Today I want to talk a little bit about a subject that many of my close friends and I have strong feelings about: body shaming.
Many of my close friends are cosplayers. Cosplaying is the act of dressing up as one of your favorite characters from a comic, game, movie, tv show, or anime/cartoon. I’ve done it a couple of times myself (stories for another time). I admire the craftsmanship, ingenuity, time, and effort that goes into making an outfit not to mention the bravery it takes to wear one. That bravery part brings me to the body shaming point. We all have insecurities about our bodies and have things we would like to change or wish were different about ourselves physically. Knowing that about myself and other people I always try my hardest to respect anyone and everyone who cosplays, regardless of their size, shape, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. None of that should even matter, ever. We are all just trying to have fun. The world at large is shitty and terrible enough that we don’t need to bring negative shit and heap it onto something that should be fun, whimsical, and light-hearted.
Unfortunately, not everyone is tolerant and understanding. Too many in the geek community and the populace in general will look at someone having fun in costume and take that opportunity to ridicule or make fun of them. What’s the point of that? You can’t make yourself feel good some other way? Do you feel threatened? You see something you don’t understand so you have to be afraid of it and throw shade upon the person? Or maybe you are ashamed knowing that you don’t have the fucking balls to cosplay yourself due to your own insecurities? How dare they dress up and have fun! That makes me mad because I’m too chicken myself and too afraid of what people will think of me! Oooooh, let me take it out on them.
I hate intolerance of any kind. We are a geek community and we have to support and accept one another. We are all different, we all have different likes and dislikes, but we are all still in this together. I had a friend of mine, Jonathan Vela, Aquaman of San Antonio, who would dress up as Aquaman all the time. That was his favorite character. He was the sweetest, nicest, most heartwarming fellow ever. He would help anyone he could personally and through many charities by making appearances in costume at children’s hospitals and birthday parties. The kids always thought it was amazing and a blast. His message was always that anyone can cosplay any character they wish, no matter what. It’s the love of the character that mattered. He wasn’t a small man, but it didn’t matter. He was having fun and nothing you could say could ever change that.
Sadly, he passed away a few years ago. I bring this up because just the other day, I saw a post on Facebook by a friend detailing a post he saw on Instagram. It was a body shaming meme that featured Jonathan. Did this guy know Jonathan? I don’t know, but that doesn’t matter. It was in poor taste. The man is dead and unable to defend himself. He was a huge personality in South Texas and even beyond. I am proud to know that many came to his defense and voiced their anger at that post and reported it to be taken down. I hope those efforts were successful.
Special guest Eric Staples joins us once again on the podcast where we discuss:
– Sims 4 removing gender restrictions
– Shorter future seasons on Game Of Thrones
– Meme Wars
– Walking Dead
– Reboots of Highlander & League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
– Scary movies as a child vs now
– What makes someone walk out of a movie/stop watching a show
– Upcoming geek events and cons.
Read more at The Blurred Nerds on Facebook
People ask me why I am doing this. Why am I chasing down this dream of becoming a professional, paid geek entertainer, podcaster, and voice actor? Where did you get this drive to do what needs to be done to make it happen?
To answer that question, I have to go back to July 6th, 1975, when I was born to Carolyn and Donald Coe. That was a year of the rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. Why does that matter? Well, the traits of men born in the year of the rabbit are:
“…those who always treat people politely, with a gentle smile that makes people feel that they are credible and sincere. When meeting trouble, Rabbits can handle it in an orderly way; when encountering tough difficulties they are never discouraged, but are persistent to seek solutions. So they eventually achieve enviable success.”
Enviable success? I like that.
So I’m totally destined for greatness?
Perhaps, but having those traits doesn’t guarantee anything. I still needed the nurturing and the constant push to speak up, to do the right things by people, to make them laugh, to make them happy. I credit my mother with this, the toughest woman I have ever known. She came from South Central Los Angeles and could survive almost anything. She showed my sister and I how to take life’s punches and punch back. I never saw her complain or quit, and she had every right and reason to. I used to ask her why she never gave up. My mother always said, “Baby, I never was given the choice. I have you and your sister. You need me.” She loved my voices I made and how I made her laugh, and fed my burgeoning geekiness. She encouraged me to be me. She said if I could overcome my shyness, I could do wonders with what she says God has gifted me.
I always thought I was ugly and odd shaped. I would hide and make my voice small, freezing up when I had to speak in class or give a presentation. I sneaked silently through school, only really being myself around my trusted friends. They had always told me, “Your voice is great! You should do radio! Cartoons! Something! You could be the new Movie Trailer Guy! You are funny, seriously. You can do it!” I would say, “No, I’m nowhere near as talented as Don LaFontaine!” They’d say, “Who?” I would roll my eyes, “How do you not know who that is?!” I just didn’t think I was worthy of the success I craved, the goal I desired. I thought that my heart disease, low self esteem, and size wouldn’t allow me to be anything other than invisible.
