Deep Silver Promote Dead Island With Appalling Statue

By John Walker on January 15th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Oh come on. After the reaction to the tawdry idiocy we saw throughout 2012, you’d imagine publishers would stop and think for half a second before launching into another vile misogynistic campaign. But oh no, Deep Silver aren’t swayed. Today they have announced the abysmal “Zombie Bait Edition” of Dead Island: Riptide for Europe (the US has a whole other version), a boxed version of the game that comes with a statuette. A statuette of a woman’s bikinied torso, with her head, arms and legs crudely severed. It’s below, but be warned, it’s really disgusting. It’s hard to find the words.

Okay, no it’s not. This is beyond disgusting. It’s as if someone were attempting to demonstrate the most misogynist idea that could possibly be conceived, in an attempt to satirise the ghastly trend. A text book example of the most extreme ends of misogynist fantasy, a woman reduced to nothing but her tits, her wounds hideously depicted in gore, jutting bones, and of course barely a mark covering her globular breasts.

Incredibly, this is promoted as being,

“Dead Island’s grotesque take on an iconic Roman marble torso sculpture.”

and that it would,

“make a striking conversation piece on any discerning zombie gamer’s mantel.”

While there are a very small group who like to endorse their own unpleasant prejudices by angrily denouncing RPS for its coverage of gaming’s representation of women, I feel certain that even they might find cause to baulk at this. This is inexcusable.

Deep Silver – this can’t happen. You cannot be this vile, this outrageously stupid. For God’s sake, don’t do this.

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694 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    DO NOT WANT.

    And nor should anyone else, you fucking mentalists.

    Though, it’s entirely correct to say it would “make a striking conversation piece on any discerning zombie gamer’s mantel.”

    The conversation being along the lines of “you need help, man. Seriously.”

    • colw00t says:

      Setting aside the politics of the “piece,” it is just incredibly ugly. Be a great way to know that I should stop being friends with somebody, but that’s about it.

    • Core says:

      Dead Island devs seem to like controversy. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-09-08-dead-island-developer-techland-disturbed-by-feminist-whore-skill

      That “statue” is so fucking dumb. They must have known that people would find it tasteless, and in bad taste.

    • Cara Ellison says:

      Just commissioned a disembodied bloody man crotch in Calvin Kleins as an accompaniment to my Dead Rising 2 GOTY edition. It’s actually an original idea, weirdly. No one had ever asked for one of those before. I hope I don’t look like a sicko.

      • NathanH says:

        No need to feel worried about looking like a sicko. Don’t let ‘em judge you! Sicko pride!

      • Zanchito says:

        I don’t know if you mean it seriously, but I gotta say that is a DELICIOUS idea! Calvin Klein crotch vandalized by zombies is a really cool image/message and the two of those statues toghether would look really nice if you’re into that kind of decoration.

        • DerNebel says:

          Yeah, don’t know if this makes me sick, but if there was a disembodied, bloody man’s crotch up there as well, I would be perfectly fine with it.

          It’s just all this treating women like a minority/sex toy that rubs me the wrong way. Stop pretending women are basically tits on legs and if those tits are no good, she’s no good. It’s just degrading.

          Now, if there was a male version of the statue as well I’d be all for it. Then all the uncomfortable “violence against women paired with sex appeal” undertones goes away. Then it’s just gore. I’m fine with gore. Go watch “Tokyo gore police”. It’s brilliant.

          • The Random One says:

            So this figurine is so awful that it’s created one of the few situations in which the addition of a bloody mutilated groin would actually improve it.

          • Ruffian says:

            I still need to watch that sometime, one of those movies that it seems like I’m always reminding myself that I need to watch, but never end up seeing.

          • fuakinjuicy says:

            this is exactly what I mean. “Yeah if the disembodied gory torsos were equally available, I’d have no problem with them existing and someone having them in their room. AS LONG AS THERE’S EQUALITY!”

      • DataFran says:

        And Cara wins the internet for the day. Pencils down everyone.

      • colw00t says:

        I wish there was a non-creepy way to express how much Cara is my favorite right now

      • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

        I aprove as long as a torn of penis is blatantly on display.

    • Mithrot says:

      “And nor should anyone else, you fucking mentalists.”

      Why not? If there are people out there who honestly think this is cool, fine, but I have a feeling that we will all vote with our wallets here. It isn’t all that uncommon to find people who collect movies, books and artwork about gore.

    • Sami Hamlaoui says:

      When I first saw the promo, I thought it was so ridiculously over the top that I burst out laughing. I find it about as offensive as Mortal Kombat and its fatalities. RPS slowly turning into the Daily Mail (ban this sick filth!) shocker.

      Yes I know, #1reasonwhy.

      • Grape says:

        Sami Hamlaoui’s got it about right.

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        Yes, the Mail is really known for taking a stand against the objectification of women.

        There’s a surprisingly large contingent of RPS readers who simply can’t fathom the idea that outrage over misogyny isn’t the same thing as panic over sex.

        • Sami Hamlaoui says:

          I was referring to the Mail being outraged for the sake of being outraged, but never mind.

          It’s a parody of sexual violence. A badly timed (or expertly timed, depending on your desired level of publicity) stunt. People see a dismembered female torso advertising a product for an audience consisting largely of men and instantly see misogyny, forgetting that the torso in question was separated from its limbs by a pack of non-discriminating zombies.

          • The Random One says:

            I wish I had your unbounded optimism and could also reach the conclusion that the people who made this didn’t expect people to enjoy it unironically.

            Parodies, parodies everywhere, and not a drop of wit

          • Archonsod says:

            It’s also, as they say, a parody on classical statuary. They could have went for a male figure I guess, but it occurs to me that it would be somewhat harder to make the connection to the tropical resort setting rather than underwear model. Michaelangelo’s David mutilated and in surfer shorts maybe?

          • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

            Consider the possibility that people can actually care about something you don’t without “being outraged for the sake of being outraged.”

            And no, its limbs weren’t severed by zombies. Its limbs were severed by brainless PR man-children. It’s a piece of snuff, manufactured to be sold to people who want to buy snuff. Yes, the piece fits in with the “lore” of Dead Island. So would a bloody oar, gruesome swim trunks, a thumb in a martini glass, or a really bored gamer (OH SNAP). But they went with what they went with. And once they went with it, it stopped being part of a fantasy world, and part of OUR world, the real world, with real people, most of whom are women, most of whom will be targeted for violence at some point in their lives simply because of their gender.

          • smb says:

            The misogyny here is from those who actually see this as a woman’s torso. For all we know, it could be from a transvestite or male on hormones. But no, all you sick bigots fit this into your white knight fantasy, turning the headless, genital-less bust of a corpse into a poor, defenseless woman who has been wronged by the world and needs you to avenge her!

            I sure don’t want to own something like this either, but geez…. get your head out of your ass.

          • Kitsuninc says:

            Yeah, because they would make a statuette of a torso with breasts and panties, and not make it a woman’s torso. Your hypothetical scenarios just wouldn’t come from this kind of promotional stunt, I’m afraid.

            And because people attack sexism where it occurs we think women are helpless? Get your head out of your ass.

          • Comradebluesky says:

            “People see a dismembered female torso advertising a product for an audience consisting largely of men and instantly see misogyny…” This is my favorite Oblivious Internet Mansplaining Quote pretty much ever.

      • almostDead says:

        I think John Walker just got played.

    • Cooper says:

      I don’t see the arm in this.

    • fuakinjuicy says:

      Not sure about you guys, but I find it disgusting because it’s a dismembered gored torso, not because it’s a female dismembered gored torso. The cries of MISOGINY are really silly when the question of “What weird freak would even want a dismembered gory torso being on display in his room?” is way more prominent

      • iains says:

        You’re totally correct, but don’t forget you’re on rockpapershotgun. You can expect them to inject their sand-in-vagina political views in articles like this.

        • Luckz says:

          Sadly they seek to achieve a leadership position in that market.

        • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

          Oh, come on! Are you being serious? Being against abuse is politically correct? I thought it was closer to being, oh, I don’t know, compassionate? Morally sound of mind? No?

  2. jedoran says:

    Blimey.

    • yogibbear says:

      Yeah but think of the FREE advertising they are getting all over the internet now… #1ReasonWhy they’ll get higher sales than expected (even if this ends up not shipping with it).

      • sinister agent says:

        Oh look, it’s the “no such thing as bad publicity” line already. And how true that is! That’s why all famous people love it when they’re accused of child abuse, of course. They become super popular then!

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Exactly, just ask Gary Glitter how well his last album sold!

        • yogibbear says:

          Because child abuse and zombie tits are interchangeable?…

          • sinister agent says:

            Because bad publicity is bad. Words are fun!

          • yogibbear says:

            You can’t honestly be that stupid?

          • Kitsuninc says:

            They’re basically the same. Difference is everyone who is sane thinks child abuse is terrible, whereas there is a contingent of more or less sane people who think sexism is okay, or at least are incapable of noticing it. Actually, you could say the same with child abuse, there are still loads of people that think beatings are okay, after all, that’s what they grew up on.

            Oh, and if anything, it’s naive, not stupid.

          • Wisq says:

            Both cause publiicity. At least one of them (probably both of them) is going to be bad publicity.

            They are thus completely interchangeable in the context of debunking the silly notion that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

            You can’t honestly still be missing the point here?

          • Tukuturi says:

            I like that yogibear replied to his own comment to call himself stupid. Delicious, delicious irony.

          • smb says:

            @Kitsuninc

            So according to you, woman are incapable of helping themselves, just like children? You seem to be quite oblivious of your own sexism.

          • Kitsuninc says:

            smb, I’m not sure what you’re getting at?

          • Luckz says:

            The brains are strong with Tukuturi :/

        • Baboonanza says:

          While clearly there is such a thing as bad publicity I don’t think this crosses that line.

          Plenty of other lines though.

        • Bhazor says:

          I think a better example is when some “celeb” is caught doing drugs.
          They may only get a caution but all the fallout from it causes them to suddenly lose a bunch of high paying sponsorship/advertising contracts.

          In this case, can you imagine Wallmart* stocking this?
          *Rapidly becoming number 1 high street retailer if only through process of elimination

        • SavageTech says:

          There’s bad publicity alright, but the impact of that publicity is debatable. I find this statue vulgar and garish, but this article is the first time I’ve heard that a new Dead Island game is coming out. As a result of that awareness I may very well buy the game instead of missing it in the deluge of releases; whoever thought this up was a prick but I’m not going to boycott the game because of tasteless marketing.

          So is it bad press in that I think less of the people who work at Deep Silver? Hell yeah. Will it affect their bottom line in a negative manner as far as my purchase is concerned? No, and quite probably it will turn out positive in my case (although if they make a habit of it I’ll seriously reconsider purchasing any more).

  3. Jorum says:

    “warning: includes content that may cause offence” – no shit it does.

    I think this is a perfect example of how disconnected aspects of the game industry have become from rest of society.
    Somebody not only came up with the idea, a whole bunch of people must have Ok’d it without thinking – “WTF are you on about you nutter”.

    • Jarenth says:

      Many people got paid to bring that thing into existence. And now I need to go lay down for a bit.

      • 12kill4 says:

        yeah, the sheer scope of industrial process which goes into designing, manufacturing and distributing this type of shit is staggering to consider. In the immortal words of former GFW Editor and podcaster, Shawn Elliot: “This thing should have been built with the trash-can around it.”

