AlienMewn: Thoughts on games, representation, and more in 2022

Get to know Skylar Allen, the dedicated variety streamer on Twitch.

Building an audience as a content creator is no small feat. Few see a prominent community grow on platforms like Twitch. While the task is arduous, it isn’t impossible. Those who break through and see success find a formula, so we sought out one streamer who hit the sweet spot.

Interview with Skylar Allen Canadian Variety Streamer

AlienMewn Twitch Streamer interview
Image via AlienMewn

Our first interview on Press SPACE to Jump highlights Skylar Allen, AKA AlienMewn. With years of experience on Twitch and thousands of followers, they created a positive community on Twitch with consistent growth. We asked how they facilitated this triumph and saw what streaming means to them. This interview features strong language.

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I think it’s essential that people know who you are, what you stream, your pronouns, and you long you’ve been streaming.

Skylar: Alright, well I’m Skylar Allen. My Username on Twitch is AlienMewn, I’ve been a streamer on Twitch for the last four years. I stream mostly Nintendo and community games with chat and I focus my attention on building an inclusive community where people can feel safe and accepted for who they are. [Pronouns are they/he]

Tai: Yeah, that’s a good segue into what I want to talk about. The reason I wanted to interview you is because your community guidelines intertwine with Press SPACE to Jump. . . I thought that was something noteworthy because Twitch can have all types of communities, and not all of them are good, but you’ve seemed to cultivate a community with very little, if any, problems.

Skylar: Yeah, thank you! I do feel that way. I feel like I don’t have to moderate, ever. Like, it’s very rare that we get any trolls or anything.

I wanted to get your opinion on how your community ended up as inclusive and accepting [as it is.]

Skylar: Well, first of all, thank you for the compliments on the community, I’m really glad that they decided to surround me. I’m so so so lucky to have all the friends that I do. . . Well I remember when I first started streaming I would say I had a lot more issues. I guess because . . . I didn’t really showcase my personality very much and I didn’t focus on being real I guess? It was more like ‘Oh I’m just gonna stream me playing a game and be this personality. . . ‘

I starting being more myself I guess. I think on my streams, very often, we talk about personal growth and reassurance for each other. We reassure each other when we’re feeling insecure or we’re having problems. We normally stick together and make each other feel less alone. I would say being more real I think. Not being this image and actually being myself.

Tai: Yeah I think it’s interesting you said that. A lot of times when I would stream I felt pressured to be this personality whether you’re having an off day [or not.] Like ‘Oh I gotta pretend to be really happy because I’m about to stream or pretend to be really energetic when I’m really tired that day and that can really drain you really quickly. If you’re not someone who does this kind of content regularly it can be hard to really know that.

Skylar: Mhmm. I mean I think there’s different content everywhere that works, but in my personal experience what I feel has worked for me to feel successful with what I do I’m not a massive streamer, I’m not like anything important. What I mean is, success doesn’t mean being popular being whatever, whatever. It’s more like I feel successful because I’m surrounded by a good communty and I feel cared for and stuff, right? So I feel what worked for me was just being yourself.

So if I’m having an off day, If I’m having a bad day, I will often tell people ‘you know I had a stressful day, I’m glad to be here with you guys, though. You guys always make me feel better.’ And I really do mean that every time I say it, you know? Like they’ll say it too. . . that’s normally how it goes. I never really lie, really. . . I just always act myself and that works for me and that makes me feel successful.

Tai: Yeah I think it can be easy, especially in streaming to [associate] success with numbers.

Skylar: Yeah that’s not, for me, what success means at all.

Tai: Yeah I’ve seen a lot of people, streamers, who are larger who just don’t seem happy.

Skylar: Exactly.

Tai: A lot of times I think in content creation chasing those big numbers and I’ve experience this in my previous jobs where I worked in game journalism where people. . . they were more focused on getting numbers than they were really making sure people were really happy with those numbers.

. . . My first job I worked at [REDACTED] and they have such big numbers online but ultimately, people who work there are very miserable because they’re treated very poorly. So yeah they get these big numbers, and they’re very successful, but at what cost? Is it worth having all these people working under you be so sad and depressed. [They’re fine] being a company that doesn’t treat people the way they deserve to be treated. . . When you focus on numbers [I feel] you forget what’s really important.

