Critical Hit! It’s not very effective…

Oh boy…I am so tired of talking about forced politics in video games. However, like a very aggressive cancer, no matter how many times you try to treat it, it just won’t go away. You see, Critical Hit’s writer Glenn Kisela used his platform to talk about how gaming feeds rape culture and how it is now a “national crisis”.

rape culture in gaming feeding a national crisis critical hit

Is there anything that video games don’t get blamed for nowadays?

This completely ignores the cultural differences, advancement in either country from any basis, or any of the fundamental differences that would allow for a country to lag behind like South Africa and why the Western World is not that way at the present time. Furthermore, the definition of rape culture given by the author includes any cultural practices that excuse or tolerate sexual violence. Well, I guess by their definition, we don’t live in a rape culture, seeing as how people who participate in sexual violence are arrested, prosecuted, and serve jail time should there be enough evidence to convict (just like any other crime in the western world).

Kisela starts off by citing a survey regarding the raping and killing of women in South Africa, because when you want to talk about a “national crisis” you definitely want to start with a third-world country with cultural problems outside of video games that most of your audience has no part in…Furthermore, he then goes on to say that “Whilst femicide may seem like an extreme topic to be discussing in the context of gaming, one needs to understand that everything starts from small actions and rape culture in gaming absolutely feeds into this national crisis,” which implies that eventually jokes and meaningless threats in gaming culture will eventually lead to a horrible, sexist, rape culture like South Africa.

Anyways, continuing on, Kisela uses this definition to show that an unnamed example of an event where one used foul language in gaming against a woman is the fault of the industry for not calling out rape culture where they see it. This completely takes the power away from the supposed victim by saying that they are not capable of pressing the mute button or blocking their profile, something that can easily be done on all systems.

Instead, Kisela states outright that the overall reaction to the recent case was condemnation and disgust, but that wasn’t enough. Because Kisela argues that the brands associated with the event only telling off the perpetrator and giving a “faux” apology is an omen in itself; later calling it cowardly that they didn’t become authoritarians over some naughty words which Kisela doesn’t like.

Not much can be said about what follows. As he basically praises the decisions against naughty speech (such as Disney v. Pewdiepie and the like), and ends the article on a note that gaming isn’t just about games, and that we need to fight against this national crisis. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the numbers shall we?

critical hit rape culture in gaming growing pains with content creators

I love how the author is capable of deciding what is and is not a joke. It’s like he can see into Pewdiepie’s black heart to uncover his true intent. I mean either that or the author is too sensitive.

Statistically, men are more likely to be harassed than women online in practically every category, and when you add up the total harassment between men and women, men still get harassed more. However, even if you ignore the numbers, one who grew up in the Internet culture can easily tell you about how harsh the Internet environment can be. It’s sarcastic. It’s cynical. It’s a culture based around being crass, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, much like how statistics show that gaming decreases violent behavior, I would argue that there should be a study done to show that crass behavior online could run the possibility that one is a more decent person in the real world.

The reason I would argue this to be the case is because the Internet is a place where people air out aggression, and if you can’t handle it, you simply don’t belong on the Internet. So if someone says something rude or crass to you, then just quip back at them. Play the game, have a back and forth, if more people were willing to fight back, maybe people could see that the state of online communication is little more than a game in itself.

Being one who is sarcastic and cynical online, I can completely see this as being the case. I would argue that it’s healthier to participate in the cynical online culture as it takes away the aggression in the real world. I hope to one-day start-up a survey like this, and I hope it goes somewhere. However, the article seems to be predicated on the idea that words will eventually lead-up to actions or backup actions, and this may very well be the case in third world and second world countries like South Africa.

However, this is not so much a problem in the Western World as we have laws against actual harassment and violence. Instead of looking to games to stop their rampant rape culture in South Africa, the author should probably look into fixing the society and culture itself, as the idea of women being lesser than men in their culture is more likely to be the reason behind their rape culture than someone saying “I’m going to rape you” online. As is the case with any other 3rd world country. Even so, keep in mind that this is an OP (and it’s probably my most opinionated piece that I’ve ever written). In other words, take it for what it is. As it’s simply my opinions on a specific subject.

And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!

Critical hit
Chris Ferguson (psychology professor) interview
The Guardian
The daily beast


Robin Ek – Editor

This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.

tgg author avatar Jay Shay
Justin Easler
Senior editor
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @masterjayshay

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