This post is about the rape culture in gaming…again…I know…done to death – please don’t read it if you are subject to triggers. This is a no holds barred kind of post and very ranty and venty!!
Let me start by saying, I like my guild, a lot. They are funny, no BS, crap talking gamers who enjoy their classes, toons and the kill. Very much like me. However, there has been one issue of the rape word being used. The first time, I let it slide because essentially, once doesn’t make it a pattern, the second time we were running with another guild and I am pretty sure (although not 100%) that it was said by someone in the other guild – perhaps that was my wishful thinking and the third time was last night by one of our female raiders. That shocked me more than anything, a girl saying it (yes I am sexist!)
I have come along way in the 5 years since my therapy stopped. I no longer freak out at the supermarket, I have some anxiety going out when I know there will be a lot of people, I still get sweaty palms when tradesmen walk near me or I am stuck in an elevator with them, and I still cringe when someone uses the word rape. I no longer collapse into a puddle of tears and it doesn’t conjure up the nightmares anymore, but the images come and for a moment I re-live it – I am better at controlling the images though and can shut them out with some effort now. Even when hubby and I are mucking around sometimes he will do something that causes me to get nervous about the situation and that takes a lot to get under control. It strikes whenever something reminds me of that situation, it is unpredictable.
During my therapy one of things I had to do, was to write the entire event down, in as much detail as I could remember. It helped putting pen to paper, it took me 3 months to write it, but I did it. I wonder if I posted that publicly, would people understand why using the word rape as a descriptor is not acceptable? How many people could stomach reading what someone actually endured, what someone did to them? Could you read it and put yourself in their position? Would people then see that being strangled by a belt whilst being tortured conjures up horrible images when you use the word so easily? If it was you, or your sister/brother or your friends….how would you feel if they told you they were nearly killed because someone couldn’t control themselves, I asked the same question back ages ago for a blog challenge?
Do people who use that term even actually consider what they are saying? The violation and torture that people are subjected during an ordeal such at that should never be compared to pixels on a screen killing your pixel character. It removes the horror of what people like I suffered through and live with every day. The point I am at with the guild is wanting to say something, but knowing I can’t without feeling guilty for telling people to shut it in the first place. I am still new and trying to fit into the guild, I don’t want to seem precious – because really – I am far from it, but as I have posted previously, you never know who is behind the screen and taking a few moments to consider how insulting you are being could change someone’s day entirely.
Likely I will say something to the GM over the next couple of days, if I get the courage and if it gets said again.
If there is a slightly funny side to this, I was warned by a good friend that their concerns were about the language used in their guild and how it may cause issue for me if I joined them and even my hubby and I discussed being back in a guild again and having to prepare for the use of the word. It annoys me that it is even a discussion that needs to happen. It annoys me that my 3 hours of agony and subsequent years of mental torment are constantly compared to something in a video game.
Anyway, I am jumping off my soap box and crawling back into my bubble