Sexual harassment is a part of the fighting game culture...

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...and it would ruin it if we were to ask them to be polite to each other.

Or at least that is what one of the coaches on Capcom’s fighting game reality show said.

From http://penny-arcade.com/report/edito...

“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.

Sweet jeebus tell me this guy is simply a neanderthal and that it really isn't like this...

I weep for humanity.

I think the following were probably the worst parts of what I've read:

Giant Bomb[/url]]
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.
...
Rea: When I go to SoCal regionals and I see a Phoenix [from Marvel vs. Capcom 3] on main stage getting blown up and there’s some dude in the audience just yelling “Bitch! Bitch!” every time she gets hit and then she killed and goes “Yeah, rape that bitch!” Yeah, that’s totally acceptable! Really? Really? You’re going to tell me that’s acceptable?

Bakhtanians: Look, man. What is unacceptable about that? There’s nothing unacceptable about that. These are people, we’re in America, man, this isn’t North Korea. We can say what we want. People get emotional.

Ah, he said that on a live stream. Smart man.

Wow...

IMAGE(http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/6223/222877header.jpg)

Someone's happy to be there. Feel bad for her.

Miranda “Super Yan” Pakozdi stepped in to say that the sexual harassment hurts the community, but she’s shushed and told to let the man speaking for her finish.

Classy. These people are the pinnacle of society.

Is it shocking that the guy who thinks rape threats are acceptable looks, himself, like a rapist? I say no. f*ck these troglodytes.

garion333 wrote:
Miranda “Super Yan” Pakozdi stepped in to say that the sexual harassment hurts the community, but she’s shushed and told to let the man speaking for her finish.

She forfeited the rest of her matches in protest, and in a "doesn't make you weep for humanity" moment, the guy who "won" when she forfeited gave her all his prizes.

So a few loud, obnoxious bullies are dominating the conversation.

Those of you in that community who are quiet about this, are complicit in the abuse.

Malor wrote:

So a few loud, obnoxious bullies are dominating the conversation.

Those of you in that community who are quiet about this, are complicit in the abuse.

Based on the comments (that I've read) on the PA Report and Giant Bomb articles at least, it looks like it's more than just a few. That said, accusing everyone in that community of being complicit if they aren't extremely vocal in their disapproval isn't going to lead anywhere good.

Wow. Well, at least they're nice and honest about their misogyny - the better for the rest of us to clearly identify them and proceed to restrict their reproductive rights. Of course, that kind of thing tends to take care of itself without outside intervention.

For all the silly criticism game(r)s receive for being 'childish' or 'inciting violence', the blatant misogyny and racism in the gaming community is the only real criticism that makes the gamer in me hide in shame. If I ever encounter this IRL (I almost never play online) I will not let it rest.

dejanzie wrote:

For all the silly criticism game(r)s receive for being 'childish' or 'inciting violence', the blatant misogyny and racism in the gaming community is the only real criticism that makes the gamer in me hide in shame. If I ever encounter this IRL (I almost never play online) I will not let it rest.

Agreed. Any chance we can get a Kickstarter rolling for Paleocon to have an in-person match with this Aris guy? I'd love to see whether Aris has the guts to stick to his guns that inappropriate personal abuse is an integral part of the game, when confronted by a gamer who could disembowel him with a toothpick.

Spoiler:

Hell, I'd even kick in some additional money to buy Paleo a wig and a dress to wear to the match, if he'd be up for it. :)

Just get Paleo's wife to do it. It'll be more convincing to that sort of mindset.

That whole room looks like it needs to have a visit from Mayhem Miller's Bully Beatdown.

Glad a thread was up already. Chris Sims has some awesome things to say about it here.

Here's the thing, I'm pretty into fighting games. Not part of the scene any more but I watch them all the time. Aris is a commentator on a lot of stuff. A lot.

And now I feel like I need to stop watching those live streams of matches. I can't support something with someone that backwards on it. This guy is, I believe, making a living with the fighting game scene and is a central figure there. So he perpetuates this nonsense. That's unacceptable. And sure, the problem is bigger than him but a stand needs taken somewhere.

It's sad but there it is, no more EVO for me until this guy is gone or at least makes a sincere apology.

Malor wrote:

So a few loud, obnoxious bullies are dominating the conversation.

Those of you in that community who are quiet about this, are complicit in the abuse.

You're correct about the last part. However, I don't think it's a few people dominating the conversation, I think it's a lot more than that. And sadly, Aris has a few things correct in his assessment of the scene. It's made up of high school and college aged boys more or less, not exactly paragons of intelligence there. Hell, I'll own up to being an idiot until around 23-24 when my social values made a pretty big turn around.

There's a locker room mentality in the fighting game scene. It's competitive and filled with a constant string of trash talk, rl fights are not uncommon. This is a thing that happens because people (read: Boys) get so worked up. It isn't right but Aris' assessment that it's part of the culture is spot on. What he doesn't grok is that THAT'S WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE. Ok, so if we take the sexism out of 'the scene' it won't be 'the scene' any more? You know, you're probably right. And that's for the best.

Not only is that for the best so we're not embarrassed to call ourselves gamers but it's the best thing for the scene as a whole. Fighting games will wither and die again without bringing in new people and it won't be a valid esport if it's a boys-only club. To succeed they need viewers. To get viewers they need compelling stories. 17 year old asshat acting like a 17 year old asshat does not make for a compelling story. These are things that won't be hard for the companies that make these games to recognize. They put the right pressure on the organizations that host these tournaments and there might even be a culture change.

We'll see. On the other hand we're dealing with Capcom and they have a tendency to give no sh*ts about common sense.

