Important, yet sad article dealing with SFxT "Cross Assault" Incident

Discussion in 'Street Fighter' started by STORMS, Feb 28, 2012.


    STORMS Owner / Director

    I was reading on twitter last night and I read some tweets that caught me off guard as if something bad happened on Cross Assult's reality show and well... it did. Read this article by Giant Bomb. Credit: TRMK's RT

    When Passions Flare, Lines Are Crossed

    One player's heated rhetoric about sexual harassment in the fighting community causes a furious debate, one that has Capcom apologizing.

    “This is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20-years-old and the sexual harassment is part of a culture,” said competitive fighting game player Aris "Aris" Bakhtanians on a recent live stream for Capcom's Cross Assault show, “and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community.”
    Capcom has since apologized for comments made during a conversation on sexual harassment in the fighting game community, which that quote was pulled from. It was a discussion focused on Bakhtanians, and took place during a recent episode of the company’s Cross Assault reality show. It’s part of a promotion for Street Fighter X Tekken.
    Cross Assault started with 10 contestants divided into two teams, Team Tekken and Team Street Fighter. The final four contestants will be determined today, and the last matches begin March 3.
    A reader initially pointed out the inflammatory commentary, which took place during day five.
    Bakhtanians is the head of Team Tekken, and was engaged in a conversation that chiefly involved community managerJared Rea. is hosting the daily streaming of the day-long Cross Assault episodes.
    “The views and opinions expressed by cast members in the live internet program 'Cross Assault' do not reflect those of Capcom,” said a Capcom spokesperson in a statement issued to me last night. “As a company, Capcom believes that everyone should be treated with respect. This particular issue was brought to our attention and has been addressed. We sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by any comments expressed during the show.”
    You can listen to the conversation by fast forwarding to one hour and 45 minutes into the following video. A user on YouTube also collected a series of comments made by Bakhtanians on day one.
    For example: "Miranda, I wanna know your bra size."

    Tensions were immediately raised over Rea's suggestion the fighting game community, once insular and limited but now steadily growing year-over-year, was potentially alienating outsiders from becoming fans of fighting games or the competitive scene because of inappropriate sexual language. Bakhtanians took issue with Rea's criticism.
    Here’s a lengthy transcript of their exchange:
    Rea: You know what it is, to be honest with you? We’re getting older. Do you really want to keep hanging around with a bunch of [guys in their] early 20s who don’t know how to treat one another with respect? That’s what it is.

    Bakhtanians: Alright, man. The thing is...if you don’t like the scene, how it is right now, it just seems like you’re trying to create...turn it into something that it’s not, and it’s never going to be. You know what I mean?

    Rea: That’s really unfortunate [inaudible]...the way it is right now, they want to enjoy fighting games, but they’re so incredibly turned off by [the language].

    Bakhtanians: This doesn’t involve me, Jared, I don’t know if you can hear me--this is Aris. This doesn’t really involve me, but if you don’t like onions, you get your sandwich without onions, man. I mean, this is the fighting game community.

    Rea: Can I get my Street Fighter without sexual harassment?

    Bakhtanians: You can’t. You can’t because they’re one and the same thing. This is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20 years old, and the sexual harassment is part of a culture, and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community--it’s StarCraft. There’s nothing wrong with StarCraft if you enjoy it, and there’s nothing wrong with anything about eSports, but why would you want just one flavor of ice cream, you know? There’s eSports for people who like eSports, and there’s fighting games for people who like spicy food and like to have fun. There’s no reason to turn them into the same thing, you know?

    You can’t go to the NBA and say “hey, I like basketball, but I don’t want them to play with a basketball, I want them to play with a football.” It just doesn’ doesn’t make sense to have that attitude, you know? These things are established for years. That would be like someone from the fighting game community going over to StarCraft and trying to say “hey, StarCraft, you guys are too soft, let’s start making sexual harassment jokes to each other on StarCraft.” That’s not cool, people wouldn’t like that. StarCraft isn’t like that. People would get defensive, and that’s what you’re trying to do the fighting game community, and it’s not right. It’s ethically wrong.

