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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.

No Caption Provided

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.
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 CommentsRefresh

Avatar image for distrato
Posted By Distrato

Where the video games at?

Avatar image for homelessbird
Posted By Homelessbird

@Keeng: Well said.

Avatar image for keeng
Posted By Keeng

I actually agree with a lot of DesertDog's points, but my overall issue with Aris, his comments, and this entire situation doesn't really have anything to do with the implications of yelling "rape that bitch". The problem for me is with the fact that online video game players (and by extention, most young men) just can't seem to find a way to express dislike, displeasure, or happiness in a way that isn't crass. Obviously, MvC players aren't saying they want to see the player rape Phoenix, but that's beside the point. Is it really impossible to express your feelings about that character or game without going to extremes?

I get that it's a heat of the moment thing and it's acceptable in the community. I'm a black man who grew up in Detroit. I listen to rap music (certainly not exclusively but very frequently). I enjoy black comedians. I'm subjected to the word "nigga" all the time. I have made a conscious decision not to use it, and I NEVER struggle to express comradery or friendship using other words. In fact the only time it's ever difficult is when I'm quoting a song or a good joke. As a side note, I also play several fighting games competitively.

My point is this: I don't buy the argument that it's fine to say something just because it's a common occurrence within a community. If your position boils down to "Well everyone else I'm around fails to come up with better ways of expressing their opinions so I too will fail," you need to man up.

Avatar image for desertdog
Edited By DesertDog

@RagingDaemon said:

It was a dude who is crass and weird, being his same usual crass and weird self. And if the stress of the show wasn't there, Sakura-whatever wouldn't have broken, since she made a point of saying she is familiar with and part of the community. It's why she basically did an "oops, nevermind" after this media fueled shit started hitting the fan. Guess what? She's back to playing. And if she wasn't a female, and cute, this wouldn't have been as newsworthy. As mentioned, Aris has previously undressed/smelled a dude live. No one cared. No one flew into a rabid righteous fervor.

I'll only respond to the last part of your post because I don't really have to argue how much of a sexist and racist piece of human waste you are as you made that pretty self evident.

What you did do was make a mistake of saying factually incorrect things such as

@RagingDaemon said:

It's why she basically did an "oops, nevermind" after this media fueled shit started hitting the fan.

No she did not. She's blaming him fully for the entire thing and has repeatedly said that he was the only reason for her dilemma and that she was crying for the entire day prior to leaving. Her quote "I was so appalled at what Aris said on the 5th night that I could not stop crying, the next day I made the decision to leave because of it." http://www.twitlonger.com/show/g7543k

@RagingDaemon said:

And if she wasn't a female, and cute, this wouldn't have been as newsworthy. As mentioned, Aris has previously undressed/smelled a dude live. No one cared. No one flew into a rabid righteous fervor.

No that's only your opinion. Aris's actions were unacceptable in all contexts at all times towards all people. Male or female. I would have cared! So, yeah, keep on telling yourself that to make yourself feel better. People do care when it happens to guys too. I care when it happens to my nephew when he comes over to play. I care about it when it happens to many of my male friends on Xbox Live. You are incorrect in assuming most people don't care. YOU DON'T CARE.

I have protected male, female, gay, straight, and anybody else that didn't appreciate comments like those. I do say things when the same comments are given to my gay British friend on Xbox Live. You're projecting your own thoughts into this. You're the worst there is. You fill yourself with the idea that nobody would care if this was a male because you don't care. You're the problem.

Nobody thinks that way only you. People weren't up in arms about it sooner because it wasn't exposed sooner.

If you knew about this behavior by Aris or any others in the FGC sooner then you could have written a freelance article and told the rest of the gaming community about it... But you didn't everyone else did.

As it stands you're a big part of the problem for defending it. And you're an even bigger part of the problem if you knew about it before this blew up two days ago and didn't tell anybody.

Avatar image for desertdog
Posted By DesertDog

@RagingDaemon said:

Of course you don't respond to the points made about you. You'd have to come from a nearly indefensible place. You got exposed, bro.

As to the rest: context and intent are everything. You are of the mind that words have inherent magic powers that negate context. This is untrue. One man's hateful "nigger!" is another's friendly "my nigga!". One woman's "you bitch!" is another's "heeeeyyy bitch!". Context, relationships, perspective. US people get up in arms if you call a woman a cunt, UK people use the word like it's a comma in their sentences. Do any of the above words have inherent evil that supersedes context? Of course not. Same way dudes trash talking during street fighter aren't actually going to rape one another, have sexual intercourse with anyone's mother, defecate on anyone, etc, etc. Yours is the same censorious attitude used by religious fundamentalists except coming from the other direction. You're not the moral authority any more than they are. Furthermore, being offended is not some special, privileged condition. It doesn't make your position any more tenable, respectable, or valid.

