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Episode 35

The Indoor Kids

Livin La Vita Sexism (with…

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The Indoor Kids #35: Livin La Vita Sexism (with Dominic Dierkes)

Today, Kumail and Emily welcome Dominic Dierkes (DERRICK Comedy, Workaholics) to talk about all kinds of hot topics in gaming. We’ll discuss the PlayStation Vita (and compare it to a zoo animal), the recent scandal in the fighting game industry, and upcoming games we’re looking forward to (HELLO MASS EFFECT 3!)

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44 comments

  • About the Capcom thing:

    1. Good for the girl that she understands it’s just these guys being shitty to her. That shows she’s not being kicked down by it.
    2. Why are these guys getting away with it. This seems to me like the easiest sexual harassment suit in the world seeing as it happened over a period of 5 days with cameras pointed on it all the time.
    3. Capcom should have kicked the guys out after day one. Or, even better, they should’ve stuck ‘em in a real ring with a pro fighter.

    As a man it disgusts me when boys act like this, so if any male is reading this (and I honestly don’t care that you’re between the ages of 15 and 20): it is never cool to act like that. It is NOT part of any gaming subculture and woman will NEVER appreciate you acting like a creepy jerk to them. So if you’re playing a game and your opponent happens to be female don’t ask them their bra-sizes, don’t ask them to take their tops of, don’t tell them you’ll “sniff” them, overall don’t be a creep.

  • So…how can we troll the dude responsible for this harrassment? Does anybody have any info on this douche Casserole? Twitter, email. website etc. Perhaps there is a more noble way to correct an issue of sexual insensitivity but, hey…f*ck it, amiright?

    seriously, I want to troll this guy

  • Wow. That Tekken Coach is a tremendous douchebag. “The sexual harrassment is part of the culture”? This is the kind of guy who keeps the human race from evolving.

    Maybe I shouldn’t talk smack about him. Perhaps I should show more reverance towards a man who is so good at Tekken that he’s risen to the ranks of Tekken Coach.

    He’s probably a huge Rush Limbaugh fan.

  • Re: Vita,
    In my mind, its a console for hardcore gamers. Its not trying to go after the market that iPhone/Droid games are doing for, its for people who want full games on the go. Also, I’ve been playing it a lot, even at home, because it is great to use when my wife wants to watch something on the TV with my consoles.

    Currently totally in love with my Vita.

    PSN: Dangeresque92

  • I value you guys so much. I totally agree with Pieter. That was not cool at all. I was glad to hear you guys discuss that. Also glad to hear youre enjoying mass effect, one of my favorite game series of all time. Love your show, never stop doing it.

  • About the Mass Effect in Space thing, they did take weather into account- the NYC launch was moved into PA so it landed in Jersey, just short of Manhattan. The whole challenfge was to try to figure out how the balloon would move on its way up so you could try to be close to its landing point.

    Also, for the $800 DLC count, that, I believe, is actually if you want all of the extra available stuff, not just DLC. : (From Kotaku)
    $80 – N7 Collector’s Edition

    Pre-order bonuses:

    AT-12 Raider – Origin pre-order bonus
    Chakram Launcher – Play the Kingdoms of Alamur demo
    M-55 Argus – Pre-order bonus for select retailers
    N7 Weapons pack – N7 Edition bonus
    N7 Hoodie – N7 Edition bonus
    N7 Warfare Gear – Pre-order bonus for select retailers
    Reckoner Knight Armor – Play the Kingdoms of Alamur demo
    Robotic Dog – N7 Edition bonus
    Squad Outfit pack – N7 Edition bonus

    Auxiliary purchases:

    Unannounced price for the iOS game Mass Effect Infiltrator, which can affect the main game.

    $10 day one “From Dust” DLC

    $44.99 for the Liara figurine – which oddly enough now comes with multiplayer unlock DLC

    $24.99 for The Art of Mass Effect Universe – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

    $80 for four Mass Effect 3 toys – “Slightly randomized” multiplayer unlock DLC

    $59.99 for the Mass Effect 3 controller – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

    $209.99 for the Chimera 5.1 Headset – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

    $34.99 for the Mousepad – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

    $79.99 for the Messenger Bag – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

    $24.99 for the iPhone case – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

    $79.99 for the Mouse – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

    $139.99 for the Keyboard – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup

  • I have to say that there is a middle ground between “this won’t change who I am” and “now i’m forever a victim” because there is a third party to this story besides victim and victimizer. We, as a community, aren’t just spectators. After the incident, we play a part.

