Nowadays, there seems to be a fine line between being funny and being malicious. Right now there is an on-going debate over whether or not a set of photos are making fun of a situation or should be considered bullying.
In case you missed it, there was a post on Reddit the other day where a man took photos of himself posing behind unsuspecting male players revealing their "plumber's crack." The set of photos went viral and even made the front page of Reddit. It had, at one point, a little over 9,000 points. It has since gone down to 5,300 points at the time that this is being written. Votes are split as well with 89,234 upvotes and 89,922 downvotes.
Were these photos comedic or being malicious?
Unfortunately, there is no set rule regarding this issue. It all comes down to how a person analyzes the situation.
The narrow perception is that these photos are funny. They take a, sadly, common situation and exaggerate upon it. The person posing in the photos makes the same pose and has the same facial expression throughout the entire series.
The bigger picture that some people have pointed out is that these photos create an unsafe environment. Not unsafe physically, but it creates an environment where people need to be afraid of having their photo taken in an unpleasant circumstance.
There have been suggestions to ban the original poster from playing in sanctioned "Magic: The Gathering" tournaments. This would be done as a statement preventing people from taking similar photos in the future. A ban has also been called for as something that Hasbro, a parent company, should do because they must be held to a higher precedence. These are very valid suggestions.
What about holding those who are exposed to a higher precedence, though? Why is it that this person, who is pointing out something wrong, should be punished? Whether you like it or not, a stereotype exists about "M:TG" players, gamers, nerds, whatever you want to call it. That stereotype is that they are dirty and described as "gross." Forget the photos that have been posted because there are issues that are far worse than exposed skin.
Many of the players who attend these tournaments are grown adults, and, therefore, the idea of discussing healthy hygiene should not be had at these events. Having to remind people about daily routines such as making yourself look presentable, especially to adults, is unnecessary.
Grand Prix Richmond was hosted by StarCityGames. If any of you have attended one of these events, then you should know that you are required to sign a release form saying that there will be photographers present and that you may have your picture taken. So, the question remains, why would you allow yourself to be exposed knowing that cameras are present?
On a final note, there have been a lot of comparisons to someone photographing the cleavage of an unsuspecting woman. It should be said that there is a large difference between taking pictures of a man's partially, exposed behind and a woman's pair of breasts. Forget as a gaming community, society has already deemed this as wrong. You can't compare the scenarios.
In the end, there are some things that should be considered as common knowledge:
- We all come to these events because we enjoy playing "Magic: The Gathering."
- As a community, we all want to be safe at these events.
- Also, as a community, we seek to better ourselves among each other, and especially those who have no clue as to what goes on here.
That being said, having yourself exposed in an unflattering manner is a disservice to you and your peers.
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