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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Essay

Sexism In Fighting Game Culture Says Nothing About Gamers, But It Says Everything About Bullies


If you’ve been around any tech or gaming sites this week, you’ve already seen the big brouhaha surrounding Cross Assault, a fighting game reality show sponsored by Capcom. To sum up: The leader of the Tekken team, Aris Bakhtanians, made a number of rather jaw-dropping remarks concerning sexual harassment in the fighting game community, which he seems to view as a God-given right. Player Miranda Pakozdi later threw a match after Bakhtanians — her own teammate, mind you — continued to harass her (queries about her bra size were the just the tip of the iceberg).

The whole to-do has already been covered extensively elsewhere, and a significant portion of the fighting game community has loudly decried Bakhtanians’ actions, stating that his boorish behavior is not reflective of gaming culture as a whole. If you’re a gamer, you already know that. There are plenty of awesome gamer guys out there who would never even consider engaging in this kind of nonsense. The Cross Assault incident is yet another case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch.

However, what I would like to address is the all-too-familiar sentiment behind Bakhtanians’ appalling comments. The argument I see popping up a lot around this issue — and indeed, around most discussions of sexism, racism, or homophobia — is one of censorship. It goes like this: Trash-talking is funny, comedy is inherently cruel, and toning it down every time someone gets offended flies in the face of free speech. If you don’t get the joke, then go somewhere else.

Okay, yes, but…no.

Freedom of speech is something I will defend to the death. I’m a card-carrying member of both the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I believe that everyone should have the legal right to express themselves however they like. Please notice that I said legal right. The idea of a governing body dictating what you can and cannot say or read or watch or think gives me the shivers. So when I write about depictions of women in video games that I find, shall we say, less than palatable, I’m under no illusion that the developers are somehow obligated to change their ways. I hope that they will take the socially responsible route, but if they don’t, I’m not going to demand that the government should “do something about it.” I’m just going to spend my money on developers who do care about their female audience. Content creators absolutely have the right to say whatever they like. Similarly, I have the right to say that I don’t like it. Such is the beauty of free speech.

I also know that comedy is often at its best when it crosses social boundaries. That’s why comedy is so important in the first place. It’s a way for us to try to figure out our weird, contradictory world. And yeah, trash-talking can be fun, too (so long as everyone is laughing). Jokes about gender and race and sexuality can totally be funny — but it depends heavily on the context, the delivery, and the underlying message. Of course, comedy is also hugely subjective. Just because one woman laughs at a joke about women doesn’t mean that all women will laugh at that joke. And it doesn’t mean that all the women who don’t get the joke are somehow in the wrong. It just means that we’re all different.

This is where I think some people have a misconception of what “freedom of speech” means. Free speech does not give you carte blanche to speak without consequences. You are free to say what you like, but you are also responsible for your words and actions.

If you are a comedian, an author, a blogger, a podcaster — anybody who makes stuff for the masses — and decide to make a joke about a person or a group of people, you are within your rights to do so. This is a matter of knowing your audience. If a member of your audience gets offended, it’s up to you to decide what to do next. You can choose to amend your act, or your can choose to ignore it. It depends on who you want to keep in your audience. You’re under no obligation to pander to anyone. But people are under no obligation to sit and listen, either. If several members of your audience stand up and say “Enough,” then you should probably think about what’s coming out of your mouth before you wind up with no audience at all.

If you are an individual making a joke directly to another person’s face (in the digital age, that can mean through chat, Vent or blog comments as well), and that person tells you that they are offended, you still have options. If you decide that the joke was offensive, you might decide to never make a joke like that again, to anyone. If you don’t think that the joke was offensive, you might still recognize that that particular individual was offended, in which case you might decide to tell the joke only to people who will get it and to avoid the offended individual entirely (that person probably won’t want to hang out with you, either). Or you can keep making the joke directly to that person’s face, believing that you are blameless for the person’s offense, because it’s not your fault that he/she doesn’t find it funny — and maybe, his/her offense makes the joke all the more funny to you.

If you choose that last option, congratulations. You’re a bully.

Humans are a social species, and I believe that means we have a responsibility to the well-being of the people around us. We can’t be nice to everyone. We won’t always (or ever) agree with everyone. We don’t always laugh at the same jokes as other people. But when a person tells you to stop doing whatever you are doing directly to them, you stop. Period. End of discussion. Groups can disagree with one another, and even publicly decry one another. That’s okay; that’s human nature. Picking on an individual because they don’t fit into your group, however, is wrong. It’s heartless, it’s childish, and there is nothing funny about it.

This is an issue that goes beyond sexism, or racism, or any other ism. It’s not limited to the gaming community, or the comics community, or even to the geek community. But since we’re all here, let’s talk about the geek community. We have always stereotypically been a refuge for the weirdos, the nerds, the freaks, the explorers, the free spirits, the others. Bullying, in my eyes, does not belong here. You know what sort of people stereotypically bully others for the amusement of their peers? Jocks. Lets not be jocks. Lets be geeks. We’re better than that.

Becky Chambers is a freelance writer and a full-time geek. She blogs over at Other Scribbles.

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  • http://twitter.com/CharlottaGee CharlottaGee

    I know that not EVERY SINGLE dude gamer out there is sexist, but I do think the problem is more widespread than this article states. I’ve been gaming for years, and honestly, abusive behavior is more the norm than the exception in online gaming.

  • http://skemono.blogspot.com/ Skemono

    This is where I think some people have a misconception of what “freedom of speech” means. Free speech does not give you carte blanche to speak without consequences.

    Moreover, “freedom of speech” does not mean that repeatedly shouting sexist (or racist, or homophobic, etc.) things makes you an exemplar of free speech or some edgy “rebel”.  It just makes you an asshole.

  • John Wao

    Idiots like that is the reason I’ve never tried MMOs.

  • Anonymous

    And this is now the third time you’ve linked to PA in a post about/related to/spurred by gender-based bullying.  This is not funny, nor do I find it simply mildly upsetting.  It’s out of line to give PA any attention or page views.  It’s completely unacceptable.  What the heck is hard to understand about this?

  • Anonymous

     Frankly, I’m amazed Penny Arcade allowed that article to be posted on their site, given that they’re the bastions of “It was just a joke, you dumb bitch.  Quit treading on my freedom of speech!”

  • http://twitter.com/sanspants Matt

    The problem here, CharlottaGee, is the “online” part. It’s damn easy to be a total dick online due to lack of accountability, which is what Aris seemed to forget. Penny Arcade called it Gabriel’s Greater Internet D$#kwad Theory – an audience plus anonymity means no repercussions for being a jerk.

    Is there a list of actual competitive gamer organizations that have taken a stand concerning this kind of behavior?

  • http://twitter.com/thefremen thefremen

    Not every single gamer dude is sexist, but pointing that out does little to address the problem and just appeases those who don’t think of themselves as sexist while acting misogynist. 

