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MMO's & The Modern Man (err...Woman)

An honest, irreverant look at various MMO's from a typical player's point of view. OK, maybe not a typical player. Maybe a hardcore emo PVE but PVP lovin' chataholic with alt tendencies. What's that? A new beta!? BRB...

Author: Astrialla

When Is The Line Crossed or Are You Serious About The Rape Thing?

Posted by Astrialla Monday November 30 2009 at 10:36PM
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Rape.

The word gets used a lot in MMO chat.  A lot lot lot lot.  I don't know where it started but for me it shows up in every MMO I play and have played.  Usually some teenage guy uses it trying to be l33t.  "Dude he totally raped you!"  or my personal jaw dropping favorite "I raped that orc - did you see that? Watch! I'll do it again!"

I hate it.  I can't help but flash onto every public service message for women's shelters I've ever seen or trip sideways into poor Jodie Foster and that stupid bar.

I'm aware that I'm the only one that reacts this way and that everyone else ingame is fine with the word.  I'm not sure if it's cause I'm female or cause I've got very little involvement in the whole tough persona in an MMO thing or maybe I'm just old.  Yeah - I know rape also means to spoil or plunder (and some sorta grain) but a swarthy brigand stealing a bale of hay just does not come to mind when I hear it in Vent.  What comes to mind is, "Dude if you'd ever been raped, or your sister or your mom or your daughter or your grandmother had... you'd never use that word."

I've never dealt with that.  I don't have the excuse of a real life experience causing this reaction in me - rather I just have a recoil inside that does not understand why this word has become synonymous with killed fast in the world of games.  And I can't change it.  I can't undo whatever moment someone first used it and everyone else got that frisson of ooooh that's edgy and fun to use! and then that was it. 

I don't wish the experience of rape on anyone just for the sake of them understanding the concept.  I don't want to censor others and I understand that for everyone else it does not mean actual rape when they use it.  Rather it means that they dominated, conquered, slammed the other person into the dirt so fast that they did not have a chance.   The word that means violence and pain and lives shattered to me means woot! I iz uber! to the rest of the server and the word that brings up such a furrowed brow/pained expression for me brings up a triumphant howl of domination in others.   It's just a word. But for me it seems that it crosses a line.

This morning I wondered about something.  What if I used "castrated" every time I downed a mob quickly "Did you see that?  I totally castrated him! Watch! I'll do it again!".   Would all the guys in Vent go silent for a moment? Maybe my point might be made about having a twinge inside when a word that implies sexual violence is used to express winning. 

Maybe not.  Truth of the matter is I can't bring myself to use castrate either.  Words have power - these blogs are proof of that - and for me, I can't cross that line.  I'm the only one standing on this side of it, but I just can't cross that line.

Jaedor writes:

This.

Thanks.

Tue Dec 01 2009 12:41AM Report
MadnessRealm writes:

Loved the blog. Personally I can't stand the word too.

One thing I'd like to see though, do try on Vent the "Did you see that? I totally castrated him! Watch! I'll do it again!". Result may be quite suprising, who knows.

Tue Dec 01 2009 4:57AM Report
Trucidation writes:

I don't mind that stuff when I'm trolling places like ebaumsworld (snicker), but whenever someone uses inappropriate words like that elsewhere, it's like some retard standing in the spotlight yelling to all and sundry that he's an immature asswipe with the vocabulary of a chimpanzee.

On the bright side it makes identifying people to ignore very easy.

Tue Dec 01 2009 6:22AM Report
cloudacv writes:

you are sexist to think only women get raped. pig.

Tue Dec 01 2009 9:34AM Report
Astrialla writes:

Cloud - don't think anywhere in my blog I said that men don't get raped... in fact I did the whole "dude if you've ever been raped" line so yer a bit off here.

Here are the numbers on rape though so you feel like I'm aware of your concern.  I'm using the conservative ones (estimates are as high as 1 in 4 women are raped but simply remain silent).  While I'm pretty sure you're a troll, it's kinda nice to have the opening to do a bit of research and toss some numbers out there.  Thanks!

1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their life. 

Over 94% of the rapes that are reported occur when a male rapes another person.  3% are a female raping another person.  3% decline to specify (that one has me scratching my head... huh?).

I'm more than happy to visit whatever blog or site you've got going for the male victims of rape and lend my support for your cause.  What's that? You're a troll? Gah! Fell for it again!

