The Real Rydis

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Does this mean Rydis will come to the Madison Goonp now? or any goonp? Because she's a blast to hang out with on mumble.Also, no one gives a crap. Rydis could be fatter than Lady Scarlet and she'd still be a great FC and a pretty cool person.
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As someone who met and married a female gamer on eve ... +1 rep inb4 teenager sperg
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Excellent! In my several years of playing EVE, I've found the ladies of EVE to be the most ruthless, efficient, and at the same time, charming, of any players. No need to hide the real you!
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I figured the big reveal would be that Rydis is actually a big hairy dude with an unusually effeminate voice.
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Welcome Rydis
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Just like real life! Non-news! I love it. To make this more interesting, let's assume Rydis is DBRB's transgendered brother after a successful M2F transition. That makes this a little more interesting than "Rydis is a different girl than you stupid pubs thought"
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You go Rydis! I'm glad you have found somewhere to call home and where you feel comfortable just being yourself. Good luck continuing to kick ass and hopefully we will see you around in Delve sometime :D
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In goonfleets, if you are a girl operating a titan you're getting showered in a never ending cascade of THANK YOU TITAN. If you're male you're lucky if you're not yelled at immedadetly if the bridge is 3 seconds late.TLDR of the above text and morale of the story, if you're a girl just show boobs - any boobs - and you can get far. I guess the 'tits or gtfo' mantra holds more true than we want to admit ourselves.Edit: Also, since this is about Rydis coming out, why isn't there a playmate of the month sized supplement to the text, so we can get a picture of what's actually going on?
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Respect
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Very interesting biopic; very well written article. The insight and depth of articles on this site is certainly an improvement over other Eve news sites.
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If DaiTengu and myself can leave the house once and awhile, I'm sure you'll be fine at a goonp.
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I'm not really sure what the point of the article was. She posted a picture of someone else nakkid, and is now letting us know she does not really look like that? Shes a normal person (aren't we all?), that lied about her looks (don't many?), and we need to re-evaluate how we regard women in eve? I've never met her, but ok, congrats!I mean, its great she does not feel compelled to conform to some stereotype, but I wasn't aware that changed the impact of her in-game accomplishments.Or perhaps I don't women in games to a stereotype.
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Props Rydis! and ofc respect
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In defense of many eve players, I play with my girlfriend who actually is a slight blue eyed blond and has been openly so in both a PVP 0.0 corp and a fairly hardcore PVP WH corp. The only comment she's received that has any real relation to her gender was actually made to me on our corp forums along the lines of me punching above my weight.At least in our experience its been a complete non-issue.
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We, as the male specises, must unhinge our perception of womens role in our society. Give them equal opportunity to prove what they are capable of and we will be surprised at what we are missing and for most they will earn great respect from me and others who see them as .........human. We must let them fly like eagles and watch them blossum into something very beautiful......Rydis I will fly with u any day for I know ur capable and talented in what ever endevour u pursue.
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Superb article. Where's pulitzer ?Anyway... I don't care either if a good fc is male, female, gay, trans, or hermaphrodite. It still is a good FC and that's all that counts. Only thing is... quote : "pale blue eyes"... so the picture on top isn't Rydis, 'cause this woman has like green eyes.
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Great article! I wish there were more female players in Eve, so that misogynistic stereotypes would become the exception.
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i liked that article gave me somin to read during the alpha fleet ha was a nice story good luck to her and man or woman thats very nice accomplishments :)
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Female gamers are pretty rare indeed in most MMO. I heard a number like 5% or so, but if there is a game that ''can'' beat that number, I think it's EVE Online and Rydis is maybe the model we can take to convince our female friend to try EVE. Ladies of today are most attracted by intellectual thing. In fact, statistics prove that there is more female that continue to University than male. Medicine (in Quebec) for example, now attract 80% of its student from female rank. Another example : this summer I worked with 3 engineers and 2 of them were women. What's the point? Women prove themselves to be better than man in things that were considered a man's field.The field of video game could not be different. EVE is a game where you need to think, be rational and make choices. It's a game where you need to learn constantly. It has what it takes to attract bright girls and women,that new generation of female that are attracted by intellectual thing. The behavior described in this article are sadly common in a lot of games, but I think that GSF has that philosophy of meritocracy, in which your gender doesn't matter, but your aptitude does and that's why I'm with them now for 1 year and a half.
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You're a terrible pubbie. Get out.
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:madprops: to Rydis. Anyone who gives a shit at this point can go fuck themselves, and I'm sorry that you felt like you had to hide yourself for so long.
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I enjoyed your poem. :)
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What the fuck is this, get out.
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“I might want people to know I worked with George Lucas in conjunction with the Star Wars Exhibition. That's a pretty cool thing.”No it's not.Also, fearing that goons would get mad because you used a smart and simple scheme to get in goonswarm is kind of silly. Especially when it involved "avoiding to show your tits to nerds on the internet"