  • http://twitter.com/thefremen thefremen

    I doubt they’d even create policies until someone is raped live on camera. 

  • Anonymous

    The self-entitled garbage I’m reading from these people is staggering.  They completely fail to understand that, contrary to what they believe, HARASSMENT IS NOT DEFENDED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT. Concerted bullying is not a legitimate freedom of expression, and there’s a difference between telling raunchy/filthy/offensive jokes in a friendly setting, and actively alienating another human being through raunchy/filthy/offensive jokes.

    I hate to go all Reductio ad Absurdum on this, but the “defence” that “this is what fighting game culture has always been like” is absolute nonsense.  Clinging to an antiquated tradition which has only survived as long as it has because games were a boy’s only club means things which are unacceptable in every other walk of life somehow become engrained into the culture.

    If taking harassment out of this Fighting Game Culture “kills” it, then maybe it should be put down.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     The PA issue wasn’t clearcut.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     Then perhaps you should ammend your opinion of them to include this so you come out with something a little more nuanced than “scum of the earth, forever and always?”

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Considering that it happened in person with a TV camera rolling, the problem is not so much the online part.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know why it’s big issue now. Is it because it’s a women?  Racist remarks, homophobic remarks, and everything in between comes too light when people trash talk, especially online. Even if you say “stop” It encourages these people too do it more. It is, what it is though.

    “Lets not be jocks. Lets be geeks.” Um geeks are making fun of other geeks here, so I didn’t understand that.  You make it seem like geeks are better than jocks when it comes too having good behavior, and not being bullies also. Some people like picking on other people, because they are them! And because of that, they’re a easier target, which seems to be the case here, but with the opposite sex. The gaming community has always been a ‘mixed-bag’ community. So this whole ‘comradery’ with geeks in the gaming world is false. I’ve met more enemies playing MMORPG’s than going to my neighborhood gym, so I don’t agree on that aspect at all!

  • Anonymous

    Not sure which PA ‘issue’ you’re referring to.  [TW]The Dickwolves mess, Krahulik’s bullying of that ridiculous asshole marketing for some game controller company or somesuch, or the most recent rape joke they posted, the one where the humor hinges directly on the lack of consent.[/TW] 

    You’ll have to be more explicit if you want to make excuses for those rape apologist assholes.

  • http://sdhardie.tumblr.com Sheila

    People who cry that asking them to STFU is “infringing on their free speech rights” have clearly never read, nor do they understand, the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. The first five words should give them a clue, but alas… 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7GVNIKWG3S2UTHEQOMSZXT4M4 Anna B

    You’re right, of course. Back in my teens (quite a long time ago, to be perfectly honest), way back before you can find opponents online, you actually had to go to some kind of video game cafe (not an arcade. I use the term “cafe” lightly because there was nothing posh about these places. They were usually in the back in the storage room of really old malls–don’t ask. It was in the Philippines), where there were a bunch of video game consoles and you basically just took a seat and challenged whoever was already there.  I never heard a single word of harassment, sexual or otherwise. It was because we were all RIGHT THERE and basically, nobody wanted to look like a complete dick. Also, the shop owner could’ve thrown anyone out.  A lot of times, I would see friends from school, so yeah, we occasionally knew each other. 

  • Cliff Hebner

    It’s almost as if the people at Penny Arcade were flesh and blood humans, able to adapt to new information and to learn from their mistakes! Shocking, I know, and really inconvenient for blind hatred, but there you go. People are just troublesome that way, with the growing and changing.

  • Victoria Eden

    Man… Just because you have the right to be a raging jackass, doesn’t mean you should be a raging jackass and it certainly doesn’t make someone else a lesser person for calling you out in being a raging jackass.

    In the words of the great Wil Wheaton: don’t be a dick.

  • http://twitter.com/barbara_holm Barbara Holm

    Fast forward to 1:37 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC74gbwtrvk Super funny and thoughtful comedy bit about this topic

  • http://www.facebook.com/maxwell.lachance Maxwell LaChance

    It’s really simple:  If you make a racist/sexist/homophobic joke, you are a racist/sexist/homophobe.  If you weren’t, you wouldn’t make the joke.  Comedy is not an excuse to be a bad person.  

  • Anonymous

    They never once to my knowledge defended rape. They may have defended jokes which include rape as part of the humor in a broader context of “offensive humor”, under an umbrella that includes the bestiality jokes, necrophilia, fruitophilia etc. jokes. But never once did they say “hey, rape? that’s a good thing”, and therefore are not rape apologists, hyperbole to the contrary. 

    You can hate them; it’s your right. But it’s worth noting that they were taking flak for posting something in their own space. Not, as is the example in the post here, getting in someone else’s face, not for going to a rape-support website and making a joke calculated to offend.I am reminded of the e-card: ”Once you hate someone, everything they do is offensive: Look at this bitch eating those crackers like she owns the place”

  • Anonymous

     Huh?  I never called them that.

  • http://twitter.com/crlanei C. R. Lanei

    One of the problems when these sorts of people call their comments “jokes” or comedy is that actual comedians write material about a wide range of issues that don’t necessarily reflect their world view accurately. What I mean is that they often take things further beyond the boundaries of truth to underscore absurd situations (at least in certain sorts of comedy). From my experience, the folks who make these jokes aren’t attempting anything particularly intellectual. They tend to be saying what they think and then hiding behind the idea that its a joke–which is really what I find kind of offensive in the gaming community.

    If you have certain beliefs then stand behind them. It gives the people you play with a chance to either continue or choose other people to play with.

  • Anonymous

    Everybody is a thirteen year old little snot when they’re online at a chat room, Bulletin Board, or mailing list…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Quavey-Havers/1593505278 Ryan ‘Quavey’ Havers

    That guy was bang out of order. I won’t say a lick more, you just don’t carry on if someone tells you to stop. :s

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208921 Nikki Lincoln

    I was going to point out the jock comment as well.. she had it spot on when she called them “bullies” but saying the all jocks are mean is just another stereotype at the end of an article pointing out how inappropriate that is. 

  • Anonymous

    It’s almost as if the people at Penny Arcade were flesh and blood humans, able to adapt to new information and to learn from their mistakes!

    [TW]  I’m not aware of either of them expressing remorse for mocking the fans they had who dared to complain about a comic they found triggering, nor for the entire mess — including the numerous threats of rape and murder that their critics received– that followed, which Krahulik encouraged repeatedly.  They continue to find jokes centered on rape victims and rape as a punchline humorous, and continue to (perhaps purposely) misunderstand what’s so terribly wrong about their behaviour.[/TW]

    It’s absolutely ok and human to make mistakes.  It’s absolutely not ok to never apologize, never acknowledge the mistake, and continue doing the same offensive and shitty things over and over.  Krahulik and Holkins are not error-prone, but decent human beings, they’re terrible people.

