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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 MideonNViscera

That first chick looks kinda hot.

Posted by jimmyfenix

@AMonkey said:

Hey.

Hey Patrick.

Stop posting these fucking articles. I'm sick of this pandering to female gamers, creating issues about non issues. You are single handedly ruining this site. Giantbomb was about video games. Not creating stories from gaming politics in order to get page hits. Go work for Kotaku, you would be perfect there.

shots fired

Posted by JoshyLee

Maybe we should carefully pick eight women from twitter to agree with us and say it's not a matter of sexism. Apparently that's what a real journalist would do.

Posted by FMinus

Drama over a fucking toy, clearly the bane of a nation whos main concern is, that God blesses them.

Posted by alpha_rudy@hotmail.com

@AMonkey: I'm pretty damn sure this is the reason they hired him. To get someone to look at things going on in the video games industry...you might call him "the news guy"

Posted by OfficeGamer

@jimmyfenix said:

@AMonkey said:

Hey.

Hey Patrick.

Stop posting these fucking articles. I'm sick of this pandering to female gamers, creating issues about non issues. You are single handedly ruining this site. Giantbomb was about video games. Not creating stories from gaming politics in order to get page hits. Go work for Kotaku, you would be perfect there.

shots fired

Posted by HellknightLeon

I feel like this is "troll" news. I've seen a lot of this in the last few months... I don't know why and I don't like it. Why are we now talking about stuff like this and yet its nothing new... oh GOD! I'm doing it... I'm adding to this... (Ok... back onto my point) Why is this kinda topic turning up so much this past year? (2012)

Posted by NotValeriusCato

I just don't understand how people can react this way to complaints about how women are treated in this industry and in our culture. I'm a guy who's seen first-hand how the attitudes that things like this represent, legitimate, and reinforce, lead to actions and can destroy people, people I've cared about deeply. It seems like such a fundamental failure of empathy and humanity.

Posted by InsidiousTuna

To summarize: a bunch of male Giant Bomb community members dictate to a bunch of women what they're allowed to find sexist.

Good work, internet. Knocked it out of the park.

Posted by mrfluke

alright 2200 comments im done checking on this board.

theres a lot more that could have been done to make a balanced argument and draw less internet rage from people.

had some good discussions no doubt about that, but at the end of it all the only thing im seeing coming out of this from BOTH SIDES of the argument is this

the one habit that needs to chill the fuck out is bullying/harassing people into listening to this stupid fucking issue.your feeling bullied by this statue and by "sexism" OK, but then you bully/harass people into forcing them to listen to this shit? if that just isnt the most hypocritical self righteous thing. if i was a mod and i saw this type of bullying going on, i would make it a mission to ban all those bullies accounts.

its the internet, its always about net neutrality, people should post and say what they want, and not be forced/harassed to doing something by someone else.

Posted by HellknightLeon

@kalmia64 said:

And I play video games to have fun. Not be told to get in the kitchen and make a sandwich. Not to be told to suck a guys dick. Not to be told that I deserve to be violently raped.

Oh my shit! Someone posted this? A real person? You want to talk about a topic that should be closed... please close this one. This is turning... sick.

Posted by PillClinton

So this must be the most commented thing on GB now, right? Patty just keeps on breakin' records!

@CarlosTheDwarf said:

@ReaganStein said:

"Please don't use my sexy cleavage shot that I myself use on my public Twitter profile to illustrate my complaints about sexy cleavage statues. Because that might make me look like a hypocrite."

LOL

Wow, that's fuckin' ridiculous. Just... the whole thing, wow.

Posted by EnduranceFun

@HellknightLeon said:

@kalmia64 said:

And I play video games to have fun. Not be told to get in the kitchen and make a sandwich. Not to be told to suck a guys dick. Not to be told that I deserve to be violently raped.

Oh my shit! Someone posted this? A real person? You want to talk about a topic that should be closed... please close this one. This is turning... sick.

Stop contributing to rape culture pls

Posted by jimmyfenix

@HellknightLeon said:

@kalmia64 said:

And I play video games to have fun. Not be told to get in the kitchen and make a sandwich. Not to be told to suck a guys dick. Not to be told that I deserve to be violently raped.

