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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 JasonR86

Nice responses from everyone. Oddly 'Anonymous' is the person I agree with the most and I would have loved to give her praise (though I agree with parts of everyone's responses and respect all of them).

I still have a hard time seeing this statue as sexist because I guess I look at that word as representing something more serious then this dumb, worthless statue. I think we all need to create new words for such nonsense. If we keep saying 'sexism' with every distasteful thing involving women then, eventually, that word will lose all meaning or value. It will become a punchline (I think it might have already gotten there on this site). But that's an issue of semantics.

I certainly think that this is a stupid marketing ploy. I don't know who would want it. But eight women, or all of us here on this site, don't represent the whole of the gaming community or non-gaming community. I would be interested if mass number of people, both gamers and non-gamers alike, would find this statue offensive or sexist.

Ultimately this whole thing will only matter if the game doesn't sell well. If it sells well, especially the collector's edition, then none of this will matter. I suppose I think money speaks louder than anything else.

Posted by EarlessShrimp

@Ravenlight: Then you have the issue of people personally attacking one another for having a different view other than "This is sexist and hateful" or "This isn't sexist and hateful". I, on one hand can understand why people see it as sexist because of objectification of women, but on the other hand I feel like bringing an issue like this to such a high level and saying "hey you can't have a woman statue because it's sexist" is kinda saying that women are different. They should be protected. Of course, all these suppositions come from the standpoint that I'm okay with the torso statue to begin with. And I do. I have a macabre sense of humor and find a lot of hilarity in B-grade movie violence be it to men, women, aliens, monsters, whatever. I guess if you take the statue and think about it, it's essentially the perfect storm of people who have very strong opinions one way or the other to get together and bicker senselessly rather than have a mature, intelligent conversation.

Posted by TMThomsen

Yes! I was just sitting here waiting for more reporting on sexism in the games industry. Thanks GB!

Posted by marcusofadown

@Abendlaender said:

@Fungiefips said:

@marcusofadown: We're commenting because we love the site, and are dismayed that this particular bullshit story has now been a featured article TWICE. When Anita Sarkeesian is getting death threats, or women inside the industry want to comment on the sexism they face, then yes it is a valid article and subject to talk about. But Klepek doesn't offer that, his articles are pure Kotaku-shit from which he can claim moral superiority without offering any sort of thoughtful discourse on it.

OH GOD! TWO ARTCILES? TWO? Oh no, this site is doomed. i'm canceling my subscription right now. Man two, that is like...one more then one!

Moral superiority? No thoughtful discourse? I don't even know where to begin with that nonsense.

Note: not a reply to you, Abendlaender. I agree with you :)

Posted by Elwoodan

what kinda weirds me out is that they put out two incredible, emotionally charged trailers for their games, then follow them up with DUDE CHECK OUT THIS MUTILATED STATUE *fistbump*. also, this isn't the "first time" deep silver has fucked up. not only was Dead Island shitty on launch day (and still is) but that whole Feminist Whore thing is still pretty fresh.

Posted by EnduranceFun

@Ohnoshinobi said:

@EnduranceFun said:

Who is 'we'

The men on this comment thread deciding what women should feel objectified by. There are eight opinions from actual women, who have a much more informed opinion on what they would find offensive, and those opinions are being marginalized by men.

You're assuming the commenters are men for one, a sanctimonious assumption. For two, what? No one is marginalizing their opinions, there is mild criticism of the redundancy, but little else. You're not reading this comment section. Actually not bad at all so far, probably because Patrick avoided making his own entry.

Posted by Carousel

@CastleD: Because men don't matter, silly.

The patriarchy.

Posted by theveej

hmm, at first this sort of bundle and the statue seemed perfectly fine to me (probably due to the excess amount of comic books, rap videos and video games I have consumed over the years) but yah people can take it as offensive (and it is). I think everyone can agree that even without the sexist stigma, its a stupid statute ( can't imagine that thing being productive in welcoming females to any room).

