November 17th, 2012

The BorderHouse Article “Fight Club”

So once upon a time I decided to write an article for The BorderHouse, that gaming blog that focuses on social justice issues. I submitted it back in August and let’s just say that was the worst experience I’ve ever had.

First let’s start off with when I first wrote the article, at the time I was being barraged by hatred and threats of violence from a certain devs fan club for a video I did as a response to someone’s own grievances with the games. So I wrote an article detailing out how his games were sexist and misogynistic and submitted it. A few days went by before I was told to edit a few tiny things. So I did and resubmitted it. Crickets. Then the abuse kept going and the game dev himself decided to get in on the abuse, so I detailed that out as well and resubmitted my article with the added parts. Silence.. I didn’t even know if it was received or not. So I enlisted the help of a someone that had been already published on TBH to help edit the thing and it improved and finally another friend of mine, Tekanji (of, offered to look it over. That final version was submitted about a month ago.

So here I am, being kept in in the dark about what was going on with my article, twiddling my thumbs, waiting. Finally TBH comes out begging for articles with the “Call for Writers”. At least I feel it was begging, why else would they have a call for writers if the barrel wasn’t getting low. My article hadn’t been published so what was I to think. You have nothing to publish and you are drumming up more content. Nothing. Meaning my article was obviously rejected. So I left a small comment on the blog “Speaking of articles….” and sent an email to the editor in charge of my article (Anna) about it being rejected. What I got back was blaming ME for getting it rejected.
The answer I got back was from the point of view of the editor:

“The article’s formatting was broken and I had to go through it line by line”

Rather than… sending it back and tell me to resubmit an html or a doc?

“Life got in the way and was busy”

OK so uhh.. maybe send it to someone less busy?

“I was going to speak to the editor about the emails in there, I’ll admit a mistake there”

Those email snippets I might add were in there since that one big edit I remarked on… back in August? September? Soo uhh… why not talk to the other editors before that while you were reformatting it or whatever… NOPE
Three times it was admitted that mistakes were made on TBH’s side but guess who’s fault it was ULTIMATELY it was rejected? MINE.

But, I do wish you had addressed this with me or with the editors as a whole first instead of putting it up as a comment on the site. That seriously disappointed us.

Yup, over one, tiny, little comment. I was supposed to email a person that’s given me nothing but silence for most of this whole affair, who has been to busy for anything to ask about my article. Why?

However I’m not the only one silenced by TBH, it seems that Tekanji also stuck up for me since she spent some of her time helping edit my article too, so of course she wants to know what’s the hold up, however her comment was edited and the other deleted:

Maverynthia: Speaking of Articles
Tekanji: Y’ all seriously don’t think it’s in bad taste to publish this when you have been holding an article for over a month without publishing it, asking for edits, or rejecting it?
Your conduct regarding move’s article is unprofessional and in direct contradiction to your stated “typical process”. If you’re going to post it, then post it. If you think it needs work, then edit it and/or request that she edit it. If you don’t think it’s a good fit for the site, then tell her so and let her move on.
But stringing her along for over a month and then having the audacity to post this call for writers while her piece remains accepted but unpublished? Seriously uncool.

Tekanji made another post after it, but that one unfortunately was deleted and there is no record.

The final email I got was basically:

“We don’t like to run emails because blah blah private”

Despite the fact this was a tactic used by this game dev to corner me and harass me? Yeah, let’s just toss that into “shit that should never be private!” Fine OK so you didn’t like the fact I was pointing out my harassment, cool cool.

“I got an email about the article being discussed in comments..”

The only comment I know of is the one I made and Tekanji made on the “Write for us” post. If anyone other than me posted on any other article, it was out of my hands and really only them looking out for me, because seriously what the hell.

“and in IRC”


First of all it is super rare any of TBH editors ever set foot into the IRC, so if it wasn’t them sending the emails, it must have been someone else. Which makes me feel all grody that someone was spying on us as “Hahaha see what they say in the IRC! Isn’t it terrible!”
That being said I guess this means if you write for The BorderHouse you are to never speak of your article, not to your friends, not in the IRC chat, not on any forums… you are to keep quiet about it. For if you tell anyone, ANYONE, that your article exists and that it’s taking a bit of time to get to it… your article no longer ceases to exist! Just like Fight Club! Speak nothing! Say Nothing!

So in the end I want to say, to me, emails are semi-private. If you tell me non-personal information in an email, to me I have a right to make that public, especially if it is harassing me or is needed to clarify what was said. Since some people want to play the “I didn’t say that!” game. Copy pasting exactly what was said as irrefutable proof is needed in today’s age.

