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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 Missacre

@Captainlunchbox said:

@Missacre: "White knight brigade." "Feminist-run world"

See, you're dehumanizing the people affected by stuff like this. No, I'm not talking about the statue, but rather the rampant stupidity. It's really just a lot of men in the industry being totally inconsiderate. It's almost this fratboy mentality and it's kind of embarrassing. It isn't just another internet flamewar. It isn't restricted to a thread or an article. It's very real and it sucks.

People affected? If there's a group of people whose lives were destroyed just by looking at this statue, then they have a fucked-up sense of priority. The games industry still has your so-called "fratboy mentality because the majority of people who play games are still males. It's not gonna change overnight just because a few females suddenly decided that they want to play games and then they decided that they want the industry to change to specifically suit their "needs." Like it or not, it's not gonna change anytime soon.

How does it suck exactly? Is it affecting your life in some way? To tell you the truth, it's affecting no one, this is a perfect example of a "first-world problem.' It's nothing more, nothing less. I mean, come on, people are complaining about a statue and calling it sexist, when actual oppressed women in the third world laugh at our ignorance. This is yet another reason the rest of the world hates us, and frankly, I'm starting to agree with them. We make mountains out of molehills like this. THAT'S what's embarrassing.

Posted by EXTomar

If I might be so bold: Complaining that people are "...make(ing) mountains out of molehills..." is yet another aspect of "making mountains out of molehills".

It is fine to critique things. It is fine to critique things that have sexual connotations. As strange as it is to suggest, adults can do this without hating each other. When someone says "I thought this was stupid and sexist" they aren't blowing it out of proportion unless they are posting it hundreds of times.

Posted by Nicked

@jmic75 said:

The statue is a dumb juvenile object but on it's own, it is not sexist, it is not chauvinistic, it does not promote violence against women. It should not be banned, it'll flop on it's own. I take no issue with articles like this showing up on Giantbomb, but really the most sexist things about this whole thing was Patrick saying that the torso crossed a line because it was a woman (implying there is a difference between the genders when it comes down to the appropriateness of dismembered torsos) and then only getting the opinions of women in the industry. Stuff like this affects men as well as women. I would however like to get opinions from people in the games industry proper, rather than from games writers who will tend to lean towards the more sensationalistic responses and who will cover these subjects on their own sites anyway.

True enough, but surely the statue is in some ways metonymic of the way women are represented by the industry, right? Female characters are overwhelmingly sex objects. Like if you consider a character like Samus who is at first glance decidedly non-sexualized, she ultimately must be made into sex object because she wears latex under her robot-suit-thing. One has to wonder what Master Chief's got on under his own armor... Why don't we ever see him in his skivvies? Point is, there's double standards and sexual exploitation abound in the industry and I think the statue, while being a "dumb juvenile object" is a cold reminder of the way women are near-exclusively represented throughout various media. I'm not saying it's "bad" to like tits or anything, but that we should just be mindful of how we represent gender, race, and so on: A pretty benign point.

Also, I don't think it's reasonable to criticize Patrick for only interviewing women. Giant Bomb almost NEVER has women on podcasts, quick looks, or as the focus of articles. All the editors are male. If you wanted to continue that line of argument what you might suggest is that Giant Bomb interview women in the industry about stuff other than "sexism".

Posted by BRNK

Fuck, man. The response to this article is depressing. I'd really like to think there's more empathy in this world.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@flamingeyebrows said:

So this is gonna be one of those comment threads where all the neckbeard misogynists come out to play, is it?

Posted by Meowshi

@Paindamnation said:

It's your idiotic replies that continue to keep this page going. So feel free to quote me on that.

My mistake, I thought I was having a conversation with a fellow adult. Forget I said anything.

Posted by Meowshi

@Missacre said:

@Captainlunchbox said:

@Missacre: "White knight brigade." "Feminist-run world"

See, you're dehumanizing the people affected by stuff like this. No, I'm not talking about the statue, but rather the rampant stupidity. It's really just a lot of men in the industry being totally inconsiderate. It's almost this fratboy mentality and it's kind of embarrassing. It isn't just another internet flamewar. It isn't restricted to a thread or an article. It's very real and it sucks.

People affected? If there's a group of people whose lives were destroyed just by looking at this statue, then they have a fucked-up sense of priority. The games industry still has your so-called "fratboy mentality because the majority of people who play games are still males. It's not gonna change overnight just because a few females suddenly decided that they want to play games and then they decided that they want the industry to change to specifically suit their "needs." Like it or not, it's not gonna change anytime soon.

How does it suck exactly? Is it affecting your life in some way? To tell you the truth, it's affecting no one, this is a perfect example of a "first-world problem.' It's nothing more, nothing less. I mean, come on, people are complaining about a statue and calling it sexist, when actual oppressed women in the third world laugh at our ignorance. This is yet another reason the rest of the world hates us, and frankly, I'm starting to agree with them. We make mountains out of molehills like this. THAT'S what's embarrassing.

I really hate this attitude that if something doesn't personally offend you, it shouldn't offend anybody. Similar to what Jeff said, I don't personally find this all that offensive, but enough people I trust do, so there's likely something there.

Posted by Captainlunchbox

@Missacre said:

@Captainlunchbox said:

@Missacre: "White knight brigade." "Feminist-run world"

See, you're dehumanizing the people affected by stuff like this. No, I'm not talking about the statue, but rather the rampant stupidity. It's really just a lot of men in the industry being totally inconsiderate. It's almost this fratboy mentality and it's kind of embarrassing. It isn't just another internet flamewar. It isn't restricted to a thread or an article. It's very real and it sucks.

