The Big Picture: Not Okay

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Errrrr...

I have a feeling I'm on the verge of saying something that may get me slaughtered.

I don't know all the particulars of the Bakhtanians incident. I mean, I've heard the story, but I haven't read the particulars of what the man said. I know it was supposed to be pretty ugly, and I agree that it was wrong. I'm just not sure that I'm in total agreement as to why it was wrong.

My understanding was that this was supposed to be a quasi-public event shown to a public audience. It was implicitly open to female gamers, and no one should have been forced or expected to put up with some kind of demeaning hazing because they were female. Bakhtanians was absolutely in the wrong, and should have been ashamed of himself both for his behavior and for having the nerve to defend it.

But where I get nervous is where Bob seems to be saying that there is no private place for attitudes or ideas that the general public finds offensive, only the public sphere where it comes right out of the gate to get immediately pelted with fruit for its intrinsic wrongness.

That idea disturbs me. I know we're increasingly living in a culture where privacy is a thing of the past. And certainly if you're doing something like a show or a podcast, you take the good of creating something for public consumption with the bad. Likewise, for example, if you're an employer, you better pay attention to laws about discrimination. The availability of fair workplaces where people don't feel threatened or harassed is an issue that effects us all, and I think as a society we're better for strong laws that protect us that way.

But I don't see the harm of Mac users quietly echoing to each other the superiority of users of their chosen platform, or "furries" sharing fantasies with one another, to give two examples (neither of which include me), despite the fact that expression of those ideas in the public sphere might get those who express them treated with derision and disgust.

Shorthand to be later misinterpreted: I see the problem with expressing a bad attitude in public as though the public should accept and mainstream that attitude. I'm concerned with that form of indignation, however righteous, being carried over into areas where people who may recognize their attitudes and ideas are "niche" want to share them with each other.

Well Bob, I'd say that this position doesn't even need to be expressed, but it clearly does apparently.

Ugh, I just hope that Captain Neckbeard himself (that Aris guy) gets canned from the show or excluded from fighting tournaments, because he is making both of them look bad. Competitive online multiplayer really is quite awful though, where else can you find a context where being compared to a rapist or serial killer is a compliment?

Why are we even talking about this?

haha, sorry.

Altought I somewhat meant it too. There really isn't anything to talk about when it comes to sexual harassment. It shouldn't happen, ever. Anyone who thinks otherwise deserves to step on a lego (and you know how much that hurts).

Also lol at the starcraft jabb, the community known for being the most mature, grown up, friendly and welcoming in esports..especially for its size. I'm perhaps a bit biased there thought, I'm part of it myself after all.

What I really don't agree with thought, is the use of certain words during casting. Now don't get me wrong, I know several people who have actually been raped, and nothing angers me more than when I hear about it. But the word itself doesn't mean anything when put into a completely different context. Of course there are different words casters could use instead of this spesific one. But considering there are about a million words someone somewhere could maybe find offensive..where do we draw the line?

Well done, good sir, well done.

I'm not a misogynist, racist, homophobe, or any of that crap that get applied to intolerant people. But I'm so apathetic that I often get blamed for being the source of the problem. I have beliefs, but I'm not joining any cause. I'm not fighting anyone else's battles like some kind of mercenary debater of unity and acceptance. I'll leave the uncalled representation of sexual acceptance in nerd culture to Bob Chipman, N'Gai Kroll, and Arthur Gies.

What does Starcraft has to do with ANYTHING ?! @_@

kingmob:
I'm sorry Bob, but no, you are wrong. Not about sexism being wrong of course, but that shrugging instances off as this one somehow is "a bad thing". 'Nerd culture' as you perceive it does not exist, gaming, the internet etc. is such a big part of normal life now, that it doesn't need defending from bad apples. At most you give some sort of weird justification for morons such as that guy to think that they are supported in these things.

This just doesn't work, in the same way that it doesn't work for Muslims to have to actively remove themselves from the crimes of other Muslims. It just implicates their religion and never actually solves a problem or hurts the offender.
In the same way a rallying cry to root out sexism in 'nerd culture', simply implies that this is an actual bigger problem of the culture somehow, while it is simply a problem of culture as a whole. Sexism exists everywhere, therefore also in games and gaming communities.

Focus on the offender. Him implicating his fellow gamers doesn't necessitate a response from them, on grounds that he is clearly a moron. A claim never justifies a response, we would be fighting windmills everywhere.