    • distrocto says:

      Why they are doing this? Because it will very likely improve their Sales and will be targeted at a large part of their audience.
      For instance look at the most funded KickStarter Tabletop game (by over a million $). http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/poots/kingdom-death-monster/
      Why do you think they got so much money? People do like this stuff, and do also pay for it. There’s nothing apalling about it.
      The disconnect is with you and your merry band of radfems.

      • Ansob says:

        Please seek the psychiatric help you so desperately need, since you apparently think that treating women like people rather than sex objects is insane.

        • Reapy says:

          That is a sculpted bust, not a person. You know it is possible to enjoy the form of a woman as a man/lgbt while at the same time not treating people you encounter as crap.

          Is it juvenile, yes. Did you hang a poster of a sexualized girl/ boy in your room when you were younger? Did all the primarily 30 something gamers have kids that grew up gaming? Could you say a market for this exists? It does, and that market is not you, they already tried to market to you in the last game and 30s didn’t respond, now they are targeting 18s.

          • MadTinkerer says:

            There is a difference between sexy and sexualized violence. Some people find people of the opposite sex in a bikini to be sexy. Some people find people of the same sex in a bikini to be sexy. Some people have weird but ultimately harmless fetishes like a fascination with feet or impossible proportions of various kinds. And that’s all fine.

            HOW FUCKING EVER,

            When you take what is sexy and add violence, then it becomes sexualized violence. It becomes toxic to consume. I don’t even understand why I have to explain this or why you compare the bust of a bloody decapitated woman to pinups in the first place. Defending this on the idea that different people find different things sexy is really not a good idea.

          • SavageTech says:

            Some people (women AND men) find violence sexy. There’s this thing called BDSM that plenty of people enjoy in a healthy way, and surprisingly there are very few cases of those people going on to dismember corpses to use as sexual objects. You can find it distasteful or completely unarousing, but calling it toxic is hyperbolic unless you can prove it does any real harm. There are loads of other taboo things that people find arousing like bodily waste, incest, and extreme age differences; these fantasies don’t mean people are regularly guzzling piss and fucking their own grandmothers. Try this on for size: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/billion-wicked-thoughts/201205/fetishes-do-not-exist

            In my experience, I haven’t found a single woman who didn’t want some degree of violence in her lovemaking. Some prefer tame hair-pulling while others have blindsided me with things like “Punch me square in the jaw and then pin me down!” [long pause] “You want me to sign a waiver first saying I’m asking you for this? Well, okay, safety first I guess.”

            I’m not sticking up for this statue per se; as I said in another post I find it vulgar and garish. What I am sticking up for is peoples’ right to sexual expression as long as it doesn’t directly impinge on the life or liberty of others. Show me a study that says “tasteless dismembered corpse statues directly increase rates of female sexual abuse” and I’ll be right behind you in the pitchfork mob, but otherwise it just seems like the same tired “only these kinds of sex are okay and you’re a bad person if you are aroused by anything else” Puritan bullshit.

          • gwathdring says:

            Savage, I think Snuff fetishes might be more appropriate to mention that BDSM. BDSM isn’t necessarily about violence *at all,* let alone gore. It’s about pain and control and a number of other things depending on the practitioner, and while I’m sure there are cases of overlap, talking about violence and death and gore puts you largely out of the scope of BDSM.

            That’s all wobbly territory to begin with, though, and your point is well taken except that I don’t think most people buying this are going to buy it as a form of sexual expression.

          • Archonsod says:

            “That’s all wobbly territory to begin with, though, and your point is well taken except that I don’t think most people buying this are going to buy it as a form of sexual expression.”

            The ridiculous thing about the whole argument is that the actual game involves quite a bit of dismembering bikini clad women, albeit zombified ones. I think anyone who’s going to be raising an objection to a bit of promotional tat comprising a pre-dismembered bikini clad woman has missed the boat so much they’re travelling by rail.

            It’s also rather disingenuous to claim this is sexualised. It’s a mutilated torso in a bikini. If someone finds that erotic I think it’s a matter for them and their psychologist.

          • gwathdring says:

            I’m not sure why you quoted those particular lines as they don’t seem relevant to your statement.

            That’s a tangent though: I agree that by all appearances, the statue is in keeping with the game and criticizing the statue but not the game would be disingenuous from that perspective.

            However for these things to happen in a vacuum, you need to charter a major space agency. When we look at the game it comes from and we look at the companies history and we look at the broader context of advertising in games and so on and so forth, the full picture doesn’t look good for this statue.

            I’m inclined to say the statue isn’t all that bad, and I’d definitely agree it isn’t “the problem.” That doesn’t mean it’s not a symptom of a problem and a sign that this particular company isn’t learning from it’s mistakes and I have trouble finding anything absurd or hyperbolic or disingenuous about saying so. I also completely understand the perspective that this statue is dissociated enough from that baggage that it doesn’t matter–I just disagree.

          • WrongThinker says:

            If people actually do find this sexy, it’s not going to be because they bought it, they’re going to buy it because they find it sexy.

            So then, the next question is: does this encourage violence against women in some way (which would be necessary for this to be considered misogynistic)? I would say resoundingly “no.” No one is going to buy this and then, after purchasing it, have the sudden revelation that their life would be better spent brutalizing women. If you really believe that is going to happen, I would be inclined to think there is something inherently wrong with your ability to reason.

            The final question then becomes the most important one: why would someone buy this at all? The answer is simple: shock value. It’s something that’s ******-up. It’s cringe worthy. That’s the damn point.

            For the record, I have no desire to have a slashed bust in my house, but to all those who do, rock on.

          • gwathdring says:

            “(which would be necessary for this to be considered misogynistic)”

            I’m not sure that’s accurate.

            I also don’t think it’s as simple as the statue causing people to be bad or not. It’s about what the statue is part of, where it comes from, what it signifies, what it reinforces. Not just what it creates and what it is intended to represent.

            Overall, I also wouldn’t have given this story a second glance if it didn’t come along with the opportunity to have an interesting discussion with RPS chaps. But your reasons for dismissing criticism of the statue fall flat for me all the same.

        • f69 says:

          Sleazy and weird that it is this statue is not “women”. And neither is anything that is made to appeal sexually, “treating women as objects”.

          • NathanH says:

            Yeah, I always find that idea something I can’t get my head around. I’m reasonably confident that viewing things that appeal to my fantasies doesn’t negatively affect my behaviour towards the objects of the fantasies. If anything it might make me more careful.

          • Kitsuninc says:

            The issue isn’t the fantasizing, or even necessarily the fictional objectification. Of course it’s fine to watch a porno or a sexy comic or something, where the woman acts as an object. That’s appealing to us men, we just want a wank, so no harm to anyone; it doesn’t mean we think real women are objects.

            The issue is that this is an object which is trying to appeal via sex, in the collectors edition of a damn video game, alienating half of its audience. Do you think they would do this with a man torso and crotch? They wouldn’t, I promise you, yet that would be just as ‘fine’ as this is. The issue is objectification exiting pornos and entering our games rampantly, and largely unaccompanied by objectification of the other gender.

          • ScatheZombie says:

            Wait what?

            So, I’m trying to understand your argument here but it sounds like you said that …

            Sexualized objects based on women are NOT sexually objectifying women because they are *objects* and not actual women …

            … not sure if serious.

          • gwathdring says:

            @Scathe

            There’s a solid point in there, though. It’s about scale and it’s about perspective and it’s all about cultural context. Only the latter most of these depends directly on something beyond the scope of the individual perceiving the media.

            Whether you are male or female, masturbating to a photograph of someone without anything other than pure sex-appeal attached to it probably involves objectification. That’s not the problem. Playing a video game and shooting 1000s of soldiers without thinking about them as people involves objectification (or, if you will, the reverse requires a de-objectification of the NPCs or PC avatars). This is not the problem either.

            The problem is when that objectification leaks into inappropriate areas. When I’m walking down the street and I identify the people around me as objects. More so, when I’m in conversation with someone and I identify the people around me as objects. And worst of all when I violate someone’s rights because I am unable to accurately empathize with them or unwilling to treat them as sovereign. It becomes a problem when a drunk, sexy person at the bar becomes a target to you, not when you shoot a bunch of video game characters or stare at a bloody, bikini clad torso and get aroused.

            This is all complicated by the reality that the media you consume and your actions in private can affect your perspectives and behavior towards others … but we should be careful not to confuse which of these (the public and private spheres) is the one we’re truly concerned about. If it were possible to hate and objectify everyone in existence and still be perfectly in control, perfectly reasonable and respectful publicly, and guarantee that you would never, ever violate anyone’s personal sovereignty … then being hateful and objectifying people wouldn’t be a problem for you.

            Edit: Complete tangent, but I think that bit right at the end there describes some versions of Sherlock Holmes.

          • Kitsuninc says:

            @gwathdring

            That’s exactly it, but leaking of objectification into real life isn’t the only issue here. Of course one could argue that video game characters and sculptures like this are merely objects, fabrications made up by writers and artists, but that doesn’t really address the real issue here. We aren’t worried about people becoming sociopaths because of the media, although I’m certain that happens occasionally. We’re just worried about the media making a certain gender very uncomfortable.

            Imagine there’s a porn involving two women, a man would probably like it, but a straight woman would probably feel uncomfortable. Since it’s a porn, that’s fine, the woman doesn’t have to watch it, but when you have situations like this all over in gaming, it becomes very difficult for women to avoid seeing sexualized stuff like this, which they probably don’t want to see.

          • gwathdring says:

            Agreed. Although looking back I don’t like the idea of objectification “leaking into real life.” I feel like that was inaccurate on my part, but it does the job for a quick-and-dirty statement. The alternative forming in my head is at least a paragraph long, so maybe it’s not as bad a statement as it looked just now like when I re-read my post and read your reply. ;)

        • distrocto says:

          I believe you would be well advised to seek counseling, since you seem to be mistaking a painted plastic figurine for “women”.
          Do you think owning a Dungeon Keeper or D.iablo figurine makes you a satanist too?
          I remember some christian fundamentalists that thought everyone playing D&D would be a few dozen years ago.

      • Jorum says:

        obviously it was made because they think it will make them money. That in no way addresses or justifies what it actually is though.

        and I’m well aware of Kingdom death, being a miniature painter. Their range is skirting around gore porn but not directly comparable
        at all. by the way the ridiculous hyper sexulised females in miniature sculpting I find largely embarrassing really.

        i can’t believe that you truly genuinely can’t see why that statuette is kinda fucked up.

      • ffordesoon says:

        You do notice that all those pretty-lady statues have heads and legs and arms, right?

        And that this statue, er, doesn’t?

        I mean, I personally don’t care for cheesecake, but the appeal of a little cheesecake statuette to some people is obvious. The lovingly-sculpted representation of a mutilated female torso with still-perky tits and ass? Less so.

        I mean, I don’t think it takes a “radfem” to see that this is, at the very least, kind of icky. I’ll even be charitable and grant your frankly ridiculous premise that this isn’t sexist. It’s still a detailed recreation of a mutilated torso designed to sit comfortably on a mantel. You’d get odd looks from your dinner guests if this was a guy’s torso, because a statue of a torso is a crazy thing to have sitting in your house. Maybe a theoretically acceptable one, depending on context – you’d be a bit disappointed if George Romero didn’t have a statue of a bloody torso sitting on a shelf somewhere in his abode. But in pretty much all other situations, it’s at least eyebrow-raising.

        Ignoring any implications about the proclivities of the buyer and simply looking at the aesthetics of the thing, it’s tacky. If the “radfems” take it off the market, you should thank them for sparing you a hideously awkward conversation with your Nana come Xmas.

