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When Passions Flare, Lines Are Crossed [UPDATED]

One player's heated rhetoric about sexual harassment in the fighting community causes a furious debate, one that has Capcom apologizing.

UPDATE: Bakhtanians has issued a statement in the wake of today's coverage. Read it here.

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“This is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20-years-old and the sexual harassment is part of a culture,” said competitive fighting game player Aris "Aris" Bakhtanians on a recent live stream for Capcom's Cross Assault show, “and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community.”

Capcom has since apologized for comments made during a conversation on sexual harassment in the fighting game community, which that quote was pulled from. It was a discussion focused on Bakhtanians, and took place during a recent episode of the company’s Cross Assault reality show. It’s part of a promotion for Street Fighter X Tekken.

Cross Assault started with 10 contestants divided into two teams, Team Tekken and Team Street Fighter. The final four contestants will be determined today, and the last matches begin March 3.

A reader initially pointed out the inflammatory commentary, which took place during day five.

Bakhtanians is the head of Team Tekken, and was engaged in a conversation that chiefly involved Twitch.tv community manager Jared Rea. Twitch.tv is hosting the daily streaming of the day-long Cross Assault episodes.

“The views and opinions expressed by cast members in the live internet program 'Cross Assault' do not reflect those of Capcom,” said a Capcom spokesperson in a statement issued to me last night. “As a company, Capcom believes that everyone should be treated with respect. This particular issue was brought to our attention and has been addressed. We sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by any comments expressed during the show.”

You can listen to the conversation by fast forwarding to one hour and 45 minutes into the following video. A user on YouTube also collected a series of comments made by Bakhtanians on day one.

For example: "Miranda, I wanna know your bra size."

Tensions were immediately raised over Rea's suggestion the fighting game community, once insular and limited but now steadily growing year-over-year, was potentially alienating outsiders from becoming fans of fighting games or the competitive scene because of inappropriate sexual language. Bakhtanians took issue with Rea's criticism.

Here’s a lengthy transcript of their exchange:

Rea: You know what it is, to be honest with you? We’re getting older. Do you really want to keep hanging around with a bunch of [guys in their] early 20s who don’t know how to treat one another with respect? That’s what it is.

Bakhtanians: Alright, man. The thing is...if you don’t like the scene, how it is right now, it just seems like you’re trying to create...turn it into something that it’s not, and it’s never going to be. You know what I mean?

Rea: That’s really unfortunate [inaudible]...the way it is right now, they want to enjoy fighting games, but they’re so incredibly turned off by [the language].

Bakhtanians: This doesn’t involve me, Jared, I don’t know if you can hear me--this is Aris. This doesn’t really involve me, but if you don’t like onions, you get your sandwich without onions, man. I mean, this is the fighting game community.

Rea: Can I get my Street Fighter without sexual harassment?

Bakhtanians: You can’t. You can’t because they’re one and the same thing. This is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20 years old, and the sexual harassment is part of a culture, and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community--it’s StarCraft. There’s nothing wrong with StarCraft if you enjoy it, and there’s nothing wrong with anything about eSports, but why would you want just one flavor of ice cream, you know? There’s eSports for people who like eSports, and there’s fighting games for people who like spicy food and like to have fun. There’s no reason to turn them into the same thing, you know?

You can’t go to the NBA and say “hey, I like basketball, but I don’t want them to play with a basketball, I want them to play with a football.” It just doesn’t...it doesn’t make sense to have that attitude, you know? These things are established for years. That would be like someone from the fighting game community going over to StarCraft and trying to say “hey, StarCraft, you guys are too soft, let’s start making sexual harassment jokes to each other on StarCraft.” That’s not cool, people wouldn’t like that. StarCraft isn’t like that. People would get defensive, and that’s what you’re trying to do the fighting game community, and it’s not right. It’s ethically wrong.

I know that you’re thinking “what do you know about ethics? You say racial stuff and sexist stuff.” But those are jokes and if you were really a member of the fighting game community, you would know that. You would know that these are jokes.

Rea: So, ensuring that we alienate any and all female viewers...that’s the ethical thing to do?

Bakhtanians: Well, you know, there are layers here, if you think about this. There are layers of ethics. There are people who are racist and commit hate crimes, right? And then there are people who are racist but they have tons of friends of all colors and they have deep love for those friends. Do you think those people are one and the same? Absolutely not.

StarCraft was brought up several times during the discussion of fighting games role in the larger eSports movement, specifically in regards to what lessons the community should and should not learn from its popularity.

I reached out to Bakhtanians to discuss his comments on Cross Assault, but he didn't respond.

When I contacted Capcom, I included a transcript of the relevant conversation. The company told me the cast and crew had been informed that “any inappropriate or disrespectful comments will not be tolerated during filming.”

Upon receiving the statement from Capcom, I forwarded it in full to Bakhtanians. No response.

