Ask @legobutts:

I'm reading a science fiction book where one of the characters is established as non-binary & asexual and it made it realize how horrible SF can be at representation. Any idea why a genre that's supposedly about looking ahead and tackling the human condition can be so blindered so much of the time?

This has roots in author privilege, I'd guess - it's easy to forget to include experiences that you have zero authority on. I can't imagine any of my cis friends being able to write an accurate, empathetic version of any trans experience. Not because they don't care, but because they have -no experience- with being trans.
This isn't an excuse, of course. We need more diversity in authorship, and those who come from a place of privilege need to /want/ to diversify their works before we see more representation.
Science fiction might be a vision of a future, but it's still based on a writer's personal view of that future. This happens in games all the time. The breadth of our perception of the world will always factor into the scope of any fiction we imagine. If we never challenge ourselves to see more, experience more, we might never know what to include in that vision.
Not to say that we should never write anything we haven't personally experienced. The key is to always do research - to get to know your subject material - and if we're unsure...ask. We ask someone who does know. Find material to read. Work with people who diversify our team, who add to the experience. I wish more authors did this. Especially in sci-fi.

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Hi! First found out about you on the Big Live Live Show Live, along with lovable maniac Dave Lang, and have been more a fan the more I've followed. Your posts recently have prompted me to consider gender/sexual fluidity in a way I hadn't before, which is rad. So.... question... what's your favorite

Wait what what's my favourite what...WHATS MY FAVOURITE WHAT THIS QUESTION ENDED BEFORE ITS TIME OH GOD
We will never know what my favourite

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Were you raised religious? I was raised in an extremely conservative christian church and still carry with me a lot of transphobic / gender-conformity related shame. How do you unlearn that bullshit?

I was, sort of. this one is complicated.
I was first raised Catholic, in that I attended catholic school, where I was closeted for most of my childhood years - I knew I was queer at 7, no doubts there whatsoever, so I just stayed silent about it until about 13 when I did a little poll at school to see who of the girls would be my friends still if I turned out to be gay. One of 22 said yes. She, of course, later came out as also queer. The data gathered meant I decided to keep quiet until university about being queer, but also meant I never stopped hating myself for it.
Home life was different, but not. My mother and step dad were very liberal in what they defined as religious - they were those hippie types that studied lots of "different cultures" ...new age stuff and "ancient" stuff and just everything. But their background and basis for perspective was still small town and narrow minded. They would say things that sounded like they tolerated queer people but then in the next breath would inform me that it's all a choice and that no one ever HAS to be gay. Don't even get me started on gender stuff. They weren't having any of that. It was all a choice, or a trauma manifesting as a lifestyle of attention seeking, in their minds. We were sick people who needed their help. They were here to save us. Maybe not by God, but by the power of Choice. Ugh.
Anyway.
The answer to how does one build tolerance and acceptance in ones self after being conditioned to hate and judge is a tough one. It comes down to compassion, for others, but also for yourself - and your conviction in the desire to change. You must practice in both words and actions the compassion and tolerance that you wish to have. Read everything you can to address the bullshit logic we were instilled with - why homophobia and transphobia and racism are justified - dump it all out and find new, accurate, progressive information to replace it with.
And when you DO have a transphobic moment, and your friends call you out on it, remember: it isn't as simple as that transphobia being "you" - it is a BEHAVIOUR. Behaviours are changeable. The guilt you feel for thinking those things is, of course, real. It means you have remorse, /and it sets you apart from the people who really think those horrible things./ Remembering this helps us not get too defensive when we need to reflect and do better.
It's all a journey. Being bigoted is common - recognizing that we have these behaviours and working to change them is a huge step in the direction of personal and societal growth.
The hardest thing is making sure our unconscious actions aren't coming from a place of bigotry. We may not even know when we are showing prejudice - staying conscious of your actions is difficult, but possible. Strive for it always, be kind, have compassion, and remember to be patient with yourself. You are a good person - and you will continue to get even better. Your words and actions are proof of that. Stick with it.

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Thank you for being so open about your gender fluidity / trans-ness. I thought I was just bi/pan but it never felt right. Your askfm got me thinking a LOT about my own labels and kickstarted a personal journey through genderfluidity. Turns out I'm just very non-binary! Thank you so much <3

Welcome to the journey!! It's weird and confusing and good. Glad I could help. It's been so strange doing this all publicly (sort of accidentally) but I'm glad I did if it helped anyone else.
✨💘✨

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What was the thought process behind the kitty cat names! x

"Dis one looks like a Gnome."
"Huh?"
"Her face. It is a gnome"
"Ok ya"
"We would like to name dis odder one after food"
"Delicious food"
"Yes. Delicious kitten"
Our friend came up with Brisket as a suggestion and it immediately stuck - William is Texan so it just felt so right

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How did you decide to change to neutral pronouns? Was it tentative at first, or did you just know it was right for you? I'm stuck in this weird place where the physical gender expression I'm comfortable with doesn't match how I feel mentally, and I don't know what pronouns feel right anymore.

