Rape in Video Games: Part Duex

September 19th, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Why the need for another blog entry, you ask? Well, because it seems that some people didn’t bother to read through the entire length of the last one. Or it has become abundantly clear that factual statistics aren’t enough for this simple request to be heard. So this time, I’m going to try to work with anecdotes, in the best way possible.

While playing WoW, there are a handful of us, yes those of you reading (whether you play WoW or not). We’ve got 9 out of 10 people for a 10man ICC run. We pug the last guy. Last guys yells out in Vent (a vent that 1) doesn’t belong to him and 2) he was invited to just for this event), “We’re so going to rape this place.”

Person 1’s backstory goes like this: Raped by an uncle. When she told family members about what was happening, no one believed her. She never sought therapy or help for what happened to her. She still struggled daily when in the presence of men.

Person 2’s backstory: Raped by a father. Father was arrested. Person 2 got therapy and lives a mostly normal life. Has a husband and children. The bad days are few and far between.

Person 3’s backstory: Family member was raped and remembers the trauma it caused. Person 3 remembers how much EVERYONE suffered at the knowledge that the family member was raped.

Person’s 4-9: Never knew anyone who was raped and have never been raped themselves.

No one knows the experiences of the others, but all of you have been playing WoW for years. You can all tell stories about things you’ve done together. You know when Player 5 got married. You know that players 8 and 9 met in game and have been together now for 4 years and are expecting their first child. You know personal and real details about each person, even if (aside from Players 8 and 9) none of you have met. You bitch about your personal life with these people and you are handsomely rewarded for your teamwork and efforts within a game you all love and enjoy. They are your friends. You depend on them in the virtual world, and in the case of Player 8 and 9, in real life as well. You find camaraderie amongst your guild members.

Now. Given this (albeit ridiculous) scenario, how should each person respond. Person 1 hears “We’re so going to rape this place (like your uncle did to you when you were a little girl).” Is she wrong for feeling this way? She doesn’t say anything because she doesn’t want to piss anyone off, or cause problems. People react exactly the way amber, Daey and countless other people react when it gets brought up anyway. Why say anything? It won’t change. It won’t stop her from hearing those additional words when someone uses the term “rape” within the game. Is it fair, that this person who is otherwise a friend and guildmate, that her experiences are trivialized and treated as pathetic and useless? Is it her own fault this happened to her? Did she do something to ask or this to happen? Is it her fault that she doesn’t have the family support to help point her in the right direction and she has thus since spent her entire life internalizing the experience in an effort to fit in with her peers. Some of her peers are you, keep in mind.

Person 2 hears “We’re so going to rape this place!” and thinks nothing of it. It isn’t until later that night when the trauma of what happened to her comes back. Her husband is left to stare at her in bewilderment not knowing what to do to fix this. It isn’t his to fix. She has done the best that she can and for the most part is a fully functional adult. The experience has helped her become a stronger person and thus has raised her own children to be strong individuals.

Person 3 sends a whisper to the Raid Leader. The Raid Leader addresses the issue. The men all pipe up with “It was funny” or “He was a good rogue, just let it go.” Never knowing that Player 1 and 2 are having a hard time with this. Player 3 says something more. And suffers the ridicule and chastisement of her guild members. Someone she believed were her friends.

Is Person 1 wrong for feeling the way she does? Are we, those outside of the situation, allowed to TELL her how she should be feeling? Would it be so difficult to respect your guild member, your friend, and stop using the term “rape” so nonchalantly? Is it Person 2 allowed to tell Person 1 that she’s being irrational and dumb when what she hears includes “like your uncle did to you when you were a little girl”? Does Person 2 have a right to compare the experiences or their lives because she’s had a similar experience but has had better opportunities to seek help and adjust?

At what point do we stop expecting everyone else around us to do the jobs we should do? Should anyone other than Person 3 said something? Yes. Absolutely. Should it have been returned with ridicule and chastisement? Absolutely not. You should respect the people you play with. You should respect the people you call friends, even virtual ones. Some of my closest friends are people I almost never get to see in real life. My best friend of all time lives thousands of miles away, but our friendship is no less a best friendship than one I could have with someone nearby. Except that we could SEE each other more often.

Each person is going to take a negative situation and adjust however they want and at the pace that they want. I don’t speak for all victims and/or survivors. I don’t speak for anyone but myself. I asked for people to speak up and say something. I asked for people to start saying something when it comes up. I did not say that using other words to describe the same thing wouldn’t work. Use “buttsex” for example. Similar connotation, much funnier in execution. Includes men and women regardless of situation, and does not imply the violent act of taking something from someone against their will.