People affected? If there's a group of people whose lives were destroyed just by looking at this statue, then they have a fucked-up sense of priority. The games industry still has your so-called "fratboy mentality because the majority of people who play games are still males. It's not gonna change overnight just because a few females suddenly decided that they want to play games and then they decided that they want the industry to change to specifically suit their "needs." Like it or not, it's not gonna change anytime soon.

How does it suck exactly? Is it affecting your life in some way? To tell you the truth, it's affecting no one, this is a perfect example of a "first-world problem.' It's nothing more, nothing less. I mean, come on, people are complaining about a statue and calling it sexist, when actual oppressed women in the third world laugh at our ignorance. This is yet another reason the rest of the world hates us, and frankly, I'm starting to agree with them. We make mountains out of molehills like this. THAT'S what's embarrassing.

It sucks because, I dunno man, call it "empathy." I have that, and that's why I think the state of things needs to change. Fuck status quo. Just because something is a certain way doesn't make it right, which is what you seem to try and justify here. And it's not just females wanting to game- it's also the sexism perpetrated against those who are in the industry. I'm not going to contribute to the "It's a boy's club" circlejerk. So I guess I'm just saying "have a little empathy." Just because something doesn't hit you directly doesn't mean it doesn't affect someone else.

Posted by BawlZINmotion

@FancySoapsMan: Which is funny because Bioware has consistently been one of the most gender neutral companies around. The design of their female characters is completely stereotypical, but so are their male characters. Hetero sexual guys like to look at attractive women, even if they are proportionally exaggerated. I imagine many hetero sexual women like to look at men.

I'm not sure how one of the articles' women draws a parallel to that abduction/murder in Australia with the idea behind this statue. It's from a zombie game that takes place on a tropical island, where I imagine there would be a lot of women, and men, half-naked. So I imagined it seemed appropriate within the context of their product. If this was a game about abducting, molesting and murdering women that offered customers a statue of a gagged, bound and badly beaten (or dead) female, that would be different. Zombies do not exist, this is a fantasy world. I also imagine that somewhere on the beach there is a probably a severed cock. That would be the ultimate return fire for the developer eh? Offer customers a statue of a severed cock as an option, just so the genders are equal.

I could go on a rant about women objectifying themselves, but I doubt that would get much support. Nor is it quite within topic boundaries.

Posted by bibamatt

I think I missed the 'Patrick responding to the comments'. Did that happen yet? The article just says 11:30 a.m. PST, with no day specified.

Posted by EnduranceFun

@bibamatt: That happened. It was mostly just Patrick being snarky and dishing out one-liners to those who disagreed with the article, and approving of those that agreed. Not much more than that.

Posted by bibamatt

@EnduranceFun said:

@bibamatt: That happened. It was mostly just Patrick being snarky and dishing out one-liners to those who disagreed with the article, and approving of those that agreed. Not much more than that.

Was it in this thread?

Edited by crcruz3

@Missacre said:

@Captainlunchbox said:

@Missacre: "White knight brigade." "Feminist-run world"

See, you're dehumanizing the people affected by stuff like this. No, I'm not talking about the statue, but rather the rampant stupidity. It's really just a lot of men in the industry being totally inconsiderate. It's almost this fratboy mentality and it's kind of embarrassing. It isn't just another internet flamewar. It isn't restricted to a thread or an article. It's very real and it sucks.

People affected? If there's a group of people whose lives were destroyed just by looking at this statue, then they have a fucked-up sense of priority. The games industry still has your so-called "fratboy mentality because the majority of people who play games are still males. It's not gonna change overnight just because a few females suddenly decided that they want to play games and then they decided that they want the industry to change to specifically suit their "needs." Like it or not, it's not gonna change anytime soon.

How does it suck exactly? Is it affecting your life in some way? To tell you the truth, it's affecting no one, this is a perfect example of a "first-world problem.' It's nothing more, nothing less. I mean, come on, people are complaining about a statue and calling it sexist, when actual oppressed women in the third world laugh at our ignorance. This is yet another reason the rest of the world hates us, and frankly, I'm starting to agree with them. We make mountains out of molehills like this. THAT'S what's embarrassing.

More than 2.2 million people visit Giantbomb every month. If you check it you'll realize that 100 (200?) people bitching over and over in a thread like this one is not that much. I live in the third world and I think that the US is great, I've been there many times and I hope to be able to keep visiting your beautiful country.

Edited by jmic75

@Nicked said:

@jmic75 said:

The statue is a dumb juvenile object but on it's own, it is not sexist, it is not chauvinistic, it does not promote violence against women. It should not be banned, it'll flop on it's own. I take no issue with articles like this showing up on Giantbomb, but really the most sexist things about this whole thing was Patrick saying that the torso crossed a line because it was a woman (implying there is a difference between the genders when it comes down to the appropriateness of dismembered torsos) and then only getting the opinions of women in the industry. Stuff like this affects men as well as women. I would however like to get opinions from people in the games industry proper, rather than from games writers who will tend to lean towards the more sensationalistic responses and who will cover these subjects on their own sites anyway.

True enough, but surely the statue is in some ways metonymic of the way women are represented by the industry, right? Female characters are overwhelmingly sex objects. Like if you consider a character like Samus who is at first glance decidedly non-sexualized, she ultimately must be made into sex object because she wears latex under her robot-suit-thing. One has to wonder what Master Chief's got on under his own armor... Why don't we ever see him in his skivvies? Point is, there's double standards and sexual exploitation abound in the industry and I think the statue, while being a "dumb juvenile object" is a cold reminder of the way women are near-exclusively represented throughout various media. I'm not saying it's "bad" to like tits or anything, but that we should just be mindful of how we represent gender, race, and so on: A pretty benign point.

