Can’t Escape Hate

Can’t Escape Hate

The online gaming community grows each year with better games and functionalities.  But with each pro, evidently it’ll be followed by a con.  With functions like chat boxes and headsets, gamers are allowed to interact with other people that are playing alongside them.  13-year-old boys making Yo Mama jokes is expected out of games, but it goes even further than that.

Deep beyond jokes and actual gameplay, female gamers have to deal with serious issues involving online harassment, bullying, misogyny, sexual slurs, and much more.  With various outlets of social media, females would be harassed outside of the gaming realm like Twitter and Facebook (Basically everything you can think of).  Disgusting and hateful comments posted would try to drive ladies out of what men think is their “dominating world”.

I had not thought about how serious it gets with these comments and actions until I’ve encountered it.  I’ve been playing Call of Duty all throughout high school.  There weren’t any problems for me other than kids forcing me to “rage quit”. Recently I started picking the game back up since my female friend wanted to play. I invited her over and it surprised me at how well she did.  Our mics were on and when she spoke everyone was surprised.  I will never forget their startled voices and nasty comments, “Is that a girl?  Why is she here?  Is she really going to play or is she just cheerleading for her boyfriend?”  Everything was going all right until the hateful comments started flooding our message box.  I looked over and my friend on the other hand was unphased, unlike me.  She said, “It’s the usual for me.  These people here are actually nice compared to others.”

            Women are taking a stand for their own rights.  They would report any harassment when they can and post evidence of their abuse.  They try their best to be heard but of course, males attempt to silence these protestors by any means possible.  Serious acts like online hacking, personal threats, and vandalizing pages seem to be a reoccurring act.  Kickstarting campaigns are denounced even before it became anything.  So that means women are rejected before any concrete action (that’s crazy!).  Because of this, women are afraid to personalize their photos or desired usernames.  Basically they have to hide the fact that they’re female.  They would go as far as buying mics that can change their voice more masculine in order to play games.  This shows the power of the gaming community and also the hate they have for female gamers.

Anita Sarkeesian, a female gamer, tried to raise $6,000 on Kickstarter in order to document how women are treated in games. Her YouTube page and Facebook were instantly flooded with hate comments.  She has gotten death threats, her Wiki page vandalized, and even had her accounts hacked. Some men can’t take the fact that women can play better than other men and some just won’t accept females at all.  Although 47 percent of all gamers are women and many equal in skills, they are not welcomed.  As my friend would say, “They just hate to be beaten by a girl!”

There is no doubt that men degrade females as sexual objects.  Messages are sent asking for sexual favors or humiliating them with sexual slurs.  Julia Hardy, gaming TV presenter, experienced such criticism.  “I started noticing that on Twitterand Facebook, people would send me really disgusting comments.  They’d be quite aggressively sexual, although ‘it’s supposed to be a compliment’.” They honestly think that saying, ‘Hey, I’d really like to fuck you in your mouth,’ is an acceptable way of saying hello.

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Most of the immaturity comes from adult male rather than the monotony teenage boy.  Voice recordings reveal deep voiced males and photos sent showing adult male genitals.  So it goes beyond the work of kids.  It’s baffling to find out that women can’t even play games in peace.  It’s even worse that adults cause these acts.  You think that they would know better than mere 13 year-olds but it’s the total opposite.  They go right into degrading women whether the game is going their way or not.  This brings back serious matters like online bullying and misogyny.  Miranda Pakozdi entered the Cross Assault video game competition but ended up forfeiting the game after six days in of competition.  Her team coach, Aris Bakhtanians, apparently interrogates her on camera about her bra size.  He told the team to focus the webcam on her chest, feet, and legs.  He also said, “Take off your shirt.”  There is no doubt that these actions can drive anyone away.

A call to action is hard to come by since males dominate the gaming world.  They prevent women from making a difference.  But change is bound to happen sooner or later.  Hearing from gamers, Microsoft’s vice president and team executives invited James Portnow, a game designer, for a meeting.  He wrote a web series depicting this issue and compared it to school bullying having access to the intercom system.  For four hours they discussed how Microsoft could better their algorithms for things like automatic muting for repeating offenders.  A lot of games nowadays have muting options and can kick offenders out of the game if caught harassing.  This betters the gaming community step by step.

