The Witcher 2 Covers Up

By Alec Meer on September 13th, 2010 at 10:06 pm.

Naughty.

So, the chaps at Cynical Brit brought up some of the concerns around the depiction of a female torture victim in The Witcher 2 directly to CD Projekt Red, which led to a surprising revelation. Based on various comments about said torture victim arguably being presented somewhat… lustily, the developers are having a bit of a rethink about that scene.

They don’t want people to be thinking sexy thoughts when presented with a tortured woman, basically – so they’re going to alter how the character in question is presented.

Good on them. Seriously. While there’s been a lot of disagreement as to the appropriateness of the scene, that the devs have acknowledged that at least some people are concerned is testament to how impressive and mature a game they seek to create. And, presumably, that they’re aware that criticism of the use of titillating imagery in situations of suffering does not equate to a universal prudishness on the part of the concerned observer.

The comments are about 14 minutes in to the interview (original here), which also involves interviewer Total Biscuit reading aloud my scathing comments on the scene’s original, heavily-boobed presentation in a way that makes me want to curl up and die from embarrassment. Ow.

Update: here’s the telling quote, as I now realise a number of the more vocal commenters perhaps haven’t listened to the interview. These are words directly from the mouth of the Witcher 2′s senior producer Tom Gop. They are interesting and telling words.

“We wanted to show in a mature way that this woman is being tortured. But it’s true that the way you show it, some of the players will think ‘okay so there’s a naked woman, maybe there will be a sex scene.’

Guys, this was not our intention. We’re gonna have to think about it, redo some graphics or redirect the scene. It’s not about that, let’s make it so players don’t want to have sex with her, they really feel for her.”

So that’s what they say.

I’m comfortable with admitting that basing my comments on my gut reaction to notes to seeing the demo played live on a big screen at GamesCom do seem overstated compared to poring over the shakycam small-screen Youtube clips. If those had been my first exposure (hah!) to the scene, I suspect my eyebrow wouldn’t have raised anywhere near as much.

Again though – excellent to know that CDP want to be sensitive as well as sexy.

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249 Comments »

  1. Novotny says:

    ‘They don’t want people to be thinking sexy thoughts when presented with a suffering woman’

    well simply don’t release it in Wales then

    • suibhne says:

      Win.

    • Wulf says:

      And if it involves women at all, in any way, shape, or form (positive or negative), and you want to avoid controversy then you shouldn’t release it in England?

    • Dhatz says:

      and if it revolves around killing or physically damaging living beings using objects and energy you should avoid Hitlerreich and Aussieland.

  2. Rinox says:

    I still don’t agree, but if that’s what they feel is right then they can obviously do it differently.

    Maybe they’re still a bit terrified from the playing card backlash?

    • Severian says:

      i loved the playing cards. and, no, i’m not thirteen years old.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I was fine with the cards and I hope to see some sexy scenes in this game, but the image complained about was a little weird because she was made to look really hot and sexy, despite the situation. If they alter it to still show her body, but in a more “she’s been degraded and we pity her” way, I would support it.

      Still not as big of a deal as RPS made it out to be though.

    • tunnel says:

      I found the images within the cards to be a very good way to depict the sex scene and its uniqueness, much better than the usual awkward cinematic. They left the bulk of the job to the imagination after presenting a vivid, memorable image rather than a muddled, saccharine and painfully safe “sexy” sequence.

      If they had presented those images in non-card form they might have received more praise.

  3. Mil says:

    And so Anglo journos manage to have their cultural rejection of sex (at least sex containing females) constrain the creativity of an Eastern European dev. Yeah, excellent, a bit less of cultural diversity in games. Good job.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      It’ll certainly be interesting what RPS has to say when it is suggested games should be censored in some they don’t approve of. I imagine there wont be as much glowing praise then.

    • Celkiasian says:

      “at least sex containing females” Hmmmmmmmmmmm

    • kael13 says:

      Really? Your culture finds gratuitous nudity appealing when the subject is under genuine duress? It would’t work in a serious film, it wouldn’t work here.

    • Celkiasian says:

      @ReV_VAdAUL Checkmate RPS, Checkmate.

    • Mil says:

      “at least sex containing females” Hmmmmmmmmmmm

      I realise that this part of my comment could be construed as homophobic, which is not my intention. But I do believe that it’s the presence of sexy females that makes RPS (or part of it) complain.

    • Frank says:

      Mil: I think you mean “specific rejection of an attitude to sex so juvenile that it struggles not to depict female torture victims in a titillating way”. Plus, it’s not a constraint to creativity when you merely point something out, and then the developer comes to their own conclusion that it isn’t what they were trying to say with the scene.

      I know it makes it easier to condemn things when they’re translated into the most absurd terms, but nothing you said there had any basis in fact.

    • Heliosicle says:

      Its all about context Mil, I don’t think RPS has a problem with nudity, I think Alec’s point was the context of the situation, so having a pornstar type woman there destroyed the atmosphere CDPR are going for.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      This has been discussed several times here on RPS, It would seem that people still don’t understand the argument. Its not an argument for prudishness, Its an argument for well though out context. There’s nothing wrong with nudity and sexual content in videogames, as long as it doesn’t negate context. You wouldn’t sexualise victims of torture in Schindlers list, for example.

    • Easydog says:

      That’s more articulate than I could manage, Frank. but yeah, I agree. It’s not censorship if the creator of the work alters it so the point of the scene is clearer and less muddied by contrasting aesthetics.

    • Veret says:

      “…criticism of the use of titillating imagery in situations of suffering does not equate to a universal prudishness on the part of the concerned observer. ”

      Reading the comments here, it sounds like that sentence was inserted into the post after most of you guys read it. Or one of us is missing something.

    • Urthman says:

      a bit less of cultural diversity in games

      Maybe someday gaming will be diverse enough to include titillating images of women.

    • Dean says:

      The problem is, it’s impossible to include female nudity in a video game without it being sexualised, because (short of a few autopsy/dead body scenes) I don’t think it’s ever been done has it? Has female nudity ever been presented in a video game in a non-sexual way. I didn’t think that video was half as gratuitous as Alec did.

    • Heliocentric says:

      @Dean hostile waters, scenes of cabal meeting their invention.

      Not actually quite dead, but being killed dictators, male and female.

    • Nick says:

      Uh, I don’t think they care much about all the other nudity, just the sexual objectification of a torture victim. If you honestly don’t understand that, then I feel sorry for you.

    • TeeJay says:

      @Tetragrammaton: “You wouldn’t sexualise victims of torture in Schindlers list, for example”

      Some people have made whole movies out of it, eg The Night Porter (1974) starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling.