 

 

Tue Dec 01 2009 10:18AM Report
thamighty213 writes:

Theres lots of words out there that have become commonplace on the internet and many people detest i have to say Rape is that word for me will it still be in 10 years time though,  gay was highly offensive not too long ago yet now its generally accepted even within gay communities to mean bad "dude thats totally gay"

Tue Dec 01 2009 10:58AM Report
Player_420 writes:

Its kinda like dead baby jokes (I love kids) you just cant take em seriously, but I still bumped your blog because I am annoyed with "rape"

Tue Dec 01 2009 11:30AM Report
SirIsaacJewton writes:

Personally, i know a lot of people who have been raped. People who say it... I would like to punch them in the face. A long with little kid jokes, and dead baby jokes. There is a fine line. A lot of people don't see it... It's a harsh world, i think we will never be clean. We can only try. I never use that word. It offends me.

Tue Dec 01 2009 11:49AM Report
theAsna writes:

Everything will change over time. Even the meaning of words and their usage. People should still be aware what the meaning of a word is and of the arbitrary nature of language with all its double meanings.
In some situations it's just a bad idea to use certain words (as in the example you described). It can be excused if someone doesn't know all meanings of a word (especially if the person is no native speaker). If someone knows the meanings and uses a word deliberately then it only shows the speaker's ignorance.

@cloudacv
I think the comment is inappropriate. In my time playing MMOs words like this (e.g. rape, gay, anal raping, etc) are and were mainly used by male players. Actually I never heard a woman say that she raped an NPC or opponent in PVP. But then I'm probably not playing enough or the wrong games.
 

Tue Dec 01 2009 12:49PM Report
cloudacv writes:

those stats have nothing to do with anything that i said.

Tue Dec 01 2009 1:53PM Report
Astrialla writes:

Hehe... and your original post has nothing to do with anything that I said.  Show me where I stated that only women get raped and I'll happily retract it. 

Show me anything other than trolling and I'll happily debate ya. Otherwise you're on the oh geez guess I better ignore the comments cause they're just being put here to get attention list.  Note to self: Blog on trolls?

Tue Dec 01 2009 2:36PM Report
Holia writes:

I totally agree.  I hate the word and the implications brought about with the use of it in gaming.

Thanks,  you are not alone..

Tue Dec 01 2009 9:20PM Report
fuzeblu writes:

Wonderful blog. I completely agree. I know, like a previous user has stated,  people who've experienced such devastation, and have experienced such devastation myself and wish it on no one.

The word doesn't affect me as much as it should, to which I am grateful. I just wish those who toss it around will realize what "rape" means in today's world.

BTW: I think I'm going to borrow your castration suggestion and see what happens next time...

Tue Dec 01 2009 10:52PM Report
Manmadegod writes:

Rape is just a word. I am a male and you can yelp castrate all you want in vent or spam it in trade. I am sure you won't find the effect to be recoil.... It will probably be laughter instead.

Wed Dec 02 2009 12:39AM Report
velveeta writes:

on blight, we had someone use rape like that once.

never seen that person ingame again and can't say anyone has missed him....

i do find it worth commenting that i have never personally seen, or even heard of, a female using the word in that context, only male players.  since it is usually a male doing the raping to whatever gender, i don't think they are even mentally capable of understanding the fear and fright that the mere mention of the word - especially in a casual and off hand way - causes in women.

Wed Dec 02 2009 11:21AM Report
Mithios writes:

Rape:

  1. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
  2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
  3. Archaic. the act of seizing and carrying off by force.

The word itself does not only have one meaning. There are many forms of rape. Financial, physical, mental, etc.. It is we the people that have latched onto a single meaning for the word.

Having said that. I don't like the word one bit, because like everyone else, I ascociate the common thought like the majority of people when I hear it. I think it is used way too often and in very unappropriate situations. I think when it is used out of proper context or used as a cliche, it just shows the mental capacity of the person using it, which in my opinion is very low. I find the word to be generally repulsive. In which case it should almost never be used because all the meanings of the word are in fact repulsive and using it casually is just plain ignorant.

Wed Dec 02 2009 2:29PM Report
Gamut writes:

Aren't you playing a game where you are committing wholesale genocide against something or other?  I knew a couple of kids that have been brutally attacked, one died from the injuries and his brother can't walk any more. The guy that can't walk plays MMOs and will be the first to tell you to wash the sand out of your vagina.  It's not real, neither is the smack-talk.

