PC-ism is just another form of fascism. I'm amazed how few people actually see that. It's kind of scary to be honest.
Today, we collectively failed as a community once more. Even though not every one of us acted poorly, the fact that one side clearly pushed its rhetoric through has made this less of an open place and more of a restricted area: No fun allowed. To give this ongoing lament some context: Today, Deep Silver announced a risqué collector's edition called the Zombie Bait Edition, which prominently displayed a severed and dismembered torso with big breasts and small clothing. Is it tacky? Yes, probably. Is it a reason for a mass outcry? Hardly.
Normally, I'd make this into an official piece, thinking up of a point by point case, argument, solution, future thought and that sort of thing. However, that would require me to go on endlessly about a topic that is out of my hands in this industry already. Instead, the swift rebuttal here serves to prove that this is a personal standpoint, though it has the same basis as most of my op-ed pieces, when I'm not using my education to look outside of my values, which I personally believe are the only rules to live by. For those wondering: I live by The Golden Rule. In short, it's that well-known line that goes "treat others like you yourself would wish to be treated." On that aspect, we treated the Zombie Bait Edition news like we would like to be picked apart by vultures. It's a standpoint I can respect, but not one I can condone.
News outlets were quick to release statements how "offensive," "disgusting," "repulsive," "outrageous" and more of these strong words on how appalling the limited edition was thought to be. Mayhap; I'm not saying such a provocative item won't burn in anyones eyes. I, too, am offended when Halo thinks it's a good idea to provide their promotional features with Doritos chips and Mountain Dew, implying that we're all greasy pigs. However, would I call for a massive outcry for someone offering a bust? No, not really; I'm not mad at art history for doing the same.
This point can be argued until the cows are dead and we're serving their racks in a self-righteous buffet of hypocrisy, but it's where my mind immediately went to. I immediately associated it with a bust, because that's what it is: a bust, which is defined as "the human chest." That seems accurate to me. Dead Island also features dead women in skimpy, tropical outfits and has dismemberment elements. All these things are fitting and no one gave a crap about that when the original came out. No, more so, prior to that, Deep Silver released a clip containing the "magical negro" trope, which was linked to their character Sam B, but doesn't resemble him in the slightest. That is, unless you're a racist and think all black people look alike. More so, that clip is also filled with objectification, but that is fitting, why exactly? Is it that hip-hop makes it okay? Is it because black people use women as toys? No matter how you look at it, it's going to be bad when a clip shows over a dozen shots of body parts with no face, for no reason other than to show it. Again, here no one cared. It's an issue now that Deep Silver rubs it in our faces. We're not being very consistent in how are brainwashing works, but I'll leave that point open to debate.
This shot of headless torsos is completely justifiable because...???...profit.
No, other than your personal stand on whether or not it's offensive, it's how we reacted like infants to it that caught my eye. Even that would normally not faze me too much, since we all know how the gaming community can be. However, this time is different for one particular reason. This frothing of the mouth; the knee-jerk, quick wit with no further thought came from the very crowd that would pretend to be different: It is those that make the sensible, adult remarks on how we need to evolve, accept each other and so on. I don't know about you, but I've never been taught that acceptance needs to be shoved down my throat and if my opinion is wrong I need to be snuffed out. That sounds like the reverse of accepting anyone for their good or lesser ideas and ideals.
How does acceptance work in Riptide's case? It made a provocative piece, so it needed to be shut down. Well, all this media outrage worked, as Deep Silver issued an apology the same day at how appalled they were by their own behavior. It must've struck them by surprise and so it should, because they did nothing out of the ordinary. They marketed their product with cheap attention grabbing, as anyone else in any walk of life does. No, not in our gaming community; we're fighting for equality in here, so there's no room for this.