After the deaths of too many friends and family before their time, including my mother and father, I realized there was no right moment. I had to push myself to believe I had talent and, most importantly, that I was worthy of success. I had to make it happen. I had to make it the right moment. So with that in my heart and the integral help of my brothers Timmy Stewart, Alex Trevino, we formed The GeekVengers. We started small with local conventions here and there locally, did some videos, and had a blast. They gave me the mic and put me out front. “Use your natural humor and charisma! Fuck the fear!” I did just that and at our very first convention we met and interviewed Jennifer “Lil Bit” Adams. I had no idea at the time how that singular event would chart the course of my life going forward. 4 years later, with some heartbreaking subtractions and some wonderful additions like Adam Garcia, Courtney Goodrum, The Blurred Nerds Podcast, and GVTV, we are going strong and growing stronger.
This is my calling. This is my focus. This is my destiny.
We’ve had such an amazing run since September when we attended this event. We apologize for the delay, but we’re only human! So now that you’ve whet your appetite with The Blurred Nerds podcast‘s newest episode, you can give your ears AND eyeballs some sweet geek loving and watch this panel! He’s The Man.
On this episode, Lil Bit and I discuss unending Force Awakens trailers, best Christmas gifts evah, holiday memories, wishlists, and I beg just about the entire known universe for an Xbox One. So click the picture and sit down for an hour of fun and geek frivolity! We’ll be back soon with all new musings and rants to sate your geek appetite.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, VENGERS!!!
So, the GVTV gang was lucky enough to attend the inaugural PAX South in San Antonio, TX and let me tell you, we were all insanely impressed and quite a bit manic. Sensory overload was the catchword of the day during our time there. I’ll get more into that on another blog at a later time, Geekvengers. What I want to tell you about right now is what I think was the game of the show.
Yes, it is a zombie game, but it also is much more than that. The game was originally available as an Xbox Live download. That’s when I first became aware of it and the word of mouth buzz surrounding it was quite strong. It has since had DLC content; Breakdown, released in 2013 to very solid success and that was followed up by Lifeline, a much different style of play that let’s you “Go loud!” as a military squad, as Brant Fitzgerald, head of art and design says. I enjoyed the game thoroughly and got uber excited to hear that Undead Labs was asked to remaster it. What about this new version is different? Why should we care?
Well, I had an opportunity to sit down with Brant Fitzgerald and Jeff from Undead Labs and they told me exactly why I should care! First off, the game did so well on Xbox Live that Microsoft asked them to do a remastered version for their new console, the Xbox One. They were obviously pumped and jumped at the chance. The graphics have been heavily beefed up, featuring 1080p HD, improved shading, animations, draw distance, and improved gameplay. All current DLC is included within the game and there are over 280 weapons in the game so you can get your zombie beat-down on! I’m not a tech jargon expert, but it looked fantastic and plays beautifully. Zombie heads pop like melons in beautifully rendered HD. Running over the undead is just as satisfying as ever.
While talking to Brant and Jeff, I could feel the energy and love they put into this game. Brant said, “We got a phone call from my former boss and he said, ZOMBIES, and hung up the phone.” Also, “We’d sit around and watch zombie movies and we’d complain about how dumb the people were. We always sat around for an hour after the movie and we talked about what we’d do differently….We wanted to double down on the survival aspect of the zombie apocalypse” We all know zombie games do death extremely well, but what’s been missing in many is the RPG survival aspects of the game. Gathering survivors, tracking their health and morale, and managing your entire group and resources are front and center here. You could go in guns blazing and hack and slash, but then you get tired, or over encumbered, or get hurt, sick and die. Difference here is, the game continues without you. That’s right, people…PERMADEEEEEEEEAAAATH!!!!!! You make the mistake, you pay the consequences.
While talking to Jeff as my compatriot Adam Garcia got some hands on time with the game, I asked him about things that he wanted to add. Okay, I gave him some ideas, to be honest. I said, “How about you add customizable cars into the game? Like spikes and grill guards and other crazy zombie smashing shit?!” Jeff was visibly excited by the idea. I could so tell. I fully expect in future game installments for there to be a crazy Chocolate Machismo mechanic named Marselles who can build you a sweet zombie flattening ride, baby! Also, I mentioned something about adding ambient music. Not like a soundtrack, but more like you could find CDs or iPods in abandoned cars that you could play. It could expand the scavenging mechanic as well as increase the danger. You could play music and jam out, but of course the noise would draw in zombies. Perhaps you could use it as a zombie trap? We were brainstorming at this point and I doubt any of that will be done, but I love that I was able to sit down and toss ideas at the actual game designers.That was a blast!
The guys and girls at Undead Labs get it. They’re gamers and they love what they do. State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition will be available April 28th on Xbox One and Steam. If you have downloaded the previous versions, you can grab the new version for up to 33% off. If not, you can still snag it for $29.99. Bonus content also includes a new exclusive playable character.