And there is one very important fact about this whole story: Cross Assault is not a male-only event. There are two females: Team Street Fighter’s Sherry “Sherryjenix” Nhan and Team Tekken’s Miranda “Super_Yan” Pakozdi.

During the exchange, as matches raged in the background, Pakozdi chimed in about Bakhtanians’ explanation for the pervasiveness of inappropriate sexual language within fighting game culture.

“It hurts the community,” she said.

Everyone in the stream made reference to Keystone events at the San Jose Bar & Grill in San Jose, California, a spot that’s reportedly known for its more crass comments about during play. Pakozdi acknowledged it was an issue during Keystone events, but that it never went, from her perspective, over the line.

“You don’t know where the line is,” she declared.

“My point is is where I’m from, in our arcade, our line may be different than yours,” responded Bakhtanians, “but the point is that fighting games are never gonna be the same as StarCraft, it’s never gonna be the same. You can’t turn basketball into baseball, no matter what you do.”

Rea said sexual harassment was less of an issue in the StarCraft community, a point that others, including Bakhtanians, pushed back on. He conceded. Regardless, he argued, private matches can’t be controlled, but the actions of the participants and audience members raised the real concern.

Again, here’s a snippet:

Rea: When I go to MSL or MLG and someone blows up a ghost [Starcraft], does someone go “Yeah, rape that bitch!”?

[group laughter]

Bakhtanians: But, you know, Jared, you’re right. But if there was that much money being spent on Street Fighter, it wouldn’t be happening here, either, you know. There would be more rules, there would be security here, it’s not the same thing. It’s not 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.

There was some light discussion after this, but it mostly trailed off.

Pakozdi, who was assigned to work with Bakhtanians as part of Team Tekken, did not simply blow things off. Like many people, she signed onto Twitter and expressed disappointment over the day’s events. She eventually deleted much of her commentary, but it was captured by the same reader who tipped me off to this in the first place.

“I hope my mom isn’t disappointed with all of this shit,” reads one tweet.

“Capcom and the stream teams know and they don’t care. I just gotta wait 2 more days,” reads another.

“I’m not leaving because by contract I have to stay here 2 more days. If it were up to me I would have left long ago," she said.

Bakhtanians is a well known in the community, explaining his Cross Assault involvement.

I reached out to Pakozdi, but she did not respond.

Day six of Cross Assault took place yesterday. Pakozdi played, but if you start watching around eight hours and 32 minutes into the stream, where she's playing as Balrog, she doesn't even attack. She just pushes forward on the stick. This continues in the next matches, where she plays as Ken using the same "strategy."

Essentially, she's given up.

Per the rules of the show, she would then have to face off against John "Dr. Sub-Zero" Rockafeller, who was already eliminated. If he beat her in three out of five matches, he would be "revived."

Instead, she forfeited. Moments after she bowed out, Rockafeller looked over and handed his prizes over to her.

“I would like to donate everything to Super_Yan for being an angel,” he said.

Bakhtanians also contributes the website Avoiding the Puddle and the site’s associated Twitter account.

“esports,” he wrote last night.

Previously, however, he did have his own personal Twitter account. What’s listed in his bio?

“Fuck you.”

1225 Comments
Posted by kashif1

@Jethuty said:

@Gruff182 said:

Oh, so the fighting game community is pathetic? Good to know.

@optimusprime223 said:

apart from lack of skill, this makes me NOT want to play fighting games and be part of that community...

This is what im talking about. One douchebag doesnt represent the community, however the article is written in such a way that people believe he is a spokesperson for the communitty, doing harm to it.

Exactly what i was fearing. Aris is the asshole, not the community

The fighting game community has to be atleast as bad as the fps community, both of them need work.

Posted by jelazee

Great article, important subject. Thank you.

Posted by Dredlockz

what is this? reddit?

who gives a shit about e-sports drama?

Posted by Excast
@Dredlockz said:

what is this? reddit?

who gives a shit about e-sports drama?

Apparently you did enough to post on it.  And E-sports is definitely a growing phenomenon in the gaming community.  If this sort of behavior is as prevalent as it might seem to be I think it is a perfectly reasonable topic for an article.
Posted by Jnorman

You gotta love how people say, "well he's a dick to everyone" and that is supposed to be a supporting argument for him also being sexist or racist and it being acceptable.

Posted by beritbunny

Well, it's pretty much official that Capcom is only in it for the money. After all this heat, they're still moving on with Cross Assault.

Does the fighting game community, let alone the gaming community as a whole, really want to be represented by the people on this show? I sure as hell don't.

Posted by Village_Guy

Damn you Patrick for writing that headline, every time I see it I get confused because I think it says something about Lens Flare...