Oh my shit! Someone posted this? A real person? You want to talk about a topic that should be closed... please close this one. This is turning... sick.

yeah this is just getting weird :/

Posted by Krullban

@PillClinton said:

So this must be the most commented thing on GB now, right? Patty just keeps on breakin' records!

Not even close

Posted by PillClinton

@Krullban said:

@PillClinton said:

So this must be the most commented thing on GB now, right? Patty just keeps on breakin' records!

Not even close

I more meant site content from the crew, but that's... impressive?

Posted by jimmyfenix

@PillClinton said:

So this must be the most commented thing on GB now, right? Patty just keeps on breakin' records!

@CarlosTheDwarf said:

@ReaganStein said:

"Please don't use my sexy cleavage shot that I myself use on my public Twitter profile to illustrate my complaints about sexy cleavage statues. Because that might make me look like a hypocrite."

LOL

Wow, that's fuckin' ridiculous. Just... the whole thing, wow.

Lol

Posted by jimmyfenix

@mrfluke said:

@shiggity_shwa said:

@mrfluke said:

@TooWalrus said:

@TheSouthernDandy said:

@TooWalrus said:

@patrickklepek: Well, it's east coast midnight, I've only just got home from work, and it's 2,000 comments later, but I'd still like to throw in my two cents. This was a welcome change from your past few articles on this topic. It's cool to hear what women in the business have to say about sexism in the gaming industry- and hopefully even the biggest assholes in this thread wouldn't deny that the problem does, at least, exist. In this case, I can definitely understand the sexist undertones in this 'marketing tool.' There are really only two points I'd like you to consider, and this is just my opinion, and I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job or anything, these are just personal suggestions:

  • First, I do feel like this particular incident has been blown out of proportion. What I mean is, this problem is industry wide, right? I think it would have been more compelling if you'd composite several instances of sexism in the industry, and presented it as a whole. I don't feel like it's right to dog-pile on Deep Silver if this issue runs so deep- especially since this statue could be potentially offensive for a few other reasons as well.
  • Second, I'd just appreciate if you'd expand a little more about why you believe what you do. The issue that comes to mind is the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, which you've called 'disgusting,' without really explaining why. I watched the trailer again, and the only real sexism issue I could imagine someone having is the manner in which they cyborg is dressed. Most girls I know personally wear swimsuits that show more skin that the cyborg lady, so when you imply that merely showing skin is sexist, I start to wonder where you draw the line between acceptable and sexist. I think that's what's leading some people to compare you with fundamental Muslims demanding every women be covered with a burqa, or digging up past actions to try to point out hypocrisy of some sort.

Nice post duder. Not saying I agree or disagree, just sayin nice post.

@mrfluke said:

quoting this up, cause i agree

Oh, thanks guys. I was pretty pleased when reading through the comments this morning to find that very few of the users I respect the most had fallen onto the mindless hate train.

lemme add another point to this good points that are going on here as patrick is online and checking the comments

what is so wrong in getting male industry people to speak out on this issue? if the gaming industry is so male focused, then wouldnt getting males to back up the females do a lot of good? if this stupid statue is supposed to be targeted for us males, then they think we are a bunch of savages, i bet if you show that to the call of duty dudebro crowd they wouldnt like it and thing its gross, i really think so.

this is going to sound sexist, but how much permanent change is going to happen with just the women, the minority audience, the auidence that this statue is not targeted for, do for sexism? its gotta be a combined effort from both genders to make it happen. and it seems you not getting the males to say anything just shows a feminist bias honestly.

im sorry if this sounds sexist and im downplaying womens role here, im just looking at it from a cold business angle, would really having the minority audience speak out? and having the targeted audience stay quiet, create permanent change? change the people in charge minds about things?

I think you're seeing what a lot of men think in these comments. I think you're seeing just how ignorant, hateful, and sexist a large portion of the audience is.

