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Felicia Day on #gamergate and why it pays to be weird

The Internet’s favorite geek girl Felicia Day talks #gamergate and how the Internet helped her discover her true self.
Felicia Day
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Felicia Day is the Internet personified. Similarly to searching online for any oddball obsession that might be looked down upon in real life, the "You're Never Weird On The Internet" author is open to trying pretty much anything, which she proves time and time again on her YouTube series “The Flog.” Just this season, she’s attempted pole dancing, fencing and neon sign making.

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With 1.4 million YouTube subscribers, the gamer, actress (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”; “Supernatural”), writer and producer, Day has a fanbase that expands across multiple mediums. But her new memoiris the first time she’s shared her story, thus far, in its entirety.
Internet connection
“I think it’s a normal human impulse to want to connect with people and growing up I was homeschooled, which didn’t allow me to connect with a lot of people in the real world,” Day tells us of why she looked online to make friends. “As far as I remember, technology was a vehicle for meeting people and sharing my enthusiasm about something.”

A lot of Day’s personal interests, like gaming, comics and math, aren’t typically associated with woman and the 36-year-old says she's faced a lot of sexism as a result. But her online support team has her back. “There’s a lot of pressure to conform to the cliché of what we look like, and that’s why the Internet is an amazing place--because it’s really about your personality,” she says. “I think it’s a beautiful thing to counter the expectations of people either based on your gender or race, standing up and saying, ‘you’re ill-informed.’” Day herself as proven to do this time and time again.

Related: Suck at math? Blame your parents

#gamergate
Of course the Internet hasn’t always been warm and fuzzy for her. Last year, Day’s personal information, including her address, was released online, subjecting her to being the target of stalkers.

“It was a very hurtful incident in my life and not just personally, but because I love gaming and I love spreading the love of gaming,” she says. “That’s not my world of gaming. I know wonderful people through it and I would hate for someone to be dissuaded from being a part of the gaming world because of that incident. It’s very sad.”

Finding your superpower
There is a whole chapter in the book devoted to #gamergate, where Day describes what it was like for her, something she hopes others will learn from. In fact, she hopes her memoir as a whole will spread positivity and inspire readers to be their own authentic weird selves.

“Our uniqueness is what we have to offer to the world,” she says. “Your weirdness is your superpower and you shouldn’t give up your superpower just because other people tell you to. That’s the worst plot for a superhero movie.”

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

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