Skylar: That’s why people say money doesn’t buy happiness. [Because] of course money can ‘buy happiness’ right? But the deeper meaning of that is money doesn’t make you truly truly a happy person you know? Like, it can make things easier, it can make life better but what makes a person happy is much more than just paper or numbers, right?

Tai: Yeah. . . It’s easy to think otherwise, but yeah. Especially after [I stopped] working at the other places I was working I realized I’d rather be part of a small team, you know, with similar ideals to make something different. Just to kind of break the mold because I really love video games, I know you love video games and I know a ton of people that love video games that just don’t have a voice that I think they should in games, in general.

Skylar: You know, you may have a small thing now, but you just started, first of all, right? And you will have organic growth and organic growth for me in the end is more successful becasue it has a more solid foundation whereas a lot of people with, I mean not always, but a lot of cases where people just focus on numbers. . .

They have a lot of money, or whatever, you know what I’m trying to say, but it feels empty and a lot of time companies and shit will fail because the quality of the product ends up being so low eventaally. [This is] because they’re so focused on numbers and money. I see it happen all the time with companies. They fail because they’re not taking care of the people.

Tai: Yeah I mean. . . when you sit down and look at numbers it can be easy to forget there’s people behind all these projects.

Skylar: Yeah, exactly.

Tai: People are struggling so much right now because a lot of place are forgetting that people are people, not just machines to work [and] I think it’s very important that people understand that the people that make this [industry] are what makes it special. That’s why indie games thrive so much because indie games are [made by] people who are able to make games without restrictions. . .

I mean Cuphead’s an indie game and it’s made by what? 20 people? Because they were able to do what they want. They wanted to make a hand-drawn game and make this incredible project no matter how long it took, which a lot of companies would be outright appauled by because they’re not turning over the project in . . . 6 to 12 months.

Skylar: Yeah there’s not this very intense deadline where everyone’s being rushed and people aren’t taking care of themselves: not sleeping not eating. The product ends up being lower quality when you do those things.

What are some of your favorite games and experiences?

Skylar: Oh! Okay, my favorite games. . . Well I have five favorites: I have Star Fox 64, Smash Bros. 64, Crash Bandicoot, I would say the N’ Sane Trilogy because it has all of them, so I get to [have them all] still top five because technically N. Sane Trilogy has all three so. . . anyways [the next is] Cuphead, and [lastly] Donkey Kong Country.

Those ones are the ones that I . . . I just love them so much and had such great memories with them.

Tai: Cuphead’s one of my favorites as well, I really love Cuphead. God of War 2018’s in mine, Persona 5 Royal. Love those. What else is in mine?

Skylar: You had a list on your bio, I remember. I remember seeing Persona. Did you say Persona 4 as well or something?

Tai: Oh no, in general, Final Fantasy XIV, and then Pokémon overall. I really like the Pokémon franchise.

Skylar: Oh yeah, yeah yeah.

Tai: Let me see what else. . . Yeah I like . . . I don’t think I could narrow it down to just five. I like to kind of break them down by genre.

Skylar: Yeah that’s fair too.

Tai: Yeah my favorite JRPG is Final Fantasy XIV or Persona 5 Royal. [Actually] Persona 5 Royal’s my favorite.

Skylar: Yeah it’s a lot of people’s favorite, it’s really good.

Tai: And it’s finally coming to the [Nintendo] Switch too so more people can play it.

Skylar: I know! I heard. The Switch is always late though.

Tai: Yeah it only took them, what’s that five years now?

Skylar: Yeah, yeah. Honestly video games mean a lot to me because my earliest, happiest memories. . . I didn’t have a very good childhood. I had a fuckin’ horrible, sad childhood, but some of my fondest memories [were] in video games. Specifically N64.

My very first game was Super Mario Land for GameBoy, so black and white, you know. I remember I was like fuckin’ four or three years old, I don’t know. But I remember getting an N64. I played a lot of SNES before the N64 as well but the N64, man, like I was obsessed with it. My brother and I played a lot of it. He’s [disabled] so it was kind his escape as well and it’s how we bonded. So whenever I think about video games I think about those memories as my escape and my ability to bond with my brother, like those things though.

Yeah I think that for a lot of people video games kind of do that. Offer an escape and a chance to bond with others you know? You know it even teaches you things, too. I think it teaches a lot.

