Oh joy, I get to be that guy. The guy that everyone is gonna have a bone to pick with.
See, a recent hot topic in the gaming world, as many of you know, is sexism. As much as I hate to say it, gaming is a very young medium that still has its share of immature views that are very dominant in not just the player base but possibly major parts of the industry, if not completely intentional, which is why you get mass Youtube comments filled with racism and women hating. I talked about how to write for women during my last article here, but I did not talk about the massive issue surrounding it and many of the events that have turned this into a powder keg, mainly three events that make me ashamed to be a gamer but for more reasons than you think. For every gaggle of idiots who think women should just be purely sexual objects, you get equally stupid but more morally right people who will back anyone who is attacked by the other side. Let’s get into this so you can all leave me some sort of angry comment that tells me I’m a sexist dipshit or secretly a female who desperately wants to rule your life.
Cross Assault Scandal
Now a few things. I am not going to be bashing the Fighting Game Community because I actually do want to be a part of it one day. I’m impressed by the skill these people have and the dedication. That said, I will be critical because some very dumb shit was said in this little nugget of time that outright deserves to be brought up again.
For those of you out of the loop, one Airs Bakhtanians acted like a sexist d-bag to a fellow female contestant during Cross Assault, a streamed tourney to promote Street Fighter X Tekken. He also got into an argument with the community manager of the event and dug his grave even deeper with comments I’m amazed anyone would make. He apologized for them, but he still said them. Here’s just an example of the stupid stuff.
Rea: You know what it is, to be honest with you? We’re getting older. Do you really want to keep hanging around with a bunch of [guys in their] early 20s who don’t know how to treat one another with respect? That’s what it is.
Bakhtanians: Alright, man. The thing is…if you don’t like the scene, how it is right now, it just seems like you’re trying to create…turn it into something that it’s not, and it’s never going to be. You know what I mean?
Rea: That’s really unfortunate [inaudible]…the way it is right now, they want to enjoy fighting games, but they’re so incredibly turned off by [the language].
Bakhtanians: This doesn’t involve me, Jared, I don’t know if you can hear me–this is Aris. This doesn’t really involve me, but if you don’t like onions, you get your sandwich without onions, man. I mean, this is the fighting game community.
Rea: Can I get my Street Fighter without sexual harassment?
Bakhtanians: You can’t. You can’t because they’re one and the same thing. This is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20 years old, and the sexual harassment is part of a culture, and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community–it’s StarCraft. There’s nothing wrong with StarCraft if you enjoy it, and there’s nothing wrong with anything about eSports, but why would you want just one flavor of ice cream, you know? There’s eSports for people who like eSports, and there’s fighting games for people who like spicy food and like to have fun. There’s no reason to turn them into the same thing, you know?
You can’t go to the NBA and say “hey, I like basketball, but I don’t want them to play with a basketball, I want them to play with a football.” It just doesn’t…it doesn’t make sense to have that attitude, you know? These things are established for years. That would be like someone from the fighting game community going over to StarCraft and trying to say “hey, StarCraft, you guys are too soft, let’s start making sexual harassment jokes to each other on StarCraft.” That’s not cool, people wouldn’t like that. StarCraft isn’t like that. People would get defensive, and that’s what you’re trying to do the fighting game community, and it’s not right. It’s ethically wrong.
I know that you’re thinking “what do you know about ethics? You say racial stuff and sexist stuff.” But those are jokes and if you were really a member of the fighting game community, you would know that. You would know that these are jokes.
Rea: So, ensuring that we alienate any and all female viewers…that’s the ethical thing to do?
Bakhtanians: Well, you know, there are layers here, if you think about this. There are layers of ethics. There are people who are racist and commit hate crimes, right? And then there are people who are racist but they have tons of friends of all colors and they have deep love for those friends. Do you think those people are one and the same? Absolutely not.
Yeah. Since when has being a sexist asshole been acceptable? The fighting game community and its many parts all have rather terrible rep these days for stuff like this, among other things. Many of the people in it are just guys and girls who like fighting games a ton and want to be as good as possible while trying for a cash prize to prove themselves. I’m not saying a competitive community needs to be neutered but it needs to be respectable and people need to learn to not take shit to such ugly areas. Imagine if someone heckled someone by calling a black player the N-word the whole game, no one would defend that. But the sexual equal gets an okay? The one good thing about this whole scandal is that more members of the community have become more vocal about the issue and more are being proactive about it. Hell, maybe Mr. Airs learned a lesson when he saw his own words repeated so much and realized what a douche he was being. Sometimes you just need a mirror to see how ugly you’re being, something I know personally.
If you were one of the guys defending the stupid shit said during all of this, go look and a mirror and ask if you like what you see. This is also why you don’t have a girlfriend.
Tropes Vs. Women
This is the part where everyone will start hating me.
This little slice of idiocy was over a woman named Antia Sarkeesian starting a kickstarter project for a web series called Women Vs. Tropes, which would explore how women are treated in video games and the various tropes that go with them, both harmful and positive. This is an idea I honestly believe is good. We need to discuss what is truly offensive to understand how to better act as human beings and not become knuckle dragging scum, like the many Youtube commentors who decided to have a full on war with the woman and used such an incredible amount of sexist vile that it bordered on beautiful in the sheer amount of ignorance and hatred, like how The Room borders on brilliant for being one of the worst movies ever made. In retaliation, thousands of people donated to the kickstarter to support an ideal they believe in and show up the knuckle dragging scum by putting it far above the desired goal.
