My name is Annie Gallagher. I’m a 22 year old trans lesbian gamer, otaku, and writer. Most of my writing is in the form of reviews, rants, or think pieces. I do hope to get into actual fiction writing some day, but I’m trying to take things one step at a time. I have been an active video game critic ever since early 2013 and have written over 100 reviews. I have previously written for both Oprainfall and Brash Games, but otherwise, my content was mostly posted on GameFAQs or as DeviantArt journal entries. I am making this blog in an attempt to branch out and gain a decent enough following that I can afford to switch to a paid site that I can actually make some money off of.
I don’t know if it’s going to be a full career for me, but I may as well start somewhere. I know that I should be capable of gaining a following because I have been told that my writing was very good by a lot of people who have seen it, even those that I was not already friends with prior. Additionally, my reviews have won GameFAQs Review of the Month twelve times, which I’d consider an accomplishment since the prize has actual monetary value (albeit in Amazon credit). Of course, I cannot really give a non biased perspective on my own work but I’d say I have some capabilities based on how others around me have reacted.
Yes I have had a few detractors, some having valid complaints but a lot were just trolls who were angry that I didn’t agree with them. I also am convinced that I have a good enough personality to gain a following if I can put myself out there. This is once again, based on how others have reacted to me and not just cause I have a high opinion of myself. Truth be told, I do not have that high of an opinion of myself either. I don’t dislike myself, but I simply see myself as a person just like everyone else.
Personality wise, I find myself to be a very complex person, but not in the sense of having a “deep personality.” I say this because I don’t even fully know myself, and am still discovering more things about myself; both good and bad. I was the shy and distant type towards others through my school years. I found it so overwhelming and nervous to even bring up any interests of mine because I never felt like I could find someone to relate to. Still to this day, I feel disconnected from my friends and family because I felt too nervous to talk to them, although I am much less antisocial now than I used to be.
The one recurring passion I have always had was games. I always did play games nearly obsessively as a kid, but the moment where I started feeling like gamer meant something to me was when I first started reading online articles and message boards about games. This was back in the years of 2006 through 2008 where my family still had a dialup internet connection. It was at this time that I felt like I really identified with the term “Gamer” and felt like I didn’t know anyone I could relate to. Even though a lot of other kids played games, it was stuff like Halo, Madden, or Call of Duty, while my 7th Gen console choice was the Wii, which didn’t have most of the AAA stuff of the time.
Due to the Wii not have much in terms of mainstream support, a lot of the games I played on the system were obscure or lesser known titles that still received positive reviews from critics. Of course I also spent a lot of time on Gamecube games, PS2 games, or older retro titles I got access to in compilations (I did not know about emulation at the time, and even when I first did hear of it I didn’t use it cause I thought it was illegal and that you could get in trouble for it). So my taste in games was mostly 1st party Nintendo games, obscure niche stuff, or 8 and 16-bit era stuff, which now that I think about it, probably still describes my current tastes.
This has lead to a recurring habit of me taking an interest in the lesser known and the obscure when it comes to gaming since what I played always was based on whatever I knew existed. At some time around 2012, I had this turn where I started to almost exclusively play JRPGs and little else. Additionally, it was around this time that I became active on HCBailly’s forum, which was the first place I have ever actually posted or socialized online. Back then I was a lot more sensitive and insecure about my own opinions due to years of having no one else to talk to about them, but I have calmed down a bit since then, although I admit I can still be a bit sensitive at times.
In 2013, I finally started getting into game reviewing, which started with a review of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, which was submitted to GameFAQs. Even my earliest reviews were generally well received (even if there are some I personally am not proud of) but that is partially because I had the tendency to already review games I have played in my head ever since I was watching gaming videos, so I already knew how to do so. I tend to see myself as a very critical thinker and observer when it comes to games (and also in general but especially with games), so I can be the type to have controversial and uncommon opinions on games, and will often make observations that most people won’t think of. As such, I won’t just be the type that always does positive reviews of games that are popular, and if you see a review of a well liked game, don’t assume I won’t have anything negative to say. I should note that I’m never actively trying to hold a negative view of a game just to be controversial, as I try to go into everything I can with an open mind, but I also have some higher standards than most. As such, I try to also keep the perspective of other potential players in mind when reviewing. I should note though that I will always try to point out both the good and the bad in games and let the reader make their own decision, which is why I’ve decided to do away with review scores on this blog.
In 2014, I have written for Oprainfall.com for nine months as a game reviewer then as an anime commentator when I was not able to do reviews any more for having trouble with deadlines. It was also around September of 2014 that a certain event in the internet gaming community occurred known as GamerGate. At the time, it was something I passionately supported given that I held a lot of anger towards feminism and gaming journalism, and GamerGate was basically against both of them.
In hindsight, I think it was a mistake for me to support GamerGate, but at the time there were two major reasons that I was involved. The first was the fact that it exposed just how utterly detestable the pro SJW side could be and I was constantly under the impression that everyone who disliked GamerGate supported the worst people in Anti-GG. Hell I still am convinced that GamerGate started off well meaning considering that most of us will agree that game journalism has always been corrupt as all hell, it just ended up getting co-opted by Right wing Anti-PC assholes like Milo Yiannopoulos who just use it to further their own political agendas while derailing the video game journalism focus.The second was the sense of community and acceptance from all being together as part of a large group. Most people tend to think of all GG supporters as being 4chan trolls, but there were a lot of people who felts serious and emotionally invested in it. At the time I legitimately was frustrated that no one seemed capable of a mature discussion on this subject, and the moment it came up, everything just went to shit. Thus, the refusal to have any sort of civil dialogue lead me to believe that no one on the anti-GG side was even trying, and that they were all the same.
I unfortunately did not realize this until much later, but I still did end up quitting GG around the beginning of 2015 once I realized that being so invested in it has started to have an adverse emotional effect on me. However, GamerGate has already made me cross the line of political and social awareness that I can never go back from, so I’ll never be able to cut social politics out of my life now. This is the case even more so once I came out as transgender in early 2015 as well.
There have always been some moments where I felt more like a girl than a guy and ones where I have questioned if I really was a guy, but the realization that I was trans was a very sudden eureka moment (which tends to happen to me a lot with major realizations as I tend to be far more open minded and thus likely to reconsider my own beliefs than others). Since then I have never turned back and not once have I thought that this was not the right path, but of course my feelings have been varied. At first I felt elated since things became so much more clear and because people online accepted me, but over time I started to become much more bitter and jaded. Most of it was due to the awareness of our society’s current struggle for transgender rights and acceptance, but it also had to do with the fact that I felt I couldn’t express myself in real life since my Dad was not all that supportive (although he was never transphobic, the fact that he he interpreted my coming out as a burden on him has since made me drastically less comfortable with him) and the constant struggle to get on hormones that was painfully dragged out over the course of two years with me only getting on them about a week and a half ago as of the time this is being written. There were plenty of times where I almost felt myself becoming the same type of angry SJW that I previously hated, and why I have become much more sympathetic to people in those positions since then.
Politically, my views are constantly changing as I tend to be just as critical of myself as I am of others. I am also friends with plenty of people whom are both feminists/SJW or Anti-feminists, and I am making a point to be accepting to those who disagree and to have mature discourse, as that is the only way we as a society can grow.
Of course it may just sound weird to have me mention a bunch of political stuff when I may be a primarily gaming based blog, but I probably will talk about political stuff as well. Either way, I’ve probably said enough about myself.