Posted by dael

@North6: Sometimes mocking a manbaby won't remove the baby from the man. Just like the xbox live community, FGC have a lot of immature grown men that don't know how to behave normal, but we have plenty of people that know how to behave and act professional. The bottom line is that FGC is a good scene and just like any other community it is plague by undesirables. My main point was that it would had been nice to have more of a deep report than just no comment or this person didn't get back to me. There were interviews or conversations that same night like the one from L.I. Joe with Ari and other good sources that Patrick didn't mention. I am glad Patrick is doing a follow up. Everyone else here is making the same hate arguments about the FGC but like always they don't know anything about FGC. We are more than a sexist loud mouth that doesn't know how to act professional. I recommend everyone to read articles like this article before commenting on how bad the community is.

Posted by N7
@Village_Guy said:

Damn you Patrick for writing that headline, every time I see it I get confused because I think it says something about Lens Flare...

This is actually a secret marketing campaign for Star Trek 2. J.J Abrams is a genius.
Posted by SteveFarrant
Posted by Dredlockz

@Excast said:

@Dredlockz said:

what is this? reddit?

who gives a shit about e-sports drama?

Apparently you did enough to post on it. And E-sports is definitely a growing phenomenon in the gaming community. If this sort of behavior is as prevalent as it might seem to be I think it is a perfectly reasonable topic for an article.

Dude, I watch e-sports every single day, they are awesome and super important in the gaming community, but I don't think anyone should care this much about players being bad-mannered.

You can't make people not be assholes, racist, bigots, or whatever. Even if you could, there's still gonna be people whining, like "Starcraft has nukes! and that is offensive to my japanese heritage!", and then Blizzard would have to apologize publicly for adding those there? There's no end to the drama, and it's ridiculous and not news-worthy.

Everyone needs to chill, why make a post about some shitty kid talking crap on some show? who caaaaaares, this shouldn't be a giantbomb news update.

Also, that kid clearly has never seen Destiny's stream:

Posted by dudeglove

@jkuc316 said:

@dudeglove: LOL they're just salty, Ignore them

Oh I find them goddamn hilarious. The foul-mouthed slang of the commentators during Evo's salty suite live streams is priceless.

@Village_Guy said:

Damn you Patrick for writing that headline, every time I see it I get confused because I think it says something about Lens Flare...

It sounds more like a line by Soul Calibur's narrator, I feel - except replace "lines" with "swords". Or every word with "sword". Or something.

Posted by Nitefyre410

Its called home training and its clear that not everyone has it..

Man, I'm grown and I know if my mama heard me talking like that she would smack the pure, holy shit out of me...

Posted by Hailinel

@ZenTzen said:

Before anyone says anymore stuff heres Aris personal response about the issue:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/g65iqn

That's a case of too little, too late, I think. He should have known ahead of time that the comments he made would lead to trouble. That it was the heat of the moment doesn't excuse his choice of words.

Edited by mnzy
@beritbunny said:

Well, it's pretty much official that Capcom is only in it for the money. After all this heat, they're still moving on with Cross Assault.

Does the fighting game community, let alone the gaming community as a whole, really want to be represented by the people on this show? I sure as hell don't.

It's one guy...the show is actually surprisingly entertaining.
Edited by IkariNoTekken

Read this yesterday but didn't have time to watch the video, watching that just now, it was disgusting.

If you saw him when he was standing close next to her, you couldn't just stand there and listen to him go on, you'd just ram him into the wall wouldn't you? A nice solid Hammerfist would break that fat stubby nose of his as well.

Ugh.

Posted by raidingkvatch

This has just made me really sad and disappointed. Can't believe Capcom wouldn't do more to stop this kind of shit.

Posted by Elazul

Can someone please explain to me exactly how playing Street Fighter and being a vile, odious sex-offender are even remotely the same thing?

Posted by zacharai

Good on you for calling this out, Patrick.

Edited by Rexicon

@Nefarious_Al said:

Nice to see people still shitting on the entire FGC over Aris being an ass.

Nobody in the FGC actually wants sexual harassment of it's female participants. Other than Aris apparently. They do however want to keep the raw and underground vibe that makes the scene what it is. Shit talking and disdain for your opponent is what makes the FGC the FGC. How hard is that to understand? Sometimes fights break out, but it is not the norm and it is not okay with the FGC when it happens people get banned from where they fought for months at a time.

As I said in an earlier post I abhor the use of racial, homophobic or female degrading speech that gets used by the gaming community at large not just in the FGC. However I don't mind letting a guy I just beat know I think he is shit and not on my level. It goes both ways I've been on the end of a pop off or two as I tasted the not so sweet taste of defeat at the hands of an opponent at the arcade. That just fueled me to get better and get my revenge. Also just to be clear I don't tell everyone I play they are fucking trash after I beat them. The shit talking builds over a long set of going back and forth or after someone talks shit to me. That happens when you get people competing and trying their hardest to best an opponent.

Play me on XBL and you are likely to get a GG most of the time out of me after a good set.

Miranda and everyone on Cross Assault shouldn't have had to put up with Aris for sure. That said Miranda quitting as she did was insanely bad form. That is my only gripe with how she handled the situation. I do feel bad she folded under the pressure of the situation and Aris being a dick to her and everyone else on the show. She plays at Keystone though she isn't new to some colorful language.