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Lets be honest, the servers are under enough strain already. We don't need another Lady Scarlet.
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I think you're missing the bigger picture.
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Cool that Rydis came out. Still agreeing with Hydrosan here, though.
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Amazing article. Seriously.
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Not really. Instead of an attractive girl she's....a different attractive girl?I mean, I appreciate the fact that she and her friend played this "con" for a while, but it's not like she is really 500lbs or a post-op or a goat.Basically, it doesn't change my opinion of Rydis at all because she was previously a kickass "warfare project manager" and she will continue to be!
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How is what she did in any way a "scam"? Shitlords who think they're being amusing or clever by demanding to "show us your tits" have little cause for complaint whatever happens next. Tits were shown. Do they even really care whose?
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Whatever, I'm a real life girl and I didn't lie about myself, and didn't give fake pictures or naked pictures and this is bull. Goons propaganda. This story may be true, but your portraying this girl as a f*cking hero, and she's not.I'm a skilled EVE player. I am my corp's CEO. I kill stuff, I plan, I maintain pos's, I fit my ships, and I skill up all by myself. Occasionally you're harassed, so what. Everyone in EVE is harassed soemway or another. NO. We're NOT better than this.It's funny because Goons showed up in my recruitment channel JUST yesterday and tried to troll me for being a girl and said that there's no way I'd "make it" in Goons by advertising I'm a woman.You know what I say to that?Haha, lol. I forgot that I was handed 50 Mil skill points when I started EVE, not like you losers who had to spend time training! OH WAIT! I didn't. I trained, and learned, and improved my PLAYER, not just CHARACTER skills by myself of my own witt. My kills are my own.And as far as ebign gifted isk. Yeah, I've been given free ships, isk, the whole business. And you know what? So have MOST other people in EVE, female or not. An alliance mate himself was given a billion isk by a hisec carebear just the other day that he'd known for FIVE MINUTES because he has been polite and friendly.So this girl isn't a hero, this girl is a liar. And plenty of us gamer girls are skilled and making it just being ourselves. Just like me.
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I'd rather have a coalition full of Rydis than the stupid that sometimes are on comms. Goldstars and +100000000000 to Rydis.
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Just because you can deal with being out-and-out harassed for your gender doesn't mean you get to deny every other woman the right to have a problem with it, or not be able to deal with it, etc.Did Rydis lie? Yes. She lied about things that no male gamer in the history of ever has even been ASKED, let alone shall we say "compelled" to answer. It's great that you can just shrug it off, or deal. Not everyone can, though, and having this sort of attitude about it will just ensure that it keeps happening.
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Whatever, I'm a real life girl and I didn't lie about myself, and didn't give fake pictures or naked pictures and this is bull. Goons propaganda. This story may be true, but your portraying this girl as a f*cking hero, and she's not.I'm a skilled EVE player. I am my corp's CEO. I kill stuff, I plan, I maintain pos's, I fit my ships, and I skill up all by myself. Occasionally you're harassed, so what. Everyone in EVE is harassed soemway or another. NO. We're NOT better than this.It's funny because Goons showed up in my recruitment channel JUST yesterday and tried to troll me for being a girl and said that there's no way I'd "make it" in Goons by advertising I'm a woman.You know what I say to that?Haha, lol. I forgot that I was handed 50 Mil skill points when I started EVE, not like you losers who had to spend time training! OH WAIT! I didn't. I trained, and learned, and improved my PLAYER, not just CHARACTER skills by myself of my own witt. My kills are my own.And as far as ebign gifted isk. Yeah, I've been given free ships, isk, the whole business. And you know what? So have MOST other people in EVE, female or not. An alliance mate himself was given a billion isk by a hisec carebear just the other day that he'd known for FIVE MINUTES because he has been polite and friendly.So this girl isn't a hero, this girl is a liar. And plenty of us gamer girls are skilled and making it just being ourselves. Just like me.
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You wanna stop discriminating against women? Have the mod stop deleting my comments and let all sides share their opinions. Or is this ONLY about making a hero of a brat?
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where is my part :(
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Look lower, none of them are deleted. Disqus automatically sorts comments by "popularity" (likes vs. dislikes) and if any comment has more dislikes than likes, they go to the bottom.
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Anyone who's ever wondered why Rydis or anyone would be compelled to not only have to show what they look like, but lie about it, this post is why.
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I feel like I missed a thesis statement some place. Some lady lied about a picture and has admitted it, so we should treat women in Eve better? Uh ... ok?I'm not sure how this is going to induce your average 'spergy 16 year old to change their behavior.And aren't we sending exactly the wrong message here? "Nearly everything I knew about Rydis was a lie." Really? Nearly everything? All that you knew about her character, accomplishments, skill, and personality were a lie because her body wasn't what you thought it was? What the fuck?Of all the things to know about a person, their appearance is probably one of the least telling. If you're really angling to have women treated as well as men, shouldn't the impulse be "who gives a shit what they look or sound like?"
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That was a lot of words about nothing :|Jade Constantine is that you?
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Is pitching a fit because people aren't paying attention to you your idea of promoting equal treatment? Also, your attention demands apparently created 4 identical copies of this comment. Good work with that.
