Giant Bomb News

2517 Comments

Eight Women, Eight Responses, and One Dead Island Riptide Statue

A collection of reactions to last week's questionable marketing tactic from a variety of women in the video game industry.

Deep Silver likely did not anticipate the intense reaction to its UK-specific Zombie Bait bundle for Dead Island Riptide when it was announced last week. The news came alongside other bundles for the sequel, but the Zombie Bait bundle received attention for a statue of a torn apart woman that featured nothing more than her bikini-wearing torso.

Deep Silver’s issued a questionable apology in response to the furor. The company did not discuss how this bundle even came into existence, and still hasn’t said whether it will be sold or not. One would hope not? I’ve asked the company for further clarification on that point, but as of publication, nothing has come back.

Here's the company's previous statement in full:

“We deeply apologize for any offense caused by the Dead Island Riptide “Zombie Bait Edition”, the collector’s edition announced for Europe and Australia. Like many gaming companies, Deep Silver has many offices in different countries, which is why sometimes different versions of Collector’s Editions come into being for North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

For the limited run of the Zombie Bait Edition for Europe and Australia, a decision was made to include a gruesome statue of a zombie torso, which was cut up like many of our fans had done to the undead enemies in the original Dead Island.

We sincerely regret this choice. We are collecting feedback continuously from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver's entire international team today. For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.”

The story featured my own opinion on the subject, as do most pieces of content on Giant Bomb. You might have suspected part of my response, based on previous articles I’ve filed at the site, and the reaction was along the lines of the last conversation about #1reasonwhy. When I was mulling a follow-up, I didn’t want to have the same back-and-forth, and hoped to introduce some new voices.

So, I reached out to a number of women members of the video game community, and asked them to provide their individual reactions. There are voices from everywhere in games, from development to fellow writers. I didn't specifically seek out people who had expressed an opinion about Dead Island, I just figured they had one. Some chose to speak directly to what happened, some didn't. There weren't any rules.

I’m also going to start something new here. I won't guarantee it’ll happen every time, but for big features, I want to make sure there’s a dedicated time slot for spending time responding to comments. It won’t happen until the story has been up for a little while, and people have had a chance to digest it. In this case, it’s going to be for 30 minutes at 11:30 a.m. PST. As always, anything I don’t get to can be addressed in PM, on Twitter, or through my Tumblr site.

_______________________________________________________________

Rhianna Pratchett, writer (Tomb Raider, Mirror’s Edge)

I’m both a horror fan, and a Dead Island fan. But my initial reaction to Riptide’s mutilated torso was one of shock, bewilderment and confusion. I wasn’t morally outraged. It was more a deep sigh and eye roll of “Oh come on… really? REALLY?” Yes, horror and sex have been intertwined forever, but there was something about the visual depiction of this one that was unexpectedly disgusting for a number of reasons. A mutilated corpse (of either sex) is pretty disturbing, sure. A sexed-up (and there no other way to describe the perfectly round, barely covered up and non-zombified knockers) female corpse, offered up as a reward, has particularly nasty connotations. Especially when combined with the fact that it’s described as 'bait'--a confusing title for what was apparently meant to be (according to the developers) a zombie’s torso, rather than the mutilated and cut up human torso that it actually looked like. Zombies are not normally known for the penchant to chew down on the flesh of other zombies.

I’m accustomed to game companies marketing towards men. But rarely is it quite so blatantly i.e. "Here are some tits!" It’s a mistake to ignore the legions of female gamers out there, who enjoy their zombie killing just as much as the guys. It’s an even bigger mistake to outright annoy them. Believe me, I know this. I’ve got first-hand experience of being caught-up with a video games "controversy" on Tomb Raider, and so I know that marketing and the way we speak about and depict our characters and games is important. Industry and player debate about how we go about this is also valuable.

I was glad to see Deep Silver apologising for this rather large misstep, although I was a little perplexed by the fact that they seemed to use the fact that players apparently do this in the game (or at least have the option to) as some kind of get-out-of-jail card. I’ve done some horrendous things in games. I don’t particularly want to see them immortalised in statue form.

There’s been a lot of talk about whether it would have been okay if it was a male statue. But the fact that it isn’t (and we can only really talk about what we’ve been presented with, not what we haven’t) combined with the way the torso’s been depicted, strongly suggests that the marketeers would never have done that. A sexed-up male torso (and even with a six-pack it’s not quite the same) wouldn’t have appealed to the intended audience (straight men) in the same way. If they’d wanted to keep up this mutilated torso theme then a male torso and female torso, leaning against each other in zombie-baiting harmony, would’ve been a better way to go about it. And, given that the first game had a 50/50 male to female ratio of player characters and a similar ratio in the AI, rather more in keeping with the general tone of the game.

Better still, something like AMC’s Walking Dead collector’s edition head would have been more appropriate and arguably less offensive.

Follow more of Rhianna's work at www.rhiannapratchett.com and on Twitter.

