Last week was tragic, in a word. There were not only things going on in my life, but a much larger and more important issue that arose. Firstly, and most importantly, it is best for anyone who reads this to go and listen to the comments made in context of which they were made. Here is the video that you can view to hear the comments as well as a secondary news post with links to deeper discussion of the topic on the show. Here is the quote that concerns discussion and the entire reason this is even news at all.
“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.”
They were badgering her, continuously and nonstop, making her feel extremely uncomfortable and doing so with little to no respect to the people around them, the gaming community, and most importantly human decency. He brings up two reasons for his actions. The first “if you were really a member of the fighting game community, you would know that. You would know that these are jokes” and the second is “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 think this is a much deeper issue than anyone is giving credit for. While I listen to the stream and the conversations quoted above the main culprit, speaking towards Miranda (after saying that he doesn’t know where the line is) states that it is a so cal line, and that is where it comes from.
While I can sit here and debunk every word of his sentence, let me just state the facts. I live in southern California, have played in what little arcades are here, and have been for over 20 years. I know what the arcade scene is supposed to be, what the mentality and atmosphere of the arcade generation is. Around 2 years ago a few friends from work decided we would go to a local restaurant during lunch and play Street Fighter during lunch breaks. We had a blast, we talked smack, but most of all we had a deep respect for the other person, whether it was with Blitz, Street Fighter, or anything else. Not once did it come to putting down the other player, or making someone who lost feel like a terrible gamer for doing so. That is the same way it was when I was a child, and it still is the same way today, for myself and those around me.
The entire purpose of the arcade is to compete with one another right then and there, nothing regarding multiple matches, but simply you will get to play as long as you do not lose. Anyone can walk in the door, be it a fighting game champion, or the neighbor, and every person has the same opportunity to take the person on the stick out. In my opinion, that directly counters the comments made above, and any sentiment that harassment, put downs, and disrespect are part of the game. Heck, the NHL playoffs is one of the most bitter rivaled games in sports, but after every match the players stop and shake eachother’s hands, whether they are bleeding, broken, or bruised from the battle, there is a deep and meaningful respect for the journey.
Ethics, the study and attempt to understand what is right and wrong, essentially it has everything to do with this topic. Saying something is ethically wrong because someone is suggesting it be changed, is like demanding that slavery be reinstated because it was the norm, or that whaling, shark fining, seal clubbing, deforestation, and many other practices be allowed to continue because they are what happens even though there are laws preventing them from occurring. I cannot see, or agree with, the logic presented in what he was trying to communicate. There isn’t a law saying that women cannot be president simply because it has always been a male, but it hasn’t happened yet. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen, it simply means that it hasn’t. It is legally wrong to own a slave, it is legally wrong to assault someone, berate someone, and harass someone, but it does happen. I really wish the person who did this takes a deep and hard look at his own thoughts, and really sits down to contemplate what is right and wrong.
The side issue of all of this, and the main reason I am posting this right now is because this isn’t just the standard for street fighter. It is a standard of all games that are online, co-op, or whereby multiple people get together to play a game. Someone didn’t ask a female Pikachu to smell them as a punishment, someone in counter-strike doesn’t get t-bagged after every death, but it happens more often than not on the Xbox and Playstation platforms. This is not a PC vs. Console discussion, simply a discussion of maturity. Are PC gamers more mature? Forum threads would suggest not, but then again the loudest 10% post on forums, while the rest of the community simply plays the game. 9 times out of 10 when I hear someone in the press describe how they play online, they say that they turn off voice chat. I know from my own experiences, voice chat is an extremely key aspect of enjoyment, competition, and sportsmanship. When playing gun game in CS:S often you give the person who won the match crap because you were 2 kills away. You call him a hacker, or say it was a bullshit kill, but that is the extent of it. Nothing personal, nothing extremely negative, or harsh, but simply commenting lightly on the situation. It is to the point in games like Gears of War, Halo, Killzone, Call of Duty, etc. that if you have voice chat, someone of young age who quite honestly shouldn’t be playing an M rated game will give you crap for sucking, being older, being a girl, or simply not being them. It isn’t a matter of age, it is a matter of respect for one another, maturity, and most of all it is a matter of not having the people in the servers to boot out deviants and to set standards. Everything is on autorun, text based, and quite honestly lazy. The CS community thrives on differences of opinion. One person want to play surf, gun game, standard, arena, or zombie modes, and those are available to them. They may want to play with beginner level players, on smaller server sizes, with specific weapon restrictions, rpg mods, stats mods, low gravity, or in a server of a specific clan, community, or group of friends. Any which way you can imagine, the game presents the opportunity to do so, and the players in the game can remove deviants by verbally telling them to leave, team killing them until they leave, voting them out of the server, banning then by vote, getting an admin to control the situation, or simply leaving themselves. Again, choice is the key here.
The main difference between CS and Halo is the average age of the gamer. If you look into the ESA and other video game groups you will find that the average age of the PC game is 10 or more years higher than that of the console crowd. This means people with much more life experience and whom know what is right, wrong, and how to handle a difficult situation.
I am not going to try an conclude anything, but leave you with this. The following video was linked to by Miranda (Super__Yan) with the words:
@ProtomCannon’s article on SRK (
) made me remember why I love the fighting game community so much.
In short: my coach was a jerk, he doesn’t represent the entire community. I’m not ever leaving. See you at NCR. I’ll leave this here:
Thanks for reading, and remember, in the words of captain planet, “the power is yours” to do what is right, wrong, and to let others know that what they are doing is wrong or right as well.
Keep on keeping on…