Tai: Yeah I agree. One of our staff members actually went to college to make video games. He’s [our] video editior. If you saw the [Cuphead] video guides I put in. He put our graphic on the beginning. He wants to make video games, as he’s always been really passionate. He loves, specifically, narrative video games. He fell in love with Uncharted because it’s four games following the same guy and his journey. He loves stuff like that, The Last of Us Part I and II. He thinks those are like. . .those are some of his favorite games.

I mean when he played that game [The Last of Us Part II] he went radio silent for a week. He said “don’t expect to here from me for seven days. I’m going to play this game and I’m going to reflect on it” and he was not joking.

I think I’m very much the same [as you, though.] I think what I like about games is, I have really bad anxiety and that’s like the one place I can go and my anxiety kind of shuts off. That’s the one place I go and my brain just doesn’t consistently give me stuff to stress about. I can just enjoy the moment and it’s just kind of an escape for me. I just love seeing someone’s passion brought to life.

Skylar: Yes!

Tai: Specifially, I love games like Cuphead and God of War because you can tell the team behind that is very driven. They had a vision they wanted to do and they love it.

Skylar: It’s really an art, you know? I think a lot of people fail to see that. When people who don’t play games, they think about video games [and say] “aw it’s just for fuckin’ immature people and it’s such a waste of time” or whatever but it’s like, we all enjoy movies right? Theater. Going to see art at an art museum. . . I don’t fucking know, right? Video games [are art] too. Video games have a massive amount of art and it’s so creative.

Going back to narrative games as well, I enjoy watching those even more than movies sometimes because you’re really immersed into the world better than just a movie does for you if that makes sense. You’re really a part of the story. You get so much more involved and it’s longer too. Yeah, and so much passion, so much work [goes] into what people do in video games, you can really see that.

Tai: Yeah that’s why I like games, [especially] recently I really like Sony in general because they’ve been pushing that games are not [only] for kids for a while. With their titles like The Last of Us, they explicitly say that’s for adults. That is a serious story. God of War 2018 and God of War Ragnarok are M rated games that tell very serious stories. . . Their narrative stories [lately are] firing on all cylinders. I love their narrative push, [as they] brought games [to the] forefront.

It’s brought games being more than [just] for kids [forward.] You see more people [say] “oh I really want to check that out that looks really cool.” It’s everyday people that look at this stuff and it turn their heads. . . I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to understand that [games] are not just a kids thing. . .

There’s something [for every] type [of player.] I used to think I didn’t like certain genres of games, and I would play a game from a really talented and creative developer and think “I don’t dislike that genre.” I just didn’t like what I had played so far.

Skylar: Yeah! That’s a very good point. Because there’s a lot of . . . [first off] I’m more of a platformer person. I really like platformers and racing games but I’ve played games that aren’t those two types of [games] and I was so obsessed with [them.]

For example. I actually love [The Legend of Zelda] Breath of the Wild. I love open world games, don’t get me wrong, but I normally get kind of bored kinda quickly and I dont finish the game or I get sidetracked. Breath of the Wild, I was fucking obsessed with you know, because it was so good. I just really like that game. Sometimes the games just so fucking good, I don’t know.

Tai: I think Breath of the WIld is one of my. . . that’s in my top. . .that’s one of my top games. I think it’s my favorite open world game. Yeah on my list I have it as my favorite open world game because I was in the same spot where I was getting bored with openworld games. When I heard it was open world I kind of rolled my eyes, like great another one. Then I played it and [said] “Oh my god this is what open world games should be like. It was one of those experience where it changed open world games for me in general.

Skylar: I think [it was] for a lot of people too. It was just so good, so different.

Tai: Another example [for me] was, I thought I depised roguelikes and then I played Hades. . . I’ll play Hades regularly and I almost never play games regularly.

Skylar: Oh man that game’s really good. I didn’t play it myself but I know it’s really good and the art, holy shit, the art.

What was your experience like coming out as an established streamer?

Skylar: Oof. I was really nervous. I was concered with how the community, and people in general would view me as a person because I think nonbinary can confuse people. It’s not so black and white as identifying as male of female. So, I feel like I’m a bit of everything and my pronouns are they/he but I understand in public I appear very feminine and people see me as a female upon first glance but I don’t consider myself a woman at all, not even really a man. I’m sort of just like a genderless blob, right?