That last sentence doesn't work. You can't have your cake and eat it too, then sue the baker for making you fat. At some point, this mass hysteria needs to end. Whatever happened to disagreement? "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Isn't that how the enlightened philosophers thought about equality? There doesnt seem to be any defending in massively coming down on Deep Silver. There seems to be only offense. What people are doing by projecting negativity on this campaign is calling for exclusive behavior that will only allow certain things and disqualify others. This is being part of the very problem you're trying to fight. I'll even leave out the fact that publications were quick to publish the provocative item once more with the apology update, because showing a bloody bust is so disgusting that you should do it twice, right? It can't just be updated in the same appalled article, that picture must be drained for all its juicy contents. Again, consistency is lacking.
Perhaps just use your fingers.
However, the lowest of all points today was not even this sad state of affairs; it's that the dogs weren't appeased with the blood on Deep Silvers hands. Instead, it went after their personnel and showed the true nature of what it means to not know what you're angry about. Some of you may know Maurice Tan from his time with Destructoid. He's now an employee of Deep Silver and earlier today tweeted an off color joke about this ordeal. Seeing as I don't want to actively feed the flames of other people's misery, I wont link it and just state what it said; which goes as follows: "It is cut off, so who knows. S(he) might have a cock down there." The response to it was immediately and overwhelmingly negative. Ill post a screenshot here.
Did we notice a pattern here? It has the same irate state of knee-jerk reactions, immediately going for the jugular, in the name of equality. The community had choice words for Maurice, because this was deemed offensive and bigoted. Yet, nothing in the tweet can be pulled any which way on that topic. There is no divide that would suggest a fixed view. Still, the immediate assumption is negative and the reaction is downright hostile. It's bullying in pure form, skewed on the platform of freedom of speech. It's not offensive, but it might be, so lets presume it is. It's these same presumptions that the community should fight, not endorse. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. The whole day today I thought I'd elevate myself and not fume like I watched people fume about their delusions. I failed, we all failed. Today was a bad day for gaming. We're not welcome in our own world, so what do we do now?
That's my secret...
It's getting to be exhaustingly late, the day was endless and I still need to edit this post with pictures and such, so excuse the longevity and unfiltered approach of this write-up. Again, I'd like to state that this is my personal reactionary movement and thus doesn't come equipped with the necessary softening filters. It is still based on my belief and my idealism focused on inclusion rather than exclusion. Let me end this rant, the only way the internet knows how:
TL;DR: Judge not lest ye be judged. We didn't fight for equality today, we merely fought equality. Deep Silver shouldn't have had to apologize for endorsing freedom of choice and the fact it did has made our world smaller, not more open. We are all to blame.
It's like the social equivalent of "white knighting", there might not be some grand ulterior motive to all this sudden care and attention towards "equality" but I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is not borne out of sincerity, which is ultimately all that matters.
I also want to point out how the first dead island trailer showing a kid and family killed in slow motion and reverse was lauded as a master piece.
I will point out that many after certain incidents felt than any violent video game was offensive and wrong, and probably the same people who cried foul on the bust were up in arms defending their right to take a lancer to someone's head and cut it in half. God bless these ignorant folks. They show us its not so far fetched to see how people reacted hysterically and burnt witches at the stake.
I wish you people would just be quiet and stop trying to score PC points. Stop making issues and judging light-hearted content so seriously.
I don't understand how people can find the bust "offensive" - it relates fairly well to the game - its a woman in a bikini with some cuts and whatnot? I wonder whether or not people would complain as much if it was a male bust?
@megafitch we'll see when a gaming company actually makes a male bust sexualized in this manner.
but guess what, I bet you dollars to donuts that would never happen.
@megafitch I see how it could be. I wouldn't want myself represented in an overly inflated, slightly unrealistic manner either, only to be viewed as "meat" as that's what the "bait" moniker would stand for. I could see it as a stretch for some, but for others it could be also that stretch away from not being offensive. That is in the eye of the beholder. D&D is awesome. Scratch that last line.