    • Snall says:

      @Kael13

      It wouldn’t work in a serious film? Are you on crack or have you not watched many movies? Just lately the friggin Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for god sakes…it happens all the time in film. The problem is that this is a VIDEO GAME, not that it’s not done. *shrug* Eventually people will allow the same license for video games as they do for film…but not for at least another 10 years or so..

    • Tei says:

      Is pointless to create un-sexed games.
      I invoque the rule 34.

    • Lukasz says:

      In Shindler’s list there was a scene of naked women. Was it also sexualized? Since it was a movie some of them were quite pretty.
      Was it wrong of director to have that scene?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @Snall — a “torture victime” with oiled, bouncing DD breasts isn’t effectively imposing the severity of torture on people whichever way you cut it. Complaining about this is what’s called “criticism,” and it’s usually considered a good thing – except, apparently, about people who like video games.

      The amount of anti-intellectualism masquerading as supposed anti-prudishness here is pretty fucking incredible.

    • Mac says:

      They weren’t oiled, bouncing DD breasts, they were very normal breasts if you actually saw the footage, RPS on the other hand made some ridiculous depiction where you could practically see them fellating over it at the same time as trying to appear superior to it. It was a really stupid 2 paragraph long masturbation session, nothing at all what was depicted in the game. It actually seems to be anti-intellectualism masquerading as pro-prudishness.

    • DAdvocate says:

      @Mac To be fair to Alec, he was commenting on a video which he had only seen once while amongst a crowd at E3 for which he was primed to expect a degree of sexual objectification due to the sex cards of the first game. Therefore his eyes were fixated on the exposed breasts of the torture victim over any other consideration and were seen as titillation rather than exhibiting a sense of vulnerability and realism which was the original intention (in my opinion).

      However some of the commenter’s richly deserve your ire with their clear inability to separate nudity from sexuality, for which I feel profound pity. I would suggest they try to expand their exposure to foreign films.

    • Kadayi says:

      The sexual hang ups are beginning to get in the way of the (good) Journalism it has to be said.

    • manveruppd says:

      I think this is a seriously inane discussion, but since so many people are thinking about it so very hard I might as well pitch in with a slightly less outraged point of view: portraying a torture victim as sexualised is something that’s been part of pop culture for ages. Conan has rescued dozens of scantily-clad sacrificial victims off the altars of Set (wonder what that massive snake coiling around the victims’ naked thighs as the evil priest raises the knife is supposed to symbolize…), Giger’s artwork is full of naked women looking like they’re not really enjoying all those metal appendages penetrating their skulls, and if people found The Witcher shocking then a quick flick through Heavy Metal Magazine will give them a stroke.

      Now, you can call this immature, unsophisticated, or whatever, but I think your violent recoiling from such things says more about your mental and emotional blockages on the subject of sex than it does for the supposed morality of the portrayal in question. These portrayals might be rather crude and generic, but they do have something to say about human sexuality, even if they don’t say it in a very thoughtful manner. It says that our sexuality is complex and ambivalent and rather perverse. How else can you explain that in some portrayals the victim seems to be aroused by the torture and sexual degradation she’s undergoing, but is nevertheless grateful to the hero for being rescued? What does it say that, even though the portrayal is nearly always intended to titillate the reader, it also manages to make the leering, sadistic torturer (who is not always a man) seem all the more evil? Why do many women in real life really do have rape fantasies, when in fact we know they would certainly not get aroused if they were put in a similar situaiton (and they certainly wouldn’t be feeling up for showing their gratitude to their rescuer by providing sexual favours – they’d probably just want to huddle up in a corner and cry and recoil at anyone’s touch!)?

      Certainly the prudishness displayed towards The Witcher (and it is prudishness, even if it’s disguised as intellectual snobbery) is hindering people from understanding the nuances of even such a simple and unsophisticated portrayal as this.

    • Wulf says:

      Hmm…

      I’m against torture in its entirety, same goes for suffering, and people do need to understand why suffering is bad. A virtual realm is a good way to teach, so I’m glad that the scene is still in there, and I hope it can still provoke outrage.

      As for the original scene, was the woman oversexed? Iono, I haven’t seen it, sounds like it though, especially the way Nick describes it.

      Here’s an interesting thought: What if it had been a man? I wonder if it had been a bloke with bulging muscles, seemingly oiled, with a decidedly big package, would the outcry have been the same? I’ve batted for both teams in this sort of argument, and that’s precisely what I’m doing here, since I’m not sure I fully understand the situation.

      I think the outcry against suffering and torture is a noble thing as far as reality goes, so I’m glad that the scene will remain there to perhaps teach gamers a thing or two, but I wonder how much sensibilities were stepped upon just because it was a woman being portrayed? If, as Nick says, it was pretty much a woman with DD breasts, all oiled up, and designed to look alluring, then I can understand why people think that the images were contrasting, and took away from the message that torture is bad. Interesting question though is whether people would have even noticed if it were a man?

      Is torture worse if there’s a woman involved?

      I have no answers, really. Only questions. Lots and lots of questions.

  4. Freud says:

    As long as we can pollinate Dryads, I’m happy.

  5. Solivagant says:

    Good on you and on them, mate. When I read your original article, I thought maybe it was an overreaction, but when I saw the videos of the demo they did, the nudity did seem a bit too much. More distracting than lustful, though.

  6. Rich says:

    The Witcher has always struck me as very juvenile, with regards to sex. If the next one can’t actually be well written, it might as well show some restraint.

    But hey, boobies!

    • Zwebbie says:

      Rich: I thought Geralt being juvenile was actually a nicely realistic touch. It’s not as if he has many other flaws.

    • Severian says:

      Yes, I enjoyed how people would mention offhand witchers’ reputations with women (wink-wink, nod-nod) throughout the game. Sexuality gives fantasy worlds an additional layer of depth that they typically lack.

      Which is not to say that most witchers’ behavior seems to be sexist.

      Question: do the female witchers also have a negative reputation?

    • jeremypeel says:

      @Zwebbie: I don’t think anyone would have had a problem with Geralt being juvenile if the game made any attempt to show that it was self-aware in that respect. The problem many people had was that elements of the game seemed to back up his opinions.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Oh, but just to clarify, I’m really kinda glad to see my RPG protagonist have some discernable flaws too (as we kinda discussed in the Sunday Papers). I’m trusting CD Projekt Red to get the balance right this time. ‘Cos, y’know, they’re actually really good.