No, nerd culture as separate from the mainstream is definitely misogynist as hell and to claim otherwise is just trying to give your pet hobbies protection from the evils of "generalization" that they don't deserve or even need. If this was just one guy being a douchebag, nobody would comment on it. This guy is representative of attitudes that permeate gaming and that aren't going to change unless people who get to shout "tits or GTFO!" into their headsets all day without every being called on it are finally forced to see that their bullshit is not okay. He is representative of and being cheered on by people who are offenders and there are a shitload of them out there.

This is not comparable to Muslims having to apologise for terrorism because Muslims are genuinely a discriminated-against minority. Young male nerds are the majority in gaming, they are not victims and all they have to worry about from "generalizations" is getting their precious feelings hurt because they can't take anything away from a problem except how it affects their exact demographic. If it bothers you, do what I do and mentally exempt yourself - I know I'm not part of the problem, so I don't get defensive.

There's also the fact that a lot of people don't really think what they are saying.
I have confronted people about this kind of a thing before, and often people will say 'But I don't really mean that, it's just a way of saying things'.

To which I say, try to make make the language you use reflect your views, then.

Another excuse is that 'they trashtalk to men too', but that trashtalk directed at men is not about them being men. Insulting a woman about something that doesn't directly relate to their sex would not be sexist (it would be rude, though).

If anything, men can be shamed by suggesting they have feminine qualities.

But can you imagine that someone on those shows would use the fact that a person is a heterosexual man to insult them?

moosek:
I'm not a misogynist, racist, homophobe, or any of that crap that get applied to intolerant people. But I'm so apathetic that I often get blamed for being the source of the problem. I have beliefs, but I'm not joining any cause. I'm not fighting anyone else's battles like some kind of mercenary debater of unity and acceptance. I'll leave the uncalled representation of sexual acceptance in nerd culture to Bob Chipman, N'Gai Kroll, and Arthur Gies.

How is it 'fighting anyone else's battles'? You don't consider yourself to be a part of 'nerd culture'? At the very least, since you're on this site, I'm assuming you play videogames and are a part of that culture.

Callate:

Shorthand to be later misinterpreted: I see the problem with expressing a bad attitude in public as though the public should accept and mainstream that attitude. I'm concerned with that form of indignation, however righteous, being carried over into areas where people who may recognize their attitudes and ideas are "niche" want to share them with each other.

Well, he clearly stated that free speech allows you to say what you want.
However, you must be ready for the consequences. If you say something overtly racist, you will be called on it. If you say something homophobic (looking at you Santorum) then you'll be challenged. You CAN say what you want but if it is stupid or hurtful, you are going to see a backlash.

Beyond that, I can't think of a single reason to hold onto outdated attitudes that would cause such hateful things to be spewed. I still refer to things as "gay" in a negative sense, but only because it has become the colloquial norm. I would never speak ill of gay people, or try to argue against what is clearly someone's natural, sexual tendencies.

Can anyone give me a good reason why racist, sexist, or homophobic ideas or attitudes should be given a safe haven?

As for your tangent about furries and Mac users, that seems wholly unrelated to the issue at hand.

Bravo, Bob!
And thank you for that primer on the First Amendment that so many people hide behind of so self-righteously

RoseArch:
Then why hasn't there been a FemBob yet in your TGO series?

How is that relevant to the argument he is making? He is complaining about sexist language, not making any kind of statement about female representation.

Thank you, Bob. For what it's worth, I think episodes like this do make a difference.

Uber Waddles:
Overall, I like your points. There are certainly some points I dont see eye to eye on, mostly because realistically they won't change or aren't something that bad in the first place For example: you will not stop people from saying 'you got raped' in games. It sucks that it wont happen, but its just like people saying 'thats gay' for something stupid. And, for both cases, I dont see it as a swipe against rape victims or homosexuals, its just a word that has a stigma attached to it (which is unfortunate for 'gay', but not everyone is tolerant) thats used in conjunction with something not so pleasant. Is it bad? Yes. Does it tear us down as a culture? Yes. Will it change? Unfortunately, no.

Not with that attitude, it won't. If people accept "Oh, that's just how it is," then... no, it won't.

If you see someone use "OH MAN HE JUST GOT *RAPED*" or "quit being so GAY dude," tell them to stop. Have some courage.