@megafitch No one would buy it for the male bust. Besides, the fact that it exploits the female body to attract male gamers is offensive itself. Many games have done it before, but zombies with sex doesn't seem to be in Dead Island's vocabulary. It isn't exactly High School of the Dead. Also, weren't Deep Silvers trailers going for something more emotional? This could be a male bust, but all it needs is the removal of the only things that weren't mutilated. Why include a bust at all? Maybe they wanted to give more incentive since many were disappointed with the previous game.
@Daavpuke They are called Shamans and Witch Doctors.
@00LiteYear I'd just like to point out that attraction to the female body is not an exclusively male trait.
I will however wholeheartedly agree that the Dead Island franchise has a strange polarization between their slow paced evocative trailers and their grotesque, almost comical gore gameplay.
@00LiteYear Female gamers might ;) Its been a popular trend for a while now to sell tiered editions of games, with the more expensive versions coming with some superficial figurine or bust - its something thats commonplace nowdays! The bust is slightly out of context with the feel of the game, but I do think it also summarises it as well. do you think the bust would have been acceptable if it wasn't mutilated? I think that is most peoples issue with it?
I think Steve Hughes said it best in that stand up comedy when he talks about being offended. And I kind of feel the need to quote what he said since his videos on youtube were taken off for some reason:
"Political correctness is the oppression of our intellectual movement so no one says anything anymore just in case anyone else get?s offended. What happens if you say that and someone gets offended? Well they can be offended, can?t they? What?s wrong with being offended? When did stick and stones may break my bones stop being relevant? Isn?t that what you teach children? He called me an i___! Don?t worry about it, he?s a d___.
Now you have adults going ?I was offended, I was offended and I have rights!? Well so what, be offended, nothing happened. You?re an adult, grow up, and deal with it. I was offended! Well, I don?t care! Nothing happens when you?re offended.
It's not like it's gonna be like: ?I went to the comedy show and the comedian said something about the lord, and I was offended, and when I woke up in the morning, I had leprosy."
Nothing Happens. ?I want to live in a democracy but I never want to be offended again.? Well you?re an i___.
How do you make a law about offending people? How do you make it an offense to offend people? Being offended is subjective. It has everything to do with you as an individual or a collective, or a group or a society or a community. Your moral conditioning, your religious beliefs. What offends me may not offend you. And you want to make laws about this? I?m offended when I see boy bands for god sake.
It?s a valid offense, I?m offended. They?re corporate shells, posing as musicians to further a modeling career and quite frankly I?m disgusted. But it's not like I'm gonna pick up the phone and call the police like "Hello, it's me again. They're on the tele this time. Yes, five of them, dressed in white dancing like girls, yep that's them... Five minutes, I'll be out front traumatized, bye!""
You can be offended all you want but it's entirely their freedom to put out this thing and if you want to buy it cool, if you don't then don't. Some people find it tacky, some others may think it's freakin awesome. I wouldn't buy it, sure... but that doesn't mean that they aren't free to put this out. And I think you're right man, the fact that they apologized for exersizing their right of freedom of speech, art expression, and whatnot, is a step back in real democracy.
There's nothing wrong with complaining. It's being abusive that's wrong. It's easy to make your point without being rude. If you respond to offence by being offensive, what are you achieving?
@DeltaMike90 This. All about nuance. There seems to be a tendency to immediately go to extremes, on both sides. Not being against something must mean you're actively for something and vice versa. A lot of the times, it just isn't that simple.
This article wreaks of that "you should tolerate my intolerance" you get so much from homophobes and religionists.
There are some really stuck up people in this comments section.
All that writing this article will do is make more people complain about this by bringing to light the fact that people are whiny bitches who like to complain about everything and get offended easily.
Complaining about complaining never gets anyone anywhere. If anything it's just grounds on which to (you guessed it) complain!
*Random internet troll uses holier-than-thou card, it's highly effective in one's mind, e-peen boosted by 2! ego boosted by 3! Level up!*
''and thus doesn't come equipped with the necessary softening filters''
LOL WHO SAYS THAT?!?!?!