    In other words, her recourse is to disallow him from co-opting the fighting game community for his weird misogyny. She (and we) can take the opportunity to focus on his actions and how they will alienate him from the community, not how they could alienate her.

    In time, as focus fades from her, she will hopefully cease to feel like a victim, and we (she and the community) will be stronger as a community where ‘being an asshat during a Tekken match’ is understood to be just ‘being an asshat’.

  • I know we are all proud nerds here, but the phrase ‘fighting game community’ makes even me want to punch-kick combo the nearest geek. That sexist dude who was so proud of his ‘fighting game community’ makes Steve Urkel look like Jay-Z…

  • Kumail, what exactly do you mean (50:00) “You can’t really be racist towards white people?”

    Disappointed by this comment….

    Racism can be present towards anyone and everyone.

  • YUSS!! FINALLY AN EPISODE ABOUT FIGHTING GAMES…..oh wait…its about the sexual harassment issue.

    I am conflicted here on one hand as a fighting game fan and a regular ass human being I cannot sit here and type up any kind of defense for Aris Bakhtanians because I in no way shape or form condone his actions.

    What he did was stupid plain and simple. I also cannot condone what Miranda did either from both a “Don’t let people disrespect you to your face/STAND UP FOR YOURSELF” angle and also there are tons of other gamers that auditioned for that spot on the show and you just give up. Getting harassed and or bullied sucks but if you just sit there in take it and not le

    I also wonder if ANYBODY would be talking about Cross Assault if it had went off without a hitch. When was the last time a game company tried to broadcast a show over the internet to promote their new title with the coaches, players, stream providers and commentators being vital or notable members of the relevant community/scene?

    But the only talking point that most of the so called gaming media cares about is the sexual harassment, that not to say they shouldn’t cover it but if your only around to cover tragedies and train-wrecks then the gaming media are just as bad as the local nightly news in that regard.

    Drama is the only thing that matters, the over 2 million viewers for Evo 2k11 all the different countries represented at the 2011 Canad Cup. The world wide fellowship brought together over friggin video games pfft who wants to cover that unimportant shit, we are only interested in the seediest and negative aspects only that other stuff doesn’t matter at all.

    And does this episode count as the fighting game episode or will we have to wait until another dude verbally agitates a female to get recognition?

    Last but not least the fighting game community has already started the process of introspection in hopes that his behavior is noted as something as that is unacceptable and needs to change.

    http://shoryuken.com/2012/02/29/back-to-basics-getting-beyond-the-drama/

    http://shoryuken.com/2012/03/01/hurtful-speech-time-to-take-a-good-look-in-the-mirror/

    Last weekend also had of the major tournaments Final Round XV. The promoter of the event Larry “Shin Blanka mother passed away JUST DAYS before and he STILL put the event on because he knows how much it means to people. But this shit isn’t going to get any buzz from kotaku nor will it be mentioned on any gaming podcast outside of the fighting game community

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

  • Sorry for all the typos, errors and half formed thoughts. Just trying to get my thoughts out and as fast as possible

    I do enjoy this show it, it just really rustles my jimmies that this is the only fighting game news to get into the mainstream gaming media about the players/fgc in recent months.

  • Thanks for listening everyone!

    Blackula Jonez, I appreciate your sentiments about how the Fighting Game world can be a very positive place. I do not doubt that, and I am sorry if we ended up portraying it in a completely negative light. That said, saying what Miranda “should” have done is completely insensitive. This is exactly the kind of thing that we, in the episode, say is the wrong way to think of the situation. I assume you are not a woman, I assume you were not there. Therefore, you do not have the perspective that she did, and you do not know what she went through. It’s very easy for you to say “Stand up for yourself” from the safety of your keyboard. She was harassed for five full days. And I think she did stand up for herself. Her not fighting was, ironically, a very stronger statement.

    Geoffrey, we assumed everyone knew what the Milgram experiment was, which is why we didn’t go into detail on it. We aren’t a psychology podcast. We used shorthand to describe the experiment and moved on. So I apologize if you thought our description of it was “not very good.” But if you are coming to our podcast for analysis of psychological experiments, you are very bad at googling. And Emily is a licensed therapist with multiple Master’s degrees. She knows what the experiment is. And, it’s spelled “Milgram” ;)

    Frank, thanks for the DLC note. Even still, it bugs me that you have to buy so many products to get all the DLC. This exclusive DLC stuff is getting very troubling I think. You should be able to get a full experience by just buying the game I think. And, yes, I love my Vita as well! It’s a good point that it is for hard core gamers more than it is for the casual types.