    • Zwebbie says:

      @jeremypeel: as Severian said, several references are made to Witchers being unusually promiscuous, by passersby and also by the women Geralt sleeps with. Somehow, people can make violence fun without being thought of as violent, but CD Projekt can’t portray someone as juvenile without being considered juvenile themselves (and Geralt bashes more than he bangs, so to speak). They tried to make fighting fun, but nobody’s claiming that they think violence is the way to end all problems, even if that is what you’d think from looking purely at game mechanics.

    • Raum says:

      Is being promiscuous analogous with being juvenile?

      Not that I have an opinion either way about this, as I never actually played the first game (it’s on my to-do list, relax); I do wonder what it is that actually makes the sexual content in the game(s) juvenile, though.

    • Vinraith says:

      I think it’s interesting that having the option to play a promiscuous character makes the game’s protagonist “juvenile.” Personally I played Geralt as a monogamist and quite enjoyed the game. It’s not like there any “reward” for being a man-slut, let alone any requirement. If you don’t want the character to be promiscuous, don’t play him that way. If you play him that way, whose fault is that?

      Oh, and the cards are vastly preferrable to Bioware’s incredibly awkward animated sex scenes. Talk about juvenile.

      @Severian

      Question: do the female witchers also have a negative reputation?

      I have a dim recollection that the process that creates Witchers only works on males. Can anyone else confirm or deny that?

    • tomhet says:

      @Vinraith

      Correct, those potions that witchers use make female hormones go crazy, so there are no female witchers.

    • Archonsod says:

      Expecting maturity from a game like the Witcher is something of a fool’s errand in the first place. Pretty sure the books ripped off Elric, and it’s not like that was a fantastically mature source in the first place. Though the LSD influence tended to improve it somewhat.

  7. Patrick says:

    What about people like me, who delight in sexual torture? Don’t we have a say in this?
    SPEAK, SLAVE

    • faem,pr says:

      I surely want to be able to ‘be thinking sexy thoughts when presented with a tortured woman’ even if I don’t (and I surely will!!)

      Couldn’t understand the retardedness back then, still can’t understand it right now. Gimme back my immaturity. People ARE immature.

      and probably in the game too

  8. Jimbo says:

    The scene was as titillating as the viewer wanted it to be. I didn’t get that from it at all.

    The camera direction already makes no big deal about her nudity, so how do we ‘fix’ that scene for you exactly? Give her ‘worse’ tits? Slap the shit out of her before Geralt arrives to rescue her?

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Slap the shit out of her before Geralt arrives to rescue her?”

      It’s going to sound slightly ludicrous, but this. The scene lent itself to titillation only because it wished to. There was nothing wrong with the bare breasts. Indeed, in the situation, it made sense. But bare breasts and guards standing around politely, trying not to ogle? Bare breasts but not a hair out of place on a finely manicured head?

      Either Geralt gets there before the abuse takes place or after, because we can clearly see that he doesn’t arrive mid-abuse. If before, she wouldn’t be undressed. If after, her pristine presentation is a trivialisation of rape in order to make her character more appealing.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      For all the mistakes Dragon Age made in terms of dealing with sexuality, it managed to deal with the elven rape thing fairly well. It’s supposed to be harrowing and it should trigger an emotional response as opposed to one in your crotch

    • Jimbo says:

      Her top is pulled open, the torturer is heating his metal pokey thing preparing to torture her in order to get her to sign something, Geralt arrives before any torture has taken place. It’s basically the scene at the end of Braveheart where they rip Wallace’s shirt open before tortuting him, except, you know, she happens to have tits. No rape is hinted at during any part of the scene.

      The camera never focuses on her breasts and as soon as her arms are free she immediately covers herself with them. Her back is scarred and her hair is unkempt.

    • The Hammer says:

      Eh. The “elven rape scene” was like the circus coming to town. I sat and stared all through the city-elf origin story at how badly scripted, acted, and animated the whole thing was. It was -awful-. Making it tickle the balls would have been the last straw.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      I thought the exposed breasts were pretty logical, considering the situation. Now, why mr. hero guy would storm in there without wearing a shirt…. (btw anyone complained about that yet?… thought so).

    • drewski says:

      If I had Geralt’s abs, I’d never wear a shirt at all.

  9. Nova says:

    After watching the particular scene I also think you overreacted a bit. I don’t know if CD placed her there to show boobies but I didn’t find it unsuitable for a medieval dungeon and especially the Witcher world. I recommend the books.

  10. Ricc says:

    I think the whole scene was meant to be more shocking than lustful, the nudity being forced on her and part of (or in concert with) the torture. I agree however, that it might be seen as gratuitous *after* Geralt freed her and we are in a dialogue tree.

  11. TotalBiscuit says:

    Thanks for the link Alec,

    It’s always good to hear that developers are willing to take well written criticism as it’s intended, because the critic cares about the product and wants it to be better. CD Projekt have my complete respect for actually doing that, it’s obvious they care a great deal about PC gaming as a whole and are one of those companies that deserves support for that.

  12. patricij says:

    Reminds me of this:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/12/international_censorship/

    I, for one, like the way The Witcher is open about sexuality…
    To paraphrase – “We live in strange times – the naked blade of a knife is found much less obscene than the naked breast of a woman.” – I think it was in one of the short stories set in Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson
    -Frankie The Patrician[PF]

  13. The Colonel says:

    Wow. The Witcher seems to have really divided opinion on its presentation of sex.

    This interview is a really positive sign that the developers aren’t above taking some criticism and addressing mature issues. Hopefully this will be even better than the first.

  14. MaXimillion says:

    Had no issue with the nudity in the scene, but rather with how the woman really didn’t look like she’d been imprisoned and/or tortured. Hopefully they’ll also work on that aspect.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      By the sounds of it, that’s exactly what they’re going to do. They made no indication that they’re cutting down the amount of nudity and sexuality in the game, only that they’re presenting it in a less blatant manner. Gaming has certainly been held back because of it’s inability to present sexual content as anything more than fapping material for loners. Collectible sex cards don’t make a mature title. His point about Heavy Rain was extremely valid in that regard, despite the problems that game had in other areas.

  15. Vandelay says:

    As I really enjoyed the original The Witcher and wanted to go into the new one mostly blind, I didn’t watch the demo video, so can’t really comment on my own reactions to the moment. From what I read about it on here and in the comments when it was first posted, it sounded as if they made quite the misstep in the portrayal of the sequence. Creating a rape sequence in a game that contains any form of titillation for the player seems really out of place. It is one thing when we are talking pornography and another when a sequence is attempting to show someone in genuine distress.

    I just hope that the developers realised they made a mistake, rather then just giving into pressure.

    • Jimbo says:

      You must have missed all of the comments that disagreed with Alec’s assessment of the scene. There’s no suggestion that it’s a ‘rape sequence’ for a start. Maybe you should be prepared to watch it before passing judgement.

