Article Lead Image

Inside the world of gamer confessions on Tumblr

You are now entering a judgment-free zone. 


Lisa Granshaw


Posted on Feb 21, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 5:41 pm CDT

The video game community can be a place of lively debate, but not everyone’s opinion is welcome.

People who share unpopular view points and especially women and minorities can feel attacked when they try to join the conversation. This makes many gamers uncomfortable expressing their personal views online. But instead remaining silent, some have found an alternative outlet on Tumblr.

While Tumblr itself can be a volatile community, gamers have carved out an area where almost any opinion can be voiced: video game confession blogs. There are numerous Tumblrs, such as My Gaming Confessions, where fans can go to submit their thoughts on almost any game, from Assassin’s Creed to The Sims. Some of these revelations are reblogged hundreds or thousands of times.

“Often times it can be very difficult to express your thoughts on a message board. Sometimes your voice gets drowned out by the louder voices … Confession blogs give people a chance to not only reveal what they like or dislike but you see how these games have touched them. We get these revelations that you would not normally see on a message board,” the senior moderator of Dragon Age Confessions, known as M, told the Daily Dot.

Image via Assassin’s Creed Confessions/Tumblr

The blog, which focuses on the Bioware fantasy role-playing game series Dragon Age, is one of the most active on Tumblr. During her two years since taking over the blog from its creator, M has handled about 4,700 confessions and brought on a second mod, Lisa. The blog receives anywhere from 12 to 25 submissions a day depending on whether or not anonymous submissions are allowed. Both women have been gamers for years and agree that a common element among confessors is a passion for the game and a protectiveness of its characters. When one gamer expresses dislike for something, rebuttal submissions follow.

Confessions go way beyond just expressing a casual dislike of a game element however. They range from light-hearted and funny confessions to darker and sadder admissions.

“We’ve gotten confessions where people have revealed their depression, or have spoken about being a survivor of sex abuse and we always put trigger warnings on those,” M said.

Image via Dragon Age Confessions/Tumblr

The different confessions show there are many reasons people become gamers. Some just play for fun while others find refuge in the game worlds. Confession blogs have become the place to reveal such feelings because those submitting them can remain anonymous. They can express a possibly unpopular view or controversial experience without the fear of personal attack.

“Dragon Age deals with themes of sexuality, betrayal, loss—heavy stuff. We’ve gotten some really great submissions from people who felt they could never tell anyone else how they felt, and trusted us with their confession. It’s an honor, really,” Lisa told the Daily Dot.

Image via Dragon Age Confessions/Tumblr

The idea of reaching hundreds of others is also what draws so many, according to the creator of Bioware Confessions, who goes by the name Mod Prime. As someone who has also submitted confessions, Mod Prime wanted to create a safe place for people to express themselves and found it can just be an attractive option for reaching out to see if others share your opinion.

Gamers who choose to confess do so for a variety of reasons and the group is diverse. The gamers who spoke to the Daily Dot about their confessions included men and women from a variety of backgrounds. Most were in their 20s to 30s. Some discussed motivations already identified by the mods, but others also called the experience liberating and a chance to reach a group that understands them like no one else in their lives.

“It’s nice to know that there are other people out there with similar interests—it makes a world that seems to be against gamers feel much friendlier. While there are conflicting opinions at times, there is a strong sense of community among gamers not many people see,” said Tumblr user hurricaneginger.

Image via Bioware Confessions/Tumblr

One confessor named Brandon likes finding people who share his opinion so he knows he’s not alone, while the-rain-never-ceases said these blogs make it easy to anonymously express an opinion that could quickly feel like “a guilty secret” if a different opinion is more popular.

“Differing opinions quickly generate a lot of hate if a name and a face are put to the viewpoint,” she told the Daily Dot.

Minority gamers especially are finding a haven in the anonymity of game confession Tumblrs. One confessor, who wished to remain anonymous, said as a gay gamer he submitted several times to Dragon Age Confessions because it was the only place he felt he could share a piece of themselves without being ridiculed. For female gamers like Terri, it can be a way to comment on aspects of the game that might otherwise attract criticism if people knew she’s a girl.

Image via Bioware Confessions/Tumblr

“If as a female, you saunter freely into a gaming discussion forum to make this point or that, than there is a very high chance you will either be met with sexualised and insulting comments on your gender or simply not taken seriously and talked to like a child,” she said. “If, for instance, you were to make a comment on the romances or characters in Dragon Age, then there is also a very good chance of being told that you’re not a real gamer, you just want the romantic side of an otherwise brilliant game and therefore have no real opinions that matter. Confessional blogs lend a certain anonymity, which is not only freeing but safe in many aspects.”

Image via Dragon Age Confessions/Tumblr

Image via Bioware Confessions /Tumblr

The more controversial or personal posts tend to be the most popular with readers, according to the moderators, though funny posts also get a large number of reblogs. M has also seen confessions regarding modifications, such as those that involve whitewashing characters, get a big response.

Every post submitted to a confession blog must follow guidelines, though the mods said they still deal with trolls, inappropriate confessions and abusive comments. Sometimes these are dealt with openly and shared. There are even posts that fit with the guidelines, but the mods suspect the controversial content might be meant to stir up the community.

Image via Bioware Confessions/Tumblr

Image via Bioware Confessions/Tumblr

Despite the occasional trolls, confession blogs are growing as gamers increasingly want a place where they can safely speak their minds amid the more volatile outlets on the Internet. It’s a rare space, even if it does mean being cloaked in anonymity.

“The game, the fandom, the whole franchise can impact an individual deeply, and I really believe that videogames can help people understand more about themselves and the world,” said the-rain-never-ceases. “Confession blogs are no different.”

Photo by N p holmes, remix by Jason Reed (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 21, 2014, 10:00 am CST