        • Archonsod says:

          Given the nature of the game though isn’t that kind of the point? It’s heavily inspired by the tacky, low budget B-movie gore flicks.

      • Azhrarn says:

        Except, that you, like half the internet, did not use your eyes properly.

        The characters in the game (the survivors) are realistically modeled, not at all hyper-sexualised. Armour covers both genders properly, the starting survivors are both equally lightly dressed.
        The monsters have quite a bit of body-horror, but given what the setting is like, it fits.

        What people like you seem to get their panties in a twist over, are the pin-ups. These models have no part in the game, they have no rules, they were created purely for the purposes of making additional money for both the original Kingdom Death website, and this Kickstarter.
        And in many ways these models are indeed fetish-fuel, and plenty of people in the kickstarter did not buy them, but pledged for the game and it’s expansions and perhaps some promo figures (which do have rules, and are again, not pin-ups).

        Please do your research properly before pulling stuff like this into the discussion.

        What Dead Island does here is far more objectionable than some entirely optional pin-up characters used for extra funding.

        • distrocto says:

          “What people like you seem to get their panties in a twist over, are the pin-ups.”
          I’m not getting my panties in a twist over anything, I used it as an example that people like and obviously buy this stuff, not sure why you’re jumping on the defensive.

          “What Dead Island does here is far more objectionable than some entirely optional pin-up characters used for extra funding.”
          So, an entirely optional bust in an entirely optional version of the game used to get extra money from collectors is entirely different from entirely optional pin-ups used for extra funding to get money from collectors then?

  4. Zelnick says:

    So it would be OK if it was a buff man-torso instead?

    • jedoran says:

      Yes. That is exactly what everyone is saying. Well done.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Not as far as I’m concerned. I grimace just looking at it, gagging a little. Nice to know I am not totally desensitized to gore yet, thanks Deep Silver.

    • hatseflats says:

      That’s what I’m wondering about as well. I find it very tasteless, but I’m not sure whether it should be called misogynistic.

      • NathanH says:

        Well, it’s basically impossible for any statuette to really be misogynistic, but I think you see what Walker means.

        • Orija says:

          That ‘misogynistic’ can be applied to any context with abandon?

          • NathanH says:

            Well, although I do think that Walker is generally too quick to jump to the extremes, in this case the “correct” concept of what this is is rather difficult to articulate. It’s like, sometimes I visit soccer forums, and those are awash with avatars and signatures of scantily-clad hotties. My reaction to the isn’t “misogynists!” or “bad people!”, but it is negative towards that culture and I really don’t like seeing it, but it’s hard for me to put this feeling into words in a coherent way.

          • TheApologist says:

            So a hacked up torso of an idealized female form leaving behind only the tits which are then described as ‘zombie bait’ isn’t misogynistic? Wow, it’s almost like *nothing* could ever qualify as misogyny in your eyes…

          • NicoTn says:

            People should really look up the definition of sexual objectification before calling everything misogyny.

            Sexual objectification refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument (object) towards one’s sexual pleasure, and a sex object is a person who is regarded simply as an object of sexual gratification.

            You can’t objectify something that is already an OBJECT.

          • NathanH says:

            I assume, NicoTn, that those complaining about objectification are more concerned that objects like this influence dispose people to be more objectifying about actual people. I have no particular knowledge about this, although I begin as a sceptic.

          • NicoTn says:

            But by that logic art should be that too.

          • gwathdring says:

            I think NicoTn’s first post has a point, though, in that people aren’t saying what NathanH said above as often as they are saying that this is an example of objectification. I’d agree that we should be worried about a general state of affairs that encourages objectification of people–not even sexual objectification of women in particular–but that’s not what John set up this discussion to be about and it’s not the tack a lot of folks here have set their sails here.

            NicoTn’s post above mine, though, does not follow whatsoever. It does not encourage objectification because it contains objects that represent people but because it appeals to, encourages, and comes from a cultural mindset that contains marked, problematic objectification. For example, a lot of the creepy Dulce and Gabana gang-bang advertisements (putting both men and women in compromising positions, interestingly enough), and a lot of advertisements that have someone walking, emoting and writhing sexually only to be about Pepsi or chia-pets.

      • Lemming says:

        I’d say it’s misogynistic. It’s s female torso whittled down to the part males are perceived to care about.

        Everything is bloody and torn except the tits.

        In fact, it’s not just misogynistic, I personally find it offensive to my male heterosexuality. They are basically saying ‘they’ll fuck anything with tits’.

    • NathanH says:

      Yeah, it probably would be OK actually. Mostly the problem with this thing is the general gaming environment of the current moment. Some time in the future this object might be quite a decent deliberately-tacky ornament.

      • Ansob says:

        It wouldn’t be, because buff dudes are a straight male fantasy as much as attractive women are, and because men don’t have a history of being treated as second-class citizens based on their sex.

    • RaiderJoe says:

      Personally, I think it’s gross either way. But that’s beside the point. The point is that it’s all the misogynism in gaming trimmed down to it’s most basic; in reality, this isn’t any more gross than the rest of our gaming culture, it’s just… so… blatant. And dumb. Who goes for this stuff?

      • Continuity says:

        I’m not even sure who would want to own something like that? I mean even if we do take it in the context of “Dead island” merchandise how many people that visit your house and see this thing would even know what Dead island is?

        Even with the Dead island context this statue is a dumb idea and wiffs of rather strongly of misogyny, but what the hell are people going to think if they see this and have never heard of Dead Island!?

      • gwathdring says:

        That’s sort of where I’m at. I just find it gross looking. I don’t like gore, I don’t like tacky photos of pin-up girls in bikinis and I don’t like the combination in all it’s 3D, sculpted, glory.

        I certainly understand how sexism could be involved in this discussion, but I think this is a perfect example of where there is a more relevant big picture we could deal with here than sexism in gaming.

        Of course, it isn’t gross and tacky to everyone, and I don’t want to force my taste on the world. At the same time, this is the kind of imagery certain corners of our gaming world are saturated with and we should discuss whether we as a community think some or all of those corners need to change for one reason or another.

      • Archonsod says:

        The same people who go for Troma movies I suspect.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      A male torso doesn’t have prominent secondary sex characteristics, does it?

    • Ross Mills says:

      It would at least balance the misogynistic bullshittery that marketing departments are pushing with something more aligned with “Ibiza with gore” than this image, which without matching man-torso, smacks of “Tits and gore”.

    • njursten says:

      Yes, as males are almost never sexualized in video games and a nude male torso isn’t seen as as sexual as a nude female one?

    • Wisq says:

      At least a man-torso would be in line with their premise that it was their take on “an iconic Roman marble torso sculpture”. I don’t know many Roman torso sculptures that wore bikinis.

      It would still be gross, but it would have historical precedent and be less wankish.

      • Merlkir says:

        Using this exact argument, they should’ve made her naked. Yeah, that’d be better.

        • Wisq says:

          Naked and stone coloured. That would be enough to moderately desexualise it and restore some artistic and historical integrity, as far as I’m concerned.

          Mutilating one or both of the breasts would further desexualise it and be more authentically “zombie”, but I’m honestly not sure whether it would be perceived as better or worse from the mysogyny point of view.

          • Merlkir says:

            “These terrible misogynists even felt her breasts had to be mutilated, to denigrate her womanhood even more.”

            Chew on the boobs, not chew on the boobs, there ain’t a good option.

          • NathanH says:

            It’s almost as if the only winning move is not to make the silly statue.

          • distrocto says:

            Oh boy, it needs to be naked and stone-colored, we need to desexualize this rude statue! Get the chisels boys, this lewd display can not be tolerated, remove all the penises and breasts! We need to restore the artistic and historical integrity!

            It would be borderline insane if you’d talking about a real statue somewhere, although in some sort of weird fundamentalistic religious way understandable. But you’re saying this discussing a few inches big plastic figurine delivered with the Collector’s Edition of a game. ^^ I don’t even…

          • Davie says:

            Good lord, Distrocto, context is key. Of course it would sound ridiculous if he was talking about a real statue, because most statues are created by a sculptor with some artistic intent, not a committee determined to milk the absolute lowest common denominator for profit.

            This isn’t some controversial work of art we’re talking about here. It’s a ridiculous lump of tits and violence so simplistic and offensive it almost–almost–seems like irony. Wisq was just suggesting ways it could come a little closer to adhering to the half-assed excuse the creators came up with, which seems reasonable to me. No one’s calling for the censorship of all objectionable material here; we’d just like to avoid seeing such pathetic pandering get passed off as clever art.

          • Arglebargle says:

            On the stone colored suggestion, a bit of pedantry: It’s pretty much been proven that much of those old ‘classic white stone’ statues were all originaly garishly painted. The paint just wore off over time, leading to the hilariously victorian pure-white-marble art viewpoint. On that level, it is pretty classic.

            Also, there were bodies of roman statuary/casting that came about by people committing suicide by being encased in mud while holding a pose, then the body was removed, and a statue made from the created mold. Yay, Art History!

          • Persus-9 says:

            My understanding is that this idea of limbless torsos being a historical art form is garbage. They didn’t make them without limbs. They made them with limbs but the limbs being delicate or made out of separate pieces were broken or lost through history. Certainly the Venus de Milo originally had arms. For that matter is should be noted that the originals tended to be in metal but only the marble copies survive since metal art tends to get melted down in times of war.

          • Wisq says:

            Yeah, I saw the whole “Roman stone statues were not originally stone coloured” thing elsewhere in this comments thread.

            It doesn’t really matter, though, because if you’re trying to evoke imagery of “an iconic Roman marble torso sculpture” then you would use stone colours because that’s what colour they are now.

            Incidentally, the same could be said in favour of the whole limblessness thing, because again, lack of limbs is something we associate with their art, just because of what’s survived the ages.

            As for the loonie a few posts up: The point I was trying to make was not that it needs to be desexualised out of some sort of prudishness — rather, that the current sexualised form is rather offensive in this context, and that one way to make it less so would be to desexualise it and make it more evocative of the “classical art” genre, less of the “weird gore fetish” genre.

    • Vesuvius says:

      Can you think of ANY reason for this to exist, in this form, except to titillate and objectify?

      - If it were about showing a zombie, then there’d be a zombie- with at least a head- probably arms.
      - If it was about gore, then a figure in anguish, contorted somehow- or having wounds that really correlate somehow to an attack- might make sense.
      - If it were about baiting a zombie, like the name suggests, then (horrific though the idea is, and contrary to zombie-lore though it is because zombies don’t really eat the dead)…. then why not have it actually set up as bait with a hook through it, or as part of a trap or something?

      No, this is a vehicle for showing a woman’s chest, and nothing else. And it’s grotesquely crass. Your question has no merit because they wouldn’t ever do that. There is no equivalent statue of a man, and there pretty much never is- no matter how often you hear your faux-naive question raised.

    • Herbert says:

      Oh no, no no.
      John Walker, RPS, you’re forcing me to defend a objectively disgusting statue. The mere fact that, instead of simply saying it’s an ugly, relatively tasteless statue, you just had to jump on the ‘misogyny’ bandwagon, practically forces me on the opposite side of whatever garbage lays beside me. Every other god damn gaming article I’ve read by the end of 2012 somehow related to misogyny and the objectification of women. It’s some kind of mass hysteria to see sexism and hatred for women, in absolutely everything that could be even remotely be related to women.
      I love RPS too much to see it turn into Kotaku 2.0. Hell, even the comment section has been continuously degrading over the months.
      RPS – this can’t happen. For God’s sake, don’t do this.