I agree that getting professional male viewpoints would not be a bad thing, but why does it matter that women have something to say about this? You say that the targeted audience is being left silent. 2000+ commenters disagree.

absolutely nothings wrong that women are speaking out, im just wondering how much a permanent change it will create without the target audience getting its proper professional voice as well. a bunch of females came out and voiced their opinion when they saw that they got professionals backing them up, and then shortly disappeared afterwards.

im going to assume your female here, correct me if im wrong, (ive actually had a pretty good civil friendly conversation with one of you guys already via a pm , seems you all really only come out and talk when stories like this are posted and then disappear shortly afterwards) and if we're generalizing here about 2000 comments being just about males expressing their hate, and no legitimate criticism was taking place,then we can go back to that one reason why article, cause as much as there were good females that were rightfully getting their voices heard, there were a bunch of females that were NOT about gender equality and only using that 1reasonwhy as a scapegoat to further their own agendas

so please dont dismiss and generalize all these 2000 comments as just being males being hateful and sexist.

word

Posted by AiurFlux

If I rolled my eyes any further I'm sure I'd be able to see my tiny brain.

You have the right to be offended, you do not have the right to stop people from offending you. Don't like it stand and shout all you want. But here's my hope. I hope that articles like this start turning into blogs where you can offer your opinion. The news area should be news, not pushing and publishing your own agenda. Shit like this is something I'd expect to see on Kotaku or IGN, not here.

There's my opinion. If it offends you, good. Because quite frankly I don't give a fuck. I've HAD IT with the PC Police, especially in the game media. Tomb Raider is offensive because it depicts a heroine character in duress, because women clearly have never been under fucking duress. Hitman Absolution is offensive because of PVC dominatrix nuns, because there's never any kinky son of a bitch that's into that sort of thing. Booth Babes are offensive because they're beautiful models and we clearly shouldn't have that although it's in EVERY-FUCKING-THING. People are apologizing in advance of doing something because there's always going to be some moronic piece of shit that has a problem with it. ESPN issued an apology for Brent Mussburger calling a beauty pageant winner beautiful. It's in her fucking job description and resume. That's the world we live in, and it's forged by assholes that are quite literally sucking the fun out of everything. But at the same time we can play a game built around dismemberment and decapitation. Wow, great fucking logic. Let's remove anything with sex because it's the one thing about us that's universal and natural, let's replace it with killing shit!

Get. Over. Yourself. If you don't like it don't buy the thing. It should be a free market decision, not the decision of a few vocal assholes raising a stink. The statue is clearly stupid, but it's up to people to think if it is stupid and speak with their wallets. It is not up to you to censor the artistic creativity, and I use that term loosely in this instance, of others by raising hell and guilting them into dropping it.

Posted by AndrewB

@Simulacrum said:

Being male is suffering.

Aaaaaamen.

Posted by cabbagered

Excellent article, Patrick & contributors. It's nice to see that you've managed to generate some mature and level-headed discussion around an issue that--at least on the gaming-centric corners of the net--is otherwise controlled by reactionary hyperbole and embarrassing mis-characterizations. In short, thanks!

That said, when you have so many people ready to add their voice to an article, do you really need to include an anonymous contributor? If her position in the industry gives her an unique point of view then I'd say yes, but, without that information, I as the reader have no idea what weight her opinion carries.

Edited by EnduranceFun

@RapSnackz said:

I don't have any issue with the article, but I didn't think I was going to have to see that goddamn statue on the front page of a site one more time.

I feel embarrassed having that abomination on my computer screen when others pass me by. And really I don't think it's necessary, it's only there because Patrick lacks the imagination to think up another banner image, much like how he randomly used Lara Croft and the Mirror's Edge protagonist in 1reasonwhy as banners, simply because they were female protagonists. I guess Lara Croft is fine now it has a female writer.

Double standards, double standards everywhere.

Edited by dreffen

@EnduranceFun: I didn't say anything about invading. I said that there's apparently some overlap with GB commenters who'd fit right in with MRA types.

This shit is kind of an issue: http://gbitk.net/ii/

@InsidiousTuna said:

To summarize: a bunch of male Giant Bomb community members dictate to a bunch of women what they're allowed to find sexist.

Good work, internet. Knocked it out of the park.

This sums it up pretty nicely.

Posted by granderojo

I think it's really lame for the angry people in these articles that Patrick has been doing to continue to be angry about it. If you don't like these features, don't read them. Furthermore if you're going to be even more lame and spam a contributor to the article, you don't deserve to be a part of this community.

I'm not going to say you're sexist because I don't know if you are, but you people who continue to do this shit are lame. Stop being lame. The fuck.

