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douchebaggery harassment misogyny oppressed men rape jokes sexual harassment

Gamer asshole: “Sexual harassment is part of the culture. If you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community.”

This may be old news to gamers, but a reader just brought it to my attention:

Capcom and IGN recently put on a little online gaming “reality” show called Capcom’s Cross Assault, based on the game Street Fighter x Tekken. The show, like the game, pits a team of Street Fighter players against a Tekken team.

During a live stream of the ongoing battle on day five of the tournament, Twitch.tv community manager Jared Rea made a few remarks  criticizing the assholish, and often misogynistic, comments of some of the fighters.

Here’s how the Penny Arcade Report summarized what followed. (I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting several particularly egregious comments in bold.)

“This is Aris,” a voice said on the feed. “If you don’t like onions, you get your sandwich without onions on it, man. This is the fighting game community.” He then stated that sexual harassment and the fighting game community are “one and the same thing.”

The voice belonged to Aris Bakhtanians, the coach of the Tekken team.

“The sexual harassment is part of the culture. If you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community… it doesn’t make sense to have that attitude. These things have been established for years,” Aris stated. He then noted that making sexual jokes at StarCraft players would be inappropriate, so it’s unfair for anyone to tell fighting game fans they can’t viciously mock women. …

“That’s what you’re trying to do to the fighting game community and it’s not right,” Aris continued. “It’s ethically wrong.” This may be the first time in the history of video games that someone had said that removing sexual harassment is ethically unjust.

Later in the, er, discussion, after someone brought up the harassment of a guy playing a female character (“someone yelling the world “bitch” over and over … and then scream[ing] for her rape when she lost”) Aris responded with this:

“What is unacceptable about that?” Aris asked. “There is nothing unacceptable about that. We’re in America! This isn’t North Korea! We can say what we want.”

You can listen to the whole discussion on this video; it starts, with Rea’s comments, at about one hour forty-five minutes in. (Aris starts commenting about two minutes later.)

Many more appalling details in the PA report post.

Oh, gaming community! Get it the fuck together.

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pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

FF/PP/IR: You’re prickly little things, aren’t you?

In a way. It’s like grasping a nettle, best do it firmly.

So how’s by you? Got many blog hits lately? Bunch of people thanking you for revealing the dark underbelly of feminism to them; things they’d never known before?

Or is it more circle jerking?

Dave’s been noticed by the SPLC, when they said the MRM is misogynist, and has the trappings of a proto-hate movement. He’s been asked to speak on the subject.

You… have a game that never got past the blue-sky phase.

blitzgal
8 years ago

I do like seeing the number of male gamers commenting at The Escapist saying that this was an illuminating moment for them and they’re going to stop using the word “rape” as a synonym for “losing badly.” This is good.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Blitzgal: That’s good, every little bit helps.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Blitzgal: Have you got a link? I’ve never spent much time at The Escapist, and can’t seem to navigate it very well.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

This is just to say

I have flame-ed
the trolls
that were in
the comments

And which
you were probably
wanting
for yourself

Forgive me
they were hilarious
so whiny
and butt-hurt.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

I can not STAND the dumb shits who use rape to mean anything but rape.

No, you naive little shitheads, the Star Wars early episodes are NOT like rape. Neither is losing at Street Fighter, or celibacy into your mid-twenties, or any of that.

Do you know what’s like rape? Rape. Now fuck off and be glad you obviously have no idea what that feels like.

(And for anyone who tries to pull the I’m-so-smart “but what about getting killed?” bullshit… you might be speaking to a survivor of rape when you completely minimize that shit, but you ain’t NEVER going to do it to a survivor of death. And I think that if it turns out the person you’re saying it to just lost a relative to a drunk driver or police violence recently, you wouldn’t act like such a pretentious swine if they got pissy at you.)

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

Well, now I’ve gone and done it.

I posted a filk of the plums poem.

When are the Nielsen-Haydens going to take possession of this blog?

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

D:

They just found a dead body in the reservoir across the street from me.

O_O

Well. There goes my cool for the day.