We’re all entitled to our opinions. I’m not even asking that you guys change your views of what rape or sex is for that matter. I ask that you respect the PEOPLE you play the game with and not use it in the way it’s been used up until now. This was one scenario. This was one person’s story based on the stories of others. This is one possibility of what could happen or the things that could exist. This is just one, out of billions, of possible situations you might find yourself in.

What role do you play in this? Are you willing to lessen the experiences of others because of one tiny detail, a detail that may not be so tiny to someone else? Will you only be sympathetic if you knew Person 1 and/or Person 2’s story? Would they need to disclose it in order for you to behave differently? Is it fair to think that everyone should just “buck up and grow up” because it’s what you’ve been able to do when faced with adverse life situations?

Why can’t we chose to be respectful of the people who play our games with? Why can’t we remember that these people are our friend’s too? That we don’t need to know the details to understand the importance of it.

That way Person 1 may one day feel like asking for help. From her guildies or from a therapist. And Person 2 may be okay with talking about it to someone other than her husband again. And everyone involved can know they did what they could to make the game playing experience the best for everyone involved.

That’s when it matters.

P.S. Osephala, I offer you hugs and an ear if you ever need one.
P.P.S. Internet Trolls to Real-Life Stalkers In case you were curious.
P.P.P.S. How the web became a sexists’ paradise For more information on the differences between how men and women are treated (and if you think for a second this doesn’t apply, you’re fooling yourself)
P.P.P.P.S. Why taking things like rape and stalking seriously are important, even in a video game. It’s easy to find people. I know I found out which Southern state amber lives in, at least where her ISP is.

Click the links. Read all the way through. And understand this is more than just you… a single person. This is about everyone.

The REAL Holiday Spirit

December 4th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

So people often ask me why I don’t like Xmas and all of the holiday hooplah. I generally take the easiest way out and just say I hate crowds. Most people accept this answer as they fully and completely understand. Really, there are a handful of reasons.

Tiny History Lesson
Christmas (which will from here on be referred to as Xmas) was originally a Christian holiday as a means to celebrate the birth of Jesus. According to wiki (which I know is not the best source of information), the term “Christmas” is actually a mashing of Christ’s Mass, and totally makes sense. There’s actually a lot of interesting information on Wikipedia on Xmas.

Current Day
That being said, my dislike of the holiday has nothing to do with my lack of religious beliefs. Taking away from what the point of Xmas was originally, it has become a bigger and bigger cash cow for retailers. The list could go on and on about all of the scams, or even the downright rip-offs, of price inflation for the appearance of sale prices. Blah blah blah.

It’s more than that. This time of year boasts having “goodwill toward men”. It’s supposed to be about acting better towards your fellow man, and being more nice. Except, this is the time of year when we see people’s real colors come through. The pushing and the fighting in the aisles of stores. The fights and arrests of those who stepped over the line. The mad dash to get “the best parking spot” and nearly running folks over to get it. It’s about driving more angrily. The expectation to be treated with respect is higher, but the willingness to do the same in return is greatly diminished.

This is the time of year in which I avoid public places. I avoid having to drive unnecessarily anywhere, if I can avoid it. I don’t like other people’s disrespect and disregard to be made abundantly clear to me.

This isn’t about people acting as I would want them to act. This is about people who act better the remainder of the year, and from Black Friday on do they forget their manners and resort to overtly childish behaviors. Even saying that is putting children down because many are taught to treat others the way they would like to be treated. What kind of example are these people painting for children? Even if they aren’t acting in this way for their own children, they’re showing others that it’s okay to be that way. And it’s not.

The current state of the economy across the nation isn’t so fantastic. I’m probably on the “lucky” list for still having a job and a roof over my head. California is hit even harder than most with the decline of its own state government, its debt and an ever growing unemployment rate. These are desperate times. To keep their own families happy, they’re resorting to whatever means necessary. In my town, it’s even worse. 4th on the National Unemployment list isn’t something to scoff at, by any means. It means there’s less jobs, less money, and more desperation.

This is exactly the time of year in which we should show each other some respect. Many don’t. This is the time when those who can give a little, does. If you’re child is already going to have a ridiculous TON of presents under the tree, let someone else have the “last one on the shelf.” There’s no way of knowing if that’s going to be the only gift, or among many. It’s not a matter of knowing another person’s situation, but owning your own. Setting limits of what you’re willing to dish out by means of terrible behaviors.