Aris fucked up and I don't condone his actions or words. He was no doubt fucking around though and it no doubt made Miranda uncomfortable. A bad day for the FGC for sure. I hope Miranda bounces back and doesn't leave the FGC. She quit on herself and that might take some time get over.

As for Aris he is part of the FGC. He isn't going anywhere. His brand of humor is definitely not for everyone and most people might not find him funny at all. I usually find him amusing although not so much in this case. An awful lot of comedians say some pretty fucked up shit and yet we somehow move on as a society. This will blow over despite all these articles painting the FGC as a bunch of misogynist pigs.

Also since I'm writing a book here the FGC doesn't need million dollar pots we play for the love of the game and the competition that breeds. Videogames are not sports and it's players are not athletes. Top players may display a high degree of skill and mental acuity that doesn't make them sports stars. The competition is as real as anything on earth though.

Now to listen to the bombcast and hear the guys shit on the FGC. Should be fun.

This entire post is a bunch of childish bullshit. Your maudlin defense about how "you just don't get it, man we HAVE to talk trash. It's the spirit of the SCENE" is just ridiculous. It's entirely possible to have a competitive, interesting game without a bunch of immature lunatics fucking it up. If you actually believe that the shit-talking part of gaming and the racist/homophobic/misogynist part aren't intrinsically bound then you need to re-evaluate your understanding of the terms. I fully support Miranda or whomever else leaves this program in whatever fashion because it's an appropriate statement on how abhorrent these people are. The people who stay and condone this person (who lest we forget, was chosen by Capcom to represent the best the scene has to offer) aren't in the wrong, but those who left should be applauded for their ability to stand up to the worst part of gaming.

e: Heads up to whoever thinks this: it doesn't matter that "Rape that bitch" was said in the heat of a moment, its a fucked up thing to say and there is no defense for saying it in any venue.

Posted by CookieMonster

He looks like a krogan.

Posted by ZenTzen

@Hailinel: It does excuse him people say stuff or phrase things in ways that may make people seem like something they are not, are you so morally superior and can you honestly say you never said stupid things that you regret saying, he did come out and apologized about what he said and the way he said it especially when what he said during the show was taken as something completely different to what he really meant. Should he now be made be some kind of villain even after he showed remorse on what he said?

Theres also a lot of things that happened during the show and a lot of the blame and things that happened cant be put on solelly on Aris.

Was Aris and idiot for what he said, how he said it and when he said it? Sure.

Did he recognize what he said and apologized for it? Yes he did.

Posted by Hailinel
@ZenTzen

@Hailinel: It does excuse him people say stuff or phrase things in ways that may make people seem like something they are not, are you so morally superior and can you honestly say you never said stupid things that you regret saying, he did come out and apologized about what he said and the way he said it especially when what he said during the show was taken as something completely different to what he really meant. Should he now be made be some kind of villain even after he showed remorse on what he said?

Theres also a lot of things that happened during the show and a lot of the blame and things that happened cant be put on solelly on Aris.

Was Aris and idiot for what he said, how he said it and when he said it? Sure.

Did he recognize what he said and apologized for it? Yes he did.

He didn't really apologize for anything. He specifically stated that his own comments shouldn't reflect on him. He's not accepting full responsibility.
Posted by ZenTzen

@Hailinel: This is what he said:

""I unfortunately used extreme examples in the heat of the moment and feel that my statements don’t actually communicate how I feel.""

This right here tells us that what he wanted to say was poorly phrased and made him look like a douche.

""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.""

You are taking this statement here as some kind of false apology, when in reality its just him trying to separate what he said from capcom about his statements and that they have nothing to do on how capcom feels, he also tries to explain himself that the comments that are in the article isnt what he trully tried to express when he said it.

Then finally,

""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.""

His words, saying hes deeply regretful on what he said, he was in a stressfull situation where during the conversation he tried to explain his stance on a topic he feels very deeply about but the way he said it came out not has he intended.

Posted by RagingDaemon

@Milkman said:

@RagingDaemon said:

@Milkman: Was that an attempt to shame me? No tide of first year gender studies white knights or otherwise weak thinking people are going to get anywhere with just insults. Are you sure this isn't the comment section of Jezebel or Feministing?

It was more of an attempt to say you look like a meat head inbred fuck. If wanting to make sure that women can freely participate in e-sports without being shamed by rape threats makes this "Feministing", then sure, welcome to Feministing. I guess you're on the wrong site.

I’m able to post again. Let me deconstruct you and your archetype.

Your attempts to insult me are very poor because they are extremely inaccurate. Nowhere in my writing have I come off as less than articulate, and I share not the slightest physical resemblance to the inbred/hick/redneck/etc stereotype that you are gleefully trotting out. Are you intimidated by the fact that I’m visibly very strong? Does your view of the world only encompass an either/or scenario of weak intelligentsia or muscle-bound oafs?