Also, The Border House does not speak for me as a gamer and as a feminist any longer. Lately it seems that their offerings to me of articles are weak at best and downright offensive at most (The Borderlands 2 Siren article). They chose to silence me rather than support me and that makes me feel very betrayed. So, I’d rather part ways. My article will go up on the internet, just not there. It will also go up late since I really wanted it published at the time of the incident.

Overall it was a situation that made me upset and stressed out and that’s not something any woman should have to go through with all the shit life gives her.

Labyrinth of Blue NewsState of the Internet

6 responses to “The BorderHouse Article “Fight Club””

  1. Shit.

    I’m gonna go ahead and plead Guilty to being the e-mail TBH was using to justify the problem.

    I saw tekanji’s response to being edited (I believe the second comment you reference; I had not seen the comments in the screencap prior to tonight, when I thought “I wonder what’s going on at Dungeon/Blue?” and found this post). I don’t claim to be active in the feminist-gaming blogosphere but I recognized xyr name as someone important. If xe was publicly unhappy with TBH, I felt that meant something was Wrong With This Picture, and e-mailed TBH my concern accordingly.

    I mentioned not feeling comfortable in the IRC, but had not intended to connect the two–I felt and feel like I’m trespassing there, so haven’t logged in since that time I was asking about Twine .dll files. So far as I can tell I just wasn’t a good fit–no common interests, etc.

    Cuppycake responded to my e-mail inquiring what was wrong with the IRC, and I thought I clarified that the problem was a cultural and format difference: those present seem to know each other, I don’t, and given the nature of net-communication, we lose a certain amount of feedback cycles and error-correction.

    [So, I couldn’t be sure I wasn’t wearing out my welcome. Protocol on that is quite specific: if there is any question whether I am unwanted in a safe space, acting as though I am unwanted is the least dangerous course of action.]

    (I specifically stated that the only thing at TBH that I felt required fixing was the lack of .dll support for Twine. If nothing else, that should have forestalled or been grounds to apologize for & retract the “and in IRC” flak.)

    In any event, my communication to TBH was obviously not as clear as I had thought. And that appears to have made your life worse. I had no intention of causing any article-author further grief; in fact, I was worried that TBH had somehow botched things. But my intent doesn’t change the fact that my e-mail exchange helped TBH go after you.

    I’m sorry I helped undermine your participation at TBH, Maverynthia. Will do my best to ensure that I do not cause similar problems in future.

    • Eh, well to set things straight, the IRC was started by Kimadactyl in a need for more community since TBH didn’t want forums. Probably because they didn’t want to tend them as tending forums is hard. So, here we have the IRC being run by one person while the website is being run by other people. Thus the IRC kinda… mutated into a different personality based upon who was running it and what was being allowed/disallowed. That’s why it is what it is today. The main three (Cuppy, Gunthera1 and uh.. I think Alex) are very rarely ever in the IRC sooo.. there’s that. Really the only mod we have left is SerCorbieGeisha and sometimes Llamaentity, Kimadactyl herself and Deirdra.

      As for Twine .dlls, most of us are using Twine or have used Twine. So, no you wouldn’t have been out of place.

      Honestly KA101 you didn’t undermine anything. I got a VERY loud and vocal vibe from the way my article was constantly delayed that they more or less might have taken that as an opportunity to can my article once and for all. I mean, don’t you think it’s kinda odd to say your “disappointed” in someone for being both curious and frustrated about an article when their friends are also like “Hey what’s up about this?” only to then have then get angry and veto the thing going up, because they dared to speak out on it? Thus the “Fight Club” title.

      If you want to hang out in IRC that’s fine, we can talk about Twine and stuff. It’s actually been pretty quiet minus Ser Corbie Geisha’s connection crapping out all the time.

  2. This whole episode is such utter bullshit, I cannot believe how fucking unprofessional TBH has been about it. I have to say that at absolutely no point throughout this entire saga have any of their actions, words or decisions been even remotely close to correct. Combine this with their total loss of focus on the social justice message in recent weeks and I’m beginning to doubt whether TBH can even really be considered anything more than a sub-par mainstream gaming blog. They certainly don’t seem to be interested in promoting egalitarianism at all.

    • OK John, Aaron, Sarah, wayne, or Mezia, Or all or none or some combination of the above.. If you don’t like it, stay at the BorderHouse and troll over there. This does log IPs ya know.