Megan over at A Geeky Gal has been posting her 30 Day Geek Out Challenge, and I’ve decided to jump in for this day. I don’t think I’ll post for every day of the challenge (as I don’t necessarily have answers for all of them) but this seemed like a good day to get started! I’ll follow the challenge and post whenever I feel like I have a good answer to the question of the day. If you haven’t already, check out Megan’s post (linked above) as her answer includes the wonderfully charismatic, legendarily unlucky Wil Wheaton, who I’m also a huge fan of.
Day 6: What real life geek inspires you?
I’m actually going to talk a bit about a pair of geeks that inspire me – the husband and wife team, Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray.
They are probably most well known for their insanely popular Dungeons and Dragons show, Critical Role, in which Matt controls the game as Dungeon Master, and Marisha plays the monk, Beauregard (in this campaign anyway). They are joined by other well-known voice actors, like Laura Bailey, and Liam O’Brien, in their D&D campaigns crafted by Mercer. Recently, the Critical Role kickstarter, designed to fund an animated series based on the adventures of Vox Machina (the group from campaign one) was the highest grossing TV/film project kickstarter of all time. The kickstarter wrapped up having collected over 11 million dollars, which is absolutely staggering!
In addition to their crazy-successful D&D projects and passionate community, Matt and Marisha are both accomplished voice actors, and have worked on a huge number of geeky projects that I’m sure you’d recognize. Matt Mercer has done some incredible voice work in video games and anime, some of the most memorable for me being: Yusuke Kitagawa from Persona 5, McCree from Overwatch, and Levi from Attack on Titan. Marisha has done some anime and film work as well, but is more prominent behind the scenes – she was the Creative Director over at Geek and Sundry before Critical Role branched off into their own channel. She’s now in the same position at CR, and actively produces and participates in much of the content that they create.
One of the new shows that they’ve started on their new channel is called “Between the Sheets” where host, Brian W. Foster, sits down and interviews members of the ‘geek’ community. I had always liked Matt and Marisha, but after seeing their interviews on this show, and hearing about some of their personal struggles, I have a completely new level of respect for each of them. While Matt deals with some perception/self-esteem issues, Marisha has seen some shit. In her interview, she talks about dealing with sexual harassment/abuse in college, and the constant barrage of ridiculous vitriol she experiences from certain parts of the CR community for the way she chooses to play her own characters. She’s an incredibly strong person to be able to deal with all the unwarranted hate that she receives, and I have a huge amount of respect for how she carries herself, and the work she has put in to get where she is.
Critical Role was a show that I got into fairly recently, and it’s ultimately what inspired me to start playing D&D myself. I’ve had some bad experiences in the past, trying to get into ‘gaming’ communities as a female, and I was extremely hesitant to put myself out there again and try Dungeons and Dragons. While I loved the stories and the camaraderie on the show, I was still nervous about playing myself. But now that I play the game regularly, I’ve gotten to experience so many great moments, and meet a lot of genuinely awesome people. I’ll always be grateful to this show for giving me the motivation to get out and play – and to Matt and Marisha specifically, for being champions of the geek community!