Coach, Not Community, Is To Blame As Female Fighter Strikes Back In Sexual Harassment Controversy

The fighter inside the controversy that stirred allegations of sexism and misogyny in fighting video games says that its community, fans and star performers do not deserve the collective blame they have endured, and vows that she will not leave her sport despite the alienating remarks of the man who once coached her.

Miranda Pakozdi, who apparently forfeited a match in protest during the Web-broadcast "Cross Assault" competition, singled out her Tekken team coach Aris Bakhtanians for blame in starting a bitter two-day conflict that has roiled passions among fighting game fans and professional contestants in reports by the specialty press.

Moreover, Pakozdi condemned media reports — including Kotaku's by name — that seemed to blame the fighting game culture at large for the ugly incident and the uncomfortable discussion of it.

"The fact is one person, with the assistance of a few stream monsters, brought me to my breaking point," said Pakozi, in extended remarks published via Twitter late Thursday. "Maybe some people (like the people who wrote the @Kotaku article) don't understand that it was just one person who did this to me. I understand it looks like this is the FGC [fighting game community's] fault, I felt that way too until I got home and had a couple days to process everything that happened.

"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," Pakozdi said. "But that night, and every minute since then, I've received hundreds of comments/tweets from people both in and out of the [fighting game community] supporting me. Those people outnumber Aris like 200-1."

At bottom, "the only people who could make me feel part of the FGC again was the FGC," Pakozdi said. "All the support made me realise that only one person has wronged me, not the entire FGC."

Bakhtanians, her coach, "doesn't represent the entire community," Pakozdi said. "I'm not ever leaving. See you at NCR." NCR is the Northern California Regionals, one of the premier fighting video game tournaments in North America. It will be held March 24-25.


    i reud hte ole artical befo i enteerrdd bro luike imz kool mang her her DERP.

      You know I glanced at what you wrote then put it in Google translate before realizing it wasn't another language.


      Someone forgot to put the content in the content section, not the blurb ;D

    Only one person was doing it? wasn't the whole Fighting Game community watching and commenting on the stream egging Aris on in a way?

      I'd hate to think a few ****heads on the stream represents the FGC as a whole, but yeah it is pretty much just Aris who had
      made those comments about his views on harrasment in the FGC that has given the community this negative attention.

    I accidentally the front page.

    Which of the Kotaku articles is she referring to? I'm starting to wonder more and more if Mark and the gang should jump in the Mystery Mobile and head on to their own blog to distinguish themselves from the American site. The US site seems to be getting a bit of a bad rap these days. (I'm not just basing this on this article, but other things I have read around the 'net)

      Kotaku US has had a lousy reputation for a while now, certainly before Kotaku AU started up.

      That said, Kotaku AU is starting to get a nice reputation building, due to the excellent work of the local writers.


      That comment is what is wrong with the anonymity of the internet - if someone was talking about sexual harassment in a public forum and you said "Too long, didn't read" or some equivalent, you would be made to look like the inconsiderate fool you are.

      It's unfortunate you can't even take a serious comment in context and create a reasonable response for it, but if you can't, i suggest you stay silent to avoid making a greater fool of yourself.

      Thank and good evening

    While it would be stupid to blame everyone in the FGC for this, people like that aren't rare. I was once part of that community, and I would say around half the people I encountered are immature asshats, and commonly behave in such offputting ways that go beyond trash-talking.

    That being said, are there any competitive gaming communities out there that aren't as bad? I'm not saying it has to be all lolipops and cotton candy, but at least where people are more inviting and don't regularly stoop to the lowest level to insult another person. I know Starcraft was mentioned during this whole debate, but I've proven to be pretty useless in that game. :-(

    This still going on? Over one person making one comment?
    A bit ridiculous isnt it?

    Ms Pakozdi is correct.

    Blaming "the culture" or "the community" merely absolves rude thugs like Aris of their own responsibility for their own neanderthal behavior.

    I am sad that Ms Pakozdi experienced such hideous treatment at the hands of Aris and I wish her all the best in the future.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now