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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.”

Patrick Klepek on Google+
1225 Comments
Posted by cassus

What an incomprehensible meth-head... His agruments were about as sound as his ability to express them... It was like reading a discussion between a grown up and a mentally challenged 14 year old.

I'm thinking he just ended up going into full on defensive mode, and when he dug himself in too deep it was just really hard to go "ok.. I went too far, I get where you're coming from and I'm sorry." Everyone's been there at some point.

Posted by DeathbyYeti

@Pinworm45 said:

Except it's not sexism. Trash talking a girl is not fucking sexism. It is not sexism any more than trash talking a guy is. You know what's sexism? not allowing women to vote. Not letting them advance in their career.

You know what's not sexism? Trash talking women in a video game with a culture and group based around trash talk. The fact that no one cared when he did this to men, makes this white knighting. The fact that people think women are such fragile, inferior creatures that they need to be defended but men don't makes this white knighting.

I like this. Aris was harassing the men just as much as the women, often snickering that someone may be "gay" or something about their appearance. As soon as it comes to a woman though, no one can believe this is happening. I also believe 100% that Capcom knew what they were getting into hiring Aris. Aris was the only reason I watched the show and rightfully so

Posted by CanItRunBF3

Cliff's Notes version of this article: "It's a really slow news day, so here's some people who like to look for things to be offended by, so they can complain about it to hear their own voices and maybe get some attention. Also, they probably get off when random people on the internet agree with them." Sorry that the competitve gaming world calls each other bitches and pussies to get in each others' heads. Sorry that someone thinks that will not change anytime soon. Please go back to sucking on Susan B Anthony's decaying tit so no one has to listen to you bitch about unimportant things like they matter in the slightest.

Posted by MethodMan008

Man, I am gonna be so bummed next week listening to the bombcast when they shit all over the FGC.

Edited by Skooky
@Conceited said:

How accepting they are of ... Kayopolice? (Trans-gendered)

Kayopolice is the worst example you can possibly give.
Posted by Ares42

Why is it always the people that gets offended that gets to decided if a word is bad or not ? I mean I could suddenly decide that I find it offensive for people to call me dude, and now everyone has to moderate their language because I find that word offensive ? 
 
The issue that Aris tries to bring up here (in a completely ineloquent way) is that a vast majority of their community doesn't connect words like bitch or rape with any sort of offense or discrimination, and it's unfair for someone to come in and tell them to change because they don't like it.
 
Maybe it's time someone starts a campaign to stop the GB community from saying things like shit and fuck because they find it offensive ? or would people find that intrusive ? Just from personal experience I recently joined a forum that censored stuff like that I and I found it really strange. Not that I'm a big curser, but it's a part of how I express myself and having to find other ways to express myself got annoying. 
 
People are people, and everyone has different views, but why do we never expect the offended to be the "understanding" one ?

Posted by soundlug

@Phonics: Dude... stop before you get hurt. That is still pretty shitty behavior

Posted by Chris86

My favourite thing about this comment thread are the people who complain that the article is a hit job on the fighting game community, and then go on to say how all of this sexual harassment is just part of the culture and anyone who doesn't like it shouldn't be playing fighting games in the first place (psst, guys, you're just making it worse).

Interesting article Patrick, adding you to the team has been one of the smartest things that this site has done.

Posted by Tim_the_Corsair

I'm going to rape you bitch! What, why te fuck are you offended?! I told your friend over there that I'd rape her too!

Posted by Veiasma

@supercubedude said:

All video game communities have vile scum, let's not single out the fighting game community.

Seriously, look at MOBAs.

Posted by whatthegeek

@moregrammarplz said:

I think the PC culture is fucking garbage and needs to be replaced with something I prefer.