I'd pay money to watch Michelle Waterson beat the ever loving snail snot out of this Arlis guy.

He sent this statement to Giant Bomb.

Aris wrote:

I understand that I said some controversial statements on the Cross Assault show, and a lot of people are deeply offended with what was said. When I made these statements, I was very heated as I felt that the culture of a scene I have been a part of for over 15 years was being threatened. I unfortunately used extreme examples in the heat of the moment and feel that my statements don’t actually communicate how I feel. This is similar to what people say when they get into an argument with their girlfriend, and they say things that they deeply regret. I sincerely apologise if I have offended anyone. My statements do not reflect those of Capcom or myself. The last thing I want to do is get them in trouble for giving me and the fighting game community the opportunity to have an amazing show like this.

What I was trying to communicate is that mild hostility has always been a defining characteristic of the fighting game scene. Back when arcades were more prevalent, people didn’t like newcomers, and players needed to fight and pay their dues to get respect. The debate I was in was with a person who supported professional leagues, who have intent to censor the community to make it more accessible. I think the sink or swim mentality is something that defined our culture, and if that succeeds it removes something which has been important to help create some of the best fighting game players of our time. I was unfortunately unable to make this point clearly. Again, I am deeply sorry for offending anyone. This was a combination of the people taking things out of context and my own inability in the heat of the moment to defend myself and the community I have loved for over 15 years.

sarcasm
yeah, that sounds sincere
/sarcasm

We can say what we want.

I can't stress enough how much I hate that defense. Yes, this is a free country, speech is protected, and we can say what we want. That doesn't mean we always should, and that doesn't mean we can't be held accountable for the consequences of what we say.

When anyone ever brings that argument out with me, I ask them if they'd be comfortable saying that to a family of a dead veteran, who presumably died so that they could have that right. Of course the sorts of people who make that argument are typically tactless assholes who probably would, and would find a crying war widow kind of funny.

Aris wrote:

I understand that I said some controversial statements on the Cross Assault show, and a lot of people are deeply offended with what was said. When I made these statements, I was very heated as I felt that the culture of a scene I have been a part of for over 15 years was being threatened. I unfortunately used extreme examples in the heat of the moment and feel that my statements don’t actually communicate how I feel. This is similar to what people say when they get into an argument with their girlfriend, and they say things that they deeply regret. I sincerely apologise if I have offended anyone. My statements do not reflect those of Capcom or myself. The last thing I want to do is get them in trouble for giving me and the fighting game community the opportunity to have an amazing show like this.

Yeah, or so he hears.

Was anyone actually watching the show (who wasn't a fighting game fan)?

Aris wrote:

This is similar to what people say when they get into an argument with their girlfriend, and they say things that they deeply regret.

I have no words to express how angry it makes me to hear the same responsibility-shifting language utilized by domestic abusers in this guy's "apology".

LarryC wrote:

Just get Paleo's wife to do it. It'll be more convincing to that sort of mindset.

Oh hell yes. I would pay large sums of money to watch Paleogal thrash that idiot.

Like I said, I would pay money to see Michelle Waterson or Gina Carano break his arms off in spinning armbars, but I suspect that that would be as close as he will ever get to a hot girl's vajajay in this life or the next unless he comes back as a feminine napkin.

garion333 wrote:

Was anyone actually watching the show (who wasn't a fighting game fan)?

Of course not. Though I'm sure a few more people will watch it now so they have an excuse to get up a good righteous anger.

The more I reread that "apology" the more angry I get.

My response to Aris is that if this type of behaviour is part and parcel of being part of the fighting game community (or at least his vision of it), then I'm sorry but f*ck that community.

Have a little sympathy for the guy. It's hard being a male gamer when your name is Aeris.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Is it shocking that the guy who thinks rape threats are acceptable looks, himself, like a rapist? I say no. f*ck these troglodytes.

I've heard that the majority of rapists don't generally look different from non-rapists. Regardless, f*ck those troglodytes is right.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Have a little sympathy for the guy. It's hard being a male gamer when your name is Aeris.

If only he could master the subtle art of speaking entirely in ellipses.

I liked the part where he said the problem was that it was taken out of context and that he was caught up in the moment. Nowhere in that whole thing does he even mildly hint towards the idea that he was wrong - he instead tries to equivocate wild hatred of women as an artifact of arcade turf dominance. That's a pretty awkward tap dance he's trying to do, and he's failing pretty miserably.

What I was trying to communicate is that mild hostility has always been a defining characteristic of the fighting game scene. Back when arcades were more prevalent, people didn’t like newcomers, and players needed to fight and pay their dues to get respect. The debate I was in was with a person who supported professional leagues, who have intent to censor the community to make it more accessible. I think the sink or swim mentality is something that defined our culture, and if that succeeds it removes something which has been important to help create some of the best fighting game players of our time.

In other words, he is afraid of competition. If you can't win by merit alone, you win by control and exclusivity. BRILLIANT!

What a scumbag. What a scummy culture.

Worst PR for CAPCOM ever.

DanB wrote:

Worst PR for CAPCOM ever.

Capcom released a statement very very quickly and they were actually the only entity to release a statement the day it broke. But yeah, technically, Capcom is paying Aris to be on that show and I believe he's still on that show so....

On the one hand, Capcom can hardly be held accountable for what some idiot says on a reality TV show. On the other hand, they're paying him to be there.

The same logic will apply to Namco or the EVO people or anyone who employs him in the future. Is that the voice you want to represent your company/product? I'm hoping that the answer will be an emphatic, "NO" across the board but I think people will still continue to have him commentate stuff. Fans who want to see this scene clean itself up, please vote with your wallets as best as you can.

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