Make a reply if you want but I guarantee that I will not read it. I don't need to read even MORE pretentious waffle on the internet combined with words which no one uses outside of trying to seem intellectual on the internet.
@DeanBetamberine I said it, right there; look up, for the same reason that some people need to think before saying something. Sometimes you can mean well, but blurt stuff out before you formulated an inoffensive way of saying it.
You're free to come talk to me in person to see which words I use to sound intellectual.
Also, vaginaboob, since you won't read this reply; you did guarantee.
Things like this just don't bother me... if something like this offends you, I have to recommend you disconnect your router and go the library. Because the internet is a place where you're going to find plenty of "bad" things, and if you feel the need to grab your torch and pitchfork whenever you see something like this, well too bad for you.
@Ayato_Kamina_1 While I partially support your message, I think there needs to be a nuance with downright ignoring things that seem troublesome. That can lead to some terrible things, if left unchecked. For instance, we wouldn't want atrocities in Middle Eastern conflicts to just go their way, but intervening too much has a negative consequence on the message you're trying to purvey. It's all about nuance.
@Ayato_Kamina_1 last I checked these statues were going to be manufactured in real life, and sold in real life. I apologize if the difference between the internet and real life is tough to tell for you :/
If you don't like them, don't buy the game or the statues. Or how about you go and campaign against shops that sell dolls of women? they objectify them too... There's graphic novels that depict some truly outrageous things. Let's just censor the whole lot, after all that's essentially where this is going.
Or maybe we could just be mature about the whole thing.
@Ayato_Kamina_1 @majoras_wrath You are right. Many dolls and books and such are pretty demeaning and objectifying, and again, many people do dislike these on the basis that they are sexist. Yet, no one is calling for a ban on any of this. Rather, it was the game studio who decided to pull the whole disgusting, sexist, project.
Maturity is being able to discuss issues that might be difficult for one to accept, and not getting defensive when things are called out for being sexist or racist or whatever.
@Ayato_Kamina_1 replace "internet" with "south" and you've pretty much got the mentality of a large percentage of the country a few decades back... hmmm not so high and mighty now are you
@wavelength121 Yes, there's absolutely no difference between something like this, which is totally meant in a tongue and cheek way, and slavery. Don't get me wrong, certain things have no place in today's society, but when people go over the top to look for something to be offensive just so they can leap on their high horse and denigrate someone else.
People today just want any excuse to vilify someone. I'm more disappointed with the comments that people made than anything else.
how is it hard to understand that Deep Silver is perpetuating some really nasty rhetoric lately, and their latest statue sexualising violence against women is only the tip of the iceberg?
but right, sorry, gamers can't have a discussion about gender issues without sticking fingers in their ears and going to their magical fantasy land. thanks for keeping that spirit alive there champ.
@majoras_wrath It is telling that you presume something is sexist as soon as it depicts a woman. Actual sexism makes meaningful commentary. A bust, which is perfectly representative of the game in question, has no more underlying gender commentary than a bikini itself. Argue all you want that bikinis are inherently sexist, but that is not Deep Silver's issue. Such an overwrought and vacuous attack on a meaningless image is offensive to those who make them, those who would patronise them, and especially those who are the victims of actual gender discrimination.
@speedingdeath @majoras_wrath in twilight there was a guy running around shirtless for sexual crzed hormone-driven 15yo girls to drool about,extreme objectification,noone complained(except for me now),cause its a double standard,women dont give a damn about male objectification(and neither do men) whereas for women everyone gets upset
@majoras_wrath Funny you should mention rhetoric, chief.
@Daavpuke @majoras_wrath yes. rhetoric is words. everyone uses rhetoric. you use rhetoric, I use rhetoric, Deep Silver uses rhetoric. its what you do with it that matters.
care to actually refute my point?
EDIT: to be clear. I do not think that deep silver are necessarily evil monsters, more that they are currently representative of a really nasty sexist streak present in gaming culture, that I think needs to be addressed. and pretentious blogs like yours making a big deal out of stuffing socks in your ears are only furthering the problem.