_______________________________________________________________

Clarice Meadows, writer and former sales operation manager at Take-Two Interactive

When marketing departments come up with various tchotchkes to get people to buy a video game, there are a lot of factors that come into it. Theme, desirability, originality, and more. It's a matter of making something unusual and interesting enough, and yet appropriately themed for the game, that fans will absolutely HAVE to buy it. I like to think that there are focus groups involved in the choice of object, or at the very least more than just a bunch of marketing types being locked in a room for days fueled by caffeine and junk food until they come up with an idea and are let out. Sadly, I am pretty sure the latter is usually the case. The zombie torso created specifically for Dead Island Riptide was, in my opinion, a marketing catastrophe. I've heard many responses to this particular item. From "well women don't play games anyway" to "by getting mad about it and yelling, you guys are giving this company free advertising" to "it's like a classical sculpture of antiquity, but a zombie!" So let's break this down a bit.

1) I am a woman, and I play video games. I am not particularly unusual in my gender group in choosing to play video games. I grew up in the 80s, video games were around, and I liked them. I also happen to know quite a few other women who play games, including games like Dead Island. By ignoring women as a market demographic for a video game, companies are losing out hugely. By assuming women will only buy pink, glittery items or games that are about clothing and boyfriends, these companies are losing money. By putting out a completely sexist and crass marketing ploy, they are losing money. Seriously, isn't the point of triple-A games to make scads of cash? I really don't get making choices that lead to losing it instead, can you tell?

2) By yelling about something offensive, we're making a case that offensive marketing is unacceptable. By not yelling, we're giving silent consent to continuing crappy and cheap marketing choices. And trust me, this is crappy, cheap AND lazy marketing. Oh look, a pair of boobs! How innovative! Apparently these marketers think the only people playing video games are under-sexed pubescent mole men. I mean… seriously? Lazy.

3) The last time I checked, classical sculptures did not have boob jobs. Also, the last time I checked, real boobs did not do that while in a string bikini. There's this thing called gravity… And if we're going to have an argument that this torso is not overly sexed up and has turned a live woman (or live lady zombie) into a bunch of sex organs, then… well… someone is lying to themselves. Is it appropriate? Is necrophilia really acceptable now? Because that's what this feels like it's promoting to me.

Lazy and cheap marketing ploys don't make money, they cost money in PR nightmares and hours of dancing around apologizing. It doesn't take much to be smarter, and who knows? Maybe a new market full of lots of money will open up and be willing to spend that money on video games! I mean, didn't you hear that women have jobs and make money and LOVE to spend it? Think big video game companies. Think about all that cash you're letting slide right through your fingers, and play it smarter.

Follow more of Clarice's work at Plays Like a Girl and on Twitter.

_______________________________________________________________

Kate Lorimer, composer and writer

For my part, yes, I found it offensive, it was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” (though I am sure it won't be the last such incident) after a year of dodgy marketing (Hitman, Booth Babes, Tomb Raider, Girlfriend Mode, Anita Sarkeesian). And from a personal viewpoint, even a close friend expressing his being fed up with online “outrage” and “Feminist point-scoring pandering” from game websites like Rock Paper Shotgun--his words--and his complete (and somewhat deliberate) misunderstanding of the concept of Feminism (being supposedly more about pursuing Women’s interests above male's, as opposed to actually being about equality for both genders).

Unfortunately, amongst teens and younger players in general (but as Jenny Haniver has shown, far from exclusively) there’s likely to be a kneejerk reaction backlash at the outrage and offence caused by it, as kids love a bit of blood'n'gore, and certainly amongst the heterosexual hormone fueled boys that whole “cor... boobies” thing has an attraction. See: http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153593/yes-ah-tah

The reasons for it being offensive are obvious to the clear of thought--it's objectification at its worst. Remove the person from the body, inexplicably leaving a pubescent boy’s idea of the perfect female figure, with balloon boobs (mysteriously untouched by hungry zombie snacking) and a peek at a panty enclosed crotch--of course, hiding the vagina within--which would likely be too offensive/edgy to the same boys!

Would the situation have been mitigated had there been an alternative option of a male torso? It might have slightly balanced the equality issue, though of course there is a special obsession with boobies--especially globe-tastic ones on an itty bitty waist! But the fact that it's just a female torso they decided to go with speaks volumes about their marketing, and the usual narrow-minded targeted demographic. It might have been just as grisly but slightly more in line with the zombie ethos to have had a scary looking zombie head?

Follow more of Kate's work at K8-bit and on Twitter.

_______________________________________________________________

Elizabeth DeLoria, staff writer at Gameranx and cosplay photographer

In September last year, Jill Meagher, a 29-year-old ABC employee, went missing while walking the short walk home from a popular Melbourne street. Thanks to a somewhat viral social media campaign, the entire country began to follow the case, people everywhere wanting Jill to be found alive and well and brought home.

When she was found murdered, buried in a shallow roadside grave after being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a complete stranger, the entire country went from hopefully to angry. Angry that someone would do this, angry that she wasn't alive and well as we'd hoped, angry that she was minding her own business in her own suburb when she was attacked. People were so angry that when the alleged killer's name leaked, social media erupted with people from every walk of life wanting his head. An entire nation was in mourning, and thousands in Melbourne marched in her honor.

I mention this because we know it's not okay to kill people. We're angered and heartbroken when women are violently murdered (and that's just the cases we hear about.) The news of Jill Meagher, as an example, was devastating to thousands that didn't even know her. Yet at the same time, we're sent these messages that sexualize, glamorize and exploit a woman's decapitated torso. That use violent murder for the purpose of sex appeal and thus profit.