Both the scum and the supporters were fucking idiots and here’s why.
See, charity can be a scam. You look into what you’re giving your money to in order to make sure it’s going towards something you truly want. You want to donate to the real deal and not a group of scammers. I’m not calling this woman a scammer, but I do find this thing a tad suspect. See, she’s already been doing videos exploring the exact same issues this series would explore on her Youtube channel for free. Why did she need 6000 bucks to start a new series that was basically about the exact same stuff she already discusses? Most likely to add fancy and pointless production values. That personally bugs me because I believe the message is strong enough on its own, you don’t need to ask for money to do what you already do with more sparkle if it comes down to intelligent discussion. However, I would have no problem with people supporting this project, not that big of a deal or that large of a chunk of cash in this case. I never donated, but I don’t hate people who did at first.
Here’s the thing, though. Why did this project make 100,100 dollars at the end? Because people don’t care as much about supporting ideals and more about sticking it to the other side. Which is STUPID. You aren’t helping to solve the problem, you’re just feeding a bunch of trolls and giving far more money than needed to someone, money that most likely won’t end up going into the series itself. Instead of giving to other charities after the project’s goal was reached, you gave it to someone who didn’t need it anymore just so you could make some sort of point to a bunch of human scum, a point that only makes them riled and go on to say even more idiotic shit.
Think before you support something. Ask yourself, will your dollar make a difference at this point? Or are you just angry and want to act out in some way and this is how you’re going to do it? Then ask if the people you want to make a point to even care, and trust me on this as a regular browser of /v/, they don’t. Be less emotional and more logical.
Ryan Perez and Felicia Day
Part of the reason I’m writing this is because I got into a massive argument on Twitter over this topic here and it got my juices flowing. This is the topic that makes me wonder if the side I’m on even thinks anymore or is entirely dictated by knee jerk reactions.
The short version is that Destructoid writer Ryan Perez wrote some very stupid things about one Felicia Day on Twitter and later apologized after a huge shit storm. He was fired from the site, which honestly I’m not sure I completely agree with, but I do believe he was being an ass to another human being. When he directed his tweets to the woman in question is when he crossed the line. But here’s the thing; people are calling him sexist. This is the part I don’t get. Here are the original tweets he directed towards Felicia Day.
Further tweets apologizing say he was drunk at the time and didn’t really have all the facts. Thus, we can gather he was going by passing information he had on Ms. Day’s accomplishments. So we have now gathered he was being a dumbass who didn’t have all the info and acted like a complete dipshit towards a major celeb when he shouldn’t have been doing so as a journalist. That leaves one question; was what he said sexist?
Despite everyone saying otherwise…I don’t see it. What I see is someone with passing information made an observation but did it in a very insulting way. Nothing about what he tweeted said that he thought less of women. The booth babes comment? That can actually be a real criticism with as many “nerd” celebs there are today who bring a subculture to their side by pandering to them. G4 is famous for this practice, and of course you have major gaming news groups like IGN doing the exact same thing. Hell, one of the Daily Show cast members (who seems to have been fired awhile back) made her career by pandering to our demographic. If you didn’t have all the facts, any celebrity who said they were really into videogames would instantly look suspect. I’m not saying he’s right (go look up Ms. Day’s work, it’s impressive), what I’m saying is that his thoughts were on her work, not the fact that she is a woman.
The argument I see against this is an idiotic one. It comes down to seeing this person as a DUDE-BRO who was bashing a random female gamer he heard about to go tell his dude friends about it. Except he challenged her based on what he knew asking if she had added to the industry in any real way. Beyond saying Booth Babe, nothing at all in his tweets suggest that he was trying to be the cool bro with his beer drinking frat brothers other than being critical of a gaming personality that was female.
This is the exact same thought process as Mr. Perez’s, one lacking of actual facts and fueled only by passing glances. You’re basing your argument over an emotional reaction because of one word and the target. What do you know about this man? Most likely the same amount he knew of Ms. Day when he said those very stupid things. You are not helping, you are hurting. You are making Feminists look irrational and overly emotional instead of logical people who just want to be treated with some equality and don’t see an enemy as much as a group of people who don’t really understand and need to be educated. This is not a war or a fight, this is trying to teach people to be respectful human beings. By trying to fight a battle you begin to see people as your enemy, you become another form of blind ignorance. The goal is understanding, not beating the other side. Some hate makes sense, but calm down and try to look at things with some logic and understanding. People can change and that is the goal. Remember this.
Is what he said sexist in some form? The argument can be made. Does that mean the man himself is sexist? Hell no, at least from the information we have, we can not judge completely. By fighting someone in a huge firestorm for one term when you have no idea who that person is and instead lump them with the crowd of misogynists, you’re just making yourself look bad and making a bad situation worse.
That’s all I have to say on the subject. Just be calm and understanding, call out bullshit but don’t fight a war.
You may now flame this article based on whichever part you stopped reading on because it made you uncontrollably angry.