And this is where we come back 'round to your hypocrisy. What makes it not okay to say a "sexist" or "misogynistic" remark and yet you happily trot out a beloved stereotype about US southerners? Why is one action reprehensible and inexcusable but the other not? Because around these parts, it's an acceptable group to deride. And yet I'm sure you would spring to your own defense "Well, but I don't REALLY think southerners are stupid, inbred hicks" etc etc. The same way screaming "rape that bitch" at a video game doesn't mean the person really wants to rape the fictional character Phoenix or anyone else for that matter. In fact, it doesn't even really MEAN "rape". The same way colloquially calling something "gay" hasn't meant homosexual in a long time, and the same way "faggot" has transformed into "super annoying person". In the context of screaming "rape that bitch" at Phoenix, it means some version of "do a lot of damage to this character that many of us dislike passionately". How many other cultures call each other "my nigga"? How would you even begin to structure your outrage at a Philipino calling his Puerto Rican neighbor "my nigga"?

Why do I even have to explain this blindingly obvious stuff to you?

The intent of trash talk? For one it's to express competitive drive, aggression, deride your opponent, make a joke of them etc. It also has become a show of one-upping others via wit, vulgarity, edginess, humor, similar to playing the dozens. It exists in every sport I can think of, combat sports especially. In this situation it was a guy messing with this chick during a boring reality show that didn't really turn out how it was supposed to at all. There was no hidden malice, no sociopathic agenda, no sleeper cell plan by the patriarchy and free masons. It was a dude who is crass and weird, being his same usual crass and weird self. And if the stress of the show wasn't there, Sakura-whatever wouldn't have broken, since she made a point of saying she is familiar with and part of the community. It's why she basically did an "oops, nevermind" after this media fueled shit started hitting the fan. Guess what? She's back to playing. And if she wasn't a female, and cute, this wouldn't have been as newsworthy. As mentioned, Aris has previously undressed/smelled a dude live. No one cared. No one flew into a rabid righteous fervor.

Swing-n-a-miss! Wow, you could not be a bigger part of the problem unless you were Aris himself. Thanks for contributing.

Avatar image for phished0ne
Posted By Phished0ne

@YukoAsho: My bad, totally missed that. I just know what i had heard from interviews with people that were there.

Avatar image for yukoasho
Posted By yukoasho

@Phished0ne said:

Part of the problem is that Miranda never said anything to Aris, she just let him be an ass. Sherry Jenix stated several times to people that Aris most likely would've stopped, if she said anything to him.

She did ask him to stop. A quote from her Twitter:

Miranda PakozdiSuper__Yan

xpldingdkrafonecafeatmidnight I told him dozens of times to stop and I pulled him aside one-on-one and explained it to him.

Avatar image for yukoasho
Posted By yukoasho

@Jayesslee said:

For some reason, I don't think he's sincerely sorry.

Of fucking COURSE he's not sorry. He's just got enormous pressure from the major streams and from Capcom and possibly Namco now. I think the only thing he's sorry about is that he got caught and will likely never be on a mic again.

Avatar image for jayesslee
Posted By Jayesslee

For some reason, I don't think he's sincerely sorry.

Avatar image for ragingdaemon
Posted By RagingDaemon

@Alkaiser: I'm not going to go digging through hours of livestream footage to find the specific instance to post for you. It's in their archives if you feel like getting a shovel

Avatar image for duffyside
Posted By Duffyside

@Allison said:

The sky has nothing to do with one's gender

Hahaha, now who's laughing? This guy, that's who.

Avatar image for alkaiser
Posted By Alkaiser

@RagingDaemon said:

As mentioned, Aris has previously undressed/smelled a dude live. No one cared. No one flew into a rabid righteous fervor.

Did this happen at the event? If so, do you know what day and a general time I can click to on a video? Cause I'm honestly curious as to how this went down. All I've seen of Cross Counter is what was in the Giant Bomb article, so I have no idea what else went down there. And I have a feeling the GB staff doesn't either, since Patrick mentioned that he received a link to the video saying he should watch this and no one else on call has a vested interest in fighting games except for Jeff who made his comments on this weeks bombcast about how the community bugged him out and he kinda got out of it.

I'm genuinely interested because if it was as crazy and messed up as the other video then I'd definitely have to send Patrick a pm of 'Yo, this dude is a whackjob. Look at this shit!'

