I play a game called World of Warcraft…

September 16th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , ,

I play a game called World of Warcraft in which people of all shapes and sizes, colors and ethnicities, and gender also play. In the game, there is an awful lot of killing of virtual monsters and bad guys. I love killing stuff in the game. I kill all sorts of stuff from other people’s characters, to animals, and I’ve been known go to a little crazy with the turkey killing. But at no point have I ever raped someone… in game or otherwise.

So today I want to discuss something that has floated around the internet for quite some time now. The use of the word rape within the gaming community is nothing new. The terminology of the gaming community varies and shifts and wanes. It’s this one term, “rape” that bothers me. It bothers me a lot. Actually, it downright enrages me! What I’m talking about is using the term “rape” to describe killing, attacking, besting, pwning, etc another character, player, NPC or, well, anything in the game for that matter.

It wasn’t that long ago that there was a huge stink over Penny Arcade’s use of the word rape in a comic. In my opinion, I find that I side much more with Shakesville moreso than Tycho and Gabe. Their response to the accusation was so much more disheatening than the original comic was. It’s infuriating. I’ll get to the reasons why, I promise.

Last night I was on my Druid, doing what she does, healing the crap outta some people in Ulduar, while we were there specifically to get Glory to the Ulduar Raider (10) achievements. In the middle of all of this, as we’re attempting to get Crazy Cat Lady, someone jokes about raping another raid member in Vent. There were a handful of chuckles, but it wasn’t until someone said, “There’s no such thing as rape” that I started to be offended. Deeply. I had raided the previous week with many of the same people and looked forward to working on getting my dragon mount. Many of them were in the same guild. There were a handful of raid members who were not part of their guild or my own.

First, a rule has long since been established within my current guild on Eldre’Thalas that you are not allowed to use the term “rape” in reference to anything in the game. Why? Because it trivializes the experience for any and all who are victims and/or survivors. It lessens their trauma to something funny in a virtual game.

Second, I don’t know these people personally. I know a lot of my guild members personally. I could tell you personal details of their lives. I didn’t want to cause a big stink immediately upon it happening, but I did say something, to the raid leader. As the conversation continued in whisper with him, his wife also whispered me about my discomfort about how the term was being tossed about.

The icing on the cake was when someone said “It’s not rape until the check bounces.” Alright guy. Now, I’m pissed. I was tolerable, and even consolable before. A mere mention to maybe back off would have been okay. But that… that takes the fuckin’ cake sir. And I will not sit down and take that from anyone.

At the end of the raid, when there was talk about continuing later in the week to get more achievements, the raid leader I whispered brought up the issue in Vent. Calmly, he said “Also, there’s something else I want to bring up. There are ladies in the group and some of them were offended by the use of the word rape.” Some of the younger men piped up about how it was “funny” and it was only a “joke”. Keep in mind, I hadn’t spoken at all on these strangers vent. Never intended to. I keep my gender a secret in the game because WoW is filled with so many misogynists that I’d rather be judged on my ability to keep your ass alive than on the female tone of my voice. Or my apparent lack of a penis between my legs.

I pressed the button. I spoke the first and only time to these strangers. I was hot and pissed, and fists were clenched. I explained that rape is not funny. Will never be funny. That it’s offensive and horrible to hear the term be thrown about as though it were some hilarious aside. I was angry. Shaking with clenched fists angry. I felt my face get hot, my voice get shaky, and tears flowed down my face. My heart raced as I wished death upon the asshole who thought it was funny to joke about bouncing checks constituting rape.

One guy, in response to me said, “I’ve never been raped, so since I’ve never experienced it, it’s just funny to me.”

*blinks* Rly?

By this point I was seeing red. I was flaming pissed off and I yelled into the microphone that it is not funny and will never be funny. Someone said “Alright, let’s bring this down a little bit or I’m going to start kicking people.” At which point I left the vent. I dropped the raid. And I whispered the raid leader that I’d like to not ever be invited to anything they were doing again. And to please forget I existed. He apologized, again. Said I was good heals and I didn’t hear back from him again. The RLs wife was whispering me about how she understood where I was coming from and reassured me that the one’s making the comments were not guild members. Except, one of them was.

He took offense to my stating that he was less likely to be raped because of his penis, and that he doesn’t believe that women’s bodies react involuntarily. When in fact, the only difference between a man’s body reacting to unwanted sexual stimulation and a woman’s body reacting to unwanted sexual stimulation is the fact that a man’s bodily response is much easier to detect.

Many sexual abuse survivors have trouble dealing with the fact that their body was sexually stimulated and felt aroused during the abuse. They may feel guilty and ashamed that they responded to the stimulation, and confused about why they did.
- “Sexual Feelings During Sexual Abuse” by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist, 2004

So please, don’t patronize me with your false sense of education. Fury Warrior with no brain, you’re wrong. There is such a thing as rape, and the body will respond whether you like it or not. This is exactly how men are raped… just much less often than women.

Now, Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon.net talks about the way Tycho and Gabe reacted to the outcry of insensitivity on their part. Amanda talks both about the original comic, Shakesville’s reaction, and in turn the Penny Arcade response.

I found the blog post an annoying rationalization for disliking humor in general, which the blogger admits she does.  I find the “but rape is real!” argument against jokes of this nature to be a disingenuous one.  Slavery is also real, as is murder and general violence.

I will not discount that slavery and murder and general violence aren’t real. They very much are. The biggest difference between rape and those other horrible acts are that none of them specifically target one gender moreso than another. Physiologically, women are at a disadvantage. We’re made softer, smaller, less agile and less strong. Don’t give me the crap about women body builders, because that is not the general rule with women. There are always exceptions to every rule. For the most part most men can overpower, by sheer strength, most women.

Let’s take a look at murder first. According to FBI.gov, there were 13,636 murder victims in 2009. The U.S population is roughly 307,006,550 as of July 2009, according to Google Public Data. That makes it 4.44% of the total population is a victim of murder. Yes, most murder victims are male, but men are more likely to commit violent acts or be involved in violent acts (and an entirely separate issue altogether). That means, generously, 1 in 20 people you see on the street could be a murder victim.