    I know that you’re thinking “what do you know about ethics? You say racial stuff and sexist stuff.” But those are jokes and if you were really a member of the fighting game community, you would know that. You would know that these are jokes.

    Rea: So, ensuring that we alienate any and all female viewers...that’s the ethical thing to do?

    Bakhtanians: Well, you know, there are layers here, if you think about this. There are layers of ethics. There are people who are racist and commit hate crimes, right? And then there are people who are racist but they have tons of friends of all colors and they have deep love for those friends. Do you think those people are one and the same? Absolutely not.
    StarCraft was brought up several times during the discussion of fighting games role in the larger eSports movement, specifically in regards to what lessons the community should and should not learn from its popularity.
    I reached out to Bakhtanians to discuss his comments on Cross Assault, but he didn't respond.
    When I contacted Capcom, I included a transcript of the relevant conversation. The company told me the cast and crew had been informed that “any inappropriate or disrespectful comments will not be tolerated during filming.”
    Upon receiving the statement from Capcom, I forwarded it in full to Bakhtanians. No response.
    And there is one very important fact about this whole story: Cross Assault is not a male-only event. There are two females: Team Street Fighter’s Sherry “Sherryjenix” Nhan and Team Tekken’s Miranda “Super_Yan” Pakozdi.
    During the exchange, as matches raged in the background, Pakozdi chimed in about Bakhtanians’ explanation for the pervasiveness of inappropriate sexual language within fighting game culture.
    “It hurts the community,” she said.
    Everyone in the stream made reference to Keystone events at the San Jose Bar & Grill in San Jose, California, a spot that’s reportedly known for its more crass comments about during play. Pakozdi acknowledged it was an issue during Keystone events, but that it never went, from her perspective, over the line.
    “You don’t know where the line is,” she declared.

    “My point is is where I’m from, in our arcade, our line may be different than yours,” responded Bakhtanians, “but the point is that fighting games are never gonna be the same as StarCraft, it’s never gonna be the same. You can’t turn basketball into baseball, no matter what you do.”
    Rea said sexual harassment was less of an issue in the StarCraft community, a point that others, including Bakhtanians, pushed back on. He conceded. Regardless, he argued, private matches can’t be controlled, but the actions of the participants and audience members raised the real concern.
    Again, here’s a snippet:
    Rea: When I go to MSL or MLG and someone blows up a ghost [Starcraft], does someone go “Yeah, rape that bitch!”?

    [group laughter]

    Bakhtanians: But, you know, Jared, you’re right. But if there was that much money being spent on Street Fighter, it wouldn’t be happening here, either, you know. There would be more rules, there would be security here, it’s not the same thing. It’s not the same thing.

    Rea: When I go to SoCal regionals and I see a Phoenix [from Marvel vs. Capcom 3] on main stage getting blown up and there’s some dude in the audience just yelling “Bitch! Bitch!” every time she gets hit and then she killed and goes “Yeah, rape that bitch!” Yeah, that’s totally acceptable! Really? Really? You’re going to tell me that’s acceptable?

    Bakhtanians: Look, man. What is unacceptable about that? There’s nothing unacceptable about that. These are people, we’re in America, man, this isn’t North Korea. We can say what we want. People get emotional.
    There was some light discussion after this, but it mostly trailed off.
    Pakozdi, who was assigned to work with Bakhtanians as part of Team Tekken, did not simply blow things off. Like many people,she signed onto Twitter and expressed disappointment over the day’s events. She eventually deleted much of her commentary,but it was captured by the same reader who tipped me off to this in the first place.
    “I hope my mom isn’t disappointed with all of this shit,” reads one tweet.
    “Capcom and the stream teams know and they don’t care. I just gotta wait 2 more days,” reads another.
    “I’m not leaving because by contract I have to stay here 2 more days. If it were up to me I would have left long ago," she said.

    Bakhtanians is a well known in the community, explaining his Cross Assault involvement.