    Day 1 Listener, I guess my point was that racism against white people, in America, is not really an issue. Racism & bigotry exploit power dynamics, and currently in America, white people are at the top of the food chain. I guess that’s what I was trying to say.

    And thanks again for listening! This was kind of a charged episode since we were talking about stuff that people feel very strongly about. But I’m glad that we can talk about all of this in a mature and grown up way.

    Kumail

  • Hey Kumail & Emily, did you guys ever finish Shadow of the Colossus? I know you guys have so many games and things to talk about that you may not have been able to schedule in playtime/ talktime with SotC, but if you guys had any final thoughts on it then I am dying to hear them, as it is one of my all-time favorite games, and I love hearing you guys (and all comedians in general) talking about things I love.

  • I’m glad you stopped playing the clips when you did, I was getting viscerally angry towards that guy. I may have had to punch something if there was more, and there are only hard objects around, so it would have hurt.

    So I know nothing about “the fighting game community” but I did play World of Warcraft for many years and ran into this kind of thing much more often than I’d like. I think it got worse the more competitive the environment too. From the women I spoke to about it off and on who went through it there was also very much an attitude of that’s just the way things are, and that is the price you paid for being a part of one of the more competitive guilds or teams.

    In the podcast you guys kind of passed it off as these guys are the typical nerd living in his parent’s basement and their primary exposure to women is the characters in the game, and all that kind of stereotype. I don’t think that is true. Not that that kind of guy can’t be an asshole, and I’ve seen a few of them be pretty creepy towards women, but the vast majority of the blatant sexual harassment that I’ve witnessed came from the same people that treat women poorly in “real life” as well (I put that in quotes because really, the people and relationships and everything with people that you plays games with is also very much real life.) Video games are no longer confined just to nerds, especially console games are very mainstream. These are men that feel entitled and have some deep hatred towards women. The important part to note though is that their actions aren’t limited to just in a game, or as part of a game community, this Capcom guy said this stuff to this girl’s face and had no problem with that. These are guys that treat women very poorly elsewhere too. Many of live in some degree of isolation where none of our friends are like that so we kind of settle into thinking that

    What is also important to note, these guys are often active role models for younger players. This guy was the team captain, in WoW it was often guild leaders and raid leaders and other people who may have a lot of skill at the actual game that were the worst offenders. That makes them much more difficult to speak out against. It also means that others end up seeing the behavior as ok and even admirable. Often thinking that the women like it as well, since their response is often, as this girl did, to try and laugh it off or make a joke back in self defense.

    I don’t think that is is at all a problem that is exclusive to fighting game, or games at all though (*cough* Chris Brown). I do think that it is the community that he’s a part of that really has to call out the behavior as wrong. If it is an outsider then it is easier to do as he did and just say it is part of the community. So it is the community that has to say, no it’s not. The fact that there are vocal parts of the fighting game community at least somewhat defending this guy distresses me. The fact that this guy was not immediately booted out distresses me. Yes, it is only a few bad apples, but if you don’t get rid of them the whole barrel will go rotten. Bullies in general need to be called out and publicly shamed. Even if they feel no shame, at least someone may learn something from it.

  • About the sexual harassment thing…

    Aris is a piece of shit. Not only is he a dumb fuck for sexually harassing Miranda, but then he tries to drag down the fighting game community with him by desperately trying to justify his idiotic derailed train of logic by saying “that’s just the way the community is man”…when it isn’t. The fighting game community isn’t the problem…it’s just assholes like Aris. And these assholes are definitely not limited to just fighting games.

  • Having followed the harassment story through various outlets like Kotaku and Giantbomb (which I felt covered this the best), I didn’t think much more could be added, until I remembered Emily’s background as a therapist, thus having a take from a different angle. Good stuff.

    Just a few things.

    A correction: The comment that Aris made during the 5 day event. It was in response to JARED REA (who also happened to have written for 1up.com), not justin. He is the community manager of Twitch.tv which was covering the daily stream of the Cross Assault episodes. He is also pretty familiar with the fighting game scene, but obviously these events touched a nerve and felt he had to call out Aris.

