that the “norm” is that girl geek/gamers are a myth.

Another issue that was brought up was using Seth Green, Katee Sackhoff, and Stan Lee. Seth is married to one of these women, but he himself is considered in the realm of the Geek due to his various projects and because he himself is a geek. Katee, of BSG fame, well, BSG. Stan, good old Stan represents the comics, a staple of Geekery. A parody tends to be much more parodier with celebs.

Something else that kinda grinds my gears is if it were a voluptuous woman or a “plainer” woman playing the sexy in a video, she would be cheered as a geek champion, but oh no, these four beautiful women can’t represent geeks or gamers because they… what? They’re too beautiful? This is what I see. This is my main gripe with the people that were complaining about this video. This is the same issue as me not being a male lead in a movie or an tv show because I am fat and wear glasses… well, also because I haven’t tried auditioning for one, but you know what I mean… why can’t they be what they claim they are?

A friend asked a very good question, something like “What if it were a bunch of male models representing geeks, would you be ok with it?” Yes. Yes I would. Are they geeks? Because, Michele, Milynn, Clare, and Rileah are. If four six-packed male model-types had their own little parody music video, I would be ok with it. Mainstream has had a fun time of telling us that real life is about mostly good looking people while the rest are delegated to the side-kick or comedic relief, but does that mean that we should quickly attack people because they aren’t “ugly” enough?

The last point I will focus on is a comment that basically said, “I admire people who don’t feel they have to sexualize themselves to get fans”. To the person that actually said it, I am not trying to single you out here, it is just that you made a very good point and I felt it was worth exploring here. We’re dealing with four rather intelligent women, in this Team Unicorn. Personally, I know Michele has a Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. I am sure they knew there was a pot and it would be stirred. They are actresses. They live off fans. Fact of life. More people will know of them now. Yes, other people either don’t or keep “the sexy” to a minimum. Someone was mentioned in this comment specifically who has done what the commenter suggested she hadn’t. It was argued by others privately that one instance was a character, and the other was purely a parody and also used a variety of “types” of people, but the fact remains that sometimes sexy is a device used in comedy. I am sorry for the vagueness but I want to keep the focus here and not really make comparisons even though I kinda am.

Controversy is a good thing sometimes, especially to garner a base of fans. Sure, it could be viewed as a negative thing, but again, I personally think their video was expertly done, their lyrics were on par, and they definitely flaunted their beauty, and their geekness. In this parody music video, they were representing themselves. Ladies, maybe you want to make your own parody video in which you’ll represent your own self. I promise I won’t complain about there not being “beautiful girls” in it. Odds are, you are beautiful and you just don’t know it.

Yes, Michele is my friend, and I do support her, and her friends, in everything they do. I may be biased because of this, or because I myself am a male and may not understand what it really means to be a geek girl or a gamer girl or both. I am a geek. I am a gamer. I have scoffed in the past because of similar attempts of getting my attention with the beautiful women doing the geek things, but when I know they are the real deal, and they are doing a parody music video to boot, what’s the harm in that? They are proud of being healthy. They are proud of being girls. They are proud of being geeks. They are proud of being gamers.

And I am proud of them.

The end.

Posted in Awesomesauce, Blog, Creativity, Funny, Music | 27 Comments »

27 Responses

  1. Tweets that mention Edgar of all trades » Blog Archive » Geek and Gamer Girls Song -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bonnie Burton, Edgar Garcia, Edgar Garcia, Milynn Sarley, d1047 and others. d1047 said: RT @egspoony: @bonniegrrl My take on the Geek and Gamer Girls "issue" earlier tonight http://is.gd/f5eQ1 [...]

  2. BryStearns Says:

    Brilliant article. I think it was a great video and from everything I’ve heard over Twitter and such it sounds like they really are gamers. And they really are beautiful. I personally don’t see a problem with it. I enjoyed the video, I laughed hysterically when I first watched it. Glad to hear they got people who defend them so vehemently. I hope they make more videos like this one.

  3. Mel Says:

    I am a geek and gamer girl and I approve of this blog post.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Not bad but they copied: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql8gHtLFuas who did it way before them

  5. Rileah Says:

    Thank you so much for writing about this.

    I was going to post this under a pseudo name, but Frak it, I’m proud of who I am and I don’t need to hide it. I don’t have a blog, and I don’t usually speak up online for things of this nature, because quite honestly the ignorance of a few is the least of my concerns. However, on this matter I think there have been a lot of misconceptions about “Geek” girls and it bugs me dearly that others can be influenced by those.

