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4.14.2016

"You're Never Weird on the Internet" by Felicia Day

This memoir isn't bad, in which Felicia Day primarily tells the story about how she wrote and produced the web series The Guild.  Her sense of humor is a little cheesy, but actually after watching The Guild, (now on Netflix) I found it a little more endearing.   She's actually pretty funny in person.  Somehow it just looks like tons of ALL CAPS and slapstick exaggeration in writing.

The Guild developed out of Felicia's personal experience of playing the video game World of Warcraft obsessively over a 1-2 year period, and follows the irl and online actions of a team of Warcraft players.  It became a cult hit among gamers.  She wrote and created six seasons starting in 2007.

The memoir got interesting at the end with her description of her mental breakdown in relation to the success of The Guild (nightly panic attacks, losing tons of hair, extreme overwork).  The creative process is interesting to read about; in Day's instance, creating the characters initially and writing the first episodes when no one was watching was fact easier than then writing more and more episodes after the show became popular.  She found the pressure to continue to put out good content so intense that it really just killed her creativity.

As for The Guild itself; yeah, the characters are great but the story does kind of flop after the 3rd season or so.

You're Never Weird  is somewhat in the same vein of Sophia Amourso's memoir that perhaps should be shelved in inspirational/self help section, since Day seems to be on a mission to help the reader.

The heart of my story is that the world opened up for me once I decided to embrace who I am--unapologetically.
Don't chase perfection for perfection's sake, or for anyone else's sake at all.  If you strive for something, make sure it's for the right reasons.  

Thanks, Felicia, for these pearls of wisdom suitable for the inscription on a Hallmark Card.

Similar, too, to Biz Stone's memoir Things a Little Bird Told Me, for that matter.  There's a lot of 'let me tell you my fantastic internet success story' combined with 'let me tell you how I can help you live a better life' in all of these books.  Which rubs off as somewhat condescending.

Although I do find her story of creating the web series inspiring; inspiring how the internet can function to eliminate beucratic production companies and allow one artist to reach her specific audience.  I love that she never 'sold out' by selling her show to production companies.

It's important to keep in mind, however, that she created The Guild nine years ago; practically a lifetime in Internet.  I guess what I mean to say is that her success story might not even really be possible today with the way the internet and online videos has grown. (Which diminishes the inspirational aspect somewhat--could someone conceivably do it again, today?)

And she included a part at the ned about the horrors of online harassment--more specifically the harassment campaign #gamergate regarding sexism and women gamers.  She herself was freakishly harassed (people threatening to come to her house and kill her, etc.) and it destroyed for her, some of what she loved about the world of video games.

All in all, it's a quick and enjoyable read.  I found her a bit more stomachable than Amoroso (that uber wealthy cunt who should be in prison for the hordes of shit she's stolen).

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