      If the result of this is that they just cover her up, that would be just about the most pathetic thing ever.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, watch the video and form your own opinion (there are no spoilers for the game).

      I thought it was much less offensive than was made out by the RPS comment, but it still felt a bit gratuitous to me… like just another throw-away opportunity to show some T&A (minus the A) instead of being essential to the plot.

      If CDP makes a decision to ramp down the use of nudity at *every* possible opportunity in the game, so we can actually hear more abut the game play in previews and reviews, then I’m all for it. Way too much online argument and discussion about the last game revolved around those stupid sex cards. The game was much better than I expected, based on early hype about those cards and the way sex was treated in the game.

    • Vandelay says:

      “Maybe you should be prepared to watch it before passing judgement.”

      To be honest, when I said “so can’t really comment on my own reactions to the moment,” I was kind of implying people can pretty much ignore my remarks. Don’t worry, I’m not the kind of person to pass judgement on something because of what someone else says. I didn’t watch the video because I’m going to buy The Witcher 2 pretty much no matter what, as I enjoyed the original a lot. I do hope they improve the presentation of sex, but it is such a small aspect of the game, I can’t see it really effecting my enjoyment too much if they do not.

    • Kadayi says:

      ‘I didn’t watch the demo video, so can’t really comment’

      Watch it, then come back with your own opinion rather than shirt tailing off what you’ve heard.

  16. Kid A says:

    Well, with the removal of one of many pair of boobs from this game, I can no longer consider purchasing this game, as I only play mature games for mature gamers such as myself.
    No, but seriously, anyone complaining about 1 pair of tits being covered up, in a game and series infamous for containing MANY PAIRS OF MAMMARIES, are just looking for something to argue about.

    • Rich says:

      So tits in a scene of consenting adults having a groovy time, or indeed just two consenting adults getting a bit nasty, are no different from tits on a girl getting beaten and raped?

    • Kid A says:

      Hi, please turn your sarcasm meter on.
      The prevailing argument from many of the people slagging off RPS for this is that “it’s just a naked scene” and that prudishness is leading to this scene being altered/removed. The point I was trying to make is that complaining about the removal of one ill-judged scene as being down to prudishness or censorship is bloody stupid.

    • Jimbo says:

      It’s not really censorship, it’s just pandering. Because of the issues with how The Witcher portrayed sex, people will go out of their way to find similar issues with The Witcher 2. The devs now need to overcompensate to allow for this.

      The only way they’re going to win here isn’t by handling sex & nudity well, it’s by not handling it at all. If there is sex or nudity in this game, they are going to get pulled up on it, as we have seen here.

    • Rich says:

      Kid A: I retract my comment. I got the sarcasm, buy misinterpreted the bit after “No, but seriously…”.

      Jimbo: Others have written far better arguments, as to why you’re wrong, than I care to now.

  17. Bureaucrat says:

    I objected to the titilating material in the midst of suffering in the original. The suffering in this case was “me playing The Witcher.”

    (Although most of my reservations about the game were mostly gameplay- and character-based, the misogyny did bother me. Not so much that it show boobies, but in that every single female character in the game– with the exception of a few crones– was presented as a target for sexual conquest. That’s more than a little bit creepy.)

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Sounds like an average night out at Uni to me.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I posted about this below, but I agree. I have no problems with nudity in a game, but in the Witcher it was a contrived mini-game of sorts that added absolutely nothing of value to the narrative. Basically, it was nothing more than “Omg this game has boobies!” This is an example of why people don’t view video games as art or being for mature adults.

    • Freud says:

      I think the main reason the whole sex thing came off as dorky and juvenile in the first game is because they made so many good design decisions otherwise.

      And I know the original books have it too but the game creators have the choice to accentuate it or tone it down. They choose the former and it was just awkward.

  18. John says:

    That scene would have resulted in the game being banned in Australia. Still might be depending on other depictions of sex.

  19. Hippo says:

    Fuck it. Thanks for that, british press.

  20. ScubaMonster says:

    I enjoyed the Witcher. I thought the collectible cards for banging chicks was completely ridiculous however. I have no problems with nudity, but this was a poor implementation. It adds nothing to the narrative and pretty much serves as nothing else other than “Omg Boobies!”

    • Red Avatar says:

      The cards didn’t bother me at all – it was an OPTION folks. The option was clearly marked IIRC as well. I think the UK and US are very prudish compared to many other countries – France, Belgium, Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, Spain, Italy and many Eastern European countries wouldn’t even blink. We’ve had nudity in movies since the 60′s – some gratuitous, some not – BOTH for male and female.

    • Archonsod says:

      The problem is not the content of the cards, it’s the mechanic. In an otherwise well designed game, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Almost as if someone decided that since everyone else has these item collecting mini-games in their game they best stick one in too. Personally, I couldn’t give a damn if they included hardcore porn scenes instead of those cards, just as long as they did it in some way that fit the rest of the game and didn’t feel like it’s inclusion was solely to attract a certain segment of the market.

  21. Pandaemonius says:

    I don’t think this is a censorship issue, people. They are not censoring the game. They are altering one scene, of their own accord, after people have pointed out that it is incongruous and degrading.

    I’m pretty sure what happened was: they had this scene of a tortured woman in the design. So they stuck their standard female model in there nude. Because a tortured and raped woman trapped in a dungeon wouldn’t be clothed. However, the standard model is pristine, busty and glistening – they didn’t think to especially mark this woman as haggard and defeated.

    If they change it right, she’ll still be naked. She just won’t look like a porn star in a bondage film. Instead, she’ll be filthy, bruised and emaciated.

    • Deuteronomy says:

      Guess what, the period of time in the real world the game mirrors ie the middle ages) was in fact degrading to women. The scene was unrealistic only in how clean and untouched she looked. Geralt’s reaction and modesty in the situation was a great counterpoint to the viewer’s own automatic lecherous instincts. I thought it was a great scene with a lot of humanity.

    • Pandaemonius says:

      Deuteronomy: I think you’ll find we agree. I was pointing out that it was only the clean and healthy look of the woman that should be changed. I see it as a glaring error which sends a mixed signal, rather than smut that must be erased.

    • Guildenstern says:

      @Deuteronomy: Same excuse was made by people who made FATAL.

  22. Zanchito says:

    **** that. The witcher is a womanizer in the books, just as he is in the game. Not for prudes, but I thought we were over the “playing videogames makes you copy their values and destroy western (protestant) civilization”. I also find it EXTREMELY distrssing the notion that people take offend at the nudity, not the violence. Last time I checked, titties didn’t kill people.

