Cross Assault, Sexism and Community Growing Pains

This will probably be a rambly mess, so here we go.

First off I’m not going to rehash all that happened, so read This piece from PA Report, But also this piece by Tom Cannon (also on PA Report). Also read this fine piece of work by The Brog, and some of the things he links to (Aris’s apology and Sp00ky’s comments).

I guess if you already know whats up, you can skip all that, but seriously, read The Brog’s post if you haven’t. He’s covers some stuff I wanted to cover (and probably will cover anyways).

So first I want to talk about Aris. I never interacted with Aris personally but I know several people who have. Everyone seems to like the guy. He’s smart and clever and funny, apparently. I believe all of that. Then I hear someone describe him as a Lunatic on the GiantBomb podcast. I certainly understand why someone would say that, and saying it offhandedly is fine, but we gotta remember, you don’t need to be a lunatic to say crazy, misogynistic things. If you needed to be a lunatic to say or do awful things, we’d have an easier time fighting this sort of thing. Instead this comes from someone that people enjoy to be around and that’s unfortunate.

Now truth is, Aris is a repeat offender, from what I understand, having been thrown out of a smaller event for similar behavior before. At worst he’s a horrible scumbag and at best he’s got a lot of shit to work out, as does a lot of the community.

There is an upside to this though. While the stream monsters were certainly in full force with the sexual harassment, there were plenty of people, especially on twitter who basically said that Aris wasn’t speaking for them. So many FGC members who were embarrassed by his terrible comments. Tom Cannon is right though when he says there is a grain of truth to what Aris said. The FGC is loud and rowdy and it’s generally hard to draw lines. It’s hard to tell when someone is being legitimately sexist and when someone is just using vulgar language for the fun of it. Aris was so well over the line that it may have served as a wake up call for some people. There is a difference between a bunch of guys yelling “Rape her!” when someone is comboing Phoenix compared to when a guy causes legitimate emotional grief to a woman, live on air. There are people who are going “This is different, and I don’t like it”. Seeing who sides with Aris and against Miranda is giving us a way to see who the real fuck ups are. We get to see a clearer picture of the issue.

Unfortunately that might not happen due to this being a PR disaster. The Media has been fairly responsible with the FGC. I wasn’t able to put into words how they were being unfair, but The Rog did it for me. We’re being used as a spectacle and no one wants to look at whats good in the community (see: Tom’s article). No one looks for the professionals in the community who would speak out against Aris’s statement. They just want the drama and they just want to point and say “Wow, these guys suck”! In a lot of ways we as a community do suck, but stereotyping a diverse community isn’t helpful.

Unfortunately I think this is more than just “not helpful”. It might actively hurt the cause. The FGC is very insular and anti authority already. This is the community that scorns sponsorship and scoffs at the concept of eSports. The community could just as easily put up new walls rather than open up from the poorly handled criticism and opening up is desperately what we need.

Starcraft didn’t get where it is now, community wise, by virtue of their character. Being in the public eye did that. Sponsorships and events made people clean up their act. The top players acted professional and the community, to a degree, followed. We’ll never be the SC community and I don’t think anyone wants us to be that. But we can, lead through example by the community leaders, be made to see the line better. We can be rowdy without being exclusionary. The most important people who can speak up now aren’t random gaming journos, but people in the community it’s self. We’ll probably always have asshole stream monsters. I think we’d even miss them if they were gone, but we can’t condone them. Even the SC community has a seedy underbelly, but everything above that is much more presentable. Team Liquid even had their own sexism scandal. But they don’t put it on GOM TV and when it does happen, personality figures within the personality don’t defend it. Classiness trickles down. We emulate the players we idolize.

We’re growing faster than we can keep up with. Miranda having to deal with sexual harassment is a symptom of that. As long as the community doesn’t reflexively yank back and top community figures act appropriately, we should slowly move toward being a stronger community.

I’m deepely disappointed about this whole incident, but in some ways it had to happen for what may be everyone’s ultimate benefit. I hope Miranda doesn’t give up either I enjoyed watching her play and she’s no joke. If you were to compare Sherry, Miranda, ChocoBlanka and BurnYourBra to any random sampling of Male tournament players, they’d almost certainly be better. As the community grows and open, we’ll only receive more female players and we need to learn to treat them fairly and know the difference between trolling and harassing.

That was all surely one big mess of a post, but I felt like I needed to post something.