    There was also an update after that where Aris released a statement regarding the fiasco where he tries to apologize.

    http://www.giantbomb.com/news/aris-aris-bakhtanians-releases-statement-on-recent-comments/4007/

    To me, with the behavior he demonstrated, it’s going to take way more than this weak apology to amend things. His excuse came off to me like a guy that shows up to a party at someone’s home, gets absolutely blasted and proceeds to destroy the home, sobers up and apologizes for their actions, blaming it on the drinks and drugs influence. This is just one of those things where it’s not the environment is at fault; it is the person themselves.

  • One asshole, it takes just one fucking asshole to ruin my time with the Indoor Kids. And to top it off, I was listening to the latest Nerdcast with Danica McKellar and her efforts at making life better for the world just before listening to IDK. Uggh, this Aris molesting fat fuck (no offense to fat people… im fat) just… hearing every rape soaked word from him made me want to hurt the guy. I just don’t feel well after all of that. That was disgusting.

  • @ Kumail: You have a solid point. At the end of the day I am not Miranda nor a female, how she decided to deal with the situation is her own prerogative.

    I just REALLY wish she would of told Aris off, but that’s just me. I was wrong for assuming she didn’t defend herself or speak up at all which she did eventually do(a little bit too late but she still spoke up and thats what counts). What’s most important is that she has moved on with her life and past this whole debacle and is a better person and gamer for it. I find it odd and ironic that a comedian of all people would be the one proclaiming stoicism in the face of verbal attack to be proud/noble stand, but hey live and learn.

    It is nice to see that other gamers know that sexism/misogyny is an issue that is not endemic of the fighting game community but of society in general and most of the individuals who seem to have problems communicating and dealing with females would have those same difficulties if they played video games or not.

    My main beef still stands against sites like kotaku and giant bomb that are not following the community as a whole or even the Cross Assault show.There are no articles about the show when it was announced, nor when youtube got flooded with auditions to be on the show. Nothing about the first day of footage. They sprung on the Aris/Miranda sexual harassment story but not too much after that Nothing about the guy who won the 25 grand for being the last man standing at Final Round XV over the weekend nor was there any coverage of the OTHER FEMALE ON THE SHOW.

    But hey, Sherry wasn’t sexually harassed so who the fuck cares. Females getting treated as equals in the gaming community isn’t newsworthy in the least bit. If it bleeds it leads, amirite?!

    In regards to the Mass Effect Day 1 DLC issue, this shit is getting out of control. EA may be the main offenders but this practice seems to be a new and lucrative method of generating side revenue off a new games release. The only thing we can do as consumers is to vote with out dollars, actually it is probably the only thing we can do. Hell even Street Fighter X Tekken is in some hot water due to there being content already on disc that Capcom is looking to charge for later for when the PS Vita version of the game is released or some other horse shit.

    http://shoryuken.com/2012/03/05/capcom-says-sfxts-12-additional-characters-on-disc-to-ensure-compatibility-between-buyers-non-buyers/

    This dlc shit is getting silly.

  • @Blackula Jonez – From what I perceive, what Giantbomb and Kotaku were doing were just straight up reporting what eventually became news. Unless it was a major event like GDC (Game Developer Conference) this week, DICE summit (Design Innovate Communicate Entertain), E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) or TGS (Tokyo Game Show) where it is much broader for the gaming business, rather than something so niche as gaming tournaments (that’s what sites like Shoryuken are for), I don’t see any reason why they would cover tournaments or reality shows as such.

    Plus as a Capcom sponsored event, you’re going to get those jackasses that whine about the ‘bias’ from gaming “journalists” in covering what is essentially promotion for an upcoming game that they will have to review. So for the sake of the journalism argument (and objectivity), there really isn’t reason to cover it, unless it’s just a short video piece that X-Play would do that shows an overview of it AFTER the event. (See the difference?)

    As for the handling of the matter. Especially for the case Giantbomb, it was just as a journalist should do: report the facts, cross check them, ask for comment, report. Exactly what was done. As with many things in journalism, anything that is co nsidered private, you don’t touch (unless permission is granted for interview). This tournament would essentially be relatively private unless Capcom busted out a gaming surprise.

    However as soon as the back and forth comments between Aris and Jared was made public (on a LIVE STREAM), it becomes public (once information is out, IT’S OUT). Plus you also have the public viewing of Miranda giving in on a LIVE STREAM to breach her contract.