When I see the same people who I saw march for Jill, whose heart sank when they heard the news of her death ask me why this torso statue is "such a big deal," I don't even know how to begin to explain to them how they've come so close to the right thing, yet they sit so far from it.

I'm not really offended, I'm just mortified at how easily we seem to forget.

Follow more of Elizabeth's work at Gameranx and on Twitter.

_______________________________________________________________

Vanessa Hunter, artist and game design graduate

We need to start at the beginning if we are to stop the pervasiveness of sexism in gaming culture, and by sticking this statue in a set that will be received by kids and young adults, Deep Silver is reinforcing an already warped attitude toward women held by the gaming community.

If this statue had been reminiscent of Venus de Milo or the statue of David, and posed in a beautiful, creative way, perhaps I could have even admired it. But as a hunk of flesh plopped into a lifeless pose and trussed up in a string bikini, I seriously have to question the thought behind it.

My main reaction to this statue, however, is that it presents a woman as a literal piece of dead meat. It beheads all personality and life and strips away individuality to present the viewer with what is simply a hunk of flesh in a gaudy bikini. This figure gets up and screams "all I am worth is to fulfill your pleasures"

To a woman like me, it's sickening because it represents how some men see real-life women every day.

From someone who has seen firsthand how a monster who holds this attitude can choke the life out of someone beautiful and radiant, this bust is a nightmare come true. And what's worse is that the attitudes behind such an object reinforce this behaviour as okay.

As for Deep Silver's "apology" placing the blame on its fan base, many of whom view them as a role model, teaching them that sexism is okay if someone else has done it before is unacceptable. They need to grow up.

Follow more of Vanesssa's work through Instagram and on Twitter.

_______________________________________________________________

Anonymous

I didn't feel offended by the Dead Island bikini statue. I did, however, find it quite tiresome. I don't think that it can be denied that the statue is an obvious example of sexual objectification--a mutilated torso with perfectly untouched breasts.

Sexual objectification of women is everywhere, and it's impact is a massive discussion that goes way beyond video games. What I found most tiresome about the statue wasn't the objectification but that making a statue such as this suggests a number of things that Deep Silver assumes about their audience. They assume that the audience are young shallow men whose main interests are tits and violence. It's insulting to men and its a common assumption in video game marketing. Women are not even considered as part of the possible audience. It's outdated thinking.

I've been playing video games since I was a kid, and it's probably the main thing I do for entertainment. I have as many female friends as male who play video games. It is tiresome to be constantly excluded--and if I am included then I am considered a novelty. Women who play games are a sizable chunk of the audience and have been around for as long as video games. Objects like this statue show that we are not really considered to exist.

This individual chose not to share their personal information for fear of potential backlash.

_______________________________________________________________

Melissa Cooke, writer for FemmeGamer

Personally, I think that it's rather disgusting that Deep Silver decided to sell this. The usage of a female chest and abdomen I assume was originally used as a shock tactic to grab the eyes of the media, obviously this has worked, but what made it sexist in my eyes was the way it was dressed up and the proportions on the body.

The breasts are very unrealistic in the way they're being held up by a string bikini, not to mention that there are no wounds on the breasts, making them all the more obvious.The stomach is also very flat, and the bust looks almost anorexic, which is a very damaging image to promote.

The bust lacks also a face or any other feature that makes this bust look human, which could be interpreted as Deep Silver saying "Look this isn't a human, it's a woman, look how her breasts are positioned for your enjoyment, isn't that cool?"

Overall, this is a rather shameless grab for attention on Deep Silver's part, and all this sort of stunt does is give the non-gaming public the idea that games and the people who are playing them are immature, and push any progress the industry has made back a few more years.

Follow Melissa's work at Femme Gamer and on Twitter.

_______________________________________________________________

Anna Kipnis, senior gameplay programmer at Double Fine Productions

It's really hard to approach this topic in any kind of novel way. At this point, it's hard to bring round people who have made their minds up that feminism threatens to ruin their entertainment; to convince them that it's troubling to have games openly revel in dismembering decomposing women in bikinis. Yet I don't believe in censorship, either. Personally, I push this sort of thing into the same category in my brain as boob mugs (which I respect more for at least cutting to the chase and showing actual nudity). I'm not sure why someone would want a headless, bloody, dismembered corpse of a woman's upper torso, with grotesquely fake boobs obscured by a sadly implicated union jack proudly displayed on their mantle, but they're not a person I can imagine seeing eye-to-eye with on many things.

I honestly believe you can have sexiness and violence in games, even at the same time, if that's what you want. I can't think of a great example of a game that has done this particularly well (no doubt there is one), but there are many examples in film. For instance, Quentin Tarantino has made plenty of movies over the years that feature sexy women in violent situations. Even women getting dismembered (Kill Bill Volume 1, Death Proof), and yet it's never felt sexist or misogynist to me. I walk away from the theater generally thinking of those women as role models, not victims.