Who the fuck are you to dictate what a group of people can and can not enjoy? Who the fuck are you to be this moral arbiter? How about you exercise your rights to ignore that which you don't like, and partake in that which you do? I'm not going out of my way to force you and your group of friends to swear do whatever you don't like, show me the same respect (or at least that's what I'd say if I was part of their group, I'm not)

Here's the thing; when sexual harassment or racism are considered "OK" by a subculture, whether they mean to or not that subculture is condoning rape and / or violent hate crimes. Rapists don't wake up one day after forty years of being polite and respectful to women and just suddenly decide "Hey, I'm gona go out and rape some bitches today". They start off harassing, stalking, or otherwise mistreating women. When they fall into a subculture that makes light of sexual harassment their negative attitude toward women is validated, and they feel justified in continuing to harass women or in moving on to other sexual crimes.

So yea, when a culture fosters fledgling rapists you bet your fucking-backwards-racist-sexist-rapey ass I'm gonna chime in and say "Hey, knock that shit off you fucking idiot"

Posted by Allison

@CanItRunBF3 said:

Cliff's Notes version of this article: "It's a really slow news day, so here's some people who like to look for things to be offended by, so they can complain about it to hear their own voices and maybe get some attention. Also, they probably get off when random people on the internet agree with them." Sorry that the competitve gaming world calls each other bitches and pussies to get in each others' heads. Sorry that someone thinks that will not change anytime soon. Please go back to sucking on Susan B Anthony's decaying tit so no one has to listen to you bitch about unimportant things like they matter in the slightest.

You are part of the problem.

Posted by SugarRay

I sent a tweet to Patrick on other instances, like on Day 2 of Tekken http://www.twitch.tv/iplaywinner/b/309521219 from 1:42:00 and other times during that day, Aris with camera focused sorely on Miranda's feet and other areas.

There are many and basically countless times of instances throughout the streams every day. Sherryjenix was also invovled to participate in juvenile actions to the amusement of Aris.

My personal opinion is Aris, who mind you, has stated multiple times on the stream and prior to even joining the show that he has lost count on how many times he has been written up (at real jobs) for sexual harrassment. He wears it as a badge. He crossed the line many times here, but everyone knew it was going to happen.

Ultimately, the person in charge of this production and in direct charge of the contestants failed miserably on multiple fronts.

I also believe for the full narrative, one must also know the actions, reactions of Miranda. After she was wrongfully muted during the Jared/Haunts/Aris debacle, they let her voice what she wanted to say. Which in turn she ended up discussing the Korean penis size and how she likes the way black guys hit on her.

Posted by bvilleneuve

@Pinworm45 said:

@moregrammarplz said:

@Pinworm45 said:

He's done similar if not worse things to other people. None of them cared and found it funny. Why should he and his friends all change the culture they've created to satisfy ONE person out of political correctness - something he actively wants to avoid in his community?

Because the 'culture' he's created is fucking garbage and needs to be replaced with something civilized.

I think the PC culture is fucking garbage and needs to be replaced with something I prefer.

Who the fuck are you to dictate what a group of people can and can not enjoy? Who the fuck are you to be this moral arbiter? How about you exercise your rights to ignore that which you don't like, and partake in that which you do? I'm not going out of my way to force you and your group of friends to swear do whatever you don't like, show me the same respect (or at least that's what I'd say if I was part of their group, I'm not)

Go fuck yourself. This bullshit about "political correctness" needs to end. Stewart Lee puts it best in one of his many brilliant bits. I paraphrase: political correctness is nothing more than a mutual agreement to move towards a more inclusive standard of discourse. The bit itself can be found here. Watch it and maybe you'll learn something.

Now that you know what political correctness is, you may be a little closer to understanding what freedom of speech is. Just to help out a little, let me tell you what it isn't: freedom of speech is not a fucking license to say whatever you want without recourse in kind from other people. Aris is free to spew whatever sexist shit he wants. I'm then free to call him a shitheel for doing so. I'm also free to say that the fighting game community is rotten for supporting his bullshit. And, finally, I'm free to call you ignorant for thinking political correctness is going mad.

Posted by prestonhedges

@DeathbyYeti said:

@Pinworm45 said:

Except it's not sexism. Trash talking a girl is not fucking sexism. It is not sexism any more than trash talking a guy is. You know what's sexism? not allowing women to vote. Not letting them advance in their career.

You know what's not sexism? Trash talking women in a video game with a culture and group based around trash talk. The fact that no one cared when he did this to men, makes this white knighting. The fact that people think women are such fragile, inferior creatures that they need to be defended but men don't makes this white knighting.