I’m not exempt from acting badly during the holidays. This time of year puts me on edge knowing what’s to come. I avoid going out not because I hate crowds, but because I know myself. I know I have a terrible temper and a BIG mouth. When people are acting a fool toward me I don’t hesitate to spread the filth and make it be known to all how dumb someone is acting. It’s terrible and I know it. I don’t go out because it’s not for me to spread the hate during a time of year when we’re supposed to be kind to each other. Kind. Not loving. Not even accepting. Just kind. So staying in is my attempt at doing my part of keeping my bad attitude and Xmas hate contained within the walls of my apartment.

For those who go out and have to brave the wilds of malls, Wal-marts and shopping centers, remember that you don’t know how little or how much that other person has… so just be kind to each other. Be in the spirit of xmas, the way it was intended.

And I’m going to work on being less bitchy.

Harbor of Learning

October 28th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

Working here at the Small Town Hospital, like many other hospitals, the staff have to take these little quizzes to make sure we remember and know about things like airborne or bloodborne icky goo stuff, how to handle fires (electrical and chemical), and a handful of other things. Since I am not part of the licensed/Doctorly/patient-take-carey staff, my quizzes consist of only a handful.

It’s lucrative business. I’m not sure how the whole thing works, or even how well it actually gauges knowledge of anything, but it’s really rather silly. Each employee has to take them yearly.

I can honestly say that I don’t even think they change any of the questions. You have to pass each quiz (which is anywhere between 5 and 8 questions) with an 80% or higher to move onto the next one. At the end of each quiz it tells you which answers you got correct and which you got incorrect. Jot these down, cause you’ll use them later. Now comes the tricky part. Take the quiz again and change the wrong answers (usually they’re True/False questions) and resubmit.

Again I say, I don’t know how accurate it is at actually gauging anyone’s knowledge or understanding of the material. I personally don’t even believe that the questions change over the years.

There is one question, though, that I get wrong every time. Not because I’m an idiot, but because it is genuinely wrong. Taking into consideration that the quizzes and the questions were created many many years ago. And the questions have been slightly modified to reflect the current standards of the healthcare world, some need to be updated.

The question is a True/False. It simply says: The customer is always right. I answer false. False. False. False. Every time. False. The answer to get 100% on the quiz is True. But alas, that is not, realistically, the correct answer.

Working in retail and food service, I remember this mantra being pounded into my head from long ago. As time passed and lawsuits increased, this mentality has changed. The customer is NOT always right. A lot of times they’re not even close to being right. They’re in the “wrong” ballpark and they’re batting a 1000.

All of my schooling has taught me a lot because the field of Psychology is ever changing. It’s so hard to point your finger and say “yes” and be absolutely positive that that is the answer. There’s this grey area. Especially because the majority of Psychology involves the ever-flawed human. Things change within a person and their thought processes daily, hourly, etc. Let alone attempting to take into consideration the vast differences between each of us. We can find like-minded people to befriend, but there is no other person who thinks and feels exactly the same as I do. Or you.

So the “customer is always right” is inherently flawed in it’s very nature.

Consider each person’s level of knowledge. We can all have gone to the same schools, got the same grades and been taught all of the same information, but each of us will remember and retain different bits and parts. Nothing wrong with that. Until it comes down to who is “right” and who is “wrong”. Especially if those are the ONLY two choices. When you put something as black and white as right and wrong into the mix, you throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the mix.

Customer is complaining that they were treated unfairly by staff. Okay. That is their perception. If looking at exactly what Staff Person did, and how they talked and treated the Customer nothing on paper is wrong, does that mean that Customer was truly wronged? Yes, but only in that it is their perception and who are we to judge and decide how a person thinks and feels outside of ourselves. If, however, Customer said, “Staff Person called me an asshole” is Customer then right? If legitimately Staff Person did not call Customer an asshole, this mantra and belief that ‘the customer is always right’ puts Staff Person at fault 100% of the time. Without question. Without investigation. Without fail.

Let’s say for arguments sake that Staff Person did call Customer an asshole. Does it immediately put Staff Person at fault and should then be punished? No. There is always a story. There are also always 2 sides to a story such as this one. What if Customer called Staff Person’s mom a whore? What if Customer threw something at Staff Person’s head while they were trying to walk away from the otherwise heated situation? What if Staff Person had just had enough with Customer’s bad attitude and it was just bad timing? What if Staff Person has now worked two doubles (being on the floor doing patient care for a total of 24-hours) and snapped at a normally regular situation? Staff Person is still human, after all.