While its nice to see prominent females in the industry reacting to something like this, I would rather Patrick do a piece on why marketers go ahead with these sort of promotions (and I think there have been ones over the last year that were much worse than this in the sexist category). I mean the explanation of "hey tits sell" is not sufficient enough for me (or at least I hope its not just that). I want to know from the marketing perspective, if there is a enough data driven analysis to support these kind of "sexist" marketing ploy. Maybe I'm giving marketers too much credit and these marketing ploys are a product of out of touch marketers trying to be clever and cool.

Posted by asantosbr
Posted by Ohnoshinobi

Hey guys, if this were actually Kotaku it would be Eight Cakes about that statue.

Posted by RiccochetJ

Great article Patrick!

Posted by august

@Dezztroy said:

@depecheload said:

@Brandino said:

Sexist statue? No, extremely stupid idea? Yes, they should of never went through with the torso but it's not sexist.

Oh, well I'm glad you, the master of deciding what is sexist, has declared that a sexed-up boob-heavy disembodied female torso made solely to titillate male gamers isn't sexist. Wow. Awesome. Thanks for that.

He solved it everyone! We can shut down the Internet now.

From my experience, there are quite a few women with fake breasts wearing bikinis at tropical locations. I don't see what's sexist about it.

It's a fucking headless mutilated corpse for you to display in your home.

Online
Posted by alibson

@Sil3n7 said:

You know Patrick, if you don't like a particular games stance on women, don't buy that game. Let the market decide if they agree with your values.

That's not the American way. In America if you don't like something you shout "sexist" or "racist" at it and it goes away.

Edited by Kill

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.

Posted by InsidiousTuna

@Kohlstream: Most people's reaction was one of disgust and bewilderment. The problem is that the marketing department decided it was a good idea in the first place. That says something sad about them and about the demographic they believe they're serving. It merits industry discussion.

Posted by Akyho

@LikeaSsur said:

"Eight Women, Eight Responses, And Every Response is The Same."

Are you a woman with a different view? and the fact that 8 women have the same response shouldn't that tell you something?

That while it may not matter to you. It matters to other people.

I am really saddened by people response. Mostly going "Oh its a piece about women! I am a man. SO FUCK WOMEN!"

Ontop of that people are going "Oh Patricks doing some Journalism....FUCK KLEPEK!"

I myself I am interested in the opinion of women on the subject. I wanted to see if this really was a subject that truly offended women. The Lara Croft "Protect Lara" was so nebulas and purley from the point of women I couldn't form a true opinion.

This I saw and went "No that is really bad taste. Even if it was male...but as a women.. that is just sexing it up." I wanted female opinions on the matter, more so game centred women that have put up with the decades of Anti-women aimed marketing. Here it is delivered it.

These are not views easily found in a larger text. Its small snippets. Here is the meat and bones of the their opinion, I am intrested. A number of yous may not be but to come by and just go "OH BLAH BLAH BLAH! WOMEN! I dont wanna here about WOMEN!" doesn't help anything, its is a larger issue than just you as a male. Just because it isnt your issue dosnt make it "A" Issue.

I only see the valid comments on if they want such articles on GB. However when they are delivered with the tone of "I hate Patrick and that fact he often writes, I WANT HIM TO STOP!" ruins any good feedback by being a child on the playground about it.

Online
Posted by TobiasParker

Murder okay. Boobs not okay. In what world does that make sense?

Posted by vegetashonor
@rramo010 wipe your mouth, your drooling.
Posted by Jumbs

@CastleD said:

Some of these same people who are morally outraged by this statue have also murdered hundreds of thousands of male characters in video games in every conceivable bloody way for years. I'm sure not a peep from them. Actually, they enjoy it immensely.

Why is that?

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.

Here's a breakdown for people that don't want to read the comments:

1. Scoops interviewed a bunch of women about a controversy about something that objectifies women.

2. The women, naturally, find it offensive and abhorrent.

3. A bunch of privileged males on the internet claim "People should get over it" and "Men get killed in video games all the time WE DONT CARE!" and think this issue that is a huge problem in the gaming industry should be ignored.

Posted by marcusofadown

There are so many people on here that needs to learn the true definition of sexism, and also feminism ((as perfectly explained by Kate Lorimer).

