CDP On Cyberpunk’s Trailer, Social Commentary In Games

By Nathan Grayson on February 2nd, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

CD Projekt’s been quite busy as of late. Most recently, it teased some whizzbang, probably Witcher-3-related engine tech, but potentially even more intriguing is Cyberpunk 2077,  a whole new world full of intrigue, transhuman tech, and deranged Scyther ladies. However, while a recent CG trailer gave us a tantalizing glimpse of Night City’s corruption-twisted guts, it didn’t leave us with too terribly much to go on. Also, it had some elements that could be considered problematic – at least, from an imagery standpoint. if not entirely on an intentional level. So I got in touch with Project Lead Mateusz Kanik to discuss what the trailer way trying to show us, games’ responsibility within the larger social sphere, potential allegories for game addiction within Cyberpunk, and whether or not the final game has any chance of actually looking that good. It’s all after the break.

RPS: Let’s start with the trailer. Why did you decide to emphasize that particular moment? Will any of the characters we saw be playable?

Mateusz Kanik: We wanted to catch the atmosphere of Cyberpunk. The moment is important, but what we wanted emphasize is the setting: How the city looks, how it feels, how augmentations can change your mind. So you can see that we are very faithful to the original, despite moving it 50 years forward. You have megacorporations, the psycho squad and the problem of people losing it after too many improvements. We surely do want the characters from the trailer to appear in the game, but it’s too early and a little bit spoilerish to talk about the details.

RPS: Why that woman? A number of people were fairly taken aback by the fact that she was a scantily clad and in a compromising position, which is understandable. However, the camera panned out to reveal that her arms were grotesque scythes, which struck me as making it less about sex appeal and more about creating a striking image of destroyed beauty by way of rampant technological augmentation. Is that what you were going for?

Mateusz Kanik: Why not that woman? As for your interpretation: It is really cool that our short clip created some food for thought like that. We enjoy that people dive deeper and they do not see an “epic, omg” flick on youtube, but something they think about when it’s finished. That’s how we want to make our games – you saw that in The Witcher series, moral choices and the problems the player faced were not trivial. Many people thought about decisions they made after they stopped playing. That’s what we want to do with Cyberpunk 2077. The worst thing I could do as someone behind the trailer is to tell you how you should interpret it. So, no, I won’t tell you what we were going for. It would spoil the fun.

RPS: Even then, though, there’s still an issue of disempowering someone who seems like a lead female character. Will Cyberpunk be more even-handed in terms of the way it treats gender overall, though? I mean, it looked like she joined the Psycho Squad at the end of the trailer, which puts her in a pretty important place.

Mateusz Kanik: Even handed? Do you mean that we should do something to someone, who seems (and I stress the word seems) the lead male character? Look, nothing has been confirmed about the character you will play. We really want to tell a story of someone from the street, raised in the gutter, who will than stand up against the system he (or she) lives in. And that’s all you know. If you follow news about the game, you will also know that we want to put a lot of work into character customization. So how you treat your avatar in the game is completely up to you.

RPS: The city in the trailer looks quite striking, but it’s a fairly standard style of cyberpunk environment. Are you planning to take players anywhere more exotic over the course of the game? How varied is the city itself?

Mateusz Kanik: It looks standard to you, because we aren’t just making a cyberpunk game. We are creating THE Cyberpunk. But of course the city will be diversified. What you see was a simple street, but there is, for example, a whole corporate, sterile looking corporate district in our plans, a whole “war-zone” overrun with gangs. When designing the city we wanted to give it the feel of a living city. We didn’t want a central plan that suddenly built the city from the ground up, but a consequential evolution of the streets and buildings. Building new floors on top old ones, constructing supports for facades that are falling apart, etc.

RPS: Braindances. You’ve told us a bit about their place in the culture of the world, but how do they factor into the actual game – both in terms of story and gameplay?

Mateusz Kanik: Braindances are an important part of the setting. Everyone is into them. It’s massively popular and everyone has to be a part of it. You are no one if you don’t follow the new trends in the “New Hollywood” industry, don’t know celebrities, etc. Also, it’s a vast social problem, you’ll meet junkies thrown out on the street, who stay homeless and continue to live other people’s lives. No one is indifferent about this phenomena and it is one of the tech blessings and curses of 2077.

