Fighting Game Community's Leading Voice Calls For Accountability In Sexual Harassment Fallout

Shoryuken, one of the most respected voices in the fighting games community, has called upon its readers and followers to deal honestly with questions of misogyny and sexual harassment, following sexist match commentary on a controversy that has roiled the fighting games community for a second day.

"If we continue to let the worst elements in the scene speak for us or excuse their bad behaviour, we deserve whatever criticism we get," Shoryuken's Inkblot wrote today. "It's everyone's responsibility: the players, the content producers, the tournament organisers, and the fans. We need to be just as serious about the way we treat each other and how we reach out to others online as we are about the game."

The writer was addressing the fallout from a recent episode of "Wednesday Night Fights," which Shoryuken sponsors. Commentators Christian "ETR" Cain and Martin "Marn" Phan both disparaged the coverage of remarks and conduct by competitive gamer Aris Bakhtanians, in which he proclaimed that sexual harassment was a part of the fighting games culture, and took control of a camera at competitive event as if to prove the point, zooming it in on a female competitor's bust and buttocks.

Cain and Phan both apologised for their remarks and show producer Level | Up said neither would be welcomed back to comment in the future.

"A live video stream is the worst possible medium for this kind of hateful talk," Inkblot wrote today. "A few hundred people attended WNF, but over 14,000 tuned in online. Our online presence is the face of the community. It is our recruiting tool."

In a column yesterday, Inkblot allowed that "there is a grain of truth to what Aris is saying, because frankly a lot of players use the scene as a cocoon where they can shed the usual social decencies and behave badly.

However, Inkblot immediately added that, "I do believe that the scene can be an unwelcoming environment for women. Some of this is due to the game's natural, high-strung competitive vibe, but a lot of it is just crass behaviour that you would not get away with outside of our male-dominated boy's club."

Today, as the controversy crested a second time with the Wednesday Night Fights commentary, Inkblot called the matter a moral imperative for fighting games enthusiasts.

"We cannot continue to let ignorant, hateful speech slide. The nasty undercurrent in the scene isn't a joke or a meme," Inkblot continued. "It's something we need to fix if we expect to continue to grow, but more importantly it's a moral imperative. I don't want to be a part of a group where it's ok to bully or make fun of others, and I hope you don't either."

Back to Basics, Getting Beyond the Drama [Shoryuken] Hurtful Speech: Time to Take a Good Look in the Mirror [Shoryuken]


Comments

    I'm not part of the Fighting Community, but they are probably one of the strongest genre communities out there and I think have a chance to really step up and set a standard. Of course there is no policing as such but I think most people would be joking to say this kind of thing doesn't happen in other video game communities.. I have the XBL voice messages to prove it

      Those voice messages are done because they're hidden behind the internet. The worst they can get is a suspesion then a ban. Which can be remedied with a new account/xbox, etc.

      If all profiles needed personal information display publically, the only people who would be aggressive over the Xbox LIVE would be the people who lies with their personal details.

        Do you really think that will make a difference? People constantly post abusive and obnoxious comments on facebook using their real names, with personal info on display. It's the same psychology of morons yelling out of car windows at people on the street. Or the macho douchebros who'll start fight a fight as long as they're in a huge group of friends. Even with a real name they still don't have to face the immediate consequences of their actions. People who are jerks are also usually cowards, in reality and online.

    It isn't pointed out in this article, but Inkblot has made it clear that they aren't just publicly condemning such attitudes but actually punishing them.

    WNF has lost sponsorship (including the SRK sponsorship mentioned here) because of this incident.

    It's a good start. Community leaders should be taking action to stamp this sort of thing out and it's pretty clear that SRK is willing to do their part.

      Odd that this article doesn't mention that fact, that's a HUGE show of force that SRK is not tolerating any crap from the community when it comes to this sort of thing.

      Good on them I say, this will make a crystal clear message to the entire community now.