Also, I don't think it's reasonable to criticize Patrick for only interviewing women. Giant Bomb almost NEVER has women on podcasts, quick looks, or as the focus of articles. All the editors are male. If you wanted to continue that line of argument what you might suggest is that Giant Bomb interview women in the industry about stuff other than "sexism".

I'd agree that it is the typical way that the industry has traditionally displayed women once they moved out of simply being a collection of pixels. Though I do think the industry as a whole has taken strides towards more realistic depictions of females in games where it makes sense (Beyond good and evil, mirror's edge, the tomb raider reboot, etc), of course there is still work to be done. I say where it makes sense because not all games strive for realistic depiction of characters, male or female. Think of it in terms of comic superheroes, none of them are depicted realistically, they are all idealized versions of both genders that look closer to greek gods and godesses than anyone in real life. Women's secondary sexual characteristics are accentuated obviously (larger bust, lips etc) however so are males (deep voices, large stature, extensive muscles, square jaws, broad shoulders and chest), these are things women look at in males when choosing a sexual partner same as how men look for them in women. So I think a fairer conclusion is that both male and female characters are sexualized, I don't however think they generally made into sex objects.

Saying someone is portrayed as a sex object would imply that they are shown as being solely or primarily used for sex. While Samus clearly is sexualized wearing a latex suit, at no point is she shown as only existing for sex; she is a skilled and capable bounty hunter that saves the federation on a number of occasions and not portrayed as a sex object. A counter point to this would be women in the God of War franchise, who rarely exist for any other reason other than for Kratos to have a sex minigame with them, in this case the women are both sexualized and are portrayed to be sex objects.

As to your question about Master Chief isn't he wielded in there or something? lol A serious answer though is to not compare male vs female characters from two different franchises, but rather from the same universe. If it is something dumb like males wear huge suits of armour while females wear tiny chainmail bikinis I'm right there with you, that makes no sense. Though if both Men and Women are wearing skimpy outfits, or neither are that's fine and consistent between the genders. If you compare male and female spartans in Halo you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two:

http://www.gameinformer.com/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/CommunityServer-Components-ImageFileViewer/CommunityServer-Blogs-Components-WeblogFiles-00-00-00-00-09/8306.HaloReach.jpg_2D00_610x0.jpg

I do think it's fair to criticize Patrick, because he specifically went out of his way to ONLY get women's input on the subject. Giantbomb may be lacking in Female editors but that wasn't an active decision (well one would hope it wasn't), it was how things shook out, they didn't decided to only get input from men, and only cater to men (as Femmegamer seems to have done for the opposite gender, but that's a whole other kettle of fish). Of course I would want Giant bomb to interview women on stuff other than "sexism", to not do so would be insulting to women, insinuating that "sexism" is the only thing they would be knowledgeable about in the games industry. Much in the same way it is insulting to not get some male perspective on the topic insinuating you are only interested on one gender's take on the subject or you believe only one gender will have important input. Of course I'm not going to hold any of this against the guy, but to call a statue sexist, and then turn around and only get one gender's opinion on the subject is kind of a gauche thing to do.

So in conclusion chainmail bikinis are dumb...unless guys are wearing them too, which no one should anyway because I bet they chafe.

Posted by EnduranceFun

@bibamatt: Yeah, relatively early on.

Posted by Krullban

@bibamatt said:

@EnduranceFun said:

@bibamatt: That happened. It was mostly just Patrick being snarky and dishing out one-liners to those who disagreed with the article, and approving of those that agreed. Not much more than that.

Was it in this thread?

Yeah, a little bit. He responded to a couple of pointless couple word responses that didn't say much with snarky one liners as EnduranceFun said, and ignored the actual arguments going against him that said it in a respectable manner.

Posted by jmic75

@Meowshi said:

@Missacre said:

@Captainlunchbox said:

@Missacre: "White knight brigade." "Feminist-run world"

See, you're dehumanizing the people affected by stuff like this. No, I'm not talking about the statue, but rather the rampant stupidity. It's really just a lot of men in the industry being totally inconsiderate. It's almost this fratboy mentality and it's kind of embarrassing. It isn't just another internet flamewar. It isn't restricted to a thread or an article. It's very real and it sucks.

People affected? If there's a group of people whose lives were destroyed just by looking at this statue, then they have a fucked-up sense of priority. The games industry still has your so-called "fratboy mentality because the majority of people who play games are still males. It's not gonna change overnight just because a few females suddenly decided that they want to play games and then they decided that they want the industry to change to specifically suit their "needs." Like it or not, it's not gonna change anytime soon.

How does it suck exactly? Is it affecting your life in some way? To tell you the truth, it's affecting no one, this is a perfect example of a "first-world problem.' It's nothing more, nothing less. I mean, come on, people are complaining about a statue and calling it sexist, when actual oppressed women in the third world laugh at our ignorance. This is yet another reason the rest of the world hates us, and frankly, I'm starting to agree with them. We make mountains out of molehills like this. THAT'S what's embarrassing.

I really hate this attitude that if something doesn't personally offend you, it shouldn't offend anybody. Similar to what Jeff said, I don't personally find this all that offensive, but enough people I trust do, so there's likely something there.

I thought this comic strip has an interesting take on the whole offensive thing.

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2164

Posted by chazzadan

I'm a girl and this is not offensive to me in any way. I'm just disappointed that is not 'zombie enough' its quite plain really. would sell better if it resembled the game and zombies a bit more. I'd love a set of the characters all zombified!