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Behind The Magic of Disney

Behind The Magic of Disney

Since 1923, the Walt Disney Company has grown with countless families from their days in tiny baby shoes, to their adult lives in the work world. Their unique animated films, resorts, and variety of products has been staples in every child’s memory for many years. The main concept that has helped Disney maintain their brand for such a prolonged period of time is the idea of “maintaining the magic,” in all of their products. This idea can be defined as creating a suitable environment for children and families to enjoy themselves without being subjected to inappropriate material. However, it is important to question how far Disney is willing to go uphold this ideal and whether it is truly justified. Since Disney plays such a big part in the growth of future generations, their products are worth putting in front of the looking glass.

As young girls grow up they are exposed to a variety of things that shape them into women.giphy One of the earliest examples of this are the typical Disney princesses that are conveyed in their films and most of their other products. These beautified works of fiction are packaged as flawlessly beautiful, able to sing in a way that captures the hearts of anyone who hears them, and desperately in search of purpose in their lives. As young girls see these perfect women prancing across the movie screen with an alarming amount of forest animals following them, they tend to think “one day I wanna be just like her.” However, is this idea of an unrealistic and magically perfect woman something we want young girls to admire ?

Disney knows that their princess films appeal to this demographic of young girls. Parents and their daughters flock to giant stadiums spilling overpriced princess themed slushies every time their favorite princess comes out during the ice skating shows. This burst of excitement occurs because being to able to see a princess live is like meeting an idol for a child.mulan hair Parents need to understand that the idea of “magic” is embedded in these princesses and instills not only a false image of what a woman should be, but a lure to make parents spend money on a product their children are convinced is worth admiring. From Ariel giving up her family to be with a man she has only known for a day, to Mulan having to change her gender in order to bring honor to her family, these are the concepts that are exposed to young children who watch these films. mulan-pouring-tea

For women who wish to find a job as a princess at one of Disney’s luxurious resorts, the process is both intimidating and incredibly strict. Essentially, those who wish to audition are placed into a large audition hall where they are forced to perform without any family or friends accompanying them. They are expected to dress in form fitting clothes that highlight the shape of their bodies in order to see if they physically match a princess’s figure. Finally and most surprisingly, after you audition, the Disney Casting Director is the one who decides which princess you are best physically suited for. Even if you performed that princess perfectly, if you are too fat to play Ariel or too short to be Mulan, you’re not going to make the cut.

There are certain women for have been “lucky” enough to actually survive this insane process and have nothing good to say about their experiences at the resorts. For example, women who play the role of princesses who wear little-to-no clothing such as Ariel or Pocahontas, are forced to be silent as men whisper grotesque things into their ears during meet and greet photos. There are other moments when parents themselves encourage their children to hit the princesses in order to make their child laugh. If the women react in any way, they are considered to be breaking character which is an easy way to get fired. Essentially, women who are part of the magical process of princess selection act as punching bags to a corporation that simply wishes to make money regardless of the consequences.

Take a Peek Behind the Curtain With These Links

http://mashable.com/2014/08/27/former-disney-princess-ama/#XQtuU9856kqY

http://disneyauditions.com/audition-experience/expect.html

Sexual Expression and the City…Or at least the Media

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For years women have fought for their sexual freedom. In some ways, women are still fighting for it–can I get birth control and abortion laws for 500, please? But we’ve mostly obtained that freedom, right? Well, kind of. Women’s sexual expression is highly encouraged in today’s society, and it’s even praised in some instances. From Samantha Jones’s proud promiscuity on Sex and the City to Cosmopolitan magazine’s plethora of articles on how to achieve orgasm, it’s great that a woman can speak so openly about her sexuality and not be ashamed to want to figure out how to please herself. Yet, so many of these articles focus on how to please a man and what he wants a woman to do. One of Cosmo’s articles in particular explains how to please a man orally and one even focuses on a woman’s thoughts before faking an orgasm. (Why is faking an orgasm even still a thing?)

Earlier this semester I had to write a paper for a sociology class about the way gender is portrayed on social media. Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I noted several posts encouraging women to express their sexuality–I mostly focused on heterosexual relationships. However, all too often, these posts encouraged a woman to express herself sexually as long as she was doing it to please her man. Ideas like these, posts like these, articles like these–they’re good for encouraging a woman’s sexual expression, yes, but they also reinforce these gender roles and stereotypes that we should be fighting to get away from.