Like most of your ilk, you’re ultimately an extreme hypocrite, and clearly enjoy trying to hate and bash someone that has opposing views, in a manner worse than the people that you condemn. In their case, it was insensitive language meant in jest/competition, from you, it’s dead serious and there is no doubt about the intent. If you deem it a vile “ism” of some sort, without contextual (or any, really) analysis, then the said person in your eyes becomes an object of abject hatred. You feel self-righteously justified in being and acting even worse that the people you so despise.

Furthermore, when you’re not spewing crappy insults you’re vomiting back rhetoric I doubt you closely examined. Your arguments rely on exaggerations, slippery slopes, and attempts at manipulation via guilt tripping by attempting to take some moral high ground of your own creation. If you sincerely believe that the fighting game community, or Aris, had the intent of intimidating women away from their community via rape threats, or threats of physical violence, then you are undoubtedly willing to ignore context to propagate your own agenda via lies, or are genuinely delusional.

Although I know despite operating under the premise that you have “an open mind”, and are “tolerant”, your rigid thinking and already set opinions are not going to let you absorb any of the above. I highly doubt you will be able to self reflect and take away anything meaningful from this. You will continue to be a hypocrite and attack targets of opportunity that deviate from what you want like a rabid dog.

You’re welcome.

Posted by TekZero

Why is this such an issue? It seems like it's a fight over one person's view of a certain gaming community.

Posted by Salarn
Posted by Giefcookie

There is a difference between smack talk and just being a cunt, and I'm glad he got called out for it.

Posted by Jethuty

@Jethuty said: @Gruff182 said: Oh, so the fighting game community is pathetic? Good to know. @optimusprime223 said: apart from lack of skill, this makes me NOT want to play fighting games and be part of that community... This is what im talking about. One douchebag doesnt represent the community, however the article is written in such a way that people believe he is a spokesperson for the communitty, doing harm to it. Exactly what i was fearing. Aris is the asshole, not the community The fighting game community has to be atleast as bad as the fps community, both of them need work. @kashif1 no community is perfect. Imo the moba community is even worse, and the starcraft community isnt perfect either, as its made out to be

Posted by Milkman
@RagingDaemon: Man, you sure typed a lot there for saying pretty much nothing. Keeping with the topic at hand, I'll go to the one real point you made on the matter, which is  
 
@RagingDaemon said: 

 If you sincerely believe that the fighting game community, or Aris, had the intent of intimidating women away from their community via rape threats, or threats of physical violence, then you are undoubtedly willing to ignore context to propagate your own agenda via lies, or are genuinely delusional.


What exactly is their intention then? Were they just friendly rape threats? In the end, the intent is irrelevant because the actions are disgusting and reprehensible. If you're defending Aris, you're defending sexism and bigotry. If you want to tell me that the fighting game community is not represented by Aris, sure, I hear you. But if you're trying to tell me that Aris isn't that bad, I don't want to hear it. 
Posted by smitty22

I find it ironic that I'm reading this about the Fighting Game community at a time when the competitive community that I spend more time with, the Magic the Gathering, just had (2/29/2012) an article discussing a similar issue by Patrick Chapin over at Star City Games.

Magic's already sending some clear messages that commentary or actions that fall on the "probably to blatantly sexist" end of the spectrum will be discouraged through the lifetime banning of one of their professionals, Lucas Florent, for making "joking" rape threats against an employee of the parent company, and pulling swag, specifically GP Indy Playmat, that depicted a Goblin sitting on a throne surrounded by scantly clad submissive women.

I don't know the structure of the Fighting Game community well enough to know what would be the equivalent, but tossing out spectators like the one Rea mentioned from SoCal Regionals is probably a start.

Posted by pekoe212

@Jethuty said:

@Gruff182 said:

Oh, so the fighting game community is pathetic? Good to know.

@optimusprime223 said:

apart from lack of skill, this makes me NOT want to play fighting games and be part of that community...

This is what im talking about. One douchebag doesnt represent the community, however the article is written in such a way that people believe he is a spokesperson for the communitty, doing harm to it.

Exactly what i was fearing. Aris is the asshole, not the community

If he's giving interviews and has a role in these public events and live streams, then he certainly is a representative of the community. That's inevitable.

Posted by MannySavior

@NoelVeiga said:

@MannySavior said:

Then I have no problem spelling out what I mean for you. I mentioned earlier that most people seem to be too stuck on picking Aris's or Jared's side rather than thinking for themselves. (keep in mind that I'm not accusing you of this)

A majority are obviously going to jump on Jared's side and completely dismiss Aris's view point because in this specific case, he had a very poor showing. The problem is Jared's side seems to be to tell some of the community to censor themselves. Now never mind the fact that so many people like to take a mob mentality style of opinion in a situation like this when there's so much more to it beyond what Patrick was able to get. And I don't blame Patrick at all for this. He clearly just got a bunch of information and put it up. Taking it at face value does put Aris in the most extreme of negative lights, but I'm sure he both knows that this is the trade off for his sense of humor, and probably doesn't care. He's a guy you know will always be himself and never be fake with you, and the problem with Jared's stance is guys like him and Yipes can't be who they are with such standards. And while a lot of people might say "Good I don't like their commentary anyway!", there's just as many people out there that very much know who they are and want them around.