    This would not have been news nor something to dwell on (too much) if it wasn’t for the comments and the bizarre actions being displayed in public, yes, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But something like this becomes the huge elephant in the room, and it is certainly difficult to not address it.

    I think the bigger issue isn’t the abuse itself (even though it was horrid), but rather it shines a light (not all positive) of such gaming enthusiasts (the kind of language you deal with on on-line public gaming with a random). That’s the kind of language we see as a common place in college, frat houses and any ‘bro-tastic’ venue. I’m sure Kumail has encountered tons of these on his travels on the standup circuit. You try to introduce a non-gamer to videogames, and this is not the best foot forward (one of the worst actually).

    This really highlights to me that really, we need to improve as a people. Anything can be a stimuli to bring out the worst; just happens that videogaming can be the most potent.

  • Kumail, my intention was not to insult the program or Emily’s professional qualifications. I simply wanted to share an interesting discussion of the Milgram experiment which suggests a new understanding of the results as compared to the most common one which you mentioned on the show. The discussion on Radiolab seeks to move beyond the baseline study and consider the results of Milgram’s whole series of experiments in obedience. I enjoy The Indoor Kids for what it is and I would not prefer it transform into a program on the social sciences. I certainly did not mean to offend or upset you, only to share something interesting with my fellow listeners (or I suppose, hosts).

  • @ Jerry Li: I see your point but it still bugs me that only the most salacious and inflammatory part of the show is what got the majority of the attention of the mainstream gaming media.

    At the end of the day Capcom wanted a reality show and recruited some type A personalities in hopes of on-camera drama and they got way more than they bargained for.

    I highly doubt they will be doing another show for Namco’s Tekken X Street Fighter nor will any other game company will try to their own show. If they do it will be a much more monitored and contrived attempt. But it does seem to be an endeavor with way too many risk and very few rewards.

  • @Blackula Jonez There’s a few unfortunate things. One is that in general, one of the things that get longer lasting publicity is negativity. Especially things that have potential to highlight flaws, thus creating discussion about what could be done.

    The only positive publicity I could see is if you had a celebrity being there that is actually participating, showing humility and also being on a pro level skill, thus breaking those gamer stereotypes. I am happy though that we have people like Aisha Tyler, Zachary Levi, and Paul Scheer that have really shown their love for gaming, and aren’t afraid to express the love for it.

    As for Capcom holding these types of events. Part of me feels like an absolute inexperience/culture clash thing. Having grown up in South East Asia, gamers in public like this are extremely respectful and focused. So if you mic them up, you will very unlikely get the loudmouth verbal assaults people are accustomed to on X-Box live. Part of me feels like Capcom was more used to this kind of respectful setting, and was not intending the crass and rude dialog.

    Meanwhile other big fighting game events like EVO is handled independently with appearances from the major game companies that made those fighting games, and is a consistent success. Those to me have players that behave way more professionally, and the audience there really do enjoy it; simply because the focus is put on the game at hand, not the players that play the game.

  • Hi there! I’m a recent listener to the show, got here from You Made It Weird (which I got to from WTF). I’m a very casual gamer these days, don’t own a recent console, but I really enjoy hearing about new stuff as well as the reminiscing about the oldies. In fact your enthusiasm is encouraging me to get back into newer games. I also love the way the topic will wander into more general sociological issues (like it did in this episode) and pop culture stuff. ANYWAY my actual point in posting was just to agree with Geoffrey’s recommendation of that Radiolab episode about the Milgram experiment. I’m sure Emily already knows all about it, but to anyone who had just a passing knowledge of the experiment (like myself) it really was fascinating. And kind of heartening as well, because it turns out not to be such a damning example of normal people doing horrible things. Sorry for my rambling anyway, keep up the good work :)

  • When you wer talking about that mass effect thing with the women being all hot, I have to disagree, Miranda obviously is that one hot girl that you can sleep with, but samara (the asari in ME2) cant be romanced, although
    SPOLIER

    Her daughter can be romanced, although she has a genetic mutation so youll die when you do.

