Bullying Is Such a Favorite Topic, But It Really Needs to Stop
- February 29th, 2012
- By MogKnight
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like bullying. I don’t like it when it happens to people who are undeserving of it. I don’t like what it results in for the victim in question and I just don’t approve of anyone who does it.
At the same time, I don’t like the fact that populating our media streams. I don’t like the fact that when a media site throws up something like this, people are quick to take sides and I just don’t approve of how far it goes sometimes.
With the recent events that have occurred with Capcom’s Cross Assault internet reality show, it’s disheartening that such events has occurred but the way that people have embraced it only hurts us all as gamers. Let me talk about three specific situations and stories that have occurred in the recent months and why I feel that reporting on bullying can lead to more harm than good.
Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing
Christoforo went into pretty deep crap with a customer who involved Penny Arcade and Kotaku into the fight. Christoforo wasn’t expecting what would happen. After a customer forwarded an exchange of emails to various websites, the internet picked it all up and ran with it. His life was exposed in more than several ways and a lot of people feel that he did deserve what he had coming. At the same time, there were some harsh punishments that shouldn’t have happened. Death threats sent to his family is just not cool. Kotaku going deep to his personal life and tying in his use of steroids as reasoning for his behavior? Probably went a bit too far. The repair damage that N-Control had to deal with? A complete mess.
Jennifer Hepler of BioWare
Some time ago, Hepler said something that pissed off a lot of gamers. She doesn’t really play games even though she writes for games. She feels that the combat gets in the way of the story. A lot of gamers took that a bit to heart, especially since they feel that the stories she has contributed in certain BioWare games for were of lower quality. This somehow exploded into some massive campaign of hate with some BioWare fans over the past few weeks and some words being thrown at her were nothing but pure unadulterated hate. Some even going to the point of calling her the cancer of BioWare.
Hepler didn’t really do anything. As far as I know, she kept quiet over the situation and really, it was the people who defended her and the people who attacked her that is doing all the fighting.
Miranda “SuperYan” Pakozdi
Going back to what happened the other day, Cross Assault had some drama regarding Miranda and Aris. Due to sexual harassment, Miranda forfeited her chance at winning the $25,000 prize and dropped out of the competition. When news broke out of it the following day, everyone again took sides. Misconceptions of a community came into play and again, another internet debate of words being thrown all over the place. Aris has since publicly apologized.
These aren’t the only three cases of bullying but these are cases that has happened recently and are directly tied to gaming in general. Gamers are one of the more vocal communities. Conflicts come into play and most of the time it’s arguments spawned purely out of emotion and rage. People start taking up white knighting and not really acknowledging the real issues at hand.
In the end, is there really any benefit to spreading this news around? In some regards, yes. The Ocean Marketing situation put a man in his place and perhaps this gave some popularity to the Avenger controller. Hepler showed a situation where a bunch of gamers gone too far and prompted BioWare to donate towards a good cause. The Miranda issue shows an issue with the fighting game community that impedes the progress of growth within the community.
But at that same note, Christoforo didn’t need all that attention which some would say that he benefited from the whole ordeal and N-Control certainly got a ton of hate because of this and ultimately hurt them more than Christoforo. It got to the point where there was so much clean up work to try to restore their own reputation. Hepler’s situation probably drove her away from being anywhere near the public light and I feel that this is detrimental to fixing the real issue that caused all this in the first place with her writing. I’d hope she is still willing to work in the gaming industry because I do feel that we need more women in the industry. Finally, the fighting game community being already seen in such a bad light that this situation only further drives people away from wanting anything to do with it. This is even made worse when arguments from the FGC is just being bounced off by many concerned individuals as all they see is that one issue.. I wouldn’t be surprised if Capcom never attempts anything like this again, especially with the media attention.
Most importantly of all, I feel that reporting of anything that is bullying of this nature is just not opening a good area of discussion among peers. It’s saddening to see this stuff happen but because of how everyone interprets the situations, sometimes the end result hurts us as a community of gamers than it helps. This is especially true when you’re an individual who is not in the popular opinion, which is not always the absolute “good” side.
Now, note that there are situations where bullying is worth noting and reporting. Bullying is a serious issue that has to stop. However, this is not a platform to completely abandon our objectivity in our journalistic endeavors, especially for the public opinion. We already know bullying is bad but do we really need to pick a side without thinking of the repercussions that could happen with the people or companies involved? In an attempt to showcase situations like this, it hurts the people involved. If anyone should be stepping in, it shouldn’t be the media. We should do things to make people aware but not to put labels on people.