"I'm not going anywhere," Shirley Curry proclaimed on Twitter today, May 26, along with a request for retraction after games and online news outlets published exaggerated pieces about the 84-year-old content creator. Ms. Curry is best known online as the Skyrim Grandma, uploading gaming videos to her YouTube audience of over eight hundred forty-four thousand.
Attention was brought to this situation after Ms. Curry replied to games outlet VG24/7's tweet for their article YouTuber Skyrim Grandma announces she is scaling back streams for the sake of her health after receiving onslaught of patronizing comments (archive link), "VG247 I don't know who you are or where you get your ideas from, but there was NO 'onslaught' of patronizing comments!!! But yes I am scaling back my videos due to health. Most people on my channel are very nice. I do wish you would delete this so it would go away."
VG247 I don't know who you are or where you get your ideas from, but there was NO "onslaught" of patronizing comments!!! But yes I am scaling back my videos due to health. Most people on my channel are very nice. I do wish you would delete this so it would go away.— ShirleyScurry (@ShirleyScurry) May 26, 2020
The VG24/7 article, which cites another piece published by PCGamesN (archive link), depicts that Ms. Curry is "pulling from the public eye" due to the "onslaught" of negative comments that greatly affected her health.
About an hour after Ms. Curry's response to VG24/7, Vice published their piece YouTube's 'Skyrim' Grandma Is Taking a Break After Reading the Comments (archive link) with the tagline "Her frustration is familiar to anyone who has been a woman doing anything for an audience on the internet." While injecting her own alleged scenario, the article's author Gita Jackson, continues with the narrative of painting Ms. Curry's entire fanbase with the broad brush of disdainful comments and back-seat gaming, from a portion of her viewers. "After four years of consistently uploading videos in which she roleplays through the games' myriad quests, Curry is scaling back because she's tired of the way that her own fanbase treats her."
The underlying theme of this being of a female centric problem on the internet continued down from Jackson's tagline. "Here's a question I get asked a lot which has never made any sense to me: 'do you play games?' It is a weird question to be asked when you tell people that you are a journalist who covers video games, but people ask me this all the time. I don't think that you'd ask a music journalist if they listen to music, or if you'd ask a movie reviewer if they watch movies. My reaction when I hear that question is less angry, than it is tired, bemused, and frustrated. It's that same mixture of emotions that I hear in Curry's voice in her video announcing that she's taking a break from the platform."
Look what you've done. https://t.co/fwzbll22LL— VICE (@VICE) May 26, 2020
YouTuber Skyrim Grandma announces she is scaling back streams for the sake of her health after receiving onslaught of patronizing comments https://t.co/e6MRQ8Tkx8 pic.twitter.com/xFPdVHAp5K— VG247 (@VG247) May 25, 2020
"If you want to do those things go on and play your game, and let me play my game"https://t.co/I3LeXNVFli— PCGamesN (@PCGamesN) May 25, 2020
Skyrim Grandma is taking a break because of internet assholes. https://t.co/WYxruAxavt pic.twitter.com/mbS05m7pwf— Kotaku (@Kotaku) May 26, 2020
The headlines left readers enraged as they took to the Twitter replies to show their outrage that their beloved gaming grandma was being bullied. Those who were in the VG24/7 replies were able to hear from Ms. Curry herself, telling them this is exaggerated and that she's doing better. While those replying to other outlets never heard her try to correct the record.
No. Greatly exaggerated!!— ShirleyScurry (@ShirleyScurry) May 26, 2020
A few, just not "an onslaught". LOL I'm doing a lot better. Following my doctor's orders. :)— ShirleyScurry (@ShirleyScurry) May 26, 2020
Well, at least I've given my statement! lol— ShirleyScurry (@ShirleyScurry) May 26, 2020
I'm not going anywhere.— ShirleyScurry (@ShirleyScurry) May 26, 2020
Thank you Damon!! But I'm not treated badly, most of the time. That statement by that person is GROSSLY exaggerated!!! There was NO onslaught!!! One person finally ticked me off enough to make me rethink my priorities. :)— ShirleyScurry (@ShirleyScurry) May 26, 2020
Ms. Curry's video, Shirley's Ohio Vlog #12, from three weeks ago and tweets from today paint a different picture, those negative comments are not her entire fanbase. In the video she expresses that she'll be pulling back on content due to her health. "My health isn't very good. My blood pressure is going insane. My stress level is way too high. And I'm going to have to take control of it. Some of the comments are stressing me out way too much ... I know that I shouldn't let these things stress me out but they do. That's just the way it is."
Like many content creators, she is having to deal with backseat gamers. Those who tell you how you should be playing the game, that you're playing wrong, all the way down to what armor sets and weapons you need to use. "I feel like I'm under a microscope all the time. ...[I]t puts a lot of pressure on me and any gamer when people are watching them play. Like, especially when they nitpick everything they do."
It's understandable for these comments to stress her out as with such a large fanbase that's close to reaching a million, even a small percentage of disdainful comments adds up very quickly.
After posting her video, fans filled the comments with support and understanding. One top comment reads, "Oh grandma Shirley. * big hugs * It's sad that your channel has stressed you out so much but so understandable! Those comments would stress anyone out - everything you said is so true. It's a good idea that you're cutting down on the videos. Play more for you. It's more fun. :) I hope you're feeling much better after your break from YouTube." The very top comment Ms. Curry pinned stating,
But thank you for addressing this to us, despite us having a rather heavy feeling in the pits of our stomachs. And thank you for caring enough to be bothered with the comments.
Its also a really nice message to us viewers to be more careful about how we behave even on the internet, as well as the importance of having fun in games. I really don't want you to feel like you owe us anything, because if anything we owe you. Love you, and praying for you and your health and happiness!
God bless you, Grandma Shirley.
More comments flooded into the video today voicing their support, telling stories of inspiration and memories of playing video games with their grandmas.Copyright © 2020 Fotisi. All Rights Reserved.