Go Throw Epic Money At @WeAreManaVoid

The title is merely a suggestion. So we're clear.

Been fighting with cleaning my room and the ever constant battle of depression, but an update on such things will come in a couple of days.

I backed ManaVoid's Kickstarter for Epic Manager, which has since ended. The game is focused around managing a roster of adventurers who will bring your agency gold and fame and stuff–from what I've seen on the forums (which people are still allowed to join; you can even still back), the developers want to keep the focus on the management rather than having you direct encounters that happen.

Thing is, I am on Kickstarter in boymode; it seems to be 'easier' in terms of payments. Maybe it wouldn't matter, but I try within constraints to keep modes separate. Only problem is when, having backed projects under boymode, you realise that you would like to be on the community forums under girlmode.

So, I reached out to ManaVoid (wonder how/why it was always Frank who dealt with me) and tried to enquire about this possibility. I say tried, because I explained horribly. I can see now how I could have done better, but I'm really not used to explaining this. Maybe next time will be better.

The initial reply to my query was still addressed to boymode; then again I had not signed off as Di. It was positive, if not overly so—they were willing to have it set up under girlmode, so fine, cool. My next reply signed off as Di, but their response still addressed me under boymode. Well… okay, I can live with that. It's nice if people immediately begin using preferred terms, but you need to allow for people to get used to things. Flying off the handle might get you what you want, but it really doesn't give a good presentation of self.

Their reply wanted me to confirm they understood my wish to be on the forums as Dianna Bell; which I confirmed, and then thought nothing more of it.

What follows is here with permission of Frank.

Hi Dianna,

This message has little to do with the KS or Epic Manager for that matter. Chris found your blog, I believe he recognized Dianna Bell from twitter and looked into it and then shared it with me and Simon.

I haven't read much, mostly your post "On being Dianna". I wasn't sure at first if you were joking in your first message to us about Dianna. I mean, it was short and kinda out of context. You have to understand, people on the internet tend to Troll, although it quickly became clear this was not one of those instances.

I do understand it most not be easy to actually come forward and position yourself as a female, especially after we started to know you as [boymode] in the first place.

To begin with, let me state loud and clear that not only do we accept you as Dianna, but I feel wrong even writing that we "accept" you. Who are we to refuse your identity in the first place really? Race, gender, age… these are facts, not to be accepted, but to be taken in as facts of life. Simply put, refusing your identity would be as absurd as refusing to accept someone being blond or tall.

I hope you don't find this message to be too much out of place. KS is probably not the best place for me to write an essay, but what the heck. Reading your blog on Beign Dianna, I was moved. Nobody should ever be afraid be to who they are, ever.

You are courageous. You had no idea if the dudes behind this projects were closed minded dumbasses or not. You probably have to deal with rejection and prejudice often in these kind of situations… still, you came forward. I believe this kind of courage should be highlighted which is in part why I'm writing these words to you.

I wish you well and if there's anything we can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask.

Stay Epic Miss Bell! :)


I still don't know how to answer that message, although I thanked him/them. Feels wholly inadequate, though Frank appeared to believe that it wasn't.

Just… wow.

(And no, backing this game is not technically an 'important cause', but I feel like giving money to a company who were all "oh, transgender? No big deal" is important because that's an attitude I'd like to see cultivated, as these companies might then give us games with transgender people, and thus representation in media. In this case, video games.)


3 Responses to “Go Throw Epic Money At @WeAreManaVoid”

  1. Anna says:

    These? These are good people. This is how these things should be handled – they messed up a bit, however unintentionally, and apologised properly, AND made clear their stance on the acceptance (which I agree is a strange way to put it – you are who you are, whether the world agrees with it or not) of your gender identity.

    I don't really have the money to throw at them right now, but I'll definitely keep an eye on them in the future.

    (also yes inclusion of transgender people in media is so, so important – as is inclusion of ALL kinds of people beyond the cis/straight/white category. Gonna work on this in my own stuff.)

  2. Frank says:

    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to drop by and say a word or two. First off, sorry for the typos/errors as I am a French speaker sometimes my written english could be better.

    I'm the one that alway dealt with [boymode] because I'm dealing with customer services and community management most of the time. Before getting into video games, I'm a master in political philosophy. It just so happen that my thesis was a study of how modern political science (and modern ideology) tend to categorize individuals and consider them for the multiple "what" they are (race, genre, salary revenu, political affiliations, profession, etc.) w/o considering we are first and foremost a "who". It is a simplification, of course.

    Sexism, racism, and basically any discimination based on a category we apply to an individual to reduce his/her identity always feels horribly wrong to me. Unfounded, unjust, violent and rooted in ignorance.

    I do admit my first reaction to Dianna's message was confusion. But this was due to the fact I had exchanged like 18 messages with [boymode] before and her way of telling us was kinda unclear. Plus, I did not expect it in the least. I mean, if that encounter had been in person, there would have been a context. :)

    Also, as a white heterosexual male I'm seriously not used to dealing with such issues. That was in part why I felt I had to write an explanation to Diana in the first place. I felt clumsy at first, unprepared… I feared I would not say the right thing or say it in the right way. I'm happy Dianna appreciated the way I finally went about it. The fact that she does not seem to think a simply thank you from her is adequate saddens me. It makes me think of what kind of reaction people "normally" have… Acceptance should not be that unexpected.

    Anyway, I'm taking note of the fact we could include transgender in our media. It is indeed a valid point and something that is virtually non-existent.

    Epic Manager might not be the best place for us to tackle this issue though. Most of our characters won't have a lot of dialogue or room to develop their personality and the last thing I would want to do is to have a transgender in the game be a transgender before being a person with all that implies. I don't think this would help, since it would only be another instance of that category being the most important part of the character and not only a part of a bigger whole.

    As with all differences, I understand it is a big part of a person's identity. I also believe that if you make your difference be the center of your identity, you are cornering yourself. If you only see this part of you, that difference, in the mirror every time you look at yourself… how do you expect other people to look beyond it? I tend to believe this applies to all differences in the largest sense possible. Make it part of who you are, don't make it who you are.

    We are all different. Our dignity is rooted in the simple fact that we are, we exist as individuals. We are "who" we are, never "what" we are… or so I would love to believe.

    Best regards,

    • Dianna says:

      …and all I can think of right now is that it's really weird to see Frank NOT signing off with some variation on "Epic".

      Those messages on KS really spoiled me. *innocent grin*

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