      • rsanchez1 says:

        YES

      • Prokroustis says:

        Exactly. Mr. Walker needs to stop abusing the term misogyny when he clearly lacks basic understanding of its meaning.

      • mandaya says:

        “Mysogyny bandwagon”? ” It’s some kind of mass hysteria to see sexism and hatred for women, in absolutely everything that could be even remotely be related to women.”??? We ARE talking about a replica of a bikini-clad woman’s headless torso, her limbs’ stumps bloody, her cleavage prominently on display. Actually, this is not the best occasion to scream “overreaction” or anything. It’s the torso of a mutilated woman’s corpse. With tits center stage. In a bikini. Not exactly a subtle stab at the over-sensitive feminazi’s emotions, more like a serial killer’s idea of a bad joke.

        • Davie says:

          Exactly. There have been times of late where RPS has gone looking for misogyny where there isn’t any, but this is definitely not one of them.

        • Cowgba says:

          Exactly. I think it’s also very important to keep in mind that this is the same company responsible for the whole “Feminist Whore” talent scandal. Bearing that in mind, for anyone to suggest RPS is “jumping on the misogyny bandwagon” for finding this statuette misogynistic is beyond absurd.

      • breakfastcereal says:

        Yes. If I want to hear news about “misogynist” shit, there are lots of other channels I believe, on RPS I’d however like to see more exciting and entertaining news. Hopefully I can someday enjoy Walker articles again.

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        “Every other god damn gaming article I’ve read by the end of 2012 somehow related to misogyny and the objectification of women.”

        And it hasn’t occurred to you to seriously consider why that might be? INTERNET CONSPIRACY is a more reasonable explanation to you than the idea that video games aren’t magically immune to sexism?

    • Text_Fish says:

      Uh. I think the point is, it never would be buff man-torso.

      • gwathdring says:

        Good lord man! You can’t bring in outside context. That would be sensible!

        Like pointing out this particular company’s history with this kind of issue. Utterly uncalled for.

        At the same time, Walker could have easily included that kind of comment in his article. It still would have been jumped on by the ‘Don’t talk about sexism in games, it’s boring’ parade, but a little more care and effort could have prevented people like me from ALSO being a bit miffed at the article. I’m often in the pits defending discussions about sexism on RPS, and there’s a degree of carelessness in this article that I don’t feel like defending.

        At the same time, it’s short. It’s their website. I’m not angry or concerned that RPS is going to the dogs or anything. Just my two cents.

        P.S. Also, there’s always the new DMC game. ;)

  5. Jarenth says:

    Look on the bright side! You visit a stranger, you see that statue on their mantle, and you immediately know to run away screaming and to warn everyone in a ten-mile radius about your new lunatic friend!

    • colw00t says:

      Congratulations, you have found the one thing this thing is useful for besides making me nauseous.

      This may be the single ugliest piece of statuary ever created. And out of gross ignorance, too! “Iconic Roman torso sculpture” indicates that not only do they know nothing about art, they know nothing about history, either. The Roman torso sculpture you are talking about weren’t just torsos and they were CONSCIOUS IMITATIONS of earlier Greek statuary, you philistines!

      • iucounu says:

        It’s also really handy here in the comments section. These kinds of stories really give the Block button a workout.

        • wu wei says:

          Yeah, updating my block list so I don’t need to deal with the “misogyny? what misogyny?” dicktards is about the only positive I can take from it.

  6. Taidan says:

    That’s actually extremely tacky. Would go nicely between a collection of Roger Corman DVDs and collected 50′s pulp sci-fi mags, on a shelf under some prints of the fantasy art of Boris Vallejo.

  7. Dominic White says:

    So, is someone holding a Bad PR Olympics event and forgot to send out press releases? Because that’d actually make sense. This coming just a day after Bioware torpedo themselves with a pay-only gay planet can only be read as a case of self-destructive one-upmanship.

  8. Zanchito says:

    Haha, that actually made me laugh, it’s awesome! I’d never pay for it, nor put it anywhere I can see it at all (would go directly to the trash can), but it’s still genius/demented. Then again, I like Leo Bassi.

  9. Lars Westergren says:

    Before anyone says “OMG censorship!”, observe that RPS does not call for a ban. They are ASKING Deep Silver not to do this.

    • frightlever says:

      Censorship requires the power to censor so of course they’re not censoring it.

      If RPS refused to run advertising for Deep Silver, something I would be happy to see, then they’d be censoring.

      When did we start caring about censorship, when it’s the right sort of censorship? Things need to be censored sometimes.

      • sinister agent says:

        Hmmm, I think that’s a bit unfair. Refusing to run an advert isn’t censorship, as there’s no obligation for a person/site to run any adverts, let alone any advert from anyone who asks. That’d be a bit like suggesting you’re oppressing someone by refusing to let them into your house.

        If RPS controlled content/adverts for other sites, however, then I think it might be fair to call it censorship.

      • TheApologist says:

        No one here yet, but Lars is presumably referring to the regular conflation of criticism with attempted censorship that happened in previous comments threads of articles concerning sexism, homophobia and racism.

        • Lars Westergren says:

          Yep. Exactly that.

        • f1x says:

          I think the whole censorship thing was quite missunderstood,

          Myself when I spoke about censorship what I said was that sometimes things can get ugly when mass media, masses and goverments take on an issue like sexism or violence often their solution to this issues is to censor or ban, which is a poor solution

          I was never speaking about this website, or their users and I think that was the case for most of the people that used the word “censorship”

          Regarding this article and the statue, I would never call for censorship, banning or similar, I firmly belive in freedom of expression as long as its not stepping on the freedom of others
          I would have a hard time tho to understand WHY someone sane would like to have this statue

  10. 7Seas says:

    Hang on though, is this really about misogyny? Is there a severed torso in a bathing suit (dead island is set in a beach resort) that you would be ok with here? Seems more like a distate for severed-torso-as-a-mantelpeice-decorator must surely be the overriding emotion. In the heirarchy of severed torsos would a childs be better? A shirtless mans? A teenage girl but wearing a t-shirt? An elderly womans wearing a bikini and a sarong? An old mans nude torso complete with sagging belly? What is the torso that in your feeling is appropriate?

    Seems a bit cart before horse here.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      It is misogyny in that the non-mutilated parts of the body are eroticized. If you could buy a statue of a mutilated buff male body in speedos in a gay sex shop, that would be equally creepy. That this is a mutilated female body created by presumably straight men, for a definitely male-dominated audience makes this vile.

      • Gwyddelig says:

        More or less this, yes.

        It’s like someone took a copy of Nuts and spliced its moral DNA with S.A.W. or that horrid piece of Blondie PR from back in the day asking, “Wouldn’t you like to rip her to shreds” of Debbi Harry.

        Yuck

      • f1x says:

        I dont know if is misogyny or not, but its absolutely disgusting,
        I say that as a personal opinion, I’m gonna try to respect that some people might have an interest on collecting mutilated human torsos….that sounds quite bad

        but the thing is, sexist or not, this is freaking creepy as you said,
        if this was a male body, or a penis or a head it won’t make much difference,

        There are also other issues,
        - This could be amusing if it was some sort of reference to gore cult movies or z movies, but you cannot see any hint of that, because as you said this is mostly tits

        -The paralelism with Roman ancient sculptures sounds like a late moment excuse, because first of all Dead Island doesnt have any link with romans or ancient art, and also because this figure is not simulating marble

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        “It is misogyny in that the non-mutilated parts of the body are eroticized.”

        Aside from those with mental health issues, who the fuck is going to find that statuette erotic?

        • gwathdring says:

          Maybe I’m too out there for this planet, but I don’t think there’s necessarily wrong with someone who does. It depends on the context of what they find erotic about it and whether or not it affects their behaviors in a way that is at all anti-social. If you get off to snuff porn and gory theater-makeup wounds all over your partner (dead god that sounds revolting, but that’s my personal taste not my moral code talking) … that’s fine as long as you never injure someone or violate someone’s personal sovereignty for your own pleasure.

          There’s also nothing wrong with finding corpses arousing as long as you never violate a corpse without it’s consent.

      • fish99 says:

        There’s a difference between misogyny and appealing to your target audience.

    • RaiderJoe says:

      Yep.

    • jedoran says:

      It’s the mixture of the sexual and the abusive. They’re calling this ‘zombie bait’. As though a woman has been cut up and thrown to the zombies. Also, the ridiculous and untouched enormous tits. This isn’t just a woman’s body, this has clearly been selected to appeal to a perceived demographic.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I don’t think ANY torso would be a good thing, its stupid and disgusting and to top it all off, why the hell would anyone want this thing on display anywhere in their house, I’m all for having models and stuff (Have a Squall from FF8 model on my desk giving people evils if they sit near me) but i don’t think anyone would want that thing on there mantlepiece

      I do however think the comments about it being misogynist give the article a daily mail vibe unfortunately , a bit of aiming to cause outrage rather than addressing it :/ Don’t get me wrong its vile and obviously pandering to a certain market of people who objectify women and because of that it shouldn’t be ignored (although in this case also people into necrophilia i guess) but I think focusing on the fact that its a female torso kinda breaks away from WHY THE HELL ARE THEY GIVING OUT BLOODY TORSOS NO-ONE WILL WANT THE DAMN THINGS THEY LOOK VILE and will only be on display in the sort of house that once you enter you are never seen again.

      I now wait for the inevitable internet people who will decry me as a horrible sexist because I have said that we shouldn’t actually focus on the sex of the torso, despite me saying that i think its bad what they have done anyway.

      • roryok says:

        I think the bigger issue here is surely that they cancelled Ride to Hell

      • TheApologist says:

        I wouldn’t want to deride you as a sexist – but I would question the logic that says one offence (trivialised representations of the mutilation of the human form) trumps another (misogyny). There’s every reason to be offended by both here.

        Indeed, I think it’s telling that one wouldn’t happen without the other. It is the eroticization of the mutilated *female* form that makes this available for use as “entertainment” – as a joke. It is no accident that this is an idealized female torso and not a child, a male, or an ordinary looking female or male form.

        The two reinforce each other, and both levels are offensive.

        • Milky1985 says:

          My argument is that i would think it would just as vile with a male torso in the same situation (in fact when i first read the article i was thinking why the fuck would you want to give that away let alone put that up on a shelf, the gender of the torso had not even come into my mind at this point) , as its the fact that they are giving away a bloodied half naked torso as a item that is normally put on mantlepieces etc which was the WTF for me. Yes its pandering to a stupid demographic in a stupid way but that wasn’t my first thought.

          But mentioning stuff like this once someone has played the misogynist card is like sticking your head in the mouth of lion while hitting its nether regions with a big stick, as a rule of thumb unless you specifically say its hateful and misogynistic (despite that fact that the word has been used in the wrong sense in about half of the comments around here as it doesn’t quite mean what people think it means, but discussion of this is probably doing the aforementioned lion thing while holding up a red flag for a bull that’s just appeared by the gate) you will be decried and argued with and the point will always be bought back to how the thing is sexist, which it obviously is.

          Basically the only thing i can think of that is similar to how i first saw it is the south-park episode where they are having a debate about changing the flag – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef_Goes_Nanners – to cut a long story short, they saw a man being hung, not a black man being hung so they were arguing that the flag should stay as people being hung was part of history. Sort of what happened and why I am saying that the misogyny is a side note for me, as its not what i was offended with when i saw it, i saw a PERSONS torso.