Edited by ProfessorEss

@Meowshi said:

I really hate this attitude that if something doesn't personally offend you, it shouldn't offend anybody. Similar to what Jeff said, I don't personally find this all that offensive, but enough people I trust do, so there's likely something there.

The thing is I've asked around a bit and I can't find any real-world women in my real-world life that find this offensive - I mean even a little bit. I find I strange that Patrick reached out to eight people and all eight were offended whereas I can't find any (except for my mom, but she's old fashioned and offended by almost all of today's entertainment).

So if I'm not offended, and I can't find anyone I love, trust and/or respect who are offended ('cept fer you mom, xoxo) am I still supposed to find it offensive because a stranger wrote an article about eight strangers (none of which I know, trust or respect) who were offended?

Posted by RainbowRaccoon

@Skeezard said:

Patrick is the Britta of the GiantBomb crew

Haha yes! Awesome reference.

Posted by golguin

I obviously haven't read through the whole thread, but I'm sure people have brought up the scope of the problem caused by the statue in comparison to other stories in the real news that hurts women. What was said and how did people react to that argument?

A fun story that came out a few weeks ago was about that woman who was fired for being too hot for her boss and the court that agreed with that claim. How would people rate the statue and the firing in terms of damage and how would you compare them?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/melissa-nelson-dental-assistant-fired-hot_n_2444222.html

Edited by graf1k

@TrevorCCW said:

As gamers, we should be offended that this type of marketing is what elements of the industry think we respond to.

As men, we should be offended that expectations of us are so low that we are supposed to be titillated by a fraction of a woman and the aftermath of violence.

As human beings, we should be having these conversations about what these labels and expectations and depictions are saying about our culture.

As privileged Westerners, we need to be sensitive that it's worse elsewhere, but also of the fact that our own mothers and sisters and girlfriends and daughters and wives are still being marginalized.

Conclusion: fuck you little pricks, seriously. Klepek reached out to informed industry professionals who you've infantilized and dismissed without addressing their arguments. Also go read some books about this shit and see how quickly your opinion changes.

Your main point, on which the rest of your post seems to hinge, is frankly, stupid. I should be offended because some people that probably don't play video games that work in advertising think that somebody will respond to their low-brow marketing that caters to the lowest common denominator? Should I be offended at the existence of all reality TV then? Should I be offended at the existence of Maxim and FHM magazines? Should I be offended by GoDaddy.com ads? Should I be offended by the Victoria Secret fashion show, Calvin Klein underwear ads and a hundred other things? Because by your dumb-fuck logic, I should go around all day constantly being offended.

All these things are a question of taste. I look at reality TV and think "That looks terrible, I'm not going to watch that" just the way I looked at this retarded bust and said "That thing looks terrible, I would never buy that". That's as far as I'm willing to go in both cases personally. What I find offensive, if anything, is not the existence of all these things but the popularity of them. The fact that it's almost easier to get people in this country to vote on American Idol than it is to get people to vote for congressional elections, THAT OFFENDS ME. That fact that people actually buy Maxim magazine or watch all this bullshit shlock television OFFENDS ME. The fact that science and education in this country is stymied by people who believe in a big magic man in the sky, THAT OFFENDS ME. And yes, if that bust went on sale and sold out, THAT would have offended me. But no, ad men being unclever and having a childish opinion of people in an industry they clearly have no grasp of does not offend me, it just makes me sad. And for sad, I'm not willing to work myself up into some bullshit hypothetical situation in which someone buys this fucking statue and decides "Bro, this Dead Island bust is so awesome! I think I'LL go out and rape a girl and fucking decapitate her!" or that this somehow validates a sexist persons opinions, or that women's wages will go down as a result of this thing. That's giving gamers the same amount of credit as politicians that say "violent video games is the reason for school shootings." That's a bullshit leap of logic.

Whereas I bet if you look back, when that one asshole involved in the Capcom fighting show mercilessly harassed the female player because he's a dickless piece of shit that needs to bully a girl to feel tough, the female player and not the asshole had almost total support from the gaming community, or at least those who cared to weigh in on the subject. This is not that same situation. Nobody was being directly hurt, or bullied or demeaned by this ridiculous pack in and it should have been a completely moot issue once it was pulled from preorder. If anything, it should have damaged the reputation of Deep Silver and whoever the marketing team that approved or put forth this promotion, not the gaming public en masse.

I do not accept any guilt by association just because I think the whole thing is stupid and being blown out of proportion.

Posted by Mimekiller

wow 8 people who agree with each other/have the same opinion. Stimulating stuff.

Posted by jmic75

@TrevorCCW said:

As gamers, we should be offended that this type of marketing is what elements of the industry think we respond to.

As men, we should be offended that expectations of us are so low that we are supposed to be titillated by a fraction of a woman and the aftermath of violence.

As human beings, we should be having these conversations about what these labels and expectations and depictions are saying about our culture.

As privileged Westerners, we need to be sensitive that it's worse elsewhere, but also of the fact that our own mothers and sisters and girlfriends and daughters and wives are still being marginalized.

Conclusion: fuck you little pricks, seriously. Klepek reached out to informed industry professionals who you've infantilized and dismissed without addressing their arguments. Also go read some books about this shit and see how quickly your opinion changes.

This is the Mass Effect 3 of posts, you had something good going, but you blew the ending so bad it hurt the rest of the post retroactively.