Alex
8 years ago

@Petra Lorre,

That’s…that’s just…wow. In a moment of anger, right now, so forgive what I’m about to say: I hope he dies. In a fire. And not from the smoke.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Falconer: I was going to ask if you have ever spent time at ML.

Alex: I’m not being snarky. I understand your pain, and I know that you know what you said, and that you needed to say it.

And I forgive you.

Lady Zombie
Lady Zombie
8 years ago

It’s fairly well known that Aris Bakhtanians is a scumbag of the highest caliber. It doesn’t excuse what he did, but rather illustrates why he shouldn’t be allowed to partipate in any sponsored competitions. At this point, I’m fairly certain the sponsor’s agree. His asshattery caused a bit of uproar, of which he was initially unapologetic. He finally apologized but it was a faux-pology and they just about had to twist his arm off to make it.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

@LBT: Dead body near your home? Whoa, that’s creepy. I hope you can find your cool again.

@Alex: The account of Aris’ harassment made me sick, but I didn’t get angry at it (oh hai thar privilege), so I’m not one sinned against, but I forgive you and I hope you feel better.

@Pecunium: I don’t always flame trolls in light verse, but when I do, I take my inspiration from Making Light.

Stay witty, my friends.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Falconer: I got a lot of my online chops from RASSFF, and ML. It made my personal blogging a lot better, when I got around to it. It’s also been, like Manboobz, a place of solace and comfort, for the people who inhabit the comments.

Right now abi is talking about sexism, and this thread is amazingly parallel, in some of the ways it deals with the asshats.

blitzgal
8 years ago

Whoops, sorry about that. I thought I got to The Escapist from David’s post, but I think it was earlier in this comment thread. Here it is: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/5436-Not-Okay

First comment:

As always a well thought out opinion which echos my own however when he mentioned the rape thing being offensive as a synonym for losing I realised ive been a gamer so long I distanced that from what the word actually means and I still use that term.

I shall use this as an opertunity to better myself.

As entertaining and thought provoking as ever Mr Bob.

There are a bunch of replies to him echoing the same thing. More agreements than trolls.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Falconer

Workplace. Near my home, there’s just that guy who beat a woman in the street. -_- I still see him every couple weeks or so; I can only be thankful he doesn’t recognize me as that mouthy twerp who got in his face to stop him.

Sometimes it’s a wonder I’m an optimist.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

This is just to say

I have flame-ed
the trolls
that were in
the comments

And which
you were probably
wanting
for yourself

Forgive me
they were hilarious
so whiny
and butt-hurt.

I kind of love you right now.

PDA (short for PDA's Dada Acronym)

LBT: the one in Chestnut Hill?

Or is there a sudden plague of people turning up dead in reservoirs nationwide…? :-/

Kavette
Kavette
8 years ago

Mra’s often point out specific women as proof that women have never been held back from getting into male dominated occupations. Elizabeth Blackwell became a doctor before 1850 for instance so this proves that women could enter the field if they wanted to, instead they choose not to.

Listening to Miranda’s voice and her laughing at their comments about her body etc reminds me very much of what it was like to be a female property developer in the 80’s, and honestly even today on occasion. (Except I don’t have to put up with it now, one strike is a warning)

In the late 80’s starting out I’d put up with a contractor (my employee) commenting on my tits etc. by ignoring the statement or sometimes I admit even laughing then changing the subject.

It bothered me but it also bothered my bottom line much more not to get the job done on time, and those that wouldn’t make those comments were few and far between. I became pretty jaded in a lot of ways, it took a great deal of crap to get any rise from me and after awhile you just didn’t hear it anymore.

Miranda and her ilk are going through the same thing.

It takes a lot to rise to the top in your field male or female, but when you have to daily go through the gauntlet of being spoken to as an outsider who is verbally whipped it can be almost impossible.

Mra’s will never understand this. In their mind pledge week is something women should endure endlessly if they want to achieve.

Alex
8 years ago

Thanks, guys. 🙂 On principle, I’m against violence, and would never actively support it, but yeah, just needed to say it. And, also, I absolutely love people’s ability to write poetry on demand here. Makes things bearable, or something.

cloudiah
8 years ago

I kind of love you right now.