    Hi, I’m Rileah Vanderbilt. One of the creators and producers of the “G33k & G4M3R Girls” video. Below is some of my sentiments on this subject actually taken from an email that I wrote to a friend of mine. Am I biased? Of course I am…I made this, but that doesn’t mean that I still can’t step outside of myself and think objectively on the matter and I hope you will as well.

    Video or no video, it’s always been an up hill battle no matter what to get people to take any geek girls like me seriously in this world. I’m constantly having to prove myself to others and having to work harder than most because of the way I look. Look at Milynn’s Sarley’s youtube channel TheGamerChick for example, I’ve shown it around to a few geek friends of mine and the general consensus is none of them believe that she actually plays video games or is into anything she says she’s into. She doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, she doesn’t wear revealing clothing, she makes sure not to act sexy at all, and she knows what she’s talking about. So why do they feel like her show’s so contrived??? Simply, it’s because no matter what, at the end of the day, she is still an attractive girl and even though it sounds ridiculous, people in this world still believe that the combination of the two cannot possibly exist. It shows strength and guts to be an attractive female who’s a geek and proud to wear it on her sleeve. Sadly, a lot of other geeks aren’t comfortable with that and unfortunately because of their own insecurities become resentful of women like us.

    Yes, there are people who are going to think this is contrived, that somebody dressed us up and made us dance around and pretend that we’re actually into geeky things. People who think this objectifies women, and people who don’t find us relatable at all. But to be totally honest, if we wanted every last stereotypical geek girl to relate to us, we would have found 4 different geek girls to put in this video. We are the minority I’m afraid, and it doesn’t matter if you dress us in jeans and chuck’s or put us in hot cosplay, the fact that we are all attractive females is going to shine through. I for one didn’t make this for everyone else, I made this for me and I’m really proud of the way it turned out. We are going to get a ton of exposure from this. Both good and bad, but the bad doesn’t really bother me, because I know that we are indeed exactly what we say we are, and it makes my heart happy to know I have three amazing friends who I can relate to, and share everything I love with.

    Not only is this song a parody, but we’re recreating what all these other pop stars are doing, doing it as good and making it about what we love. Even the AMERICAN BEAUTY shots, as sexy as they are, have been completely turned on it’s head and been made into a geeky parody. I couldn’t disagree more about this video being exploitative. This is our love song to the things we cherish the most. It was written by geek girls, produced by geek girls, performed by geek girls, and just because we get to play up the “pop star/sexy side”, because that’s who we are too, it doesn’t take away from the overall message of the video. We would be doing this a far worse injustice, if we were playing into the stigma of what a stereotypical plain geek girl is. That’s not us, and we will never be “stereotypical geek girls”. Not being relatable while being myself, is a lot better than trying to be something I’m not and it coming across as false.

    I personally can only be true to myself, and that’s me…it’s not a fake persona I’ve put on. Is my persona glamorized a bit in this? Yes, it is, after all it is a music video, but it still rings true to the woman I am.

    Ladies, we need to band together instead of trying to rip each other apart. There aren’t two sides. It’s not the “attractive” geeks against the “stereotypical” geeks. WE ALL LOVE THE SAME THINGS no matter what we look like or who we are. If we were unified we could break the stigma of what so many think…in both cases:)

    That is all.

  6. Julio Capa Says:

    Very well said.

  7. Kcat10 Says:

    Any beautiful woman with a brain will greatly appreciate that this video was done to fully support her as a whole woman who is both smart and gorgeous. Which is wonderful considering so many people seem to feel she must choose between being one or the other. Team Unicorn hit home, because great truth can be revealed through parody. I cheered when I saw this video, because it’s time for the world to accept that hot, beautiful women can be brainy geek gamers, too!

  8. Pachilles Says:

    One thing seemed completely missed that also should be figured in… I am happy to see ANY Geek/Gamer Girl exposed in press/ads/music/whatever. The fact they are beautiful only helps to inspire other geek/gamer girls to show they exist. They are mentors/leaders to others just like guys see Stalone, Russell Crowe, (or whoever) and want to be more like them. Geek/Gamer Girls should be loved, inspired, and promoted so more realize and want to be like them.

  9. Paldasan Says:

    Well said.

    Of course I’ve also been told by skinny female friends who don’t have, or don’t think they have model looks that they are often criticised by other women on the basis that they are skinny and not a ‘healthy’ size.

    It takes all sorts people.