Now let’s look at slavery and try to put it into perspective. Between the years 1776 and 1800, “A yearly average of 74,000 slaves were imported for the American colonies, or a total of 1,850,000“. That’s a helluva lot of people. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t agree with slavery, but I can’t pretend it didn’t happen either. Many numbers stop around 1860 regarding the number of slaves, which makes it nearly impossible to put it into modern terms. Roughly 47% of the lower southern states were slaves. 29% of the upper southern states had slaves. Those are pretty high numbers, but nothing within the last hundred or so years. Certainly nothing with the last few years.

Then we have rape. 1 in 6 women are victims of an attempted or completed rape. That’s 16.67% of women. Compared to 1 in 33 for men (3.03%). Comparing slavery from hundreds of years ago, and murder (where the U.S. is #24 worldwide) to rape (where the U.S. is #1 worldwide) is deplorable. The total number of murders is a fraction of the total number of rapes against women.

So when I asked you, random strangers on some other guild’s vent, to please refrain from using the term rape, a simple “Okay” would have been sufficient. I received a whisper from someone else who was there during all of it as well, and he said he was sorry. He apologized and said he’d stop using the term. Informed me his sister had almost been raped. I replied with “I’m really sorry to hear that.” And I genuinely was.

Would it have been any less funny if I told you I was raped? If I were a victim or a survivor? Would it have been less funny if you found out your mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, best friend’s mom, cousin, whatever had been raped? Or is it still HILARIOUS because you yourself have never been raped? Sometimes, it’s not about you. Sometimes it’s about the fact that you are trivializing the experience. Making jokes doesn’t make it less serious. Making jokes doesn’t make it not happen. The truth remains that every 2 minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.

Some of the problem is that as women and men, we’ve allowed this to be socially acceptable within our favorite games. The anonymity of the internet has allowed more and more people to be bigger and bigger assholes. Women who play video games have been treated as though we are incapable of playing our characters without a man to run along side of us. Many women don’t broadcast their gender within the game where men play female characters. They let people assume whatever they will, rather than deal with the chastisement of “OMG, UR NOT RLY A GURL!!” (if you think people haven’t said or typed this exact thing to me, you’re fooling yourself).

Women, the only thing I can ask of you is to stop tolerating this. Don’t let it go. What I said to the player who told me his sister was almost raped was “If you stop saying it, then I’m happy. I made a difference with one person.” That’s one less person who’s going to use “rape”. Say something. It has to stop.

Men, I have to ask that you not sit on your laurels and let it happen. If you look at your wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers, and find that rape is funny if it involves one of them, then by all means, let your brothers’ in arms go about their raping ways. If the very thought of someone YOU love being raped is not even the least bit funny, stop it from happening. Say something. Women aren’t taken as seriously in WoW as men are, so it’s up to you to help make a difference.

This isn’t about freedom of speech. This is about changing the meaning of a word that in and of itself describes a very violent act. You’re free to talk about killing all the virtual monsters you want to. But you’re not raping them. Rape doesn’t happen in WoW. It happens in real life. It’s not funny. It never will be.


41 Responses to “I play a game called World of Warcraft…”

  1. Rezicca on September 16, 2010 3:39 pm

    Bravo. That was very well written, and I may have to post this post about the internet, with your permission of course.

    I’ve heard that one in four girls is sexually assaulted by the time they’ve reached the age of 18. That’s..not cool. Not at all.

    I thank you for speaking up and yelling at the arses. I thank you for posting this, too.

  2. Tweets that mention I play a game called World of Warcraft… at In a state of thixotropy -- Topsy.com on September 16, 2010 4:04 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lee, Hestiah. Hestiah said: Blog: I play a came called World of Warcraft http://bit.ly/9eRBXn (I just couldn't keep my mouth shut, I couldn't) [...]

  3. Lee on September 16, 2010 4:18 pm

    @Rezicca Please do repost it. Share it. Give it out. Print it and hand it out at guild events. Whatever you need to do. Whatever it takes. And thank you for the kind words. :)

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    [...] post: I play a game called World of Warcraft… at In a state of thixotropyEffective World of Warcraft Jewelcrafting Guide – Vision Casters [...]

  5. Osephala on September 18, 2010 10:38 am

    I really want to commend you for posting a blog like this. It makes me livid when I see people saying that in game or on vent. I will share your blog post because it’s amazing. :)

  6. Daey on September 18, 2010 11:12 am

    Just to play devil’s advocate here….

    While, yes, these people were definitely out of line with the way they used the word and their continuation of treating it as a joke, there is also an assumption that anytime people say rape that is what they are referring to.

    Straight from the dictionary:
    an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.

    When used in this connotation, the word rape is actually quite applicable to what we do in WoW. (And before you jump on me, my sister has been raped, as well as my mother been molested as a child, so I’m not nieve to the situation)

    Abortion is a very touchy subject, as well, to anyone that has gone through it, and yet, should NASA, the military, the world, stop saying “ABORT THE MISSION?”

  7. amber on September 18, 2010 12:43 pm

    If you can’t handle being poorly treated in a VIDEO GAME, then collect your broken hearts and go create a woman’s game where you can shop, and paint your nails, and like omg get your hair done! Halo, Wow, Starcraft, WHATEVER, everyone is treated the same, if you suck you suck, if you make a big deal out of everything then your gonna get mocked at… there’s many different places to play the game so pick one that you like…

    Sensitive women who don’t think it’s funny when things aren’t taken seriously need to lighten up OR don’t play with that group anymore. I see that statistic all the time, 1 in 4 girls. If that statistic is so huge then I guarantee you they are going to counseling for it.

    I’m a girl posting this and I couldn’t give a crap what people say because you can’t control what people say or think, everyone thinks differently and no one person or a group of people will be able to shape society into what they want because you’ll always have rebels. You’re trying to change the way the game plays because, soon, we won’t be able to say curse words or body parts because it could offend someone. Just like the “Abort the mission” comment from above, it may not be that dramatic at first but it could end up that way.