Seconded. That was wonderful.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: PDA

That’s the one. D: Jeez, I walk around there every day!

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

@Polliwog, @Cloudiah: D’aww, thank you both so much.

@LBT: Double yeesh. And I’m sorry to hear about the abusive asshole on your street, but I’m glad he doesn’t recognize you.

Last fall, one night after dark there was a woman calling for help, calling for someone to call the police, on my street not two doors down from me. I called the police, but I’m afraid I chickened out and tried to stay away from the windows lest I get recognized. I’m allergic to punching; I break out in bruises. I wish I were as brave as you, LBT, is what I’m saying.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

@PDA: Oh, that’s so sad. What a terrible thing. But, if it is him, I hope his family is comforted in some small way by knowing what happened to him, and not tormented even more.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: PDA

Shit. Not surprised; I figured it was probably him. But oh god, that means he was in the reservoir for frickin’ MONTHS while I walked around it! D: D: D:

And oh god, yesterday I saw a seagull eating at something in there, and I couldn’t tell what it was… I thought it was a fish… okay, I need to stop before I talk myself into extreme horror and I’m already D: enough.

Poor guy. This sounds like a really stupid thing to say, seeing as he’s dead and all, but I hope he at least didn’t suffer too much. …and that I was wrong and the seagull… didn’t eat him…

OH GOD I AM MAKING D: FACE IRL.

RE: Falconer

Enh, she was unconscious (or at least performing a very convincing imitation of it) in the street, and I was the nearest person. I had more HP and figured I’d be less likely to end up hospitalized and also more likely to successfully press charges, so I started screaming profanity at him and calling the cops. The only reason I think I had the testicular fortitude is because I was already angry (at an INTERNET TROLL of all things!) and dammit, people just shouldn’t DO that shit!

She didn’t press charges, he didn’t attack me, veered off at the last minute, and he’s still walking free. I kinda wish he HAD succeeded at that tackle; at least he would’ve ended up in jail.

Petra Lorre
Petra Lorre
8 years ago

@Falconer: William Carlos Williams! You just made my day. <3

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

(at an INTERNET TROLL of all things!)

I am often amazed at my capacity for letting such persons ruin my entire evening,even after I have shut down my browser.

Still, thank you for taking on an asshole in the street. I so wish the Kitty Genovese effect was just something made up for Watchmen.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

I kind of love you right now.

Actually, would you mind if I framed this and hung it above my fireplace? It’s oddly gratifying.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

@Petra Lorre: Thank you! It seems to have been a big hit.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Falconer

Au contraire, mon frere. It was by being angry at this troll (who insisted I was not a human being and did not in fact exist) that I summoned the self-righteous anger to stand down that bully! I realized that yea verily, trolls DO have a useful purpose in society! They inspire us to stand up against the assholes OFFline as well!

Then I went home and got drunk. It seemed an appropriate thing to do.

PDA (short for PDA's Dada Acronym)

Bravo, @LBT. Reckless and probably totally irrational, but a compassionate act nevertheless. Boston (or, let’s just say, Eastern Mass, wherever) needs more than a little more of this.

The thing that I get hung up on thinking of this poor kid is that Chestnut Hill is only a few feet deep. Right? I mean, I guess there’s always the got-falling-down-drunk-while-on-the-running-path possibility… but does that ever happen, really? Isn’t throwing water in someone’s face one of the things you do to bring them around when they’re passed out?

And, ooh.. yeah, the seagull.

abeegoesbuzz
abeegoesbuzz
8 years ago

For those who are newish to the man boobz poetry scene: one of my favorite threads of all times, starring Mandolin.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

Actually, would you mind if I framed this and hung it above my fireplace? It’s oddly gratifying.

Hehe, go for it.

Also, I was just chatting with a friend (who happens to be an English professor who specializes in 20th-century poetry) a few minutes ago, and told him, “By the way, you might be amused to know that on one of the websites I hang out on, someone in the comments just rewrote ‘This Is Just To Say’ to be about internet trolls.”