Hey! Great episode as always, I don't see way people will disagree with you, what you say is true and it needs to be stop.

Being a dick. Horrible. Unpleasant. Aggressive and insulting is what's core of the HoN/LoL/DotA community, and I fully believe if those aspects were abolished it will be for the best.

I don't think anyone agrees with "fat hairy pig"'s philosophy.

So easy to jump on the hate band wagon. I speak truth however.

(I haven't been exposed to the LoL community as much as DotA/HoN so I may have a biased perspective)

When me and my friends get together to hang out together we do say racist and sexist things to each other. However we are all completely comfortable with this because we know what will offend us and what wont.

I agreed with Bob right up to the point of using "rape" as a descriptor.

In the standard gaming scenario, "rape" is not being used to describe what literally happened. Typically, is being used hyperbolically to describe the incident eg: in the case of a vicious, unjustifiable, penetrative assault. Criticising it on this level seems odd, since we don't complain about using "killed", "owned", "butchered" or "destroyed" in such a circumstance (and if one is interpreting it literally, murder is equally - if not more - serious than rape).

Furthermore, rape is not an intrinsically female-victim issue either. I would go as far as to suggest that one guy saying "I raped you" to another guy to be more a homosexual threat characterized by desires of non-gender-specific sexual dominance than a product of male-on-female rape being glamorised.

The point about free speech was brilliant though, most Americans (it seems) would do well to heed that. Most noticeably, the Westboro Baptist Church are allowed to say whatever they want, but that doesn't mean that they aren't responsible for it.

lordwindowlicker:
I still refer to things as "gay" in a negative sense, but only because it has become the colloquial norm. I would never speak ill of gay people, or try to argue against what is clearly someone's natural, sexual tendencies.

There's a line from comedian, Nick Swardson, that I always think about when something like this comes up. (I'm paraphrasing here)

"I don't use it to insult anyone, I don't use it as a negative word but...some stuff is just gay. How else am I supposed to describe a fanny pack?"

I personally don't use gay in my vocabulary, because if I do need to attach an adjective to express negativity, I have a lot of arrows in my quiver I can use, and be more accurate about it as well.

RoseArch:
Then why hasn't there been a FemBob yet in your TGO series?

Introducing: The Game Estra-Thinker...The Game Lady-Thinker...That's all I've got but it could be coming. Can't wait to see more Necro-Thinker.

---

Great video Bob: Honestly, I've never heard of that show...to promote Street Fighter X Tekken I mean. Hearing about the views expressed by that person whose name I've already forgotten though is enough to make me embarrassed to call myself a Gamer (which I still try not to do, preferring to call myself Game Player). Granted I'm not even a part of the fighting game community but I'd be embarrassed and shamed by what's-his-name's views; apology or not. Also, how is Starcraft or, playing Starcraft an insult?

flying_whimsy:
This is probably the most pissed off I've ever heard movie bob sound; I don't blame him, either, as I've said the exact same thing on more than one occasion over the last few years. I remember calling some friends out on throwing the word rape around more casually than I was comfortable with and they looked at me like I grew a second head.

Seriously, nerd culture based sexism is something I would seriously like to see go away. Forever.

using the word rape to mean lose doesn't equate to sexism

Im glad the FGC is doing such a fine job of keeping themself seperet from the E-Sports community.

This isn't only a problem with video games, its a problem in real life as well. Just look at that whole "slut" fiasco Rush Limbaugh started. It disgusts me that in this day and age such bigotry is still possible.
What we really need to see is a female game character that is an actually decent role model. we need a character that I would not be terrified if my niece said she wanted to be like.

here's a though for the design and story setting: an average girl in a sweater and loose fitting (but not baggy) jeans that don't show off her underwear. she's in a strange paralelle universe being attacked by wierd monsters and she has to run and gun her way to safety, which eventually ends with her killing the demonic overlord. its RE4 style combat and all of the monsters are hyper sexualized in a gross way, with the males being massive steroid injected freaks and the females running the gambit from massive breasted monstrosities to skeletal freaks in skimpy dresses.
the game serves as a metephor for her overcoming peer pressure and sexualized media images through determination and intelligence, while other named characters around her fall victim to the monsters.
thats the game I want to see, and if done right it could show everyone that a female lead doesn't need to be half naked to be interesting.