  10. Luis Says:

    Well put, Edgar. I, too, am proud of what they’ve accomplished and I am very excited for them (I know they’ve been very excited about this project for ever.) I think the sexuality was a bit over the top, but I wasn’t offended in any way. But being a man, I can’t pretend that I know how this makes other female geeks feel.

  11. Sarah Says:

    Thank you. I’m a geek, have been all my life. I’m also a girl (have been all my life) and beautiful. There are a lot of us out here we’re just too busy fragging to speak up. Also, the drama over this is ridiculous.

  12. Nicole Wakelin Says:

    I’m a Geek. I’m a Gamer. I love this video! The parody was spot on and it seems ridiculous that people are upset over their attractiveness. As much as women who are Geeks strive to be accepted for just who they are, why can’t we accept these women for just who THEY are? Beautiful, talented, intelligent Geek Girls!

  13. Anne Richmond Says:

    I enjoyed this article as I’ve been struggling with my feelings about this video ever since I saw it. My first reaction was “Ha! Really smart lyrics. Take that Katy Perry. I like this Anthem and I’m having fun with the visual parody aspects of turning her video on its head as well as the awesome costumes- OMG KATEE SACKHOFF!” Yeah… That was pretty much how that reaction went. Stream of Conscience’d.

    However, as a voluptuous and beautiful geek gamer gal who is also an actress and a new media maven, I was reminded that no matter your talent whether it be for heightened Shakespeare or high scores, it’s the super hot ones who get to take the public cred for the most part. I sing, I dance, I do “the acting” in NYC, and I have almost every achievement in Dragon Age and 5 lvl 80 WoW toons-

    BUT if I made this video (assuming I had the awesome connections these gals do and a stellar Director of Photography), I don’t think my version would have been as successful in getting the anthem out into the world, which, in the end is the most important thing for us all. We’re here, we do exist, and we will camp your corpse. :) Sadly, in our world, that’s just the truth and there’s no getting around it for the most part (though believe me I do try my hardest!)

    In the end, I can honestly say I realized that any of my negativity came from jealousy and not because geek girls were over sexualized and super slammin’ in this vid. Yeah, they weren’t a cross section of every kind of woman who games, but that’s ok because they represented us well. Not only did they perform, but they WROTE and CONCEIVED this video as well as having the balls to wear some hot cosplay costumes. They lyrics indicate that they obviously know what’ they’re talking about and want to celebrate the culture. Jealousy is natural, but not a reason to hate on these lovely ladies for flaunting their geek cred and great abs. The Green Monster STRIKES AGAIN, LADIES. I think we should all consider that element before writing off this video, gamer gals.

    Alliteration’d.

  14. Luke Greensmith Says:

    Who the heck is complaining about this?

    What? You want to surgically alter everyone in Team Unicorn until they look like how you TELL them to look?

    People may be going too far from being oversensative.

    That’s the Team Unicorn video.

    It has Team Unicorn in it.

    What do you want to do? Put bags over their heads for being attractive?

  15. Dani Figueiredo Says:

    We already talked about it so I won’t repeat myself here, but I just wanna throw something in…
    Disagreement isn’t the same as hate/ignorance/jealousy or whatever.

    The girls are all awesome. They are all real geeks and gamers, talented and intelligent.
    I respect them and wish them all the best always…

    But I do reserve my right not to like this particular project and to have opinions about it.

  16. Kcat10 Says:

    Edgar, you said something lovely, chivalrous, and true about women who may not feel beautiful: “Odds are, you are beautiful and you just don’t know it.” I greatly appreciated this, and said so to Rileah, one of the stars of Team Unicorn’s “Geek and Gamer Girls Song.” I had tweeted to her to let her know of my initial comment to you, which I’m restating here:

    “Any beautiful woman with a brain will greatly appreciate that this video was done to fully support her as a whole woman who is both smart and gorgeous. Which is wonderful considering so many people seem to feel she must choose between being one or the other. Team Unicorn hit home, because great truth can be revealed through parody. I cheered when I saw this video, because it’s time for the world to accept that hot, beautiful women can be brainy geek gamers, too!”

    Here’s the tweeted conversation that followed between Rileah and me, Kcat10:

    Rileah graciously responded: “Thank you so much! We need women to start supporting each other in the world no matter what they look like or who they are…”

    Kcat10: “Amen! You are most welcome! And thank you for such a great video!!
    I really like what you & Edgar say on the subject of beauty: There are women who don’t think they’re beautiful, but they really are.”