    I reached out to Pakozdi, but she did not respond.
    Day six of Cross Assault took place yesterday. Pakozdi played, but if youstart watching around eight hours and 32 minutes into the stream, where she's playing as Balrog, she doesn't even attack. She just pushes forward on the stick. This continues in the next matches, where she plays as Kenusing the same "strategy."
    Essentially, she's given up.
    Per the rules of the show, she would then have to face off against John "Dr. Sub-Zero" Rockafeller, who was already eliminated. If he beat her in three out of five matches, he would be "revived."
    Instead, she forfeited. Moments after she bowed out, Rockafeller looked over and handed his prizes over to her.
    “I would like to donate everything to Super_Yan for being an angel,” he said.
    Bakhtanians also contributes the website Avoiding the Puddle and the site’s associated Twitter account.
    “esports,” he wrote last night.
    Previously, however, he did have his own personal Twitter account. What’s listed in his bio?
    “Fuck you.”
    taken from here:
  2. Tim Static

    Tim Static Adminerator

    This whole thing has been a colossal embarrassment. I'll just leave it at that, but i will say, dont NO ONE have any fucking room to talk shit or talk down to the MK community, especially now.

  3. PND_Ketchup

    PND_Ketchup "More deadly than the dawn"
    News Editor Official ESL Gaming

    I love Aris lmao.
    Big Pampering and SwiftTomHanks like this.
  4. This is an actual opinion that somebody has. What on fucking earth.

    STORMS Owner / Director

    I read a tweet by Delriach!/Delriach/status/174326899135348737

    I was like "wtf happened?"
  6. Yeah, saw this over on GiantBomb. Call me naive, but I didn't except that type of stuff out of Aris. I wonder if Patrick will ever get a response out of any of the parties he contacted.
  7. Killphil

    Killphil A prop on the stage of life.

    I don't understand how sexual harassment even comes into the FG communities tbh. He says its just there, the only thing he got right was saying that the communities of other competitive game(genres) are different from our own. smdh indeed Tim...
    SemiEvilRyu and Tim Static like this.
  8. THTB

    THTB #IDoMachines

    x THTB x
    A simple "smdh" doesn't even come close to how I feel about this matter. -_-
    Killphil, Zer0Hundr3d and Espio872 like this.
  9. RapZiLLa54

    RapZiLLa54 Monster Island Tournaments
    Premium Supporter News Editor

    You watch the video and it seems harmless at first since shes laughing but then the awkwardness and discomfort becomes so thick its disturbing.
    Relaxedstate likes this.
  10. Ermaculate_Slim

    Ermaculate_Slim Shazam!!!!

    Well when you are in a community full of dudes who never get laid this kinda stuff will be abundant.OMFG A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    DarKNaTaS and Zer0Hundr3d like this.
  11. It's time for another Good Idea/Bad Idea.

    Good Idea: Trash talking another player by saying "You're about to get fucked."

    Bad Idea: Trash talking another player by saying "You're about to get fucked after this match is over because you're so hot and you have nice boobs and a cute smile"
    Zer0Hundr3d and BDMao88 like this.
  12. ZAQ

    ZAQ Banned

    So true, it was blown out of proportion to begin with and Aris isn't the entire FGC.
    What do they call it when someone blames an entire group of people based on one persons actions again? I forget.
  13. Tolkeen

    Tolkeen /wrists

    This is the perfect time for us to reflect on our own scene, in regards to what has happened during cross assault. I know for a fact that more and more female players are heading out to tournaments, there was one at WB. We need to make sure that we are treating them with the same respect we would treat them at our place of work or (if you're too young), at school IF a teacher was present! In a few weeks time our game and our community will be spotlighted at an MLG event, which means we will be getting much more publicity than we have already received. Many of these new viewers will be MLG fans, not fighting game fans, so we will not have to argue with the Capcom fanboys and mk haters that often plague our joint streams. With that in mind, we MUST set a good example for potential players and potential supporters if we are to continue to grow our community. What Aris said about the fighting game community being synonymous with sexual harassment is ridiculous. So I implore any and all fans of this game and of this community to remember when on the stream or on camera if you can make it to MLG, that you are a spokesman for our community. And it will be our willingness to be presentable and somewhat professional that will help encourage our future endeavors with MLG or any other sponsors.
  14. gamemk