I like this. Aris was harassing the men just as much as the women, often snickering that someone may be "gay" or something about their appearance. As soon as it comes to a woman though, no one can believe this is happening. I also believe 100% that Capcom knew what they were getting into hiring Aris. Aris was the only reason I watched the show and rightfully so

"Don't worry, guys, he's a homophobe, too!"

Yeah, good argument.

Edited by mnzy

I've seen the show and many streams before and to me this really only proves two things:
- the FGC is dominated by young male players
- Aris is known to be an ass like that and got chosen as a coach because of that, by Capcom
 
edit: Didn't you go to Keystone yourself, Patrick?   
I know 1Up went there, they know how it is.

Posted by Conceited

@NancyDrewFan123 said:

@Conceited said:

Great, now a bunch of people who have no idea what happened and have no perspective on this because they aren't involved in the FGC will blow this infinitely out of proportion and think the FGC is filled with scumbags. While I realize Aris is largely to blame for this, this article did not need to be written. Why not do a positive piece on how awesome the FGC is? How accepting they are of Ricky Ortiz (openly gay) and Kayopolice? (Trans-gendered)

I don't know if you're going to win your argument by pointing out two people that are both constantly the object of ridicule and scorn within the fighting game community. I mean, even the "nice" members of the FGC have some not cool things to say about Kayo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU378JRzsuU

You act like they are treated differently from anyone else. There are plenty of pictures, videos, and forum posts putting ALL popular members of the FGC on blast. Mike Ross gets it, Nerdjosh gets it, Filipino Champ gets it, Marn gets it, no one is exempt. It's accepted as part of the community.

If Kayo wasn't accepted by the FGC as a whole, why would she be generating the most applause during EVO pools? Why would hundreds of people have asked for pictures with her?

If Ricky wasn't accept by the FGC as a whole, why wouldn't everyone ridicule him for wearing short leather skirts and fishnet stockings with halter tops? Most people think its awesome.

People don't recognize or understand the difference from people who actually attend or run tournaments and people who sit at home and post stuff anonymously on the internet. Those people DO NOT represent the FGC.

Posted by Pinworm45

@whatthegeek said:

@moregrammarplz said:

I think the PC culture is fucking garbage and needs to be replaced with something I prefer.

Who the fuck are you to dictate what a group of people can and can not enjoy? Who the fuck are you to be this moral arbiter? How about you exercise your rights to ignore that which you don't like, and partake in that which you do? I'm not going out of my way to force you and your group of friends to swear do whatever you don't like, show me the same respect (or at least that's what I'd say if I was part of their group, I'm not)

Here's the thing; when sexual harassment or racism are considered "OK" by a subculture, whether they mean to or not that subculture is condoning rape and / or violent hate crimes. Rapists don't wake up one day after forty years of being polite and respectful to women and just suddenly decide "Hey, I'm gona go out and rape some bitches today". They start off harassing, stalking, or otherwise mistreating women. When they fall into a subculture that makes light of sexual harassment their negative attitude toward women is validated, and they feel justified in continuing to harass women or in moving on to other sexual crimes.

So yea, when a culture fosters fledgling rapists you bet your fucking-backwards-racist-sexist-rapey ass I'm gonna chime in and say "Hey, knock that shit off you fucking idiot"

This is probably one of the most ignorant, and blatantly stupid things I have ever had the displeasure of reading. God. Damn.

Posted by soundlug

@darkdragonmage99: Who said "shut em up"? I just don't wanna be associated with them and I have the right to call them out

Posted by Hailinel
@Pinworm45 What about trash talk invoking or based on the fact that the target is a woman?
Online
Posted by BigChickenDinner

Here is an example of some dude talking out of his ass getting taken seriously. Its like, really? Obviously this dude's and idiot, but people FREAK out about it? Jesus people grow up.

“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.”

Read that. Okay now read it again. Okay now tell me your offended, And I'll tell you to stop taking what idiots say seriously. This is life people. Relax, chill, let people say stupid stuff that is clearly nonsense. Your not getting out of this place alive anyway.