Yes.

That's... that's all I got. This is pretty much the same rant I've been posting since the whole thing exploded. If nothing else, I like the episodes that raise these controversial problems because they save me a lot of typing that can instead be easily replaced by a link.

Callate:

But where I get nervous is where Bob seems to be saying that there is no private place for attitudes or ideas that the general public finds offensive, only the public sphere where it comes right out of the gate to get immediately pelted with fruit for its intrinsic wrongness.

That idea disturbs me. I know we're increasingly living in a culture where privacy is a thing of the past. And certainly if you're doing something like a show or a podcast, you take the good of creating something for public consumption with the bad. Likewise, for example, if you're an employer, you better pay attention to laws about discrimination. The availability of fair workplaces where people don't feel threatened or harassed is an issue that effects us all, and I think as a society we're better for strong laws that protect us that way.

But I don't see the harm of Mac users quietly echoing to each other the superiority of users of their chosen platform, or "furries" sharing fantasies with one another, to give two examples (neither of which include me), despite the fact that expression of those ideas in the public sphere might get those who express them treated with derision and disgust.

Shorthand to be later misinterpreted: I see the problem with expressing a bad attitude in public as though the public should accept and mainstream that attitude. I'm concerned with that form of indignation, however righteous, being carried over into areas where people who may recognize their attitudes and ideas are "niche" want to share them with each other.

My thoughts exactly, a person should have the right to express unpopular opinions in a private setting.

Punch You:

It isn't okay to enjoy your hobby while degrading women and making other members of your hobby look like dicks who you assume share your messed-up view of the world.

Why should people have to censor themselves when their playing things like Xbox live? Last I checked, you can mute people

Absolutely brilliant! You make me proud to be a gamer, Bob. Please make more of these not-fun shows, they're always awesome to be able to link to when someone's being an asshole.

lordwindowlicker:
Well, he clearly stated that free speech allows you to say what you want. However, you must be ready for the consequences. If you say something overtly racist, you will be called on it. If you say something homophobic (looking at you Santorum) then you'll be challenged. You CAN say what you want but if it is stupid or hurtful, you are going to see a backlash.

Beyond that, I can't think of a single reason to hold onto outdated attitudes that would cause such hateful things to be spewed. I still refer to things as "gay" in a negative sense, but only because it has become the colloquial norm. I would never speak ill of gay people, or try to argue against what is clearly someone's natural, sexual tendencies.

Can anyone give me a good reason why racist, sexist, or homophobic ideas or attitudes should be given a safe haven?

As for your tangent about furries and Mac users, that seems wholly unrelated to the issue at hand.

A lot of the attitudes that we now consider sexist or racist or homophobic were pretty close to the mainstream not all that long ago. To be clear, I'm not sorry to see those attitudes go. But I'm less than confident that "Thinking this makes you a terrible person, get back in the closet", so to speak, is an attitude that is effective in producing change. It may eventually. But in the meantime, it seems as likely to create a chain reaction of backlash after backlash between two groups who think differently, giving each plenty of opportunity to beat their chests and describe themselves as oppressed martyrs or rebels against tyranny. Nor am I entirely confident that the majority always refines emotionally charged ideas into moral gold.

There may come a time when an idea simply has to be destroyed. When we recognize it has no place in the society we visualize, it's too dangerous, too poisonous. But I cannot stress enough that I don't think that should ever be our first option.

I believe in many cases we're more likely to make those we oppose recognize our underlying humanity and desire to change themselves by explaining how what they believe touches upon where we come from. We lose so much when we give up both the attempt to understand someone else's perspective and trying to make them understand our own. That cannot begin with "Your ideas are repellent and morally hideous, go on, I'm listening."

I suspect almost everyone who writes in these forums is part of at least one group whose point of view someone loud at some point passionately wished would just go away because they're so icky, even if that group was only gamers themselves. How badly do we want to build a weapon that's entirely likely to come back and hit us in the face sooner or later? Just because we're on one side of the weapon now?

Callate:
A lot of the attitudes that we now consider sexist or racist or homophobic were pretty close to the mainstream not all that long ago. To be clear, I'm not sorry to see those attitudes go. But I'm less than confident that "Thinking this makes you a terrible person, get back in the closet", so to speak, is an attitude that is effective in producing change. It may eventually. But in the meantime, it seems as likely to create a chain reaction of backlash after backlash between two groups who think differently, giving each plenty of opportunity to beat their chests and describe themselves as oppressed martyrs or rebels against tyranny. Nor am I entirely confident that the majority always refines emotionally charged ideas into moral gold.