    Oh and by the way, I was raped too. By my DAD. I still think it’s hilarious.. you know why? Because I’ve learned it’s a part of life and you have to move on and learn from that experience.. if you’re still broken up about it then you need to go see a counselor so you can deal with your emotions. If you go play halo you’ll have plenty of chicks telling you that you just got “raped” because we play just as dirty as the guys do. I’m not trying to take away from the experience it sucks, it’s an incredibly awful experience.. but take it from Van Wilder, “Can’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive!”

  8. Rich Jones on September 18, 2010 12:49 pm

    This entire conversation is pathetic. Why is it that every time I turn around I find some chick talkin about how pathetic men are. I know a woman that has used her husband for a sperm bank and to support her so she didn’t have to work so she could post about how much men suck all the time. They are now gettin divorced cause she just remembered that she has been a lesbian since she was 16. I really wish that people would lighten the hell up and realize that we don’t need you to be our moral authority. It’s a video game. Not the end of the world. If someone was threatening to come break down your door and actually do it I’d be right behind you! They aren’t so shut the hell up.

  9. Amberleigh on September 18, 2010 1:01 pm

    First, I must say that your speech is eloquent and can easily make others see your point of view. However, I do not.
    So explain this to me… you’re angry over someone using the word “rape” in a video game? Do you read books? Do you watch TV? If you honestly think that blogging about how you feel when someone used the word rape in a game that was initially pretty much targeted towards guys (no offense), you got another thing coming. The world is full of insensitive pricks and people who like to push your buttons. The world is pretty much still considered a “male dominated” place, and because you got pissed off because someone joked about raping another player in a VIDEO GAME, then you really need a life and you need to get off that computer and go see the sunshine. You obviously take everything entirely too personal, and you probably need to delete your WOW account and remove the game from your hard drive and forget the game ever existed. The word rape will be used all around you the rest of your life, so you may wanna just go ahead and put your big girl panties on and deal with it.

  10. Justin on September 18, 2010 2:09 pm

    Wow.
    Just . . . wow.
    After some of the things I’ve heard Rick talk about, I kinda expected something like this from him, but from my sister, too? That’s pretty fucked up. I almost think that’s not really my sister posting. The sister I remember having was mortified that she was raped by her father, and angry and brokenhearted over it. I don’t remember her taking it so lightheartedly. As far as the situation of using rape in WoW, I agree with the OP, and how it should be at the absolute minimum a polite courtesy NOT to use the word. We’re playing a game of magic and good versus evil. Not a game of comparative morality. And as far as all these other opinions are concerned, you obviously don’t really pay much attention to anything outside of your personal bubbles. This is deeply hurtful to me as I feel that anything you think on the computer, you’ll easily blurt out to people to their faces. That’s just disrespectful and belligerent. I’m still reeling from those comments.

  11. Brian on September 18, 2010 2:42 pm

    It’s pretty obvious to see who the jackasses of society are just by looking at this thread.

  12. Osephala on September 18, 2010 2:58 pm

    After reading the comments above, made by women, I am truly saddened that they would even think that way. How unfortunate for them.

  13. amber on September 18, 2010 4:08 pm

    Well, apparently I and Rick are the bad guys here.. sorry if you misinterpreted that I said “Rape is Cool add it to your to do list.” Because I didn’t. I even said later that I didn’t condone it. But I also probably should have said that if you feel so strongly about something say it and THEN leave. I can imagine the people that say “Rape” in the games are probably acne covered teenage boys and girls who have a low self esteem and don’t understand how hurtful their comments can be, and they probably won’t care if anyone says anything anyway. And thanks Brian, I like being a jackass. :) Justin, don’t forget, I used to play games online, and I did say stuff about being offended, BUT I left!! And then didn’t get upset when people told me I overreacted. Besides, it looks like your sister is learning to let that control go and live her life in a fun and easy going, not so serious, manner. I think everyone should lighten up a bit. Also, I like the way I think and I don’t feel unfortunate at all and I can most likely speak for the other women who are unfortunate and say that they agree wholeheartedly with their ideas.

  14. Lee on September 19, 2010 12:25 pm

    First of all, amber, you don’t know me, so please don’t pretend to speak for all rape victims and survivors when you say that you’re okay with people talking like that in a video game. And surely don’t assume you know a thing about me if you believe that I’m a nail polish paintin’ and getting my hair done kinda gal. You don’t know me. You don’t know a thing about me. So please remember that you came here to voice your opinion, which you are entitled to, but don’t go around assuming you know a fuckin’ thing about me. If you’re over what happened to you then good for you. I commend you for your bravery and your strength. Don’t think for a second the the rest of the world needs to live up to your expectations for yourself. I have ever right to work, live, play in an environment that is not riddled with bullshit on a regular basis. It’s obvious that many of you read the first handful of paragraphs and immediately went to comment. That’s okay. I can’t expect the rest of the world to be as literate as me either. Nor can I expect that people would ACTUALLY tap on a link and see where I was getting my information. That’s far too much information, but whatever.

    Daey, Please don’t go quoting a dictionary forgetting to mention or note anything but the part you want in an attempt to make your point. That PORTION of the definition was the 4th on the list. There were 3 other’s above that. Generally speaking, they list the meanings of a word in order of most common usage, but I wouldn’t expect you to give a shit about that now, based on the way you tried to make your point. How about the rest of the definition, including all of the stuff you so interestingly tried to leave out.

    “–noun
    1. the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
    2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
    3. statutory rape.
    4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
    5. Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.”