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Great article. Rydis will go on doing what she does, I highly doubt there would be any issues. I wish we had more females playing the game, I think that's where the problem originates. Anyways, the quality of the articles here is so freaking high I just can't stop reading the wall of texts! Keep it up!
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Is this the big announcement?
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lol Beltbeaters description Bonus: girl CEO! ♥ attentionwhore much?
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My wife made 380 million isk her first 3 weeks of playing. I'm terrified of what I've done by getting her in the game.
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tbh, besides the fake boob photo i never heard about her in my entire time playing EVE (7years or so). Maybe she is popular within GSF, but 95% of eve outside of GSF doesn't even know she ever existed.
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Best 100 million ISK I ever spent dont know what the other person got for 280 though.
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I've been in GF since 2007 nonstop and i didn't even know the picture existed. I allways thought of Rydis as the cute voice that tells us to kill shit.
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Lol bitch you try too hard.
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This article and its comments are hypocritical you say treat female eve players equal, then insult others from outside your coalition.
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You might want to research why so many more women than men now get a higher education.Little hint: it has nothing to do with 'being better' or 'being more intelligent' or any other misandric crap you might have heard.
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I suggest you read the article again. It clearly says that it was actually easier for her in EVE being a girl - not the other way round.
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That's by far the dumbest comment I've read so far. And you are a mod? So you decide what people have to think?Keep on like that and you end up like EN24.To be honest, I don't like his comment either but painting him a MRA for no reason is beyond me.
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So her big secret was, that she is _totaly_different_ from all the other "girls" on the internet, because.... she is lying to us like every other "girl" ?Also: Wow, she must feel really comfortable with goons, so it took her only five years to stop lying about who she is to them.So to summ this up, every girl on the internet is lying to us, even the great "gamer" girls.
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Rydis is responsible for some of the most fun I've had in EVE Online, a bad game. She's transcended 'a girl on the internet' and entered the realm of awesome ages ago.
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You sure showed me. That comment wasn't assumed privilege at all.
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No? 'You will find no love or reception here'You're posting that as a fact and as a moderator for this site. It's in no way clear who your're speaking for with that little green mod-sign next to your user name. Just for yourself, the staff of mittani.com, the community as a whole?I personally don't like to be told whom I'm 'allowed to' give my 'love' and 'reception' to.
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Drats! This makes Goonswarm sound cool. I don't want to like Goonswarm...It is sad that Rydis should be worried because she didn't use her own picture.However, I think that the mentioned surprise of finding that your FC is a girl is only sometimes real misogyny.Other times it is simply due to the fact that only a small percentage of EVE players are female.It would be great if that changed, but until then it is inevitable that a female voice on comms will draw attention.However, I agree that we should definitely do more to support female players when they decide they want to play EVE.Is happens way too often that a guy gets out of line, and in that case we should all be ready to educate him on what is not acceptable behavior.On a somewhat related note, it is so funny to see how much the tone and type of talk on my corps voice comms changes once the female members log on and the guys realize that they are in mixed company :)
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Please refer to the 26 down-votes and I think that pretty much outlines the feelings of the community reading this site. They gave him no love, they gave him no reception. Predictable idiocy can't be moderated out. No one is trying to control how you think or express yourself. I moderate things like "-a- is shit" and "umad". I personally don't give a crap if your are a bigot.
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I am not a Men's Right Activist. The whole topic doesn't even interest me enough to pop a single vein about it. Just reporting anecdotal evidence, because I thought it's kinda interesting and somewhat relevant to the article. Sheesh Powers...
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I'm a bit let down that it isn't that to be honest.
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You go girl! I too am a female Eve player. I can't say that I've never suffered from pathetic trolling by knuckle dragging drooling retards. However I feel I've been pretty lucky in finding corpies, alliance mates etc to judge me on ability rather than the size of my norks! I think in fact my corps in FA has more women players than any other in the alliance. I'd love to see more women players in Eve-more players like Rydis is all to the good! :)
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To be brutally honest I'm kinda creeped out. Guys posing as girls, girls posing as guys, this is normal everyday MMO life. But girls posing as another girl ?That all said some of my best fights have been under female fleet commanders and I couldn't care less what they look like.
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I have already done these research 2 years ago when I published a (french) essay on the subject. I'm not going into neurological difference, but let's say that a men's brain work differently than a women's one. Women usually understand better abstract thing and men, concrete one. Natural selection chose to give a slight different brain to each gender if you prefer. I know where you want to go with the ''misandric crap'' but the sexual revolution and women's liberation, as some competent sociologists have stated, are not enough alone to explain WHY women are actually better at school (cause facts are there, they are better) or at least, if you can't admit in your little butthurt heart that they are better, why they are more attracted by higher education than boys. That being said, men are capable to accheive higher education too, and we have plenty example even in EVE, Mittani to just name one.