There may come a time when an idea simply has to be destroyed. When we recognize it has no place in the society we visualize, it's too dangerous, too poisonous. But I cannot stress enough that I don't think that should ever be our first option.

I believe in many cases we're more likely to make those we oppose recognize our underlying humanity and desire to change themselves by explaining how what they believe touches upon where we come from. We lose so much when we give up both the attempt to understand someone else's perspective and trying to make them understand our own. That cannot begin with "Your ideas are repellent and morally hideous, go on, I'm listening."

I suspect almost everyone who writes in these forums is part of at least one group whose point of view someone loud at some point passionately wished would just go away because they're so icky, even if that group was only gamers themselves. How badly do we want to build a weapon that's entirely likely to come back and hit us in the face sooner or later? Just because we're on one side of the weapon now?

I really don't think that's what bob was saying, though. Like he stated, you have the right to say what you want. You also have to be aware of what comes next.

If I say that all gays should be killed, then people are going to take issue with that statement.. and rightfully so. He's not saying you can't make insensitive comments to your buddies in your basement, but if one of them doesn't share your views.. then once again, you run the risk of getting called on it. I think you took him a bit too literally in that sense. "That's just how the fighting game community is.." is not an excuse for saying something hateful and stupid.

i one hundred and seventh that motion!
amen movie bob! amen!

Thanks for bringing this topic up bob. I'm just glad I haven't met anyone like that while I've been playing video games.

First: Bob if you could hear this I'm doing a slow clap. Thank you for that.
Second: Aris Bakhtanians is a waste of space and deserves all of this. Its a shame that he is now a very public face of gaming and we'll all suffer for this.

I have a serious question, because when I was growing up in the same state as Bob, "fag" was the most common non-seven-list-of-dirty-words insult there was. I've stopped using it of course, for almost 20 years, but in my cathartic moments of video game violence, I don't keep track of the swears that I say with anger (why I don't use a mic in any kind of console game, except with friends). I'm not trying to play devil's advocate, but I know I myself use video games to vent my anger as a release after sitting in a cube for 8 hours. Basically I'm asking if my verbal diarrhea, none of which is nice, these "ism" words come out, does that count as these "isms"?

I only find one thing today really poor ...

Big Picture gets a small banner and a mention for such a worthwhile topic, while the review of latest EA thing gets front and center.

illas:
I agreed with Bob right up to the point of using "rape" as a descriptor.

In the standard gaming scenario, "rape" is not being used to describe what literally happened. Typically, is being used hyperbolically to describe the incident eg: in the case of a vicious, unjustifiable, penetrative assault. Criticising it on this level seems odd, since we don't complain about using "killed", "owned", "butchered" or "destroyed" in such a circumstance (and if one is interpreting it literally, murder is equally - if not more - serious than rape).

Furthermore, rape is not an intrinsically female-victim issue either. I would go as far as to suggest that one guy saying "I raped you" to another guy to be more a homosexual threat characterized by desires of non-gender-specific sexual dominance than a product of male-on-female rape being glamorised.

The point about free speech was brilliant though, most Americans (it seems) would do well to heed that. Most noticeably, the Westboro Baptist Church are allowed to say whatever they want, but that doesn't mean that they aren't responsible for it.

Doesn't matter. It should stop.

I'm not going to contribute any comment of great worth to the video, but I will say that Moviebob singlehandedly changed my opinion on internet commentators.

I remember watching his early videos and despising them because they were frought with fanboy geek-outs, contrasted by furious nerd-rage. If a time traveller had shown me one of his more recent videos back in those days, I would have refused to believe it was really him.

Watching Bob steadily temper his voice as time goes by has been a genuine joy for me. Not because I hink his manner of speaking is incredibly sexy, but because when he takes the time to be calm, articulate and optomistic he can end up providing some of the most enjoyable commentary on "geek culture" I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

I suppose the clincher for me has been episodes like this. Seeing Moviebob dig up the uglier parts of our insular little community in order to smack them about for a bit is a joy to behold, and not just because it gives me a little cathartic release to see someone in a position of some authority and status on such matters vent an opinion that coincides with mine.