    **** twisted moral values. The scene is in poor taste, but so what? I see bad taste all the time in TV.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      This is not what Alec originally said at all. He found the way the scene was presented inappropriate because it did not evoke the kind of emotions it should have, due to incorrect presentation. This isn’t censorship, it’s storytelling.

    • Zanchito says:

      And sorry about the grammar and spelling, when such god damnes idiotic political correctness issues come up, they make me st… HULK SMASH!!!!!

    • Zanchito says:

      Oh, golly, sorry about the posting sequence. I’m not talking about what Alec said, I’m talking about what I think.

      Also, maybe the scene DID evoke the intended feelings *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      As an addendum. I’m talking about inappropriate in the same way that Dragon Age’s sex scenes were inappropriate. The sex scenes in Dragon Age were supposed to be erotic in some way and to a degree, show an emotional connection between the characters, depending on who you went with, instead they were laughable. They were censored for no reason at all, presented in a completely awkward manner and as such, broke any immersion one might have had at that time.

      In this case, it’s the other side of the same coin. This scene was supposed to evoke sympathy, some disgust and maybe even a little bit of anger, yet it was needlessly erotic and didn’t make any sense at all in the context of the story. Nudity in that scene? Yes. Pixel-perfect, completely clean, not a hair out of place, buxom beauty? No. Keep the sex scenes sexy and the torture scenes harrowing.

    • Urthman says:

      The witcher is a womanizer in the books

      I have no real problem with a character who wants to sleep with every woman he meets (other than probably finding such a lout tiresome unless the writing is exceptionally good).

      But if the main character is able to sleep with any woman he wants, that’s just stupid. It’s saying, “In our world, all the women actually are the playthings that assholes like our main character wish they were.” It’s sexist, but even worse, it’s bad storytelling and bad characterization.

    • Dean says:

      All it really needed was one woman that Geralt wanted that he couldn’t have. That’s all really. He’s a Witcher, which in the fiction of the game, makes him the equivalent of a rock star. He can’t have any girl he wants, but he can have a sizeable proportion of them. But if you don’t show even one girl that doesn’t want to jump in bed with him then it becomes silly.

    • Starky says:

      @Urthman
      “It’s saying, “In our world, all the women actually are the playthings that assholes like our main character wish they were.”

      They are… Oh maybe not to you or me, or anyone who would ever post on this board – but to rock stars, pop stars, movie stars and the mega rich, women ARE playthings – they do get to bang almost whatever women they wish to sleep with.
      Hell even minor celebrities get sex offers thrown at them – of which you can read about daily in any tabloid rag should you choose.

      And Geralt, as a Witcher is clearly the AAA celebrity of his world – he saves lives, kills monsters, does what he please and takes whatever he wants when he wants…
      Most of the women he sleeps with are clearly the kind of woman that would be groupies, or glamour model kiss and tellers (or sellers) in real life.

    • Starky says:

      Bleh I really should read the whole reply list before replying myself – given I’ve just repeated exactly what Dean said…

      Oh well.

    • Archonsod says:

      S’funny, cuz all the way through the game I kept reading about how Witchers were reviled and shunned, rather than popular and liked.

    • Urthman says:

      They are…to rock stars, pop stars, movie stars and the mega rich, women ARE playthings – they do get to bang almost whatever women they wish to sleep with.

      No. I can’t believe you really think that’s true. Sure there are lots of women willing to sleep with such men, but the idea that most women are like that or that a pop star can have have any woman he wants is ridiculous.

      Most of the women he sleeps with are clearly the kind of woman that would be groupies…in real life.

      A game in which the only attractive women the protagonist happens to meet are the groupie type is bad storytelling.

  23. MountainShouter says:

    Nudity’s fine if it adds to the world, and isn’t simply thrown in for s**ts and giggles.

    That said, it fit the situation perfectly fine, but when she doesn’t *immediately* cover herself up post-rescue by Geralt, people start complaining about it?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Yeah, I found that rather odd, as well. I first read the blog post then watched the video, but I really couldn’t discern any (blatantly) tasteless nudity meant to arouse rather than to just serve to show the woman had just been about to be tortured.

  24. Langman says:

    I’m between two stools on this one – it was a bit silly of them to be that free with nudity in that scene, so I won’t miss it not being there….but they *are* censoring their product based on feedback, which never feels right to me in any medium.

  25. toni says:

    i would not say that they will censor it. if their intention was not to show boobs but present a plausible torture situation where the victim has been uncovered then rethinking that scene is no censorship. I applaud them and can’t see that as “fear of any backlash”. We’ll see later if/how it changed.

  26. kulak says:

    Any time a creator changes their original vision due to fear of offending instead of their own vision and conscience isn’t a good thing for the artform.

    Whether CDprojekt actually reconsidered the appropriateness of the scene, or whether they just caving to outside pressure we don’t know.

    The fact that this was seen as “too much” makes me think its more to do with prudishness than genuine sensitivity.

    A sexualized depiction of a gender in any artform is not neccesarily a bad thing, or sexist and lacking in nuance.

    The problem with the state of gamings depiction of women is the scale and ubiquitousness of a mindless and overly sexualized depiction.

    Whether a sexualized torture scene was a daring attempt to challenge the players own perceptions, or simply a cheap trick, or even a simple mistake, all effects how it should be judged.

    A simple “torture shouldn’t be sexualized” doesn’t suffice.

    Sexual violence has been depicted in other artforms with depth and nuance before now.

    Granted, this probably isn’t going to happen in a fairly tropey fantasy RPG, but taking chances like this isn’t nearly as bad as the huge development houses that NEVER take chances.

    Although saying that, CDProjekt claims Witcher 2 will have “deep moral dilemas” and “shades of grey” instead of black and white choices, so I think theres potential ground for them to handle it delicately.

    • The Hammer says:

      “Any time a creator changes their original vision due to fear of offending instead of their own vision and conscience isn’t a good thing for the artform.”

      Wish they still made films like Birth of a Nation, then.

    • Mil says:

      taking chances like this isn’t nearly as bad as the huge development houses that NEVER take chances.

      Thank you. Exactly my point. When I played the original game I didn’t care about the sex cards by themselves one way or the other –they were such a minor thing–, but I was pleased that the devs felt they could make the choice to include them in a mainstream game. Of course, after launch they probably discovered that they couldn’t, thanks to the HUGE OVERREACTION of everybody and their dog in Brit/American websites. It feels like maybe 50% of all the talk about the first part in sites like RPS consisted and still consists of handwringing about the cards.