    Also, your straw man argument over using “abort” in defense of the casual use of the word “rape” is pathetic. It’s evident that you care very little for what happens to women, enough that you trivialize rape to something equivalent to something that is a conscious choice. Abortions don’t “just happen” regardless of your religious beliefs. They’re not on trial here. And truthfully, I don’t care. The biggest issue I have with this is you’re comparing aborting a space mission to being raped. Are you now implying that women, by the very virtue of being female and having a vagina, are asking to be raped? That there is pretty much nothing we can do about it, because if shit goes wrong, let’s rape them all? Because when are missions aborted? When things go wrong. When it puts another’s life in danger. At what point is rape even remotely close to abortion. Abortion of a fetus is conscious and a choice. It’s not done against the woman’s wishes and it surely doesn’t mean that a women is overpowered and forced into an abortion in the same way that rape is. Nice try though, attempting to sound like a big sensitive man. You failed, miserably.

    Amberleigh, The problem with your complacency is that you’re accepting being treated like a second class citizen. That according to your “accept it, it’s how it is” mentality, I should also accept that it’s okay for men to rape. The majority of the women being raped are being done so by people they know… not by stranger. Not by some unseen scruffy attacked in the dark cover of the night. By people they know. Amber above you stated she was raped by her own father. I don’t take her situation too lightly. What I take lightly is the ambivalence of people like you. Who believe that women should roll over and accept it. Is it you who also believe that we should discriminate against people? That it’s okay to call people “gooks” “kikes” “fags” and “nigger” as well? Because in a game in which you don’t know who’s on the other end, the utmost respect should be handed to each person you encounter.

    This isn’t some magical science. It’s about respect. Justin makes a very valid point. People who act that way in a video game are probably reflecting who they are in real life.

    And to sit here and think that people aren’t stalking people, or trying to hurt them in ridiculous. If I need to (and I may add it later) I’ll find the links of women who have been stalked by guild mates. Situations that could have turned ugly, but were it not for the kindness of others, did not. When you trivialize something like the word “rape” you make it more okay. When you don’t stop people from using it in such a way, you take away the meaning of the word. When years from now, when all of the 8 and 9 year olds are grown up and have spent the better part of their lives playing Halo and WoW (or any of those types of games) hearing “rape” bandied about like it didn’t matter. And they force themselves onto another person (statistically likely to be female), do you believe that taking such a casual and apathetic approach that the court of law will see “I used it in game all the time and it didn’t matter. I figured if it was okay there, then it was okay in real life.”

    Don’t think for a second that all humans, and all people, are able to so easily differentiate between video games and real life. The two are becoming so much intertwined that it’s difficult to remove one from the other. Good luck with that. And please let me know how you’re loved ones feel about throwing the word “rape” about like it means nothing. Bring it up at the dinner table. I’m sure everyone would love to hear your horrifically skewed view on the topic.

  15. amber on September 19, 2010 1:24 pm

    Ok, well, Lee.. since you have the longest entry aside from the blog, YOU WIN! good job! here’s a cookie! Side note: I’m only being a smartass because you called me out, so I called you out. Now, let me go ahead and say sorry for those of you who were offended by what I said in the “get your hair done paint your nails” kind of comment. I was a little upset about this blog and found it a little too serious.. but by offering up my side of this point, which I have a right to do because I was raped, that I can show there are people out there that can move on into life without reliving those horrifying moments. I also didn’t say a damn word about telling women to live up to my expectations, I like how you assume shit. I simply said get the help you need. Now with that said, people also like me, and also the ones that are still upset about the word rape, should also consider that it is a video game. Video games are not meant to be serious. They are games, and when you don’t have fun in the game well then it’s not fun to play anymore. No one is implying that because women have vaginas that SURE go ahead and rape them because that’s what it’s there for, right? NO. Everyone is meant to be treated equally and no one should have to put up with BS. Justin makes a very good point and despite the argument we had over this just last night, I love him and still consider his voice, even when it was against me. When he said “it’s a game with magic of good versus evil.” that should be it. So I’m not against you just because I feel like arguing. About your 8 or 9 year olds grown up and playing the game, I hope to GOD that parents today understand how important schooling is and how video games can hinder their growth in school. But seeing as how most parents today spend their lives in the games or doing some sort of drug, that parent isn’t showing their child that real life and games are different. When people are that caught up in a game, I see it as the same as the drug, you are addicted. You’re also implying that parents won’t give them the knowledge they need to understand the difference between “raping” them in a video game and rape in real life. Again, I really hope children won’t be just gallivanting around willy nilly doing what the fuck they want to because you assume parents around the world won’t give a shit. I give parents more credit than that, not much but it’s there.

    I want to apologize for throwing my “awkward and horrible views” onto this blog. To whoever wrote it, I didn’t mean for it to get this out of hand. But looks to me like it would have anyway without my help. Sorry.

  16. Lee on September 19, 2010 1:36 pm

    Amber, Your sarcasm and piss poor attitude is unappreciated. It was your initial attitude that caused a problem with me. You assumed I was *one* of those girls. You assumed that just because you’re okay today, that everyone should just move on with their lives. Not everyone is that strong, not everyone has that kind of support, and not everyone is able to cope or deal. Kudos to you, really, for being able to put your life back together, but please don’t sit here and ASSUME in my space that you know anything more than your own experiences and education. Because you don’t. I took my negative tone with you because of your condescending attitude you had from the start. It is my place, I can always just delete the things you say. Hell I can edit them to say whatever I want, truthfully. You came here, I pay for it, so I can do whatever I want. Out of respect for you and your opinion I didn’t. You sure do give parents an awful lot of credit.

    If you comment something snarky and rude again I will remove your comments and make every effort to block your IP from being able to post. Go away. You weren’t invited here in the first place, least of all by me. Take your bad attitude elsewhere. Or better yet, create your own blog with your own money so you can talk shit about whomever you want whenever you want… cause truthfully, I don’t know you. And at this point, I don’t care to. From the little bit I’ve seen of you you have a bad attitude, assume all women are nail paintin’, gettin’ your hair done people, and that the entire female population should just “get over it”. Grow up. Really. And find somewhere else to spread your filth.