Avatar image for allison
Posted By Allison

@Duffyside said:

@Allison said:

@Robo said:

@Zokari: You are born one sex (usually...and he was).

If you're a male you're more than free to "be" female if you want, but you can not change that you were born with a penis, testicles, and a Y chromosome.

Saying someone can't factually refer to you as "he" anymore is fucking absurd. And frankly if genders are so unimportant anyway, why get so up in arms over calling someone by their genetic sex?

Are you fucking KIDDING ME.

We are in the midst of a debate against sexism and misogyny and now you feel privy to drag around the corpse of TRANSPHOBIA AROUND TOO?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU GIANTBOMB?

Is that what happened, or did he see a comment that he disagreed with and he responded to it? I mean, if someone says the sky is red in the comments, I might respond "no, it's blue," but I'm not trying to drag around the corpse of sky-is-blue-fascism.

But you did do exactly what you're accusing him of by responding this way, didn't you? You're just mad that he has an opinion that rubs you the wrong way.

Lmao. Being transphobic isn't an opinion, it's a form of bigotry. The sky has nothing to do with one's gender and its color is a terrible analogy for that. Thanks for the wake-up laugh.

Avatar image for joeq1159
Posted By joeq1159

Wow thats totally disgusting. I blame the individual though. Some people are just really ignorant and that doesn't mean the entire fighting game community is like that. They should just not let him speak anymore.

Avatar image for phished0ne
Posted By Phished0ne

Im not justifying his behavior, because he was in a capcom sponsored event where they werent even allowed to swear for the most part without wearing the Norcal-style Horsehead for 15 mins. I find the way he acted reprehensible, but there is a fine line that needs to be learned by members of the FGC. There is a difference between a heavily sponsored live stream or a major tournament and a late night, off hours live stream of a money match room. If you wish to be a vulgar asshole, do it when it wont have a major effect on the community, not when there are 13,000 people watching. Part of the problem is that Miranda never said anything to Aris, she just let him be an ass. Sherry Jenix stated several times to people that Aris most likely would've stopped, if she said anything to him. Sherry and Aris are friends, She knows him pretty well. Once again, not justifying his behavior, just pointing out that there are several different factors to this whole situation.

But in the end this whole thing is Capcom's fault. They chose Aris, and the people that were the enforcement department for Cross Assault didnt do their job. Aris was making sexual comments and harassing Miranda on day one, and no one said anything about it. In the Team Street Fighter chat, people were saying "wait, Aris gets away with sexual harassment, but people on the show cant even swear?" This whole thing was a gigantic shitshow.

Avatar image for yukoasho
Posted By yukoasho

@bunnymud said:

I have never been so proud to be a child of the 70's as I am today. Our youth sucks on a whole.

The problem is that he's not a youth. He's a grown fucking man. Little kids are what the fuck ever.

Avatar image for bunnymud
Posted By bunnymud

I have never been so proud to be a child of the 70's as I am today. Our youth sucks on a whole.

Avatar image for ragingdaemon
Posted By RagingDaemon

@Milkman said:

@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.

Of course you don't respond to the points made about you. You'd have to come from a nearly indefensible place. You got exposed, bro.

As to the rest: context and intent are everything. You are of the mind that words have inherent magic powers that negate context. This is untrue. One man's hateful "nigger!" is another's friendly "my nigga!". One woman's "you bitch!" is another's "heeeeyyy bitch!". Context, relationships, perspective. US people get up in arms if you call a woman a cunt, UK people use the word like it's a comma in their sentences. Do any of the above words have inherent evil that supersedes context? Of course not. Same way dudes trash talking during street fighter aren't actually going to rape one another, have sexual intercourse with anyone's mother, defecate on anyone, etc, etc. Yours is the same censorious attitude used by religious fundamentalists except coming from the other direction. You're not the moral authority any more than they are. Furthermore, being offended is not some special, privileged condition. It doesn't make your position any more tenable, respectable, or valid.

And this is where we come back 'round to your hypocrisy. What makes it not okay to say a "sexist" or "misogynistic" remark and yet you happily trot out a beloved stereotype about US southerners? Why is one action reprehensible and inexcusable but the other not? Because around these parts, it's an acceptable group to deride. And yet I'm sure you would spring to your own defense "Well, but I don't REALLY think southerners are stupid, inbred hicks" etc etc. The same way screaming "rape that bitch" at a video game doesn't mean the person really wants to rape the fictional character Phoenix or anyone else for that matter. In fact, it doesn't even really MEAN "rape". The same way colloquially calling something "gay" hasn't meant homosexual in a long time, and the same way "faggot" has transformed into "super annoying person". In the context of screaming "rape that bitch" at Phoenix, it means some version of "do a lot of damage to this character that many of us dislike passionately". How many other cultures call each other "my nigga"? How would you even begin to structure your outrage at a Philipino calling his Puerto Rican neighbor "my nigga"?

