This Is What A Gamer's Sexual Harassment Looks Like

One competitive gamer's inflammatory comments in support of sexual harassment set off a firestorm of drama in the gaming world yesterday. This video makes things seem even worse.


In a recent interview, competitive gamer Aris Bakhtanians said "sexual harassment is part of [the] culture" in the fighting game community, where players compete in titles like Street Fighter and Tekken for fortune and fame.

This footage, shot on February 23 and brought to our attention today by an anonymous tipster, shows Bakhtanians shooting some lewd remarks at fellow gamer Miranda "Super_Yan" Pakozdi. He takes control of the camera and spends a whole lot of time focusing it on Pakozdi, who appears to be the only woman in the room. He focuses on her butt and breasts, shooing people away when they block his view. He also makes some comments about her feet and thighs that may seem out of line to, well, anybody.

Later in the video, Bakhtanians moves over to Pakozdi and starts talking to her while she plays the game. She is visibly uncomfortable. After a minute or so, she says she has to go to the bathroom.

Creepy stuff.

Bakhtanians has issued a statement via Twitter in response to the uproar generated by his comments.




Because I'm sure this will get lost under the endless comments, I might as well repost this. Aris responded via Twitter:


I understand that I said some controversial statements on the Cross Assault show, and a lot of people are deeply offended with what was said. When I made these statements, I was very heated as I felt that the culture of a scene I have been a part of for over 15 years was being threatened. I unfortunately used extreme examples in the heat of the moment and feel that my statements don’t actually communicate how I feel. This is similar to what people say when they get into an argument with their girlfriend, and they say things that they deeply regret. I sincerely apologise if I have offended anyone. My statements do not reflect those of Capcom or myself. The last thing I want to do is get them in trouble for giving me and the fighting game community the opportunity to have an amazing show like this.

What I was trying to communicate is that mild hostility has always been a defining characteristic of the fighting game scene. Back when arcades were more prevalent, people didn’t like newcomers, and players needed to fight and pay their dues to get respect. The debate I was in was with a person who supported professional leagues, who have intent to censor the community to make it more accessible. I think the sink or swim mentality is something that defined our culture, and if that succeeds it removes something which has been important to help create some of the best fighting game players of our time. I was unfortunately unable to make this point clearly. Again, I am deeply sorry for offending anyone. This was a combination of the people taking things out of context and my own inability in the heat of the moment to defend myself and the community I have loved for over 15 years.