    SPOLIER OVER

    Jack on the other hand despite being pretty much naked, i dont really find attractive, but i think thats more personal preference
    and then we get to Tali, well I do think her suit is a little tight, its not just the females of her race that have the tight suits and if i had a suit i need to stay alive i would want it tight as well to stop folds from decreasing the suit integrity (I know I thought way too much into this) I still had my Shepard romance Tali, but not cause I thought the character model was attractive, but because she’s one of my favorite characters in the mass effect series.

  • Thanks all for your thoughtful & well-considered comments!

    Jerry Li, thanks for your correction and information. I’m glad he stood up for decency, although I wish someone had done it a few days prior.

    Daniel, it was never our intention to pass the sexism off as weirdo nerds in the basement. It really really wasn’t. I was merely saying that, if these guys spend a lot of time at these fighting game competitions, they are surrounded predominantly by other dudes. But, fair point. We weren’t trying to stereotype nerds at all, given that we identify ourselves as such. Just seems to me that an atmosphere was created at that event where certain kinds of behavior became ok.

    Blackula Jonez, I have seen awesome clips from EVO that are inspiring & moving. Seems to be real camaraderie happening there. So i’ll just say that things got ugly at this event, and I doubt that it is representative of other competitions.

    Geoffrey, my bad. Misunderstood your tone.

    Thanks all for listening! Next episode is about best and worst movie licensed games, so please let us know if you have favorites!

    Kumail

  • Aris’ defense of his sexism reminded me of how whenever people say “this may not be politically correct,” 9 out of 10 times they are about to say something totally dickish. Which also reminds me of certain strains in the conservative movement, who are focusing their energies on being anti-muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, and most of all, anti-poor. How do you tell someone they are being a total dick without making them defensive and thus further committed to their dickish ideas?

  • I just wanted to say thanks to Emily for articulating what I think a lot of women (gamers or not) feel; in that we don’t want to be treated differently in a particular situation; just with the respect you would treat another person. When I game with my guy friends or hang out with them I don’t want them to censor themselves or act differently around me. And sure its different than when I hang out with my female friends, but I accept that and many of the things they might say or do don’t offend me at all. I also think that there are a lot of guys out there who are capable of doing that and not being offensive- obviously Aris isn’t one of them. In any event, it was nice to hear another woman I can relate to say this out loud.

  • I have to agree with Kumail’s “gamey” description of Mass Effect 2. It has better gunplay, better companion AI, and fewer reused building interiors. It even ran better on my PC than the first game even though it looked nicer (!).

    Despite all that, it didn’t pull me in the way the first one did. I *liked* the sprawling feel of Mass Effect 1. It was a world I was walking around in. The second game felt more like I was getting specific levels to play. “Here’s someone’s Loyalty mission level! There’s nothing to do here before or afterwards, so we’ll just throw up a loading screen and plop you back onboard the Normandy!”

    It even followed with the way they doled out experience points. it takes 1000 points to level up, and it seemed for most of the game that I was doing missions that gave out 1000 XP for completing them. It didn’t feel like I was progressing because of the way I played my character, but because I was getting a cookie after every task.

  • Hey K and E, the main thing I wanted to say about this episode was that I really loved that you devoted so much time to Cross Assault harassment. I also loved that you then broadened the discussion out to the culture of gaming and then the broader culture, and I loved that you had strong opinions that differed, and that you defended and discussed them at length. I enjoy it when you talk straight up about gaming too, but video games and gaming culture are great leaping off points for talking about social issues and phenomena, and it’s great to know you aren’t afraid of going there.

    If I could add my thoughts to this already thoughts-saturated discussion, it would be to say that there seems to be some anxiety about whether we can stamp out sexism in the gaming community without fundamentally changing it. To that I would say that, as in most communities, sexism is built into the gaming community at a fundamental level, and so, yes, eradicating it would entail some sort of fundamental change. But imagine how good that change would be! I understand the points about women not wanting to be treated with kid gloves and not wanting to give the perpetrators of sexism more power than they deserve, but about them I will say the following: 1) being extra nice to women comes from the same sexist place as being extra mean to them, so a truly feminist reshaping of gaming culture would not have the effect of women being treated gingerly. 2) Perpetrators of sexism already have more power than they deserve, and simply ignoring them or saying “whatever, loser” isn’t going to rob them of their power. Fundamental change to the culture that implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) endorses their behaviour is the only thing that can do that. The brave and dignified way that Miranda handled herself, as well as the discussion that the incident has spawned, such as on Indoor Kids, are good examples of how individuals can act to bring about that fundamental change.

