A quick review of the train wreck that was The Raid

I’ll let you watch the horrid documentary The Raid yourself. It will be available for free soon. Me and Leala discussed this movie as far back as last year (if not further) and we knew then what was possibly going to happen. We knew that if the one dude who was making this movie was busily asking for thousands of dollars just to make a PREVIEW version of the movie that it was already well into the lands of douchebaggery.

Sure enough, once we were able to watch the thing all the way through, our suspicions were correct. I get that the director wanted to show, literally, one group of raiders and what they do, so I’m down with him interviewing Lore (the raid leader and possibly douchiest of the crew) and his group of social oddballs and white people. So, they start to break it down and try to convince us (those without the incredible skill needed to kill virtual monsters) that raiding takes such skill and social finesse (and the use of racist and sexist language) that it should be considered during job interviews. That’s right…they got some guy to say that the skill set needed during high-end raiding makes you a better choice for hire. As long as the potential employer looks past the fact that many raiders, including the ones in this documentary, think that it’s OK to play until your health and social skills deteriorate then raiders should be shoe-ins for those positions.

There were so many golden moments of shame and sadness in this movie that I cannot quote them all. I love how Lore, the curly headed pudgy leader, talks about the two types of female players: those who are nice and those who are “bitches.” This sad bundle of nerves actually said that. Of course, the men on his team are a rainbow of personalities…but the women? Nice or bitchy, period.

Also, they interviewed this one particular social misfit who was the team racist, sexist and overall jerk. Remember that raiders, much like real-life combatants, should be forgiven for their saucy language simply because they are performing at the top of the game and there are fucking lives on the line, people!

This whole show made me sad. There are raiders and players who simply are not like this, at all. There are hardcore, kick-ass and at-the-top-of-the-game players who are not racist, do not allow the casual use of the word “rape” (one of the raiders in the movie used it, and I guarantee they use it all the time) and do not generally act like sad, sad, gamer stereotypes. That’s exactly what this move showed: sad people spending way too much time being assholes behind a screen. It depressed me. All of these years playing, writing about and generally existing in gamer culture has shown me that many players are still exactly those who prompt the stereotypes. I fear for any non-gamer watching this movie. They will turn around to their gamer friend after and say “THIS is what you guys do? Sit around telling sexist jokes, killing the same monsters over and over, and thinking that it somehow makes you special?” Essentially, according to this movie, raiding is a bunch of neckbeard dude-bras who think nothing of spouting anything that comes to their one-track mind simply because they are badass at killing cartoon monsters in one of the most basic MMOs around.

If you want to explain to your non-gamer friends what you do, do not show them this movie. It didn’t make raiding seem epic, fun or special. It made it appear pathetic, shallow and overall sad.

Damn, I wish I could get that hour back.

(EDIT: This guy said it better than me: http://www.twitch.tv/crucifer2005/b/291991177 )

(EDIT EDIT: In my haste to get this written up, I forgot to mention that it was the maker of the movie who said that this was something to show to people who did not understand was raiding was about. He talked as though we could use it as an example to show non-gamers. While the show is about a single guild, he had also made an earlier preview film with other people in it. I am not sure if the people dropped out and he had to get another guild, but that is what I was told happened. I do not know if it is true or not. Also, if he wants us to use this an example to explain raiding to ANYONE, then he must think that this represents all of raiding. If not, he would have had more opinions and players in the movie. It is my opinion that he ran out of time, patience, and donations and simply wanted to get the thing done. I would not be surprised if, now that he works for a gaming company, would never mention this again.)

Beau