I think it's on us, game developers, to prevent controversies like this one. I'm a game programmer and I would be pretty bummed if I was working on what was essentially a game equivalent of a boob mug. You're appealing to the lowest, most vulgar aspects of your audience at a time when games are widely criticized for being juvenile, senseless, and immature, only to then complain that the medium is not being taken seriously as an art form. We should strive to treat our medium with the respect it deserves.

Follow Anna's work at Double Fine Productions and on Twitter.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
2527 Comments
Posted by Bartz

"EXCLUSIVE SCOOP: Women didn't like the ripped up female torso statue!"

Investigative journalism at its finest.

Posted by Sparkul

Would have been better without pictures.

Edited by BlastProcessing

Can we get another member of the Bomb Crew, who's preferably a voice of reason, and not an obnoxious libtard to write an article about "sexist" matters for once? Maybe if someone like Alex took a crack at it, people wouldn't be so up in arms.

Actually, I just want someone competent to tackle this.

Posted by Carousel

@Jumbs:

You're a gem. Thank you so much.

Posted by ZHabermann

"The story featured my own opinion on the subject, as do most pieces of content on Giant Bomb."

Yeah, hey dude I thought you were a News Editor not a Opinion Editor, for someone who's been in the business as long as they have, you would know you don't put opinion in news pieces, unless you're into tabloid trash which if that's the case more power to you I guess.

You know just assumed Giant Bomb was better then E!...

Posted by SpencerBoltz

I deeply believe that all people should be treated equally. My problem with this controversy is that from my perspective, when I saw the statue, it wasn't representing any actual human. The arguments that it is demeaning towards women (which I happen to mostly agree with on certain points) seem to imply that there is a level of sexual attraction to this inanimate object that is missing most of the features that identify it as being human. For me, it represents something in a video game. It's not a woman or a man it's just an object. This sentiment ties in very directly to most of the arguments made against it, many people say it objectifies women. This would be true in my eyes if there was an association to an actual woman but like I said, it's not anything except a piece of plastic. It's hard for me to explain my point of view here because I realize it sounds like I'm being contradictory but the easiest way to break it down is to say: My first reaction wasn't physical/sexual attraction, nor was it that this was even a person. It was just something I ignored because I didn't find it interesting or funny or beautiful to look at. Which is the same reaction I would expect from myself if it had been a male torso.

Posted by Paindamnation

So patrick gives us the view of 8 hot girls. Not really going to say anything. But Rideee the wave of 1000's of incoming comments either defending or bashing something. Rideeee the riptide!

Posted by Efesell

What I wanna know is how long before he gets one of these in a mail bag.

Posted by EnduranceFun

@RustySpoon said:

I find it mind-boggling that there are people arguing in these comments that there is something inherently wrong with being progressive.

Define progressive.

Edited by TopCat88

@Darji said:

@flufflogic said:

@TopCat88 said:

Seriously, another article on this! Patrick. You contribute a huge amount of great stuff to this site, across all forms of content. But this sexism angle has got to be toned down. There is nothing sexist about this figurine. Yes it's a little crass and obvious and cheap but it's not sexist. At all. It just isn't.

I'm a male and perhaps I don't get it. Maybe I'm lucky or ignorant about these issues, although I'm not trying to be.

A reduction in opportunities for woman in the gaming industry would be a bad thing and could be ruled as sexism and I'm sure there are genuine examples of sexism in the video game world from time to time. Please report or write about them, inform us and add to the debate. It's clearly an important issue for you and so it should be.

This is a piece of marketing, aimed at young males. I bet it works too. It may alienate some of the audience but I'm sure that was a calculated decision. There are many examples of marketing aimed at women too. Hunky men, etc. Sex sells...it isn't sexism.

If you don't see the sexism of having an anorexic, augmented bikini girl that's been reduced to a sliced up torso as a "collector's edition" centrepiece, there is no help for you. It's sad, because as some of the commenters point out, the game has multiple strong female characters; of course, one was famously lacking underwear in the original, so I guess we should have seen this coming.

It cheapens gaming, and as a result gamers, to have this crap. This is worse than, say, Sims nude/"real hair" patches and the Skyrim mod scene. It's a whole new level of crass.

Why because you think a DEAD SLICED UP Torso is in any form sexy and that people will only buy it because it is a sexy? Again it is a homage at all these horror B Movie trash zombie flicks. It is not a political statement.

But yeah you guys also would screams SEXSIM if its some nude woman tortured woman painting that is seen by the whole world. No wait that is art.....

It is a shallow attempt to sell more copies of their game to boys. I agree that it's daft. It is not sexist. Sexist is hating women, not hiring or promoting a woman because of gender or giving a woman a lower salary. A collectible statue of a woman (dismembered, naked, alive, dead or otherwise) isn't sexist. It is distasteful.

Posted by Qlanth

Great article !

If we expect anything to change in this industry then we need people like Patrick to be loud about stuff like this. Waving it off like so many people here suggest we should only leads to an environment where people feel safe spouting casual sexism.

It baffles me that even when a bunch of women deep in the gaming industry (how can you get any more hardcore into games than that?) say "Yes this is problematic" people still insist it isn't. At what point does reason and logic fail a person so much that they are looking straight at the source and keep stamping their feet and turning their head screaming "No no no I still don't see it no no no!" At what point do the rest of us see these people and realize that their actions are just as dangerous as the one they are denying happened?