Posted by Dezztroy

@august said:

@Dezztroy said:

@depecheload said:

@Brandino said:

Sexist statue? No, extremely stupid idea? Yes, they should of never went through with the torso but it's not sexist.

Oh, well I'm glad you, the master of deciding what is sexist, has declared that a sexed-up boob-heavy disembodied female torso made solely to titillate male gamers isn't sexist. Wow. Awesome. Thanks for that.

He solved it everyone! We can shut down the Internet now.

From my experience, there are quite a few women with fake breasts wearing bikinis at tropical locations. I don't see what's sexist about it.

It's a fucking headless mutilated corpse for you to display in your home.

That doesn't sound sexist to me, just kinda gross.

Posted by Abendlaender

@Ekpyroticuniverse said:

i concur fuck Patrick Klepek for making us all read this. He forced us all to go online, go to giantbomb and made us read every line.

Don't tell anybody but I heard that GB wanted to start a new Endurance Run today and Ryan was ready to continue Tang but Patrick said "NOPE. Gonna write an article today" and so they canceled it. True story.

Posted by PulledaBrad

@alibson said:

@Sil3n7 said:

You know Patrick, if you don't like a particular games stance on women, don't buy that game. Let the market decide if they agree with your values.

That's not the American way. In America if you don't like something you shout "sexist" or "racist" at it and it goes away.

Best part? Its not even being sold in America. UK and Oz.

Posted by dagas

I don't understand what the big deal is. I just dismissed it as another collector's edition statue I don't care about. The only reaction I had was "well that thing looks pretty stupid, who would want that displayed?" but that's what I think of most plastic things that come with CE of games.

Posted by df

A better choice would be to get to the person that suggested this, and the manager that approves this, and interview them.

Posted by PollySMPS

JEEZ THANKS PATRICK FOR WRITING ARTICLES NOBODY CARES ABOUT THAT ARE ALREADY UP TO SEVEN PAGES OF COMMENTS! God why don't they just fire him already!

Also WOMEN R DUM XD XD XD XD XD Good ol predictable internet.

Posted by Vexxan

These comments are going to be glorious.

Posted by JasonR86
Posted by Carousel

@Jumbs said:

3. A bunch of privileged males

That didn't take long

Posted by Extreme_Popcorn

The Dead Island statue isn't bad because it's a woman's torso, it's bad because it's a fucking headless, limbless torso. If it had been a male torso, it probably would have been sold and not one single article would have been written about it. Yet because it has tits we've got a scandal!

It's shit articles like this which cloud the issue of sexism and trivialises the issue to the point where real cases of sexism are ignored or simply dismissed out of hand because people are sick and tired of being preached at.

Posted by joshthebear

Hey guys, how about actually reading the article and forming an articulate opinion, and not just bashing Patrick. Sound good?

Posted by Twistation

More Jurassic Lark, less pointless articles please.

Edited by EnduranceFun

@df: Agreed.

They were interesting opinions, don't get me wrong, but they were one-sided. Not necessarily because they were all women. It would have benefited the article to take viewpoints from all over the spectrum, from the producers to the detractors to the angry commenter who eloquently doesn't give a fuck.

Baby steps, baby steps

Posted by Sergio

I think the statue was gross simply because it was a human torso. This article was simply extended posts from women who had tweeted their disapproval. There are no contrary opinions from either men or other women. It offers nothing new and is just patting oneself on the back

Posted by Darji

@Jumbs said:

@CastleD said:

Some of these same people who are morally outraged by this statue have also murdered hundreds of thousands of male characters in video games in every conceivable bloody way for years. I'm sure not a peep from them. Actually, they enjoy it immensely.

Why is that?

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.

Here's a breakdown for people that don't want to read the comments:

1. Scoops interviewed a bunch of women about a controversy about something that objectifies women.

2. The women, naturally, find it offensive and abhorrent.

3. A bunch of privileged males on the internet claim "People should get over it" and "Men get killed in video games all the time WE DONT CARE!" and think this issue that is a huge problem in the gaming industry should be ignored.