This sociology class centers on the construction of gender–what it means to be male and female–and often these definitions include regulations regarding how each gender should present themselves sexually. As taught in this class, society sees that men should be dominant, both sexually and generally, and women should be submissive. Yes, women, flaunt yourselves, have sex, make sure you reach orgasm–but make sure he gets there first, even if that means you have to fake it. What?

I’m not saying that a man’s sexual expression or pleasure is not important. Men also have the right to express their sexuality and to make sure that their experiences are satisfactory. But men have literally always had the freedom of sexual expression. Men aren’t fighting for access to birth control. Men don’t wear white dresses on their wedding day to represent their purity. And how often would someone comment that maybe that man shouldn’t be wearing white today?

To take it back to my sociology class, there are just clear gender stereotypes enforced throughout society. Men and women are assigned roles, and most often the roles involving sex are given to men. Women are just along for the ride. Media artifacts like Cosmo and Sex and the City work against the stereotypes, creating new roles for genders or taking away roles completely. However, too often, they end up undermining their progress to break away from the stereotypes, like Cosmo does.

Despite Cosmo’s support of the female orgasm and articles teaching women how to act on their desires, they still spend too much time focusing on teaching women to be submissive. And society is so used to these gender roles that we tend to just go with it and fawn over the fact that female sexuality is even being mentioned at all.

Cosmo absolutely supports women’s sexual freedom. Cosmo provides an outlet for women to talk about their sexual experiences, hear about other women’s sex lives, and get questions about sex answered. Unfortunately, so much of a woman’s sexuality revolves around a man’s, which is why articles still have to talk about faking orgasms. Women are encouraged to be sexual, but apparently not more sexual than men, and the faking orgasms article implies that a woman shouldn’t be comfortable with expressing her sexuality if it interferes with a man’s. And I still find that Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones is a fantastic example of a woman who completely defies these stereotypes and expectations. She takes it to a new level.

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While three out of four Sex and the City storylines follow women vying for a man’s attention (though they still manage to embrace their sexuality apart from these gender stereotypes plenty), Samantha’s story always remains constant: she’s about sex and she’s about herself. While Sex and the City is slightly outdated (the last movie came out in 2010), Samantha’s story is a wonderful lesson for women about embracing their sexuality and putting themselves first. Samantha worries about her sexual freedom, not about how it is going to interfere with her male partner’s sexuality. She doesn’t fake orgasms. Both men and women’s sexual freedom is equally important, and neither should be dependent on the other. But the media needs to be more like Samantha Jones, ignoring the gender stereotypes and encouraging your sexuality first for the benefit of you and you alone.

Illinois: The Disinvestment in Higher Education

Illinois: The Disinvestment in Higher Education

It is important to aim high when shooting for a specific goal.  When I read that in 2008, Illinois committed to making sure that 60% of our work-force holds a college degree by the year 2025, I couldn’t help but scratch my head.  This begs the question of how we as a state could have been so optimistic about our higher educational goals, and now find ourselves, just a handful of years later, gridlocked in one of the biggest budget crisis in recent history.

Upon further research I found that Illinois was once the national leader on higher education accessibility and affordability.  We led the country in need-based aid and made it possible regardless of income, to receive quality higher education.  This would explain why the state would propose such an inspiring goal.  What went wrong?  The recession certainly hindered the state’s plans and as a result created steady increases of tuition at four year institutions over the last ten years.  Our tuition rates are 40% higher than the national average.  Worst of all, as the tuition rates hike up, the amount of student aid offered dwindles or in some cases completely vanish.  As a college student I am extremely concerned about the outcome of the stalemate that the state is currently in.

The vast majority of the blame is being placed on Governor Bruce Rauner, but we seem to overlook House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is heavily involved in the budget apprauner-madiganroval.  Governor Ruaner’s 2015-2016 budget plan includes a 387 million dollars cut on higher education spending.  House speaker Madigan presented the democratic budget plan which would result in a 4 billion dollar unbalanced budget, meaning we allocated even more debt into the deficit.  Rauner and Madigan have been going head to head and have been vetoing each other’s proposals link.   Since this is an election year and both partie’s budget will ultimately rely on a state tax increase, both men’s tactics are to stall in order not to risk losing support by lobbying for a state tax increase.  What they fail to realize is that they are making us, the college students, collateral damage in their childish standoff.