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I've not had the pleasure of being on an Op with Rydis, but I hope to. From the comments on how she handles a fleet and her personality, she sounds like I'd actually have fun on EVE, rather than feeling like I'm interacting with a very pretty version of Excel.No one will give a shit if a male fleet commander is fat, ugly, a neckbeard or lives in his mother's basement. There may be some observation over fact on the matter, but never, ever do any of these factors cause people to think that they're somehow not capable of performing their duties.It's not the same story for females. Women in gamer communities receive a lot of attention toward their appearance, and the reception they receive on their appearance will dictate whether or not the (small minded members) community will deem them worthy of being put in a typically male position.The comments about Lady Scarlet seem to point half towards her personality and half towards her appearance. Considering this, I asked my partner to tell me the username of an obese male user in the CFC. He couldn't name one off the top of his head, but said: "there would be a large amount with such a girth"This really kind of proved my point. For all the dozens (hundreds!) of hideous and fat male gamers, they receive no attention whatsoever. For a single female player, she will receive merciless harassment on her sex, her appearance, whether she's willing to show it for the iskies, etc. And god forbid that a female player might bring up the harassment.I have literally heard some males ask: "What do you expect when you're playing a man's game?"Well, to be treated exactly like you'd treat your male counterparts, would be a good start. I feel lucky that for the times I've been on EVE, I have been treated as though the female pitch of my voice has fallen completely on tone deaf ears. It's been great.Unfortunately, at the end of the day it's a loud cockhead minority on both sides of the sex war that seems to fuel this shit. The day that everyone is just a talking stick of meat interacting 0's and 1's without having their boobs or penises define how they're perceived will be a great one.
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Norks is my new favorite word.
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yeah we know goons sperg over womenalso happens in RL toodoesn't warrant a news articlehth
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Did someone actually write a 1.5 page article about a girl showing her breasts on the internet and liken her to some sort of female role model paving the way to equal treatment in video games? I mean, the fact that she wanted someone to write a story about her accomplishments seems redundant if the people that matter to her already know. Want attention much?If she really wanted to help female gamers she would haven't posted a tit pic to begin with. I for one am entirely NOT impressed that she lied about what she looks like for 5 years. A woman lying and manipulating is new or article worthy? Sounds like her achievements in the game were more based off her skills at said game, which is fine and dandy but I do not feel the end justifies the means. My guild was lead by a woman for years and we were server #1 for a couple years on another MMO. Thing is, she never showed us her tits or any pictures that would be considered sexy. While an attractive woman, she did have to put up with immaturity from some of the fellow guild mates, she was promoted and held her position of power entirely on the merits of her ability and leadership. She stuck her neck out there for real, beat back the immature sex-starved nerd mobs and did no hiding. I don't see how you people are celebrating someone coming out after 5 years of pseudo cowardice. She really should be apologizing and not trying to play the "HELP HELP I'M BEING OPPRESSED" card.This entire article reeks of dramatization. She isn't helping women by showing her tits, her friends tits or any tits for that matter. Now she's in the very NOT unique position of having to admit to lying to people she cares about. Again, nothing revolutionary or article worthy here.How about you write an article on my wife. She's supported our family for over a decade without complaint. She's far more responsible and dedicated than many men I know in our own community and I'm the only one that seems to give her any praise. She didn't become management by showing her tits, she got there because she was smarter and more deserving than the rest of the men and women wanting that job. While this Rydis sounds similarly driven, she could have held the high ground and been a much more valid argument for the women she wants to inspire had she kept her/her friends clothes on. Not to mention to continue showing this sorta pics of her friends to keep up the charade? Again, lying and manipulating isn't something you are awarded for unless you work on wall street. Bad decisions are something you regret, not celebrate.
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The million dollar question is whether or not she is still fucking terrible at LFD.
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Props to Rydis. Any guy who obsess over her looks should take a good look at themselves in the mirror first.
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This is why I love this game. Great article!
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I totally understand why she fibbed! But so fu*cking what! The female Eve players I know who stick with the game & don't give up, tend to be very successful-alliance leaders, ceo's etc. I'm an FA alliance diplo & and no stranger to leadership. I can give as good as I get-the only things that upset me are what would upset anyone!
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Someone I can talk to about the old days of nightclubs and Goth music. I hope she continues to drop by on skype occasionally.
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Finally, a goon I can really respect :P.Great article, couldn't agree more. I say this only from personal experience and with no real numbers to back it up but we are the most professional, if not mature, gaming community out there. We should be the ones to throw the juvenile BS the window and act like decent people who have the cognitive capacity to filter out the smut and swill that is so easy to launch from behind a curtain of internet anonymity.
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Hey there, loved the insight from this, goes along well with some research I am doing for a thesis, reflected on it in my blog: http://fountai2.wordpress.com/
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True, could care less about her appearence, glad to be part of Amok.
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Rydis was/is my pal I never cared what she might look like.