  17. Shteevie on September 19, 2010 3:54 pm

    Rich and Amber are great examples of the lowest kind of human. These people spread negativity for the sake of negativity, then go on insisting that the world will always be a horrid place that we all need to come to accept.

    Turns out they have the causality backwards. The world, or at least the parts that surround them, are horrid because of their negativity. Their attitudes will never allow them to rise above any hardship, and they will continue to sink further towards the bottom.

    Do us a favor and get comfy in the silt and mud. Let it soak in and clog your mouth and nose, that the rest of us who retain a portion of our decency don’t have to listen to your keening.

  18. Rezicca on September 19, 2010 4:07 pm

    This is just…disgusting, what people are saying. Maybe, as both a survivor and a feminist, I just lack the mental capacity to understand why people would get so uppity over Lee talking about why rape is wrong to joke about.

    Not everyone receives counseling for it.

    Lee, don’t let these poor excuses for people get you down. You’re doing the right thing.

  19. Osephala on September 19, 2010 4:22 pm

    I think what Amber is failing to grasp is that it’s not the game that offends. It’s the words spoken or typed by those that play the game that offend. Should I not play a video game that I play with my friends because I am offended by complete strangers? No. Those people who speak so violently or disgustingly get reported and put on ignore. I move on. I do, however, think that the subject of the insulting ways that people speak to others in game need to be talked about. If someone is fine about they way they are spoken too, yes I do find this unfortunate, because they deserve better. It’s not okay to use the term “rape” in a video game or anywhere else while using it in such a lax way. That is SO disrespectful to those who have been violated in that way and I would think that especially a victim of such a violent act would agree. I think it’s kind of sad that you are okay with people talking that way at all. I sure as hell am not and I am a victim myself. You are entitled to think however you like, but please don’t say it’s okay for all victims to feel the same that you feel. And please understand that this is not about the video game, it’s the people, not the game. I’m not sure why you keep bringing it up, actually.

  20. Amberleigh on September 19, 2010 4:29 pm

    Lee;
    I’m not complacent about it. I just don’t give a damn because I know I’m a better person than most men I meet and know, so I don’t need anyone to tell me “Hey sweetie, it’s okay, you are equal to me.”
    Actions speak louder than words in this world. Men think they are so much better than women, so they throw words around to sound tough. And women get bent out of shape over the words and that to me is weakness. I don’t care what you say about me, because I’m better than you :)
    F*ck you very much, have a great day.

  21. Osephala on September 19, 2010 4:38 pm

    @Amberleigh. It’s attitudes like your’s that are hurtful to yourself and other people. I think you need to do a little growing up.

  22. Lee on September 19, 2010 4:38 pm

    “Definition of COMPLACENCY

    1: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
    2: an instance of complacency”

    “The world is pretty much still considered a “male dominated” place, and because you got pissed off because someone joked about raping another player in a VIDEO GAME, then you really need a life and you need to get off that computer and go see the sunshine.”

    That, my dear, is complacency. You are welcome to believe whatever you want about yourself, but it seems someone doth protest too much. Very humble, btw, saying you’re better than someone you don’t even know. I’m sure that’s exactly what people think.

  23. Rich on September 19, 2010 5:11 pm

    Why the hell are you guys still talkin shit on a blog? If a few comments are totally destroying your little world maybe it’s you who are pathetic. We’re such bastards but you guys continue to resort to name calling and what not. I apologized for my out of line comment to Emily and will do so again now. I’m very very sorry. It was out of line. But callin me an asshole and saying I’m the lowest class of person is just as unnecessary. Why is it that you are champions for justice when someone says something you don’t like and you have no problem resorting to the “lower” tactics to make your point? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical? Seriously?

  24. Lee on September 19, 2010 5:29 pm

    @Rich, You’re assumption that a handful of comments are destroying people’s world is kind of assuming that what you think means that much to them, isn’t it? I didn’t even address your comment because it was so out in left field. In no way was I telling anyone what they should do. I asked kindly for women and men to stop doing this and to stop those around them from doing it. Period.

    You came here, you were not invited. I did not ask you to comment or say anything. You chose to, which is your right. I can also delete what you say and put in there that you like puppies and taking a hard one up the ass too, but I didn’t resort to childish tactics.

    You, however, came here saying “This entire conversation is pathetic.”

    You came here accusing me and other women of calling men pathetic. In no way did I ever state that men were pathetic, unlike what you’re take on this was. Men commit rape almost all of the time. Does this mean that ALL men are rapists? Absolutely not. In any way did I say that men were pathetic creatures who should listen to everything women say? Nope, didn’t say that either.

    “I know a woman that has used her husband for a sperm bank and to support her so she didn’t have to work so she could post about how much men suck all the time.”

    This is unfortunate. However, you forget that men use women too. This scenario is terrible on its own, but in no way does this have ANYTHING to do with rape or its use of the term in video games. You turned this blog into something entirely different, set on your own agenda. No one did this to you, you did this to yourself.

    “If someone was threatening to come break down your door and actually do it I’d be right behind you! They aren’t so shut the hell up.”

    Again, you came here. You came here to tell me to shut the hell up because I’m speaking out about the trivialization of the use of the term rape in video games, and I’m the pathetic one??

    You’re backhanded apology doesn’t count if there’s a “but”. You’re either sorry for the assholey comments you made or the terrible attempt to turn my blog into something it really wasn’t or you’re not. You don’t get to sit here and say “I extend an apology but everyone else is acting like children so why am I getting in trouble for it.” Doesn’t work. Not here, not anywhere. This isn’t an eye for an eye discussion. You acted like an asshole, you were called out for being an asshole, and you continue to try to be an asshole in an apologetic attempt. Which, by the way, you failed. Apology not accepted. Especially because you’re apology was only issued after you realized you hurt someone else’s feelings, rather than realizing you were being a dick.

