I’ll admit, as Aisha Tyler walked onto the stage during the Ubisoft press conference at E3, my eyebrows furrowed. “Oh, no,” I thought. “Who is this?!” But as she began to talk, my trepidation melted away. I knew that voice. LANAAAAAA!
Tyler, voice actress for Lana Kane of the FX TV show Archer, was like a faceless hero to me. As a fan of Archer, I knew her to at least be savvy at voice acting, and shallow as it seems, I felt based on our imaginary rapport that she was qualified to be on that stage. She had graduated, in my view, from Mr. Cocaine status to Shigeru Miyamoto on the “I like watching this person tell me about games” scale. I didn’t know she was actually well and truly into games, and it didn’t matter to me, but apparently to some sector of the audience, it did.
According to a post on her Facebook profile, she received messages after Ubisoft’s press conference harassing her for not being qualified and accusing her of doing the show for the money. And, in true Lana Kane fashion, her response was to write a response ripping her detractors a new one. “To all the haters out there who claim I don’t play; to the GAF dicks, Gamespot trolls, to every illiterate racist douchebag on Youtube: Flame away. Go nuts. Post every jackass comment your heart desires. I’ll still be playing when your mom’s kicked you out of her basement and you have to sell your old-ass console and get a real job,” Tyler wrote.
She also described some memorable experiences with various games, and said that she didn’t want to prove a point by giving out her gamertag. The tangle seems similar at first to the battle between Anita Sarskeesian, creator of the Kickstarter project “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games”, and those attacking her with misogynistic messages. However, Tyler denied that being a woman was related to the problem she was facing.
“To the people who want to keep making it about me being a ‘girl gamer’: I never mention being a girl in my post. That’s YOUR shit, not mine,” Tyler wrote.
It’s disappointing that the enormous scrutiny E3 hosts face means that the community has to jump down the throats of anyone they see who is only tangentially related to gaming. I, for one, prefer listening to Tyler over any Ubisoft exec with an indecipherable French accent. The bar begins at “can speak English” and “knows how to pronounce Tom Clancy,” and anything after is simply an improvement on the means of transport by which awesome new titles reach my face.
Maybe Tyler did claim in the blog post that she was a “champ” at Leisure Suit Larry, a point and click game. I don’t care. She’s enthusiastic, loves games, and did a good job.