Posted by Archaen

@jmic75 said:

@Nicked said:

@jmic75 said:

The statue is a dumb juvenile object but on it's own, it is not sexist, it is not chauvinistic, it does not promote violence against women. It should not be banned, it'll flop on it's own. I take no issue with articles like this showing up on Giantbomb, but really the most sexist things about this whole thing was Patrick saying that the torso crossed a line because it was a woman (implying there is a difference between the genders when it comes down to the appropriateness of dismembered torsos) and then only getting the opinions of women in the industry. Stuff like this affects men as well as women. I would however like to get opinions from people in the games industry proper, rather than from games writers who will tend to lean towards the more sensationalistic responses and who will cover these subjects on their own sites anyway.

True enough, but surely the statue is in some ways metonymic of the way women are represented by the industry, right? Female characters are overwhelmingly sex objects. Like if you consider a character like Samus who is at first glance decidedly non-sexualized, she ultimately must be made into sex object because she wears latex under her robot-suit-thing. One has to wonder what Master Chief's got on under his own armor... Why don't we ever see him in his skivvies? Point is, there's double standards and sexual exploitation abound in the industry and I think the statue, while being a "dumb juvenile object" is a cold reminder of the way women are near-exclusively represented throughout various media. I'm not saying it's "bad" to like tits or anything, but that we should just be mindful of how we represent gender, race, and so on: A pretty benign point.

Also, I don't think it's reasonable to criticize Patrick for only interviewing women. Giant Bomb almost NEVER has women on podcasts, quick looks, or as the focus of articles. All the editors are male. If you wanted to continue that line of argument what you might suggest is that Giant Bomb interview women in the industry about stuff other than "sexism".

I'd agree that it is the typical way that the industry has traditionally displayed women once they moved out of simply being a collection of pixels. Though I do think the industry as a whole has taken strides towards more realistic depictions of females in games where it makes sense (Beyond good and evil, mirror's edge, the tomb raider reboot, etc), of course there is still work to be done. I say where it makes sense because not all games strive for realistic depiction of characters, male or female. Think of it in terms of comic superheroes, none of them are depicted realistically, they are all idealized versions of both genders that look closer to greek gods and godesses than anyone in real life. Women's secondary sexual characteristics are accentuated obviously (larger bust, lips etc) however so are males (deep voices, large stature, extensive muscles, square jaws, broad shoulders and chest), these are things women look at in males when choosing a sexual partner same as how men look for them in women. So I think a fairer conclusion is that both male and female characters are sexualized, I don't however think they generally made into sex objects.

Saying someone is portrayed as a sex object would imply that they are shown as being solely or primarily used for sex. While Samus clearly is sexualized wearing a latex suit, at no point is she shown as only existing for sex; she is a skilled and capable bounty hunter that saves the federation on a number of occasions and not portrayed as a sex object. A counter point to this would be women in the God of War franchise, who rarely exist for any other reason other than for Kratos to have a sex minigame with them, in this case the women are both sexualized and are portrayed to be sex objects.

As to your question about Master Chief isn't he wielded in there or something? lol A serious answer though is to not compare male vs female characters from two different franchises, but rather from the same universe. If it is something dumb like males wear huge suits of armour while females wear tiny chainmail bikinis I'm right there with you, that makes no sense. Though if both Men and Women are wearing skimpy outfits, or neither are that's fine and consistent between the genders. If you compare male and female spartans in Halo you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two:

http://www.gameinformer.com/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/CommunityServer-Components-ImageFileViewer/CommunityServer-Blogs-Components-WeblogFiles-00-00-00-00-09/8306.HaloReach.jpg_2D00_610x0.jpg

I do think it's fair to criticize Patrick, because he specifically went out of his way to ONLY get women's input on the subject. Giantbomb may be lacking in Female editors but that wasn't an active decision (well one would hope it wasn't), it was how things shook out, they didn't decided to only get input from men, and only cater to men (as Femmegamer seems to have done for the opposite gender, but that's a whole other kettle of fish). Of course I would want Giant bomb to interview women on stuff other than "sexism", to not do so would be insulting to women, insinuating that "sexism" is the only thing they would be knowledgeable about in the games industry. Much in the same way it is insulting to not get some male perspective on the topic insinuating you are only interested on one gender's take on the subject or you believe only one gender will have important input. Of course I'm not going to hold any of this against the guy, but to call a statue sexist, and then turn around and only get one gender's opinion on the subject is kind of a gauche thing to do.

So in conclusion chainmail bikinis are dumb...unless guys are wearing them too, which no one should anyway because I bet they chafe.

I appreciate this post. Unfortunately you displayed genuine insight, so no one is going to comment on it.

Posted by EightBitShik

Seeing as how the woman was British that is your first clue that she was ugly so who cares?

Posted by paulwade1984

Eight great women, eight great responses, one boring liberal to ruin and trivialise it.

Posted by Sherak

Can see what the big deal is... At all! Wouldn't surprise me if a few of the eight woman hadn't even heard of the story until Giant Bomb approached them.

Edited by IBeDanYo

I'm not a huge fan of these pro-feminism, "serious business" articles I've seen on Giant Bomb as of late. I thought Alex's latest feature on THQ was an entertaining and funny article that captured what makes Giant Bomb so great. Its fusion of gaming and humor. Not this overly dramatic stuff that every other self-important game site spews.

Although, I will admit that I found some of the hypocrisy in the statements made by the women to be a bit humorous. Crying sexism in one sentence, and then in the same breath, writing off men as hormone-fueled boys that are insatiable when faced with a woman's upper body. As a guy, I thought it more offensive that these women actually believe that men find the statue arousing.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@Zornack said:

Huh, thought I clicked a giantbomb link. How'd I end up on Kotaku?

