💻💖✨The Internet: LIVE!!1✨💖💻
Someone (hopefully me) wins the internet this Friday and Saturday! Here's a short history of me + doll makers as a behind the scenes BONUS
For the past month I’ve been working with the Arcanists and some other great folx on an internet themed game show and it happens THIS WEEKEND and YOU’RE INVITED.
I thought through many ways to try and convince you to come - bribes, threats, a rundown of the games, a survey to determine which browser you are (it’s been done). But I think I’ll just tell you a little bit about one of my early fave parts of the internet (which is also the inspiration for a short personal piece I do in the show).
My top 3 things to do on the internet when I was a bebe and internet was dial up were:
Go into random chat rooms and learn things my parents would’ve been upset about (if you’re wondering my a/s/l is 31/no/couch)
Get on Neopets to play games and search for beautiful beautiful paintbrushes for my dull ass pets (definitely the first page I ever bookmarked or favorited or whatever we called it then)
Go to dollzmania / dollpalace / etc and make doll after doll after doll inspired by characters in books or characters I wanted to exist in books or people I wanted to be
There are a ton of doll makers out there. When I started they were mostly pixelated with tons of tiny clothes and accessories you could drag over. These were also heavily focused on ““feminine”” looks and popular styles in the late 90s & early 2000s. Some of my options when choosing a doll maker were Preps (for “preppy” styles), Designers (for fancy dresses), and Uniques (for… I’m not really sure, they look very similar to the preppy ones to me.)
These weren’t particularly satisfying to me (huh who could guess why) and eventually I found more options. The only other one I can remember from back then is Doll Palace, which gave me some choices outside of young, thin, sparkly clothes. (Mostly young thin goths or anime-inspired characters like Sailor Moon, but I was scrounging for anything I could get at that point.) Unfortunately the Doll Palace is gone now so I can’t peruse their full line up.
When I was in late high school/early college some new ~*~FANCY~*~ doll makers arrived. These were next level. These were the doll makers I wanted as a bebe. I don’t remember how I first found them. I’m guessing I was writing a story or imagining original characters for my fave shows or movies and searched for some doll makers to create a visual.
And, finally, I could create bois. Not pixelated, squat Wunderkind bois. Cool bois. Or at least princely dorks (that still suffer from only coming in one size - thin). And I created a LOT of them.
Look at this princely dork wearing their trans flag on their sleeve.
I don’t know what instigated it but at some point I started creating bois that vaguely looked like me. Well, some dreamy version of me. Some version of me that would be in an anime or Star Wars or, if I used the “Boyfriend Maker,” (lol) a romcom. I wasn’t creating bois for stories anymore; I was creating bois for me to step into.
I couldn’t face it at the time, but the internet gave me a place to try on aesthetics and expressions before I took them into the real world. And that alone is pretty cool.
Anyways, come to the show!! It’s gonna be a ton of fun and I’ll dive into my feelings around expression and presentation on the internet versus irl just a tiny bit more. Buy those tickets asap - we’re almost full on Saturday and half sold on Friday.
(Content warning for the show: there are two short games centered around fetishes and porn that are highly censored and NOT about making fun of bodies. We’ll forewarn you and it’s very easy to pop away for a drink during that time. My piece also deals a tiny bit with dysphoria.)
Britt A Willis writes this newsletter and is a playwright, game writer, and designer in Washington, DC. You can find out more about their work at brittawillis.com or follow them on Twitter @feelingfickle.