          I’m looking forward to the day (but i doubt it will happen in my lifetime) when if something like this happens it will be focused on the stupidity of the item, not the gender of the item as everyone has finally achieve the equality that we all need. Hopefully people will stop objectifying men or women both in the item when its produced and in the discussion after the item is produced, but its a pipe dream :/

          • TheApologist says:

            I’m sure you’re right that all these things are available to different emphases in interpretation – and I know that you aren’t denying the sexism in the piece; and I take the point that people often seem unwilling to go with the spirit in which your point is being made, resulting in needlessly angry misinterpretation that helps no one.

            Maybe the question we end up with is what we think gets us to the place you talk about where gender isn’t a category, or at least isn’t a category that constrains, excludes and limits certain bodies and systematically advantages others. Is that best done by decrying the trivialised representation of violence to the human here, or to the sexualised female human? Not pretending to know the answer at all.

            I guess I still feel like the representation of violence to the human was only possible through the sexualised female form, and that it matters to point that the violence and the sexism go hand in hand, but I do take your point.

    • jalf says:

      Hang on though, is this really about misogyny? Is there a severed torso in a bathing suit (dead island is set in a beach resort) that you would be ok with here

      I think the point is precisely that there isn’t. That these people thought “hey, it’d be awesome to show a female torso like this, because boobs sell games.

      They didn’t think “hey, let’s make some severed and bloody human torsos”, they thought “hey, let’s quite literally objectify the female body”.

      So yeah, I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be misogony.

      It’s not that I (or John Walker) *want* a male equivalent, but that these developers thought “sexy bloody female bodies are what we should give people if they buy our game”.

      • briktal says:

        I think it almost has to be female. If it was male, it’d probably have no clothes, and if it had no clothes, it would be a little bland.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          If they really are inspired by Roman (Greek) sculpture then they should have done it sans bikini as well. If they were inspired by Roman sculpture they would have been happy do to a clothesless male torso as well, seeing as that was how that stuff worked in general. Doryphoros is naked for a reason and he’s not bland as a result.

      • fish99 says:

        That’s not what misogyny means you know.

    • Vesuvius says:

      You’re being purposefully obtuse.

      None of those other things exist. Stuff like this does, and keeps being produced with disturbing regularity.

      Show me examples of these mythical equivalents… then we can talk.

      But the fact of the matter that the only torsos out there like this are female, so your argument is moot at best, willfully ignorant at worst.

  11. Dark Acre Jack says:

    Well, they did warn you.

  12. santheocles says:

    Mmmneeeh… missed opportunity. It could have been even more sociopathic with fully modelled and washable genitals. Well, there’s always another moronic PR department…

  13. Stuart Walton says:

    I don’t find it offensive at all; just incredibly crass.

    This makes the Mafia 2 Gun Lamp look tasteful.

  14. yogibbear says:

    The world sucks. Deal with it. Rock and roll.

  15. FurryLippedSquid says:

    This game is rated 18, right? Not 12?

    What were they thinking…

  16. FionaSarah says:

    It literally makes me feel sick. It seems like every week I see something like this that makes me hate games even more, but I simultaniously love games more than anything. What the fuck kind of even industry is this?

  17. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    “While there are a very small group who like to refuse to acknowledge their own unpleasant prejudices by chastising RPS for its coverage of gaming’s representation of women”.

    No doubt they’ve gone too far here, but I find this a disappointing comment. There are shades of grey to your coverage, and at times I think it’s fair to say RPS have gone overboard with their comments on certain things, finding issues where issues don’t exist in some cases. Don’t lump all negative responses in together please.

    No doubt there are prejudiced users here. But not all chastisements on the topic are due to prejudice.

    • wot says:

      This. I registered specifically to say something like this. I mean come on, man. This is grade-school level “Everybody who disagrees is a meany and weirdo”

    • yogibbear says:

      Yeah RPS editors are turning into “Agree with us, or you are our enemy” types. Kind of weird when one of the greatest things about PC gaming is that it can be whatever you want it to be, and watching other people’s creations in the same game that you played be completely different to anything you could have imagined or come up with on your own, and then sharing that experience.

    • RaiderJoe says:

      No doubt there are prejudiced users here.
      Isn’t that the definition of being human? Being prejudiced? I’m being serious here. Can a human being not be prejudiced? Not that that’s an excuse for sexists & the like, I’m just saying…

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      To be fair, they usually know when they’ve gone overboard because there’s inevitably a whiny, passive aggressive follow up post.

      This is kinda gross though.

    • John Walker says:

      I’m not talking about people who make reasoned arguments why they disagree. That’s always welcome. I’m talking about the people who send us mad, ranting emails telling us that we are part of a “liberal agenda” and that they’ll actively campaign against our criticising misogyny in gaming, or leave threatening comments saying that we need to be silenced.

      • Nurse Aenima says:

        >2013
        >make a small comment on RPS telling the editors that they went slightly overboard with their fanatic
        >politically correct zeal when discussing VIDEO GAMES.
        >the editor in question is John Walker
        >he lays into it and sends me an email telling me to check my privilege
        >fast forward 10 years into the future
        >Privilege checking institute for cis scum knock on my door
        >They were tipped off by model male citizen who need not check his privilege John Walker
        >I am to have my privilege revoked for failing to check it 10 years ago

        • sinister agent says:

          Ha! You just won me a bet, 4chan boy.

          Could you do me a favour and start another account with a different name, so we can play again?

          • Nurse Aenima says:

            Congratulations on your sucess!

            However I am not a boy, i belong to the “opressed” gender. There really is something really wrong with certain articles by John – he missess the point entirely, trying to force his pol-cor agenda on us. It would be enough to point out that the figurine is plain stupid (it is) but misogyny? You know where you should look for misogyny? In Afghanistan when a girl gets her face burned out with acid for going to school.

          • sinister agent says:

            Fair enough, I apologise for my (somewhat ironic) mistake.

            I think you’re missing a point, though. Misogyny comes in many forms. It’s rooted deep in our culture, and the fact that there are even worse, more overt and violent cases of it doesn’t mean that everything else should be ignored. We don’t continue to sell gollywogs and defend it as long as a black guy somewhere is being beaten up.

            And the article does mention what the problem is:

            A text book example of the most extreme ends of misogynist fantasy, a woman reduced to nothing but her tits, her wounds hideously depicted in gore, jutting bones, and of course barely a mark covering her globular breasts.

          • Ansob says:

            Gosh, I do wish privilege were something revocable for cases just like these.

          • Nurse Aenima says:

            No apology needed, as I didn’t take any offense :)

            Going back to the topic, I really am opposed to any form of misogyny where it actually exists (certain workplace situations, home violence, sexual abuse, violence), but when we are starting to call every small piece of untasty plastic thing as misogynist attack on women’s rights, aren’t we in danger to devaluate that term?

            The dangers of political corectness that goes everboard is its blind zeal and it’s “there is only white and black, no shades of grey” rethorics.

            Video Games blog is not a good place to fight for (real, not imagined) dangers to women’s rights (there are countless situations and places where that really IS an issue). By posting stuff like this (the article) you are simply becoming a laughing stock of level headed individuals.

            The doll is ugly and stupid I do not feel it endangers my rights or dignity as a woman.

          • sinister agent says:

            Okay, I can definitely see your point now, and while I disagree (it strikes me as misogynistic, though not as extremely or overtly so as many other forms), and I think that it’s important that thoughtless crap like this is challenged, I can understand your reasoning.

          • Bhazor says:

            Just feel the need to point out.
            Having a vagina does not mean you automatically win in a feminist debate.

            For example there is a far right political commentator (who I won’t name) and *she* is one of the most outdated, backwards chauvinistic writers I have ever read and is in my top ten list of “worst people who haven’t actually killed someone”. She blames victims for letting themselves be raped, she claims women shouldn’t be allowed to work in physical jobs and that the people in muslim countries are animals.

            In this case. Yes. That statue is misogynistic. You saying that *you* don’t find it insulting does not mean other people won’t. I do for example, it sums up everything wrong with the industry right there.

          • gwathdring says:

            I don’t think NA was claiming to “win” the debate on account of gender. So … er … I hope you realize how dickish your post sounds. In a general sense I agree with you that, while obviously there are certain elements of experience that oppressed classes will always have over privileged classes, members of the former can fail to understand the state of things and members of the later can understand it with a great deal of nuance. But in context this post seems totally uncalled for.

          • gwathdring says:

            “Video Games blog is not a good place to fight for (real, not imagined) dangers to women’s rights (there are countless situations and places where that really IS an issue). By posting stuff like this (the article) you are simply becoming a laughing stock of level headed individuals.

            The doll is ugly and stupid I do not feel it endangers my rights or dignity as a woman.”

            I disagree entirely that this is the wrong forum. This is a forum for whatever it wants to be a forum for. Media blogs are excellent places to discuss social issues that intersect with media depictions and social privilege has many intersections with media depictions. Discussing the differences between various problematic portrayals and why they are problematic seems like a great thing to discuss in a blog that aims not just to share games with people, but understand games deeply and contribute to the conversation about how to make them better.

            My evaluation of the statue is that given the context of the company that created it and the game it comes from, it’s a borderline case. I find it distasteful in any case, but putting that aside for a moment I certainly understand seeing it as coming from a sexist mindset at the company that designed it and contributing to a marketing environment that isn’t friendly to women–not just that isn’t friendly to people who find cheap gore distasteful. As a small piece of a larger picture, this is bad and it’s bad in a way that doesn’t necessarily separate from gender issues. Picking apart why it’s just fine as an isolated statue is, I believe, missing the point.

            P.S. Look at how often this sort of thing is defended in a way that illustrates an exclusive male culture as a tenuous example of how it can be problematic. I think the typical responses to these sorts of topics show that something is wrong with the community with respect to it’s treatment of women–whether or not you agree that this statue is at all related to that something. And since something is already rotten here in Denmark, a play about a man’s uncle killing the king, his father means something different than it does all on it’s lonesome.

        • Lars Westergren says:

          And you are still hanging around 10 years later raging about it? I thought I carried grudges for a long time, seems I am an amateur.

          Protip: Being bitter is drinking poison and hoping someone else will die.

          Edit: Ah, 10 years into the future. Didn’t read too carefully it seems. Well, if you want real world examples of police knocking on someones door because of their gender, you can find them today instead of fantasizing about future PC police.
          http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/23/saudi-authorities-use-sms-track-women_n_2176806.html

        • John Walker says:

          Just to be clear, I’ve never sent this idiot an email, and won’t be.

      • Mithrot says:

        I’m pretty sure labeling those “mad-ranting” idiots as “chastisers” instead implies that its anyone who’ve had any issues with your “coverage” on women and gaming. Its bad wording on your part.

      • Ansob says:

        Please use the comments on this article to form a list of anyone who lacks basic human decency and should therefore be banned from RPS comments forever. Thanks.

        • sinister agent says:

          I suspect RPS’s policy is to let people embarass themselves all they want, so people can see exactly how bad it is, rather than hush up the fuckwit sector, which tends to leave people coming from outside or just a more sheltered perspective wondering what all the fuss is about.

          • Ansob says:

            Yeah, but it’d be nice to be able to enjoy RPS’ comments without this kind of horrid pap. :( There’s a disclaimer every time you post, and all.

        • QbertEnhanced says:

          A bit fascist towards opinions that aren’t your own are we? Disagreeing on whether or not something is misogynistic isn’t a clear cut indicator of a complete lack of human dignity. You’re as overzealous as the Inquisition.

