Perspectives and Retrospectives: Vol. 1
The following piece is jaspir’s thoughts on the first year of FUoS. Series introduction here.
A year ago, if you had told me that a normal night of shooting the shit with some of my friends would turn into creating a successful site called fat, ugly, or slutty, and that we would be featured on sites like Kotaku and the front page of Reddit, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it did. We did, and it’s been a blast.
I came into the site with the mindset that it would be fun, and our content was funny and if we achieved laughter, all was right with me. In the beginning, I was content with the hilarity factor, but as time went on I started getting more emotionally involved, which is something I have tried so hard NOT to do when it comes to the sensitive issue that is online harassment.
I didn’t become soft, or impotent. I became aware. Here we are, pushing content onto this site where I assumed all gamers could relate and viewed it as a second nature occurrence, like me, as though it were nothing. But the feedback we were receiving was one of shock and un-believability, and that is what shocked ME. Since the day I hooked my Xbox up to the Internet, I expected the inevitable “hey baby, wanna trade pix?” messages, or the “GET A LIFE, FATTY!” line. It was just the unfortunate part of the realm that is online gaming to me, and maybe that still rings true. But what the site has taught me is that, though it is regrettably “expected,” it’s not okay and there’s no reason why it should be. Hearing other people’s stories and reading the sometimes heated debates in the comments of our posts has steadily made me less passive and more angry. It enrages me that if I accidentally let out a giggle in the pregame lobby before a match, there’s a chance I will have to endure 15 minutes of nonstop harassment if I don’t mute them first. It enrages me that my friends will have to endure petty insults for a match just because of their accent or something they said. Not only is it enraging, but it’s heartbreaking that we as gamers and nerds should be expected to put up with Internet badasses, just to semtex a sniper, or headshot some zombies with friends. Anonymity is a powerful thing, and maybe I never realized how powerful until reading some of the content our submitters have sent us. You would think that I would have already seen it all before the site, but man. Some of what these people are sending in is just mind boggling, to the point where I don’t know if I should laugh or cry (or both). It’s just so stupid and completely pointless, and it needs to stop. I hope one day it does.
I’m ultra grateful that our site gives people the opportunity to call out the jerks online and take away the power they think they hold. And though we may not reach millions, there are still people out there that know we exist and because of that fact, have resisted the urge to be a nuisance. If we have instilled the emotion of fear in just a few people, then good. Be afraid, Internet badasses. Be very afraid. We are here. And we’re not going anywhere.
All in all, I’m tremendously happy with the site and what we have achieved. I’m incredibly thankful for our fans, viewers, submitters, friends, family, and everyone else that supported us and made our success possible. Without you guys, we’d still just be a few nerds in a chat room joking about making a difference, but not really doing it. So THANK YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Grace, Jennifer, and Jon. You guys are awesome, and I have felt honored to take part in this amazing adventure with you all. You all were really the backbone of the site, and I’m grateful you let me be a part of it. I have learned so much, and have had an absolute blast. You guys are awesome and I look forward to more shenanigans with you for a long time to come. LOVE YOU GUYS!!