The concept of Braindances and the potential for people to get totally lost in them struck me as a potential allegory for games. You seem to be treating them similarly to the current debate over game addiction, too. One side says they’re just entertainment, the other panics about the dangers of addiction, immersion in violence, and whatnot. Are you attempting to say something with that parallel?

Mateusz Kanik: Again, if we said, yes, that was our intention, we would make it too shallow. It’s good that you find analogies with the modern world. Just like the fantasy setting of The Witcher covered real life problems, the same can be said for Cyberpunk. Your thoughts and interpretations are your own, but we pose questions and won’t give you an answer.

Are braindances like games? I think they are even more controversial if you look at it. They’re a next step forward in entertainment immersion. But it is also curious: If we have problems now, what will happen in 60 years? Will legislation follow tech advancement? Searching for parallels between braindances and today’s media, you will encounter many more problems than a simple violence debate. It’s also good to know that braindances are mentioned in the pen-and-paper Cyberpunk 2020. So you can’t say that we saw the whole debate around us and said, let’s make a parallel in our game! Not to sound like I’m boasting, but really, we’re much more deep than that.

RPS: Do you think it’s important for games – especially ones that claim to be “Adult” – to be self-aware like that? I mean, games are part of pop culture now in a big, big way. If we’re going to reference and criticize movies, books, TV, etc within games, why not games as well?

Mateusz Kanik: Of course. There is a whole world outside your screen and if your gaming corresponds to what’s out there, it’s much better. Both ways – immersion is achieved with much ease and you also have thoughts about your gameplay when you turn off your hardware.

Games are a very important part not only of pop-culture, but also of art. They are the latest medium of telling stories. And they telling them in a way you can’t experience them anywhere else. That’s why we put so much nonlinearity in our stories. A TV show or a theater play, may try to make an audience vote, but this is an exception in the canon. Games should use this as a definition of art – bringing non-linearity to storytelling, for the first time in human history.

RPS: Why’d you decide to work so closely with Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith on this one? I mean, Witcher came from pre-existing material as well, but author Andrzej Sapkowski hasn’t even played it. Why did you feel like Cyberpunk necessitated the original creator’s input where Witcher didn’t?

Mateusz Kanik: In The Witcher we didn’t go far forward in time with the books. We were raised both on Sapkowski and Pondsmith, we know how their worlds feel. But the collaboration with Mike helps us move the world 50 years forward and know that we didn’t go too far. Usually, we don’t, but this feels much safer.

What’s more we are not only transitioning the setting in time, but also transitioning the mechanics. And no one knows it better than Mike. Mike has a different approach to this game, he was approached by many gaming companies to make a videogame adaptation. But those didn’t meet his standards, so he really wants this to be a success.

RPS: Obviously, the cyberpunk genre is the core influence on your game’s world and systems, but what are some others? For instance, Deus Ex: Human Revolution drew heavily from the Renaissance period, painting a line between that period of rapid advancement and its own. Are you doing anything along those lines, but with different themes/times/places/etc?

Mateusz Kanik: We have many references. Our blog has some posts about our inspirations and our team members talk with the community on the forum of Cyberpunk, Afterlife. Aside from gaming references, we will dive deep in the genre itself. Blade Runner, the Eden comic book, and [William Gibson's] Sprawl trilogy are just some classics that will influence this game.

RPS: How indicative is the trailer of how you want the final game to look? Do you think, by 2015 or whenever the game’s done, you can have it looking nearly that good?

Mateusz Kanik: That’s our aim for sure. We are still improving our engine and our tech is getting more and more powerful. Remember: the game will be released when it’s done. So we won’t publish something that isn’t a graphical masterpiece.

Check back soon for an interview with Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith on his involvement with CD Projekt’s tech-augmented leap into his world’s not-so-distant future. We also talked about what previous cyberpunk videogames have done right and wrong, and – of course – the fuuuuuuuuture. Because it’s pretty scary, but also exciting and stuff.