Aris's stuff with Kayo Police was one of the highlights of EVO last year. He might be close minded and misguided on some issues, but I don't believe he's a bad guy for that. Nor do I believe he should be put on the same level as those typical XBox live kids/frat boys that people despise so much. But if a guy like Aris can't be himself on commentary, I'd rather watch on mute. Sure, I also occasionally people like Ultradavid and James Chen attempting to educate the audience on the game too. I just think that ONLY having that makes it get real dull. That's part of the reason color commentary exists. You have the straight man calling it like he see's it while you have the educated person on the side who's also there to add some personality. Joe Rogan's commentary in the UFC is a good example of this. He obviously doesn't get to use the language he probably wants to use, but he isn't afraid to call it like he sees it and even show a little favoritism sometimes which is incredibly refreshing when it comes to commentary. That is what I think Aris can be, but when the freakin guy gets kicked out of MLG just for making a comment while he was a simple audience member, how do you think he's gonna react when people suggest that the community he likes to be a part of strives to join people like that?

So, once again, I think both Jared and Aris have their heart in the right place here, but there needs to be a compromise so they can reach a middle ground because both extreme sides of the table suck.

But that's still not "censorship". He's not asking anybody to "censor themselves", he's asking them to be friendly and not scare people away. that was my point. Telling you not to be an ass is not censorship. Now, the rest of your post isn't about what "censoring" entails, it's about whether Aris has a point or not. That was not my question. I can see that myself (he kinda doesn't).

Look, if you want to say that this is an argument about whether this group of people stays the way they are or they change to be more mainstream, yeah, I see that. I just object to the use of the word "censorship" here, because that's not what it is. Not every single thing you say is immediately a standard bearer for free speech just because somebody else didn't like the fact that you said it.

You think there's a happy medium to be found here? Fair enough, but I will not acknowledge that both sides are on equal terms here, that both are equally extreme. Jared's side isn't for the community to "censor" itself, it's for the community to play nice with others. That may change what the community is, but it's not an attack on their free speech at all. Plus, he's totally right. But still, not censorship.

I concede to your point that it's not as much of a censorship issue that many are making it out to be to a certain point, but I do also know that there have been events in some of these leagues that can easily lead to people to believe that a form censorship will be the eventual outcome in the long run because people in charge like to have knee jerk reactions to small non-situations (not saying that this is one of those cases). Also, keep in mind that while I have been quoting you, my side tangents were an attempt to share a view point that many people choose to not understand and write off and not a direct attempt at answering your question.

I can only hope I'm wrong about the censorship, because I think that in the long run, more people are going to move over. Money will do that to people. If not now, then in the future for sure. It will weed out the closed minded people (which is what he was pretty much a comment that Aris made to Jared) who don't want to conform regardless of how anyone feels about it. A few non-Capcom games are already going down that route and are available at some of these leagues for better money than people who go to just about all of these majors make in winnings.

I can respect where the heart of people like Jared is, I just don't think it's going to go down the way he thinks it's going to go down in the long run. And that is why is sympathize with Aris. Not sure if that's the answer you want, but it's the best I can come up with off the top of my head.

Posted by sickVisionz
Day six of Cross Assault took place yesterday. Pakozdi played, but if you start watching around eight hours and 32 minutes into the stream, where she's playing as Balrog, she doesn't even attack. She just pushes forward on the stick. This continues in the next matches, where she plays as Ken using the same "strategy."
Essentially, she's given up.

And that's why shit talking is a strategy that will never go away. You can rage your opponent into making stupid moves out of anger that allow you to win or you can break their spirit, which allows you to win. Nobody deserves to be treated poorly are talked to in a rude way, but there are some situations where it should be expected.

Fighting games are games where two people go head-to-head and beat the shit out of each other on screen. That's the nature of them: overly aggressive and extremely harsh. It's no shock that the community around it can be overly aggressive and extremely harsh when it comes to competing in them. You either match it with your own shit talk or you match it with skill. Hoping that one day everyone will be nice and kind and respectful and the world will be filled with rainbows, love, peace, and sunshine is a nice dream but it's just that: a dream. Shit talking will never die and their will always be jackasses. Jackasses and douchebags have existed since the dawn of man and will exist until humans are extinct. This will not change.

Quitting and going home with her tail between her legs was the worst possible option she could have taken.

Posted by LiquidSwords

@Brackynews said:

@LiquidSwords: Whoa. Is that the kid from the I'm a Mac ads?

