Cancer just the beginning for Spec Ops: The Line

Title Cancer just the beginning for Spec Ops: The Line
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Games
When August 29, 2012

Here's how the internet works. Someone writes an article. A popular aggregate then plucks an incendiary quote from the article. At which point guys like me blog about the incendiary quote in lieu of reading or actually discussing the article..

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I blame Obama. For all of it.

You're the best, Tom.

I heard from a doctor that the single-player campaign has built-in defenses against legitimately bad multiplayer. The campaign's not affected at all. True fact.

I'm so tired of people using words like this. I understand when people grew up people used words they shouldn't have on the playground and when they grew up they never shed those words from their vocabulary. Now we have people like Daniel Tosh who make a living off calling people faggots and joking about rape. Welcome to our new culture. What this doesn't mean is that it has to be a permanent part of our culture. We need to be proactive about taking these words out of the vernacular and making sure that people realize what the connotations behind those words actually are. I could start about the anti-calling "stupid things" gay campaign and how it was a good message but poorly executed but I won't.

Well said, Tom. I absolutely loathe how the word rape has become a generic perjorative, a synonym for somehow damaging or beating someone. It's far too serious a word to be used so casually.

rape1 <img border="0" src=""> /reɪp/ Show Spelled [reyp] Show IPA noun, verb, raped, rap·ing.
noun 1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. 2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person. 3. statutory rape. 4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.Ignorance is a terrible thing. For example, being ignorant that a single word can have more than one meaning. Let's say for example.... Oh, I dunno. How about the word "rape"? See meaning number 4? Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe, he was using the word rape to mean something other than forced sexual intercourse? Nah, because that doesn't fit the narrative. Time for someone else to sit in the corner until he has the knowledge of an adult.

Who cares how the guy talks when he makes clear statement?The way I see it is that you are the non-adult Tom.

There seems to be a serious etymological disconnect here. Yes, rape has
come to refer predominately to sexual assault, but that is a very recent
development. Its origins are entirely different. It comes from a
Germanic root meaning to take away; and it was so used in English for
much longer than any specialized sexual meaning. The Rape of the Sabine
Women referred to their abduction. The Rape of the Lock refers to the
taking of hair, though it is likely symbolic for a sexual "taking" as
well. The Rape of Nanjing included sexual crimes, but was by no means
limited to it. Looting, pillaging and raping did not originally mean
sex, they were all synonyms for stealing stuff from vanquished people.
The hyper-politicization of the word is the recent development, not the
use of it as a term to describe general abuse. Did he use it in a
hyperbolic fashion? Yes. Did he use it in an inappropriate sense? No.

Insert reply to strawman argument here...

See above for further strawman burning.

It's not about clear statements, it's about using a word that has a lot of weight something as silly as game mechanics. Like Tom said, use any number of other words... just don't use "rape".

Insert reply to stawman argument here...

The actual meaning of the word "etymology" seems to be lost somewhere in your turgid logorrhea, Nemo. It is not only the study of the root source of a word, but also about its evolution through time; thus its process of contextualization Although the word "rape" could refer to legal property exchanges as well as abduction- it was used in that manner during the 15th-19th centuries. Even if you chose to use it in its original context,it would still refer to a violent act of subjugation. The point here is that words are given meaning through consensus not merely history. I'm curious what your motivation could possibly be to defend someone who uses a term with such a violent history in such a trivial manner.

Rather than debate the sexual politics (as I have done elsewhere), I, too, will meet you on the linguistic level. Yes, there is historical precedent for that usage, but why claim that usage as the "correct" one? As you note, definitions evolve over time - insisting that society roll back the connotations that have developed is like spitting into a twister. Time was, "whom" and "who" were used distinctly, but now "whom" is nearly obsolete.

Two anecdotes: 1) Both as a student and as a teacher of English, I read Pope's "Rape of the Lock," and both instances required an in-class explanation of the wording exactly because the sexual assault definition is the prevalent meaning. 2) While studying French in college, I learned about an organization called the Academie Francaise, which serves as a regulatory board for the "official" French language (other languages have similar groups). They adamantly refused to acknowledge modern English terms that were being used by the population; "l'email" was an especially contentious one. These organizations eventually relent and integrate some of them because they want to stay relevant to how people use language.

You just raped Tom

First, I approve of "turgid logorrhea." Sadly, it was used (passive voice, further sign I'm beyond the pale) to
mimic the style of my post and thereby attempt to discredit it. But I still like any
word-aware person.
Second, as has been said, consensus defines words. The problem here is that there is no one "consensus" concerning this word, or rarely any word for that matter. Anon implies that the consensus is (paraphrasing) "rape is a word with such a violent history that it should no be used in such a trivial manner." Mr. McNeill implies that this is, by now, the only possible meaning and therefore one should not protest as to do so would be futile. I disagree with both. I think that such a view of the word does not reflect the general consensus of English speakers, but rather a limited group of people. These people might have actual concern about the feelings of rape victims; they might be trying to advance certain philosophical views (as Mr. McNeill points out, defining a word can be valuable in sexual politics or any other kind); or they just might be ignorant (I'm not using this pejoratively, solely in the "lacking knowledge" sense; we all are ignorant of things) of the various definitions of "rape." Regardless, the fact that these groups exist does not mean they have an undeniable right to define the word. I do not claim any one definition to be correct. I claim them all to be correct. "Rape" is sexual assualt and a serious matter, and should be discussed in such a manner. "Rape" is also the taking away or abduction of something. "Rape" is also, as glcm1961 linked to and as demonstrated by many other sources of definitions, a more general term for a violent assault on something. Which leads to my next point.
Third, as I originally said, Mr. Davis' usage was appropriate, but hyperbolic. I assume that readers of this site will accord the term "creative artist" to video game designers. For an author, an artist, and even (with no comment on the "Are games Art?" question) a lead designer of a video game, their creation is a serious matter. To have a creation altered severely with no input or recourse is, to a creator, a serious matter. He did not say: "We wuz raped lol!!!!" He used "rape" in a manner that, while not agreeable to some, reflected his view on the handling of his creation. This view is nothing new, nor is it limited to this one instance. Artists (in the broad sense) feel very strongly about what they produce. The strength of this feeling could warrant the use of the word rape, even if limited to its "non-sexual, serious matter" usage. I do not attempt to so limit it and therefore feel that it is merely, once again, appropriate but hyperbole.
I apologize for the length of this, but as I apparently am convicted already of "turgid logorrhea" I might as well be "hanged for a sheep as a lamb." There, using outdated sayings should make it even easier to casually dismiss my arguments.

Thank you, Tom. This needed to be said, and I haven't seen it in very many places.

Get off it Tom. If this offends you then fine, speak out against it, but this use of language is not as universally offensive you as you seem to think it is.

Rape has more meanings than just forcible sex with a woman and has been used poetically for a long time. It just bugs me so much when people come out and publicly chastise someone for using language in a way that they find offensive when it is clear there was no intent to offend on the part of the speaker. You are not right on this one Tom.