People are so screwed up. When your friend makes a joke like the one the Deep Silver person made, or some anonymous internet person on a comment section or forum thread does it, it's either fine, funny, or you brush it off. The moment that someone who is anybody in any walk of life does it, preferably one with a strong internet community like the video game industry, it's an immediate witch hunt and it's all of a sudden not okay. I'm sure some of the people taking part in the witch hunt don't even realize that they themselves make off-color comments from time to time.
I harken back to when Sergey Titov called campers "faggots". Have people seriously not heard your average gamer use the term in this fashion? Do people get up in arms every time your average Joe use that term?
People should judge. People should be offended. We all have something to be arbitrary and small-minded about. If you don't like how a company is advertising its game, you can speak up and call out what you think is stupid and offensive and try to convince developers with your ideas and thoughts. So far I haven't seen any calling for controlling what Deep Silver wants to put in their game or limiting the amount of blood that can be put on a decapitated corpse, and that's much better than the latest bouts of violence and sexism "controversies" in gaming stirred up in the name of the majority, but only for the benefits of a few. Nothing to write up a blogpost about, but do it anyway.
I'm gonna pretend stupidity: I 'choose' to get the standard edition since I found this extra shi... I mean, distasteful. Sorry for the bad english.
On a serious addenda: I didn't expect this to come this far yesterday when I did the same comment doubting the taste of this bust.
I still say that if I walked into someones house, and they had that statue, or "bust", as you called it, I wouldn't eat any meat at their house. It's also in very poor taste, like taking a dead cow and turning it into "art".
@starduke As someone who doesn't murder living beings for my taste buds, I could debate that part of ethics; which I only point out to make my point at how acceptable and flexible standpoints can be.
@Daavpuke I wouldn't say it's murder to kill anything that isn't human. Also, I've never killed anything for my taste buds, I have people who do that for me.
Art, same as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Those dead cows in a museum are among the so-called artworks I wish I could un-see.
You don't agree about Venus Fly Traps? I happen to know they exist, I have a pet one. The way it attracts flies and eats them, it's so cute!
@Daavpuke Murder is the willful premeditated or spur of the moment ending of a sentient life form by another sentient life form. I wouldn't call it murder if one sentient life form intended the murder of another, and the intended victim managed to defend them self and kill their assailant, thus ending a threat to other sentient lifeforms.
Cows, and other animals are not sentient life forms, so killing them does not qualify as murder. It is the same with plants.
BTW, there are plants who have defenses against their destruction. Poison Ivy is one, Roses are another. There are also plants that eat meat, like the Venus Fly Trap, and the Butterwort is another.
@RedLegZeff It's harder to measure the willful sentience of plants though. If they could let it be known en masse that their destruction is harmful to them, I'd adjust my stance once more, but alas I must feed, so I'll draw the line at things that you can properly deduce do not want to die, which is hence why we're taking their life against their will, rather than just without their consent, making it murder. That is the kicker in the age-old extrapolation of plants vs animals. The survival of the fittest argument is moot to mankind; we're no longer part of that ancient mechanism. I'm not a vegetarian though; just to be clear. I just don't murder to satisfy my desires.
It is however my point too. There is no right. You can eat as much meat as you want; eat "my" part for all I care. Eat millions of cows a day. As long as I don't have to, you do what you want to do. Again, I'm just pointing out the flexibility in ethics.
@Daavpuke Are you an accomplice if you allow lions to eat zebras? Is it ethical for the mass destruction and mutilation of plants? Plants are living things as well. You are a murderer or you are dead or you have photosynthesis. You just draw the line at stuff with brains I suppose. He draws the line at humans. Of course vegetarians and vegans advise the mass extinction of all domesticated species. Well maybe your right, maybe he's right. Maybe there is no right.
@starduke See, I would, since I consider it murder to kill and being an accomplice to it is equally morally wrong, to me. Hence the flexibility.