(Editor's note: This article is printed at Rydis's request; she has approached us with the story, and wants it to be told.)

There are no girls on the internet. In fact, if you claim to be a girl, you're either faking it for free stuff, an attention whore, unattractive, crazy, or a mixture of any of these. But you most certainly aren't a gamer. Only men can be serious gamers, and EVE is frequently the most serious of games. Want to rise to the top in EVE? Be male, or show your corp members your tits.

This is the reality, in the eyes of many, of what it is to be a gamer girl. However, I've never been overly concerned with the plight of female gamers. I'm not female, and I've never treated anyone any differently based on how they happened to sound on voice chat. My assumption was that this lack of discrimination was the norm for mature gamers, and I figured it would be even more true in a game like EVE Online, which tends to draw what I consider to be a more sophisticated breed of gamer. This happy illusion of mine was smashed to pieces recently when noted EVE personality—and noted girl—Rydis said to me, “I've got a secret.”

What was the secret? It was that nearly everything I knew about Rydis was a lie.

First, some history to put this into context. Rydis is one of the most successful war leaders EVE has ever seen. She has successfully organized and executed more successful campaigns than almost anyone in EVE. During the process of coordinating these military operations of tens of thousands of players, she endeared herself to thousands. By any measure, Rydis has risen to the very top of a fiercely competitive game and is among EVE's most decorated and accomplished players. She's certainly the most accomplished and visible female fleet commander. However, this is jumping ahead to the end of the story, so let's start at the beginning—the beginning of Rydis' meteoric rise through EVE, and the beginning of “the secret.”

Rydis started playing EVE some five years ago and it was her first MMO. Shortly after she started playing in 2007, a member of what was then Goonfleet offered to sponsor her in to the corporation if she posted a picture of her breasts. So, as requested, she posted a picture of her red-bra clad breasts with “Goonfleet” scrawled across them in red marker. “I had no idea how much that picture would affect me for years,” she sighed.