Yup, It's from the movie idiocracy

Posted by TinoXtreme

I think this is blown way out of proportion. I play Tekken and SF online and you hear a lot worst shit talking then what was said here. That's just part of the game. Same thing with any competitive sports. Just that it's never recorded on TV for the sake of people who find profanity unacceptable behavior. If you ever hear professional sport players say profanity, then you would understand. It's part of the mind games you play on your opponent which can cause someone to lose focus and throw their game off. A perfect example of this would be Reggie Miller. One of the biggest shit talkers of all in sport. Made athletes attack him of all the shit he talked, yet he doesn't apologize about it. Why? Because it's apart of his game. Just that none of the things he said are publicized.

So Aris, says what he says, and forgets that he's being recorded live in front of thousands of people. It's just the heat of the moment, and the guy said what he usually says, forgetting that he is live in front of thousands of people. So of course their are going to be casual people, or people who disagree with this sort of behavior watching, thus making this a huge story as it is.

Of course what he said was socially unacceptable, but if you think he seriously meant that towards a woman, I assure you it's not the case. I bet Aris says that to anyone, male or female. Just apart of the shit talking. A part of breaking down the mental aspects of his opponent's game, so he can get an edge. Of course this only works if the opponent pays attention to this,but you get the idea. Shit talking is always going to be in competitive events. Just got to know when to use it and when not to use it.

Posted by TinoXtreme

@sickVisionz said:

Day six of Cross Assault took place yesterday. Pakozdi played, but if you start watching around eight hours and 32 minutes into the stream, where she's playing as Balrog, she doesn't even attack. She just pushes forward on the stick. This continues in the next matches, where she plays as Ken using the same "strategy."
Essentially, she's given up.

And that's why shit talking is a strategy that will never go away. You can rage your opponent into making stupid moves out of anger that allow you to win or you can break their spirit, which allows you to win. Nobody deserves to be treated poorly are talked to in a rude way, but there are some situations where it should be expected.

Fighting games are games where two people go head-to-head and beat the shit out of each other on screen. That's the nature of them: overly aggressive and extremely harsh. It's no shock that the community around it can be overly aggressive and extremely harsh when it comes to competing in them. You either match it with your own shit talk or you match it with skill. Hoping that one day everyone will be nice and kind and respectful and the world will be filled with rainbows, love, peace, and sunshine is a nice dream but it's just that: a dream. Shit talking will never die and their will always be jackasses. Jackasses and douchebags have existed since the dawn of man and will exist until humans are extinct. This will not change.

Quitting and going home with her tail between her legs was the worst possible option she could have taken.

I have to agree with you on this. If anyone has played a competitive event with money, prizes, and pride on the line, your going to expect anything and everything that someone is willing to do to win. Especially shit talkers. So you can do one of two things. You can talk shit back to them, or shut them up with your skill to show that you are superior to their mind games and skill. And if you let shit talking get to you, your considered a soft and emotional person by your peers and the people who analyze you.

A perfect example would be Pau Gasol. He's been considered a "soft" person recently because of the trade talks that has been happening to him. And do you think that players going against him aren't going to talk about him? You better believe that they would use any chance they get to throw Gasol off his game. And you can see that he hasn't been the same Gasol who has won the two championships with the Lakers. Just how the game goes. If you see that your opponent has forgotten to put on his helmet, you are going to aim for the head, instead of his full-armored body. You going to go for the quickest, most efficient way to win. And if shit talking is apart of your game, and you know the opponent is vulnerable to it, then you are going to use it to give yourself the advantage.

Posted by BaconBuTTy

I'm amazed that Aris could not see what an asshole he was being.

I'm all for rhetoric and laid back humour, even cutting humour. But making members of the community feel uncomfortable deliberately - especially in the case of sexism and leering misogyny since the fighting game community is *so* male dominated - can only, only only hurt the community as a whole. No two ways about it.

"If you don't like your sandwich without onions, get it without onions" is a horrible fucking analogy too.

A more accurate analogy - "If you don't like me shitting all over your delicious sandwich before you can eat it. Get the fuck out"

Online
Edited by Johnny5

Makes me a little bit prouder to be in the Starcraft community. We have our dumb drama and stuff (seriously) but the professional is raised a bar and what is expected of players behavior wise, not just for their team, but for the community.

It's kind of like "Is it bad to say someone is retarded?" , is it bad to say you are going to rape someone? They have similar answers.

Also thanks for another great article Patrick.

Posted by spilledmilkfactory

@princess_zelda said:

of course he looks like that. lmao.

Posted by snaffles

@TinoXtreme said:

I think this is blown way out of proportion. I play Tekken and SF online and you hear a lot worst shit talking then what was said here. That's just part of the game. Same thing with any competitive sports. Just that it's never recorded on TV for the sake of people who find profanity unacceptable behavior. If you ever hear professional sport players say profanity, then you would understand. It's part of the mind games you play on your opponent which can cause someone to lose focus and throw their game off. A perfect example of this would be Reggie Miller. One of the biggest shit talkers of all in sport. Made athletes attack him of all the shit he talked, yet he doesn't apologize about it. Why? Because it's apart of his game. Just that none of the things he said are publicized.

