Ok, I wasn’t planning on this. After two separate articles on male privilege, women and the geek community, I had been planning on leaving the topic well enough alone. I mean, I’ll freely cop to enjoying and appreciating the attention and links it gets me whenever I strike that particular hornet’s nest, but the last thing I want is to either a) turn my blog from dating advice to gender relations studies and b) I don’t want to give the impression that I keep going to this well whenever I feel like I need more pageviews.
Plus, diminishing returns and all that.
And then someone sent me the Giant Bomb article about Aris Bakhtanians and the treatment of Miranda Pakozdi and that plan went right out the goddamned window.
So let me explain…
No, is too much, let me sum up.
Cross Assault is an online elimination-style reality show sponsored by Capcom, where two teams of five players – one team of Street Fighter players and one of Tekken players – compete for a cash prize. Twitch.Tv livestreams the multi-hour competition on their website, featuring commentary from the players and the team coaches. On Day 5, Twitch.TV host Jared Rea, made comments regarding the use of potentially offensive sexual language by the fighting game community – once considered to be incredibly insular and closed off – might be alienating potential new fans. Many of the players bristled at the idea that they should clean up what their act. Team Tekken coach Aris Bakhtanians stepped in to insist that sexism, sexual harrassment and abusive language is an inherent part of the fighting game community.
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?
– Aris Bakhtanians
A little while later in the broadcast, another voice (whom I can’t identify, my apologies) mentions that Team Tekken member Miranda Pakozdi is there and begins to speak for her. When she tries to add her two cents about the sexual harrasment, she’s shouted down by Aris.
As offensive as the Keystone stuff is […] they know where the line is. You [Aris] don’t know where the line is.
– Miranda Pakozdi
Later on, Pakodzdi deliberately forfeited two matches… apparently because she was frustrated and tired of the stream of harassment from Bakhtanians.
Fast forward a few hours, and I’m seeing that Aris is insisting that sexual harassment is morally equivalent to liking spicy food.
And that’s just about when I lost my shit.