Eventually, Rydis left Goonfleet and went on to found Amok. and Minor Threat in late-2008. In the space of about a year and a half, Rydis went from MMO neophyte to alliance leader. When asked about this incredible accomplishment, she said, “I did realize that picture made people think of me differently, and in the pubbie world, it gave me extra standing and extra help. But I wanted to be the girl who didn't just work in the background quietly doing logistics. And not the girl who giggled a lot and got things for free.”

Several years went by and Rydis found herself once again applying to Goonfleet, which was going by the name of LODRA. But by this time, she was by no means an inexperienced MMO player. She was now a seasoned alliance leader, corporate CEO, fleet commander, and one of the top one hundred killers in the game. Nor was it her intent to join up just by herself. She wanted a long-term home for the community she had spent so much effort building—she wanted a home for her corporation as a whole.

Indeed, Rydis was instrumental in securing the place of Amok. in LODRA; Instrumental in this case meant that she was remembered as being “a real life girl” who had posted her barely clad torso on the forums some three years prior. Unsurprisingly, the Amok. introduction thread on the Goonfleet forums was filled with requests for this particular picture, and an enterprising goon complied. With that, the thread became awash with comments about boob jobs and how people thought she was really a guy. To be fair, this introductory thread did include some requests for one of Rydis' corp mates to post a picture of his penis, but males aren't boxed in by gender in video games as are females - thus the penis pictures are completely forgotten, but Rydis—who was still after three years “that girl who posted tits"—would continue to be known not for her accomplishments, but for her gender.

Amok joined LODRA in April of 2010, when Goonfleet was at its lowest point following the devastating humiliation of the loss of Delve and the theft of the alliance name. Rydis and the rest of Amok invested a huge amount of time into rebuilding the alliance, and soon Rydis was made Sky Marshal of what was then Goonswarm Federation. For those unfamiliar with the term, in Goonswarm, the Sky Marshal is the military leader of the alliance. As Goonswarm transitioned from rebuilding the alliance to building a coalition, Rydis assumed control over coalition military command as well, first DekCo and then the CFC. I was a diplomat for Goonswarm when Rydis directed and controlled one of the most powerful military coalitions of New Eden, and I distinctly remember that questions from allies tended to follow a fairly consistent theme when I wasn't talking business—and sometimes when I was. “What does Rydis look like?” “Have you seen those pictures of Rydis? She's hot!” “Is Rydis single?” “Man, Rydis sure does have the voice of a phone sex operator, doesn't she?”

But even then, at the peak of her prominence, Rydis was living out a fantastic deception: she wasn't the girl in the picture she posted.

As she told me about her big secret, I asked the first of two inevitable questions: “Why did you do it?”

She laughed and said, “I didn't feel comfortable showing my chest to a bunch of guys on the internet. I thought it would help me get into Goonfleet, so my friend offered to do it for me.” And she was right, she did get into Goonfleet, entirely on the basis of that picture. But that picture wasn't Rydis, and so began a dual identity that, until this article was posted, was known to an amount of people you could count on one hand with fingers to spare.

So I asked her the next obvious question. “How did you pull this off for so long?”

The answer to this was a great deal more complex because, you see, Rydis became that picture. She became what she thought people wanted her to be, the slight, flighty blonde. She would occasionally post more pictures of her friend to keep the deception going, changed her in-game avatar to look like “her,” and resolutely refused to meet up with other members of the corporation or alliance in real life. And it worked flawlessly, for more than five years.

Rydis has, up to now, carried out what is perhaps the longest running and most effective scam ever executed in EVE. She was entirely consistent in keeping up the facade, and admits that it did make things easier at times. She played up to the outlook male gamers have, and gamer culture in general, and used it as one more tool in her already substantial toolbox. Clearly it worked; she turned the traditional power structure in EVE on its head, and subverted and co-opted misogyny to her own ends. Not for isk, not for fame, but for a chance to do what she wanted to do in the game.