    @Shteevie had a very valid point. You, Rich, amber and Amberleigh are prime examples of why this sort of thing has been allowed to go on for so long, regardless of how it makes anyone else feel. You shouldn’t have needed to apologize to Emily, because you shouldn’t have acted like a selfish child in the first place. This wasn’t about you. This was about people like her. People with whom you call friends, family members, girlfriends, lovers, guild mates, etc. This isn’t about some chick who used a guy to have a baby to declare she was actually gay. This is about using a very serious word like rape in such a way that it hurts and demeans others.

    If you don’t want people to call you out on your bullshit, then maybe don’t use MY blog as your place to spread bullshit in the first place?? Just a thought.

  25. Osephala on September 19, 2010 5:40 pm

    @Rich – I don’t accept your pathetic attempt at an apology. I am pretty sure you are trying to make yourself look better, maybe, by giving a false apology and frankly, you couldn’t make yourself look better, because of all the childish drama you are bringing to a blog that you only came to try and insult and humiliate me. You need to take a good, long look at yourself and figure out why you are so vile and hateful. This is all I will say to you and I would appreciate it if you never spoke to me again. And no, it has nothing to do with you being a man. It has everything to do with you being the lowest of low.

  26. Lee on September 19, 2010 6:00 pm

    Also, another thing… thinking about parenting… since when did the golden rule of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” go out the window? The moment you hit adulthoood? Because this is a blog on the internet those rules don’t apply?

    @Rich, @amber, @Daey, @Amberleigh, Not only did I **not** invite you to come here to spread your filth, but I sure as hell did not ask that you say anything. If you were brought here because of @Osephala, and don’t agree with what I said, you’re welcome to your opinion. But don’t for a second think that because this is on the internet that you have any right to judge me or my friends.

    Not only have each of you proven that you’re unwilling to see anything more than the close-minded beliefs you’ve been raised with, but you want to sit here and tell me that your own children will be raised right after seeing the kind of crap you’re throwing in a stranger’s face? I imagine you feel entitled to the fact that you can say whatever you want wherever you want, damn the repercussions.

    Except, like I’ve said, I could easily change each and every comment here to reflect whatever I damn well please. I could say @Rich loves little boys like priests do. I could change @amber’s response to say she made it all up.

    Except, unlike all of you who came here in an attempt to belittle and undermine me, I don’t need to change a single word for the world to see what pathetic excuses of humans you are. You’ve done a right fine job of it yourself. This was you being exactly who you are. Damned the repercussions or the way it affects anyone else. That is selfish and childish.

  27. Amber on September 19, 2010 6:19 pm

    Just to let you know, I didn’t come here out of anger. I read your comment and realize this has gotten out of hand. I know if I can’t say anything nice you’ll block my IP and I won’t be able to express my point. So I’m taking the calm approach. I don’t want to be mean and I’m going to try to make my comments sound as neutral as possible.

    Rick and I have apologized, Rick more than once, out of the blog and on it. He admitted that his emotions got out of hand. But people are now suggesting that we are low lives because we disagree with something you said. Whether we were mean about it or not. And yes at first we were..

    Remember when you said you didn’t like when people assumed that they knew you? Isn’t that what you did here?

    “I can also delete what you say and put in there that you like puppies and taking a hard one up the ass too, but I didn’t resort to childish tactics.”

    I know for a fact that he doesn’t like “taking a hard one up the ass” because he’s my boyfriend. I thought we were talking about rape in a video game and now we are attacking the people that don’t agree with you. Now, because he doesn’t like it up the ass, wouldn’t that mean that is unwelcome and would be rape? And guys can get raped too by the way but nothing was said in this blog about that.

    Like I said before, he apologized, so did I. I feel like we are still being attacked based on our personal opinions, after the apology. This is something everyone does; say something, realize it was hurtful, then ask for forgiveness on the matter.

    I want to tell you what I did agree on. Using the word rape in such a meaningless way to a victim is upsetting. Yes, but what I was saying is that i personally, have come to terms with my issues and I’m not letting it control my life. I just wanted to come out and give the other side of this opinion. I even think you did the right thing by saying something to the leader and getting the hell out!! But my point on the matter was that people are going to be insensitive anyway and you really can’t do anything about it. I guarantee those guys that were making those jokes are continuing to do so because they got away with pushing your buttons.

    I really was trying to apologize up there about my attitude. I really do let my emotions get the best of me, which is what happens with a lot of people. So now that I have said cruel things and see that I was wrong to say them quite in that manner, I apologize for that.

  28. Lee on September 19, 2010 6:53 pm

    Actually, Amber, if you bothered to READ the blog post you would know that I did mention that men can be raped. I also mention that human bodies react to sexual attention even if it’s unwanted sexual attention. I mentioned the statistic of men being raped.

    I find it funny that you’re focusing on something I could do, in a comment, were I an uncivilized human who didn’t give a shit about other people’s feelings. How is changing his comment to “I like taking one up the ass” an implication of rape? I didn’t say he liked to take it up the ass unwillingly, or against his choice. I stated, simply that I have the power to change what is in the comments.

    No, I am not acting in the way you are. You put yourself out there. You put here what you’re true colors were. No one forced you to post. No one forced you to comment. You commented on your own free will, and you both were assholes about it. My point was that I could make you look like a bigger idiot, but there’s no need. You did a damn good job of doing that on your own.

    No you were not apologizing. Neither was Rich. “Ok, well, Lee.. since you have the longest entry aside from the blog, YOU WIN! good job! here’s a cookie!” This is not an apology. That is being childish and ridiculous.

    I will say I appreciate you acting like an adult in this most recent comment. I really do. Though it doesn’t erase what you’ve said or how you’ve acted. Had you used the same tone of voice in the previous comments as you did there, then I would never have felt the need to call you on your crap.

    “But my point on the matter was that people are going to be insensitive anyway and you really can’t do anything about it.”

    This is actually the whole point of my blog, which you failed to read in it’s entirety. You CAN change things. You can stop people from being this way. You can ask your friends first, then ask that they stop the behavior and in turn ask them to call people out on it. It CAN be changed. There was a point in American history when it was okay to have slaves and treat African Americans (or any minority for that matter) as second class citizens. Hell, women were treated as second class citizens.

