Before I watched the documentary, I thought about the title: Trans Gamer.
I am going to confess that I am ignorant when it comes to the LGBTQ community especially when it comes to being transgender. I know what it is in the dictionary sense, but I haven’t learnt what it actually means; so I do apologise if I say anything upsetting or use the wrong pronouns in this review. I will take the time to read over it and be careful.
Transgender: I know this as the main term for someone who has chosen to identify with a different gender to the one they were physically born with, males or female. As of 2021 transgender people are still at the minority.
Gamer: Someone who passionately plays games for a hobby, the gaming community is ever-growing, especially as many people have spent more time at home over the past year. I am not part of this community either, but I do know that it is more accepting when it comes to genders than in everyday life.
Female gamers are more and more respected each day, as people now believe that females can play and understand games just as well as males can. Also the stereotype against male gamers being “nerds” is slowly dying with the help of more “socially confident” YouTubers who game and stream.
But I can’t help but wonder, why is trans-gaming a topic? Surely if the gaming community accepts men and women, there isn’t much to talk about. I still have not watched the documentary yet, as I want to think about the topic more.
I am trying to predict and understand what the documentary might be about, as I have chosen to only know the name of it. Will I be learning about an issue that that trans-gamers go through? What could be the problem? I think about how some gamers use voice chat to team up with strangers? Could it be because some trans gamers are not able to “match the voice” of their new identity, and this causes negativity online? That’s one possibility that I have thought of as to why trans-gaming is a topic.
My second theory was that the documentary will show me how it allows gamers to become a completely new person online, allowing them to rediscover themselves online almost anonymously, experimenting with usernames as new names they may want to use.
I am excited to see what I am going to learn in this short documentary, I am going to press play now.
Watching the documentary
The TransGamer documentary is about the world of gaming through the eyes of Pascal, a non-binary person, to whom gaming provides entertainment and escape, fundamental to their mental health.
Pascal teaches us about how he loves games that allow him to be his own character, in one of his favourite game he plays as a ‘Dragon’. “Dragons don’t have to wear a bow, dress, or even a backwards baseball cap,” Pascal tells us, as his reason for choosing this avatar.
On a similar topic to what I thought about before watching the documentary Pascal talks about why he does not like multiplayer online gaming. he tells us about the negativity that he receives online.
Pascal tries to avoid online gaming with strangers, as he doesn’t want the negativity online, to taint the gaming lifestyle that he has created for himself in order to help him better his mental health.
About halfway through the 10-minute documentary, we see Pascal meeting (virtually) with other transgender gamers online. They are relating to Pascal’s experience and giving him the advice to be confident and to keep putting himself out there with online communities until he finds one that he feels comfortable playing with.
We next meet Leo the director of the documentary, he tells us how he is learning to explore his sexuality, and how creating the documentary has helped him to really think about it more.
Leo tells us how when he was doing the interviews for the documentary, he found is hard to not question his identity, as he already new that he liked to try on skirts and makeup. It was interesting to hear just how much people from the community can influence and teach each-other.
I was happy to be able to watch Pascal and Leo play an online game together with their voice chat on, teaching each other about their journeys and where they are now.
It is great that Pascal and Leo were able to create an online gaming group with other trans-gamers. It made me smile to see Pascal comfortably playing an online game with people he didn’t already know.
My takeaway from watching this short documentary would be to make sure that if I play an online game with people online, I make sure to keep an effort to use everyone’s correct pronouns if I need to refer to someone in the game, whether I know if they are trans or not. And also to stick up for them if I am witnessing them being bullied.
I really liked this short documentary, it got me thinking about the people that I might play with in the future and how I can try and help them game more comfortably.
I give it a 5/5