In Goonfleet, Rydis found something different that what up until then she had taken to be the norm in EVE. Despite the initial furor over a “real life girl,” Rydis found an organization that accepted her on her terms. “Until I got to LODRA/GSF, I felt like I got all those in-game lessons and opportunities because of who people thought I was, not because I had an aptitude for the game and was good at what I did. It was a relief to rejoin GSF in 2010 and see the directorate didn't give me opportunities and teach me how to lead FCs and sky marshal because of what they thought I looked like. Goons gave me these things because I had an aptitude for it.”

Therein, however, was the problem. As she became more comfortable and certain that the Goonswarm Federation directorate didn't care what she looked like and weren't treating her differently because of her status of “real life girl,” the strain of maintaining the facade finally started to bleed through.

“It sucked, I couldn't be myself. I couldn't meet up with my friends. I had to be who they thought I was.” Rydis had so completely taken up her role as “blonde girl on the internet” that she dared not reveal herself. Though she wanted to meet up with people who she genuinely liked, and who genuinely liked her, she constantly faced the question of “what would they think if they knew the real me?”

This then is the greater issue. Female gamers are judged, harassed, and subjected to pressures to which male gamers can't begin to relate. If she's lucky, a girl reporting fleet movements might get a chorus of nerds noting the fact that yes, she is indeed a girl. If she's less lucky, she might be subjected to all manner of reprehensible behavior. E-stalking. Propositions to have sex online via text or voice, even to hook up in real life. There might be accusations of being an attention whore or allegations of hysteria (itself an incredibly loaded word). In extreme cases, it can get truly creepy or scary. If nothing else, the EVE community should be better than that, and this is one part of the reason Rydis is stepping forward - bravely so I might add, as she has herself dealt with this sort of harassment.

So who, then, is Rydis?

Rydis isn't a blonde, flighty girl from the internet. She did animal rescue work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. She trains dogs, including search and rescue K9s, dogs that are capable of human remains detection and live recovery. She's worked as a bootblack in gay bars, knows the lead singer of OK Go, and showed me pictures of her with Wolfgang Puck and Al Jarreau. She adores the EVE community, even if she finds parts of it distasteful. Rydis has performed stage shows that involve fisting watermelons. She learned French and hitchhiked to Montreal for the jazz festival. Rydis is a badass. She's not a girl on the internet—she's a gamer.

As she told me more about who she was, I asked if there was anything specific she wanted people to know. “I might want people to know I worked with George Lucas in conjunction with the Star Wars Exhibition. That's a pretty cool thing.”

But…what does she look like?

Careful readers up to this point will note that I've left in a fair amount of gendered language. That I can even say such a thing as “female fleet commander” and not cause any blinks of surprise is indicative of how entrenched this problem is. You will never, not ever, hear of a male fleet commander being called a “male fleet commander.” Instead, he's just a “fleet commander.” This is how pervasive this issue is. This article isn't going to change anyone's outlook immediately. But my hope is that it will cause people to rethink their relationship to the community of EVE, particularly to its female denizens. I don't want to read about EVE in The New York Times with regards to misogynistic behavior unless it is with regards to how EVE is leading a progressive charge towards better treatment of women gamers. We're better than this.

“I got this tattoo when I was working at the museum,” Rydis explains when I ask. She's shown me a handful of pictures of the real her now, most of which feature her short dyed hair and pale blue eyes. In one, she's getting ready to get her tattoo. In another, taken in New Orleans, she's with her dog and clad in combat fatigues. She looks happy and full of life. Attractive and fit, though no waif. So I'm left with one final question: Why didn't she end the charade sooner? “The problem was, all this time, all of these people thought I looked like my friend. What would they think of me? Of not telling them the truth?”

She's decided to risk it, so from now on EVE will deal with Rydis on her terms. This article is only the beginning. Henceforth, she won't have to playact for the patriarchy. She won't need to dodge EVE meets in real life. She'll be free to continue to play the game with people who admire her for her, not who they think she is. She won't need to keep up the facade, and as should be more than apparent by now, the real Rydis is far more interesting and complex than any generic stereotype people might have of female gamers. She's willing to make that stand for herself, and for the rest of the female gamers who play EVE, and she knows that she's opening herself up to personal attacks and vitriol from the male dominated culture of EVE.

So why then is she taking what is most certainly the more difficult of paths open to her?

Because that's the real Rydis.

Director of Content. Chief of Staff and Lead Diplomat for Goonswarm Federation. Member of CSMX. I enjoy tea, banana pancakes, and chatting with people. I can be reached in EVE or on twitter @siggonK.