He answered, “…that’s fantastic. How do you always manage to find the spots on the internet where people stop being idiots and start being awesome?”

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: PDA

*shrug* It succeeded at my intended purpose, which was to get him away from the woman. That’s about all I care about. In the end, my hunch about him proved right: he was only willing to behave like an out-of-control ragewanker when it benefited him. Turned out he could totally restrain himself from hitting someone when the whole thing was being recorded by the police. Also, seeing as it was an extremely public place, I was willing to take my odds that someone else would intervene.

As per the reservoir… I dunno how deep it is, but the slopes of it are pretty steep and rocky, there aren’t really lights at night I think, and February might still have been cold enough for things to be icy. I have no problem imagining someone falling in late at night and having a hard time getting out, even if he was sober and DIDN’T get hurt in the fall. Still, how horrible. Poor guy.

kiki
kiki
8 years ago

That’s…that’s just…wow. In a moment of anger, right now, so forgive what I’m about to say: I hope he dies. In a fire. And not from the smoke.

Poetic Fates no. 5,347: Aris Bakhtanians – beaten to death by real-life women martial artists.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Polliwog: At ML (which Falconer and both referred to) that poem is a staple. It’s the only poem I’ve translated into Russian (I’ve translated a few out).

ML is a hella clever place for poets. Villanelles and sonnets being the preferred forms two of the regulars, but pastiche is also common.

Maya Lovelace
Maya Lovelace
8 years ago

My name is Paul Elam, King of the Beta Males:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

Demios
Demios
8 years ago

As someone who deeply loves video games, and was involved in the fighting game scene in the past, this shit deeply pisses me off. That being said, it’s sadly not surprising. The sexual harassment in gaming communities (particularly the fighting game community) was a huge elephant in the room, and it is about damn time it got exposed for what it was. The counter reaction from the community was sickening in a different way.

Not counting those who opposed the sexual harassment of Miranda, the reaction seemed split in the following ways.

1. “It’s the host’s fault for baiting Aris with that line of questioning” (bullshit, it was a completely valid line of questioning, and Aris is responsible for the sickening shit he said, nobody put a gun to his head and made him be a misogynistic ass).

2. “It’s the game journalists fault for blowing it out of proportion” (again, bullshit, this wasn’t blown out of proportion at all, they did their job and reported what was said. That’s being a good and ethical journalist).

3. “You’re just trying to make us look bad!” (as someone who counts zirself as a member of the fighting game community [despite being removed from that world now], people like Aris make us look bad. People who reflexively say misogynistic shit on the chatstreams whenever a woman is up in a tournament make us look bad).

One of the most perplexing arguments I’ve read is “we’re not bad, we tolerate Kayo Police [a trans woman model and tournament regular].” When I was watching EVO and her match was up, the chat feed was saying things like “don’t lose to a girl” and other stupid shit like that. When someone mentioned she is trans (although they used…less acceptable terms), it was bigotry squared over there. I’ve never rage-quit WATCHING a game before, but I just couldn’t take how vile things got there. The closest thing I’ve seen to tolerance from the community at large is treating her like a damn fetish object. Even then, it often comes in the form of backhanded compliments that reveal both transphobia and possible homophobia (many comments don’t register her as a woman). Not sure if the lesson here is that tolerance is only rewarded to those who are exceptionally conventionally beautiful (and Kayo Police is), or that the operational definition of tolerance in their eyes is declaring how they would like to have sex with someone and occasionally mentioning that she also plays fighting games. Either way, that’s utter crap.

Holly Pervocracy
8 years ago

It finally ended with Aris announcing that if Miranda lost the practice match she was playing, she would have to submit to his sniffing her while saying her boyfriend’s name. She lost, he sniffed her, she left, and Aris said, “I hope she’s crying in the bathroom.” Classy.

I think things like this need to be thrown in the faces of people who defend this bullshit. It’s easy (well, easier) to defend it in the general, to say “everyone gets trash talked” or “everyone gets called a bitch.”