My gender and gender performance (I draw a distinction for this answer not because I believe those things need to be different but rather because I'm going to talk a lot about who I am vs how I'm seen) are aspects of myself that I've been conflicted about for most of my life.
There was a time pre-puberty when I looked in the mirror and saw only a boy and was upset that my family always told me I was a girl and I "didn't look anything like a boy" - confusing.
There was a time when I was told I had to be hyper feminine, that I was a woman with a woman's body and had to embrace that in order to be a woman - confusing...
There was a time when I myself decided to address my own feelings about being trans, and was told that in order to /not/ be a woman, I had to be a man (and be SEEN as a man) - confusing!
For some, none of these are confusing - they resonate with the definitions, and are comfortable, and that's ok! The fact that I find these statements to be ...internally incongruent, let's say... is telling.
At some point in my journey, after I decided that I wasn't comfortable with the idea of transitioning "fully" to be seen as a man [again, to be SEEN as a man, I make a distinction here], I resigned to the idea that I wasn't "actually" trans, under a binary definition of gender. It was years later that I explored the ideas of being non binary, of being fluid, and of both the conflation and separation of gender vs gender performance.
I'm not going to fully touch on my insecurities here, but know that at this point almost every part of me was worried that by asserting myself as non binary and asking friends to use neutral pronouns, I was risking my friendship with them. This comes from a place of past trauma. If I could go back and talk to me of three years ago, I'd say something like:
**Your friends love you. Even when some of them have a /really tough time/ using gender neutral pronouns, they respect you and want you to feel safe and comfortable. Trying your best to work under this assumption will do a lot for not only your confidence, but also your friends habits. I empathize with how hard it is, especially with the prejudice you've faced, and the anger you've been the brunt of. But trust in your gut! If you think this is who you are, and trying it on feels good, then don't deny yourself that feeling. Other people get it their whole lives. You deserve it, and always have.**
Insecurities aside, I still wasn't sure if gender neutral pronouns were a) right for me and b) "enforceable" - but I wanted to give them a shot, because I understood one thing: "she" didn't feel right.
I've been using them for a few years, and the effect has been measurable. It's funny how one little pronoun can invoke so much confidence when my identity is constantly being questioned, even if by myself! It's those little moments, when someone uses them with ease, that remind me: yes, I'm on the right path.

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Cis/Het folks putting preferred pronouns in their profiles to try to normalise the idea of preferred pronouns. Cool? Not cool?

Cool. But more importantly:
Let's stop using the word "preferred" to describe pronouns. It's not your "preferred" gender, it's your gender. It's not your "preferred" name, it's your name. Your pronouns are your pronouns! If you are ok using more than one set, "preferred" might make sense, but the word is problematic in context to pronouns that reflect gender.
"Preferred" carries with it a microaggression of "this isn't who you are but I'm so nice that I'll call you that if you like" - preferred implies, a lot of the time, that I've chosen my pronouns to override some true pronoun that reflects my "true" gender. Even if we don't mean to use it that way, we need to be mindful of the implications.
The sooner we get that microaggression out of our heads and language, the sooner it will be "normal" to just let everyone know your pronouns - no matter who you are. I don't assume pronouns or cisgender status based on looks, and finding out someone is cis is just that - a piece of information. I appreciate the info!
Just don't expect a cookie for doing it, that's my request of cis people! <3

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I'm going to Pax this year and it's my first con/thing ever. I'd love to say hi to you in person but I have no idea on the etiquette for it. If I see you on the floor somewhere is it cool to come up and say hi? Or should I try and catch you at a booth or something when you are in PR meet folks mode?

Ken
If you see me, please stop to say hello! Treat it like you would any other meeting:
-DON'T interrupt another conversation
-DON'T surprise me by making physical contact without permission
-DO introduce yourself by your name AND your twitter name! Both is best.
-DO mention how you know me and give me SOMETHING to work with in terms of conversation. I can run with anything, but it's really hard to run with nothing. "This is my first convention! I follow you on twitter and know you come to lots of these. See anything awesome this time?" is super easy for me to then ask "ooooh what sorts of games do you love, I bet I can recommend some indies on the show floor"...see how easy that is? Suddenly we're having a full conversation. :)
-DON'T panic, it's ok, we're all human and totally nervous about introducing ourselves. <3 <3 <3
-DO realise I might be exhausted, so if I say something nonsensical I'm sorry I just probably haven't slept in days. X_X

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AAA dev wanting to indie, but all my close friends don't gamedev and I haven't made any good friends since starting this career two years ago. Part of me knows I can start making things and people will eventually show interest, other part is scared that I'm not very likable. Any advice?