      So when the devs now saw the same drivers of the sex card controversy taking issue with this other quite minor scene, what choice do they face? Have it discussed over and over to the detriment of everything else? No, much easier to please the wannabe censors. Who can blame the devs for that?

      Again, I don’t care about this scene in itself. I care that a risk-taking developer has been taught where the line is and people’s reaction is highfiving each other.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      “Any time a creator changes their original vision due to fear of offending instead of their own vision and conscience isn’t a good thing for the artform.”

      It’s a good thing that’s not what they’re doing then, they’re re-evaluating it because a critic they respect from a site they read made a point about the way the scene was presented that they agreed with. Criticism makes art better, not worse.

    • kulak says:

      Having listened to the interview, it does actually sound like the devs made the scene needlessly (and mindlessly) titillating, and are correct to tame it down (as it is actually detrimental to the scene, not because nudity automatically = bad/dumb).

      Wasn’t sure how much of this was fear of obscenity, and how much was it actually ill fitting/unrealistic. Think RPS have come down on the right side of this.

      I’d be interested to see a comparison of the original scene, and the modified scene that actually puts focus on the humanity of the situation rather than eye-candy(tits).

      The juxtaposition of an abused, non-sexualized female character to the more titillating treatment of women in other parts of the game could lead to some interesting manipulation of the players perspective.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Totalbiscuit

      Criticism has nothing to say about how art should be. Art is art.

  27. Earl_of_Josh says:

    Hmm. While I understand the concern about brutalized women not being made into sexy-time, I’m always a little leary about any form of art changing the direction of their original vision because it “offends people”. Certainly there are some things which *I* don’t find enjoyable to participate in viewing/playing (for instance the brutal rape scene in the remake of “The Hills Have Eyes” had me reaching for the brain bleach), but then there are plenty of things which I enjoy watching that have everyone else retching (I really like the movie “Constantine”, which i guess is different. but kind of the same). I guess my point is that while I applaud the effort of making everyone aware that there are people who do find this sort of scene inappropriate, I can’t in good faith really get behind censorship of any media.

    • Zenicetus says:

      @Earl:
      “Hmm. While I understand the concern about brutalized women not being made into sexy-time, I’m always a little leary about any form of art changing the direction of their original vision because it “offends people”.”

      I think you’re confusing art-for-art’s-sake and a commercial product like a videogame. If the Witcher devs wanted to make a purely artistic statement, then they’re free to do so, and nobody could censor them (at least in most countries with more liberal freedom of speech laws). They could put it on a web site, develop it as an indie film, whatever.

      This isn’t about pure art. It’s about developing a video game that will sell in sufficient numbers to make a profit, and allow the studio to survive to make the next game.

      It’s not “censorship” when a studio decides to tailor a game for maximum sales. That’s all they’re doing here. It’s no different from a Hollywood film being changed from an X to an R rating by the suits in charge (and over the director’s objections), because it will make more money. And yes… sometimes that happens at the cost of making a less artistic statement. Not that I’m 100% convinced the original tits in the dungeon scene was making an actual artistic statement, mind you… but that’s just personal opinion.

      Based on the earlier Witcher game, I think they have a good concept going here, and I’d like to see the studio sell enough Witcher 2 to make a Witcher 3, or take on another subject. Bioware needs all the competition it can get, and it ain’t gonna happen if smaller studios get sidetracked over “artistic” questions of how many boobs are in the game.

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      Ah, good point. I would still stand by my previous statement (though, to be honest I don’t really find game sex scenes to really get me one way or the other. I admit I collected a lot of cards in the first one, but it was much more of a twitchy “gotta get ‘em all” pokemon-style desire, than a lust crazed frat-boy thing).

      There certainly are times where listening to criticism leveled at media work in a value-increasing manner, i.e. the product after criticism is much better than it was before. But then, I think there are plenty of times where out of fear of pulic opinion, it goes the exact opposite. I really liked the first Witcher and thought the mood/world was very original, and that’s not easy to find these days.

      I definitely hope that it sells well, and I don’t want to discourage them from making the game the best they possibly can. I just really hope that comments like Alec made don’t side-track them from elements that *I* really care about. Like story, gameplay and atmosphere etc. The Witcher is obviously a ridiculous caricature sort when it comes to sexuality, and I don’t really care about where they stick their nakedness, perfect boobs or no. I’d hate for the CD Projekt to wander back through changing a bunch of breast textures, and altering animations so they were “less sexy” in places. In my mind, that would be the exact opposite of adding value, its just detracting from the time they could spend on other more important elements.

  28. BubbScience says:

    This makes perfect sense to me. Sure the game is supposed to be gritty, but presenting an appealing sexual image in such a context just comes off as juvenile, like slapping a Wilhelm scream over passion of the Christ.

  29. wrathfirex says:

    Not too worried about this, in the end they’ll probably make a special ‘Enhanced’ Edition like in Witcher 1 with more ummm watja ma call them that women have and men don’t have?

    Drat I’ll have to buy the game twice again. When will they ever learn… to be kinder on gamers’ wallets.

  30. Uhm says:

    Let’s pretend it’s an artistic medium which extends beyond the confines of the game itself where the torturer was doing his job to degrade the woman as much as possible therefore the scene is set up for the player (not simply the player character) to view her as an object in a sexualised manner adding to her humiliation. Look at you, even the players of the outside World view you as nothing but an object. Or something.

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      I think you’re approaching this whole issue with more maturity than the vast majority of viewers here.

      That puts you in the minority, and apparently – something to do with this being a commercial product – being in the minority makes your opinion wrong :-(

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      Let me try to clarify that.

      The guards are treating her as an object to be degraded. Perhaps they have arranged the situation to maximise their own sexual gratification.
      Geralt (from what I recall of seeing the original video) sees the same of her that the guards do, but he chooses to treat her with sympathy and decency.
      You saw the same thing that Geralt and the guards did. How did YOU react?

  31. kulak says:

    Okay last take on this.

    Just saw the tit scene.

    If it was trying to be gritty OR titillating, it failed on both counts.

    It didn’t seem to be trying to be particularly titillating, but the interaction was so matter-of-fact and gamey I can’t see how anyone could find it compelling in any way.

    Not to mention atrocious writing and voice acting.

    Personally I’d rather have wank fodder OR something gritty and moving over just a completely blase presentation of what is either meant to be arousing or disturbing, but turns out to be neither.

    In light of this, it does seem a bit of a storm in a teacup.

    Shit, if thats their attempt at doing something interesting, they might be advised to throw in some rape scene in at least the vaguest of attempts to conjure some emotion OR arousal.

    • Commissar says:

      That’s because they’re using placeholders for pretty much everything, if the game was finished it would’ve been better.

