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Hothead Rants Pt. 3: Anna Anthropy

The Auntie Pixellante founder with a deeply personal poem

Continuing our series of transcribed outbursts from the Hothead Developer Rants session which took place on the closing day of GDC 2013, we have a GamesIndustry International first: a poem.

The text below was re-written from an original by RPS contributor Cara Ellison. Reconfigured and performed by Anna Anthropy, who founded Auntie Pixellante to explore issues of gender, sex and perception, it might well represent a very different view of the industry to yours. Perhaps, as a queer trans woman, Anna's experiences might not seem that relevant, too niche, too obscure.

Perhaps, if you watch the video embedded along with the transcript, recorded on a phone by Anna's PR, Anna's passion might persuade you that however niche, however 'other' Anna's experience might be to yours, that even if you don't agree with it, it can still be important.

John Romero's Wives

There comes a time when you're more angry than tired

There comes a point where sitting in silence is more terrifying than standing and speaking

The games industry is a man in love with his libido

I have a libido

Had to be joked away at conferences

Had to be scrolled past on internet forums

Had to be hissed under your breath

Had to be leant over a keyboard at 3am

Had to be seen in the statistics

Had to be segregated in schools

Had to be guided away from the sciences

Had to be a self-taught programmer

Our apathy and the games industry are in cahoots

Had to be Jenn Frank's endless patience

Had to be Leigh Alexander on a Bombcast

Had to be Mattie Brice making a game so she could finally be the main character

Had to be Mattie's game misattributed to Merritt Kopas

Had to be Merritt's game misattributed to me

Had to be unable to make room for more than one trans game designer

Had to be Lara Croft shipwrecked on an island of rapists

Had to be David Cage's sex bot begging for her life

Had to be protected by a man

Had to be marooned on Makeb

Had to be games where women moan when they're shot

Had to be Remember Me rejected because a woman protagonist makes it gay

Had to be Rhianna Pratchett asking "but what if the player's female?"

Had to be a Mojang security guard asking "what do you expect me to do?"

Had to be the forty hottest women in tech

Had to be fake geek girls

Brenda Braithwaite can't bring her daughter to E3

Had to be moaned through knees in the bath

Had to be screamed into a pillow

Had to be rewritten a hundred times

Had to be deleted before I clicked "send"

Had to be in fear

Had to be fat, ugly or slutty

Had to be told I'm really a man

Had to be asked why my name doesn't match my ID

Had to be a feminazi slut

Had to be an attention whore

Had to be obsessed with my own sexuality

Had to be on display

Had to be a torso on a shelf

Had to be mistaken for a booth babe

Had to be told to stop talking about it

Had to be told "this isn't an intelligent conversation"

Had to be told to get your husband's permission before posting on the internet

Had to be verbally abused

Had to be clogging Patricia Hernandez's inbox

Had to be Lana Polansky scared to talk about sex

Had to be Tracey afraid to comment on her own site

Had to be Dani Bunten denied her own name

Had to be the indie game developer who told my friend she could give him a blowjob

Had to be Adria losing her job because she said "no more"

Anita Sarkeesian's face is bruised

Had to be rage

Had to be fear

Had to be scared to use the bathroom

Had to be silenced

Had to make a rape joke

Had to put it on a t-shirt

Had to get your wife to insist that you're not sexist

Had to refuse to call Dys4ia a game

Had to deny that Tentacle Bento is a game about rape

Had to leave two hundred comments on an open letter to Destructoid

Had to hate other women because you were taught to

Had to call us "females" like we're another species

Had to give me a panic attack

Had to push me out of the chair and play the game for me

Had to take away my agency

Had to take away my identity

Had to be John Romero's wife

Had to be John Romero's wives

All had to be John Romero's wives

All had to be John Romero's wives

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