  • Anonymous

    It’s almost as if the people at Penny Arcade were flesh and blood humans, able to adapt to new information and to learn from their mistakes!

    [TW]  I’m not aware of either of them expressing remorse for mocking the fans they had who dared to complain about a comic they found triggering, nor for the entire mess — including the numerous threats of rape and murder that their critics received– that followed, which Krahulik encouraged repeatedly.  They continue to find jokes centered on rape victims and rape as a punchline humorous, and continue to (perhaps purposely) misunderstand what’s so terribly wrong about their behaviour.[/TW]

    It’s absolutely ok and human to make mistakes.  It’s absolutely not ok to never apologize, never acknowledge the mistake, and continue doing the same offensive and shitty things over and over.  Krahulik and Holkins are not error-prone, but decent human beings, they’re terrible people.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    No, no they’re not.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    No, no they’re not.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R2FMOLRKIGDLYRIZBHOJFSGHTU Sean

    It’s quite a shame when top US players were railing on Super__Yan for wanting to bail out of an abusive situation. No matter what the venue is, sexual harassment is sexual harassment. She’s not going to a big time tournament because she’s scared due to the negative sentiment that she received. For being sexually harassed. Yet Aris can attend freely if he shall choose. And that’s a damn shame. 

    If I were her, I’d be suing Capcom for a grip, no doubt. She didn’t sign up for that show to be sexually harassed by that jackass.

  • Anonymous

     Don’t kid yourself.  They are.  Any pretense to the opposite is just that.  A Pretense.  And one that should be avoided, as pretending is as bad as actually acting that way in the first place…

  • Anonymous

     I also forgot to mention that the anonymity of the Internet is a major contributor to that…  That self same anonymity is also here to stay, apparently, and will be for as long as there is an Internet.  So who said progress is always a good thing? I bet the bunch who designed and detonated the first atomic bomb thought that too, look where we’re at…  We lived under a nuclear gun for a significant number of decades when the Arms Race between the US and USSR was on, and now, we all have to worry about the head of state for Iran(Ahmad Ahmadinejad and his atomic “firecracker(s)”…

  • Lisa Jonte

    “Being asked to apologise for saying something unconscionable is not the same as being stripped of the legal right to say it.” -China Mieville

  • Victoria Eden

    Except weren’t they in the same room?

  • Anonymous

     Of course.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    I believe most of our readers prove you wrong. I’m not saying there aren’t jerks on message boards etc. just that everyone means EVERYONE, not just “the people I happen to run into.” 

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    It is your right to be a dick, just don’t expect anyone to like you for it.

  • Anonymous

     I will agree, although, I have thrown off my message boards and Yahoo Groups, just that type, mainly for spamming, flaming and general rule breaking…  Not that those rule infractions include what I say I will remove and ban the rule breaker for…  However, I have left groups and message boards because that’s what was there:  Snotty Thirteen year old behave alikes online…

  • http://twitter.com/Enoti905 Neta Bozman

    I thought this article did a fantastic job of explaining why hate-mongering and/or bullying are not legally (much less morally) defensible just because someone plays the “free speech”  card.  As I was reading I was just more and more impressed with the way Becky Chambers was expressing her thoughts…until I got to the last paragraph.  I really, really hope that she was being facetious in order to highlight her point.  Otherwise she completely undermined her whole argument by turning around and indulging in a ridiculous stereotype. 

  • http://twitter.com/hayleyelavik Hayley E. Lavik

    Pulling a quote from a recent post by China Mieville: “…there is a distinction between having the legal right to say something & having the moral right not to be held accountable for what you say. Being asked to apologise for saying something unconscionable is not the same as being stripped of the legal right to say it. It’s really not very fucking complicated. Cry Free Speech in such contexts, you are demanding the right to speak any bilge you wish without apology or fear of comeback. You are demanding not legal rights but an end to debate about & criticism of what you say.”

  • Anonymous

    [TW]They openly mocked rape victims because of criticism they got for a comic they posted 2 days before. That’s not how a person shows that they understand rape is terrible and that they are always against it. Neither is making a “dickwolves” t-shirt, by their own cannon, cheering on fictional rapists. [/tw]

    And they did go on at least one blog, Shakesville, and public spaces like Twitter with this business, which is kind of “getting in someone’s face”.

    You don’t have to hate them; I personally don’t find it helpful to condemn them as people or artists, but they did a shitty thing, and they continue that shittyness by failing to acknowledge it or why it was wrong for them to behave the way they have. Which makes me not want to engage with their work, and sorta makes me want to discourage other people from doing so.

  • Anonymous

    Shakesville was just as shitty, and there has been no apology from the shakesville folks, either, but there aren’t people trying to have them removed from public discourse.

    While I agree that it was handled poorly, they openly mocked not all rape victims, but the ones who were attacking them. There IS a difference, and being a rape victim does not shield you from having your behavior or opinions critiqued. 

    Shakesville, it is to be remembered, attacked them personally first. You can’t really expect them not to respond, and responding on the forum where they were attacked is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

    The original objection (on what is frankly an awful site) included such gems as 

    “But unlike Gabe killing Tycho so he doesn’t have to share a video game, a slave being raped isa real thing that happens in the world every day. ”

    The blogger felt that someone murdering someone for an item of value was LESS realistic than monstrous wolves made of dicks and werewolf heroes. That is a ludicrous proposition, and by the same standards they’ve applied to PA it insults the victims of murder and their families. 

    This was a debacle about political correctness that was handled poorly on both sides. Not a debacle about rape apology.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. Thank you so very much.

  • Anonymous

    You must be a JOCK!! (dun, dun, dunnn)

  • Anonymous

    You have to tread very lightly when speaking about -isms. By default, it is assumed you are speaking about *every* person of a demographic, which makes the person making the observation instantly a bad person who should be ignored, so it works out for those who don’t want to listen that way, too. In short, people just don’t ever listen, no matter what you said.

  • Anonymous

    Recently I was harassed with an MMO toon, and I told the guy before I even joined his guild that I was wary of sexual harassment, and when I confronted him about him continuing to use his weapon as a phallic symbol against my toon after me telling him to stop it, he dismissed me because he wasn’t *really* doing it.

  • Anonymous

    They weren’t remorseful and they did not learn. Mike reversed his decision to allow “Dickwolves” T-shirts at the PAX cons, but did that stop the people who he already riled up to wear them? No. Was “Team Rape” the name of the supporters of PA? Yes. Did they make another rape joke? Yes. Was it by a guest author? Yes. Did they post it anyway? Yes. Did they respond remorsefully when criticism came in again? No.

    In short, they are following the path that was described in the article, unfortunately. potsherds is right.

  • Anonymous

    “including the numerous threats of rape and murder that their critics received– that followed, which Krahulik encouraged repeatedly.” — citation needed. Because all I know about them and the threats was when they called for the threats on both sides to stop. 

  • Anonymous

     This was a debacle about political correctness that was handled poorly on both sides.