    MY POINT IS THAT WE SHOULDN’T ALLOW THIS! As Americans and as humans, we shouldn’t allow this stuff to go on.

    “This is something everyone does; say something, realize it was hurtful, then ask for forgiveness on the matter.”

    No. You should have thought about the consequences of your words and actions PRIOR to voicing an opinion. Especially when you FAILED TO READ THE BLOG IN THE FIRST PLACE!

  29. Amber on September 19, 2010 7:16 pm

    So you think about every single thing that comes out of your mouth and never messed up and asked for forgiveness? So you’ve perfected your speech?

    Did you not see where I actually said I was sorry?!

    “I want to apologize for throwing my “awkward and horrible views” onto this blog. To whoever wrote it, I didn’t mean for it to get this out of hand. But looks to me like it would have anyway without my help. Sorry.”

    That was my first attempt.

    “I really was trying to apologize up there about my attitude. I really do let my emotions get the best of me, which is what happens with a lot of people. So now that I have said cruel things and see that I was wrong to say them quite in that manner, I apologize for that.”

    That was my second attempt.

    I see where I jumped the gun!!! I’m trying to apologize!!! I admit to being an asshole!

    Apparently people aren’t allowed to make mistakes on this thing. By failing to actually acknowledge the part where we both said “I’m sorry,” you’ve proven my point. I was actually trying to calm things down. But all you see is red now. So I’m done.

  30. Lee on September 19, 2010 7:36 pm

    Amber, That’s the thing though. Have I ever opened my mouth and immediately regretted teh dum that came out of it? Yes, absolutely. I’m not claiming to be perfect. But never would I ever walk into your home, sit at your dinner table and proceed to call you pathetic and tell you how wrong you are and to shut the fuck up. Nope. I wouldn’t. Nor would I call you a dumb hick based on where you live, or a redneck, or any other derogatory name. But I got called plenty by both of you.

    You judged me before you even bothered to read the blog post. In all of my education, I had to do more research than I care to admit. If I want to further my education I’m looking at years of more research. I didn’t link websites with false information. I liked the FBI.gov website and other trustworthy informational sites. You chose to not read all of it, or read anything I said, and assumed otherwise. You’re entitled to your opinion, I said that, many times. I have NOT edited a single one of your comments, nor would I.

    This is a kind of a “public” home for me. Both of you chose to walk in, tell me off, and demand to have dinner anyway. Neither you or Rich hesitated to spew your shit all over the place. And Rich’s apology was an “I apologize but…” and those don’t work. Your apology seems much more heartfelt. I accept you apology and will refrain from continuing the flame war with you.

  31. Apple on September 19, 2010 7:59 pm

    @amber – Just because you’ve apologised doesn’t make the horrible tone and the offensive things you said any less horrible and offensive. Yes, it’s good that you apologised, but that doesn’t make it okay for you to have been rude and offensive, and just because you apologise doesn’t mean Lee has to forgive you – given HOW rude and offensive both you and your boyfriend were, I don’t blame her for still being angry.

    Personally? I think you are a self-centred, narrow-minded person, based on your comments, and have little respect for you. Yes, it’s good that you apologised, but that doesn’t change my opinion of you, because your apology does not automatically absolve you from the things you said.

    Honestly, I can’t speak for Lee, but in my opinion your best bet would be to just walk away so you don’t dig yourself in any deeper.

  32. Justin on September 19, 2010 9:04 pm

    I’m going to say something that I think everyone needs to read. Not one side or the other. Everybody. This has turned into a flame war. The Cold War has been left far behind. We’re all subject to our own opinions, and we know deep in our own hearts that we’re right. I can read everything everyone has posted and know for a certain and sure fact that it was written in earnest and full understanding of what WE were saying. It’s hard to portray any emotion in text, and sometimes context can be misinterpreted. But we will always expect the other end of the conversation to be the inferior point. This has gone far beyond the original post about rape in video games and who survived what. The decks have been thoroughly hosed down. With what, I can’t say. I just want the war to end. I’m uncomfortable in my own skin right now because there are so many people who are so close to me fighting like god damned wild dogs over a dead cat. And believe me, that cat is dead. You’ve all made your point, and they’re all valid from whatever perspective you want to take. I would really like to take the time to apologize to the OP and say that this was a well thought-out and informative blog. I wish it could have been universally accepted for the message it was meant to convey. And I am sorry that you became the focal battleground for an indwelling family feud.

  33. Lee on September 19, 2010 10:19 pm

    @Justin, While I appreciate what you’ve said here and thank you for being the voice of reason (no sarcasm intended at all) the fact that rather than drop the subject and leave well enough alone, everyone chose to keep coming back. I will be here, the blog belongs to me. The choice to come back remains on the heads of others.

    The half-assed apologies have been noted, and under all the circumstances, some of them will not be accepted depending on the person. That’s not for me to decide or choose.

    What bothers me most is that this has now carried over into what I’d like to do with my time in WoW. These are people somehow associated with the guild I wanted to raid with come the release of Cataclysm. I don’t know who is related to whom, and at this point I don’t think I want to know.

    I already started to second guess my choice in transferring my character over to Eldre’Thalas, and I’ve thus since made the decision NOT to bring my paladin over. All of this has left a terrible taste in my mouth about the people with whom I thought would be part of the best WoW experience I’d ever have. I don’t know who is who (except for Daey and Osephala) and I won’t lie, I don’t want to know. Because it’s been 3 days, and I might find that I’ll transfer my druid elsewhere, again, just to be rid of this kind of crap.

    WoW is supposed to be fun and enjoyable for everyone. This definitely doesn’t help make it fun or enjoyable.

    I’m hoping that some time away from E’T will mean that I either calm down and regain what little composure I have left, or make the decision to take Hestiah somewhere else. Either way, I feel a little ashamed to be called a gamer, and a little ashamed to be a woman.