Ruaner’s education budget cut translates to a 30 percent deficit of the operating budget of Illinois public universities. With legislators not being able to come to terms with a viable budget solution, the state has been without a budget since July of last year.  One of the ways that this has hit close to home is in the lack of the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant, at UIC and all other Illinois universities.  There is a large student population that depend on the MAP grant.  This grant was essential in granting me a chance at a higher education.  Without it I found myself having to get a second job over the summer just to be able to cover the cost of tuition.  I know a couple of students who had to postpone enrolling because of the higher out of pocket costs.  Perhaps the most visible consequence of the budget stalemate is the impending shutdown of Chicago State University.  They cancelled their spring break in order to finish the semester early and they also bumped up their graduation ceremonies by two weeks because they estimate that they will be completely out of money by the end of March.  I will be the first to say that the amount of stress that one carries as a college student is already immense, to tack on a high stakes situation like this is really unfair.  Something must be done and action must be taken.

On April 1st, the #ShutDownChi rally was held by Teachers for Social Justice, along with students, teachers, staff, and families at the UIC quad.  A rather large group formed and many of them displayed signs and positive attitudes as they marched down to the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.  There they joined surrounding universities in an effort to support higher education funding.   Events like this one are happening all around the city in many different campuses.  The outreach is there, beckoning for us to hold a conversation with one another.  We are all in this together and we should make an effort to not ignore or be complaisant to issues that affect our future and that of our future generation.  We must go out and vote and let our voices be heard, because we sure as hell are worth the damn investment. uicshutdown

 

 

 

 

Questioning life’s digital meaning one blog post at a time

I had just gotten off the newly renovated Damen blue line stop and was walking past Stan’s Donut shop around the corner, when I noticed a person standing on top of one of the swivel bar stools in the window. Initially, I was worried they would fall because, you know, swivel bar stools, but then I noticed a phone in their hand, and a friend (I assume it was a friend) seated two seats away, frozen with mouth open and a large donut en route to mouth, hovering two inches away from their perfectly straight, white teeth framed by perfectly straight, brown hair. Almost immediately, I stopped worrying about the safety of this teenager, and secretly wished the chair to swivel at just the wrong moment.

“What makes me like this?” was my fleeting moment of introspection as I carried on in the cold winds of the Chicago winter.

I walked away from that scene deep in contemplation about the wild world we live in and the lengths we go to stay relevant. The internet is in the hands of 40 percent of the world, giving researchers unprecedented amounts of information. This data accumulation can have huge positive impacts with things like disaster prevention and relief, and counteracting social injustices. On a grand scale the benefits are obvious, irrefutable even, but what about on the individual scale? How does this global connection affect its users personally, individually?

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The average person spends 1.72 hours a day on some variation of social media, and in that time, we form relationships with our friends and families through their avatars. In an effort to stay connected and keep the people you know updated with things going on in our lives, we have sacrificed meaning behind things that should be meaningful and traded it in for the vanity of virtual acknowledgement and the promotion of personal celebrity.

Everyone knows what its like to login to their virtual avatar and have barrage of updates about vacations, weddings, babies, deaths, acquisitions. A friend of mine once said we are “measuring milestones with Facebook likes” and I have never been able to forget that short phrase because it makes so much sense. Is the cost of meaning, absence of reality and an attempt at celebrity? We are projecting our milestones onto a third party who sells the reward back to us through virtual encouragement, (Better known as ‘likes’ and ‘comments’), but is the amount of encouragement not adequate enough unless it extends to all corners of your networking group? Better yet do I have a right to question this if I participate aka. lurking and passing judgment?

This conversation comes directly from a reflection of self, an avid internet, social media user. I use instagram, Facebook, wordpress, wix, all on a daily basis, but I do not think it’s unreasonable to question something someone is willing to risk pending death by standing on a swivel bar stool for. Really, what is it for?

Instead of staying in touch with friends and family, social media has become the mutated step-child of something that was really awesome. It isn’t one person’s fault that we’ve created an entire generation of celebrities, with something to say and nothing to hear. But it seems like there needs to be a reevaluation of what has meaning in our lives, and is that measured in ‘likes’? Do we need to let the world know we are eating a delicious five-dollar donut, and if so, how does that affect the actual ‘eating of the donut’? Can it’s true deliciousness be savored after it has been used as a prop?

Maybe we are all just trying to fool ourselves into thinking we are doing okay, that we aren’t all falling apart because our avatars are doing so great? Digital media is an amazing tool, but on an individual level it doesn’t seem much more than a platform to propagate an abundance of self-importance and encourages a need of constant self-acknowledgement (“Says the blogger”).