    Protip y’all.  If a dudebro comes in here and whines about political correctness, it’s shorthand for ‘I’m an asshole who expects to get away with being an asshole without being called on it, and I expect all my asshole friends and idols to be able to do the same and not get criticized either.”

    This guy right here, is an asshole, a rape apologist, and exactly the sort of problem in gaming that TMS is attempting to address, with ironic links. 

    Blade, don’t expect to hang about an advanced feminist space like Shakesville and understand the topics discussed at the level it’s discussed.  It’s either, judging by your nonsense on it, way over your head, or you’re willfully misunderstanding.

    TMS folks, this guy is repeating the same lines said over and over by Krahulik’s supporters during the months-long Dickwolves mess.  [TW]  And it’s people saying shit like this in public who privately sent Melissa McEwan, Courtney Stanton, and others threats of rape and murder, and tracked down private information about them and where they lived to terrorize them.  [/TW]

    His posts should be deleted, TMS, if you’ve any respect for trying to maintain some safety in this space.

  • Anonymous

    And this, right here, is bullying. I have never once defended rape. Nor have I threatened anyone with rape, or murder. I would never do any of those things. Yet I was just called a “rape apologist”. 

  • Anonymous

     I have never once defended rape. Nor have I threatened anyone with rape,
    or murder. I would never do any of those things. Yet I was just called a
    “rape apologist”.

    You are again, not educated enough on the subject, or willfully ‘misunderstanding’ the term.  You’re in fact, using a derailing tactic, here.

    [TW] You are defending PA and their use of rape and rape survivors as punchlines –> You are therefore contributing to, and defending, a culture where rape is normalized and minimized –> You are a rape apologist.  [/TW]

  • Anonymous

    Once again, just to be very clear, you are positing that defending a joke in which rape is posited as the worst thing ever, in which the joke is what monsters PCs are for ignoring the plight of NPCs, normalizes and minimizes rape. 
    While dismissing outright murder as something that DOESN’T HAPPEN, as Shakesville did, is perfectly okay. 

    It should be noted, I did NOT actually defend the joke. I defended them against accusations of rape apology. 

    Because an “apology” in the sense of rape apology has a REAL definition. REAL rape apologists are the ones who say “She was wearing a skimpy dress, she was leading him on”. The ones who say “Well, it’s her fault for walking down a dark alley”. Those are the people who are defending rape. Who are making an explanation of rape. Who are, to use the word in its philosophical/debate sense, apologizing rape. And they are terrible people. 

    Comic creators who make a joke that involves rape being the worst thing ever are not apologizing rape. You can call it tasteless, you can call it contributory to rape culture, but do not call it rape apology.

    This does not mean I wouldn’t defend the joke. I have the same opinion as the stars of Hogan’s Heroes, several of whom were Jewish actors who survived WWII and the camps, playing Nazis. They felt that trying to make the whole subject taboo was not the right answer. That doesn’t mean that everyone must feel that way; I’m sure there are other camp survivors sickened by the show. But Hogan’s Heroes wasn’t a Nazi apologist show. 

  • Anonymous

     It should be noted, I did NOT actually defend the joke. I defended them against accusations of rape apology.

    [TW]I’m not sure how you can get around the fact that they sold ‘Team Rapists’ (Team Dickwolves) shirts in their online shop and Krahulik encouraged people to wear them at their cons.[/TW]

    For the record, I’m going to do something fairly radically feminist and stop addressing you.  I’ve spent enough of my time and emotional energy addressing you already, and I don’t feel you’re entitled to any more of it..  I can only expend so much energy replying to people who excuse this sort of behaviour before it really wears me down.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     Do you have more proof than a single comment that you disagree with that he’s a “dudebro” rather than someone who doesn’t know the intricate dance of internet social justice circles, where saying “political correctness” will get everybody’s back up?

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    The dickwolves clusterfuck, though it’s apparent that you’re not willing to listen to dissent. 

    I’ll just reiterate that a person who did something idiotic in the past can still run a website that posts smart analysis that deserves to be linked to from time to time.  If you don’t want to click the link and give them traffic, don’t.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     Everybody’s racist/sexist/homophobic in part.  It’s cultural indoctrination.  Trying to separate out the “good people” from the “bad people” is a fool’s errand.  You have to change the culture and teach people who do make jokes like that to see their words for what they are.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     No, you didn’t, it’s just the general attitude towards PA that a lot of people seem to have these days.. Go read the thread with potsherds to see what I mean.

  • Anonymous

     I’m still flummoxed.  You quote me as saying something I didn’t say, then admit I didn’t say it, then instruct me to read stuff as if you still think I’d said it.  Were you just trying to get something out of your system, and I just happened to be in the way?

  • Anonymous

    cranky_olive, I think Bel was using quotes not in the sense of “direct quote”, but in the sense of “this is a paraphrase of a general position”. Like if I were talking about the anti-Obama crowd, and said “You shouldn’t all sit there and go “Graar, Obama’s a socialist from Nigeria!” all day”. I’m not saying anyone directly said that, I’m just constructing a phrase. 

  • http://twitter.com/AbelUndercity Abel Undercity

    Posted as a public service.  When the wounded puppies howling “my sexism isn’t really sexism” can form an argument that doesn’t entail any of the following, please feel free to speak up again:

    http://derailingfordummies.com/

  • Anonymous

    Then don’t bother posting in the first place. There’s nothing radical about giving up because you realize that you have crappy points. 

    You’ve ignored any fault I’ve laid on the feet of the side you agree with. You’ve ignored the fact that I said I agreed they handled it poorly. You’ve shown yourself to be a dogmatic sexist (nice assumption that I’m a man with your dudebro comment, btw. Remember, when you dont’ want to address points, there’s always ad hominem! Oh, and calls for censorship. Stay classy). 

    And now you say I’m not “entitled” to your response. How very nice for you, to snipe, make some ill-formed points, then try to claim some higher ground. You won’t get it, because you don’t deserve it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/1shewolf JoAnna Luffman

    It really depends on the situation. I’ve gotten tons of shit from opponents for using a feminine screen name (oh, you must be a shemale are the most common), much less from team mates. If it’s a game where voice comms are used, I usually prove I’m not a moron before I talk – either by being a killing machine in an FPS, a good support in a MOBA, or whatever role I play in a MMO. It seems to help.

    It could be a genre thing – Fighter games are cesspools, Xbox is a cesspool, PC in general is a step above the mess. But only a small step. I’m usually hard to bother, but one time I did get harassed to the point I had to stop playing. It was horrible. But one time in….15 years isn’t too bad. 

    Edit: Thinking more about this incident, I think it’s more of a corrolary to the GIDT by PA – TV cameras and/or an audience make people act like jackasses. We all know how reality shows love to have some stupid BS drama, so they likely took this guy aside and had him ramp up his douchebaggery.