Moviebob, you are a good thing. You're a dumbass sometimes[1], but know what geek culture needs and you have the intelligence to articulate it in a way we can all enjoy.

Every time you do a "serious" episode I like you more and more, and that's actually slightly worrying. Right now it's edging its way up past "respect" and into the regions of "coy attraction". Keep on like this, and it'll turn into full-on animalistic lust.

castlewise:
I agree. Sexism or racism isn't defined by how you think so much as by your actions. I think if you make sexist jokes which cause women discomfort and grief then you are, by definition, sexist. Whether you think of yourself as sexist or not is a different story. Mediocre bad guys almost never think of themselves as bad guys.

While I disagree with your claim about what defines a "sexist", I do like that someone voiced this opinion because what people say they are is not enough to alleviate any concerns other people may have about their attitude.

For example, if a man makes a string of sexist jokes and then claims it's totally cool because he isn't really sexist, and then tries to use that little fact to invalidate the arguments of anyone who gets offended at what he says... well, that's just dickery, isn't it?

People will often respond to the offence of others by either stating how they genuinely feel ("I'm not racist, I was just joking around with my mate!") or by going so far as to accuse the person who raised the concern of having some kind of personal defect The only reason this bothers you is because you're too easily offended by stuff").

And yeah, that particular attitude can fuck right off. I'm not bout to declare what societal standards one should follow when it comes to joking around in public, but I hate to see people simply ignoring the offence of others.

Society as a whole (not just gaming culture) isn't going to progress unless we seriously consider these issues, no matter how petty they may seem. That doesn't mean we all jave to cave to the views of the offended parties, but it does mean we have to take the time to ask ourselves "Are we wrong? Are they right?".

In other words, we can't get anywhere unless we provide every available opinion with some serious consideration, and disregarding someone's complaint with a ridiculous defensive like "I'm not racist, I'm just making racist jokes, therefore stop being offended at them!" is conterproductive. next time, either apologise for causing someone discomfort or, if you genuinely believe what you're doing is OK, try to present them with an objective argument that matches up to theirs.

Some people might balk at this prospect, citing the viewpoints and arguments of bigots as the kind of thing that shouldn't be seriously considered for a single moment. One such example would be the recent controversy over an Archie comic which contains a positive portrayal of same-sex marriage, whch the organisation One Million Moms claims shouldn't be put on display in front of children.

My response to that would be this: If we are so sure of our opinions and beliefs, and so sure that they are in the wrong, then why should we worry about subjecting both sides to critical analysis? it is my sincere belief that we have nothing to loose by opening up a dialogue with these groups, and a lot to gain by doing so. Because I know for a fact that what their claims are unreasonable, that they just don't hold up, and if any of them wants to challenge this belief then we should let them. After all, you can never convince an opponent that they are stupid or amoral, but you can sure as hell demonstrate the problems with their arguments.

Which is more likely to win people over?

Uber Waddles:

wizzy555:

Uber Waddles:

Part of the reason things will never change is because as a community, we are fractured. We all belong to the same community, but a large portion (mostly on the younger side, but there are quite a few naive older people) don't act like they are part of the community. They don't care about the community as a whole, standards we'd like to uphold, or making the medium better. They're just there cause its the cool thing to do, explosions are cool, or for sheer, mind melting entertainment. Thats never going away either.

Why should they? If entry into the gaming community is defined as playing video games why should they care about anything except playing the games they want to play.

Well, for one, I never said they should. But if you want an honest answer, I'll give you one.

We should care because it matters. In every sense you can think of. You like playing videogames? Without a strong community, you get game developers who walk all over their client base. They can do various things, restricting DRM seems to be the top gunner right now. A more recent example is the scrutiny that BioWare is under for the "From Ashes" DLC, which was finished pre-production, and is being sold for $10 instead of included with new copies of the game (like previous DLC's). This DLC pack includes plot points, so if you didnt get the Collectors edition, and you want to get the most out of the game, you're gonna sink an extra $10.

And who do you think fights against those practices? Not all of the boycotts are successful, mostly because of the mentioned fracturing, but a lot of companies will reconsider consumer-unfriendly concepts due to massive backlash. A strong community stops ALL of us from getting trampled on with.

