29-DEC-2011 Maybe there’s something wrong with me and the few friends that have shown a stance against rape jokes in gaming or social networking. It has gotten to the point where I feel like we are in the minority.

First was on Facebook (yes, I get how little that means) by a regular commentor on my fan page; the man seemed to basically tell me if you go into a violent game, you should expect certain things that can be traumatic. I don’t see the correlation he tried to make:

John: Sadly true but can’tcha say the same about anything that can be deemed traumatic, ranging from bullying in Bully to crashing a plane in Just Cause 2 into a building? (*name shortened for privacy.)

This was the first reply I got to the article about rape jokes in video gaming. Maybe because it was the first response, I gave it more weight than it deserves. I replied:

 

Amber Unmasked There’s a distinct difference. People aren’t entering the military style games in order to virtually rape or be subjected to it; whereas entering into something called “Bully” would be evident about the subject matter. Same for your reference on the plane crash, if that’s the key to the game (I have no idea) then you exposing yourself to it is your choice.

John: Actually, considering the horrors of war, if the gamer is well educated, he or she could expect any forms of horror. humanity is a sick batch.

John: Though, there is a reason I won’t get xbox…. Won’t pay for online gaming plus I usually ignore the people the few times I play online with my PS3. nothing constructive is ever said there

What I read is that John says anyone entering a video game community should expect the other players to act as people would in real war situations and that he has chosen to avoid certain game environments because of others’ behavior. There could very well be a game out there for the PS3 that John would enjoy playing but he has to avoid the entire system because he has little hope of enjoying the game play environment.

Twitter produced a different set of responses in a more black and white contrast.

Clarke:  @elizabethamber @theRaychul Why the hell would ppl be making rape jokes??

Zach@elizabethamber Seems like it’s hard to make progress changing the seriously-wrong sensibilities of some men when the “line to be crossed”

Zach: [cont] @elizabethamber is thick and grey, even among women. Rape is detestable and only women and male prison populations truly recognize that.

Both Clarke and Zach (*names shortened) speak out with a more supportive voice of solidarity that rape is nothing to joke about. Yet the very subject of my interview, Raychul, is a woman that admits to using the term on a regular basis in game to show her dominance over her opponents. As I try to wrap my head around this, I wonder if I give Raychul leeway since she’s a woman. Am I applying a double standard that says I shouldn’t be upset with her because of her gender?

There may also be another factor in gauging my lack of anger toward someone like Raychul and that’s “relationship.” I’ve known Raychul online for several years. We used to write for the same network. Even after I left the network, I maintained ties with most of the staff but when it came to the gamer girls, I didn’t have much in common with them so it’s not like we interacted on a steady basis. But there was an established camaraderie.

The notion of relationship status is why I believe the next tweet I got sent me reeling into a rage. It was a person that I don’t know; a person with no avatar just the generic Twitter egg; a person with only two followers and no personal information except the name “Ray Apodaca.” (*See how I don’t care one bit about his privacy to shorten his name).

After a first disturbing tweet from @rayman_321, I replied then hit “block.” Later I noticed that a friend had sent this user a tweet so I wanted to see the conversation and what it was she replied to. Since I had blocked him, I didn’t see that he had replied back to me.

PRINT SCREEN OF THE TWEETS

This bothered me so much that I felt a tightness in my chest. I know the advice one would give: it’s an anonymous internet user who hides behind a monitor and would never dare say those things to my face; it’s a juvenile mind who has no women in his life to worry about, etc.

In fact, I held up my mobile reader and snapped this image with my cell phone and immediately uploaded it to my personal Facebook profile where I got 21 responses from friends telling me those very things. Yet, when I couldn’t sleep even after taking sleeping pills, I again wondered – am I letting this person get to me because he’s not a friend? It gave me the creeps. My skin still crawls. I feel like looking over my shoulder in the sanctity of my home thinking someone is lurking behind me to attack me.  These are irrational feelings but they are real feelings proving that there is power in the words of “anonymous.”

I could have fallen to his level and replied that the only thing his limp dick would ever rape is the English language but I didn’t. Instead, I looked up the Twitter feed for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and followed them. Then gave this reply:

Me: @rayman_321 I wonder if @rainn can do anything to enlighten you. I pity you. You have no heart or love & don’t deserve it until you change.

 

4 comments on “Sharing the aftermath of #rape jokes in video gaming”

  1. I see no reason to tolerate or participate in any games where there is discussion of or even hinting of rape. There is nothing funny about it at all. I play Xbox but stay away from the extremely violent and irresponsible games.

  2. I tend to agree with you. It’s as is the case with the gentleman above me, why I generally speaking don’t go into online gaming and and the way racial and sexual slurs are tossed out in online gaming and on the internet as a whole. Even more so on comment threads when people are looking for a quick insult. I’m sure the limp dick thought he was being witty when he told you to “get raped” since, the article was about rape. Hurp. Durp.

    Though a friend of mine made an interesting comment I’d love to hear your thoughts on. (For him it’s about cancer and not rape but the basic point is still there). “To not joke about something, gives that something power over you. To be able to make light of something that hurts gives you power over it”

    Of course these random gamers probably don’t have any sort of personal experience in the matter. But this topic reminded me of the quote.

    • To an extent, yes I agree that you can take ownership of a word or situation and turn it around so that it is empowering. In this case of what goes out on the gaming comms, I don’t think anyone is taking ownership of it as former victims of a crime and being empowered; they are simply being insensitive to a very serious crime.

      I don’t like to think that we have to be careful of every single word we utter or live in a world of nerf because kids are going to get hurt, but I think there should be some expectations of being a reasonable adult. If you are playing a game that is rated Teen+ you bear some responsibility for the gaming environment.

  3. And this right here is why I don’t play online multiplayer games, or at least don’t do so with a headset on.

    The problem is that the anonymity of PSN and XBL give underdeveloped manchildren a sense of power. And it’s not just to women either. Consider for example this video.

    http://youtu.be/zHy43cBfK9M

    Indeed, there are entire series of Youtube videos dedicated to displaying these morons for us all to laugh at, like putting medieval criminals in stocks or something.

    It’s amusing, but also sad, how people behave when they are hiding behind a pseudonym. And unlike others here are saying, it makes no difference at all the rating of the game. Otherwise harmless titles like Forza will have these people as well.

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