As human’s we’re expected to act professional at all times, especially in a service industry such as medical care. The problem is, the customer is not always right. Over the years I have had to curb and tone down my initial instinct to fly off the handle, declare unfailing stupidity, and scream my fool head off. I still have little to no patience for stupidity, but I also have to keep myself in check with regard to these declarations.

And when I am the customer wanting my wrong to be righted, I will gladly accept that I am not entirely right and often working on limited knowledge of what I’m wanting fixed. This does not make me infallible. Nor does it make any of you.

Oh the rain…

October 13th, 2009 | Tags: ,

The thing is, I actually LOVE the rain! Especially the first rain! Oh the smell of rain and this weird feeling of everything getting clean. Including my car (which has not been washed in far longer than I care to admit).

But if there is one thing that can throw an entire population off kilter it’s introducing some weather to the daily routine. The thing that cracks me up is the fact that we were WARNED about this. The weatherman has been telling us for days that the storm was coming (and no I’m not referring to Colbert’s homostorm and I’d like to the absolutely hilarious parody video he did, but I’m blogging from my phone… And google is your friend) and that it was going to be a bit of a doozie! High winds, torrential rain, flash flood warnings, you name it, we got it.

Every year we go through this here in Hell, California. Every. single. year. It’s really not different than any previous year, except the day apocolypse begins. And every year it’s truly the end of the world for folks. They just can’t remember what it was like less than a year ago when it was, you know, raining last.

See, people in California act like they’ve never seen rain before. It’s a day-ruiner. They frantically drive so close to the back of your car that I could tell you the dood’s hair color, from looking out my rear-view mirror… In the rain… And through the gook of not having washed my car in something close to forever (dark brown, btw, guy who rode my ass all the way into work).

And it’s not just the rain or the weather change that seems to throw people off, but the severity of the change. It was over 100 degrees not that many days ago (couple weeks) and thus some folks are still stuck in that mode. We here in Hell, California don’t actually get the transitionary bit in between weather changes.

I have yet to figure out what the deal is, but I welcome the rain. It helps taper off the allergies and the horrific smoke-filled air (which should be illegal to EVERYONE thankyouveryfuckingmuch). It’s a nice refresh after such a harsh summer.

But really, in case of road issues, stay off the ass of the car in front of you! Cause I’m going to have just as much time to stop as you, only you’re going to use me to help soften the blow… And I’d really rather you didn’t.

Lasted about a week

October 12th, 2009 | Tags: ,

So the blogging thing seemed to last about a week before I found out all these other things that needed to be done. I’ve been gaming a lot, which isn’t too surprising. Been distracted even more. One of these days I’ll actually not feel guilty about not going to the gym and answer the phone when Narilka calls… since, well, I asked that she would.

There’s a lot of stuff going on in my life these days. So much so that I don’t get to spend much time thinking about it. Or too much time thinking about it. Depends on who you are I suppose.

The days when I want to talk to someone it seems everyone’s busy. And the days when I find myself busy, everyone wants to talk. It’s kind of funny how that all works out. Or not surprising. Who knows.

There’s something about a day off when everyone else you know is stuck having to work that just makes the day off even better. I can’t really explain it. Government people and banks have today off. Most everyone else doesn’t. I asked for today off because the boyfriend had it off. The big plan was to go to the pumpkin patch where they would find pumpkins for Halloween and I would stuff my face with cakes, pies, and ciders made of apples and anything else related to the fall.

Alas, the boyfriend’s son came down with the flu, thus quarantining his house. I stayed one night, but didn’t want to test my luck with the plague. With everything going on, this was one of the last things I would ever have expected, but it happens when you go to a public school. It’s far too easy for some parents to write their children’s sickness off and send them to school where they are able to spread their plague to any and everyone else. When really, the best thing would have been to Stay. Home.

I digress.

And I don’t do the things I should do. And I forget to blog. And I forget to read blogs. *sigh*

Perfectly Good Reason

October 6th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

First, I want to point out that my wonderful best friend has decided to grace the world with her blogging presence. What’s funny is the story behind when we met (which involves a lot of online blogging) and how we became the friends that we are today. It took years, but really, it’s one of those friendships that just makes sense. So for all 5 of you who seem to come here to visit, check her out. Make her feel welcomed and loved.

*****

There are times when I am full of “perfectly good reason”‘s and “well intention”‘s. Really, who’s going to judge me? Lately there’s been even more opportunity for my perfectly good reason’s. And as of yet it’s my ridiculous obsession with my ever growing waistline and weight.