If we can successfully craft and environment that is caustic to sexism and misogyny (and homophobia and transphobia and racism and etc) then, at the very least, we can drive the people pushing it forward to duck down and avoid being vocal. I for one would like to continue having hobby that isn't immediately thought of as a cultural cesspool.

Posted by whatisdelicious

This Dead Island mess is my least favorite story of 2013 already. I'm so fucking sick of hearing about this.

Posted by StingerMK2

ill read this article later, but in the mean time, here is a helpful twitter account for everyone to check up on

https://twitter.com/AvoidComments

Posted by Jonnyflash80

Yes the statue was in poor taste. Yes the company apologized for it but was a lesson learned from it?Hopefully Deep Silver's PR department and others the gaming industry took notice and learned a lesson here on what is not acceptable. Only then can the game industry mature and move forward from situations like this.

Posted by cloudymusic

@CastleD said:

@OneManX: But the place where I think this article could use some help is, provide the counter arguement,

Most public figures, especially men, would never come out and give a counter argument and risk losing their jobs and ruining their careers. Not just with this statue thing, any type of male/female issue.

Have you paid much attention to the Republican "forced transvaginal ultrasounds for all sluts and while we're at it let's redefine rape" Party lately?

Posted by JoshyLee

@Nation764: Don't call him a hipster. Remember when he said he was drinking PBR before it was a hipster drink? He's obviously far from that.

Posted by Ravenlight

@EarlessShrimp said:

It definitely takes a certain type of person to find it entertaining. Is that where your point arises from the poor taste? The fact that there would only be a minority of people who would be okay with it? I mean, I don't think people are going to prominently display most of their swag. I'm thinking they probably have a room or closet or special area set aside from that. I had a book case where I kept all this stuff so it could have been buried at the back. However, right now it seems like they thought of a really clever scheme to market the game, not because they actually wanted to sell the statue, but because they wanted to stir up controversy and have people talking about this game much more than they really should be. That, if it is true, is essentially why I think it's in poor taste.

Yeah. I think they expected to stir up controversy with "look at how extreme and outrageous this torso is". They had to know it was in poor taste to begin with. But they obviously didn't expect this level of backlash about the ladytorso (which is now a real word). In a "be careful with you wish for" sort of way, the marketing campaign has been an overwhelming success.

Edited by dr_mantas

First, bravo Anna Kipkis for writing possibly the most balanced and relevant reaction.

Second, as expected most of these are very one sided, sometimes petty, sometimes irrelevant responses. Most of them miss the issue. There's also a great big heap of insults, attempts at shaming and demeaning the people that enjoy games. Infantile necrophiliacs, I suppose we are.

There's also some misunderstanding of feminism, equality and social issues.

There are wrongs to be righted in this world, faced by people of any gender, but this isn't it. It simply isn't. You have the right to broadcast your opinion. But I fully reject it.

This is probably all I'll say, because it seems that arguing is mostly useless, and everyone will stick to their guns.

But if anyone tries to tie this to sexism, patriarchy, rape culture, societal discrimination of women and systematic oppression, they have already lost the voice of reason. They are simply not worth responding to.

Posted by Milkman
@InsidiousTuna

Klepek's closing statement from a previous article on games industry sexism is exceptionally relevant.

"I’m a guy, I’ve never had to deal with any of these problems. But I’m willing to admit where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire, and listening is helpful, informative. If you don’t want to listen, you don’t have to. No one is forcing you. Just stop shouting down others who want to."

New strategy for these comments. Instead of going back and forth with people who make the same arguments over and over again, (by the way, I'm seeing a lot of familiar names from the other articles trying to shout down the sexism discussion again...very interesting, maybe that should tell us something) I'm going to point out all the posts that I agree with and make great points. Like this one!
Posted by BlastProcessing

inb4 Patrick makes a follow-up article and singles out another member of the community.

Posted by Xeirus

@BlastProcessing said:

At least Patrick didn't quote himself this time. Still, this progressive, Kotaku-esque clickbait shit needs to stop, It's a horrible statue made in bad taste, nothing to cry about.

I'm guessing you're a guy, who hasn't delt with sexism. You shouldn't dismiss things you have no experience with.

Posted by Darji

@DazzHardy said:

It kind of saddens me that people think that not talking about these things is the best way to get them to stop. Simply ignoring the problems won't make them go away. This is one of those cases were it needs to be talked about often enough and as publicly as possible so that people understand why it's not a great idea to do dumb stuff like this. When it's been talked to death, that's when I think we'll start seeing it not come up so often, and thus not need to be spoken of so much.

No one is ignoring the problem. Yes there is sexcism yes there is sexcism regarding both genders. And yes there is certainly sexism in every media which includes games as well. But this has nothing to do with it. Not one thing on this statue is objectifying woman. It is just a tool used by extreme fems and nothing more.

Posted by alibson
Posted by anyprophet

wow. some truly appalling responses. good job demonstrating why we need more articles like this. maybe of we beat you neanderthals over the head with this enough you might take it as a hint that there is a real problem with sexism.