However, the community really overwhelmed me with their love and understanding. They respected me. They did their best to make me comfortable and they reminded me that it was okay to be me. They were so fucking amazing. And those who didn’t like me anymore after the change, after I came out, well I kind of realized they didn’t really matter after all. I’d rather not have anyone with that sort of gender phobia in my chatroom, anyways. Even if I wasn’t nonbinary I wouldn’t want that in case I had other nonbinary people in my chat, right? I think of it kind of like getting rid of the weeds in the garden, so to speak, since I came out.

But yeah, I was honestly very pleasantly surprised and it made me more attached to my community and I feel like we became even closer and more inclusive. People in the community that didn’t say before they were trans, nonbinary, whatever it was, they came out to me more. I added the pronoun extension as well to my chat room and people really seem to like that and use it. It’s really beautiful to see that, to see inclusivity.

It was really nice. It was a really nice change overall but it was very scary. Holy shit, I was terrified.

Tai: I mean I think it can be very scary in general trying to figure yourself out, but it’s nice to hear your perspective because I feel like everyone’s perspective and their experience is different. I understand how it could be intimidating especially because you had an audience already and it can be stressful to think of how that’ll go but it’s very nice to hear that your community was very welcoming and didn’t see you any different because of you coming out and just being yourself.

Skylar: Yeah, actually a couple of viewers were actually like “yeah I kind of already felt like you were. I was like “Oh okay is it that obvious?” But everyone was so, especially with the name change I think that was the scariest part. I don’t dislike my dead name it’s just that it isn’t me. It’s not gender neutral so I wanted something gender neutral so I came up with a first and last name I felt suited me better. I like that a lot of people are calling me Sky now and yeah, it’s really nice.

Tai: I know it can be a bit. . .

Skylar: Daunting

Tai: Yeah, Daunting

Do you feel like your community had to take time to adjust to the changes?

Skylar: Oh yeah, of course. They were very responsive, well most of them, but of course. It took time. Even now still I get people [that deadname me.] They correct themselves. What’s really nice is when they mess up my pronouns or my name, especially in chat or Discord the community will [tell them] “hey they actually go by this now. I don’t even have to say it.

Sometimes I get very shy [about] say[ing] something because I don’t want problems or whatever. I don’t know sometimes I get kind of shy but the community is so supportive and not mean about it they don’t beat the person down. They say “Hey, their name is Skylar, their pronouns are they/he. That’s really. . . I love that. Oh man, I love how my community is, even dealing when someone being mean to me . . .they’re so chill at like handling situations. It’s so nice to see that. Anyways sorry I’m trailing off.

Tai: Yeah I think that’s very apt because not everyone’s going to pick it up instantaneously but it is nice that you don’t have to say anything anymore. You have your community pretty much step up and say things and pretty much have your back on that.

Skylar: Yeah they do. It’s like everyone has each other’s back and its so just so cute. So cute.

Tai: I think it’s very encouraging prospect for Twitch, even though Twitch has its problems. Because I know others have, unfortunately, gone through less than stellar experiences.

Skylar: Yeah.

Do you think Twitch as a whole could do a better job supporting the LGBTQIA Community?

Skylar: Well I guess I don’t know. I’m just gonna say that I’m not too big on paying attention to most things. . .however, I could definitely see them trying but there’s one thing I found very questionable. Remember when they banned those three words: Incel, virgin, and simp?

Tai: Yeah I remember that.

Skylar: I wondered why not the [homophobic] F word or even the N word like words people actually use to impose harm on others and minorities. I felt that would have taken priority, but I haven’t seen them ban those words either. I guess those were words they wanted to ban sure, I guess, but it’s been a couple years now I think now right? It’s been like two years and they haven’t banned any other words that are constantly used against minorities, you know? Like come on Twitch. Honestly Twitch. . .they confused me pretty much with their decisions.

That’s my opinion. I don’t know their direction, I don’t know who they really support. Sometimes they feel like a company that just sort of. . .You know during Pride month where all the companies are saying something super suportive [to the] LGBT [and] temporarily change their picture to a fucking rainbow flag and then after the month it’s like: All right we’re moving on. You know, it’s a publicity thing. I don’t know, you know?