Posted by Pinworm45

@gladspooky said:

@DeathbyYeti said:

@Pinworm45 said:

Except it's not sexism. Trash talking a girl is not fucking sexism. It is not sexism any more than trash talking a guy is. You know what's sexism? not allowing women to vote. Not letting them advance in their career.

You know what's not sexism? Trash talking women in a video game with a culture and group based around trash talk. The fact that no one cared when he did this to men, makes this white knighting. The fact that people think women are such fragile, inferior creatures that they need to be defended but men don't makes this white knighting.

I like this. Aris was harassing the men just as much as the women, often snickering that someone may be "gay" or something about their appearance. As soon as it comes to a woman though, no one can believe this is happening. I also believe 100% that Capcom knew what they were getting into hiring Aris. Aris was the only reason I watched the show and rightfully so

"Don't worry, guys, he's a homophobe, too!"

Yeah, good argument.

He's friends with a famously gay player, he hit on him as a joke, and the favor and trash talk was returned, all in jest, all with love. Idiot.

Posted by SpaceInsomniac

@bloodsoul5 said:

This article is bullshit. As someone who has watched FGC tournament streams for a few years now, I can safely say Aris does not represent the community. This is being blown way the fuck out of the proportion.

As I am an outsider looking in, I find it hard to understand this. He's an official commentator, so how does he not represent the community? If the guy with the microphone doesn't represent the community, then who does? Also, if he doesn't represent the community, then why does he have a microphone?

I'm not trying to argue here. You clearly have more firsthand knowledge of the situation, and I'm just trying to understand.

Posted by AuthenticM

Man, FUCK that guy. Seriously. What a fucking asshole.

Edited by Shaanyboi

People like Aris need to get abandoned from their "community" and get left in a sad little corner to be by themselves. Seeing stuff like this with no regulation is just going to keep people from wanting to get involved in tournaments and other events. And it's in no way "an integral part" of the community. It's like saying being casually racist towards hispanics is "an integral part" of the retail industry....

Posted by BrianP

@Veiasma said:

@supercubedude said:

All video game communities have vile scum, let's not single out the fighting game community.

Seriously, look at MOBAs.

I would expand it even further to say let's look at society in general. People have the notion that stuff like this is acceptable in video game communities because it is so acceptable in society at large. There needs to be a larger societal shift towards respecting other people, which will then trickle down in to smaller communities.

Posted by moregrammarplz

@Pinworm45 said:

@moregrammarplz said:

So your solution to people not showing respect is to not show them respect? Alright, I don't really care. That's their group, their culture, they enjoy it, I'm not going to ask them to change, and apparently you aren't either because you're being just as insulting, doing the exact same thing (actually worse, you aren't doing it in jest) and I'm sure you're no hypocrite.

There are two parties involved in this - gamers who happen to be female and just want to play some competitive fighting games, and the other is a bunch of sexist douchebags who think labeling offensive comments like "RAPE HER" as 'trash talk' gives them a free pass to be assholes. I will NEVER respect that second party. Sorry, never going to happen.

I'm glad Giant Bomb and other sites are shedding light on this. I don't care if you're eSports, unisex hockey, a Magic: The Gathering tournament, or the Alabama Knitting and Crochet Championships. Just because you're a competitive organization does not make you exempt from common decency. I don't care if it's supposedly part of your 'culture', something so integral that if eliminated would destroy the entire community. If the jenga block holding your community together is cruelty and hatefulness, then it deserves to crumble.

Posted by DeathbyYeti

@gladspooky: The point was, "boys insulting boys, par for course. He insulted a woman? Why I never!"

Posted by prestonhedges

@Pinworm45 said:

@gladspooky said:

@DeathbyYeti said:

@Pinworm45 said:

Except it's not sexism. Trash talking a girl is not fucking sexism. It is not sexism any more than trash talking a guy is. You know what's sexism? not allowing women to vote. Not letting them advance in their career.

You know what's not sexism? Trash talking women in a video game with a culture and group based around trash talk. The fact that no one cared when he did this to men, makes this white knighting. The fact that people think women are such fragile, inferior creatures that they need to be defended but men don't makes this white knighting.

