Explanation of the dispute about sexual abuse in tea bags

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“Tebagaging” or “tactical squatting” has long been a form of communication in online games, namely in first-person shooters such as Call of Duty and Halo, although the question of whether it should be is a completely different question. This is usually done by repeatedly squatting while standing over the enemy player’s body or face. Most players view this action as a form of trolling opponents or asserting dominance, although recent controversies in the gaming community have called into question whether the “tea bag” is sexual violence.

According to the dictionary definition, tea bagging is “the action of placing one’s testicles in another person’s mouth, often repeatedly, raising and lowering it, like a person lowering a tea bag.” However, the question of whether the equivalent of a video game can really be called sexual violence is still being actively debated.

The history of the “tea business”

Referred to in Halo Wikipedia as “fucking with a corpse”, “tea bags” in their community are often used “as a “victory dance” to insult and infuriate the victim.” The action probably originated somewhere in the late 1990s, probably when the multiplayer shooter Counter-Strike came out, and became even more noticeable in 2001 with Halo: Combat Evolved. The original Halo really changed the game when it came to co-op and multiplayer modes, but it also helped initiate the rise of online toxicity as more people started joining the community. By Halo 3, “tea bags” were in full swing, and the rag doll physics, which allowed players to move an enemy’s corpse while performing an action, certainly did not diminish the appeal.

From time to time, it was also possible to detect inclusions of “tea bagging” encoded in the Halo multiplayer games themselves, for example, in Halo 2, a Scarab in Sungheili Ultra exists, which sometimes “bagged” players if they died in close proximity to it. In Halo 4, projecting a hologram onto a corpse rewarded players with the sight of a hologram squeezing a corpse. Given that the original developers of Halo were a group of college students named Bungie, such events make sense — although they may have made possible the corpse collision action that the gaming community knows so well today.

Tea bags in disputes about games

The dispute arose because of the Discord server, where one user commented: “If [they] don’t give consent and someone rubs their genitals on [their] face, that’s sexual assault,” in response to a man proudly declaring he was a “repeat offender.” “tea bags” in video games. Screenshots of the stormy conversation spread across social networks so much that even the popular YouTuber and streamer MoistCr1TiKaL intervened in them. His final verdict was that “video games are not real” and that watching someone or getting a “tea bag” in a game is not necrophilia or sexual abuse.

Another Twitter user expressed his own opinion on the matter, writing: “As a person who has been the victim of abuse, tea bags in a video game is not sexual abuse. Please don’t speak on our behalf unless you’ve been through the same stuff.” Others added to this statement by asking whether “tea packaging” in video games is considered sexual violence, then murder in games qualifies as murder by this definition.

Some games impose restrictions on actions, at least on a professional level, for example, when the Killer Instinct World Cup decided that anyone caught performing this action would be excluded from the season. In addition, in 2021, The Elder Scrolls Online team stated that this action would not be allowed because it intentionally humiliates or shames other players. There are even rumors that in the FPS from Riot Games Valorant, “packing tea” may become a crime punishable in the near future.

While the general consensus is that sending spam squats is not a form of sexual abuse, allowing players to do so and even coding it in games encourages a certain type of toxicity and behavior that manifests itself in bad taste. With games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare rewarding “tea bags” and Halo players infamous for it, it doesn’t look like tactical squats will be done away with anytime soon.