 

I doubt he girl that told me she was going to "assf**k" me over Xbox Live, actually has the intent (or equipment). She just didn't like being virtually stabbed repeatedly and wanted to tell me to watch out.  I'm not having flashbacks to my prison years or shedding a tear for every poor person that's been anally violated.

 

Get over yourself.

Wed Dec 02 2009 2:55PM Report
theAsna writes:

A word has been used out of context. OK.

So what prevents you from using "MMO smack talk" when arguing with your boss, partner, friends or family? 

Wed Dec 02 2009 3:23PM Report
Astrialla writes:

*Manmadegod writes:

Rape is just a word. I am a male and you can yelp castrate all you want in vent or spam it in trade. I am sure you won't find the effect to be recoil.... It will probably be laughter instead.*

That's actually the thing I sort of expected when writing this particular blog post.  I think it's important to mention that the main point of the blog was not to discuss whether or not people are correct in being disturbed by the use of the word rape inside an MMO or whether or not it should be used.

The point was that everytime I hear the word something inside me twists.  I have a visceral reaction to the word based on being female and living in a modern world where that particular word has cultural connotations that are disturbing.  I don't plan the response, I don't encourage it, I don't like it.  It's not fun.

How much of yourself do you leave at the login window of your game? (Hey.. another blog topic... )  I thought I left most of me but this part seems to have snuck in ... this the word rape means rape thing.

And as my blog says.. the point of using castrate was the result of trying to find another word that would create a visceral response in other players.  And... as my blog says (getting repetitive here lol ) I can't do it.  Because I know it's a word that has cultural significance for a number of males in the real world.   And I don't actually want them to get that visceral twist - it's not fun.

Sighing here. I know that this makes no difference to you and that I'm pretty much just writing to myself here lol but truthfully - the blog is about a strong reaction I have.  It's not logical to expect that the reaction I'm having will stop just because others will laugh at me or because others don't bring in the same parts of themselves past the load in screen. 

Wed Dec 02 2009 3:49PM Report
Gamut writes:

I think you'll slowly desensitize to stuff like this the longer you stay in Internet communities.  Like they say, "9 out of 10 people enjoy gang rape".

 

Thanks for the post btw, enjoyed reading back your other stuff.

 

Wed Dec 02 2009 6:48PM Report
chriswsm writes:

I tend to ignore it and just assume that the person who said it is approx 14 and has an I.Q.  somewhere within the 60-75 range.  Their parents must be so proud (when they are sober).

Wed Dec 02 2009 7:14PM Report
Darkbleach writes:

This blog just got raped.

Wed Dec 02 2009 11:11PM Report
Skuz writes:

I think it depends on context, like just about any other word.

In the "context" of an MMO game to use rape to mean utterly destroyed, pwned or whatever is acceptable in gaming parlance & the meaning of the word makes that definition perfectly acceptable.

I'd go so far as to say it is the failure of the English language that sexual rape is not given it's own word, but the English language does this same thing with many other words, the context defines the meaning.

It is unfortunate that rape does inevitably bring to mind it's sexual meaning and that it has such an effect upon people, & just for the record I have myself heard many female players use the word in gaming parlance, but these were long-term MMO players so how much was due to "acclimitisation" or exposure to it's use in games versus being comfortable with it in the first place because of it's multiple meanings is hard to say.

I've rarely used the word outside of gaming, real life rarely has a need for the word outside of it's sexual connotations, but the interesting similarity in the use of the word is the essence that the word describes power over another, but that's a line of debate for another forum, whether it is right or warranted to be used in games?

Yes I think it is, but sadly few will understand the strength of the word or it's breadth of meaning, most just use it asa trendy buzz-word, humans are akin to sheep after all, not that I'm sitting up on a pedestal saying that my using it is justified simply because I know what the word 'can' mean,

I do relate to your discomfort of usage of the word & understand it, but that's because of what the word means to you as an individual.

Thu Dec 03 2009 4:40AM Report
core784 writes:

Fear of a word only increases fear of the thing.

 

Thu Dec 03 2009 2:53PM Report
Maelkor writes:

Disgust and fear are not the same thing. There are lines and they should be drawn. Every individual can make a choice to allow something bad to occur or to fight it. If enough people in a given society choose to fight something that is "bad" then that thing will no longer occur.

There is as little reason to "get over it" when talking about any of these issues as there is to say or do these things in the first place.

And regardless of the context of the word rape(sexual or otherwise) it is always a bad thing and considered an evil act. If anyone wants to "roleplay" an evil person in a "its just a game" mmo then thats fine...just expect others to roleplay decent humans and ignore you or in the case of pvp games slaughter you etc.