I like this. Aris was harassing the men just as much as the women, often snickering that someone may be "gay" or something about their appearance. As soon as it comes to a woman though, no one can believe this is happening. I also believe 100% that Capcom knew what they were getting into hiring Aris. Aris was the only reason I watched the show and rightfully so

"Don't worry, guys, he's a homophobe, too!"

Yeah, good argument.

He's friends with a famously gay player, he hit on him as a joke, and the favor and trash talk was returned, all in jest, all with love. Idiot.

Sorry you guys can't show love without disparaging an entire community of people. And the "I have a gay friend" argument doesn't work either, idiot.

Posted by Ett

@ Patrick Klepek I am disappoint . You post a of transscript of a the story you got from a archive and youtube video which is one sided. Without a comment from either people in your story. You could have waited till they are of the show and their NDA are lifted. Before you posted this. You bring up Jared who has nothing too do with the show. Jared is know for pushing his agenda for monetizing the FGC by making it more presentably too sponsors. If you looked a little harder you would have found that Aris did respond on a stream of a fellow player http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2012/feb/27/superyan-forfeits-spot-cross-assault-explains-decision/ (see link).

You post a snap shot of a REALITY SHOW of the 25k where people play too win. Aris is a skimmer and a cheater keep that in mind and only one person can win the 25k. Wouldn't put it passed Aris if he is playing favourites and has a stake in one of the Team tekken players.

My experience the FGC is one of the most open communities there is. It doesn't matter if your black, white ,asian, female, male or Newhalf you are accept as long you play the game. Everyone starts on the same level and the only way you get respect is winning or giving too the community.

Patrick dont know what wanted with this post but too me this looks like a Gawker style view bait article.

(bonus video ArisxKayo at evo2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77SfC-gmK9o)

Posted by bvilleneuve

@whatthegeek said:

@moregrammarplz said:

I think the PC culture is fucking garbage and needs to be replaced with something I prefer.

Who the fuck are you to dictate what a group of people can and can not enjoy? Who the fuck are you to be this moral arbiter? How about you exercise your rights to ignore that which you don't like, and partake in that which you do? I'm not going out of my way to force you and your group of friends to swear do whatever you don't like, show me the same respect (or at least that's what I'd say if I was part of their group, I'm not)

Here's the thing; when sexual harassment or racism are considered "OK" by a subculture, whether they mean to or not that subculture is condoning rape and / or violent hate crimes. Rapists don't wake up one day after forty years of being polite and respectful to women and just suddenly decide "Hey, I'm gona go out and rape some bitches today". They start off harassing, stalking, or otherwise mistreating women. When they fall into a subculture that makes light of sexual harassment their negative attitude toward women is validated, and they feel justified in continuing to harass women or in moving on to other sexual crimes.

So yea, when a culture fosters fledgling rapists you bet your fucking-backwards-racist-sexist-rapey ass I'm gonna chime in and say "Hey, knock that shit off you fucking idiot"

It's really shameful how much trouble people have with this idea.

Posted by Harkat

@Pinworm45 said:

@jasondesante said:

i bet this guy rides a harley and always revs the engine real loud. (south park definition of fag)

ITT: "Oh man, that guy is such a sexist/racist/prejudiced/homophobe. What a faggot fat fuck disgusting boy who can't get any pussy".

That seems to be the idea, sadly. I'm honestly not sure I feel about this. On one hand, I can understand that comments like "I want to know your bra size" are very uncomfortable, on the other, I have a suspicion that they are not taken the same way when men are the targets.

Posted by Pinworm45

@bvilleneuve said:

@Pinworm45 said:

@moregrammarplz said:

@Pinworm45 said:

He's done similar if not worse things to other people. None of them cared and found it funny. Why should he and his friends all change the culture they've created to satisfy ONE person out of political correctness - something he actively wants to avoid in his community?

Because the 'culture' he's created is fucking garbage and needs to be replaced with something civilized.

I think the PC culture is fucking garbage and needs to be replaced with something I prefer.