Tai: To me they feel kind of like fence-sitters. They don’t want to take any stark position on anything because they don’t want to offend anyone but at the same time by doing that they’re offending everyone.

Skylar: Yeah, i think like honestly [that is one of] the most comfusing thing about Twitch was when that happened. Like Seriously? You’re mad about people using incel and virgin and simp and you’re not going to take any action against people using N words in chat or you know the F word. . . like nothing, you’re not going to do anything about that? We’re not touching that subject at all. Great. Cool, you know? Like what the fuck. Let’s not offend the incels, oh god!

Tai: For me it was when they banned the word[s] ‘blind playthrough.’

Skylar: [When did] they do that?

Tai: I’m pretty sure they removed blind playthrough, like you can’t say that anymore. That’s not a tag anymore.

Skylar: Wait, why?

Tai: Because they said it was offensive to blind people. . . and nobody agreed with them. I’m pretty sure they removed that as a tag. Yep they changed it to ‘first playthrough.’ The blind playthrough tag is now gone. . . And I remember people saying “so this is where we’re going to focus our energy?”

Skylar: I will say they did add a lot of tags and that did make me happy. That was good, but the problem with that is they added all these tags and didn’t add too much protection, however, to people using tags. Because once that started happening we started getting those attacks.

I just think they definitely can do a lot more. I’m waiting to see that. I’m waiting to see Twitch do more for the vulnerable people on Twitch. So, I wouldn’t. . .So my stance on this question is: I’m confused. I don’t know.

Tai: Part of the reason I took a hiatus from streaming was because when the hate raids started and all that stuff. [I thought] I can’t with y’all right now. Because the hate raids became horrible, they didn’t want to say anything about it, and black creators, specifically were being targeted. [I thought] yeah, so you’re not going to do anything for my community, I’m not going to stream until y’all figure this shit out. I didn’t want to subject myself to that treatment and I was tired of them kind of ignoring it.

Skylar: Yeah, that’s exactly what happened.

Tai: I probably start streaming again but it was disappointing to see them, like you said, focus on things no one’s complaining about and then to go and get rid of the word incel first and formost.

Skylar: It’s just more of a fucking joke, dude. Like, what do you mean? Please don’t offend the simps and the incels because they’re very fragile and vulnerable community. Oh boy. Hello?

Tai: It just seems so removed for me.

Skylar: Oh god, yeah.

Tai: I think they don’t really get, they don’t really understand. They remind me of Nintendo in a lot of ways where they just seem kind of removed.

Skylar: Yeah, yeah.

Tai: They’re sort of a conundrum to me.

If you could change anything about Twitch, what is something you’d like to see implemented?

Skylar: Oh boy. Something I could change on Twitch. I would like to feel what we were talking about. Them taking a stand for people. I would like to feel that more. I would like them to offer more protection to their vulnerable communities. Not just an ‘oh you can be on front page, person who’s part of LGBT.’

I want [Twitch] to actually, really make [their] stance with us. Like really make us feel like,. and not just LGBT but also people of color. Those are vulnerable communities that I feel they aren’t making feel safe. I would like them to more for the cyberbullying attacks. Make us feel safer, that’s what I want. People in general.

Tai: Yeah I agree with that, I think them taking a stance and being proactive instead of waiting for a problem before they stop. Put precautions in place; I feel like that’s something they should do. It just feels like a no-brainer to people in the community, but I feel like they’d have to involve themselves a bit more in the communities that they’re looking out for. Like you said I feel like vulnerable communities are the ones taking the hits right now and it really doesn’t have to be that way.

Skylar: Yeah. It’s really unfair. It’s really shitty.

Tai: Stepping away from Twitch for a bit, my next question is. . .

As a non-binary streamer, do you feel like you’re accurately represented in games media?

Skylar: Oh. Do I? Honestly, I think in general being non-binary or even as a pansexual, because I’m a pansexual, I don’t see too much media on a wide scale representing my demographic. I remember Boyfriend Dungeon and a couple of other games, but not really many mainstream games that I can think of where I see a non-binary icon. I just want to see more normalization, games or movies, whatever.

They don’t have to make a big deal about a character being non-binary, or, any icon of LGBT for that matter. The point is that they start doing it. There are a lot of people out there that need more representation in general. I’m starting to see it though, it’s not that I’m not, I just can’t say, to answer your question, do I feel represented? No. Not really. Not very often. I don’t know.