        I wonder if Mark should considering adding a note to the end mentioning it? Seeing as the article says Shoryuken sponsors Wednesday Night Fights but the linked blog post says they removed the sponsorship.

    Have been a member of their forums for years, whilst the genre is definitely male dominated, as long as you aren't a jerk or an attention whore (and that applies to both male and female) they are generally pretty welcoming
    It's just one of those fields where shit-talking is part of the game, psyching out your opponent - behaviour like that is definitely going too far and should be stamped out immediately, Inkblots done the right thing here

    It would make more sense in the future to hire Richard "Richie" Benaud to commentate on fighting game tornuments as he will ensure no sexual harrasment talks will be included in his commentary.....political correctness again rampages through our beloved gaming culture.

      Dude, seeing as we live in a white hetero patriarchy, isn't any kind of racism or sexism or other bigotry actually 'politically correct", because it is indeed in line with the kyriarchy? Or do you just have a problem with treating other humans with dignity and respect?

      And if you've joined the gaming subculture for the bigotry, I think you might be in the wrong scene...I believe Westboro Baptist church might have a place for you.

    [quote] has roiled the fighting games community for a second day. [/quote]

    Oh god can you stop saying crap like this? Next thing you'll be saying 'widespread community outrage' like today-tonight or ACA.

    There is no fighting game community. We are all just gamers who play one particular genre slightly more than the others. I personally haven't played street fighter in almost a week because I'm trying to finish mass effect 2 before 3 comes out.

    There are idiots who game. And we see them when we go to meets. But I really hate being lumped in with them because I play the same genre.

    We are ALL just gamers. Some gamers are idiots. But please don't vilify all of us just because we like fighting games.

    As I said in your previous article, you might as well point the cannon at halo fans, or soccer fans, or any other community that has prominent douchebags involved.

      There is very definitely a Fighting Game Community. They're the people who show up to tournaments, watch streams, talk on forums like SRK and a whole host of other things. It's a community of people who play fighting games. Not everyone who plays fighting games is a part of that community but it most definitely exists.

        Aye, Trijn has the truth of it.

        I've been reading too much game of thrones...

          Brace yourselves... Street Fighter x Tekken is coming.

        I literally do ALL of those things you mentioned, but I really dislike being labelled in the same batch as the douchebags who perpetuate the stereotype.

        My last tournament was 3 weeks ago.

          Keep being in denial. You're part of the FGC whether you like it or not.

    My partner has been getting more involved in the fighting game scene as of late. Shes a terrible player and the first to admit it, but she enjoys the games and the times I try and teach her to get better. However trying to warn her about what a real tournament is like is difficult. There are many nice people, but they often get drowned out by the blowhards and elitists who take "Tits or GTFO" seriously. But its rarely cracked down on. Imagine if i walked into Evo and started aggressively making Asian jokes!

    Now I am going to blow this up as much as I can but, I feel that like many of us, the FGC as of late has been in some negative light. Websites like Kotaku, giant bomb, destructoid, penny arcade have written articles about us showing the public we are a bunch of raciest, bigot, assholes. Maybe not to that extent but not good in the public eye. Well to educate you all not all of us are like that. If you really want to get down to it, there is always a group of those people in each gaming community, not to say its not okay to sexually harass women in general. The FGC are gamers and generally nice and welcoming people. Sure we get excited when we win matches or see someone get blown up on steam, but doesn't mean we are heartless. Exhibit A from this past weekend at Final round.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPhDl60y_Xs&feature=youtu.be

    A video displaying that we are not heartless. There was a great article that was made specifically on this topic over at GIant Bomb you should read

    http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion/30/ladies-and-gents-i-present-the-real-fighting-game-community/538001/#62

    OF course I am going to see the comments flood in saying, "oh the FGC is a bunch of raciest, ignorant, wannabe jocks, that didn't make it in the sports world" or anything to that nature because as much as good light this is to show to everyone, You still have the same ignorant people who are anti FCG. But the point I am trying to show you guys in the links is that we are not what you think we are, actually we are better then that.

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