Also, I'm pretty sure that since you like playing Videogames, you probably don't want to see them taxed for being violent? How about censored based on content? Or making M rated videogames banned from commercial store shelves? All legislation that has fallen over the last two years because people decided to get vocal. Even if you just like playing the mindless rot that most of the collected community hates, its the community that stands up for your right to play it, the way the developer wanted you to play it, without anyone saying "thats not fit, get rid of it".

And it kinda really hurts the community that the loud minority are the people that don't really care for gaming as a whole. You won't see the Frat Bro's who play CoD get up in arms over a tax on violent videogames, or unfriendly consumer practices. The issues we face wont be solved by the 13 year olds who shout the N word at people or who threaten to kill to people because they're upset. Most of the time, its the collected community who has to backtrack and fix the issues that mainstream society sees are there because a few bad apples represent gaming as a whole.

Not all games are about binding, torturing, and killing people. A collective community tries to make sure that people actually see that games are more than just a 'branch of Hasboro gone horribly wrong', and that they have cultural and societal impacts.

I thought I had something worth adding to your post other than simple, dumb agreement, but I guess this is all I have to say: I liked your post. It needs to be seen. In fact - Moviebob, are you reading these? see that ^ up there? make an episode out of that, please.

IamLEAM1983:
This is proof that the gaming community as a whole needs to mature. Yeah, we get it, we like to have fun in a style and propensity that's not common in individuals who normally have a job, responsibilities, taxes, other personal burdens and what have you, but this is no excuse to behave like a caterwauling man-child.

I absolutely agree with you, Bob. We need to set an example for the rest of us to see, for the non-gamers to acknowledge as a positive display of gaming as a whole. The sooner we manage to turn the idea of a socially responsible and independent mature adult as being the *actual* stereotype all gamers should try to adhere to, the better the community's going to be as a whole.

I don't really appreciate it when a corporation tells me it needs my real name for its own purposes, but the RealID system Blizzard's set in place seems like a tiny step in the right direction. I'd even be in favor of all gamers' complete coordinates being made available if the risk of being trolled to death is what it takes for some of these douchebags to behave. We don't see this type of verbal abuse spread so outwardly outside of online communities precisely because anonymity is what fosters this kind of abuse.

While I would usually oppose this kind of thinking, I am inclined to agree with your statement - maybe it's just the way you put it.

I for one believe in total fucking anonymity wherever people can get it, and maintaining it on the internet - where any individual can express him/herself without fear of regulation, reprisal or judgement - is []really[/i] important.

On the other hand, being a member of society is all about co-operation and mutual civility. So I do agree with the general sentiment of what you said. Watching people's civility levels skyrocket because they're being held accountable for their statements would be a laugh riot. However, I would rather not have to resort to something like RealID. What about the people who want to be able to just act out their own little private fantasy within an online game? What about people who want to express or discuss things they're ashamed with without others who know them finding out about it? those people need to be protected.

It's a right we should all have, and I worry that something like RealID could set a dangerous precedent. It doesn't sound too bad coming from a game development company, but companies are already fairly intrusive and controlling as it is! What if, over time, every company starts to implement something like this very slowly? what if governments or ISP's begin introducing it, avoiding the once-inevitable backlash because the populace has become used to it?

Protecting anonymity on the internet is important because free-flowing information makes it impossible for any one body to exercise an undue amount of control without some level of resistance.

Using it as a method of preventing online tomshittery might initially sound appealing, but there are undesirable side-effects.

As a side-note, it's funny how this issue shows how uncivilised we can be. Every comfortable citizen in the first world would probably claim that everything is fine and dandy - but just look how people will act when they think no-one can really hold them to their words!

Personally - and when I say personally, I mean "here are the fever-dreams brought forth by the madness the plagues me with every waking thought" - I'd rather we created a society in which everyone has a deep sense of personal responsibility hammered into them. They'd have phrases like "JUST BECAUSE NO-ONE SAY YOU DO IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE NOT A TOTAL SHITHEAD" screamed at them by a psychotic drill sergeant all throughout infancy so that they realise that, hey, maybe we should be polite and kind because it refelcts well on us, instead of doing oit out of fear of reprisals!

Alternatively, we make everyone believe that they're being monitored by an omnipotent, draconian Orwellian institution that punishes minor cases of incivility via firing squad.