Not a single opinion that it's simply a stupid statue no one gives a fuck about, just eight paragraphs about how hateful, sexist and misogynistic the video game industry is.

Quality journalism.

Love to see you do better. 
Posted by PassiveKaerenai

@patrickklepek said:

@Kill said:

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

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

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

Just my tl;dr opinion.

I'll say this regarding the political implications of an article like this. I don't go into writing any story thinking "great, this is an opportunity to push an agenda." It's the same reason one of the stories about #1reasonwhy included a line where I admitted to not considering myself a feminist, even if that statement may be a bit misguided. Rather, I go into every story with "what do I want to say?" if it's an opinion piece and "what story do I want to tell?" if it's a feature piece, like the ZombiU afterthoughts feature that will go up on the site tomorrow. Naturally, expressing my opinion may reveal some of my political leanings, and I'm obviously pretty transparent abou that on Twitter, but to put a muffle over my voice simply because my opinions might lead people to extrapolate a political leaning which might anger people is even crazier.

With all due respect Patrick, nobody is debating your right to hold and express an opinion. But as embarrassing as these comments have been, they represent a clear conflict between the things you want to talk about, and the way the audience wants to hear about it. Your strong moral conscience is impressive - but when you feel the need to demonstrate it so frequently and unequivocally, it makes you look egotistical, which draws attention away from the whole debate and towards one pole of it. It is better skew an issue in such a way that the author's bias, while clear, is non-essential.

Also, 'important issues' do not necessarily make interesting opinions. I am curious, if you always think: 'What do I want to say?' before writing an opinion piece, do you never then think: 'Huh, I have nothing original or iconoclastic or risky to say on this topic, let's leave it'? Do you never think: 'This one doesn't suit Giant Bomb?' All writers have filters based on their audience, except maybe bloggers. To disregard one's audience is not narcissism, but nor is it integrity.

Posted by jrot24

Haha, how does 8 women expressing their opinion equate to fanatical rabid feminism? About the only thing I wished they'd stop saying is: "yes, I'm a girl AND I play games." I get that. You wouldn't be writing this if you were someone without a vested interest. Ya know?

Posted by shiggity_shwa

@ThaKakarot: Your link proves my points exceptionally well. Anyone who has an intellect above that of a shoe will understand what I mean.

Prove you are smarter than a shoe.

Posted by Ax23000

@alibson said:

Giant Bomb is my number one stop for extremist feminist propaganda.

Do you have any conception at all about what 'extremism' is? Cause this isn't it, not even close.

Edited by graf1k

@IBeDanYo said:

I'm not a huge fan of these pro-feminism, "serious business" articles I've seen on Giant Bomb as of late. I thought Alex's latest feature on THQ was an entertaining and funny article that captured what makes Giant Bomb so great. Its fusion of gaming and humor. Not this overly dramatic stuff that every other self-important game site spews.

Although, I will admit that I found some of the hypocrisy in the statements made by the women to be a bit humorous. Crying sexism in one sentence, and then in the same breath, writing off men as hormone-fueled boys that are insatiable when faced with a woman's upper body. As a guy, I thought it more offensive that these women actually believe that men find the statue arousing.

Exactly. Painting men as sex-crazed animals and that all we want is tits and blood, or even better bloody tits, just because we don't rail fully against this, is as prejudice and assumptive as any man who would actually think or act like women are just a walking sex object for their pleasure.

I'm reminded of the episode of the Bombcast where Ryan and Jeff and the crew talked about the American flag they got with AC3 that had the Assassins Creed logo on it. As they themselves said, although that was not to point of the discussion, essentially desecrating the American flag, even one made specifically as a promotional item, was kind of a dirtbag thing for Ubisoft to do to promote their game, just like this bust was a dirtbag thing for Deep Silver to do to promote their game. We can all agree on that. Nobody that I can see is on the other side of this issue. That said, I don't remember anyone called Ryan, Jeff, Patrick or anyone else in games journalism for that matter anti-America or questioned their patriotism because they didn't prattle on and on about how Ubisoft and gamers should be ashamed of themselves because of this stupid promo item. Nor should they have. And yet, with essentially the same issue on the table now, we need to have endless discussions about it and how we're all really at fault because of some stupid bullshit one marketing company pulled. It is patently ridiculous.

If Patrick or anyone else wants to write an article where they talk to John Riccitiello, Bobby Kotick or the heads of any of these gaming corporations about if they do pay female employees less and if they do, why they think that is an okay practice, I would LOVE to see that. But shit like this, about a meaningless promo item, is not hard-hitting journalism. Not even for "gaming" journalism. It's like the Fox News of gaming journalism. Sensationalize a small otherwise insignificant incident, hype it's importance, feign outrage, demonize anyone who doesn't follow your opinion in lock-step, rinse, repeat.

Posted by Judakel

@crcruz3 said:

@Judakel said:

@crcruz3 said:

@Judakel said:

@crcruz3 said:

@Judakel said:

@crcruz3 said:

@Judakel said:

@crcruz3 said:

You said: "While on the job, women either do as much work as men or are simply too unproductive to be viable employees." and you are ignoring the 3rd option, they are less productive than men and receiving less money for it. That's Block's whole argument.

Are you an economist yourself? In that case, which school of economics is your preferred one?