Ok how about all these topless male characters? I feel offended and I think it is the same problem.. To we get reports about that all the time? No we do not. I feel offended about bully and very muscualr male characters. I thiks it is an issue of objectifying.

If you want to fight this stuff do it on both level. Do it FOR man AND woman and not only one gender.

Posted by Akyho

@Kohlstream: You just said yourself about the basic reaction. How can you find someone to defend something like that? Oh wait Fox lets find Glen Beck.

Online
Posted by cannonballBAM

@Fungiefips: there is little to expect considering I know your rebuttal will justify your bigotry but I wanna clarify why this is here. This is important and should be discussed, not another 100+ forum threads because you don't want Dante to be a contemporary character.

Ethnic and Gender equality is something still exploited in almost all media. If women in or out of the industry take issue with a gross glorification of their bodies, they have the right too. If you think others than white males don't deserve their just say when it comes to fictional media and products, I'll pay for you to have a panel at PAX so you can look those people in the face and say otherwise.

Online
Posted by Typographenia

Thanks for reaching out for these various responses, Patrick. Anna Kipnis, thank you for your response, in particular.

Posted by High_Nunez

I'm neither here, nor there when it comes to they're reactions. It's their opinion, they're entitled to it. After all, it is a dumb idea. I'm just glad no one brought up "rape".

Posted by Sil3n7

@PulledaBrad said:

@alibson said:

@Sil3n7 said:

You know Patrick, if you don't like a particular games stance on women, don't buy that game. Let the market decide if they agree with your values.

That's not the American way. In America if you don't like something you shout "sexist" or "racist" at it and it goes away.

Best part? Its not even being sold in America. UK and Oz.

The point still stands regardless.

Posted by SupberUber

I honestly am unable to see how a lifeless torso, boobs or not, could - in any way - attract anybody in a sexual way. There is no hawtness to be had here; it's a dead fucking torso!

Posted by Ohnoshinobi

@Akyho said:

@LikeaSsur said:

"Eight Women, Eight Responses, And Every Response is The Same."

Are you a woman with a different view? and the fact that 8 women have the same response shouldn't that tell you something?

That while it may not matter to you. It matters to other people.

I am really saddened by people response. Mostly going "Oh its a piece about women! I am a man. SO FUCK WOMEN!"

Ontop of that people are going "Oh Patricks doing some Journalism....FUCK KLEPEK!"

I myself I am interested in the opinion of women on the subject. I wanted to see if this really was a subject that truly offended women. The Lara Croft "Protect Lara" was so nebulas and purley from the point of women I couldn't form a true opinion.

This I saw and went "No that is really bad taste. Even if it was male...but as a women.. that is just sexing it up." I wanted female opinions on the matter, more so game centred women that have put up with the decades of Anti-women aimed marketing. Here it is delivered it.

These are not views easily found in a larger text. Its small snippets. Here is the meat and bones of the their opinion, I am intrested. A number of yous may not be but to come by and just go "OH BLAH BLAH BLAH! WOMEN! I dont wanna here about WOMEN!" doesn't help anything, its is a larger issue than just you as a male. Just because it isnt your issue dosnt make it "A" Issue.

I only see the valid comments on if they want such articles on GB. However when they are delivered with the tone of "I hate Patrick and that fact he often writes, I WANT HIM TO STOP!" ruins any good feedback by being a child on the playground about it.

Well put! Lot's of "It's not offensive to me, so why is it offensive to you?!" going on in here.

Posted by Slumberpunch

Patrick Haters + Patrick White Knights = Your 2013 Giant Bomb Community.

Posted by irishalwaystaken

"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)."

What the fuck is she trying to say here and how the fuck does she manage to get described as a writer when she cant even form coherent sentences?

As someone that found John Walkers article on RPS a crock of shit, I found it funny that I agreed most with the woman that remained anonymous in fear of a backlash.

Edited by Ravenlight

@EarlessShrimp said:

@Ravenlight: Then you have the issue of people personally attacking one another for having a different view other than "This is sexist and hateful" or "This isn't sexist and hateful".

