Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Harassment is NOT OK, No Matter Where

Image from
From Wikipedia, Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behaviour intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive. In the legal sense, it is intentional behaviour which is found threatening or disturbing. Sexual harassment refers to persistent and unwanted sexual advances, typically in the workplace, where the consequences of refusing are potentially very disadvantageous to the victim.

Yesterday we had the news about sexual harassment acusations in Cross Assault, a reality show about fighting games promoted by Capcom. I will not enter in the merit here if the accusations proceed or not, because that is a great problem, but a bigger one exist in the declaration of many gamers that it is OK to do the harassment and that it is a 'normal' thing in fighting games. the thing is, no, it is not OK.

People defended the harassment as just 'trash talk'. Trash talk is what we see in some sports, where the players will talk how they will 'completely destroy' an adversary or how the adversary is so bad that 'their sisters could beat them'. This is trash talk and I find acceptable. It is talk about the players abilities and mocking them, no matter if could or bad. It is a bit of psychological game.

It stop to be trash talk when it become personal and not anymore about the players skills(or lack of) and become about personal attacks, no matter if it is about the adversary's gender, ethnicity, nationality, faith, sexual orientation or appearance.

'HAHA, you have red hair! I will mock you till you cry because it is funny!'
.In the moment that someone starting mocking you and don't stop, even after you ask him to, it is not funny and it is not OK. I have being bullied for pretty much all my school years, because of my accent and my weight. it is not just kids being kids, and it hurt a lot. What is even more awful about the situation at Cross Assault is that the involved people are not a bunch of ten years old who don't know better about the consequences, but it is a bunch of adults behaving like school kids.

A lot of gamers tried to defend the practice as just harmless mockery. It is not harmless mockery. It hurts and it should not be supported or cultivated. Te moment someone ask you to stop making jokes at them and you don't stop, you are not being funny. You are a bully and an asshole. 

You talk funny! I will mock you till you disappear!

It is sad when I remember a time that liking videogames were enough reason to be mocked and now I see that gamers can be as cruel as anyone. We always get in arms when a non-gamer try to vilify or mock our hobby, but when it is about ourselves we aren't able to agree on it.

We shouldn't support, agree or tolerate people who harass others, no matter if this people think it as funny or just 'part of the game'. It shouldn't be 'part of the game'. It should not be funny. And above all else, it should not be accepted.

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