    gamemk Noob

    i'm a big aris fan. funny guy, but maybe he should have just stroked one out before showing up to cross assault if he was gonna be that sexually frustrated. lol. as for the harassment... yeah, someone should have just told him "hey, dude, uhh, if you don't stop saying this stuff we'll have to replace you". a 15 or 20 year old might think that stuff is all in jest, but most of us are 30+ or pushing 30. lol. so...yeah. anyway, if you think super yan should have just laughed it off, imagine yourself (as guys) being harassed by a bigger person whom you had no interest in. i doubt you'd like it. but i'm pretty sure aris was just bullshitting.

    well, goldfish was at WB and there was a lot of talk about goldfish's looks, etc....why not just let the women play the game? i don't really see a point in discussing anything about them beyond their gameplay. if you want to know more just interview them. problem solved.
  15. Scumbag Aris they should have known this would happen...
  16. Ermaculate_Slim

    Ermaculate_Slim Shazam!!!!

    You'd have to be blind to not notice its there
  17. Aris is a funny guy and I love his commentary. But this was too much, he stepped over the line.

    Really hope he apologizes instead of defending those weird ideas.
    Relaxedstate likes this.
  18. bipolar_shango

    bipolar_shango " Bros before Hoes"

    Aris is can be entertaining and funny sometimes but unfortunately that guy has no class.
  19. RiverHB

    RiverHB Noob

    This is why the video game community will always be looked down upon in society. Too many immature youngsters. Just wait until these kids go into the real world and get a job. Sexual harassment will get them fired and back living with their mommies and daddies.
  20. 9.95

    9.95 Noob

    The way I look at it is this.

    -First, Aris does not speak for ME.

    -Saying the FGC is synonymous with sexual harassment is outlandishly ignorant.

    -Capcom KNEW who they were bringing on, and knew that Aris is decidedly outspoken in general. If they brought him on
    expecting him to be any different than he is in real life, then they made a poor decision on a coach.

    -If Aris was contractually obligated to refrain from comments like that, then he has himself to blame and owes Capcom, the FGC, and especially Super_Yan a major apology.

    HOWEVER... I still have to be honest.

    -Videogames, and Fighting Games in particular, are very male-centric. Women who CHOOSE to enter this culture should not expect every single male to immediately treat them with kid gloves and refrain from saying something they're used to saying in the FGC just because someone who isn't the "norm" in the community may get offended. Essentially, if women choose to enter the FGC, they have to develop SOME thick skin...but there is a breaking point.

    -Things like "you're gonna get raped" or the like are commonplace and should be taken with a grain of salt by ANYONE who regularly participates in FGC events, however things like "I need to know your bra size" are well over the edge.

    -Ultimately, women shouldn't come into the FGC expecting to get treated any differently than the men around her treat each other. That in itself is a sign of respect. HOWEVER, men shouldn't take that opportunity to be purposely chauvinistic and outright abusive toward women.
    Hobozzzx, Albo, CD jr and 9 others like this.
  21. #21
  22. Prinz

    Prinz watch?v=a8PEVV6tt14

    The man sees the woman. The man wants the woman. The man takes the woman. I don't get it... Where am I wrong? :)
    But he shouldn't talk about the whole community. If you're an asshole don't call assholes your surrounding.
  23. The matter has been dealt with internally. Those "gaming journalist" just want to sensationalize the news to get hits. There is a reason why Miranda is disgusted at both Destructoid and Giantbomb.

    Also "LOLOLOLOLOL" at Penny Arcade's article.
    you can't be this stupid... can you?
  24. Phase 3

    Phase 3 Feels Good Man

    Unfortunately, most debates regarding this particular topic become corrupted by two specific factions: the "white knights," who will stand up for any female regardless of their wrongdoings, and the classic stream monsters who work tirelessly to tear anyone and everyone apart if given the opportunity; especially females.