So Aris, says what he says, and forgets that he's being recorded live in front of thousands of people. It's just the heat of the moment, and the guy said what he usually says, forgetting that he is live in front of thousands of people. So of course their are going to be casual people, or people who disagree with this sort of behavior watching, thus making this a huge story as it is.

Of course what he said was socially unacceptable, but if you think he seriously meant that towards a woman, I assure you it's not the case. I bet Aris says that to anyone, male or female. Just apart of the shit talking. A part of breaking down the mental aspects of his opponent's game, so he can get an edge. Of course this only works if the opponent pays attention to this,but you get the idea. Shit talking is always going to be in competitive events. Just got to know when to use it and when not to use it.

Your justification for this behavior would make sense (to you at least) if this girl was competing against him, but that wasn't the case. This Aris guy was her coach, why on earth would you expect to be broken down by the person who is supposed to be offering you support?

Posted by Duh_ave
Posted by YOUNGLINK

WOW over a 1000 comments and going! My 2 cents is that this guy is scum and the article made me cringe. Anyways, enough wasting my breath on this douche, does anyone know of a news article that has received more comments than this one on GB? I've only been a member for a year or so and i'm curious if this set some kind of GB record. Much THX!

Posted by linus_south

@Mechabolic: same..

Edited by Hoshnasi

I have a parallel story to this and it involves anonymity and the use of the term "Community" in video games.

Back in 1999 I played the original Unreal Tournament and on a chance event I joined a low grav instagib server and fell in love. From then on that was pretty much the only thing on UT I played. At some point I joined a team of people I met and knew in real life. As we got better we recruited many people. Most we met in real life or at least spoke to over voice chat.

As our skill became higher and higher we got cockier and cockier, our message board was one place where we really let the cocky flag fly. The team tag was //WTF\\ and as such we felt we had to live up to a certain "Jerk" persona. This all would have been no big deal until a few other teams we liked invited us to the (now defunct) OGL. We relished the idea of a gaming league and joined.

In short order we stomped everyone and preceded to take and held the #1 spot for about a year. All throughout this time we had our normally scheduled ranked matches and re-matches for the #1 spot. Again and again we won. A point we posted on our message board over and over. We had quiet alot of fun posting screenshots to scores and funny moments. We really lambasted teams we thought were noobs or just not to our level.

As you can imagine, a cocky team in the number one spot that to the best of everyone attempts cannot be dethroned led to much complaining. The other teams would often submit formal complains to the OGL that we were bad for the "Community" and in looking back (I'm much older now) I can partially agree. With one exception, we were anonymous. Aside from our teams knowing each other personally, we didn't know jack about the others teams. Which makes it more or less a fools errand to try and police. Nor should it be policed. We were good and deserved the spot. If you lost to us, we didn't spam YouTube, Facebook or popular public boards like Gaf.

Video game "communities" today are much different, with the proliferation of easy voice, picture avatars and video over the internet putting a face and voice to a handle is easy. It personalizes the gaming so much more. As such the expectation of decorum and class also has to rise. When the curtain of anonymity is removed, humans are much less likely to be overt jerks. The ones that are, are quickly identified and in some cases removed (mostly through shame).

Is this good or bad? I'm not sure. I loved being the little bad ass back then holding the top spot from everyone. At the same time however, this was not the time for all coming together as a "community", all the teams knew they were there to win. In some ways I think by us being jerks we raised the skill level as there was no attempt to normalize. We made teams bring their 'A' games. The only people we weren't jerks to were the teams that we were genuinely good were wins were close.

Lastly and maybe most importantly. Sex was never an issue. There were a few women (not girls) playing on some of the teams. One in particular I knew I personally made fun of because she started to spread the word that our team was bad for the "Community". I remember telling her "Community is the term people use who can't get the job done by themselves."

Posted by Fozimuth

Talking shit is an essential part of the community, of fighting games?  A bit hard to believe when Japan's community is thriving so much more than anywhere else.
 
While there are some real shitheads who know their stuff, there are plenty of people who not only know their stuff, they aren't complete bastards about it.  Just because the shitheads exist and have existed doesn't give them a free pass.  There's a difference between talking trash and being an irredeemable, malevolent, socially-maladjusted douchecake, and anybody can guess which category rape and slurs fit into.

Edited by Still_I_Cry

Sexual Harassment is part of the culture? What the fuck.

I don't play fighting games but..what the fuck.

Posted by melodiousj

@Fozimuth said:

Talking shit is an essential part of the community, of fighting games? A bit hard to believe when Japan's community is thriving so much more than anywhere else.

ZING!

If there were such thing as an internet award, I'd nominate this comment.

Posted by Nicholas

@Bassman2112 said:

I don't think it's a matter of it being "esports versus a fun time," it's just common decency towards other people..

Damn straight.

Posted by Turambar
@sickVisionz: He's her coach.  Not her competitor.  That was not some psychological meta game.