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

 

15 thoughts on “A quick review of the train wreck that was The Raid

  1. I really don’t have anything to add to this since Leala and I already chatted about it on our podcast…I just wanted to say that this rant was perfect.

  2. Man, i was so worried that’s where it was going to go from the previews i saw, and everything i’ve seen just confirmed my worst fears. I’ve never been a raider, but these people and this film really fit the worst of the experiences i’ve had online in games. What is really disappointing to me is that so many people are shrugging off the racism and hate with “it happens in real life” and throwing more hate at those upset at the film.

    Also, good lord does the term “raped” need to go away in games. Seriously, it’s so casually tossed around and no one sees anything wrong with it. Disappointed in Gamebreaker TV too, used to have more respect for them, but the fact that they thought this was something to brag about, i don’t know. :\

  3. Yeah it appears that Gamebreaker isn’t handling it too well as they are banning folks from their forum for any negative comment. I’m just totally shocked this entire thing seems so out of character from them. I have been in many raid guilds if the N word or rape was used that person would be gone no matter how good in game he was. Just puts all of us in a bad light I think.

  4. Just want to correct for the Record GBTV claims a server glitch is banning folks and not their mods Still doesn’t excuse their enthusiastic support though.

  5. What I’m seeing is damage control. Most rational people know this documentary was a Train wreck and the fact that GBTV enthusiastically supported this Train wreck is ridiculous.

    These guys play wow 27 hours a week, They refer to women as good or Bitches, they use the term Rape they use the N word I have had very close relationships with Raiders since EQ and this isn’t the way Veteran gamers behave this is the way Hipsters talk to sound edgy.

    If GBTV was smart they would distance themselves from this as soon as possible.

    • Lore is that you? /rolleyes

      Seriously, it is a lot more than Beau and myself who are giving this the thumbs down, in fact the only podcasters or Bloggers who are supporting it so far are the ones that have direct ties with GBTV and even a couple of them are backing away…because this will more than likely have a negative impact on their career…..these guys aren’t doing this for free you know.

      In any even soon people will be paying to see this documentary, it is targeted for the non-gamer, what they will take away from this is that all Raiders are Racist, sexist, foul mouthed social misfits that are slowly killing themselves on a steady diet of Red Bull Mountain Dew and Charleston Chews. They won’t see my guild leader who runs the Ironman every year, or My best friend who is a civil Rights attorney for the ACLU. They will see a group of Loser Hipsters that are one step away from a group agoraphobia session. The worst part is Myopic little rage kings like yourself are cheering them on.

  6. I also gave this “documentary” a thumbs down. And I didn’t even touch the aspects of the personalities shown to represent the raid players on my little review.

    But if your raid group cusses and likes to be verbally aggressive, that could be fine on your own group agreement. Not in a movie that tried to portrait raiding in general. They didn’t portrait raids, they just showed this one raid group doing their own thing, talking about themselves, and some guest speakers to make it seem like a documentary.

    It is a documentary about ONE guild raiding, not raids in general, and their own opinion in the matter. So I’ve been calling it a “raid recruitment” video, because it doesn’t seem to do its purpose to introduce raids to other people.

      • Ah, let them have their theories. I know GG and those guys and my hating of a film they helped premiere has nothing to do with them. They didn’t make it. Strange though how my over-the-top blog post is seemingly worse than some of the language used on the documentary, but hey…what can you do? It’s the internet. lol

        Beau

  7. Over exaggerated criticisms aside. The points you all make (including that dbag in the video link) are at best weak. In the world of competition (something that seems to elude you folks) there is massive amounts of trash talk. Micheal Jordan was well known to be a huge trash talker but somehow he was beloved by many fans and fellow players. This is just one example of where you people are either 1) not familiar with the subject matter or 2) clueless as to how competitive cooperation works.

    • Color me clueless. I never knew healthy, all-about-the-people camaraderie was like that.

      Sure, I went through a period of my life where me and my friends were very competitive and we threw around coarse-joking, trash talk and the like. It’s still trash-talk, right. And is there really an excuse for it? It got old really fast. What are the positive implications of trash-talk, anyway? Moral-boosting, performance-enhancing?

      I think(and hope) most people recognize this behavior because they can relate it to many aspects of our culture – Highschool cliques or any organized sport, including basketball, to name a couple.

      “Trash-talk” is a very nebulous activity. the USA is currently in an anti-bullying trend, for instance, and it’s hard for people to see the difference between being mean to someone and trash-talk. While there are things to be said like good friends that understand each other on a deeper level can get away with trash talk, it doesn’t fully explain the purpose or affects of it.

      It can be very hard for people to distinguish trash-talk from just being mean because they both use the same words and are generally used in the same context – with trash talk relying greatly on the receiver to interpret it correctly and benefit from it in some way – especially emotionally.

      In short, the subject of trash-talk is fairly controversial and there are many people on both sides of the fence arguing for and against its merits. Personally I don’t see how a negative creates a positive, although I know certain “poking” gets a rise out of me and others – so there is some affect. And I think it too easily, too often, goes astray. It’s hard to tell when trash-talk is actually hurting someone, but that someone keeps quite because of nature of our culture. I see too many negatives and really, not any positives that can’t be created under other circumstances.

      I say, if you and your guild is comfortable with it, hey, don’t even worry what someone else says.

      My problem with that is people get shamed into agreeing in many contexts in our society. And trash-talk is primarily contained within the US.

      Trash-talk is not a requirement or a necessity in cooperative competition.

      This film is directed toward people who have no clue. How will they react, because they are going to be basing this off of what they know about work, school, sports and life that they can relate this to.

      Personally. I think we’re already seeing that some people within the gaming culture aren’t giving the uninformed due credit. People are generally more self-aware. Even if someone’s not very well-informed and can’t relate well to the subject matter, they still have a lifetime’s worth of living to draw comparisons from on many different levels.

  8. I guess I felt differently on multiple levels.

    I think it’s a very well made film, but is more of a biography of a raiding guild than a documentary.

    I think it doesn’t speak to non-gamers as much as gamers(especially raiders).

    I think people outside and inside the culture at different points will understand a lot more than we might give them credit for. At the same time, non-gamers are still left to guess and make assumptions about what they’re seeing.

    I liked the movie. It’s not really a documentary and I wouldn’t show it to my family or non-gaming friends. Any negative representations will most likely be seen for what they are, by other gamers. And to a degree, non-gamers will understand that this is one guild and perhaps other guilds have very different personalities, but it doesn’t say how many of those guilds are out, whether raiding encourages this behavior or many other aspects of raiding that would be a full documentary of the activity.

    If I were the film maker, I’d repackage and rebrand this film – entirely change direction. Make it a biography of a guild.

  9. Old, female, seasoned raid-guild leader here – gawd i hope my family dont see this thing!! They’ll confiscate my shopping trolley. I’ll never convince them that “our raids arent like that.”

    (On quick sidenote what a find this is – love the site, and ty for introducing me to Wurm and Ryzom via your massively column – they are where I go when I take my sweaty armour off :)

  10. Oh and – “competitive cooperation” does not require under-evolved behaviour or profanity – in fighting terms neutral language is more effective for communicating fast and civilisation basically developed to facilitate co-operation whether in mutual endeavour or when necessary against a foe.

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