    It can be hard to find reasonable people that will assess this situation without a hefty degree of bias. That said, I'll share my opinion of this whole debacle.

    Prior to discussing Aris, which is a huge can of worms in itself, I'll begin by saying that, without question, the way Super Yan handled herself was wrong. Regardless of Kor's stance on the subject, what she did to him was pretty disrespectful. She could have quit much earlier and found a way to handle the situation without potentially costing Kor a shot at 25 thousand dollars.

    Additionally, most reports from CrossAssault claim that Super Yan only started bringing these issues to light upon forfeiting. Before this, according to cast members and special guests, she didn't appear to be bothered by these things earlier in the competition. It has also been noted that the sole cause of her frustration was not sexual harassment, as she whined incessantly about aspects of the competition since the start of the CrossAssault, like when she was told she'd have to learn a second character. If it was genuinely a case of sexual harassment causing all the problems, she was undoubtedly in an environment where she could have, and should have done something about it. She wasn't alone in a dive bar or a back alley surrounded by ten threatening men. If you want change, whether it be at a global or societal level, you have to say something.

    This isn't to say anyone who doesn't directly speak up about an issue deserves whatever they get; I'm merely saying that Super Yan isn't some tragic martyr. She didn't handle things well at all and the fact that she complained about everything but sexual harassment prior to leaving makes things just a little suspicious. If anything, it paints the picture of someone who failed to improve at the game quickly enough, became frustrated, and blamed Aris to save face.

    Before flaming me for being misogynistic, do know that this isn't necessarily what I believe, it's just something that should, at the very least, be considered as a possibility. Ultimately, we'll never know. What happened to her was unfortunate, but I can't blindly and wholeheartedly defend her when so much of the story just doesn't add up. At the very least, regardless of what could have happened, we do know that she did something disrespectful to Kor.

    Onto Aris.

    If people are upset that Aris has done something deemed to be politically incorrect, we have only Capcom to blame. In the direct quote from Aris, upon his reveal as Team Tekken coach, he made a statement about sending Alex Valle "back to Mexico."

    The fact is: Capcom knew what they were doing. Everyone knew what they were getting. Aris is someone who spews racist, sexist, and generally offensive humor at every turn. This is why he's popular; this is why his supporters love him.

    It's like hiring Chris Rock and blaming him when he makes a racially charged joke. Aris was brought onto the show for being who he is and expecting him to be anything different is absolutely ridiculous.

    Also, to anyone thinking MK is free from this type of mentality: think again. This game is, in many ways, specifically targeted at your typical misogynistic male. Blood, gore and boobs. It's extremely hard to say otherwise when you look at the female dress code in this game. I'm not saying I have a problem with it, I'm simply saying MK, as a game, doesn't necessarily do much to limit this behavior. After reflecting upon the history of fighting games, I can't say this is a particularly surprising incident.
  25. SwiftTomHanks

    SwiftTomHanks missiles are coming
    News Editor

    This was blown way out of proportion. Some movies are rated R for a reason. Aris is rated R. I don't believe there's any mal intent behind what he says; if there is, then he needs a LOT of help.

    There's a level of professionalism that we need to uphold since we are being watched by the general public, but at the same time we shouldn't have to fear being 100% politically correct.

    I've always disliked when some people think they can enter the FGC and be granted special treatment because they are different (in this story, female). Only people in wheel chairs deserve special treatment (elevators and ramps). I'm going to treat everyone the same; do something stupid and you'll be treated accordingly. This stupid "female" ruined the experience of another player (Kor) to gain attention for herself, then blame hate she would get on Aris, an easy target. If a male did this, I would dislike him just as much.

    There's tons of diversity amongst the FGC (look at MK as a microcosm). From gender, to race, to religious beliefs, to sexual preferences, to Canadians. If anything, we've done a great job getting along compared to the rest of the world's interactions with diversity.

    With all this said, Aris is digging a huge hole with this post incident comments. The guy is extremely funny, but obviously can not word himself in a professional manner to save his life.
    Error, gamemk and 9.95 like this.

Share This Page