  • http://twitter.com/Kuroishi11 George Cauley

    Its the fighting game community honestly.  Where I work we have a great little group of guys that play and have fun.  But competitive fighting game players?  They could be 14 or 40 and they will be whiny, immature douche-bags.  Makes the jackasses that trash talk in call of duty look like the very model of maturity.  Most are selfish, insecure bullies that chest pound and think that being good at a video game equates to the same prowess as someone who dedicated their life to martial arts.

  • Anonymous

     Thank you! I was about to start hollerin’ at people who clearly aren’t even willing to acknowledge what the discussion is about, and want to make up their own conversation where it’s about calling them monsters and hurting their feelings, specifically, for no reason,
    but then you reminded me that past a point engaging is just encouraging people to take up space. I am also ok with this thread being deleted to make Mary Sue a more welcoming place.

    haha, I just wondered “what if ‘bladerunner99′ chose that name because they were born in the year ’99?” and I realized that could be possible! my how time flies.
    I have to say, I’m kind of dissappointed in a 12 year old who hasn’t learned that words and actions have consequences.

  • http://shadowfirebird.tumblr.com shadowfirebird

    My position is even simpler.  This isn’t about censorship AT ALL.

    Censorship is when people say something and other people stop it from being broadcast.  That’s clearly not happening here.

    What is happening here, is that people are saying stupid things, and other people are saying that they shouldn’t have said them.  That’s not censorship in any way.  That’s just criticism!

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    People who don’t agree with your point of view on the matter (That PA are irredeemable rape apologists; that they shouldn’t be linked to, and to do so is inherently unfeminist) are not “excusing” their behaviour.  How they acted was pretty thoroughly terrible, and I don’t think anybody in this thread ever debated that.  But there’s room to see it with more nuance than just “PA is evil” and the people who don’t aren’t necessarily derailing, acting as rape apologists, being anti-feminist, secretly dudebros, secretly conservatives, uneducated, stupid, ignorant or unaware of rape culture.

  • http://shadowfirebird.tumblr.com shadowfirebird

    I’m anonymous and I don’t resort to anything stronger than mild snark online.  There goes your “everyone”.

    Sorry, there is no correlation, just operator bias – in my opinion.

  • http://otherscribbles.com Becky Chambers

    Oh, I seem to have shot myself in the foot. My intent was to make a tongue-in-cheek reference to high school archetypes (i.e., the person who gets thrown in the trash can, and the person who does the throwing), not people’s actual interests. As a sister to a tanned, ripped, baseball-throwing, rock-climbing, weight-lifting dude, I hardly think that all athletes are bullies. But I can see how I might have come across that way. In hindsight, I could have phrased that much better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gorillazfan Emily Hill

    you know the funny thing is my nephew who is going to be four soon loves videogames and when I’m at his house my sisters place he doesn’t ask his father to help him with a level he asks me because I’ve loved videogames since I was about his age when my older brother played on the original Nintendo we played the very first mario brothers I was Luigi anyway I like that he doesn’t think only boys are good at games I’m thinking of getting him a 3DS and Skyward sword

  • Anonymous

     Right back at you, in addition: There is.  You just proved it, with your answer, and there is no such thing as mild snark…
    especially with anonymity… You disproved yourself…

  • Anonymous

     That’s RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!  Shadowfirebird, Jill Pantozzi and Victoria Eden Take Note!!!
    Although I didn’t say what Matt said, I was getting around to saying that, although Matt said it better… 

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    I don’t know what point you’re trying to make anymore. I said I know there are idiots on message boards and the like. And obviously it’s worse because most of the time it’s anonymous. Your original point was that it was everyone and it’s not. End of story.

  • Daniel Na

    While “active” sexism such as what is described in this article may be only the result of a few bad apples, there is a much larger and concerning passive sexism that prevails the gaming community. Just look at the majority of female characters in games. Even look at how female gamers are treated. Whether it’s positive or negative, it’s always female first, gamer second. To pretend that sexism is limited to a “few bad apples” is rather naive.

  • Erica Tomas

    “Free speech does not give you carte blanche to speak without consequences. You are free to say what you like, but you are also responsible for your words and actions.”

    Yes. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.m.enders Robert Enders

    One great thing about free speech is that it allows dirtbags to announce themselves as such.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thejagamemnon Jay Salinas

     That’s any sport, it’s not exclusive to the fgc.

  • Dave Haenze

    I disagree. Many of my friends and I take part in what is often called “banter”. Quite a few jokes are made about me being American, whereas many of my friends are British. I really couldn’t care less.  As long as you take it as well as you dish it out, all is fine.

  • hcblue

    I disagree. While it may be true that everyone has their own biases and prejudices, I think Maxwell LaChance still has a point. 

    What I see is this: people might be ignorant or insensitive when they do it the first time, but they are racist/sexist/homophobic when they were told it’s offensive and they do it anyway. There’s a distinction to be made, and that stems from what one does afterwards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001239757046 Santiago Belandres

    If anyone actually believes game companies making games like Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball and having every female in Soul Caliber basically wearing a handkerchief around their body doesn’t attribute to male gamers thinking less of females and females in general you are pretty dense. 

  • Null Nihil

    What a misleading title.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kal-Galath/814526247 Kal Galath

     … you are upset because someone made his collection of pixels hump your collection of pixels, and then booted you from build when you complained?

    First off when he started doing this, and didn’t stop when you asked (im going to assume you tried simply moving.. be cause just standing there and bitching would be stupid in the extreme.)… especially after you mentioned your sensitivity on the subject… you should have left guild before he had a chance to boot you, publicly told him to stop, and then, if he still refused to stop, reported him to the GM’s for harassment.

    Second, as much as this is going to sound apologist, it’s not. Its simple fact. You are playing an MMO. something which grants the user an avatar, and the relative anonymity to use it in whatever way they decide is most entertaining at the time.

    By even bringing up the subject you painted a HUGE target on your toon for anyone who was bored and is amused by pushing peoples buttons.
    I cannot speak for your game, or server, etc.. but on mine at least.. most of the sexist asshats are in 1-2 guilds, predominantly male.
    My own guild has a mix of men and women, and while we do tease and flirt a bit.. (well.. i do anyway.. though more flirting than teasing…) we also know that if someone asks you to stop, you stop.

    So my advice, really, is next time, don’t make a fuss about it until/unless it becomes an issue.
    Announcing it from the start makes it an issue immediately, and tells the wrong sort of people that they will definately get the sort of reaction they want.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kal-Galath/814526247 Kal Galath

     I missed something.. who was actually defending that viewpoint?

  • Anonymous

     Sorry…  My point is that with the anonymity of the Internet, everybody that is on the net, in message boards, yahoo groups or the like, can be counted on to misbehave.  The anonymity is the license to act like that…  Also, you will never change some people, no matter what.   Bullies are bullies and that’s that…  So are sexists, racists, and homophobes…  

  • Nathan Cox

    “Picking on an individual because they don’t fit into your group, however, is wrong. It’s heartless, it’s childish, and there is nothing funny about it.”