21 thoughts on “Cross Assault, Sexism and Community Growing Pains

  1. This is going to be a somewhat tangential comment, but I’m actually wondering how bad the fighting game community is compared to other games, and how much of that has to with the way fighting games are built. The concept of social engineering comes to mind, where the way a game’s designed can lead to a certain type of social interaction and even community. DotA and its clones tend to lead towards a somewhat negative community due to having to depend on four other people to pull their weight (along with yourself), and various other factors.

    Do you think the playstyle and design of fighting games has to some degree molded the community around it?

  2. I just think it’s weird that more people aren’t talking about how horrible it is that someone as respected as Mike Watson was one of the first people to side against Miranda. Not entirely surprising, but horrible.

  3. I thiiiiiink I see the point Aris was trying to make, and I don’t disagree with it. I agree with the point, mind you, not the fellow making it.

    It’s like asking a /b/tard if they want 4chan censored. Of course they wouldn’t want it censored, and they’d probably upload a .gif of a tentacle rape scene in their response. 4chan wouldn’t quite be the same to them.

    Aris apparently enjoys the feel of an abrasive community, like the one he “grew up” in. While it’s not the community as a whole, it seems to be the large majority of fighting game communities he took part in, and he doesn’t want to see them change. And I can understand that.

    Although, if Melinda was uncomfortable with Aris’ behavior, she should have probably said something right then and there. In all of the footage I saw she didn’t make a huge deal out of it. In fact, she seemed to laugh along with some of it. All I was able to find was a tweet from her only claiming that she pulled Aris aside and brought it up, but even the wording in that is a bit too foggy for me, and the act of her pulling him aside seems unconfirmed as of now. Unless somebody could either confirm that tweet or show me footage of Melinda making her discomfort abundantly clear, I’m not sure if I can totally take her side on this.

    Mind you, I do not condone harassment and I firmly believe that if somebody tells you that your behavior makes them feel uncomfortable, and their request for you to stop isn’t unreasonable, you should stop. However, I’ve yet to see any evidence that Melinda actually clearly expressed her discomfort to Aris. If somebody can actually show me evidence, I’d be more than happy to change my stance, but as it stands right now, I’m not sure if I can totally fault Aris here.

  4. @oni I can’t confirm anything but I’m pretty sure that she not only brought it up with him but the cross assault production team and that she was trying to be professional.

    I mean look at Aris. That’s a hard guy to have to speak up to. Man is like a fucking blacksmith.

  5. Yeah, Aris is a pretty grizzly looking guy. I’ll give you that.

    Out of curiosity, Is there any particular reason why you’re sure of this?

  6. @Oni I’ve read it on multiple occasions by multiple people and multiple articles. I also take her word on the matter. She could be lying and ‘facts’ can be self sorta self sustaining, but I see more reason to believe she did what people say she did than not.

  7. Yeah, it’s a mess, this whole situation. I’m not a part of the FGC, but I do enjoy watching the major tournaments (not just EVO) and because of this I wasn’t aware to the extent that this sort of behaviour was tolerated. I mean, I was aware, obviously, of the trash talk, the rivalries and the intense competitiveness of it all, which is fine and part of the reason why I enjoy watching it, but not the abuse. The harassment.

    I’m 100% behind you on this one, Kayin, FGC leaders and top players have to set an example and clearly denote the limits between what’s right and what isn’t. This isn’t about sanitization or censorship, it’s about being able to integrate people of all stripes by not making gender or race a part of the trash talk and hype. This is the right thing to do, not just because it is in itself, but, like all things, who knows who what sex, nationality, race… the next Daigo might be, if the FGC makes the point of getting more people on board?

    Also, @Oni, this is purely speculation on my part, but I’d imagine that there’s a good probability that Miranda did complain in the past… and was promptly ignored, dismissed or (perhaps) even more abused; if so, she would have to have decided, in the end, that if she wanted to be a part of the community, she’d have to try to learn to deal with the abuse, whenever it happened. And probably did so, until it reached a breaking point at the Cross Assault. Again, pure speculation here.

  8. I think I see the real issue here.

    Vulgar language not for the fun of it is a part of the community. It’s called trash talk.

    For trash talk to actually work, it has to hit close to home. Sometimes it’s just harmless ribbing between friends, but fairly often the purpose of it is to genuinely hurt the opponents feelings to get them off their game.

    So how do you hurt the feelings of a female player, especially one that’s thick skinned enough to break into the community in the first place? The answer is obvious. Not only that, for it to work, they have to convince the victim it’s genuine.