You don't need friends to make an indie game - you need the means and the motivation. Friends don't work together just because they like each other! They work together because they have shared vision and motivations.
In fact I would say that working with close friends is sometimes not as good as assembling a team of people who might not know each other particularly well but have experience making games or projects that have similar inspiration.
Are you worried you're not likeable because you're mean? Don't be mean! Being mean is bad. Or are you just worried because you haven't yet made close friends in this industry? That's OK. I try to encourage all game devs to have friends OUTSIDE of the industry.
Honestly I think that not being very likeable but having a likeable game is "better" than being likeable but having a not very likeable game. For business at least. Although, when I think about it, lots of not very likeable people I know with a likeable game in the indie scene still have managed to make plenty of friends. ;)
If you get the feedback that you're abrasive, or not fun to be around, that's something I can't help with in an ask.fm answer - but if you're just worried that you don't make friends fast enough, it's totally ok. Join the club of nervous, not-sure-of-ourselves people, looking to make beautiful things and maybe a friend or two along the way. The indie scene is pretty welcoming. Follow a bunch of indies on twitter (I assume you already do because you are asking this question), get a sense of who you think is in line with what you'd like to make! I'd suggest going to some local indie meetups if you can, and conventions in which indie games are showcased. Indiecade, for example!

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As a Destiny fan, how do you think the Taken King is shaping up? Additionally; thoughts on Dinklage getting replaced by Nolan North?

Ricardo Gonzalez
I'm gonna buy The Taken King for sure. I actually haven't been watching the news too much; I sort of leave that to my partner who plays the MMO side of Destiny while I play the shootyshootymanmans. Or aliens. Or robots.
I'm sad they re-recorded Dinklage. But I could have lived with it better had they chosen anyone other than whiteprotag mcscrufferson to voice the ghost. Destiny has a huge cast of diverse talent voicing minor characters in the tower and reef and I have no idea why they didn't choose someone other than Nolan North for the only other main character in the game.
People keep saying "union" or "guaranteed quality" but looking at the talent they have in the tower I'm not buying it. Bullshit. Clearly they have access to plenty of diverse voice actors all with fabulous talent!!
But oh well. A boring choice that will result in a good ghost. I'll miss dinklebot's misplaced emphasis and lack of emotion. It was endearing in that it was pretty awful, and I loved it.

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So are you FtM trans?

I get this question a lot from a bunch of strangers so I'll just address it!!
I'm AFAB, and trans, but not a trans man. I'm non-binary and understanding my own gender more every day. Maybe some day I might decide to identify as a trans man! But even then the binary doesn't feel right for me.
Here's a thing: I often find that people who ask me to label myself with the binary are asking so that they can feel more comfortable around me. Like the idea of not being a man or a woman worries them for some reason? Not just makes them nervous because they don't know what language/pronouns to use (that i get and its ok to be sensitive about respecting a trans person) but genuinely WORRIES them, like I'm not well or something?? (???!!) Right now I'll say that while I'm learning myself, I'm not going to give myself any labels beyond genderqueer - especially not using the gender binary!
Anyway. The short version is "no and also why does it matter"
Hope that helps
Felix

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I need some advice, how do I tell myself I'm good at things? Is that too vague?

Confidence is tricky - we often hear "fake it til you make it" (which I actually sort of agree with, a different conversation) but we run the risk of faking it into arrogance if we forget the making it part. So how to tell myself that I'm probably good at that thing I keep doing well over and over again?
Or rather, how to first silence the voice that tells me I'm probably bad at everything always, so as to make room for the idea that I might be good at something?
If I make a cake I know it's good because I am certain every step of the process was perfect - but I also feed it to a friend and they like it and I know for sure my cake was good. Both contribute to me gaining confidence in telling myself I'm good at cake. If I do it enough times, I start to rely on the first check more than the last - I eventually know before my friend eats it that it's gonna be awesome.
The truth here is not everything is as measurable as cake. But I've worked hard to figure out how to surround myself with people I look up to - and when they are able to give me real constructive feedback (negative AND positive), I know that they will be the external voices that echo my internal self-confidence.
Telling yourself you're good at things is important, but learning how to believe yourself is just as crucial. Confidence is a muscle - you've gotta practice, and work it out, and learn how to believe in yourself. It takes time, and you can always get stronger, but like most things, it's better with a friend.
In the most expected twist of the day, I feel like I'm terrible at writing these responses.

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are you trans/genderqueer/fluid?