    While I agree with most of what is said here, this statement is patently false. Everyone I have ever met has tended to integrate themselves into groups or cliques that expressly devote themselves to upholding certain ideals as true (be it a sense of humor or any other trait, opinion, et cetera). This is the nature of human existence. 

    By actively associating yourself with this group, you accept the consequence that the people who disagree with you are very likely going to ridicule you. This is also part of human nature. This is fine, because you always have the option of simply ignoring the other group, and furthermore because there is no real reason for you to associate yourself with that group. By engaging in activities that associate you with people who do not believe as you do you must inherently accept the reality that you are walking into a potentially unpleasant situation.

    Take for example a hardcore liberal walking into the republican’s convention to voice his opinion. He has a responsibility to be aware of the potential (read: “inevitable”) responses he’s going to receive and has totally waived his right to be offended by it.

    Long story short here: if you as a female start playing a game where all of the female characters are almost completely nude and every opportunity to get them to spread their legs for the camera is eagerly taken, you have to understand the type of people who are likely to be playing that game with you and accept that their behavior is beyond your control. You have the option of walking away, or ignoring them; later complaining about it is just as childish as the attitude that offended you.

  • Anonymous

    Using humor as a shield for reprehensible behavior and bigoted beliefs is a problem in a lot of places, gamer culture included. As some of the earlier comments have illustrated, though, some people cannot or will not draw a distinction between absurdist or subversive humor and the kind of thinly veiled prejudice discussed in this article.

  • xx xxx

    People were mad at her because she was costing people money. There is a lot of money on the line for cross assault and throwing matches like that doesn’t help your team’s chances of winning.

  • http://twitter.com/fritzywiggins Fred Wiggins

    I’ve found in Guild Wars it’s not too difficult to just ignore people like that completely. Don’t know about other games.

  • Anonymous

     Yes, it is everyone, No One is PERFECT.   Me, either for that matter..

  • Anonymous

    I’m not particularly familiar with the whole Dickwolves debacle, but your line of reasoning seems to be that awful things, like rape, are never appropriate subjects for humor. I am curious about how you’d classify things like Monty Python’s many WWII-related sketches? Tens of millions of human beings, most of them civilians, lost their lives in that war, so are any attempts at humor involving it automatically offensive and taboo?

    I’m of the opinion that it is possible to separate the concepts of things like rape and murder from their individual instances for the sake of discussion (or humor) and that doing so does not necessarily devalue them. An i

  • http://shadowfirebird.tumblr.com shadowfirebird

    Well, if you found “there goes your everyone” offensive, that would certainly explain your position. 

    Personally I fail to see how it is any less offensive than “everyone is a 13yr old snot online, and it’s the fault of anonymous posting”…

  • Anonymous

    There’s kind of a “no type of joke is disallowed” policy over at PA which they are entirely unapologetic for, and that understandably results in situations that are very upsetting to people. However, I don’t really understand why that should mean that they no longer have the right to be sourced or participate in public discourse when they decide to do so in an entirely appropriate manner. It might limit their credibility in your eyes, but that doesn’t mean their points aren’t valid.

    Rail against them when they’re doing wrong, but when they get it right, either ignore it or give them kudos.

  • Anonymous

    Well, admittedly it’s been a long time since I braved the wilds of Xbox Live, but back when I was playing Halo 2 online regularly I was basically constantly subjected to sexual harassment, or homophobia. I’m not male, or gay, but as the Halo players frequently decided that “girls don’t play games”, and my logo was a pink flower, they decided I was a gay teenage boy and I was subjected to all the same slurs I would have been if I was such! So it’s not just fighting games.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Ok, I apologize, I thought I was having a logical discussion. My bad.

    Just stop, you don’t know everyone that posts on message boards, you can’t make a statement like that period.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DYMQ74VK55RPNRARHMDV5UNFEE V2Blast

    Well, the guy who started this whole controversy, to begin with. But then it’s obvious that he’s an idiot.

  • Brandi Brown

    Great article.  You defined the true meanings of “freedom of speech” and what people often forget- the responsibilty of what comes out of their mouth. You’ve put all the sentiments of how I’ve felt about bullies and the subject in general into words that make sense.

    I hope the bullies that see this can understand that they’re out of line and become a more positive influence.

  • http://amzrigh.livejournal.com/ AmzRigh

    I think you’re missing something — satire. Some such jokes (or deliveries thereof) are hurtful and mean-spirited, and those, certainly, are spread by people who believe what they’re saying.

    Some, though, are utterly absurd, have little to no bearing on reality, and serve to make racism itself look stupid.

    For instance: on a couple occasions, playing Halo 3 with friends, we started throwing around the word “Jew” a lot. (Tangentially, I find it amusing how it’s mostly gentiles who seem to find that word particularly offensive.) We had the Jew Hammer, the Jew Laser, stuff like that, and it was hilarious precisely because it made zero sense.

    Of course, this is again, as the article noted, a case of “know your audience.” We knew that everybody present realized it was simply absurd faffing about. Regardless of our benign intent, we would’ve cut it out had any offense been made.

  • Anonymous

     I wasn’t just talking about message boards or Yahoo Groups, I was talking about game servers, as well… THAT’S also the reason I don’t play games online in the first place…

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what I said that caused this lengthy reply, perhaps because I said that I mentioned my concerns to the person in question and then they did them, and you think that is bad behavior (that you think invites harassment) and that he did them out of spite. In reality, I mentioned that because it’s ironic. He actually agreed with me and assured me it wouldn’t happen in the guild, that is why it is ironic that he was the main perpetrator. He set particular rules for what was socially acceptable or not, and even if other people were uncomfortable with them, it didn’t matter. He never once thought he was doing something wrong. He never “booted” me from the guild, either. Further, I was also not the only person he harassed, and it was not merely with avatars. He sent inappropriate things to other women via whispering. I was not the only person bothered by him, and in the end, when he was confronted (not by me, but by a woman and her upset husband), he quit the guild rather than apologize or try not to do it again (yes, we were being reasonable). So you see, you have a very different image of what happened, and yes, several parts of your reply sounded very much like victim-blaming.

    I posted this experience because it reflected what Matt was saying about people abusing the disconnect of the internet, thinking it gives them a free pass from behaving like respectful human beings. Because while our toons are just pixels, they are still representations of ourselves, they still make just as much an impact as the pixels that form the words that we type to each other, or the data that forms the sound of my voice over the Teamspeak client. It’s still us.

  • http://twitter.com/kirbybits Courtney Stanton

    As one of the people receiving said death threats, let me assure you, the only reason they ever spoke out was because someone made a comment about Mike’s family. They were getting cc-ed on Twitter when people were threatening to come to my house and rape and kill me, and that was apparently a-ok for days and days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208921 Nikki Lincoln

    Thanks for clarifying!