Why do I even have to explain this blindingly obvious stuff to you?

The intent of trash talk? For one it's to express competitive drive, aggression, deride your opponent, make a joke of them etc. It also has become a show of one-upping others via wit, vulgarity, edginess, humor, similar to playing the dozens. It exists in every sport I can think of, combat sports especially. In this situation it was a guy messing with this chick during a boring reality show that didn't really turn out how it was supposed to at all. There was no hidden malice, no sociopathic agenda, no sleeper cell plan by the patriarchy and free masons. It was a dude who is crass and weird, being his same usual crass and weird self. And if the stress of the show wasn't there, Sakura-whatever wouldn't have broken, since she made a point of saying she is familiar with and part of the community. It's why she basically did an "oops, nevermind" after this media fueled shit started hitting the fan. Guess what? She's back to playing. And if she wasn't a female, and cute, this wouldn't have been as newsworthy. As mentioned, Aris has previously undressed/smelled a dude live. No one cared. No one flew into a rabid righteous fervor.

Avatar image for yukoasho
Posted By yukoasho

@Lind_L_Taylor: Shit happens. Though now you got me thinking... Street Fighter X Sonic....

Avatar image for lind_l_taylor
Posted By Lind_L_Taylor
@YukoAsho said:

@Lind_L_Taylor said:

Wow what an asshole! I can't believe what I'm hearing/seeing. He can be sued in civil court for sexual harrassment & if Sega sponsoredit, they can be sued for millions. I'll say it again: what a dumb asshole. I'm surprised he didn't just whip out his dick & start jacking off in front of her.

Sega? What would they have to do with anything? This is a Capcom game, and a Capcom-sponsored event... Unless Capcom's farmed it out to Sega in Eurasia and no one told me. o_O;

My bad...
Avatar image for yukoasho
Posted By yukoasho

@Lind_L_Taylor said:

Wow what an asshole! I can't believe what I'm hearing/seeing. He can be sued in civil court for sexual harrassment & if Sega sponsoredit, they can be sued for millions. I'll say it again: what a dumb asshole. I'm surprised he didn't just whip out his dick & start jacking off in front of her.

Sega? What would they have to do with anything? This is a Capcom game, and a Capcom-sponsored event... Unless Capcom's farmed it out to Sega in Eurasia and no one told me. o_O;

Avatar image for lind_l_taylor
Posted By Lind_L_Taylor

Wow what an asshole!  I can't believe what I'm hearing/seeing.  He
can be sued in civil court for sexual harrassment & if Sega sponsored
it, they can be sued for millions.  I'll say it again: what a dumb asshole.
 
I'm surprised he didn't just whip out his dick & start jacking off in
front of her.

Avatar image for duffyside
Posted By Duffyside

@Allison said:

@Robo said:

@Zokari: You are born one sex (usually...and he was).

If you're a male you're more than free to "be" female if you want, but you can not change that you were born with a penis, testicles, and a Y chromosome.

Saying someone can't factually refer to you as "he" anymore is fucking absurd. And frankly if genders are so unimportant anyway, why get so up in arms over calling someone by their genetic sex?

Are you fucking KIDDING ME.

We are in the midst of a debate against sexism and misogyny and now you feel privy to drag around the corpse of TRANSPHOBIA AROUND TOO?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU GIANTBOMB?

Is that what happened, or did he see a comment that he disagreed with and he responded to it? I mean, if someone says the sky is red in the comments, I might respond "no, it's blue," but I'm not trying to drag around the corpse of sky-is-blue-fascism.

But you did do exactly what you're accusing him of by responding this way, didn't you? You're just mad that he has an opinion that rubs you the wrong way.

Avatar image for yukoasho
Edited By yukoasho

@Still_I_Cry said:

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

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

If it IS part of their culture, they can fucking HAVE it. I don't want anything to do with any of that garbage.

Avatar image for yukoasho
Posted By yukoasho
Avatar image for turambar
Posted By Turambar
@sickVisionz: He's her coach.  Not her competitor.  That was not some psychological meta game.
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Posted By ICF_19XX

@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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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Posted By linus_south

@Mechabolic: same..

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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!

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Posted By Duh_ave
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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?

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Posted By spilledmilkfactory

@princess_zelda said:

of course he looks like that. lmao.

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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.

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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"

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 
Online
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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

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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.

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Posted By salarn
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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.