Edited by Neckbear

I love how hyperbolic some of them get. I especially enjoyed the one who compared the rape and murder of a real woman to this piece of plastic. What I never understand about these sorts of people is why they claim to strive for equality but pretty much the only thing you ever see them whine about is how unfairly women are treated.

Patrick, can you drop this crap and stick a little closer to games, please? I think it's pretty clear by now that your opinions on this stuff don't really jive with much of the community or even much of the staff.

Posted by Brodehouse

@RustySpoon said:

I find it mind-boggling that there are people arguing in these comments that there is something inherently wrong with being progressive.

The problem is is that it's not progressive. This is the same moralist, dogmatic stuff you see from traditional conservatives. It still maintains the core nature of both gender roles from 100 years ago. This is not progressivism, this is Victorian hand-wringing.

The replies are coming in so fast that I'm having a hard time keeping up, and some are just so thoroughly deluded that it would take an entire refutation of several points (the myth of a 'wage gap', the demonization of sexuality, etc). But I can tell you, this is not progressivism. The outrage and condemnation perfectly undermines the stated goals of people who actually are progressives.

Posted by JoshyLee

@WolfHazard: He's awful.

Posted by EnduranceFun

@Keres said:

@CastleD said:

@OneManX: But the place where I think this article could use some help is, provide the counter arguement,

Most public figures, especially men, would never come out and give a counter argument and risk losing their jobs and ruining their careers. Not just with this statue thing, any type of male/female issue.

Have you paid much attention to the Republican "forced transvaginal ultrasounds for all sluts and while we're at it let's redefine rape" Party lately?

Why no, but how is this relevant to anything? Republican Party bought up Deep Silver while no one was looking?

Posted by bassman2112

I'm very split on this article.

In one respect, yes, I agree with what is saying with this article. I agree that modern feminism is misunderstood, and the fact that women are treated differently & sexualized is a blight on the modern gaming community. I agree that Deep Silver's PR department made a mistake with this statue, and the marketing behind it was a poor choice. Yes, I completely agree that this is a discussion that needs to happen, and it should be brought to the public's attention.

At the same time, we've already had the discussion on this topic in previous articles - even within the past month or so. I also think it's safe to say that we mostly share the same opinion. The problem comes when everyone in the article is saying "this is deplorable, this was a mistake, this is disgusting and a step back for women everywhere." Okay, sure. Again, I agree with the notion, but the way this is preseted seems fairly biased and, frankly, unprofessional.

With the lack of even one contrasting opinion, it feels like the equivalent of a political attack ad. All this needs is a simple person or two saying "it's just a statue. If you don't support it, don't buy it" for me to think "okay, this is slightly more balanced."

Lastly, I don't think Giant Bomb is the place that needs this discussion again. As I've previously stated, I think that a lot of us already share the same opinion on the subject matter. Maybe I'm mistaken in thinking we don't need multiple articles about this, but I'd rather see more articles dedicated to things that truly affect public opinion. People who support vs. oppose the notion that video games enact gun violence, for example. This is something that the general public will care about more than a statue that you could buy or not buy for a game you've maybe already played.

Anyways, this has at least led to a lot of (potentially) productive discussion =) Thanks for the article, Patrick - hopefully we all get something out of it.

Posted by rangers517

@Kill: @Kill said:

When Patrick first joined Giant Bomb, he repeatedly said in his articles that he would not talk about his personal political beliefs as he did not feel they were necessary in his writing. As time went on, he started to plug his favourite political podcasts, put his liberal slant on news stories which did not require it, dropped his political opinions on the Bombcast when they wasn't asked for, and now he is actively seeking out some kind of validation for his own moral slant in the form of this article.

Look, I love Giant Bomb and I think Patrick is a great writer. However, this is nothing more than a "ha, told you so" to the community and an ego stroking by a man who believes only his political views should be noted on this site. He could at least have sought out a more balanced view of the situation. After the first three women said largely the same thing and no other viewpoint was represented, I could not help but picture that characteristic Patrick smirk behind all this.

I know this is a ramble, but I feel the other Giant Bomb guys do a great job of concealing their political ideologies. I have no idea who Brad, Jeff, Ryan or Vinny vote for. I could certainly guess, but it definitely isn't as clear as the liberal, Democrat voting, Reddit-reading klaxon of Klepek and his incessant need to spin gaming news a particular way. I find it distasteful, even if I agree with him on issues like this. It's a bit gross on a site which was founded on being impartial and fun.

Just my tl;dr opinion.

Agreed 100%. The other guys tried to keep it a light and fun video game site. No idea why Klepek thinks his views and opinions are so important that he needs to constantly share them with us.

Posted by dr_mantas

@Xeirus said:

@BlastProcessing said:

At least Patrick didn't quote himself this time. Still, this progressive, Kotaku-esque clickbait shit needs to stop, It's a horrible statue made in bad taste, nothing to cry about.

I'm guessing you're a guy, who hasn't delt with sexism. You shouldn't dismiss things you have no experience with.

This is an ignorant, biased, insulting statement.

Posted by SniperXan

@Abendlaender said:

Oh yay, I'm guessing me trying to post something sensible (well, I TRIED) was pretty stupid seeing how this will soon be flooded by Patrick haters, actual sexists and people who don't understand this article. Awesome.