Who the fuck are you to dictate what a group of people can and can not enjoy? Who the fuck are you to be this moral arbiter? How about you exercise your rights to ignore that which you don't like, and partake in that which you do? I'm not going out of my way to force you and your group of friends to swear do whatever you don't like, show me the same respect (or at least that's what I'd say if I was part of their group, I'm not)

Go fuck yourself. This bullshit about "political correctness" needs to end. Stewart Lee puts it best in one of his many brilliant bits. I paraphrase: political correctness is nothing more than a mutual agreement to move towards a more inclusive standard of discourse. The bit itself can be found here. Watch it and maybe you'll learn something.

Now that you know what political correctness is, you may be a little closer to understanding what freedom of speech is. Just to help out a little, let me tell you what it isn't: freedom of speech is not a fucking license to say whatever you want without recourse in kind from other people. Aris is free to spew whatever sexist shit he wants. I'm then free to call him a shitheel for doing so. I'm also free to say that the fighting game community is rotten for supporting his bullshit. And, finally, I'm free to call you ignorant for thinking political correctness is going mad.

I was being sarcastic you dolt. I don't want to tell you how to act and what humor to enjoy around your friends, and I expect the same from you. And that's EXACTLY what freedom of speech is - the ability to say whatever you want (minus that which is illegal such as fire!) without other people being able to legally stop you. You are free to call him a Shitheel. Hell, you're free to not listen to him! you're free to have your own cultures that are PC or whatever you enjoy! You're free to think his community sucks!

You're not free to impose your will on what others say or enjoy. And he's not a sexist.

Posted by ThePhilatron

Very good story. Glad GB likes to shine a light on the issues we need fixed.

Edited by Sergeant_Stubby

count how many times people who do not like sexism use the word douche as an insult lol...

i know douche can mean cleaning out any cavity in the body.. but it usually means a girl cleaning out her snatch.

Posted by Evelgest

@clientkiller said:

Patrick, I'm really glad you're highlighting this kind of harassment in video games. If the industry is to be taken seriously by the world then it means everyone involved needs to take responsibility to stop this kind of thing from being seen as "normal". Playing games online gives anonymity and the free reign to be sexist, racist and homophobic without consequence.

I would say there is a wider problem of MOST companies completely ignoring what is going on in their communities or not wanting to deal with these issues. Even though they shouldn't really young children are playing online and watching these e-streams.

It's not enough for Capcom to apologise, but rather they should openly ban all those involved on team Tekken from being involved in all future Capcom run tournaments.

I'm going to stop you there. "Capcom run tournaments" just made me laugh out loud. All tournaments and streams in the FGC are ran by the community. Capcom is only holding this stunt because the entire community was hesitant about SFxT in the first place, and because it's the 25th anniversary of Street Fighter. Unlike SF4 and MvC3, SFxT wasn't a must-buy for fighting game fans.

Tournaments rarely get pot bonuses from Capcom. Hell, Mad Catz has sponsored the community more than Capcom. In addition, Capcom has rejected MLG in the past. Therein lies a problem. No governing force to tell the FGC, which I may remind you is mainly made up of minorities, especially with many from the lower income bracket of society, what is allowed and what isn't. Everything is community driven. Many of these folks bring an arcade-like mentality to the FGC. Many in the community want it to stay that way. It's unique to the FGC. You just don't see this sort of hype in StarCraft. These folks don't want the scene to become e-sports. The FGC wants to hit it off big, but doesn't want to lose what makes it so special. It's a struggle. Popping off against your opponent while he's enclosed in a box across the stage just isn't the same.

I'm not saying I accept what happened in this case, but I feel like many are speaking out against the FGC and one member in Aris without much knowledge of the scene.

"Yo, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-sports."

Posted by AngelN7

That guy is a pig did anyone who's defending him watched that video? that girl wasn't having fun or joking you can see how awkward was the whole thing.

Posted by Pinworm45

@Hailinel said:

@Pinworm45 What about trash talk invoking or based on the fact that the target is a woman?

What about it? It's no different than when it's based on a man. No different at all. "grow some balls" "man up" "dick!" are NO DIFFERENT from "pussy!" "bitch!". No different at all.