  • Anonymous

    Maselphie, if he or someone else responds in the same vein, don’t bother responding and just flag.  Judging by what’s getting ‘likes’ here in the past few hours, this TMS post has gotten a lot of attention from some segment of the PA fan base that think blaming victims is bunches of fun.

  • Anonymous

    Courtney (there was no reply button to your post, so I’m replying to my own), I’m sorry you felt the brunt of idiots, and I genuinely hope it doesn’t happen again. 

    My point was not “They were so awesome, they asked for it to stop”, because I know they waited a rather long time to speak up. The OP said “…which Krahulik encouraged repeatedly.”, not “which they ignored until they themselves were threatened”, which might be a valid criticism.There is a difference between ignoring a problem (for whatever reason) and “encouraging it [the behavior] repeatedly”. Now, maybe I missed the encouragement, which is why I asked for a citation. But while what you mentioned was terrible, they didn’t do it and you haven’t shown they encouraged it, so you can criticize them for not speaking up, for possibly fostering the atmosphere, heck, for quite a few things; I’m not listing everything. But the OP said they directly encouraged people to threaten, and I have seen absolutely no evidence of that. 

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    But people don’t exist in a vacuum.  I reject the liberalist notion that we’re all independent agents with free will and reason that trumps all.  Everybody is mediated by society.  If you live in a culture that tells you over and over again that something is one way – for instance, that women are very emotional – and then someone tells you that you’re wrong and you’re being hurtful and it’s the first time that you’ve ever heard it, don’t you think it’s going to take some thought and some unpacking in order to really understand the truth of that statement? 

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     People who say “don’t harass me” do run the risk of being harassed – by fucking jackasses.  The fact that there are a lot of them online doesn’t override that people have a basic right to respect.  This doesn’t SOUND apologist, it IS apologist; someone else was doing something that made her uncomfortable, she asked them to stop, and they kept on.  If she’s not supposed to ask them to stop then what is she supposed to do?  If she doesn’t ask them to stop and tries to report it to Blizzard, they will dismiss her even faster than they might have already. 

  • Anonymous

    That site completely ruined my ability to give trolls the benefit of the doubt.  :(
    (I’m not really very sad about that, in truth.) 

    I don’t know that I’ve seen an original tactic meant to derail the topic of discussion since that site was updated some time ago.  While long stringy discussions like this are much easier to keep track of when nearly 1/4 all all posters can be immediately dismissed, it sure makes discussions more boring when you know who to take seriously and only take those folks seriously.  :( 

    (Again, not really sad about that.  :p)

  • Anonymous

    You do realize that you derailed this thread upstream with your hatred of a link that was included tangentally? I grant that I suffer from chronic SIWOTI, but the whole PA thing is pretty off-topic, and YOU’RE the one who brought it up and continued to push the issue. 

  • http://twitter.com/Danorz Cube

    invoking freedom of speech is defending the medium because you can’t defend the content

  • hcblue

    But that’s exactly my point: we *don’t* live in a vacuum. And that—what I’ve discovered in myself in more recent years—is *more* the reason to understand that it does take thought and through thought, you can change. I’ve learned that some people just simply refuse to even think of it; that somehow because they grew up in a culture of one way, that is the only way possible. But it’s not.

    I suppose I somewhat agree with you; even how one reacts to new ideas is shaped by culture. I do believe that culture shapes the way one thinks, and that it’s difficult to think another way if you aren’t even aware that there’s another way.

    However—and this may be where our views diverge—I also believe that how you react to the new and unknown is, to a certain degree whose boundaries I might never pin-point, your choice.

    But you know even if we don’t agree with each other—now or ever—it’s important that we can discuss this, and that, to me, is important in a world that isn’t vacuum.

  • Anonymous

    As some of the earlier comments have illustrated, though, some people
    cannot or will not draw a distinction between absurdist or subversive
    humor and the kind of thinly veiled prejudice discussed in this article.

    This comment actually falls under my admittedly large umbrella of comments with such ridiculous claims that the poster obviously is more interested in jabs than saying something intelligent, insightful, or interesting.  And as I’m going to comment on something unrelated to bullying, gamer culture, and sexism, it’s also a successful derail.  Congrats.

    Anywho.  I’d define subversive humour that’s actually *funny* and not offensive, the kind of humour that isn’t at the expense of a victim or survivor, or requires laughing at a horrendous act or something bigoted.  If the humor can hinge on the criminal or perpetrator of something that is obviously wrong, or poke fun at the absurdity of the bigotry (this can maybe be a hard line to recognize), that’s ok humuor on unsettling topics.  Bonus points if the joke also manages to get the audience to think a bit on the topic and view the issue with more seriousness, instead of less.  This is admittedly not an easy thing to achieve.  It’s unfortunately hard for folks to make humor on sensitive topics of the crappier parts of our society and our thinking without basically tacitly supporting those things due to the nature of where the humor lies in their comedy.  Frankly, this is why comedians ought to steer clear of those topics unless they’re sure they’ve got it right.

    And if a comedian isn’t concerned about how his or her’s comedy makes them look, included looking like bigoted shits, then I think the assumption they’re not concerned because they kinda sorta don’t see what’s so wrong with making fun of gay folks, or black folks, or women or trans, or victims of violent crimes, is a pretty valid assumption.

  • Anonymous

    I am unsure how else to question this, so apologies for an abruptly off-topic post, however, I have noticed that a number of my posts on this article have been deleted, and I am very curious as to why. 
    That is a moderator decision, and I am bothered to think that TMS would censor in such a way. I was not offensive, nor was I the one that started the discussion in which my posts were deleted, a discussion which was admittedly a bit off-topic. Had the whole line been deleted, I’d have understood (since the whole thing seems to distract from the larger point of the article), but instead I find that the original derailing poster’s comments have been left alone, the only remnant of my comments the quotes they attempted to make points about.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m of the opinion that it is possible to separate the concepts of things like rape and murder from their individual instances for the sake of discussion (or humor) and that doing so does not necessarily devalue them. Am I correct in surmising that you do not believe this to be true?”

    I asked that question in reply to one of your earlier comments, so I find it odd that you’ve chosen to assume another of my comments, left in reply to a thread in which you hadn’t even participated, was directed at you. May I ask why you’ve chosen to pick out this other comment and declare me uninterested in intelligent discourse rather than respond to the question I asked you?