I did not ignore his argument. I explained why he was simply wrong. You even quoted the section where I explained why he was wrong. There is literally no incentive for an employer to continue paying someone (even if it is less money) for lesser work. His third option is a fiction and you've taken my dismissal of it as simply "ignoring it". When an employer hires someone, they factor in the most they are willing to pay someone for the desired work into their budget. They don't reign it in if the work is shoddy since they get nothing out of it. It would be better in the long run to simply hire someone else who won't do shoddy work. They would save more money that way. Not a single employer will look at an under-performing employee and say "we will keep him on, but pay him less". Nor do they hire someone on the expectation that they will "work less, but at least we can pay them less". The gap comes about well after someone has been hired, and it can simply not come about due to poor performance. Poor performers get fired. Block didn't even bother to prove his point. He just threw together a blatantly illogical explanation that fits with his Darwinian, free-market bullshit. I can see how, if you believe in the free market, you might be tempted to apply it to microeconomics in the way he has. Unfortunately, that nonsense is only passable in macroeconomics, and even there people have caught on.

It should be fairly obvious where I land as far as schools of economics are concerned.

I am an employer myself and the only thing that is obvious to me is that you are talking about a theoretical employer that doesn't exist. And again you are calling Block darwinian and bullshitter, ad hominem all over.

All human beings are different, equal work is nonsense. I have 250 employees and they are not equally productive. Even those performing the same tasks.

I'm going to play some games now, it's 9:46 pm here in Argentina. 'Night.

An ad hominem attack is when someone attacks the person instead of the argument. I can attack the person as much as I like, as long as I attack the argument too. This employer does exist, because he is a rational actor in the field of economics. Something most employers are. If your employees are not roughly equal in their productivity while working the same number of hours and having the same duties, then I am not sure why you have kept them on. You do realize that no one expects exactly the same amount of productivity, but as far as it is measurable, all individuals performing the same function should be equally productive in your Darwinian wonderland.

If they were equally productive I would pay them the same as in your: equal work, equal pay. As they are not, I pay them proportionally to the subjective, not easily measurable, productivity.

Calling Block names is foolish and coward as he is not here to defend himself. Calling me names is just rude and I don't appreciate it.

Then you are an unethical employer, for you cannot measure their "lesser productivity" in anything more than subjective ways, yet see it fit to nonetheless quantify this unmeasurable productivity in their paychecks. The very nature of what you're doing is so incredibly chilling, because the productivity of these employees may one day rise to meet that of the others, but since you have nothing but your own subjective opinion as to their levels of productivity, you may continue to pay them as if they are doing poor work.

Do you know, my dear entrepreneur, why most businesses try to avoid such methods? It isn't ethics, surely. Most businesses under a capitalist system are not concerned with ethics. Not, it is for the following reasons: One, it can be taxing to keep an eye on the productivity of every employee so that your own subjective, half-assed assessment can determine whether they will get a raise or not, and two, there is very little motivation for improvement were these comparatively poorly paid employees to find out that they are seen as poor workers deserving of fewer wages.

By the way, I love the fact that, as far as I can tell, you only looked at your business and decided to declare a more rational approach as only existing in theory. Someone should tell most mid-large size business owners that.

I am sorry you're such a diehard Austrian fanatic that you think it is foolish to mock Block. Believe me, Block has heard everything I've mentioned here many times over from other sources. He has not defended himself particularly well when confronted.

You assume a lot of things.

Nobody lives in a vacuum, I know a whole bunch of entrepreneurs and some of them are big and we talk about these kind of stuff a lot.

I don't determine productivity of all my employees by myself. I don't even know some of them, they work in different provinces (states for the US). Other people do that for me.

Measuring productivity is hard and you seem to ignore it. I'm both a Mechanical and an Electrical Engineer and I have studied Taylor, Fayol and others in subjects of productivity. In a factory is easy to measure the output of some people, however it's very hard to measure the productivity of a secretary, a lawyer and even an accountant.

Diehard Austrian fanatic? Unethical? Half-assed assessments?

As I said, you assume too much.

By the way, do you and your rich friends realize Walter Block also thinks the income disparity between blacks and whites is due to blacks being lazy? I wouldn't put it past what seems like a cadre of exploiting compadres, but I am just wondering.

When I said that we talk about these kind of stuff a lot I was referring to productivity, human resources and the like, not to talking about Walter Block. Most of my really rich friends don't even know him.

It's your right to see entrepreneurs as a cadre of exploiting compadres.

It is a wonderful example of exactly what is wrong with Block: He, like many people, has internalized racism and sexism to such a degree that it almost seems like "nature" to him.

Block has not actually shown that his initial argument that women are less productive than men while working the same amount of hours is supported by any data. More importantly, wages are not a function of productivity anywhere else in capitalism, why would they be in a case in this case? Even basic economic textbooks discuss the problems with measuring productivity.

If Block's argument were to take into account time spent working, then it would essentially be a more erudite version of 's own argument: A woman's typical social role leads her to eventually forfeit waged productivity for non-waged productivity (and indeed, that she will WANT to do this), and this means women will, as a group, be out-competed by men. It is baffling that this situation is not seen as a sexist problem.

Edited by bennyboy

i bet whoever decided on using the statue as the ad did so knowing exactly the batshit crazy amounts of publicity it would bring. looks like he/she was right.

Posted by punkxblaze

@graf1k said:

@IBeDanYo said:

I'm not a huge fan of these pro-feminism, "serious business" articles I've seen on Giant Bomb as of late. I thought Alex's latest feature on THQ was an entertaining and funny article that captured what makes Giant Bomb so great. Its fusion of gaming and humor. Not this overly dramatic stuff that every other self-important game site spews.

Although, I will admit that I found some of the hypocrisy in the statements made by the women to be a bit humorous. Crying sexism in one sentence, and then in the same breath, writing off men as hormone-fueled boys that are insatiable when faced with a woman's upper body. As a guy, I thought it more offensive that these women actually believe that men find the statue arousing.