Tai: Yeah I had to look up a list of non-binary video game characters because I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head.

Skylar: Right, and that’s the issue.

Representation in games

Tai: I remember Fl4k from Borderlands 3. I remember that being a big deal when that happened. Fl4k is a non-binary character in Borderlands 3, one of the main characters. Apparently Birdo from Mario is.

Skylar: Oh yeah, I think Birdo is supposed to be trans.

Tai: I did not know that.

Skylar: Yeah, yeah that I knew. In the Japanese version it was more obvious but they Americanized Birdo to be female I think, or something like that. Anyway, go on.

Tai: I just think as a black man we’re getting to the point where we’re finally getting accurate representation for my community [and i would like the same for you.] I remember Deathloop came out and had a primary black cast. It was a black protagonist and black antagonist and it wasn’t a bunch of sterotypes and I remember really enjoying that. Imagine that, you can make two black characters the main characters and they’re not going to be a bunch of walking sterotypes and make me roll my eyes.

Skylar: Oh my god, yeah it’s so bad. The stereotyping is so bad. And I also always noticed in media if there’s a black guy in something, they’re always the ones to die first. Have you noticed that?

Tai: Yep.

Skylar: Or black people are comedic relief. Gay people are always just comedic relief.

Tai: Yeah if you ever saw the Nickelodeon show Danny Phantom his best friend, the black guy was the comedic relief. There are certain games that are breaking the trend like Lee in The Walking Dead was fantastic. Barett in Final Fantasy VII Remake is really good. Characters I can think of that I absolutely don’t like are. . . Prototype 2 had a black lead and he just cursed every other word and it drove me insane.

Skylar: Oh I remember Prototype 2, yeah.

Tai: Miles Morales [from Spider-Man, however,] was fantastic.

Skylar: I fucking love that movie so much, he was black and Latino.

Tai: Have you played the game?

Skylar: No, but Berto (Skylar’s partner) did and he told me it was amazing!

Tai: Yeah they focus more on his Latino heritage in the game which is nice. He also honors his black heritage which is cool. The game’s really well done. The [original] game [launched] on PC August 12, so that [was] definitely worth. I love Miles Morales, he’s probably my favorite superhero.

Skylar: I remember Berto coming to my room after he finished it and he was crying. But yeah I agree too. Honestly Miles, I really love characters with electricity and shit like that. That’s so sick, he’s so cool, his outfit’s so fucking cool. But yeah I can definitely see more and more representation and I’m really happy for people of color for that.

Representation in other forms of media.

Tai: I like that. Another really cool person of color in media recently is Ms. Marvel. I’ve liked her comics since they came out in 2013, but she’s a Pakistani superhero. A Muslim-Pakistani superhero.

Skylar: I barely see a Pakistani [character] ever.

Tai: In media in general. It’s been review bombed because of people who are Islamophobic. Because not only is she a woman but she’s a woman of color and Muslim, so people were losing their shit when her show came out. I think she’s one of my favorite comic book characters of all time. She has such an interesting and powerful story.

She’s the daughter of immigrants who came to America, she deals with a lot of prejudice but she’s still a superhero. She’s really cool, she’s a big nerd who loves superheroes. Even though people descriminate [against] her she still treats them with respect.

Skylar: People even descriminated against, people got mad about Turning Red. [They said] ‘It’s not relatable because who fucking cares about a Chinese girl in Toronto? I can’t watch this with my kids because it’s about periods!’ No [they’re] just upset that it’s about a Chinese girl. Not relatable? How do you think Chinese people feel?

Tai: Right? So the biggest thing that Iman Vellani, the girl who plays Ms. Marvel said ‘I hope my story reaches a lot of the people hating on the show. I know it’s scary to see change, and this show represents [that] change that they’re very uncomfortable with. If people are uncomfortable with my heritage and the story but I hope they like the show.’ And of course the comments go to ‘why does she have to make it about race?’

Skylar: Because it is about race!

Tai: What other reason are people who haven’t seen the show giving it one star [ratings] on review sites? It’s very obvious to me that there’s an underlying theme of racism there even though the people saying [these things] don’t want to accept that. That’s what it is.