Yes! It's a process, I'm figuring it out. I know that's tough for people, because it's confusing to those around me, but it's been a struggle for me for about twenty years, and I sometimes worry it'll be something I never figure out.
Let's go into it a bit:
I am not my assigned-at-birth gender. I would absolutely refer to myself as part of the trans community and trans myself. I have thought long and hard for many years about transitioning. But in the past three or four years there has been much more of a movement in the trans community to talk about non binary as a reality - and the truth is that I think I fit more in a world where the binary shifts into a spectrum, where we think about gender as more than just men and women. I hope there is room for non binary individuals to exist.
But yes. Gender is complicated. It's tied to all sorts of thing - social norms and acceptance and bodies - my body needs changing, that much I know for sure, and I sort of still struggle every day with pronouns and what to do with my gender. But the main thing right now is that I know it is MY gender, my choice, and my journey. Everyone else might feel awkward being on it with me, but everyone else needs to remember that *I'm* the one who was sent to "therapy" as a teen to be straight, to be cis. Which is a type of therapy and thinking that stays with you a long, long time.
I'm still sorting through all that, and figuring it out for myself.
When people recognize my journey by using "they" and "them" (gender neutral pronouns) I feel so, so good. For someone who has had to hide who they are for so many years, in gender and sexuality, it's amazing when I'm offered the chance to feel...like it's ok! It's ok that I'm not a man, or a woman. That's just fine. And the friends who do use female pronouns for me? They're on this journey with me, and we'll all figure it out together at some point. No one I love today has ever maliciously misgendered me - and for that I'm thankful, and so so lucky.
I'd like to clarify this: not every gender neutral or genderqueer person is "figuring it out" - many are gender neutral, and that is their true and real gender. For those friends, she or he is misgendering. We should all try our best to incorporate "they/them" in to our diction so we can respect our trans friends, no matter where they lie on the spectrum!
Having said all that, nothing makes me happier than being mistaken for a boy, or being told I'm a cute 90s boyfriend. The idea that my (straight) boyfriend is SUPER into me and feels a little funny when I'm in full boy mode...I'm living the dream, folks. Living my personal dream. Every now and then a cutie will slip in "he" instead of "they" and I pretty much melt into a puddle of smooches.
In conclusion: all I want is to be remembered as Dream Phone boy calibre.
Love you all
Felix '3'

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How do you pronounce Felix? Is the e as in feel or as in felt? My native language is german, so I would tend towards the latter.

I'm down with different pronunciations in different languages! In Canada we have two languages - in english we say feel-ix but in french we say fey-leeks, and I happily embrace both. My german family doesn't call me Felix so I'm not sure how they'd pronounce my name, but if in Germany it'd be fell-ix instead of feel-ix I'm into it.
Basically, names have different pronunciations in different languages. The rest of my names are from Tolkien books and have ....a pronunciation guide that nobody friggin follows anyway, so I've never been hung up on the way people say my name. So long as the intention is there, and most of the syllables are the same, I'll happily answer to it!
This is like how my friends named Steven are Estevan or Stefan depending on where they are, which is way tougher to keep track of sometimes!

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So I just noticed you have Iron Galaxy in your bio on Twitter. How long have you worked there and what do you do for them? Great seeing you on the Big Live Live Show!

Hey! So I started on contract with IG recently (just after GDC) doing PR, logistics, and other such nonsense for their indies - they're publishing three games this year:
-Gunsport (gunsport.tv) by @necrosoftgames
-VIDEOBALL (videoball.net) by @108
-CAPSULE FORCE (capsuleforce.com) by @klobitgames
They're all competitive multiplayer games, they're all wicked fun, and they're all coming out later this year!
Thanks for watching our ridiculous hungover faces on the Big Live Live Show, it was a blast - hope to do it again sometime. With Dave of course. Maybe.

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I don't know coding (dabbled in game maker) but enjoy writing stories and dialogue. Should I advertise myself as a writer to game devs or should I take the plunge and teach myself an engine? P.S. Your hair is always dope and on point.

You don't need to be a coder to make a game!
Write your ideas down, they're good ideas. Write them all down.
You can always meet people who will fill your team. Do you feel the need or desire to be a programmer? If so, then learn! There are lots of resources to help you out. If not, then continue with your passion - the more you write and design scenarios and interactions, the more of a game you'll create. Coding is just one aspect.
Good writers combine with other good team members - artists, programmers, designers, producers, everyone - to create good games. There are many roles. Focus on the ones you love most, and you'll find it easier to be really good at them. I am of the opinion that if you don't want to code/draw/write, the energy you might spend frustrated over learning the skill is better spent meeting people who already have a passion for it and want to work with you.
It takes many people, truly. No need to lone wolf it.

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If we meet in a grocery store and reach for the same bag of doritos and I let you take it but you insist I got there first and it's the last bag and we're both hungry and the PA starts playing Enya and I'm crying and it's awkward for everyone am I allowed to call you The Gooch? The bag is Cool Ranch

TRICK QUESTION. Why would I ever reach for Cool Ranch Doritos when there is Spicy Nacho or Jalapeno available to me
COME ON

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