    Once again doods thanks for the shit-hot episode, I am now looking forward to seeing Kumail at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival even more!

  • Blegh, a bunch of dumb typos in that post make me sound dumber than I am. I swear that I am not that dumb! Also, sorry if any of what I said is just telling you guys things you already know and dressing it up as new knowledge. That seems to happen a lot in these kinds of discussions. I mainly wanted to get across the idea that it’s okay for anyone from a disempowered group to stand up and say “SIR YOU INSULT ME! THIS SHALL NOT STAND!” when some psychopath is giving you the willies.

  • Re: there not being any “ugly” or “heavier” females in fighting games, Street Fighter Alpha 3 had a heaver female fighter named R. Mika. She was a professional wrestler and had mostly grapple moves if I remember correctly.

  • I’d like to clarify something that Aris said. He made a big deal about how if the FGC changes it will become “starcraft” and he also references esports. There is a large, mostly interconnected community of gamers that follow “esports” which includes games like League of Legends, Starcraft, Counter Strike etc. These communities make a big deal about promoting all esports to get mainstream coverage and growing the communities and the businesses. We’re all pretty proud of what we have, and we think it should be bigger.

    Organizations like MLG that run those tournaments and host those communities have been trying to integrate Street Fighter and other fighting games, and the FGC has vehemently resisted, clinging to their identity which Aris referenced. The FGC loves to get hyped up, get loud, and get rowdy at their events, they love talking trash to each other and they treasure their “arcade atmosphere,” which they think they’ll lose if they integrate. When he got called out on being a sexist dickhole, Aris took it as condemnation of the FGC as a whole rather than of him personally, and his statements reflect that. They have a valid concern about losing their identity as big esports organizations like MLG try to integrate them, so they’re resisting change and rejecting criticism of any kind.

    What he said was intolerable, and that it went on so long before anyone said something to him is horrible, but he doesn’t represent the FGC, even though he postured himself as the representative when he got called out.

    If you guys are interested in revisiting the issue with some better perspective on what the FGC is like, I’d recommend this article: http://shoryuken.com/2012/02/29/back-to-basics-getting-beyond-the-drama/

    For what the esports community is like, I’d suggest checking out MLG’s tournament the weekend of March 23rd. It’d be worth talking about on the show I think, and I know the redditors of /r/starcraft would love a non-competitive gamer’s perspective on the tournament.

  • I will 2nd nominating R. Mika from the Street Fighter Alpha series as the premiere heavy set/full figured female fighting game character.

    But seeing as she just ends up being big in a few areas of her body she just ends up looking super voluptuous and still pretty attractive if that’s your thing.

    Props to Ladnil for going in depth with the current growing pains of the Esports/FGC/competitive gaming scene. I live in Columbus and will be attending the MLG event later this month.

    Also if Dominic and Kumail wanted a fighting game that didn’t objectify or hyper sexuality females …they are going to have to wait a while longer and avoid “Girl Fight”. Imagine Dead or Alive with less dudes and you get the jist of the game premise lol

    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/gdc-2012-girl-fight/727885

    On the Mass Effect tip, after seeing that they made Edi a playable character (pretty much a Fem Bot), I think its safe to say that Mass Effect is not immune from the way the rest of the gaming community designs female characters (curvaceous and trim). This is a archetype that is just going to have to run it’s course it seems.

  • @Blackula Jonez
    ***ME3 SPOILER ALERT***
    I’m endorsing a romance between Joker and EDI just so the objectification of her body is given some kind of meaning. Also, isn’t it weird that in the game nobody thinks it’s weird that all the guys are attracted to a robot?

  • This is super old but I just caught listening to random old IK episodes and I wanted to say thanks Kumail, I really appreciated your commentary.

    I kind of thought Emily missed the point a bit- asking someone to stop threatening you with rape (and maybe hoping that others with stick up for you if you do) *is* asking people to change, and in some cases asking them to change everything. So Kumail I think has it right. There is something wrong and shouldn’t matter whether you identify as a victim or not, or what we think she should have done. We all can do better. Thank you both for the episode, but especially to Kumail for totally getting it and articulating it in a way that didn’t make Miranda responsible for Aris’ shitty behavior. (I hope I got their name’s right I’m too fucking lazy to look.)

    Anyway, high fives to you both- I love your podcast- it’s always fun and interesting. But Kumail is getting a little higher of a 5. Just this once ;)