She’s a woman of color, and not only [that], but she’s Muslim and the west in general has a bad Islamophobia problem.

Skylar: It’s so fucking stupid. . . It’s so so dumb.

Tai: It’s so obvious [hearing those things] from the people speaking against it. I really enjoy the show because I’m happy for people, because like you said, I can’t think of the last piece of media that focused on Muslim heritage. Like it’s not my favorite Marvel show, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s going to be some little girl’s favorite show. [Imagine] a Pakistani girl who can relate to a superhero and can feel loved and appreciated.

Skylar: Yeah, exactly, we need to have more, we really need to have more representation. I remember, in regards to me being pansexual, the first show I watched with a pansexual in it was Schitt’s Creek.

Tai: Really?

Skylar: Yeah! The character David is pansexual and it was so good. They didn’t really make a big deal out of it, they just had a very small scene where someone [says] ‘Oh I took you as someone who only drank red wine.’ Because they were at a wine store. [David says] ‘Sometimes I like white wine, and sometimes I like a bit of both.’ The way they explained it was really cute. It wasn’t a big deal and it was just nice to see that, finally. I’ve never seen a pansexual, ever [in television.] I’ve seen lesbian [characters], I’ve seen gay [characters] but I’ve never seen pansexual so that was really cool.

Tai: I would agree with you though that games and media could do a better job with representation. We’re starting to get to that point, but seeing how [much] people are getting upset about it, it obvious as a minority group. You can look and [say] ‘Oh I know why you’re saying that.’ With the new Thor movie, with the Mighty Thor being a woman, I remember people getting real pissed about that.

Skylar: Yep, I remember seeing the comments on Twitter. I really loved that movie, I thought it was really funny and that it had a great ending. It was a super fun movie. It’s not award-winning but it was really fun and it was well-written for what it was. It’s fine if someone doesn’t like it but I saw so many comments talking about ‘another movie I can’t show my kids because of the gay content. It is so inappropriate. It was so stupid.

Tai: God forbid there’s a non-straight character in the movie (Valyrie).

Skylar: Yeah [a lot of people] think [Marvel] is sexualizing it, but, [they’re] sexualizing it. What about all the heterosexual [content] that’s on kids stuff that is so much more sexualized than a woman saying ‘yeah I loved a woman before.’

Tai: Literally two lines and people lose their minds. The funny thing for me was, Anthony Mackie, after Falcon and the Winter Soldier became the new Captain America. People said ‘I just hope they don’t make the new Captain America movie political.’ I just sat there for a second and looked at my screen. You want to do a Captain America [movie] without being political?

That is the whole point of the character. The whole character arc, all the movies, are about politics. The first movie is literally World War II. The sequel is about a branch of the American government being corrupt and him dealing with that, and the third [harps on] government fallout after [unsucessfully] policing superheroes and forcing them to do thing they dont agree with.

They want a movie with a black Captain America without politics? Have fun with that, it’s not going to happen, I’ll tell you that right now.

Skylar: I’m hoping for that. I want to see that, it’s inspiring. Especially in a time right now where we’re pushing for change. I think it’s perfect to have a black Captain America, that was so perfect.

Tai: The first volume of [Sam Wilson’s] Captain America comic books. . . because he becomes Captain America in the comics, [has a tagline of] ‘Not My Captain America’ because that’s what he got all the time. It’s calling attention to the exact same thing people are doing on social media right now [that] don’t understand they’re literally being satirized in the show.

I always tell my family this, I think the reason we’re getting so much pushback right now is because anytime there’s a large change, there’s pushback from the other side that’s really afraid of that. I think this is their last big push, because things are going to shift [with future generations.]

How politics impact marginalized community members

Skylar: What really sucked though was that Trump was in power and that fucked up a lot for us. He really made some terrible groups of people come together. From what I understand [as a Canadian looking in on American politics] there were people on the Supreme Court who were hired because of Trump and they do not get out of power unless they die, right?

Tai: Yep.

Skylar: And those are the same people that are essentially banning abortion, right? America is so fucked because of him. Oh yeah he was a totally better choice than Hillary Clinton.

Tai: I still struggle with resentment for people who voted for him, even in 2016 because they said ‘how bad could it be?’ This is how bad it could be, because he handpicked very religious fanatical people to put in that court that outright lied under oath and said they wouldn’t mess with Roe v. Wade even though 70% of Americans agree that abortion should be legal, they just decided, ‘nah we’re not going to listen.’