        • wu wei says:

          Every time the comments section of one of these posts explodes, I give the ‘block’ button a good work out. It makes reading the comments on other, unrelated articles a lot more enjoyable too.

          If these people really can’t see that misogyny is a genuine problem in gaming, they really have no insight into anything else that I’m interested in either.

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        I do occasionally think you use Misogyny like it’s some sort of magic word and I do think you occasionally convince yourselves that there is some sort of prize for best social progressive to a degree that if it was done in the wild, I might consider it trolling.

        I also think you occasionally puff up a gender focused piece because it’ll picked up by kotaku or similar and drive page hits.

        It’s not that I disagree with your thesis. and I know you mean well, I just think occasionally you are kind of awkward about this stuff and should think a little before you start writing about it.

        It’s not that I disgree with the idea that the gaming community has some issues with women, I just find the way you tend to approach those issues problematic on occasion.

        Is that cool?

        • John Walker says:

          I couldn’t care less if this post didn’t get hits in double digits.

          And I don’t think the word is magic, but I’ll use it when it’s relevant.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I disagree, but do bear with me…

            I think you want this post to be seen by as many people as possible, because you see the problem so clearly and have the capacity to convey that it is a problem and why it is a problem very clearly.

            I think you want to make a really positive change in gaming and I couldn’t support you more.

            I don’t think you are making so called nerdbait posts though, the difference being, you really care about this issue.

          • Mithrot says:

            “And I don’t think the word is magic, but I’ll use it when it’s relevant.”

            But it isn’t. That is what he is trying to get at (I think) in that in certain situations like these you fail to properly establish that it is.

            Explain how it is and then perhaps people won’t be so quick to “chastise” you and instead have a healthy debate like RPS should have.

          • RandomEsa says:

            Dammit John.

            mi-sog-y-ny ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/misogyny)
            “hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.”

            The word that you’re looking for describing this marketing stunt is sexist.

          • Bhazor says:

            A woman’s brutally dismembered sexually idealised torso covered in blood and intended to be displayed on a mantlepiece? Yeah, how does that in anyway show hatred or objectification of women?

          • NathanH says:

            I don’t think there’s any hatred involved in this item. Objectification? Perhaps; that word’s meaning is never entirely clear to me and it’s not obvious to me that it’s a bad thing. But anyway, whatever objectification means, it doesn’t have much to do with hatred or dislike of women, unless you choose an extreme definition of objectification.

          • sonson says:

            I think objectifying a human being-to deny their humanity and turn them into an object-is pretty hateful to be honest

          • Anabasis says:

            And out come the naive dictionary definitions of misogyny. The cycle is complete.

          • RandomEsa says:

            Naive?

            You’re more than welcome to correct me with a source backing up your claim.

          • NathanH says:

            Sonson, it is certainly true that some of the more extreme definitions of objectification are hateful (in the sense of being horrible, rather than full of hate). But they’re quite extreme. Denying someone’s humanity and turning them into an object is quite an extreme thing to do, and certainly isn’t something that’s going on here. I think using that as the definition of objectification is not particularly useful, since in practice it’s very rarely going to happen.

          • Muzman says:

            In a cultural theory context Misogyny describes more of a societal undercurrent (or seeks to describe). It doesn’t necessarily ascribe specific thoughts or attitudes to any individuals. That’s often how it is used these days in situations like this.
            I would agree this is sometimes confusing and seems severe.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          It’s probably worth mentioning that this marketing stunt has been universally deplored on many gaming websites, with most drawing attention to the fact that out of either gender and a multitude of body shapes and ages the PR team chose a young woman with remarkably good breasts for their dismembered torso; whether you think it’s important to argue the semantics of calling it misogynist or sexist or not.

          In fact most of the times RPS writers have flagged something up as sexist they are joined by the wider gaming press, ‘it’s only you John Walker of RPS who thinks this’ is just a defence people who disagree use to marginalise the author and website’s views by portraying them as niche or extreme; a quick google search would show that they have a lot of consensus.

          • distrocto says:

            That’s how Gaming Journalism works, someone gets butthurt over something and every other outlet copies it like they do with all the Press Releases they get, without thinking too much about the content, so I don’t think anyone is surprised.

            I’m sure the marketing people will think long and hard about what they did laughing all the way to the bank with all the increased buzz and attention an expansion/half-sequel thing of a rather mediocre game everyone had forgotten about got over it.
            All of the people knowing that this game is coming soon and having full knowledge of its Special Editions. ^^

            I believe we recently established that for most people it’s only talk and no bite. It won’t prevent RPS running commercials for it on their site and doing a Review when it’s coming out. Hell they even gave GOTY to that game they lambasted over and over for being “racist”.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            So if only one person is offended then his views are niche and extreme, and if there’s consensus between several people then they’re just copying each other and don’t really have that opinion?

            Yup, nothing defensive about that line of reasoning at all. Why don’t you try discussing the issue rather than attacking at the level of personal credibility?

    • solidsquid says:

      I think they’re referring more to people complaining that they cover it so often as opposed to the side they take on it, as in “Why are you covering this again, it’s a non-issue” as opposed to “I don’t think this is an example of X”

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Very much this.

      The statue is disgusting, but RPS is becoming a little like the boy who cried wolf with this stuff. They overreact so often and treat so much as black and white it is hard not to roll my eyes as soon as I see another article on women and sexism here.

      Which is a shame because sometimes, like this time, it’s completely spot-on.

  18. BobbyDylan says:

    Tiiiiiiiiiiitttsss………..

  19. Fede says:

    Not sure you british have this but we’d say: “the cretin’s mother is always pregnant” …and works in PR, I’m tempted to add.

  20. caddyB says:

    That’s not even realistic.

    • whatfruit says:

      I know. It should be tangerine, have it’s tits covered in glitter and a tattoo of a butterfly on the lower back just above the arse.

  21. maximiZe says:

    I hope the DmC review copy is coming in this week, with that baby sniping and all.

  22. Mithrot says:

    “chastising RPS for its coverage of gaming’s representation of women, I feel certain that even they might find cause to baulk at this. This is inexcusable.”

    I know gaming journalism is hard for you, but it would be nice if you explain what the problem with this is instead of implying.

    • jellydonut says:

      If you need to have someone explain to you what is wrong with this perhaps you should do some searching of the self.

      • Mithrot says:

        Congratulations on completely missing the point. If I’d have to explain why, then you should do some searching of the self since this is just a silly bust of a dead woman.

        One more time, what is the issue?

        • Gwyddelig says:

          The short version, it reduces a woman down to her chest (almost singularly unharmed…). Not even a human, merely a quadriplegic, beheaded bust. This sort of thing is a standard trope of lads mags, a genre noted for its less than enlightened views on 50% of the population…

          The longer version; read the rest of the comments of people who find this somewhat stomach-churning. They’ve hit on a whole suite of reasons why this is a whole pile of wrong.

          • Mithrot says:

            “The short version, it reduces a woman down to her chest”

            Okay.

            So? I’m pretty sure that I expect that to happen if she was attacked by a zombie.

            “(almost singularly unharmed…)”

            Are you trolling me?

          • sonson says:

            You would expect a zombie to tailor his attack so as to carefulyl avoid erogneous zones?

        • Soon says:

          Because there’s no bikini on the Venus de Milo.

          • Gwyddelig says:

            Or signs of visceral brutality either…

          • colw00t says:

            Venus De Milo is also a whole woman, well actually a whole goddess, not a brutalized torso with an inexplicably intact pair of comically oversized tits.

          • Grargh says:

            They aren’t even that oversized, but rather incredibly fake looking. And plastic surgery on a pair of tits always carries this aura of sexualisation and pandering to the most primitive male instincts, so for me this “bust” looks even more slutty than one with oversized, but natural looking tits.

        • Ansob says:

          Are you seriously asking why it is wrong to eroticise a dead woman’s bust?

          • Mithrot says:

            How is it erotic?

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Yeah I’m a bit worried that people consider this ‘erotic’.

          • NathanH says:

            I think it should be considered acceptable to eroticize a woman’s mutilated torso in some contexts; I’d rather not trample over odd sexual preferences unless I have to. A mainstream video game doesn’t seem like the best place to do this though.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          The issue is, in a nutshell, beyond this being gross that no-one would ever create a similar piece of marketing with a male torso and massive, wierdly unrealistic erect schlong.

    • fish99 says:

      Reminds me of Johns “there is evidence that piracy almost never leads to lost sales”, with no link to said evidence, even when asked to provide it. I barely even read what the writers here say anymore, I just skip to the comments for the corrections.

  23. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Whelp. Videeeeooogaaaames.

  24. Buttless Boy says:

    Good grief. I really enjoyed the first game despite its occasional creepiness, but this is just straight up horrible. Guess I won’t be playing Riptide.

  25. Tuimic says:

    Quick point, its a bust – her legs are missing because it’s a bust, not because they’ve been cut off.

    Longer point – this bust is nothing that I can think of quiet a few collectors of horror movies would probably like. It sums up the slasher/zombie/horror genre perfectly, which is what this game is aiming to do. If this had of come out with a special edition of something like, “Friday the 13th Part 11 – Jason goes to Blackpool beach”, would you care as much? Or is it because it’s being packaged with a game?

    I’m not trying to defend it and say it’s ok that this is a thing and I’m certainly not interested in it or the game, but I’m not shocked by it and I don’t see how it’s going to hurt anyone.

    • colw00t says:

      You keep using the word “bust.” Busts almost never have complete torsos. Usually just enough shoulder to make them stand up reliably on their own. Busts exist to show a face. If it doesn’t have a face, it IS NOT A BUST.

      • Chelicerate says:

        It’s almost as if they’re trying to find excuses for their blatant misogyny!

        • Tuimic says:

          You’re right on the bust being shoulders and head, but plenty of collectables which include a torso are labelled as busts. The word (in the collectable sense) has changed a bit. My point there was really that It’s not as cut up as it’s made out to be (the legs haven’t actually been removed for all we know). Anyway, was just a small point.

          More to the point, I’m not a misogynistic. I love my girlfriend, my mother and both my sisters. I’m just not going to pretend to be offended, outraged or upset at something that doesn’t effect me in any way shape or form. If someone who likes horror movies and horror games enjoys having this statue on his mantle piece good for them.

          This is certainly an ugly statue and not something I would own, but does it outrage me? No. Would it outrage the women I know? No. Does that make us all misogynists? No. If it upsets people they can write to the creators and express their upset at it.

    • Zanchito says:

      Yeah, I argee, this pretty much sums up most of the gore / zombie flick subgenres. You know, the teens who have sex always die, the jock always dies and the blonde bombshell always dies.

  26. misterT0AST says:

    The concept is based on the “Belvedere Torso”, a Roman ruin which was a prominent inspiration for Renaissance artists.

    By the way, I’ve seen more disgusting things in Warhammer illustrations.
    And this isn’t any more sexist than the norm.
    It’s more of a “oh, this again” thing, rather than a “OMG SEXISM!!1!” thing.
    It doesn’t seem THAT bad to me. It is just as bad as many many things today.
    Not worthy of news for sure.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Belvedere Torso

      man, googling that gave me a lot more rock-hard cock than I was expecting

    • razorramone says:

      misterT0AS: You’re weird.

    • Syra says:

      It’s not that its disgusting its that it is overtly sexualised..