Yeah, posting in these seems pointless as the EXTREMELY LOUD AND STUPID groups of Patrick haters and sexists and often both flood these comment sections...the human race is so sad. I was always proud to be a part of the Giant Bomb community and I still am but every time one of these wonderful articles is written the vocal minority crashes the party and makes me just not want to be here anymore...even if I know it's not the voice of the many...

Posted by Rirse

So what horrible PR nightmare will Saints Row the Fourth get with their new owner?

Edited by Brandino

@TopCat88 said:

@Darji said:

@flufflogic said:

@TopCat88 said:

Seriously, another article on this! Patrick. You contribute a huge amount of great stuff to this site, across all forms of content. But this sexism angle has got to be toned down. There is nothing sexist about this figurine. Yes it's a little crass and obvious and cheap but it's not sexist. At all. It just isn't.

I'm a male and perhaps I don't get it. Maybe I'm lucky or ignorant about these issues, although I'm not trying to be.

A reduction in opportunities for woman in the gaming industry would be a bad thing and could be ruled as sexism and I'm sure there are genuine examples of sexism in the video game world from time to time. Please report or write about them, inform us and add to the debate. It's clearly an important issue for you and so it should be.

This is a piece of marketing, aimed at young males. I bet it works too. It may alienate some of the audience but I'm sure that was a calculated decision. There are many examples of marketing aimed at women too. Hunky men, etc. Sex sells...it isn't sexism.

If you don't see the sexism of having an anorexic, augmented bikini girl that's been reduced to a sliced up torso as a "collector's edition" centrepiece, there is no help for you. It's sad, because as some of the commenters point out, the game has multiple strong female characters; of course, one was famously lacking underwear in the original, so I guess we should have seen this coming.

It cheapens gaming, and as a result gamers, to have this crap. This is worse than, say, Sims nude/"real hair" patches and the Skyrim mod scene. It's a whole new level of crass.

Why because you think a DEAD SLICED UP Torso is in any form sexy and that people will only buy it because it is a sexy? Again it is a homage at all these horror B Movie trash zombie flicks. It is not a political statement.

But yeah you guys also would screams SEXSIM if its some nude woman tortured woman painting that is seen by the whole world. No wait that is art.....

It is a shallow attempt to sell more copies of their game to boys. I agree that it's daft. It is not sexist. Sexist is hating women, not hiring or promoting a woman because of gender or giving a woman a lower salary. A collectible statue of a woman (dismembered, naked, alive, dead or otherwise) isn't sexist. It is distasteful.

Exactly. Nothing about this statue screams sexist it just screams distasteful and stupid. But, like conspiracy theorist, people will always find a way to call something a conspiracy (or in this case, sexist)

Online
Posted by RoyCampbell

This just screams "I needed justification for my outrage so I gathered up a handful of women's responses and regurgitated it on my LiveJour- I mean Giantbomb's front page."

Posted by dr_mantas

@anyprophet said:

wow. some truly appalling responses. good job demonstrating why we need more articles like this. maybe of we beat you neanderthals over the head with this enough you might take it as a hint that there is a real problem with sexism.

What an insulting, demeaning post.

Posted by LiquidPenguins

Lol the anonymous one was Leigh Alexander wasn't it?

Posted by triple07

I don't see why this is a feminist issue, more of a stupid marketing issue.

Posted by facepoppies

@alibson: Seriously, what the fuck is happening to this place. It's a shitty statue, get over it holy shit.

Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

@triple07 said:

I don't see why this is a feminist issue, more of a stupid marketing issue.

It a bit of both really.

Posted by Goldanas

I read the article in full and took the time to read most of the comments up to about 150.

I'll preface by saying I've hated on Patrick in the past. I'll continue to do so, when I feel it's deserved. That's my right to my opinion and expression.

Now's not one of those times.

You went out of your way to actually speak to women in the industry on a growing topic. They were all indeed on the same side, but they all approached it differently, and with valid reasons. They all had their own explanations as to why this thing is shitty, and posited their positions frankly and with meaningful purpose. They were not aggrandizing; they were not soap-boxing (most of them); they were just sharing perspective. Each point felt valid to me, with maybe minor quibbles here and there, but for the most part, I felt any of these thoughts could have justified not putting this bust out. That probably speaks to how shitty the damn thing is. It really is indefensible from all sides.

Like you, Patrick, I knew the thing was bad, but I didn't know how to express it. In your last article you misappropriated women and equality for the sake of attacking an argument, when it was better to concede to it so as to use that as proof, just as one of the women in this article had.

Your ignorance and malformed opinion is generally why I shit on you so much. Your opinion is "sexism is bad" and your reasoning is "women are different", and then you go and use that as if you're championing women's rights. All I've wanted is for you to do your job as a journalist and get the opinions from people who've had the time to form them or are in the best position to. I get that you want to share your opinion, but you don't have to have an opinion on everything. It's OK to admit that you don't know everything about something. That's a valid opinion and position.

What really bums me out is all the people who posted immediately, without reading the piece, just so they could shit on you blind. This is a good piece, because it's researched, and it grabs from those in the thick of it. Some people are willing to dismiss this on the notion that it's contentious and they don't want that in their entertainment (being this website). I sympathize, but this is the one that you people should read, that you should take the time to look at and think on.