    Yes, the point of trash talk is to CAUSE EMOTIONAL GRIEF to help you win.

    Yeah, it’s pretty screwed up. Yeah, it’s wrong, and my conscience would not allow me to do it to a woman ever. But as people get thicker skin, the ante gets upped. The proper response to trash talk is to shrug it off and put the other person in their place by kicking their ass. Anything else is a failure on the part of the victim.

    That’s almost certainly the point Aris and the others on his side were trying to make. it IS one and the same. For it to work, the victims have to be convinced it’s real.

    If someone feels the need to trash talk you like that, you almost have them beat. Shrug that off, adn they are toast.

  9. @Chuck: think about what you’ve written; if what you said is right, then pretty much anything goes! Ethnic, racial slurs, sexual harassment, hell, anti-Semitism and even death threats! I doubt that in any of these cases, it’s right to ‘blame’ the victim, as you propose…

    There has to be a line and, besides, from what I’ve managed to see of tournament play, the very best players don’t make use or even need to go so low… it smacks more of desperation, than anything.

  10. Did you not read the part where i said it is both screwed up, and wrong, and i could never possibly do it?

    And to equate trash talking with death threat is really blowing it out of proportion. While threats of real life violence do happen over fighting games on occasion (normally by scrub sick of loosing) it’s kept out of the tournaments.

    Yes, playing to win can be very ugly. It is about doing anything within the rules to get your victory. And trash talking isn’t (usually) against the rules. Sticks and stones and all… The tournament directors can and should draw lines. But trash talk is hard enough to define that it’s nearly impossible to ban completely. Racial slurs, anti semitism, that stuff is easy to catch. Whether any given bit of trash talk counts as sexual harassment is a wee bit harder to determine. Naturally, a “reasonable female fighting game player” standard has to be used to define that one. And well all know how well that goes for normal sexual harassment.

  11. Ah, sorry, I take your point, you weren’t try to justify the actions, just trying to explain the reasoning that leads to them.

    But you also misunderstood me: I don’t think trash should be stopped, heck, I think it’s an integral part of the community and there’s nothing wrong with it; I just think that there should be pretty clear standards on what you can and can’t do and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second in stating that what Aris said crossed the line, easily.

    Although, again, I realize that it might not always be so clear…

  12. “Seeing who sides with Aris and against Miranda is giving us a way to see who the real fuck ups are.”

    Can’t say I appreciate you calling my girlfriend a “fuck up” here, indirect thought it is.

    By the way, I personally think what Aris did was wrong, and sympathize with Miranda, although I felt she was also in the wrong for the way she handled things. (Screwing over a completely innocent third party, Kor, of his chance to get back into the competition)

    However, my girlfriend disagrees. She watched the full 13.5 minutes of Aris’s “sexual harassment” of Miranda on Cross Assault (I personally thought it was just harassment myself, since Aris’s harassment of Mike Ross also involved smelling the guy, undoing his shirt, etc.), and told me, “Aris is a really funny guy…he did nothing wrong. Miranda is just too sensitive, and also egged it on by laughing and flirting with the guy.”

    I disagree with her, but hey, she’s entitled to her own opinion. Everyone has a different set of standards for offensiveness, right?

    Thus Kayin, it’s very narrow-minded of you to call anyone who happens to disagree with your own view a “fuck-up”.

    It’s especially hypocritical considering how much you praised the piece by The Brog, which specifically stated that one’s views on this scandal are way more relevant as a female than a male.

    Well, my girlfriend is a gamer who loves Capcom fighters, and she was totally fine with what Aris did.

    Just putting that out there; I know there’s an echo-chamber on the Internet and it’s real easy to get on the bandwagon to crucify Aris as some Satanic serial rapist, but even amongst female gamers, not everyone finds his comments particularly offensive.

    Personally, I think Aris did cross the line, but not to the over-embellished extent many outlets (and yourself) are presenting it as.

    But hey, what is the Internet without a bit (read: a lot) of exaggeration?

  13. @Mark

    I think that’s a lot of extrapolation out of one throw away line I think you’re reading in to too much. I have no other comments.

  14. As a reader, that seemed like more than just a throw-away line, Kayin; you used it as a springboard for stating that it’s a good way to delineate the scumbags of the community from its heroes, and referenced it again in the very next sentence.

    The whole situation is a mess and has me really down on the FGC. Not because a crazy guy like Aris crossed the line and offended someone. He was wrong, but so are a lot of stand-up comedians when they play to the crowd for laughs and say something a little too crass.