Skylar: It is sad dude, I weep for my American friends

Tai: It’s frustrating that we’ll have to take another decade to undo all the mess he’s caused. All the people he’s put in power, I don’t know if they’re doing to stick around because one of the justices [had] a fit because people came to the resteraunt he was eating at and were protesting outside the resteraunt.

Skylar: Yeah, good.

Tai: People keep finding him and protesting. I [said] you should understand that if you’re going to make others lives miserable, they’re going to let you know they’re unhappy, so I don’t really care that you’re uncomfortable at the five-star steakhouse you’re eating at.

Skylar: Yeah, you’re a shit person, take this.

Tai: Most people who don’t like them know them by name. Those justices have made life really bad for a lot of people. Alito, Thomas, Conet Barrett, Kavanaugh, [and] Gorsuch. Those are the five that I know by name. . . Honestly I think Kavanaugh will quit because the one that’s crying about people protesting. People came to his house and he was freaking out [at the] protests. Sucks to suck.

Skylar: I really hope people don’t give up and keep doing it, it’s working.

Tai: If they’re this uncomfortable this fast, they’re not going to last and if they leave, good on them.

Skylar: Are they old?

Tai: Kavanaugh? No. He’s 57. . . It’s frustrating but it’s the last push before we see a big change. They’re just going to piss people off to the point it changes even more. That’s all this is going to do.

Skylar: Oh yeah, people are going to keep [fighting for change.]

Tai: This is a hurtle but we’ll get through it. It sucks, but it’s one of the reasons we made this site. We wanted to be a more positive and inclusive community towards gaming in general because a lot of these issues [correlated] to gaming specifically. Being a good person is something I feel I should do.

Skylar: I understand completely I really do. I really get that, it’s the same feeling I get when people [bring up] ‘oh you did so good for charity.’ I feel like this is something so simple that I can just do and it’s not even me it’s my community gifting to charity. We can all do this. I understand what you mean. It’s basic human decency we should see more of in the world.

Skylar Allen’s Charity Stream

Tai: Did you want to talk about your charity stream, because we haven’t mentioned it. What charity did you raise money for and [did your] community [do.]

Skylar: Unified for Pride. Unified for Pride collect [donations] for LGBT organizations. They raise money for other charities that do LGBT work. It’s a collective [effort.] It was for pride and we raised $520 for the cause in [about] three hours. I love doing charity work and seeing people come together.

Tai: Doing things like that can be really impactful. Just raising awareness for stuff like that is really important.

Skylar: Exactly. Even if it’s $10 that doesn’t matter, anything that goes toward the charity and any possibility that you’re raising awareness, right?

Tai: Even if you don’t have money, retweeting someone’s charity [can do wonders.] People don’t realize how important [gestures like that] are. Even if someone you know doesn’t contribute, it does show algorithms [that there is interest.]

Skylar: Yeah. I feel like everyone was very supportive. I got [several] raids and [others] contributed in whatever way they could. Even hanging out during the stream.

Tai: Yeah you do a lot of really good work [through your] community. That’s part of the reason I wanted to interview you, because you’ve had such a positive impact on others. [That and] your morals align a lot with what our site represents. I want to make sure you get spotlight [for your efforts.] You’re someone who speaks to our mission, which is to help people of all walks, especially marginalized people, feel like they have a place in games. Especially now when life is hard [collectively,] games can be a great escape from that. I appreciate you taking time out to talk to me and [get] your perspective on a lot of [things.]

Skylar: Yeah, I really like talking with you. I love your brain, you have a beautiful brain.

Tai: Thank you. It’s nice to see the good, even a small group of people, at times can do, though you’re not as small as you make yourself out to be!

For more in-depth interviews, stay tuned to Press SPACE to Jump!

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Tai Hofmann
Tai Hofmann

I'm Tai, the New Games lead, Writer, and Editor for Press SPACE to Jump. My first memory is forcing my parents to play 50-round games of Mario Party on the N64. Now I love games on all platforms and hone in on new releases. Some of my favorite titles include Final Fantasy XIV, Cuphead, God of War 2018, Persona 5, and Smash Bros.

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