      • Mithrot says:

        Sexualized how? You do understand that a woman’s breasts are sexual organs, right? How is it supposed to be any other way? You can argue that a severed bust is dumb, but if somebody wanted to do it for a female, how would they do it? Cut off the breasts so its unsexualized?

        Please explain this to me.

        • 1Life0Continues says:

          But they aren’t sexual organs.

          Breasts serve a functional purpose in nurturing young.
          It’s only our cultural bias that has turned them into sexual organs. It’s our own mixed up sensibilities that turn these natural mammary glands with a function into sexual and somehow bad things.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            A peacocks plumage isn’t a sexual organ either, yet it plays an intrinsic role in the mating act.

          • Mithrot says:

            When I said “sexual organ” I didn’t realize I would meant it as an organ used for reproduction, sorry about that, you are correct.

            However what I meant to say is that breasts are an organ inherent to one sex, in this case, a female. When a female wears a bikini, most males (that I know) are attracted to it, however I don’t see how then murdering the woman into a bust “sexualizes” it any further. There are many ways to sexual gore and this isn’t one of them.

        • Orija says:

          As if they couldn’t have made a bust of a 13 year old prepubescent girl. *snort*

    • Gwyddelig says:

      Not to put too fine a point on it but that it’s rather like a fair bit of GW art is not really a good thing. Things like Howling Banshees and Witch Elves very definitely fall into the whole “slut warrior bitch” milieux. Which is and always was lazy, misogynistic gubbins.

      • Sarigs says:

        Not to derail your point, but while I’d give you witch elves I’ve no idea how you’d get “slut” or “bitch” from Howling Banshees’, there dressed head to toe in armor, including full-face helmets, and other then a unrealistic breastplate (which beyond a very few exception pretty much all the whole of the fantasy genre does) they’re not sexualised at all. Unless I’m missing something (Very possible not touched GW stuff in about 10 years)

    • Trillby says:

      There is an almost sadistic level of violent glee that is represented in that statue. I remember cringing nearly 20 years ago when Dead or Alive had those bouncy breasts on women who were beating the shit out of each other. That’s just an innocent wank in the park compared to this level of objectivification (in the sense of an object representing something) of that peculiar part of gaming’s id to batter and do harm to large breasted women.

      In a sense, it’s a very interesting subject – you can probably make connections between angry young men who tend to a more introvert nature and their unconscious rage towards the girls who choose more athletic and outgoing men with more extroverted hobbies over them. There is nothing more self-righteously and indignantly vengeful than a young man scorned, and the prolifereration of these kinds of things does seem to provide evidence that not only the willing audience, but also many of the figures in the game industry are using their creative platforms to produce these “manifestations” of their inner traumas/feelings. The only logical and correct course of action when one is scared of and objectively or subjectively rejected by women is of course to batter out their the insolence and rape some sense into them.

      This all sounds like prententious wank, I admit, but when you have phenomena like this it does lend itself to theorizing. The utter indignation of the people you referenced in your article John is totally to be expected – there is nothing worse than being confronted by evidence of your own neuroses, and that evidence must therefore most vehemently be condemned as preposterous and unreasonable “political correctness gone mad”. A more thorough self-reflection than “this man’s comments make me feel angry and so I shall tell him he is a moron with many swearings” is a costly and often unrewarding experience, and I don’t think it is cynical to imagine that there will always be at least a minority who cannot and will not develop past that.

      In conclusion, what I think I’m trying to say is that her tits are too small, but I’ll still have a statue or two for the office.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        “I don’t think it is cynical to imagine that there will always be at least a minority who cannot and will not develop past that.”

        It’s the next generation we need to think about – people are talking about how if the game had a male bust it wouldn’t sell, this is a business decision not one based in misogyny BUT we don’t need to sort it out for ourselves, but the kids to whom a computer game is not a boys toy like it was to our generations, but played equally by both sexes.

  27. Hoaxfish says:

    luckily my sandwich doesn’t have meat in it

  28. Shazbut says:

    This is far too sensationalist an article and carries unexamined assumptions that are damaging and prevent debate. I do think its a horrible statue but Im not going to pretend Im offended

  29. james.hancox says:

    “Hand Painted Figurine”. I wonder what the abused Vietnamese sod who has to do 100s of these a day thinks of Western gamers. This is the worst of us. Ultraviolence, bloodthirst and objectification of women, all in one tacky piece of shite. Good going, Deep Silver.

  30. Syra says:

    You are fucking kidding me right?

  31. DexX says:

    For those puzzled by what is wrong with this, women all over the world are reduced to being “just a pair of tits” every fucking day, but it’s not usually so repulsively blatant. You can’t compare this to a man’s torso in a similar state of mutilation, because men are not subject to the same kind of “tits or GTFO” bullshit.

    Oh, and those who are trying to defend it as “being a homage to Roman statuary”, go and fucking look at some actual Roman statues. They don’t have E-cup silicon tits.

    This figurine exhibits a jaw-dropping lack of self-awareness by Deep Silver, and an almost pathological refusal to learn from past mistakes.

    • Mithrot says:

      “You can’t compare this to a man’s torso in a similar state of mutilation, because men are not subject to the same kind of “tits or GTFO” bullshit.”

      Sorry. What.

      What. No seriously. Female insult, dead bust, please draw the dots. If you played the original game there were plenty of dead busts to muck around in. I seriously doubt that was the developer’s intention, I think its more to being aware of the rise of Feminism in gaming and baiting the dumb ones to be up in arms about it.

      “Oh, and those who are trying to defend it as “being a homage to Roman statuary”, go and fucking look at some actual Roman statues. They don’t have E-cup silicon tits.”

      I think the argument for bringing that up is that noone has issues with a female bust in art, but now in games its suddenly a problem. The bust having e-cup silicon tits has nothing to do with it.

      • colw00t says:

        A profound misreading of history, too: the reason famous ancient sculptures are missing arms or heads fairly often is because they have broken off in the last couple of thousand years, not because they were consciously made that way. Busts are obviously the exception, but busts are designed to show a face, hence they are just a head and the upper section of shoulders. Very very rarely is a torso included.

      • jalf says:

        Sorry. What.

        What. No seriously. Female insult, dead bust, please draw the dots. If you played the original game there were plenty of dead busts to muck around in. I seriously doubt that was the developer’s intention, I think its more to being aware of the rise of Feminism in gaming and baiting the dumb ones to be up in arms about it.

        Sorry. What.

        What. No seriously.

        Actually, never mind. Just go away, and maybe do some growing up.

        I’m sure it wasn’t the developers’ intention to be misogynist assholes, but you know what, that doesn’t actually excuse anything. If you’re so deep into asshattery that you can’t even *see* that you’re being an asshat, that does not actually make you any less of an asshat.

        Why do you think they are not using a male bust, then? Do you think they just tossed a coin to decide the gender?

        Do enlighten me. Why did they use a female bust (and not just any female bust, but one with huge (and unlike the rest of the figure, non-mutilated) boobs, if it wasn’t because they thought the gender, and the emphasis on sex, was significant?

        I think the argument for bringing that up is that noone has issues with a female bust in art, but now in games its suddenly a problem. The bust having e-cup silicon tits has nothing to do with it.

        ..
        You… I… don’t even know… What.

        • Mithrot says:

          Lets avoid using vulgar insults before we accuse one another of having to “grow up”.

          “Do enlighten me.”

          Sure.

          “Why did they use a female bust (and not just any female bust, but one with huge (and unlike the rest of the figure, non-mutilated) boobs”

          Because its a game based on a tropical island setting where people swim? Not sure what you are trying to say when you note the “large boob” comment, would it be less insulting if they used smaller breasts? “Average” breasts? Are large breasts too much? I don’t get it.

          “, if it wasn’t because they thought the gender, and the emphasis on sex, was significant?”

          Sure it was significant, perhaps its easier to acknowledge to the average Joe about the game’s setting if it was a bikini-wearing lass with jolly ol’ British flags than having it done on a guy’s swimming shorts. Its pretty obvious that they did it for the shock value, there are plenty of movies that does this as well to grab people’s interests.

          Does making their marketing to use one gender over the other make it sexist unless both of it are available? I think sex is definitely a factor, but it doesn’t make it discriminatory against women, per “sexist” definition.

  32. solidsquid says:

    Wait, how is this zombie bait? The brain’s already been removed

  33. Michael Fogg says:

    Just admit it RPS, you are only upset because the statue depicts the mangled corpse of a BRITISH woman :P

  34. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Why would anyone want this? Why would anyone think someone else would want this? Enough to warrant paying extra for the special edition, I might add.

  35. Orija says:

    Edit: whoops

  36. sinister agent says:

    Unbelievably, disgracefully tacky.

    I mean, a union jack, for fuck’s sake? Who outside the US would ever wear that?

    • Pony Canyon says:

      Why exactly would people inside the US wear that?

      • sinister agent says:

        You haven’t worked with tourists, have you?

        • Pony Canyon says:

          I guess not, but I have lived in the US for 30 years, in a beach community, and I’ve never seen a Union Jack bikini, or any Union Jack clothing at all for that matter. I’m not trying to dispute your evidence, the cliche American tourist image is often well-deserved, but I’m just curious why Americans in particular would wear it?

          • sinister agent says:

            It’s a mean joke about American tourists (although admittedly German tourists were quite fond of the union jack when I worked with them, but then they seem a lot more mature about our old wartime nonsense than we are), basically. A relatively high proportion of them would be far more enthusiastic and appreciative of Britain than anyone else. Gave them away immediately.

            In case it came across as genuinely spiteful, most of the really lovely tourists I met when I worked with them were American. These two mad women from Louisiana in particular, they were like avatars of pure joy.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      My dad, a redneck from Wyoming, has some napkins decorated with the union jack tucked away in the dash of his truck. I’m wondering where the hell he got them.

      Maybe he’s a refined redneck.

  37. NailBombed says:

    Honestly, this is just puerile. In what universe do people find it acceptable to market this crap? Reflects very badly on the game I would have thought, let alone (supposedly) gamers in general.

  38. Runs With Foxes says:

    This makes up for the collector’s edition of Se7en not containing a severed head in a box.

    • elmo.dudd says:

      But that would have been a woman’s head, with a mouth. A sexualized mouth of course if it was open, or worse, slightly open.

  39. bitbot says:

    Here we go again…

  40. 1Life0Continues says:

    The way I see it, the torso is probably the easiest thing to make a statuette of. Also, being that women have breasts, and those breasts are on the torso, AND the game is set on a tropical island, it stands to reason that something like this in that particular outfit is going to be brought up.

    The issue seems to be that the breasts remain unblemished and clean, drawing attention to them. So, would the Hivemind be okay if the statuette had the breasts mutilated and one possibly torn off?

    This is obviously made to appeal to a certain demographic. A simple solution would be to offer both male and female, and offer a female version with less emphasis on the “breasteses” and more on the horrific gore.

    The other (and probably more amicable) solution would be to scrap that entirely and make a model of one of the big fat bloated floater zombies.

    I’m not offended by this. I think it’s tacky and no-one in their right mind would display this prominently, but I don’t find breasts offensive. If I did, I’d be no better than the weirdos that think breastfeeding is somehow a sexual act and shouldn’t be done in public.

  41. Blaaaaaaag says:

    I didn’t think deluxe-edition-bundled statuettes could get any uglier than that dragon from Skyrim…. I want my innocence and naivety back.

  42. Michael Fogg says:

    The folks at Deep Silver are twirling their mustaches and laughing diabollically right now, seeing how the circulation of their brand soars on the inter/twitterwebz due to all this outrage.