Not everyone gets fucking sniffed. Not everyone gets that fucking litany of shit Aris piled on Miranda. And I think when you start looking at the specifics of sexual harassment, at what actually happens, instead of soft little generalities like “made a female player uncomfortable,” it’s a whole lot more disgusting and harder to defend.

Megrez
Megrez
8 years ago

The only thing sadder than the sheer amount of bigotry in nerd culture is the speed at which nerds will leap to defend it.

Alex
8 years ago

Not everyone gets fucking sniffed. Not everyone gets that fucking litany of shit Aris piled on Miranda. And I think when you start looking at the specifics of sexual harassment, at what actually happens, instead of soft little generalities like “made a female player uncomfortable,” it’s a whole lot more disgusting and harder to defend.

This.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

All this gamer shit just reminds me of my first D&D play, back before coming out. I was playing with two guys, both of whom wanted to bone me, and they were upset when I wanted to play a male character because then they couldn’t hit on me IN campaign, as well as out. When I refused to back down, they simply introduced a ridiculously overpowered item right off the bat to forcibly genital-swap my character.

And those guys were “nice” about it. Funny enough, I haven’t played D&D with much of anyone since, with the exception of a nice couple anarchists who weren’t decidedly NOT interested in boning me. (Or if they were, they didn’t show so.)

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

All this gamer shit just reminds me of my first D&D play, back before coming out. I was playing with two guys, both of whom wanted to bone me, and they were upset when I wanted to play a male character because then they couldn’t hit on me IN campaign, as well as out. When I refused to back down, they simply introduced a ridiculously overpowered item right off the bat to forcibly genital-swap my character.

And those guys were “nice” about it. Funny enough, I haven’t played D&D with much of anyone since, with the exception of a nice couple anarchists who weren’t decidedly NOT interested in boning me. (Or if they were, they didn’t show so.)

Christ, assholes like that chap my ass. And I can’t make them not be assholes >:( Get out of my hobby, assholes! Or at least stop being assholes!

I hope you at least enjoyed D&D with the anarchists.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Falconer

Anarchist D&D was AWESOME. It was a very small campaign (was leaving the country in less than a week, so done in a weekend) with only a couple players. We played wizard librarians protecting a magical library from an anti-magic mob.

Just to be silly, I chose an uber-lawful half-orc bureaucrat abjurer. Through luck of the dice roll, pretty much everthing she did backfired, failed, or was undone within a few turns; if she wasn’t such a tank, she would’ve died, and it was really touch and go near the end. She was stuffy, pompous, and obsessed with paperwork, and she became the campaign favorite. (I think the anarchists found her a refreshing change of pace.) I still have her sheet! Good times, good times.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

@LBT: That sounds awesome indeed. I should try something smaller-scale like that. Everything I try to keep going turns into save the world … again. I think some of my groups kind of expected it.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Falconer

Yeah, I gotta give the DM kudos; she set up her campaign to be pretty tight and small. It was specifically a time limit campaign: it took X hours for the NPC head librarian to make our portal out of there. And it was a library surrounded by an angry mob, so no way we were getting out of that library any other way. She set her time/space boundaries really well, had lots of random rolls to add flavor, and we had a blast!

Aw man. Now I wanna play D&D again…

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Aw man. Now I wanna play D&D again…

Me too. I’ve had the misfortune of never really being able to get a good group together to play with.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: Dracula

Yeah, I haven’t played since the Anarchist Weekend, and I lack the resources for a long-term campaign. But I’d love to have a quick play for the fun. My roomie plays, but not sure I want to deal with doing Trans 101 with his buddies.

Falconer
Falconer
8 years ago

Everybody I’ve talked to has trouble getting a group together.

And yet D&D is the biggest-selling RPG out there. I guess buying =/= playing, but I still want to ask, who’s playing this thing?

Although I have been pleasantly surprised to spot the PHB in the possession of students at schools here in the Bible belt on two separate occasions.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Well, when I was younger (about thirteen), the people I knew that actually played were my sister’s boyfriend’s friends. I just kinda tagged along sometimes.

It wasn’t all that much fun, since they were A) in thier twenties and B) kind of jerks.

Then when I got older, most of the friends I had that were interested in playing lived in other towns.