Posted by Turambar
@churrific said:

Like others have said, I wish Patrick would've gotten both sides of the story, including an insider's view from the community (not jared). Running the story without even speaking directly to the participants, or even getting a quote out of them, only provides a superficial glance at the situation and the community as a whole. A really negative one at that. No one's saying the FGC is perfect, but If you're gonna blow up a community, at least get some opposing viewpoints before using one man to paint a really ugly picture of a group of people to outsiders who have no exposure to them.

He reached out to both Super_Yan and Aris for comments on their side of the story.  Neither responded.  He didn't interview Jared either, instead posting a transcript of his conversation with Aris.
Online
Posted by clientkiller

@Pinworm45: You can do whatever you want in your own private community or guild. When something is broadcast publicly, especially by a company that represents a large section of the gaming community then those views matter to many more people and are representative of the industry as a whole. Thats why it matters!

Posted by Bravestar

@GaspoweR said:

Actually, there has been stuff that has been cleared up in one of the other streams last night in the thisisLIJoe stream where a lot of players did chip in the whole situation including Aris himself and Dr. Sub Zero. I don't know if anyone else on GB was able to see it.The only one that Joe wasn't able to come into contact was Miranda.

I don't think "cleared up" is the right word. aris was absolutely unapologetic, blaming other people for not being ready to handle the consequences of his actions, justifying his behaviour with "that's the way I am" and claiming it was part of his job, the reason they hired him. looking at his conversation with jared, it shines a horrible light on aris.

well, aris shines a horrible light on himself. the video patrick linked is nothing really. I think it was during dinner when aris bragged about harassing women every day on his job. all said on a live stream. and there is more.

"that's just how aris is" was an excuse a lot of people used last night, as if that was an excuse. I hope this is a wake-up call for the community(it wasn't for aris unfortunately). such behaviour is not acceptable.

btw I'm somewhat shocked when I read "but she laughed about it too!" as a claim of evidence that it wasn't that bad and she didn't mind it. and people blame her for not speaking up loudly enough from the beginning. it shows a huge lack of understanding of human interactions and I'm shocked that it's so widespread. a comment on eventhubs summed it up perfecty:

If you had received Sexual Harrasment training at your Job you'd realize that victims of Sexual Harrasment don't usually go...

"Sexual Harrasment! Sexual Harrasment! He's Sexually Harrassing me!"

No. Just the opposite. They try to laugh it off. Act like it doesn't bother them. When it's actually eating them up inside.

Her forced/uncomfortable laughter was on display the entire time. She said "stop it" several times, called him "creepy" several times. And showed obvious discomfort when he was SNIFFING HER!

What needed to happen for you to recognize what was going on? Actual Rape? C'mon guys, get Effin real.

so if you honestly believe miranda didn't get fed up with it and it wasn't a big deal, please educate yourself.

Posted by Pinworm45

@gladspooky said:

@Pinworm45 said:

@gladspooky said:

@DeathbyYeti said:

@Pinworm45 said:

Except it's not sexism. Trash talking a girl is not fucking sexism. It is not sexism any more than trash talking a guy is. You know what's sexism? not allowing women to vote. Not letting them advance in their career.

You know what's not sexism? Trash talking women in a video game with a culture and group based around trash talk. The fact that no one cared when he did this to men, makes this white knighting. The fact that people think women are such fragile, inferior creatures that they need to be defended but men don't makes this white knighting.

I like this. Aris was harassing the men just as much as the women, often snickering that someone may be "gay" or something about their appearance. As soon as it comes to a woman though, no one can believe this is happening. I also believe 100% that Capcom knew what they were getting into hiring Aris. Aris was the only reason I watched the show and rightfully so

"Don't worry, guys, he's a homophobe, too!"

Yeah, good argument.

He's friends with a famously gay player, he hit on him as a joke, and the favor and trash talk was returned, all in jest, all with love. Idiot.

Sorry you guys can't show love without disparaging an entire community of people. And the "I have a gay friend" argument doesn't work either, idiot.

When you say "This person hates homosexuals", "this person actually loves a homosexual" is a pretty good counter argument. And this ENTIRE THREAD Is about disparaging and entire community of people, so I don't buy that bullshit.