  34. Rich on September 19, 2010 11:33 pm

    Lee you’re right. About almost everything you said about my behavior. I was sincere in my apology though ridiculous for following it up. I took some hurtful comments made towards me in the past and turned your blog into…well this. That’s pretty pathetic all on it’s own. I won’t ask for forgiveness at this point cause if I were you I probably wouldn’t give it. And what you have been saying about the horrors of rape and it’s effects are true. It’s not a joking matter. We are all entitled to cope however we want. There is no right or wrong in that. And of course we shouldn’t talk shit about something so important, even in jest. Just cause everyone isn’t offended by it doesn’t mean someone can’t be and they have the right to stand up and say something about it. This has gotten way out of hand and that is mainly my fault. I did the same thing I bitch about. Taking the dirt someone threw at me and passed it on. Though it may not matter I do sincerely apologize again. I was in the wrong 99% of this…blog I guess you’d call it. Not really a convo is it? Either way, I’m truly sorry. No bull shit. Though for the record I don’t like things in my ass lol.

  35. Osephala on September 20, 2010 8:42 am

    Lee, please don’t leave up. These people who brought drama to your blog don’t even play WoW and aren’t even on the server. I would be very sad if they caused you to not want to play with us. :(

  36. Rape: It’s not funny; or, why I’m never entirely comfortable in Azeroth « Azeroth Apple on September 24, 2010 6:12 pm

    [...] Lee says to link. Therefore, I link! The Original and The Follow-up.Now, I’m not going to link to it because there was already a lot of drama [...]

  37. Rape: It’s not funny; or, why I’m never entirely comfortable in Azeroth | Empowered Fire on September 25, 2010 5:19 pm

    [...] my guildie. A little over a week ago, she posted on her personal blog, and then some comment drama led to her posting a follow-up. (For those [...]

  38. Atris on October 2, 2010 7:27 pm

    Lee, I’m a female GM on Alleria. We’ve got a mature guild, and our members are very intolerant of intolerance. It’s a safe place for any gender or sexual orientation, and we don’t use rape as a verb.

    Has it taken work to get it that way? Definitely. But I work from the place that intention counts, and the guys in my guild who needed to have a private chat about why that language isn’t acceptable didn’t know the rape statistics, and never had it cross their minds that their casual, learned-in-high-school verbiage would be emotionally hurtful to several of their fellow guild members who were just hanging out trying to have a good time.

    It helps that we’re an 18+ guild, and have some strong-minded women members, but please remember that the majority of the comments you’ll inevitably encounter in game are not malicious, they’re coming from ignorance. A quiet tell can work wonders, when it’s explanatory and not aggressive. And for those who insist on remaining ignorant, or are simply nasty or too immature, /ignore works wonders too.

    I totally understand why the discussion in the vent chat you encountered would make you see red. I applaud you for posting here and, perhaps, relieving the ignorance of some.

    As an aside, I believe the statistics you quoted on sexual assault were very understated. With a scant handful of exceptions, every women I’ve ever known well enough to discuss the matter with has been sexually assaulted at some point – definitely a majority. That’s a horrible cultural tragedy, and I’m Canadian. Our incidence isn’t quite as high as the US.

    And hey, if you do decide you must change servers, drop me a line. I’m part of a guild I think you’d enjoy.

  39. Lee on October 5, 2010 1:17 pm

    I had not initially responded to anyone but the raid leader and only in whisper (where it’s much harder to convey the sheer pissed off I was feeling) after the “it’s only rape when the check bounces” comment. I didn’t actually say anything in Vent until after it had been made abundantly clear that they were going to continue to keep using the term because it was “funny” and they’d “never been raped.”

    Each person is going to react differently when asked to please stop and respect others. Each person is going to take whatever time necessary to learn, educate or understand what using a term like that does to others. Believe me when I say that the best course of action is to kindly ask people to refrain from talking in such a way that is not public or demeaning towards them as well. To use the respect they did not use even after being asked nicely to not use the phrase/term.

    The statistics noted are only reported cases. The reality is that the shame, guild, fear, and other gamut of emotions keep many people (especially men) from reporting any sexual assault of any type, even rape. I believe that it’s never easy to get exact numbers, as many social workers and therapists have a hard enough time convincing victims/survivors to report rape, because it is so often people they know in life rather than a stranger. And all of the feelings that women feel are compounded exponentially toward men because of the way society has taught straight men to feel about their own masculinity. I believe that while the statistics show a 1:33 reported case of sexual assault on men, that the actual percentage is much higher, but that men feel a deeper sense of shame than women. There are more support groups, in person and online for women. Because the tendency for women to become victim because we are smaller and less strong makes men feel as though they are smaller and less strong when something terrible like this happens to them.

    It’s sad. My post, truly, is to ask all people to have a little more respect for the people they play the game with. Not mother them into not using the term, just explaining that it carried a lot of memories, hurt, pain, shame, guilt, fear, anger, sadness, rage, etc and why be the one to cause that… knowingly or unknowingly. Just because someone doesn’t KNOW they’re making another feel that way doesn’t make the action okay.

    I’m simply asking all player, male and female, old and young alike, to be kinder to their friends, guildmates, family members, strangers, and players. Choose another word. It’s not hard. But it makes a world of difference to many MANY players.

    Thank you for your comment, @Atris. I greatly appreciate it. Really. Thank you.

  40. Michael on October 26, 2010 11:43 am

    Great post but I just wanted to let you know that the statistics you posted were wrong. You said that “there are 13,636 murder victims in 2009. The U.S population is roughly 307,006,550…That makes it 4.44% of the total population is a victim of murder.”

    Your calculation of 4.44% or roughly 1 in 20 is way off. The figure is actually more like 0.004442% of people you meet on the street could be a victim of murder. The formula for calculating percentages in this example is just simply: (Given amount/ Total amount) x 100

  41. Hestiah the Druid on April 25, 2012 9:31 am

    [...] treated as second-class citizens. Women are still coddled and treated like children. They are still the highest demographic to be sexually assaulted and raped. Many feminists have been fighting the good fight for so long; I [...]

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