No offense, but your other articles on this similar topic, Patrick, were trash. I've stated my reasons why in those articles, so I won't go into it again, but people are justified in their disdain for these types of pieces, because they have been so juvenile and "college-level" in the past.

That's why I urge everyone who is shitting on this article to at least actually give it a read. This one has the counterpoints to your arguments. This one comes from intelligent people in the mix.

This one is better.

Posted by PresidentOfJellybeans

White Knight article to the rescuuuuuuuuuuuue!

Look forward to Patrick's follow-up on how many comments this got. See ya when the next DOA game comes out. So transparent.

Posted by Jamsque

I love this site, but I usually don't read the comments here. Today I thought you know what, Patrick said he's going to be watching the comments for a half hour, maybe there'll be some interesting discussion.

I am going back to not reading the comments here. Most of the first page seems to be "lol sexism doesn't real" and "fucking Patrick how dare he produce content." If this is the level of discussion on what I consider to be one of the most progressive and interesting video game websites in the world then I despair to think what the wider community is like.

Patrick I think you are pissing on a bonfire but I salute you for sticking to your principles and assembling thoughtful, interesting pieces like this. I will continue reading and enjoying them but there is no discussion here worth participating in.

Posted by OfficeGamer

The sensationalism is strong with this one.

Posted by Darji

@TopCat88 said:

@Darji said:

@flufflogic said:

@TopCat88 said:

Seriously, another article on this! Patrick. You contribute a huge amount of great stuff to this site, across all forms of content. But this sexism angle has got to be toned down. There is nothing sexist about this figurine. Yes it's a little crass and obvious and cheap but it's not sexist. At all. It just isn't.

I'm a male and perhaps I don't get it. Maybe I'm lucky or ignorant about these issues, although I'm not trying to be.

A reduction in opportunities for woman in the gaming industry would be a bad thing and could be ruled as sexism and I'm sure there are genuine examples of sexism in the video game world from time to time. Please report or write about them, inform us and add to the debate. It's clearly an important issue for you and so it should be.

This is a piece of marketing, aimed at young males. I bet it works too. It may alienate some of the audience but I'm sure that was a calculated decision. There are many examples of marketing aimed at women too. Hunky men, etc. Sex sells...it isn't sexism.

If you don't see the sexism of having an anorexic, augmented bikini girl that's been reduced to a sliced up torso as a "collector's edition" centrepiece, there is no help for you. It's sad, because as some of the commenters point out, the game has multiple strong female characters; of course, one was famously lacking underwear in the original, so I guess we should have seen this coming.

It cheapens gaming, and as a result gamers, to have this crap. This is worse than, say, Sims nude/"real hair" patches and the Skyrim mod scene. It's a whole new level of crass.

Why because you think a DEAD SLICED UP Torso is in any form sexy and that people will only buy it because it is a sexy? Again it is a homage at all these horror B Movie trash zombie flicks. It is not a political statement.

But yeah you guys also would screams SEXSIM if its some nude woman tortured woman painting that is seen by the whole world. No wait that is art.....

It is a shallow attempt to sell more copies of their game to boys. I agree that it's daft. It is not sexist. Sexist is hating women, not hiring or promoting a woman because of gender or giving a woman a lower salary. A collectible statue of a woman (dismembered, naked, alive, dead or otherwise) isn't sexist. It is distasteful.

Yeah Ok we can agree that it is stupid. Personally I think it is a great idea to sell such a "trashy" like game. But of course I can accept it when people say its distasteful.

Posted by Milkman
@BlastProcessing

inb4 Patrick makes a follow-up article and singles out another member of the community.

lol You're adorable. Show them, libtards!
Posted by CastleD
@Jumbs: If you think murdering hundreds of 'male characters' in video games is the same issue as objectifying women to market a video game, I don't know what to say.

I agree, you had no counter-argument. It's interesting how with the wave of a hand you brushed off the endless murder of male characters in video games as if it meant nothing.

You don't see the hypocrisy at all? That these same people talking about "violence against women" will kill male characters in video games with a big smile on their face, that violence is used as a marketing tool to sell games, and almost all that violence is against male characters? It's not just this statue. This has happened a lot lately.

Posted by ElixirBronze

Hey, what if we dropped the debate about this plastic statue (which the creators withdrew and apologized for already) and started talking about the important stuff instead?

There is a problem with the gaming community and women for sure, but we should tackle the heart of the issue -- being thousands of women misstreated daily by things like office bullying and sexual harassments -- not sit around and talk about this torso because that is the easy thing to do

Patrick you have the power of being able to reach out to a lot of people every day, let them know what's really going on out there, start a facebook group... whatever. It feels like you're using this torso issue to generate klicks, if you REALLY wanted to do something about the problem, trust me, there are better ways.

Posted by Beatus

This article was interesting. Thanks to all involved.

Posted by GalacticGravy

It's not just a woman's issue, but a human issue. As a guy I can only comment on my perspective, and I agree with the anonymous poster (who I wish I could send a thank-you card to). Even though I can't understand exactly what women feel, I can trust that they are intelligent humans and that what they feel is valid, even if I'm not seeing it. I trust scientists that the atom exists, even though I've never seen one.