An Interview with Jenny Haniver from Not in the Kitchen Anymore

Jessibaby1986 | June 17 2013

Tweets

 Jessica M ‏@jessibaby1986
@NitKA_Official I love your page smile My boyfriend cracks jokes with me when I get friend requests when we play Halo together raspberry "OMG a GURL"

Jenny Haniver ‏@NitKA_Official
@jessibaby1986 Haha, thanks! Sometimes I let the friend requests build up... I think my record is 10 in one night. Also, hell yes Wisconsin!

Jessica M ‏@jessibaby1986
@NitKA_Official yep capitol city here wink one of the girls @PopChiX posted a link on the forums to your site. http://www.popchix.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3003/ … see smile

Jenny Haniver ‏@NitKA_Official 1m
@jessibaby1986 @PopChiX Right on- thanks for the link! smile

So this is how it started, I then decided to send an email to the one she had linked asking if she would like to do an interview with me for the site. I sit here now waiting for her reply and thinking of some questions to ask.

Me - I see this started with a project you did for college, what were some of the reactions you received from that project?

Jenny - Shock was one of the biggest reactions. People who game regularly are at least somewhat aware of the issue of harassment in online gaming, but people outside the gamer community largely have no idea it's going on. It was really interesting to watch peoples' expressions change as they read the banners on the walls, and listened to the audio clips. A great deal of people were visibly uncomfortable at reading/hearing the harsh language involved in the project. But it was overall well received; everyone seemed to be intrigued by what was going on, and wanted to interact with the installation by listening to the audio.

Me - How long have you been gaming, and how long have you been playing online?

Jenny - I've been gaming since I was a little kid (around 3-4 years old). We were lucky enough to have a home computer, so I had access to all kinds of DOS games. I played Everquest online when I was around 12-14 years old, then didn't play any games online until I went to college in 2007. I've been playing online ever since. Halo 3 was my gateway drug to "modern" online gaming.

Me - Do you remember the first game that really got you hooked? I remember that mine was playing Keystone Kapers against my older brother on our mom's old Atari.

Jenny - It's probably a toss-up between Crystal Caves, Commander Keen, and Jill of the Jungle. Those were my favorites as a kid (although I had a probably age-inappropriate obsession with Duke Nukem, as well). But I have really fond memories of FFIX and the Heroes of Might and Magic games, too. I don't know that there is one single game that peaked my interest, they were all so much fun.

Me - When I looked up Jill of the Jungle on Wikipedia I found that the company went on to drop the “MegaGames” and just become “Epic”, do you enjoy some of the latest gems from them such as Gears of War?

Jenny - I've played the first Gears of War, but it's not one of my favorite games or anything.

Me - I know your blog is audio clips from Call of Duty, did you experience this same harsh sexism when you played Halo or other shooters?

Jenny - Not on the same level. Although, when Halo 3 was the main multiplayer game I played, I was playing under a gender-neutral gamertag (I shared one with my husband) and didn't really use a microphone because I wasn't playing with a group of people I knew. People have the knee-jerk tendency to want to blame harassment on a console, game type, or even specific game, but I think that's a cop-out. When you hear about things like the Cross Assault Incident, it becomes pretty apparent that there's a problem within the community in general, not one specific aspect of it.

Me - I know what you mean about the blame going to the wrong place. Having seen recent reactions to Feminist Frequency tweet about the xbox conference not having female protagonists, what are some of the worst reactions you've gotten for your blog?

Jenny - Yes, unfortunately. The people who dislike Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian don't seem to realize that by continuously attacking her, they are just working to prove her point that there is something wrong with the way women are viewed in the gaming community. Some of the worst reactions I've received for my blog are actually located on the Case in Point page of my site. People tend to attack my work rather than me as a person, probably because I don't really have a physical image for some people (that is, I don't do videos that show me talking or anything). They see the website, not me. Although when I did the PAX East panel last year, I did see messages where people were saying things like I was the ugliest in the group of panelists, and that I had "dead eyes". Which... Sounds like a cool nickname to me. Dead Eyes Jen.

Me - Do you and your husband game together, and what is his reaction to what gets said to you online?

Jenny - Not really all that often. Sometimes we'll play Halo multiplayer together, but we also just have fairly different tastes in games (with a few exceptions). He's also more of a PC gamer, whereas I clearly lean towards the Xbox. We do like to watch each other game, though. His reactions to the things that are said to me are pretty funny- sometimes he'll walk into the room while someone is screaming at me, and he just gets this look on his face and shakes his head. I hate to say it, but we're both just really used to it at this point.

Me - Since starting your blog how many friend requests have you received from randoms?

Jenny - Hah, lots. They always spike after an article is written about the website, or something like that. It's well-meant, because a lot of people just want to game with me... But I have a solid group of friends I game with that I've known for 5+ years, so I'd honestly rather be playing with them. I hate turning down the friend requests, but it's unrealistic for me to try and add everybody. That's what I get for having my gamertag the same as my name.

Me - E3 has had some major news the past few days, any idea which console you are leaning towards?

Jenny - Ugh, yes. It pains me to say it, but I cannot stand behind the Xbox One at this point. Microsoft is just making too many choices that I don't agree with, between connecting to the internet every 24 hours, the restriction of game sharing, the price, and so forth. I'm not totally giving up on it because there is still time for them to make changes, but at this point I am definitely on the side of the PS4. 

Me - Sadly, I think most people are leaning towards the PS4, but like you said Microsoft does have time to adjust things. 

Last but not least I'd like to thank you for your time with this interview. If you couldn't tell this was my first time interviewing anyone. This will be submitted and posted to Popchix.com and I will provide you with a link once it is up. Keep on gaming and doing what you love despite what other men and women in the community may think. I think you are an inspiring woman in the gaming world, and love the awareness you bring to the sexism, while laughing at it, and reporting the worst.

Jenny - Thanks right back at you for the interest! And I honestly couldn't tell it was your first time interviewing someone- you asked some very thoughtful questions. Usually I just get really basic ones about the website, it was nice to talk a little about actually gaming.

So yeah, can't wait to see the final piece! Thanks again. smile

Comments

X1up Girl
X1up Girl Mon 17 Jun
I love that we have these types of articles and kudos on an excellent interview! I just wish there was some kind of intro at the beginning to what "Not in the Kitchen Anymore" (NitKA) is.
Jessibaby1986
Jessibaby1986 Mon 17 Jun
There was a forum post on the website from a few weeks back that is also linked in the tweets section
shebrolet
shebrolet Tue 18 Jun
I love me some NitKa. Best blog ever. smile
Amethyst
Amethyst Fri 06 Sep
I love this blog, some of the responses she gives to abusers are brilliantly witty!

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