Ava Corvidae
Community Member
FAQ Session 1 - Catfish and vampires and cosplaying, oh my!
Hi. I would like to extend my thanks in advance to everyone who has chosen to read this first journal entry. As the entry title indicates, this is going to be a Q and A session that includes a handful of questions I receive very frequently, which I’ll do my best to answer as concisely as possible.

The questions will be posted as firebrick red text highlighted by bold inflation, while my answers, where I can give any, will be silvery-grey italic text. I may go back and change the answer color to something else if I field enough complaints about it being too bright, but here’s hoping I won’t have to.

Alright, so, apparently, you’re a catfish. What do you get out of it?

My avatar’s gender is not the same as my real one and I frequently like to roleplay as the character it represents. That’s all there is to it and I’m open about doing it, so I’m not sure why people accuse me of being a catfish so often. I see nothing in particular wrong with using an alter ego to escape into a fantasy where I’m a different gender, and it’s something I would like to recommend doing for cases of gender dysphoria, as a sort of therapeutic outlet for their frustration. All the same, I would never knowingly advocate for or endorse anyone who decides to be a catfish for less innocent reasons. Somebody did just that to a friend of mine to get closer to her emotionally than he ordinarily would have, and it left her in a state of confusion and paranoia that lasted a while. I encourage others to follow my example if they believe they might get something positive out of it, but I don’t think it can be overstated that doing it for any deceitful and illegitimate purpose is morally reprehensible. If you’re going to do it, be open about it like I am, and please don’t use it to pursue romances with people who wouldn’t be interested in you otherwise.

Okay, we got that much. On your profile, you mentioned you’re in your mid twenties, and that you’ve been on Gaia since you were sixteen; what keeps you coming to Gaia?

The main reason is that I don’t have any other online communities I belong to anymore, and probably never will again. I don’t bother connecting over Facebook or twitter. I have no interest in joining a call or chatting over Skype, or following any of the blogs people create on tumblr. I've already explored that frontier, and personally found it to be uninteresting. When I was as young as some of the newer members are, MySpace, message boards, and chat rooms were at their peak of relevance and visibility. That’s the only general category of social networking sites I feel comfortable participating in, so I'm convinced there is nothing bigger and better out there for me to move onto. While the argument that the death knell for those kinds of sites started sounding years ago is a compelling one with a good amount of evidence for it, Gaia remains - even if it is a relic left over from an era that will soon (and perhaps wisely) be forgotten. I’m going to stay for as long as I can, because I fully intend to be a part of this site to the end.

Is it alright to ask where you live?

Sure, down to a certain level of resolution. I live in Tucson, Arizona, in the United States. For fellow Tucsonans who are curious about my general area, I’m not at all far from the Big Lots out at Golf Links and Harrison. I’m not going to give out my street address or anything else that can personally identify me, because I’m not interested in being found and visited IRL through Gaia. If you believe you’ve met me offline, please keep it to yourself or only share it with me privately.

Your avatar is very pale. Is she supposed to be a vampire or something?

Yes. Plenty of people confuse her for a zombie, which I have trouble understanding. Twilight Saga fans will, doubtless, be disappointed to hear Ava doesn't sparkle, and that I think the franchise in its entirety is mediocre, although I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate it. It's just not my thing, is all.

Why didn’t you accept my friend request or our guild invitation?

I rarely ever do accept friend requests and it is rarer still for me to send them, so I can’t advise taking it personally. I only accept requests when I’ve had an opportunity to get a feel for who you are underneath whatever front you put up and find you agreeable, although being someone a friend of mine respects and trusts usually helps a lot. As for the guild invitations, I’m plainly not interested. The only guilds I’m still a member of are Loyal’s Bazaar and Club Verge, and that’s only because I don’t have the option of leaving them voluntarily. I just ignore them, which is the next best thing.

You’re cosplaying as Bayonetta/Joa/Alucard/GlaDOS/Some other character, aren’t you?

No, I’m not. I swear on my great-grandma’s grave that I have never and will never cosplay as whichever character you’re seeing in my avi because of pareidolia. For some reason that I can’t explain, people will usually assume I'm cosplaying characters I’d never even heard of before from franchises too obscure or niche-market for me to know about, although a few mention characters I am aware of, but barely consider worth remembering. This happens to me so often, in fact, that I've proposed an informal hypothesis I dub the Joa Postulate, which I named after one of the more WTF examples I personally encountered:

"If your avatar bears even the faintest resemblance to a character, someone, somewhere, will assume you're cosplaying as them, regardless of how obscure that character is."

I believe I've spent more than enough words and time on this, so, once again, thanks for reading. If it suits you, keep your eyes peeled for more FAQs and other journal entries.