Edited by dreffen

@thabigred said:

If you don't like these features, don't read them.

But with my privilege I feel I must say that this is all okay, and that these women are just getting all feminazi on me for stating the truth.

Edited by EnduranceFun

@dreffen said:

@InsidiousTuna said:

To summarize: a bunch of male Giant Bomb community members dictate to a bunch of women what they're allowed to find sexist.

Good work, internet. Knocked it out of the park.

This sums it up pretty nicely.

No one says anything remotely sexist, but you guys sure want to pigeon-hole them as such. They complain about the article, they criticise the frequency, the sound-noise ratio, but nope, they're all just entitled nerds.

How about they read the articles, but you stop reading their comments? No one is forcing you to.

Posted by Pezen

Interesting reading 8 women sharing their thoughts on this. It's a bit lazy journalism to pick 8 people who agree on a "controversial" subject though because it both makes the author (Patrick) of the two articles seem like he's patting himself on the back and it doesn't really give the discussion any fodder for discussion. But, I suspect Patrick isn't interesting in "discussing" the topic as much as pushing for a specific end goal. Which is fine, if intellectually dull. Problem I have is that women don't necessarily agree on this topic, considering how many comments have raised examples of women not at all thinking that torso is an offense to all women and disagree that the gender of the thing matters, saying it would be equally bad as a male torso (including my own wife). But, somewhere I am starting to agree that maybe GB could either split their texts into News/Editorials or completely rename the "news" section to something more general. Because as other's have said, when you apply opinion to a "news" story, it's not quite reporting unbiased news anymore.

Posted by jimmyfenix

@dreffen said:

@thabigred said:

If you don't like these features, don't read them.

But with my privilege I feel I must say that this is all okay, and that these women are just getting all feminazi on me for stating the truth.

im getting threats aswell

Posted by jimmyfenix

@Pezen said:

Interesting reading 8 women sharing their thoughts on this. It's a bit lazy journalism to pick 8 people who agree on a "controversial" subject though because it both makes the author (Patrick) of the two articles seem like he's patting himself on the back and it doesn't really give the discussion any fodder for discussion. But, I suspect Patrick isn't interesting in "discussing" the topic as much as pushing for a specific end goal. Which is fine, if intellectually dull. Problem I have is that women don't necessarily agree on this topic, considering how many comments have raised examples of women not at all thinking that torso is an offense to all women and disagree that the gender of the thing matters, saying it would be equally bad as a male torso (including my own wife). But, somewhere I am starting to agree that maybe GB could either split their texts into News/Editorials or completely rename the "news" section to something more general. Because as other's have said, when you apply opinion to a "news" story, it's not quite reporting unbiased news anymore.

word

Posted by dreffen

@Judakel said:

@EnduranceFun said:

@dreffen said:

@InsidiousTuna said:

To summarize: a bunch of male Giant Bomb community members dictate to a bunch of women what they're allowed to find sexist.

Good work, internet. Knocked it out of the park.

This sums it up pretty nicely.

No one says anything remotely sexist, but you guys sure want to pigeon-hole them as such. They complain about the article, they criticise the frequency, the sound-noise ratio, but nope, they're all just entitled nerds.

How about they read the articles, but you stop reading their comments? No one is forcing you to.

I agree with this guy. Delusional attitudes like his are not the problem. It's the fact you read them. Little boys just want their corner to rage in.

PS. My denial of male privilege perpetuates sexism, but I've said nothing sexist so get off my back.

But no one said anything remotely sexist, people are just pigeon-holing it as such.

Posted by granderojo

@dreffen said:

@thabigred said:

If you don't like these features, don't read them.

But with my privilege I feel I must say that this is all okay, and that these women are just getting all feminazi on me for stating the truth.

This statue was a bad idea and that's all these women were saying here. I don't see how this is a controversial thing. Furthermore blowing up the comments section with hundreds of posts about it and continuing to be angry about something that shouldn't be a controversy is lame.