    That stuff will always happen, especially in the hyper-sensitive, “OH MY GOD! I’M SO OFFENDED!!!”, insane politically correct culture we have in the US today.

    What has me down is the reaction, especially when Tom Cannon penalized the organizers of Wednesday Night Fights and even the completely blameless PLAYERS for comments made on the stream for the event.

    Comments that were extraordinarily mild by any definition, and didn’t even specifically reference Cross Assault, with Marn and his co-host occasionally saying; “I’m offended! I’m suing!”

    It’s a bullshit PR move. There have been legitimately awful things done and said in the FGC by players and organizers alike. That have been completely unpunished by SRK or anyone else. I’m sure Tom Cannon knows that as well as anyone. A few commentators reacting with a subtle bit of humor to a situation that was taken way too damn seriously is not awful.

    Yet, since this is getting press, he instantly caves and fucks over two completely innocent parties; Valle, and the players who did well at Wednesday Night Fights.

    If you’re well-known to any extent, then at some point during the years, you’ll say or do something that is “offensive”, and God forbid the Political Correctness Machine decides you’re their next public execution.

    But in this case, Tom Cannon happily went above and beyond that, screwing over several innocent parties with no connection to Aris or his actions.

    Sad stuff.

    By the way, I liked Jim Sterling’s article; he did a good job as an outsider. In fact, I think he did a way better job than you, introducing a degree of NUANCE to his comments. I’m surprised that someone who is a part of the FGC like yourself was so black-and-white and simplistic in discussing this issue.

  15. @Mark

    Mark, you seem to have no interest in arguing in good faith! If you want to have a conversation, please stop assuming the worst case scenario off of everything I said. While I’m very much anti Aris, I went out of my way to point out that he’s not a lunatic, he’s a dude. Outside of one line, I don’t think I was being very black and white at all. Having a strong opinion is different from being black and white. I don’t assume the opposing side is all insane (as I said, they’re people). Do I actually think that everyone who supports Aris is a fuck up? No, not necessarily, but we do get to see a lot of fuckups because of it anyways.

    What I was, was casual and loose. I’m not Jim Sterling. I’m not a writer for a large blog. Fuck, I don’t even proof read half the time. I write little things for a very small following and manage my time accordingly. Now, this doesn’t make anything I write any better, but when you say Jim wrote something better, well… he’s a paid writer, I sure hope he would! So if you’re going to nitpick a bunch of things said casually, of course your going to find issues with what I said. But if you come and comment and go “Did you really mean this?”, I’ll probably go “whoops!” or specify what I meant more precisely or whatever.

  16. Heh, I don’t know whether to be impressed or disappointed that you don’t proof-read half the time!

    Anyways, perhaps I did assume and read too much into your words. I have been really disappointed by a lot of responses to this issue, which tend to be very polemical. I may have read more one-sidedness into your blog entry than you intended for there to be.

    On a related note, if you’re “very much anti Aris”, it would behoove you to expand upon that in the article. Which of his jokes do you felt crossed the line? Was it his general demeanor? His attitude as a whole?

    Would you still have a problem with it if Miranda told him to stop and he complied? It’s also hard to ignore that Miranda, in the video of her being “sexually harassed” on Day 1, is ostensibly laughing along with Aris’s jokes. Perhaps the laughter was a bit nervous and indicated a lack of comfort, but that’s a hard thing to pick up on, especially since Aris didn’t know Miranda beforehand. What do you think of that?

    These are all important questions to consider if you’re going to tackle the controversy.

    Instead, a lot of people (not you, specifically) simply treat “Aris is an evil, creepy, sexually harassing fuckface” as a pre-established fact as opposed to something that needs to be shown.

    Personally, I disagree with the quoted assertion. I think he is a cool guy who made a mistake and went too far with his words. My girlfriend thinks he did nothing wrong whatsoever. A more interesting discussion can be had on what you specifically felt Aris did that was unacceptable.