Posted by Alkaiser

@Pinworm45 said:

@Alkaiser said:

@pekoe212 said:

@Pinworm45 said:

@jasondesante said:

some homo virgin rips on girls because he is fat and hideous and half retarded. Just put him in a corner and let him have his tantrum. Girls that play fighting games are just as cool as guys that play fighting games. Trash talk in fighting games is a last resort for those who aren't comfortable playing the game.

He insults men just as much as girls.. just no one gives a shit about that. People have to white knight girls, which is sexist itself, because it's implying that women can't handle trash talk, which apparently this one couldn't. Pretty fucking ironic that you proceed to call this guy a "homo virgin" who can't get girls because he is fat, as if that is somehow any less sexist than anything he has ever said. it is in fact more sexist, because his "sexism" was merely gendered insults like "bitch".

The difference to me, is that usually men are insulted for not being "man" enough, i.e. being like a woman. And a woman is insulted for....being a woman. That's why it can really hurt sometimes. That my membership in the other 50% of the population can be used as an "insult" against me, a "weakness," you can't really dismiss someone's worth at a more basic level.

I don't really have anything to add to this issue except for the fact that I can feel the my blood pressure spike up everytime I hear the term 'white knighting.' Because apparently guys are only offended by sexism because they want to get laid.

And not, you know, because they've had something bad happen to someone they care about like their mom or someone similar who was victimized for being a woman. Or a friend who was bullied for being a 'bitch' or 'slut' and ended up doing something to hurt themselves out of shame or sadness.

Shit like racism or sexism shouldn't be tolerated by anyone, male or female.

Except it's not sexism. Trash talking a girl is not fucking sexism. It is not sexism any more than trash talking a guy is. You know what's sexism? not allowing women to vote. Not letting them advance in their career.

You know what's not sexism? Trash talking women in a video game with a culture and group based around trash talk. The fact that no one cared when he did this to men, makes this white knighting. The fact that people think women are such fragile, inferior creatures that they need to be defended but men don't makes this white knighting.

The idea that no one cared is a complete blanket statement. No one should be bullied for what they are. I would've been just as mad (if probably more for personal reasons) if he had been bullying an individual for being a 'faggot.'

People do care about these things. They just choose to try to ignore them because what can you do? Like you said, its part of the culture. No one wants to be that one voice to point out 'hey, this is kinda fucked up' and then get shouted down because people don't want to change what they've always been even if their attitude and beliefs is completely abhorrent.

Posted by Zabant

@Bassman2112 said:

Patrick, thank you so much for writing this article. As a 20something who basically refuses to play online because of all the idiots on mics who think casual racism, misogyny and the like are totally fine, it's nice to finally see something about it on a public article. I have lots of female gamer friends who like to play online, but won't use a mic because the moment guys hear a girl's voice on the other end they start harassing them with brash, sexual and offensive comments. I don't think it's a matter of it being "esports versus a fun time," it's just common decency towards other people...
Posted by DT9k

Bunch of bad mannered boys making sure no girls cootie up their clubhouse.

Shameful shit.

Posted by bretthancock

"we’re in America, man"

Best way to instantly look like a giant toolshed.

Posted by whatthegeek

@Pinworm45: Exactly how am I ignorant here? I'm not saying every fighting game player is a rapist or anything crazy like that - hell, I love fighting games..... but I'm able to play them without sexually harassing anyone in the process.

Strictly from a sociological and psychological point of view, when people inclined to commit a sex crime see other people committing sex crimes, or making light of committing sex crimes, they feel validated in their actions. This isn't speculation, it's a fact.

Everyone likes to say "Oh it's all in good fun" or "Oh we're just kidding - we're not ACTUALLY sexist" and in some cases that may be true, but there's always a handful of people out there who are going to take it too far - people who are going to go from "just kidding" to committing a crime - tell me why it's a good idea to encourage them?

Posted by benson

Great article from Patrick, disgusting (but sadly expected) reactions in the comments. The gaming community needs to grow up.

Posted by bluebird14

Freedom of Speech =/= say whatever you want