  32. NieA7 says:

    For fear of spoilers I’ve not watched the original video of tittygate. I played and thoroughly enjoyed The Witcher and neither I or my girlfriend (now wife – typing that out makes me feel so very old somehow) found the sex cards in the least bit offensive. I didn’t even think of them as “collectible” until I read people complaining about them in that way, I just saw them as part of the background information on people (nonessential at that), kinda fun, perfectly in keeping with the world they were presented as a part of. Given all the movies are easily accessible in the game data folder I never felt they had the hidden quality something needs to be a real collectible (not that I’ve looked of course).

    I’ve got mixed feelings about this news. Having a leery quality to a supposedly harrowing torture scene would undermine the narrative of the game far more than any of the sex cards in The Witcher did/could. If CD Projekt Red are changing the scene in order to ensure that most people read it in the way I assume they intended it to be read (i.e. repellent, not trouser-stretching) then fantastic: that shows a real commitment to the quality of their work and a willingness to connect with their audience. If they’re just adding a cloth texture to cover up lady parts and avoid another bout of sex card rage amongst reviewers then that’s kinda sad – they should make the game they want to make, not a game they think others want to review.

    It’s a very fine line and we’ll only be able to see the impact of this kinda stuff once the full game ships. I liked The Witcher enough to give CD Projekt Red the benefit of the doubt in the mean time, Witcher 2 is still one of the games I’m looking forward to most right now.

    • Sigma Draconis says:

      This is just about the same as my stance on the issue, but I’ll try my best to NOT ape your response. The sex cards in the original game were just there for me and a very minor “objective”. If I tripped the right flags and managed to get one, huzzah. Then I moved on in the game. I honestly got nothing else from them, be it titillation or collectible satisfaction. Yet I didn’t mind their presence, as I also saw the cards as fitting for the morally corrupt setting of The Witcher.

      Getting back to this particular scene in The Witcher 2, I didn’t find anything arousing about it, not even the breasts. In fact, the implication of rape actually removed any possibility of me getting turned on at all. If CD Projekt Red felt that the scene would need to be edited in order to better convey disgust for what happened to the woman, that’s fine by me. That they listened to and responded to community criticism (somewhat quickly, as well) is admirable, which is more than can be said for most developers nowadays [insert your own example here]. At the same time, I don’t want to see rational creativity muted in fear of the possibility that someone’s sensibilities may be offended. A developer should be allowed to make the product they want to make (again, within some form of rationality).

      Either way, I’m really not bothered. CD Projekt Red could include new minor sex card “collectibles” in The Witcher 2 if they wanted to, and it wouldn’t stop me from enjoying the hell out of it.

  33. lolwut says:

    Not like the Witcher trivializes violence in any way. No.

  34. DJ Phantoon says:

    Just woke up from a nap. Read “to know that CDP want to be sensitive as well as sexy.” first as “to know that CDP want to be subversive as well as sexy.” Had a blink, read it again as “to know that CDP want to be submissive as well as sexy.” But it was coming from Alec so I knew that still wasn’t right.

    The Witcher has always seemed a bit immature to me anyways. If they wanna make a game that thirteen year old boys will hail as a technological triumph, sure, let ‘em. They just won’t see that much money.

  35. Dean says:

    Did anyone actually find the scene titillating at all anyway? No-one here has admitted to that, we all seem to be talking about mythical other people who will just go ‘boobs!’ and start wanking. Sure, it’s not really shocking either, it’s just a bad scene.

    And you know, if you make it more obvious she’s been raped and tortured then guess what, some people somewhere will still get off on it. Because torture-porn not only exists, but is a fairly profitable niche industry. And porn where the women is humiliated and degraded? Well that’s pretty much mainstream these days. If you stick anything like that in a film or game, no matter how nasty or essential to the plot it is, someone is going to be getting off to it regardless.

  36. Commissar says:

    When I first seen it I thought ‘Holy shit tits!’ like everyone who isn’t asexual. When I seen the torturer grab the poker I knew what was going to happen and the devs presenting it decided to do what I would’ve done and saved her before anything happened.

    But since we rescued her without her getting tortured (that we see apart from some scars on her back) the scene didn’t have the impact that it was supposed to. Maybe there’s others that you turn up after she’s been tortured badly, maybe you get there when they’re half way through? That would make for a better emotional scene. If they just change the first scene where you get there earlier it’d be better.

    Also it’s funny that people always campaign about women being the victims of violence but when a game shows the violence in an obviously negative light then they bitch and moan.

  37. Sigvatr says:

    This game sounded awesome for a moment.

  38. Javier-de-Ass says:

    fucking hell this is stupid

  39. Stabby says:

    I like that they’re open enough to consider changing something that really doesn’t fit into the game, when they’re trying to create this dark, terrible atmosphere but then they’ve got huge perfect tits showing up in the same scene. The Witcher 2 will only be better because of the changes

  40. Irria says:

    Have any of you actually seen the bit in question? You (used to) see “nudity” there for 3 seconds at most and, given the setting, it was hardly out of context.

  41. DigitalSignalX says:

    I just played Modern Warfare 2 this weekend, and when you start it, this big warning pops up saying one of the levels may be entirely too offensive and you’re allowed to skip it if you want.

    Only after completing the game and remembered the warning did I pause to think about what part could have been the offensive bit. I guessed it was the massacre in an airport, where you can choose to gun down unarmed civilians. I have difficulty understanding why it might be so offensive to people who would otherwise be fine with the REST of the game where you blow *armed* people away into bloody chunks.

    Seeing a flash of boob while a woman is tied up is perfectly in context with the rest of the Witcher game. It doesn’t stand out as gratuitous imho.

    Nor does it make me want to torture naked women either – just like I have no intention of shooting unarmed civilians. They’re games. Not life. We play them for that reason.

    If you think something that happens in a game is so disturbing it influences what you might do in real life then you need psychiatric help. Not a warning label or a censored scene.

    • Urthman says:

      DigitalSignalX, that’s a straw man. No one (here) is claiming boobs in a video game will turn people into monsters.

      People are saying that this particular use of nudity was bad storytelling, it didn’t make sense, it didn’t fit, it broke the mood that the game makers seemed to be trying to create in the scene, that it was poorly done, that mixing titillation with torture was repulsive, etc.

      If we can criticize bad dialogue, bad animation, bad gameplay, etc., then we can also criticize bad use of nudity.

      And hopefully we can also disagree on that topic without calling each other perverts or prudes.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      While I understand your point, I see their changes as a self censorship, the result of criticisms of the portrayal of women in (and contrary to) the setting. You use the word titillation, which implies sexual excitement – and indeed it would be inappropriate in the context if that’s how you perceive it.