  17. Alright, I’m glad we can have a conversation now, as you definitely seemed to have a lot you wanted to say. As for the proof reading, I think a mix of both might be appropriate? It’s horridly unprofessional and I’m sorta embarrassed about it, but I’d rather say things than not say them at all. If I had more of a readership I’d probably try harder, but….. if I tried harder I might have more of a readership? Oh well, anyways…

    Lemme rephrase AGAIN. I’m not even necessarily “Anti Aris”. Outside of me hearing that he was thrown out of a previous event for sexual harassment makes me have some additional distaste for him, but I haven’t been able to find any proof on the matter, so….. yeah. I don’t think Aris is a boogey man or anything. I think a lot of other people put in that situation might have done the same thing. Heck, with how I talk to some of my female friends, a slightly different version of me could have done almost the same thing. What did upset me was the comments about how Sexual Harassment is part of the community. He apologized for that, but if it wasn’t for that comment, this whole thing probably wouldn’t have blown up so much. So I don’t think Aris is the devil or anything (hell, he seems like someone I’d have liked if I hung out with him), but isn’t a victim of the PC police either — when the mistakes were over and done with, he went the extra mile with some ill considered comments. As for the laughter and stuff, Aris is a pretty burly, scary dude and I’m pretty sure that’s a proven natural ‘defense mechanism’ when one’s afraid. Now we don’t know exactly what she said to Aris or what he said back or what she said to Capcom, so you can argue about how reasonable she was being, but again I think the point is more that when the issue came to ahead, Aris made it worse, be it through anger, stress or frustration. While I think filming her ass or asking her bra size is tasteless and unacceptable, I am mostly upset about him not complying with her requests to stop and more so for his comments after it was all said and done.

    I think more so the question is…. is this the side of the community we want to present to the world? I don’t care much what players do in unofficial capacities, but I think we need to hold our selves to higher standards when we’re acting as officials on camera. I’m not sure how I feel about the WNF fight thing, but stuff like that sorta have to happen. I think some sort of warning would be more effective and equally encouraged change from those involved (Because now people wanna keep their seed points), but I do thing Tom Cannon’s motives are sincere. I mean, you can call it a PR move, but it’s a bad PR move. He’s trading community good will to make a point, for better or for worse. I know some players who lost out are even okay with it (Off the top of my head, Fanatiq told me he felt it had to be done). I’m torn too, because they could have, for example, just banned Marn from EVO and less people would be hurt…. but at the same time that places an unfair standard on top players and is overly policing the community. Punishing LevelUp for letting him talk on air, while it sucks, is ultimately the better decision I think. If anyone is to be policed, it should be the small group of people who stream content and run tournaments and not the whole player base. It’s more reasonable to manage and execute and doesn’t infringe on the rights of players. We’ll have to wait and see to tell if this has a positive effect or gets out of hand.

    Hope you find that more agreeable. Conversations are easier to keep civil than essays, because when you say something someone thinks is out of line, they can bring it up right there for you to explain what you meant… rather than in an essay where you go on to continue with the same tone and assumptions on the readers views.

  18. “It’s horridly unprofessional and I’m sorta embarrassed about it,”

    I’m just really impressed by how few spelling, grammar, and syntax errors you have, taking that into context! Without proof-reading, some of my own comments/posts would look borderline retarded.

    “What did upset me was the comments about how Sexual Harassment is part of the community.”

    My own interpretation from watching that part of the stream was that Aris was incensed at Jared and did a very poor, foolish job of arguing his point. It’s happened to me, too; sometimes you’re just too damn passionate on a subject, and end up saying something really dumb you didn’t mean to.

    However, the essence of what Aris was saying (we don’t need political correctness completely altering the FGC culture) is something I agree with.

    This was reiterated in his later apology, where he made essentially the same argument, except in a lucid, eloquent, and agreeable manner.

    Keep in mind that Aris said some really clumsy and weird things about race in that same conversation, but no one has ever remotely accused him of being a racist.

    “He apologized for that, but if it wasn’t for that comment, this whole thing probably wouldn’t have blown up so much. ”

    Meh, I don’t know about that. It certainly added fuel to the fire, but in some of the news stories covering this, those comments didn’t even appear in the report. I think the Cross Assault controversy would have been a big deal, regardless.

    “but isn’t a victim of the PC police either”

    He’s not blameless, but the public indignation doesn’t fit the transgression. He made a mistake, but he didn’t commit a crime, or do anything morally repugnant. Had he actually put his hands on Miranda, or even been in charge of the camera (which he wasn’t, a fact which many commentators have ignored) that zoomed in on her thighs, that would be different.

    But he made the same type of sexual jokes he always has, with MEN (he went way further with Mike Ross on the same show, actually unbuttoning the guy’s shirt) as well as females, and just took this one too far.

    So I would say that he is a victim of the PC police.

    “While I think filming her ass or asking her bra size is tasteless and unacceptable, I am mostly upset about him not complying with her requests to stop and more so for his comments after it was all said and done.”

    I mostly agree with you, although I should again point out that Aris was not the person filming Miranda.