Posted by jimmyfenix

i wish techland release this bust and say FUCK Y`ALL on it

Posted by graf1k

Can this be over yet? Deep Silver got what they wanted with a bunch of free press for their video game that has had little buzz, females who were offended by the stupid thing were successful in the stupid thing being taken down and had their opinions validated by the apology, and Patrick got to white knight the ever-loving shit out it. The only people who 'lost' anything is the majority of people (male AND female) who took one look at the thing, said "Boy that is stupid, and definitely not worth $150" or whatever they were going to charge and wanted to move the fuck on but can't because hey, somebody said the word "sexism" and now we need to have a congressional hearing on the Dead Island Riptide Zombie Titty Statue Debacle of 2013 before it can end. Bravo.

Just for the record, I don't necessarily disagree with the thought that this thing is sexist and stupid, just like I don't necessarily disagree with P.E.T.A. that animal cruelty is terrible. But just like P.E.T.A., if you are snide, borderline malicious in making your point, brow-beating those who aren't as evangelical as you about your issue, you aren't doing yourself or your cause any favors.

Posted by buft

@Judakel said:

Marginalized nerds feel their only sources of social power, namely their maleness and their whiteness, under attack and are lashing out the only way they know how: anonymously on the internet.

Being male and white isn't what makes me as a person, its what i was born with and I'm sorry if you have been victimized or made to feel bad by someone who shares some of my physical characteristics but pushing your agenda of boxing us together is part of the problem but if it makes you feel better I cant help that but for the life of me think of one moment that this benefited me one bit.

My name is Justin Johnston, I'm 29 and I'm from Ireland, i posted my picture on the thread here and I'm not afraid to say that Patricks article while I'm sure has its heart in the right place is no further to outing sexism in the industry, if he truly wanted to make a case for sexism he would out the companies that hold females back from positions of power, pay their female employees less or treat them unfairly.At the moment all we have is an article about women in the industries opinions on a fairly tacky and tasteless statue.

Posted by Oginam

Maybe its just me but I kind of want a more strict moderation policy for GB. And more mods to enforce it. Not that I'm against a person sharing his or her viewpoint but only so long as its done in a mature, reasoned manner. I probably just expect too much out of a video gaming community on the internet.

You can't fix a problem in a game by ignoring it or claiming it doesn't exist, and the problem won't fix itself. Same goes for real life.

Posted by jimmyfenix

@EnduranceFun said:

@Judakel: Male privilege is as much a fact as the 9/11 conspiracy theories or the NWO.

Though what really matters is why the fuck you think you need to bring this up right now. The audacity to attack other members of this forum purely based on their viewpoints. You'd get a lot further if you tried to explain your point-of-view calmly and in the proper forum, this is hardly the place for that. It makes the whole feminist movement look bad when commenters like you come and bitch at the 'patriarchy' like a dumbass.

amen

Posted by buft

@Judakel said:

@EnduranceFun said:

@Judakel: Male privilege is as much a fact as the 9/11 conspiracy theories or the NWO.

Though what really matters is why the fuck you think you need to bring this up right now. The audacity to attack other members of this forum purely based on their viewpoints. You'd get a lot further if you tried to explain your point-of-view calmly and in the proper forum, this is hardly the place for that. It makes the whole feminist movement look bad when commenters like you come and bitch at the 'patriarchy' like a dumbass.

Gonna need you to debunk that male privilege by showing me that men and women have equal pay, son. At least do that much you lazy fuckwit.

So when i mentioned that in my response it was a non issue and i was wrong but suddenly that's the key to this whole thing? I believe you might be just what you are claiming to hate in your original statement and this is how you "lash out" under the guise of anonymity

@Judakel said:

@buft said:

@Judakel said:

Marginalized nerds feel their only sources of social power, namely their maleness and their whiteness, under attack and are lashing out the only way they know how: anonymously on the internet.

Being male and white isn't what makes me as a person, its what i was born with and I'm sorry if you have been victimized or made to feel bad by someone who shares some of my physical characteristics but pushing your agenda of boxing us together is part of the problem but if it makes you feel better I cant help that but for the life of me think of one moment that this benefited me one bit.

My name is Justin Johnston, I'm 29 and I'm from Ireland, i posted my picture on the thread here and I'm not afraid to say that Patricks article while I'm sure has its heart in the right place is no further to outing sexism in the industry, if he truly wanted to make a case for sexism he would out the companies that hold females back from positions of power, pay their female employees less or treat them unfairly.At the moment all we have is an article about women in the industries opinions on a fairly tacky and tasteless statue.