      What I’m trying to say though is that if someone is truly sexually excited by this in a game, much as if you were suggestively influenced to violence by mowing down people in an airport, then no amount of censorship will remedy it. Better to maintain the integrity of the source material then walk on eggshells for a small fraction of your audiences mental health.

    • Urthman says:

      I think it’s more like saying to a developer, “That line of dialogue you think is awesomely cool? A lot of people think it comes across as overacted and ridiculous and they laugh derisively when you were hoping they would be thrilled. You should re-write it.”

      Or in this case, “That nudity that you thought was realistic? A lot of people thought it came across as gratuitous — a ridiculous and inappropriate attempt at titillation — so it ruined the mood you were trying to create. You should re-work that scene so it achieves the effect you were hoping for.”

      Neither of these has anything to do with censorship and everything to do with giving a developer feedback about something in their game that a big chunk of their audience thought didn’t work the way they intended.

  42. Hoernchen says:

    Bast ! When I’m finally able to play that game I’ll probably think of strangling Alec Meer and how arousing said scene could have been..
    Alec Meer broke the game ! You heard it here first !

  43. Biz says:

    it isn’t about appropriateness and maturity

    it’s a video game and therefore more about quality of dialogue/interaction, humor, and entertainment level of the story. the witcher was fantastic in these aspects and the game was better off because they knew their audience and chose to make a great game for them by sacrificing some elements for others

    i am hoping CD projekt conjures up more orgasms

  44. FourthWall says:

    Good on them for not rocking the boat of hypersexualization?

    There was nothing sexual about that scene. Without bare breasts it would be perfectly fine, but I suppose it’s simply a matter of the perciever. In that case, I would say to not censor nudity and make that viewer think.
    As to the ‘nudity is for/realated to immature’ thing; I would counter by saying that is a puerile view on accont that it forcibly limits speech on account of emotional reactions.

  45. Carolina says:

    If they decided to make the scene more gritty, more brutal and removing any trace of ambiguity about the seriousness of the woman’s dire circumstances, good for them. If they just decided to make the victim less attractive to avoid provoking any erections in teenagers, I’m sad for their artistic integrity.

  46. nmute says:

    if people want exploitation, find your nearest underground porn warehouse.

    the rampant misogyny of the games industry is doing fine without that market.

  47. SwiftRanger says:

    To be honest, I thought her breasts looked too big (and too shiny) when she dressed up again, not when they were laid bare. So CD Projekt, get rid of those wonderbras!

    Seriously though, the nude stuff was appropriate for that scene and Alec and many others were overreacting. For all the original Witcher’s faults this scene of the sequel wasn’t sexist at all. You’re almost sounding like a certain US-based rating board which gets mad at watching nipples in games.

  48. Gnarf says:

    Keep the sex scenes sexy and the torture scenes harrowing.

    If they decided to make the scene more gritty, more brutal and removing any trace of ambiguity about the seriousness of the woman’s dire circumstances, good for them.

    They’re also going to make all the good guys really pretty and all the bad guys look really ugly. Removing any trace of ambiguity. Can’t have you going “well he looks kind of nice” when you’re really supposed to not like him.

    So we’re basically just arguing that everything should be made simple and obvious. But we say the word “maturity” over and over so it’s fine.

    • MacQ says:

      Very well said, Gnarf.

      While I like alot of RPS’s writing, I didn’t approve at all of the excessive shudder for the scene. I think it’s logical, that clothes get thorn when torturing and that men like boobs, although they live in the made up middle ages. If they hadn’t had liked boobs, someone of us probably wouldn’t write these comments right now.

      And the scene was nowhere as immature as was presented by RPS. I watched it and thought nothing of it, but the text was written like a story for Playboy. Hopefully the developers won’t change anything.

    • Carolina says:

      You misunderstood completely my point.

      Have you ever imagined being subject to torture, and maybe even rape? I can give you a hint: it probably won’t be sexy. I believe that if the director wants to enhance the feeling of despair and depravity of the scene, he’s within their artistic license to do that. It would probably make the presented scenario more powerful and shocking, and incidentally, realistic.

      On the other hand, making her boobs smaller and her face uglier won’t achieve anything except maybe perpetuate the notion that everything must be horrible in a horrible situation, which is exactly what you’re whining about.

    • Carolina says:

      Oh, and by the way, I don’t have a problem with the original scene shown in the trailers. In fact, I was among the ones who actually disagreed with John Walker, and even got into a couple of arguments because of it.

      I’m just saying that I don’t care if CD Projekt Red decides to improve the directorial work from “neutral generic dialog camera positioning” to some kind of more fitting visual style with the feelings they want to elicit. In fact, that’s what should be done in every scene, unless you want the same camera work and direction in every part of the game, regardless of how ugly or nice it is.

    • Carolina says:

      * I meant “disagreed with Alec Meer”. Sorry Mr. Walker!

    • Gnarf says:

      You misunderstood completely my point.

      I been mulling over it a little and have come to the conclusion that, nah, I only completely ignored you point :D

      I grabbed a couple quotes for illustrating this “sexy is only fine if such and such” thinking. And really, I guess should have went with a “something something needlessly erotic” one insteada yours. Because, yeah, your point was fine. I so wanted that part about ambiguity though.

  49. Jannakar says:

    Sooo…

    So if the woman gets smacked around a bit more, black eye, maybe a bloodied nose, that would be more ‘harrowing’ and therefore ‘better’? Hell why stop there, why not have her bent over a chest ass-raped and walking a bit funny? After all, they are torturers? If it was good enough for Tarantino, surely it’s good enough for CDP.

    And maybe, just maybe, that it is possible to have a cracking pair or charlies without being a porn star ffs. Jesus is that what people think these days?

    They only change I would make is to remove the unnecessary ‘allow me to cover myself’ dialogue and have the woman do it immediately as she is freed without permission from the man as that is exactly what she would do as soon as she could. That piece of dialogue draws attention to the state of the woman and is naff.

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      Good point.

      A noble lady would not be ask for permission to dress herself. She’d be more likely to ask for assistance, if anything.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Well, maybe it was put in so she could ask for a little decency (i.e., turn around) from Geralt? Although I should watch the thing again to see exactly how it happened and as far as I can recall he didn’t turn around, so.. I don’t know.

  50. MacQ says:

    And on more thing. Everyone’s reaction to the scene is purely subjective and shouldn’t be generalized. Some get aroused by the scene and some (like me) think the scene works better that way, because it adds humiliation to the torture. Ever think of that?