We’ve all been there. Hanging out, doing a raid or dungeon, and being forced to listen to that one guy who can’t stop saying “I raped that shit.” or some equivalent. I’ve been the girl who gets peeved by that terminology. I’ve been the girl watching another girl ragequit because that guy won’t stop using it. I’ve also been the girl who raises an eyebrow a little when another girl feeds into that mentality for the sake of internet popularity points. Even with all of these situations, I don’t think I ever stopped to seriously think about them or my position within them. Until recently, that is.
A few days ago, I was listening to a rather serious discussion on how communication has become very stunted due to political correctness. I was nodding my head and agreeing with a lot of valid points about desensitized people and overly sensitive people, with very little middle ground being brought forth by either party. After a while, my mind began to wander back, kind of like an instant replay of my own behaviour and behaviours I’ve witnessed in other people while playing games, and how they could have been more pleasant experiences were it not for the types of comments being made and the reactions that followed them.
Do I think the term rape should ever be used loosely for the sake of describing an enjoyable asskicking of an opponent? No, not really. To be fair, a genuine rape victim was never and never will be an opponent. We’re not people to be conquered. So do I think another term would be suitable in a video game? Yes. I do. But do I have the right to dictate how another person expresses themselves? No. I hate to say that because it sounds like I’m conceding to the many blank faces on the internet that it’s okay to make light of the topic. That’s not the case at all though. I’m conceding that I can’t impede on their personal expressive freedom, such as I would hope that they would not impede upon mine. Let’s face it. If I tell them not to use that term, then aren’t they within their equal right to tell me to not openly discuss abuse and how to prevent it? Bingo.
If we want equality, we have to treat people as equals. Even if they express themselves in ways we wouldn’t like them to. That’s the nitty gritty. It’s reality. It’s idealistic, but it’s the reality of what equality suggests.
I did stop playing World of Warcraft because of that mentality, amongst many other reasons. It became less entertaining to play when guys were either hitting on the girls in the group (and to be fair, when the girls who wanted free crap baited them on) and when I kept hearing “I’m going to fucking rape you.” while dueling. Or worse yet, in general chat, when someone would get ragingly angry at another player for “ninjaing” their stuff. Sure, it’s usually a bunch of 12 year olds who don’t really realize the implications of what they’re saying, and a lot of the time by really idiotic individuals who can’t figure out how to express their frustration without relying on probably one of the most played out sayings on the internet. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s within their prerogative to use that language.
Does it mean I’ll be going back, creating my Pandaren character, and skipping my way down to whatever allegiance I choose? No, hahaha, no. I mean I loved the experiences gained on WoW. I even met my husband through there. But the recent changes make it a little unappealing to me. Plus, I played for a long time. I’ve done all the quests of the old expansions over and over again. Basically, I’ve moved on to different things. Still, I game. Just elsewhere.
It might be beneficial to take a step back and look at the restrictions we put on eachother, as well as the very uncomfortable boundary crossing we do, on the internet. As a matter of courtesy to one another. Ladies who get hyper offended by that term, if a guy says it once out of the blue moon in a casual way, don’t get ragingly peeved and make him feel like a horrible human being. Guys who overuse the term, consider toning it down a little. If anything, for the simple sake of maintaining the harmony in your groups and guilds.
On a much lighter note, I ask you this. Should stealing stuff in a raid or dungeon really be called being a ninja? That’d be better suited for asskicking in stealth, amiright? Wouldn’t “being a pirate?” be more suited for when people steal things? Just a thought. 😀