What are you going on about? No one is asking you apologize for being male and white. At best, you're being asked to not perpetuate the privilege these attributes give you. Given what follows your opening statement: Good job at failing to do that. Also, way to go in assuming someone had to victimize me in order for me to see male and white privilege as a problem.

Also, Patrick's article serves to keep the issue of sexism in this industry in the spotlight. I am not sure how you missed that, but given that you think someone is asking to apologize for "WHO I AM", I am not surprised.

Posted by Darji

@Judakel said:

@buft said:

@Judakel said:

Marginalized nerds feel their only sources of social power, namely their maleness and their whiteness, under attack and are lashing out the only way they know how: anonymously on the internet.

Being male and white isn't what makes me as a person, its what i was born with and I'm sorry if you have been victimized or made to feel bad by someone who shares some of my physical characteristics but pushing your agenda of boxing us together is part of the problem but if it makes you feel better I cant help that but for the life of me think of one moment that this benefited me one bit.

My name is Justin Johnston, I'm 29 and I'm from Ireland, i posted my picture on the thread here and I'm not afraid to say that Patricks article while I'm sure has its heart in the right place is no further to outing sexism in the industry, if he truly wanted to make a case for sexism he would out the companies that hold females back from positions of power, pay their female employees less or treat them unfairly.At the moment all we have is an article about women in the industries opinions on a fairly tacky and tasteless statue.

What are you going on about? No one is asking you apologize for being male and white. At best, you're being asked to not perpetuate the privilege these attributes give you. Given what follows your opening statement: Good job at failing to do that. Also, way to go in assuming someone had to victimize me in order for me to see male and white privilege as a problem.

Also, Patrick's article serves to keep the issue of sexism in this industry in the spotlight. I am not sure how you missed that, but given that you think someone is asking to apologize for "WHO I AM", I am not surprised.

I am sorry and I do not know how you were brought up. Maybe you were taught that women are weak and needs to be protected but I was not. I treat women the as I threat men. I am not more carefully with my words because she is a woman I am more carefully if I know that he or she feels offended or hurt by it.

And honesty. If a women is going to hit me especially without a reason I would probably hit back. And not because I am an asshole but because I do not treat them differently. Luckily I was never in any situation I had to hit someone or to get caught in a fight and hopefully I never will.

Posted by graf1k

@Judakel: Is your point that if pay WAS the same for men and women that Zombie Titty Statue would have been okay? Or are you merely creating a straw man argument that has nothing to do with the issue at hand and drawing a correlation between two unrelated phenomena that is completely spurious?

Posted by Pezen

@Judakel: Her point to me was not the historical systematic implications of gender inequality, but that a male torso and a female torso displayed in such a manner is equally bad because it would be equally tasteless and equally "objectifying" if that what people thought of it. The historical relevance of gender inequality has little bearing on that torso for anyone who doesn't overanalyze everything they see and make a big deal out of their overzealous ideas. For some women, like my wife, it's just "basement nerd swag" and not a beacon of sexism in society.

And don't tell my wife to go into the kitchen, I am a much better at those things. Unless we're talking baking, she beats me there.

Posted by apothaeos

I want to be part of this mega-thread. So here's a comment. Fukkin' internet. People are bad at arguing.

Posted by crcruz3

@Judakel said:

@EnduranceFun said:

@Judakel: Because gravity is comparable to male privilege. You are a card, aren't you?

Continuing blowing this up to be more than it is. Get it all out there, over these internet comments.

They're both facts. So yes, they are comparable. In that for something to be comparable, it must have at least one similarity. I realize in your cooky world they aren't both facts, but creationists disregard evidence too. That doesn't make them right. Hell, if you could just come up with a sane explanation for the difference in pay between men and women who both have the same job, in the same establishment, and have the same education that doesn't scream male privilege then I am all ears.