Exactly. Painting men as sex-crazed animals and that all we want is tits and blood, or even better bloody tits, just because we don't rail fully against this, is as prejudice and assumptive as any man who would actually think or act like women are just a walking sex object for their pleasure.

Yeah. I love how people love to throw the term misogyny around, but so often forget that it has an equal opposite; misandry (in fact, it's such a forgotten term that Chrome is labeling it as a typo). Which, in some cases, such as these, is relabeled feminism and called a progressive movement. Real feminism was about the right to vote and be more than a stay at home mom, and I respect that, but people don't want equality these days, they want a pedestal to stand on and look down from.

Posted by ThaKakarot

@shiggity_shwa:

Ah I get it now, you're just a silly little illiterate 9 year old.

Posted by Rmurillo82

Look I don't hate women and I can appreciate a woman's view, but we're talking about a product that is not coming to the states and then asking most likely American woman how they feel about it. Come on, if this was a bloody bust of Ryan Davis and it was coming state side, no one would care and GB would probably be tweeting about how cool it is. Also, I get that Patrick feels that woman are facing some sort of plight in the VG industry, besides equality at the workplace, Patrick need only to watch any commercial and realize that a pair of tits can just about sell anything, I'm sure some may think its gross, but we are sex driven creatures. Get over it an accept it, god knows most of Europe has. Its just tits man.

Posted by 2kings

It's a free speech thing guys. Patrick, you can't have it both ways. You can't say that they should apologize or stop making what they want to. You can be offended all goddamn day and that's your right but you can't also say that they shouldn't make what they want. We all get pretty upset when other people attempt to infringe on our right to watch all the violent media and porn we enjoy. What makes you or anyone else the gatekeeper of the morally just when it comes to the expression of free speech?

I'll answer that for you.

It doesn't. EVER.

This bust does not infringe on the rights of any woman. just think if everyone who didn't like a thing or statement could just declare a verdict of guilty and shut it down. Is that a society you want to live in? Free expression, whether you agree with it or not, is protected by law. Hell, in your line of work it's a must.

Art has ALWAYS been a way to challenge our perceptions and ideas. It deserves to be protected no matter how much we may dislike the message.

Posted by muffinmcmuffin

@2kings: Freedom of speech doesn't work the way you think it does. People, including the press, are constitutionally protected in suggesting that other people shouldn't exercise their speech rights or act in ways that offend them. What you're describing is criticism, which is firmly established as a protected category of speech.

Then again, you've just done the very thing you say Patrick can't do. So, good job.

Edited by Meowshi

@ProfessorEss said:

@Meowshi said:

I really hate this attitude that if something doesn't personally offend you, it shouldn't offend anybody. Similar to what Jeff said, I don't personally find this all that offensive, but enough people I trust do, so there's likely something there.

The thing is I've asked around a bit and I can't find any real-world women in my real-world life that find this offensive - I mean even a little bit. I find I strange that Patrick reached out to eight people and all eight were offended whereas I can't find any (except for my mom, but she's old fashioned and offended by almost all of today's entertainment).

So if I'm not offended, and I can't find anyone I love, trust and/or respect who are offended ('cept fer you mom, xoxo) am I still supposed to find it offensive because a stranger wrote an article about eight strangers (none of which I know, trust or respect) who were offended?

You don't have to find anything offensive. I personally don't find it offensive myself, either.

I'm just saying you should probably respect the fact that so many people do, instead of going "well me and my friends don't give a shit, so you're just being a big baby!" The main reason I say this is because there's always something that will offend you, and there will always be some asshole who thinks that your feelings are irrelevant and deserving of mockery. At the end of the day, I don't like being told that my thoughts don't matter, and so I try not to do that to others.

Posted by Hulkamaniac

I sometimes wonder how far Patrick gets into the comments section before he stops reading the same stuff over & over again.

Posted by FormLikeRONLOTV

I found the statue to be in poor taste, but not offensive.

Posted by CptBedlam

@FormLikeRONLOTV said:

I found the statue to be in poor taste, but not offensive.

Yup, pretty much how I see it.

So, what are the ~2500 comments about, guys?

Posted by Ravenlight

I'm like 90% sure that every poster in this thread with the default avatar and >20 posts is just one guy bumping his post counts in preparation for an epic ad campaign. I look forward to the eventual reveal.

Posted by TylerDurden4321

Of course it's sexistic and stupid and lame and immature in the uncoolest sense of the word, but two things:

1. Women making a feminist-viewpoint statement in a sexism debate about the grotesqueness of fake-boobs... not a good idea... always gets turn around that they're ugly and just jealous -> not clever mentioning that. Personally I like the boobs, just getting there through surgery, that's what I don't like(I know there's no other way, if you didn't get that, don't try any further to get my point).

2. I thought the Metro 2033 trailer "ex-model turning whore, because she's stupid, has no talents, no intelligence or comepetancy in whatsoever and selling her body is the only way for her to make money(or bullets) and 'contribute' to the community/hub-market" was way more sexistic, if you ask me, but nobody outraged by THAT. I mean, as if every young and sexy girl is otherwise worthless... I'd more like to see a trailer in which a girl like that gets hardened by the fucked up sexism in that post-apocalyptic world gets tuned into "gomer pyle" mode turning into a psychoathic version of female Mad Max.

Posted by BluescreenBandit

I wonder what would the reaction be had it been a statue gnarled male torso.

Posted by GunGunW

It would have been more interesting to hear a woman's opinion on the opposite side of the spectrum.