Of course, this will raise the issue of what we do when people cross the line we've invented and realise that "hey, there IS no firing squad!". For the sake of keeping our scheme airtight, we actually do punish them via firing squad. And in order to make sure it remains consistent, we'd have to actually just go ahead and implement some kind of omnipotent, draconian Orwellian institution. y'know, just to be absolutely sure.

It's not a perfect plan, but it's a start. I think.

Blueruler182:
Okay, while I agree that this is a problem, I disagree that it's any more of a problem in gaming than in other places. I think sexism in general is a problem, and the reason we notice it in gaming is because we have a tendency to talk to more people while online. Think of a single night of Halo or Call of Duty and the sheer number of people you interact with. Of course a few of them are going to be douchebags.

I agree with everything you said, but I think that gaming does get a bad rap for these sorts of things when it's not solely a gaming problem. Look at the music industry, and look at the sports industry. I've seen my fair share of athletes mistreat women, and the music industry seems to want to objectify them as much as possible.

Good point. I think that we need to stop regarding ourselves as an insular group and begin exposing the whole geek community thing to the wider world of popular culture. We tear down the divisions which will eventually dwindle away to nothing anyway for the sake of ensuring that we don't end up becoming an enclave for pig-headed shits, and in the process "cultural commentators" (I assume that's what MovieBob calls himself when he's attending upmarket dinner parties) would no longer have to address specific demographics or problems as they apply solely within the sub-culture in whcih they've found themselves. We could do with people like MovieBob addressing these issues as they appear in the wider world, not just within a sub-culture.

After all, what is geekdom if not a simple set of entertainment preferences? regarding it as a subculture is, if you'll pardon my expression, fucking ludicrous. It's about time we tore down some walls.

or, to put my entire lengthy post into one infuriatingly concise comment that makes me look like a self-indulgent ass....

Vortigar:

Great episode Bob.

As a semi-retired-member of the fighting game community I've always been troubled by the stuff you see in some tournament video's. The class acts like James Chen, UltrDavid, Seth Killian and the like getting wedged between groups of loudmouthed swearing types who keep claiming that 'everybody gets it' and that there's no problem.

"You don't lose when you admit that there's a problem, you lose when you fail to address it."
I can't count the number of times I've had to try to pound this into people's heads.

And its extremely sad to see this be a problem in so many places.

To admit you made a mistake during a debate doesn't make you lose the entire debate, its how you recover and pass the point back or move on to the next one. Dropping the ball and letting the opposing team score doesn't mean you should be put on the bench, its how you make sure you don't do it again the next time a similar situation comes up.

This. A thousand fucking times, this. The last part right here.

As I said, we loose nothing when we turn a critical eye on ourselves, and gain a lot in the process. It's maddening, seeing so many point-blank refuse to acknowledge the particular problems within their own arguments or past statements, and it's a peculiar brand of anti-logic that even supposedly qualified and level-headed politicians are infuriatingly prone to doing.

John Funk:

illas:
I agreed with Bob right up to the point of using "rape" as a descriptor.

In the standard gaming scenario, "rape" is not being used to describe what literally happened. Typically, is being used hyperbolically to describe the incident eg: in the case of a vicious, unjustifiable, penetrative assault. Criticising it on this level seems odd, since we don't complain about using "killed", "owned", "butchered" or "destroyed" in such a circumstance (and if one is interpreting it literally, murder is equally - if not more - serious than rape).

Furthermore, rape is not an intrinsically female-victim issue either. I would go as far as to suggest that one guy saying "I raped you" to another guy to be more a homosexual threat characterized by desires of non-gender-specific sexual dominance than a product of male-on-female rape being glamorised.

The point about free speech was brilliant though, most Americans (it seems) would do well to heed that. Most noticeably, the Westboro Baptist Church are allowed to say whatever they want, but that doesn't mean that they aren't responsible for it.

Doesn't matter. It should stop.

See, that's completely counter-productive! I started by trying to figure out whether you were addressing the continued mouthiness of the Westboro Baptitst church or the supposed misuse of the term "rape" but then I realised: It doesn't matter. Because there's no argument or objection there, just an obtuse declaration of fact that runs contrary to any kind of significant discussion or any kind of mutual enightenment regarding the issue at hand.

[1] The Expendables is shit because it's just mindless indulgence in something that doesn't appeal to you, but Pihrana 3D is OK because it's mindless indulgence in something you're not personally averse to?

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