    Rileah: “Beauty’s not just about being attractive on the outside, it’s about being comfortable in your own skin and being proud of who you are…that’s what’s attractive. AND that’s why girl’s who are insecure about themselves tend to become resentful of girls who aren’t.”

    Kcat10: “You are 100% correct, and I agree wholeheartedly. It comes down to accepting, loving, and honoring yourself just as you are!! You have nailed it exactly, and I’m so glad to hear you say it out loud.”

    That was how our conversation went.

    As an artist, I invariably seek, and find, beauty in every person I draw. It’s there, and it comes in, as supported by the immortal Vulcan philosophy of Mr. Spock: “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.”

    We women are all sisters who deserve one another’s support. If you are a girl who is a geek and a gamer, and even if you are not, you are beautiful, inside and out.

  17. TheReelRussell Says:

    The Screen Team released a parody on Katy Perry’s California Gurls a couple of months ago for Comic Con called Comic Con Girls. I was wondering if The Screen Team’s video may have inspired Team Unicorn and Seth Green to make this video? Both are awesome btw! http://www.youtube.com/user/ScreenTeamShow#p/u/4/ql8gHtLFuas

  18. TheReelRussell Says:

    and here’s the Screen Team’s Geek guys and gals in Take a Nerdy Picture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBBJAk-egYU

  19. JC Says:

    The most offensive thing about that video is the girls’ pronunciation of the word “manga.” -2 geek points for that. :D

  20. PezWitch Says:

    I can’t remember how I got here yesterday, but I did and I read the blog and decided to reply but my comment was so long that I was inspired to turn it into a blog post.

    I’m not going to rewrite the entire blog post (or comment), but I will put what I think is the most relevant content here:

    “I was not insulted in any way because the women in the video happen to be young and attractive. I did not think that they needed to have an overweight 46 year old woman in the video to represent my demographic and ”a *real* geek girl”. The thought never crossed my mind. I enjoyed the video, shared it on FaceBook and downloaded the MP3 so I could put it on my husband’s iPhone as the ring-tone for my phone number. It never once occurred to me to feel marginalized or be insulted, it was just fun.”

    I agree with Rileah and KCat10 that women need to support each other, no matter what we look like or how old we are or what our hobbies are.

  21. Danielle Says:

    Hey, Katee Sackhoff grew up watching Star Trek with her dad and loved the show. So, she deserves a lil’ geek cred besides the BSG role.

  22. Anne Richmond Says:

    Hey guys, I just did an article on this topic over at the Anomaly Podcast blog. Check it out and feel free to weigh in :)

    http://anomalypodcast.blogspot.com/2010/09/anomaly-of-geek-and-gamer-girls.html?showComment=1284672826784

  23. Crix Lee Says:

    I did a show for Machinima last year with 3 thin girls and the comments were “well you can tell the fat one’s a gamer”, so skinny girls can’t be legit, eh? Stereotypes and assumptions are BS. can we not just enjoy it for what it is? It’s a tongue in cheek parody video about stuff they (and we) love. What do people want these girls to do, fart the Halo theme?

  24. Edgar Says:

    @CrixLee I may actually PAY to see that happen…

    Wait, no… no, I wouldn’t.

  25. Action Flick Chick - » G33K & G4M3R GIRLS Fangirl Furor: Should Geek and Gamer Girls Go Sexy, Sexless, Something Else? Says:

    [...] explains the qualifications to enter the wonderful world of geek? Why does anyone care?” Edgar of All Trades: “…if it were a voluptuous woman or a ‘plainer’ woman playing the sexy in a [...]

  26. Markus Hunt Says:

    Hi Edgar. Finally got round to seeing the clip myself in all its geeky and girly glory. I think it looks like a lot of fun (and I’m shocked that they didnt get the most grief for the ‘Han shot 1st’ comment!!).
    Anyway, as I see it, we all come in all shapes and sizes. I have no qualms about the handsome ripped chaps in Firefly, Dollhouse, Chuck etc. I think at the end of the day, Geeks win with projects like this. A really cool salute to our corner of the social universe :)
    Thanks Team Unicorn (Seth Green rapping FTW).

  27. Geek and Gamer Girls Video Says:

    [...] Many of you may or may not have heard about the “controversy” regarding the music video Geek and Gamer Girls. This parody video of Katy Perry’s California Girls has sparked a familiar debate regarding the objectification of geek girls and the failure to represent geek girls of differing shapes and sizes. You can read a little about this debate at Edgar of all Trades’ blog. [...]

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