    As for the rest, I just can’t agree with anyone condoning Tom Cannon’s actions. There are tournament organizers who haven’t paid their players. Noel Brown basically sucker-punched SmoothViper at an event. (Isn’t it amusing how words are taken way more seriously than ACTIONS?!) And while I don’t believe this should be punished EITHER, there are numerous players who have said some legitimately racist things on stream.

    All of these legitimately hurt the community WAY more, but hey, there’s not some dumb Kotaku article being written about it! So Tom Cannon bows down to the pressure and goes out of his way to screw over some innocent parties that had nothing to do with the mess on top of it.

    And this ignores the main point; the commentators said absolutely nothing wrong!

    Your suggestion of banning Marn from Evo is ridiculous. His jokes were beyond mild and didn’t even reference Cross Assault, Aris, or Miranda directly. You want to ban a guy for saying “I’m offended!” on stream?

    I think you’re a smart guy and a good writer, and as a reader, it seems to me like you’re altering your own views on an issue because of what other people think.

    In a vacuum, I think there is zero chance you find the comments on the WNF stream offensive.

  19. Hey I didn’t know Aris didn’t have control of the camera. That’s news to me and I’ll stop perpetuating that piece of misinformation.

    Anyways I think, in a vacuum, none of this is particularly bad in general, especially if Aris shut up when Miranda told him to. It’s only a big deal because of how public it is. I’ll say that flat out. We have to be more careful with the parts of our community we show to the world. Also I didn’t think Marn should be banned. I just laid out the problem with going for a solution that involves hurting the least amount of people. This assumes what Marn said is offensive. The point isn’t “Marn should be banned” but “Assuming action is required, banning Marn would not have worked out well. Punishing Level Up was the only sensible action, assuming Marn acted out of line.

    Did he? Well, I admit I’m bias against Marn. Marn is a little shithead in general who always runs his mouth. I never enjoyed any dealings I had with Marn when I was helping to run NY tournaments. I’m not offended by his comments (let be honest, I’m a white dude. In the words of Louis C.K, “You can’t even hurt my feelings.”), but I thought they were really tasteless. I think it would have been fine for Tom to just go “NEVER LET MARN SPEAK. AGAIN. EVER”. That would have been my action in the situation.

    Dealing with this stuff is inherently unfair. I’ll say that flat out. Things often have to be pushed pretty hard for there to be any lasting effect. It sucks. It sucks fucking balls, I feel that it’s good that something is happening. I want the fighting game community to clean up it’s public face so it can be more accessible to people. As for the other stuff you brought up, that sucks too. That’s awful and we need to deal with it (especially paying players, that’s always terrible), but that doesn’t change the crisis at hand. Maybe we need more people getting offended ab out people not getting paid. No, we definitely need that, but that, I don’t think, means that we should drop whats going on now.

  20. In general, I agree with you about Marn. He says a lot of stupid shit that, among other things, hurts himself more than anyone else. However, that doesn’t mean he should be punished for his comments on the WNF stream. He may be a troublemaker who is often in the wrong, but in that specific instance, he was innocent.

    I’m not opposed to some change within the FGC, but what Tom Cannon did was clumsy, unfair, and might well enact more harm than good.

    If he were truly serious about changing the culture, he would start with a dozen more pressing, important issues, a few of which I mentioned above. Perhaps your own experiences are different, but in the Bay Area (where Miranda is from, incidentally), I find that female players are generally treated well. I believe the stuff with Aris is an isolated incident; one guy taking a joke too far. Keep in mind that it was a fairly unique environment too, different from a standard tournament.

    The only reason Tom Cannon did anything was because of all the sudden bad press the FGC received from the larger gaming media. And he didn’t even punish Aris; he punished Marn, Valle, Level-Up, and the prize-winners at WNF, all innocent parties in this case.

    Immediately bowing to negative outside pressure is an awful form of cowardice, especially while ignoring larger, more important problems in the FGC. Yes, the FGC can be vastly improved, but unfortunately, Cannon’s actions aren’t going to accomplish it.

    And by the way, if Cannon was truly serious about improving stream commentary, he could, among other things, write up a set of general guidelines for all SRK-affiliated events to follow. This would be clearer, fairer, and better than punishing an event for its commentators sarcastically saying “I’m offended!” a few times during a stream. But surprise surprise, he hasn’t done this.

    Anyways, you have a fair amount of experience with running and playing in tournaments, so it was interesting to hear your thoughts about these matters.

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