True but then we can have a meaningful conversation about how some people need to grow up and respect each other that segues great into the sexism topic.

I, on one hand can understand why people see it as sexist because of objectification of women, but on the other hand I feel like bringing an issue like this to such a high level and saying "hey you can't have a woman statue because it's sexist" is kinda saying that women are different. They should be protected.

Yeah, I haven't been able to wrap my head around that either.

Of course, all these suppositions come from the standpoint that I'm okay with the torso statue to begin with. And I do. I have a macabre sense of humor and find a lot of hilarity in B-grade movie violence be it to men, women, aliens, monsters, whatever.

I think the statue is hilarious, too. But at the same time I understand that I'm probably in the minority with that. It's definitely offensive but I feel like that's because it's in poor taste as a piece of promo material.

I guess if you take the statue and think about it, it's essentially the perfect storm of people who have very strong opinions one way or the other to get together and bicker senselessly rather than have a mature, intelligent conversation.

In the same sick sort of way, I find that bickering hilarious, too. But if you can separate signal from noise, there's definitely some good points being made in the chaos.

Posted by flufflogic

@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.

Posted by Slab64

you guys never disappoint

FOREVER CAREMAD

Posted by marcusofadown

@Ohnoshinobi: @Ohnoshinobi said:

@Akyho said:

@LikeaSsur said:

"Eight Women, Eight Responses, And Every Response is The Same."

Are you a woman with a different view? and the fact that 8 women have the same response shouldn't that tell you something?

That while it may not matter to you. It matters to other people.

I am really saddened by people response. Mostly going "Oh its a piece about women! I am a man. SO FUCK WOMEN!"

Ontop of that people are going "Oh Patricks doing some Journalism....FUCK KLEPEK!"

I myself I am interested in the opinion of women on the subject. I wanted to see if this really was a subject that truly offended women. The Lara Croft "Protect Lara" was so nebulas and purley from the point of women I couldn't form a true opinion.

This I saw and went "No that is really bad taste. Even if it was male...but as a women.. that is just sexing it up." I wanted female opinions on the matter, more so game centred women that have put up with the decades of Anti-women aimed marketing. Here it is delivered it.

These are not views easily found in a larger text. Its small snippets. Here is the meat and bones of the their opinion, I am intrested. A number of yous may not be but to come by and just go "OH BLAH BLAH BLAH! WOMEN! I dont wanna here about WOMEN!" doesn't help anything, its is a larger issue than just you as a male. Just because it isnt your issue dosnt make it "A" Issue.

I only see the valid comments on if they want such articles on GB. However when they are delivered with the tone of "I hate Patrick and that fact he often writes, I WANT HIM TO STOP!" ruins any good feedback by being a child on the playground about it.

Well put! Lot's of "It's not offensive to me, so why is it offensive to you?!" going on in here.

Good point indeed!

Posted by OneManX

... you know after taking some time to think about this... yeah... it needed to be talked about and needs to addressed, if you want shit to change, you got to call it out, and be open about it and have a discussion. But the place where I think this article could use some help is, provide the counter arguement, somewhere, most of us agree that this is stupid, dumb and incredible short-sided, but not enough to drop the full on sexist hammer of dawn on it.

I am glad that these articles are creating a discussion about an issue that needs to be talked about, in gaming, but I feel its mostly, if not always one-sided.

Posted by Hailinel
@august

@Dezztroy said:

@depecheload said:

@Brandino said:

Sexist statue? No, extremely stupid idea? Yes, they should of never went through with the torso but it's not sexist.

Oh, well I'm glad you, the master of deciding what is sexist, has declared that a sexed-up boob-heavy disembodied female torso made solely to titillate male gamers isn't sexist. Wow. Awesome. Thanks for that.

He solved it everyone! We can shut down the Internet now.

From my experience, there are quite a few women with fake breasts wearing bikinis at tropical locations. I don't see what's sexist about it.

It's a fucking headless mutilated corpse for you to display in your home.

That's not sexist as much as it is just tasteless in general. A sculpted torso of male abs, likewise mutilated, would be just as tacky.