I’m a short person so a few pounds shows without much effort. It’s not that I have problems with bigger people or think that all people should be able to fit into a jean size that consists of single digits, or even multiple zeros. Oh no. There’s a point where the additional weight becomes increasingly uncomfortable, though. To the point where I seem to have a harder time breathing while sitting.

I’m out of shape, sure, who isn’t these days? I actually have a fairly active job that keeps me moving regularly. My body has simply adjusted to these bouts of running around (though it’s less running than fast walking). I lift a fair amount in a single day as well, but again, the body has adjusted to this. I’m still overweight and, well, to put it simply… fat.

Food is comfort, though. I don’t crave carrots and salads. I crave cookies and cakes. Sugar and soda. I want pancakes for breakfast, lunch and a midnight snack. I want Macaroni and cheese at least once a week, twice if I’ve had a bad day. I want In & Out every other day. And let’s not get started on Chipotle, which will likely be the death of me (since they’ve made ordering easier by creating a damn iPhone app).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I remember everything every trainer has ever told me. I’ve replaced misinformation with new and improved information. Minus my sheer size and pudginess I could technically BE a trainer. I know what foods I should be eating. I know what foods I definitely should be avoiding.

In times of stress and discomfort I don’t first think to go to the gym to work out my frustration. When I’m having a particularly stabby sort of day, the last thing I think about is throwing on some of my ugliest clothes and heading straight for the gym, where tiny little females and buff dudes wear next to nothing while running 15 miles on the treadmill. I make myself a nice 3-person sized dish of macaroni and cheese. Or I stop at Chipotle. Or In & Out. And I stuff my next-to-crying face with these foods that make me feel better because it tastes “oh so good.”

It’s the putting on my pants the next day that seems to be the reminder that the Double Double combo was likely not the best choice.

I’m like Kristy Alley with the weight loss. I lose it, and gain it. I lose it and gain it. It’s an endless cycle. At time I’m super obsessed and I do it. I lose about 10-15 pounds and I’m feeling better and looking better. I hit the plateau and I stop losing weight. Incoming – discouragement. What’s the point when the last 5-10 pounds refuse REFUSE to come off. Sure I can just accept that I’m healthier and happier, always being “just a little bit fat.” So I stop at Chipotle to drown out my fat sorrows by getting more fat.

Honestly, all excuses aside (even the really legitimate ones) there’s just been a lot on my plate. Going to the gym is the last on my list of things to do.

The boyfriend is being laid off from work. This could mean relocation for him. Maybe me, but I’m not sure what’s going on with that. There are stresses in dealing with his son, and his ex-wife, and all of the other aspects of the kind of relocation options that are available to him/us. Not really knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t help. Quitting smoking was good for my heart and lungs, but bad for stress management. Thus, I’m eating more.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate my job?? Well if I haven’t, lemme explain. I haven’t liked my job in years. YEARS. I mean, I’ve actually hated it for a very long time. It used to be tolerable because I worked with some pretty cool people, but they’re simply not enough. I’m unhappy, and usually fairly miserable. I don’t like getting up in the morning because it feels like I’m wasting my day at a place I hate. If I could live in my car, I would. Now that I’m done and graduated I end up being here far too much. It’s intolerable. The things I didn’t like about school were offset by the days I was at work. The things I hated about work were offset by the days I was at school.

There’s none of that now. It’s only work. And I hate my job.

Hate.

So when I get home I have to deal with a slightly neurotic cat who insists on putting all of her water onto the floor one paw at a time and an apartment full of stuff that desperately needs to be sorted, donated, given away, gifted or thrown out.

Alas, the gym just seems to be one of the hardest things for me to focus on.

Though I should. Tomorrow. *sigh*

Today, I’ll pick a slightly healthier lunch, try not to kill anyone, and hide as much as possible.

I’ve had about enough

March 31st, 2009 | Tags: , ,

I just don’t think I will ever understand why people think their time is more important than yours. That it’s okay to just walk into an office and say, “Oh looks like your having lunch.”
Nope. This is actually my job. Sit around an office and eat. It’s a pretty awesome gig.
“Well, I hate to interrupt…”
But you’re gonna do it anyway, so let’s cut to the chase and avoid the small talk. Wtf do you want?!

Realistically, it doesn’t matter. Don’t bug me. I’m really not in the mood. And now in order to make myself feel less homicidal… I will eat Cadbury Creme Eggs. *sigh*

Social Netwerks

October 28th, 2008 | Tags: , ,

Too many social networks makes for an unhappy camper. Geez!