I think the vast majority of people actually agree with you astrialla it just usually takes someone to stand up and say something to cause a real action to take place and you will usually take a lot of heat at first untill the normal people pull their heads out of the sand long enough to back you up.

Fri Dec 04 2009 3:42AM Report
Maelkor writes:

Oh and I also wanted to comment on Skuz's comment...its true the meaning of words can drift over time. Slang develops and things become acceptable the in the past were not acceptable.

The term gay is a good example. The original defininition of the word simply meant happy. Now the word has all sorts and forms of context dealing with homosexual behaviour.

The thing with word drift though is that is happens because we as individuals in a given society allow it to happen. If enough people reject outright the new meaning or context for a given word or phrase then that meaning will go away. So again its a personal choice and decision...do you accept this sort of behaviour as an individual or do you reject it?

Fri Dec 04 2009 3:47AM Report
Asellia writes:

I personally cringe everytime I see this word, however being unable to do anything about it; or explain to these egotistical, lifeless drones, I simply keep my feeling to myself.

Sat Dec 05 2009 3:31AM Report
Tethered writes:

There are several problems with using words that get labeled to the general public as the only use for that word (or connotation).

The very nature of sexual rape is power so I guess it can apply to a game/mmo, in youth's (immature) implications of some deed. As a whole we have desensitize our world by showing violence as the way to correct our problems. Rape is just 1 facet of that violence...right or wrong, I deal with it all the time, as I work with kids who have been in those type of positions.. sick, but at least when I get done I can get online and release my stress on some sorry looking "Orc"  =O

Sat Dec 05 2009 9:37AM Report
Koey writes:

yeah very sexist and uninformed post, try again when you get better information

Sat Dec 05 2009 5:30PM Report
mindmeld writes:

Couldnt agree more with Astrialla.

 

 

Sun Dec 06 2009 8:45AM Report
Supercoolguy writes:

"Dude if you'd ever been raped, or your sister or your mom or your daughter or your grandmother had... you'd never use that word."

 

 

Thats what you typed sexist implying only women get raped.

Hey why dont women need to drive? Theres no drivewar between the bedroom and the kitchen

Wanna hear a joke? Womens rights.

 

What do you say to a woman with 2 black eyes? Nothing shes already been told twice.

 

 

rape

Sun Dec 06 2009 6:07PM Report
wootin writes:

Thanks for bringing this out into the light. I am a man, and I've been disgusted by pretty much all of this crap since it started with the whole "pimping" garbage. There is nothing at all "cool" about a rapist who forces their victim's consent via drugs or money, then sells their victims's consent to be raped to other rapists. They're scum who destroy the lives of many others and aren't really punished in proportion. And this "rape" slang is a continuation of the trash talk.

To your point, there's a part of the brain that overrides our normal "let's all get along" social natures and allows us to deliberately hurt one another. The purpose of this part of the brain is to allow males to compete with each other for territory, whether geographical, power, or sexual. This is the part of the brain that is actually responsible for bullying btw.

Why this matters is that rape is not really about sexual gratification, as any mental health professional can tell you, it's about exercising power over another - in other words, bullying someone through sex, with the added physical gratification to complete their feeling of superiority.

So when someone bullies something in game, and wants to express how much gratification they got from the act, that's where you get the "rape" garbage. Also, where you get teabagging and other gross crap - it's about tying a sexual reference together with bullying so that the primitive center of the brain gets the most stimulation.

It's important to remember that like all ugly, senseless social trends, it's pretty much the lowest social denominator that starts it to show how "cool" they are, and idiots who want to feel cool like them and show their friends how daring they are perpetuate it.

I don't respect them at all, so if you choose to oppose their self-serving garbage, I'll be happy to stand in front while you rain death on them from behind. I've no problem at all telling the primitive centers of MY brain who is a threat, and I don't need lame sexual references for an added thrill ;)

 

Sun Dec 06 2009 8:11PM Report
ValiumSummer writes:

The word "Gay" has evolved as well... it used to mean happy... Then homosexual now  anything unsatisfactory is "gay".     Anyways, Nice blog.   Your talents are wasted here.

Wed Jan 27 2010 7:24PM Report
MooBunny writes: I propose instead of using the word "rape" we use the term "struggle snuggle".  I'm about to struggle snuggle this sorcerawr! Tue Nov 13 2012 9:40AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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