  43. doomtrader says:

    They wanted you to write about this and you did.
    Mission complete

  44. zbmott says:

    It’s offensive, yeah, and the way the woman’s torso is sexualized is… distasteful, to say the least. However, I think I am going to kick the hornet’s nest and ask: If it were a man’s torso, sexualized in a similar way, would it then be misandry?

    I ask not because I’m trying to shift focus away from what is clearly a very detestable marketing campaign, but because I think there are some very delicate double-standards that apply to issues of sexism and gender relations, and I am legitimately curious about them.

    • JonasKyratzes says:

      It’s a matter of context. Men in our culture are rarely reduced to a highly sexualized depiction of their torsos, and violence against men is rarely depicted as arousing.

    • f1x says:

      If it was a male torso it would be just as disgusting in my opinion,
      because it would be a jersey shore male torso, with maybe some cheap tribal tattoo

      What I mean is that this is disgusting as a concept already, before even having a gender, the whole “hey lets make realistic mutilated torsos and put them as a gift with the game” is plain stupid and of poor taste

      • Grargh says:

        “… is plain stupid and of poor taste”

        So somehow very fitting for an exploitative, gory and puerile zombie-mutilation game, no? I think they hit their target audience’s taste pretty well, and making it an idealised woman must have been the sad but obvious choice in that regard.

        • f1x says:

          You might be right, I should’ve added its bad taste… for my taste ;)

          Actually, I have not thought about who is actually the dead island audience, if there is an specific one
          because I loved the game and played a whole lot but I find this torso horrible, so it means I’m not the audience of Dead Island then

          still I’m not calling for removal or gonna try to stop Deep Silver (even if I could) I just find it really creepy and disgusting overall and something that could’ve been somehow amusing if done in a different way maybe

    • tungstenHead says:

      “If it were a man’s torso, sexualized in a similar way, would it then be misandry?”

      The short answer is simply, “Yes.”

      I doubt that I would personally twig to the fact that it’s misandry right away, because I wouldn’t see the sexualization. I’m not inclined that way, and I’d likely just miss the male sex signals. But if someone pointed out to me that he is sexualized and that it’s an example of misandry, I wouldn’t be able to find a way to disagree.

      We’re attuned to misogyny because it’s common and there has been some serious discussion of it in the recent past. Hopefully, if someone spots something genuinely misandristic, they will point it out to everyone else. If I’m colourblind, it doesn’t mean colours don’t exist; it means I need help to see everything. May I have the grace to accept that help.

  45. JonasKyratzes says:

    What’s really depressing is the number of people who don’t see what is wrong with this. Always the same tired old excuses.

    • Ansob says:

      “But you don’t understand! It’s just a statue, so clearly nothing is wrong with it. I mean, it’s just a bit of harmless fun! And what’s wrong with you, anyway; do you hate breasts or something? Are you some kind of gay child molester? If you want my opinion, the real misogynist here is YOU!”

      That line of reasoning might be funny if I hadn’t seen it used unironically more than once.

      • Ansob says:

        Oh, another comment has just reminded me that I forgot the good old “misogyny doesn’t matter because we don’t have world peace” (or the narrower-focused “misogyny in video games doesn’t matter because misogyny exists in real life”) argument.

        • realmenhuntinpacks says:

          Yeah. It’s getting so I can’t bear to read the comments under these articles. If I wasn’t so depressed I’d link to Stewart Lee’s PC skit. The thing that really leaves me confused is the whole ‘games blog shouldn’t be standing up for principles’ angle. Surely the first lesson in progress is to keep your point alive on all fronts, all the time. And I really hate being painted as some kind of limp crusader, spoiling fun. Less fuckheadery seems entirely natural to me. And it’s all this brainless, loveless shit smearing that ruins the fun.

          • Synesthesia says:

            yup, same here. I’ts honestly ruining my day. I’m glad i found a bit of light though. Can i stay? Do you have something to drink?

    • Xari says:

      You shouldn’t be reading other people’s opinions if you’re going to get depressed whenever someone disagrees with you.

      • wu wei says:

        I have no problem with disagreement and have epic arguments with my most beloved friends without rancour over their beliefs. But do I have to listen to someone who clearly has shit for brains? No, no I do not, and thank god for the block button here.

    • mandaya says:

      Some gamers reflexively defend games, no matter how stupid, mysogynistic or outright vile the topic. This is an automatism learned in years of defending the medium against unqualified criticism. It’s a reflex honed in countless debates with people who don’t know anything about games. Some gamers, embittered about this onging battle with hysteria and misinformation, have retreated into their ghetto and want to remain undisturbed; all criticism is perceived as unjustified.
      This way, there is no need to question their medium of choice; busy defending games from “outside” criticism, these apologists refuse to back down on principle, no matter the topic, and no matter where the criticism is coming from.

  46. roryok says:

    This is hardly surprising news. Everyone knows Deep Silver are a bunch of Kochs

  47. db1331 says:

    Wow, look at the packaging in the background. The tits are bigger than the game logo. What a colossal failure. So this is what they think of gamers. And to be fair, I guess this technically isn’t the most misogynistic statue they could have come up with. They could have included a vagina as well.

  48. Stevostin says:

    Criticizing it, fine and appropriate. Disapproving it, asking for it to not exist ? That’s a subtly different stance that I personally thing journalist are just not legitimate to take. It’s the very second where you’re switching from observer to militant.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely essential that as an observer you mention you hate it and hope that the will change their mind and remove it. But giving instruction is crossing a line that does no good to anyone.

    First, it makes you righteous. Even if a majority – or history – supports you, the face that you have no legitimacy to do it is hurting your own speech value – an issue very visible in mainstream media (at least in France) where media consider they have to “educate” people hence got pretty ofter sever backfire when it appears ppl don’t care about their education.

    Second, it doesn’t necessarily put you on the right side of the debate. Gore as a popular culture has a long tradition of bad taste, ie provoking outraged reaction. And then you have a long list of outraged reaction about violence in movies, in comic book, in video game. When you read it back, it’s not sensless, some good points are sometimes made but decades later, it’s pretty clear it missed the mark. Because the gore isn’t advocating the immediate outcome of the gore scene, but the act of gore, of breaking things, taboo, body, just be wild and don’t care for nothing.

    I mean look at this, here’s a human body severly destroyed, and instead of speaking about the outrage it is as an odd to violence and massacres in a world where this sort of thing is made on a regular basis, you’re all in on the narrow sexist angle, like it’s the only outrageous part to be mentionned. You’re missing the point. Gore is here to shock. You kill a priest, a sexy girl, a businessman, a colonel, anything wich visually stands as a symbol of our society, and you do it in the most horrendous way, and that’s the core mechanism of what gore is about. The older you grow, the less likely you are to enjoy the ride, but if you think it should disappear from this world, I do think you’re off the mark. This kind of provocation are here to stay, and frankly, that’s a good thing. You have to accept it will subvert every ideal that this society has chosen for itself : that’s what it does. Like humor, btw. If the ideal is really worth it, it will survive it and be consolidated by it’s victory over subversion. This is a good mechanism to pick goals for a society.

    • Zanchito says:

      Bravo!

    • f1x says:

      Good post sir, you made think about it

      Even tho its hard to grasp the concept of this being done as a provocation rather than just “to sell”,
      If it was just the content inside the game, it would be actually effective as a provocation or cuestioning taboos, breaking norms
      if it was actually clever….

      thats the bad part, is not clever, and gore / zmovies etc are a well stablished subculture, when something is hitting on that pool is easy to spot it, this on the other hand seems disconnected from that, instead the mention “roman torsos”, which is quite unfortunate

      • Grargh says:

        I think the main reason for this to sell (aside from obsessive collectors edition collectors) is exactly that it is provocative. The group of people who derive actual sexual pleasure from this stuff is rather small, and they probably have better sources than an overpriced statue of clothed breasts.

        • f1x says:

          Yeap, well, as you said I think nobody is gonna find this erotic

          thats why I think they missed the point with the whole “big fake tits torso”, and I have the suspect that they intended to actually do something amusing in a “black comedy” sense of humour, but they failed

          so if its not erotic, its not funny, the only thing that remains is being provocative, and it surely is because its a damn mutilated torso, but its provocative in a banal way not in a way that is gonna make people “re-think their horizons” lets say

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Too bad the outrage zealots didn’t respond to this. There isn’t really anything more to say.

    • Bhazor says:

      Children have been getting killed for centuries. That’s just the way society is. No need to rock the boat about it or anything. I mean it’s been a part of civilization for millenia, it’s always been there, sometimes its useful and I don’t see a need to change it.

      I mean if killing children is bad it will probably just sort itself out. Eventually.

    • Xari says:

      Thanks for posting something bearable outside all the embarrassing circlejerks in these comments. People just lose their minds whenever something like this is brought up.

      • wu wei says:

        the embarrassing circlejerks

        You mean where people only listen to those they agree with and disregard every other comment to the contrary?

        Yeah, thank god you’re immune to this :|

    • tungstenHead says:

      Great points. It’s hard to come up with a legitimate way to say, “I despise this thing with all my heart and soul because it is destructive and represents hideousness and I wish it never were and would not be,” while advocating free speech and the idea that more art should be the response to art you don’t like.

      I might run the angle that this statuette seems to me to be destructive itself. Wanting it stopped because it wants other things stopped may at least be legitimate, even if it is not very effective, smart or creative. That is, however, very opinionated.

      I’ll throw in that I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to get hung up on the sexism angle. This thing can be sexist and gory at the same time, but you’re right that more time should be paid to the gore aspect of the statuette. That might be giving Deep Silver way more credit than they deserve, but it is the “more art” response that I would advocate.

      Let’s take a quick look at that gore, though.

      Why would a zombie remove her arms? How did the zombie break the arms off that way? Why is it posed upright? How did the ribcage directly beneath the right breast become exposed without damage to the bikini or the breast itself? It does not strike me as though the subject is the victim of a zombie attack. Consequently, I think this thing is a piece of garbage, failing to capture anything other than sex and violence in a juvenile, lazy, gratuitous way without an ounce of storytelling. I am extremely disappointed with the artist’s lack of ambition. Stevostin, you have a valid point about the value of gore as art, but this piece has a zombie apocalypse context it needs to respect. Yet it fails to capture any of that by presenting an upright, dismembered, beheaded, sexualized torso. A good piece would somehow capture our loss of this woman’s life, her beauty, and yes, her sexuality while tolling for the world in apocalypse. Instead, she’s made a trophy and a celebration of her horrible end. I can’t find a way to appreciate this statuette at all. I suggest that it may have been wiser to have not made it.

      • gwathdring says:

        Well and interestingly posed! I quite enjoyed reading this, and I think I largely agree though I’m not much for gore in media or art myself.

      • f1x says:

        Exactly my thoughts, but you expressed them much more clearly,

        If this was done like you said, with more attention to the gore and the “logics” of a zombie attack then it would have some value as a subculture piece

  49. djbriandamage says:

    I look forward to RPS’ lauding headline when DayZ’s collectors edition includes a pewter statuette depicting a zombie giving an underprivileged minority girl a high school equivalency diploma.

  50. Chelicerate says:

    Oh, come the fuck ON, Deep Silver.

    You know, after a few moments of thinking, I’m genuinely not shocked. A while back, someone snooping around in the game files had found that one of the character’s abilities was referred to as “feminist whore” within the code. Knowing that, it isn’t a shocker that an idea like this got into production.

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