Translating English Into English

In a tweet on April 23, 2015, the anthropologist David Graeber lamented the “disastrous fate of anthropology: of 4 top-sellers on Amazon, 3 are different editions of Guns, Germs, and Steel.” The book is the hugely popular 1997 monograph which argues that Western society’s vast material wealth, and the Global South’s respective poverty, can be attributed to a geographical accident—the development of agriculture in Eurasia. Diamond, not an anthropologist by trade, was widely castigated by those in the field for his “one-note riff” of a book.[1] Anthropologist Jason Antrosio said that the book did a huge disservice to the telling of human history, both erasing human agency and abdicating Europeans from taking responsibility for their murderous conquests. Unfortunately, Diamond’s “story-telling abilities are so compelling that he has seduced a generation of college educated readers.”[2] Diamond’s critics painted him a magician, spellbinding his audience with narrative and hypnotizing them into accepting his severely flawed thesis.

Now, as a college educated person who has  read Guns, Germs, and Steel and enjoyed it, I need to tell you that at no time while reading Jared Diamond’s book did I feel like I was being confounded or hexed. I know, I know, what if I just haven’t noticed because I’m still under a dark curse cast by a scientist who can actually write. But seriously, Antrosio’s assumption that the book’s engrossing prose and human story befuddled millions is the classic elitist sentiment that says “if it’s popular, it can’t be good.”  Peasants with mere bachelor degrees aren’t capable of reading critically. It’s up to me, the wise college professor, to elucidate this clumsy analysis, using my work instead!

The historical analysis Guns, Germs, and Steel offers is far from perfect. It falls victim to ecological determinism, and I agree with many critics that Diamond’s depiction of human agency across history is downplayed. But Diamond raises interesting questions about the world, in words that people without a PhD can understand. Most importantly, Diamond’s book offers a gateway to many more conversations in anthropology and other disciplines, which could offer more nuanced views of our world. Backlash against well received books and media is appropriate and necessary, but I only wish that academics would take Diamond’s case as a lesson that the books that get read are well written, and the books that don’t get read, are poorly written. Which are the ones academics write. Oh, no one’s read my research on the history barrel making in the Byzantine Empire? You obviously haven’t met my dissertation committee!

I wish people would read academic texts because I find interesting topics in them all the time. In a recent issue of the scholarly journal African Affairs, there was an article about Nigerian Muslims making the hajj to Mecca during British rule. When I read that, my mind overflowed with wonder. Who are these people? What were their lives like? These are the questions that people want to get answered. Unfortunately, historical nuance often needs to be sacrificed to construct a compelling narrative which will stir the interest of a reading public. That’s a sacrifice more should be willing to make, so that we can get these stories out.

A professor of mine told me that history teachers need the moral courage to make generalizations to their students, even when they know that the real events were more complicated. Historians and other social scientists need that courage if their disciplines are going to remain relevant. We need more people to blur the line between academic and popular writing. It is possible to research rigorously and write a lucid story that people will enjoy reading. If more social scientists bring their research interests to a broader audience, readers could become more engaged on global issues. It’s good for academics too! Your writing will finally be read by people who aren’t in a committee or on an editing board! Can you imagine?

It can be real. Free yourself from the chains of jargon. Embrace the language of the common people. Get feedback from a person with a real job. Cease the obfuscation of your discourse through the forfeiture of your ego.

[1] Antrosio, Jason, 2013. Real History versus Guns Germs and Steel. Living Anthropologically, http://www.livinganthropologically.com/anthropology/guns-germs-and-steel/.

[2] Ibid.

Pokémon Casuals

I wanna be the very best. Or, alternatively, I want to enjoy my video games and ride into battle accompanied by a prehistoric lima bean. Pokémon, like many of my favorite games, has an expansive competitive feature that is filled up with min-maxxers the likes of which I simply don’t have time to compete with. I have class.

However I do have time to watch videos on the internet regarding games. And I found this: A Buzzfeed video titled “People Try to Guess Gamer Slang” which now has 1.5 million views and thousands of comments, many complaining about the use of the phrase “experienced gamers.” One of the top comments reads:

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This comment is a little weird considering Nintendo (the company behind the Wii U and 3DS) is widely held responsible for both the variety and popularity of video games today. Earlier systems such as NES are generally said to be impossibly difficult and thus the epitome of real video games. Additionally, people played NES without internet guides to help them along. Which means it is even more difficult and, presumably, real. Surely games like Pokémon, accessible only on Nintendo platforms, are purely casual games according to Youtuber EwoksPlaysGames.