Walter Block from the Loyola College Economics Department says (you are going to hate his explanation, for sure):

"As for the pay gap, I made the case that it was due, instead, to the asymmetric effects of marriage. This institution enhances male earnings and reduces those of females. Why? Because wives do the lion's share of cooking, cleaning, shopping, child care. (A survey I took of my Loyola Maryland audience overwhelming supported this contention.) This is an example of the basic economic axiom of opportunity, or alternative costs. When anyone does anything, he is to that extent unable to do something else. Since I was in Baltimore, I illustrated this by use of Michael Phelps, world champion swimmer. I opined that he probably wasn't a world-class cellist, because to achieve that goal in addition to having a lot of talent, you have to spend many hours each day practicing, and he was busy with other (watery) pursuits. Well, women are also busy with activities other than supplying labor to the market, hence their lower productivity in this sector, compared to what it would be if they were never married.

I gave several bits of evidence, or proof, or illustrations, of this. For one thing, when you compare not all men and all women, but only the never-marrieds, the wage gap between males and females virtually disappears. When you take only young people, aged 18—24, again the male-female wage gap cannot be found, since most of them have never been married. And this entirely reasonable. After all, while women's productivity on average may well have been lower than men's in past centuries, when physical strength was important in this regard, in the present century this is no longer true. For another thing, if (all) women really had the same productivity as men, nowadays (they don't, due to marriage), then there would be additional profits available to any firm that specialized in hiring females. Surely this is a situation that could not long endure."

Edited by muffinmcmuffin

There are many lols available in this comment section. It's always a party when people read a statement on the effects of white male privilege as constituting an argument that women are "weak" and need to be protected. Then the silly men's rights movement arguments start popping up. A+++, would read again.

Posted by Milkman
Posted by Missacre
I'm just gonna leave this here.
Posted by JoshyLee

Anyone who argues that women have a fair shake and are treated equally to men are idiots. Sexism exists. This statue just isn't an example of it.

Edited by Archaen

@Judakel said:

Gonna need you to debunk that male privilege by showing me that men and women have equal pay, son. At least do that much you lazy fuckwit.

Actually, this has been done. This article writes about it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth/ .

The claim is that women get paid less for equivalent work, but the problem is that "equivalent work" does not take into account that in the U.S. the average woman works less than 40 hours per week and the average man works overtime. It also does not take into account men tending to have more specializations in technical fields such as medicine and that men also have worked at their company for an average of two years longer. If you take into account all the above factors women get paid basically the same or even more than their male counterparts when actually doing the same work. Unfortunately the studies usually quoted say that a female doctor 6 years out of school in general practice working 36 hours so she can go home to see her children is doing the same work as a male brain surgeon 8 years out of school that works for 50 hours a week. The fact is that this pay discrepancy is, in fact, a myth these days.

Posted by Pezen

@Judakel said:

Something is not objectifying in a vacuum. The social conditions surrounding it add to the level of objectification through context. It is an act and acts gain their power from social conditions, among other things. Some women, like your wife, are wrong.

Now YOU go in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.

Tell her that she is wrong regarding an opinion? Are you under the illusion that the social ethics we use to steer our society forward is somehow calculated in science? It's all opinion shaped by opinion shaped by opinion. They're all subjective steps on a mass scale. Besides, if a woman objectify a man she objectify him the same way a man objectify a woman because the act of objectifying is the same.

Sure, but I only really do one sandwich. Which is smoked turkey, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, slices of tomato and mayo on white bread or in a pita.

Edited by EnduranceFun

@Milkman said:

Delusion now.

Oh look, a feminist wrote an essay about a feminist idea. That clearly makes me delusional.

Still irrelevant. Still desperate in trying to defend the article by linking it with sexism.

Posted by crcruz3

@Archaen said:

@Judakel said:

Gonna need you to debunk that male privilege by showing me that men and women have equal pay, son. At least do that much you lazy fuckwit.

Actually, this has been done. This article writes about it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth/ .

The claim is that women get paid less for equivalent work, but the problem is that "equivalent work" does not take into account that in the U.S. the average woman works less than 40 hours per week and the average man works overtime. It also does not take into account men tending to have more specializations in technical fields such as medicine and that men also have worked at their company for an average of two years longer. If you take into account all the above factors women get paid basically the same or even more than their male counterparts when actually doing the same work. Unfortunately the studies usually quoted say that a female doctor 6 years out of school in general practice working 36 hours so she can go home to see her children is doing the same work as a male brain surgeon 8 years out of school that works for 50 hours a week. The fact is that this pay discrepancy is, in fact, a myth these days.

This article is great.