    If my comment here somehow came across as an attack against you, I apologize, it wasn’t intended as such.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Feel free to leave, then, I’m sure you won’t be missed.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kitfoxtrot Christopher LaHaise

    Exactly.  I’ve been in the Guild Wars community for years.  You can mute anyone, or just turn off public chat, and you get to ignore the douches quite nicely.  Mind, I’ve not encountered many, but they do exist.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure how the issue gets talked about or portrayed other places*, but it isn’t One mistake they made That One Time, way back when.
    Just like a person who did a bad thing can still do good things, a person who does a bunch of good or cool things is still capable of bad things (and how cool or good that person is doesn’t make those bad things less bad).
    They are even capable of a looong running series of bad things, that they continue to defend, without acknowledging the reasons for the criticism, or what they did wrong, much less apologizing for it or making changes to their behavior: http://debacle.tumblr.com/post/3041940865/the-pratfall-of-penny-arcade-a-timeline

    It would be a different situation had they tried to make amends or express remorse.
    It is very possible to talk through criticism and harsh accusations and show understanding and respect for people one may have upset: http://www.goblinscomic.com/hypnosis-is-bad-mkay/ without getting destroyed by censorship

    There’s also the option of being considerate ahead of time and thoughtful about what messages one puts out, and what impact those might have on people: http://jephjacques.com/post/18430911722/lt-potter-and-sexual-harassment

    There’s a lot of things the PA guys could have done/ could do to start earning back my, and other’s, respect, but I have yet to see any of them.

    *A lot of people seem to still act like this is about one joke or an isolated incident, and I can’t tell if that’s the genuine impression people get, or if it’s just the easiest way to make a defense.

  • E S

    “I really, really hope that she was being facetious in order to highlight her point.”

    She was, you can see her response to a similar comment up above.

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Yeah, I get your point of view.  I think it’s totally legitimate and completely understandable to not want to have anything to do with them anymore.  I’m just tired of having the same argument over and over and over again, especially given what a divisive subject it is, which is more what my comments are about. 

  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

     It’s definitely something to think about.  Thanks for the great answer. =)

  • http://twitter.com/Mprideaux1 Michael Prideaux

    “You are defending PA and their use of rape and rape survivors as punchlines.”They were used in the punchline, but they were not used as the punchline. If you think the joke was he was rapped is funny, then you misunderstand. The joke was built on a horrible story to, which the adventurer didn’t care much about. It was built as a joke on how quest are done in games.

    As for the shirts, well that was a way of mocking the people that complained about the comic. It’s far fetched to call it supporting rapists and such.

  • Anonymous

     A lot of people seem to still act like this is about one joke or an
    isolated incident, and I can’t tell if that’s the genuine impression
    people get, or if it’s just the easiest way to make a defense.

    I’m fairly certain it’s simply the easiest way for folks to defend PA.  There’s either a lot of ignorance of the timeline for this, or a lot of disingenuousness/arguing in bad faith going on.

    And when the discussion becomes clarified that, while most folks were not thrilled about the first comic, it was the comic mocking survivors criticisms, then the Team Rapists shirts, then Krahulik encouraging folks to wear them to PAX, and drawing Dickwolves and related illustrations in various venues and his silence on all the threats folks were getting due to the whole fiasco, despite it being impossible he wasn’t aware of it…. AND THEN just recently, yet another rape comic — is the real issue, you get goal-post moving, or folks saying, yeah well…..big deal.  Or ‘well of course that’s all terrible!’. which like…yes it is?  Of course?
    And it remains absolutely terrible because PA has never acknowledged that they handled this particular criticism badly and encouraged all the awfulness that took months and months to stop.  They’ve never apologized, or expressed any remorse for their part in making some folks lives’ living hell for months on end or even just said ‘yeah, that was a not a high point for us’.  Nothing.  Nothing at all that I’m aware of.

    Considering that PA is not some bastion of critical thinking and brilliant essays on various topics that can’t also be found a dozen other places on the net, I don’t see the problem, for the purposes of this site, if they’re roundly ignored until there’s some sort of acknowledgement from them that maaaaayyybe they could’ve handled that better than they did.  At the least, if the folks at TMS can’t manage to write posts about these sorts of topics without linking to sites guilty of the very subjects of the post, they’re not a site worth visiting.

  • Adam Whitley

    You do realize that a wolf whose head is a giant phallus is fictional right? and that “rape joke” you so keep bringing up had nothing to do with rape being funny at all but the contrary? which is why the punchline of joke is the heroes leaving a bunch of villagers to their awful fate because their villager quota was met.

  • Anonymous
  • Adam Whitley

    But no one was actually defending that guys harrassment of people….

  • Adam Whitley

    Neither does harrassing your teammates till they quit.

  • Adam Whitley

    How can anyone prove a statement like that? Now it certainly only aids to reinforce the notion that certain types of games (and maybe even games in general) are a boys club but to say that being forced to endure ivy’s terrible outfits makes us think less of all women is….well I’d need to see some data on that to say the least.

  • http://www.facebook.com/limacoastie159 Bill Pearson

    Lets face it friends, why do geeks become geeks?  Well I for one am a card carrying member and I’m proud of it.  I landed here because I’m socially awkward, possibly a little autistic, and this community is ok with that.  I also love fantasy because it’s so much better than my reality, and gaming gives me something that I’m good at, something I can feel good about.  That said, I often will say and do the wrong thing around all different races and especially women because I just don’t know any better.  I say things that I think are really funny but are actually offensive and degrading and whoreable.   I later feel bad about the things I say but its too late, I said it.  My friends accept me as someone who will always say what’s on my mind and will always be brutaly honest.  To those who aren’t my friends I’m truly sorry for the multitude of times I must have offended you, it was never my intention.  I’m not a bully, I’m a social idiot.  In this comunity I know for cirtien that i’m not alone.  This is a great article and I’m sure the subject of the story is really a jerk, I don’t know him.  But maybe just maybe he’s like me, like us, and just doesn’t know any better.  This is just my two cents, food for thought.

  • http://twitter.com/Riviare Kimberly

    Most MMOs have this function, and it can save you a lot of hassle.

    In fact, I don’t think I’ve played an MMO that doesn’t let you block/ignore other players or turn off chat channels if you’d like to. I’m glad of that, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1545086866 Jennifer Horigan

    I think our society as a whole has accepted rude behavior as a norm. I live in Philadelphia and have had some pretty horrible things said to my face. I hate the abuse I’ve had to deal with being a female nerd my whole life, whether it was from the gaming or comic community, but I have to deal with just as much obnoxious behavior on a daily basis every where around me.
    Having nameless gamers be allowed to get away with sexist and racist remarks is only a small part of the problem. We as a society need to start making it clear that it’s not ok to behave like that, whether anonymously online or walking down a public street.

  • Anonymous

    Further, “freedom of speech” only means the government cannot punish you for saying things it doesn’t like. (not most of the time, anyway–exceptions apply).  

    Everybody else, however, can punish you all they want. Just ask Rush Limbaugh. 

  • http://twitter.com/cneidley Christine

    For the anti-PA zombies in the comments, I’ll just leave this here: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2164#comic

  • Anonymous

    Plenty of people have been defending him, just not on this site (for the most part).

  • JANE LANE

    While that’s true, do you think sitting in silence while people make jokes like that is the way to change the culture?