As of the announcement of Pokémon Sun and Moon for the 3DS, there are 718 Pokémon with a minimum of nine new ones on the way. But realistically the odds of Nintendo restraining themselves to just nine new Pokémon are about as low as the odds of catching Mewtwo in a poke ball with no damage or stat modifiers, probably lower since you have at least a 3% chance of success with the latter. Pokémon is, above all, a numbers game. And if there’s anything to be learned from min-maxxers it’s that every single stat counts. Except for two.

The goal of competitive play is to create the mathematically optimal team and apply it perfectly, expecting variables and engaging in a number of checks and balances. Rock beats fire and flying is just the start. A competitive team needs to average Individual Values – IVs- of 30 or higher, the highest possible IV being 31. As the odds of a Pokémon inheriting one maxed-out stat is only 2:6, this is an arduous task. After producing this team, intense and specific grinding against the correct enemies to ensure an optimal EV – Effort Value – spread is required. The most you can get from a wild encounter is 3 EVs and you have to fill 508 EVs (out of 510 – remember, two don’t count). You’ll have to spread those out amongst whatever stats you think are most important, and until gen VI, there were no do-overs. Imperfect stats aren’t competitively viable so a bad spread or a low IV total means a losing team.

But optimizing an individual Pokémon will not ensure a win in competitive play either. There are dozens of Pokémon that simply are not competitively viable. No matter how you spread their stats, mathematically perfect Wigglytuff can’t beat mathematically perfect Greninja, which heads hundreds of competitive teams. The player needs to choose and arrange a team that can counter whatever you’re most likely to see in your respective tier (whatever your ranking may be). On lower rankings, you can basically play whatever you want and lord over all those smug Japanese 12-year-olds who thought their Pidgeotto could stand up to my Dragonite. On higher tiers, though, you’re more likely to get smashed by the same team of three over and over.

Aside from this killing the magic of having so many Pokémon to choose from – there are 718 and only about 50 are both competitively viable and legal (I.E. not banned under tournament rules) in competitive play – it sends a message that being a Pokémon master has more to do with how much free time you have on your hands. Your average player probably won’t have the time or the patience to spend hours producing a competitively viable team only for a new ability or type to completely trash their strategy (such as a Dragonite tank swinging Substitute, Dragon Dance, Earthquake, and Outrage being made useless by Fairy-type Togekiss, wow I’m bitter).

So the majority of Pokémon fans have little more than a casual interest in playing through the games, maybe attempting a self-imposed challenge such as a solo run (a team featuring only one Pokémon), a randomized run (using a mod to randomize all encounters) or a Nuzlocke (must catch the first Pokémon per route, if a Pokémon faints it is considered dead and should be released). But for those that have the free time there are sizable monetary rewards.

You can put yourself through college by being a Pokémon master. Isn’t life grand?

Increasingly this is the case with most games – a player with a casual interest in Dark Souls can stumble through Lordran without worrying too much about having the optimal stat spread but might get smashed on competitive play using their very best weapons and armor, all upgraded and enchanted as much as they could manage. The difference is, Dark Souls is real games, according to these youtube gaming “elites” (by the comment section these seem to be mostly fans of First Person Shooters, which features competitive play contingent on a fast internet connection).

To be fair, Youtuber EwoksPlaysGames doesn’t claim to be a professional (or experienced) gamer. Their channel both has no content and explicitly states their casual interest in games. So that really begs the question of why commenters like EwoksPlaysGames feel the need to preserve the integrity of Xbox and PlayStation and PC gaming by decrying Nintendo as casual and suitable only for children (something which should not be detrimental to its reputation). Part of this seems to be due to the fact that EwokPlaysGames never explored the competitive aspects of Nintendo.

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And even if EwokPlaysGames dropped everything to become a Pokémon Master, should he have to? The beauty of games as a medium is that they can be experienced in different ways, either by players thrilled by the variety of stories some games entail, the art of game-development, the mechanics of competitive and story play, or just as a way to pass time, like reading a visual novel or watching a movie.

Going through the main story armed with a trusty-yet-over-leveled Raticate should be a viable way to experience Pokémon. After all, it works.