According to the quote on the back cover from Game of Thrones creator George R.R Martin, Felicia Day is “an actress, a gamer, a screenwriter, a songwriter, a producer, a director, a webmaster, a costumer and queen of the geek girls”. This description is fairly accurate and well backed up in You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost): Day’s memoir.
From being taken out of school as a child after a teacher set fire to some money to taking YouTube by storm with The Guild and her own #GamerGate ordeal, Day is honest, without being too brutal or too flippant either. The story of her life – so far – is written like it’s her side of a conversation.
With her relatively simple beginnings in the Deep South to the bright lights of Los Angeles – via a music scholarship at 16 to college in Texas where she majored in Maths – Day’s book chronicles her journey to where she is now…and it’s not all been good. She talks very honestly about her struggles with depression, anxiety, self doubt, addictions and her very real insecurities about different aspects of her life.
While these are her stories – her addiction was playing World of Warcraft for hours on end rather than working, and struggling with her identity as musical prodigy and perfect grade student as well as the fear of launching The Guild on a burgeoning YouTube – there is something universal about what she has to say about it all. When talking about how she was treated online in the wake of #GamerGate, she shines a light on the ongoing issues of the treatment of women, not just in the gaming world but also in the wider world, and how the real issues can be missed and almost forgotten about in favour of going for an ‘easy’ target. Her story is one of many being repeated, perhaps in the hope it won’t be so common in the future.
Day’s conversational style of writing, with the sprinklings of jargon and pop culture references as well as some Photoshop forays and mini-memes, may not be to everyone’s liking. It also isn’t full of scandals and juicy stories, as has become something of a mainstay in ‘celebrity’ biographies – the closest Day gets is an affair between 2 members of a Puzzle Pirates crew she was in – but this only makes it that much better. There’s also some very practical advice to be shared, such as that studying hard is a good thing but being perfect for perfect’s sake (or anyone else’s) isn’t a good plan.
This is a book filled with amusing anecdotes, insightful realities of the entertainment industry and unique perspectives on life that make for a great read from a woman who is not only aspirational but also very relatable at the same time – something this world need a little more of. Also her choice of superpower – to be fluent in every language – is utter genius.
Rating – 9/10
Words by Megan Roxburgh