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508 Comments »

  1. Josh W says:

    Hmm, not very much was said here.

    • Victuz says:

      He did quite visibly dodge the questions. This doesn’t really surprise me much seeing as (as far as we know) the game might not even be 10% in terms of story. With this kind of interviews the devs always have to be careful because there is always a chance they will slip and say SOMETHING that people get excited about… only it never actually happens/appears in the game and in effect rubbing people the wrong way.

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        felisc says:

        well yeah but he could have been a bit more precise in his answers. “what are your influences >> oh many…” then names blade runner and gibson… well gee thanks Mateusz, we didn’t figure that out.
        still nice to have an interview, i just wish he could share a bit of the creative process.

      • nearly says:

        I don’t know that it’s evasive when they haven’t said who these characters are in the terms of what you’ll experience in the game, and they’re being asked why them chose them for main characters, and how they’re going to treat them.

      • Pindie says:

        My impression was that the questions were missing, not being dodged.

        Nathan insisted on trying to tie the game to current trends and events, including the rather ridiculous sexism accusations (do those need to be addressed?).
        Nathan perhaps is also not familiar with the source material.

        Newsflash: there is no debate about video game violence in Poland. This is why the question is surprising. Stop being so USA centric.

        I think there were 2-3 questions that were good and answered sufficiently still.

    • Pryde says:

      Yup, my thoughts exactly. This guy seems extremely elusive, in a bad “evil-corporations” kinda way. If they can’t say much – maybe it just easier not to give interviews for now? Cause for now it looks like shallow “PR for the sake of PR”.

      • Lawful Evil says:

        EDIT: Oops, answered to the wrong post!

      • Donjo says:

        I agree, answering questions with questions is disingenuous at best, infuriating at worst. He really didn’t want to engage with the debate about the trailers most prominent character. He seems to think it’s a non-issue – judging by discussion in RPS forum, it definitely is not.

        • Emeraude says:

          I agree, answering questions with questions is disingenuous at best, infuriating at worst.

          I always thought that’s the main reason why they killed Socrates really.

          • Donjo says:

            Emeraude – yeah, but they basically offered him a way out too. He sacrificed himself. Socratic method can be used to stimulate critical thinking but I don’t see elenchus employed here. You’ve got a good point though. I’d like to see someone engaging with an argument, whether I agree with that argument or not, rather than batting it away or offering mystification as a counter argument.

        • Orija says:

          A straight answer would have done nothing to quell the debates anyway.

        • Herr Dr. Face Doktor says:

          I was actually HOPING he’d avoid commenting on that. The last thing I want is for CDPR to bend to the will of press just so they can have that nice, clean, politically correct image every dev seems to strive for these days. I want them to do what they’ve been doing and put complex themes into their games and let the work speak for itself.

          Now I’m a little biased, because I’m in the party that thinks the trailer wasn’t at all offensive, and actually had a very interesting mini-story behind it judging by the little details that seem to slip by those who are too blinded by rage to pay attention to, but IMO not commenting on controversial things like this is probably the best thing a dev can do, because it only validates the whiners, even in the cases that their anger might be misplaced.

          The last dev we had comment and try to quell controversy that… controversial, was EA, and we all know that miserable damage control saga.

          • Toberoth says:

            Completely agree with you.

          • Bhazor says:

            This is a company that included collectable sex cards in their first game and around 15 minutes of needless HBO level sex scenes in their second.

            Asking them to justify their decisions is perfectly valid. If it was a game featuring a disabled person or some controversial issue you would expect them to be able to come up with a reason. “We wanted to explore this idea…” “our game explores this issue…” ” we feel that…”.

            When they won’t give a reason for continuing their focus on sex then why should they be defended? Why should they not be expected to treat women respectably?

          • Stupoider says:

            “Games can’t be violent unless they have a message” is what you’re saying. “Games can’t have sex unless it means something”. That is absolutely ridiculous. Tripe that I’ve come to expect of you, Bhazor!

          • Michael Fogg says:

            I think I have to replay TW2, I somehow must have missed, like 14 minutes of expicit sex, HBO-level no less.

          • Bhazor says:

            Why is that so hard to understand?

            Imagine an alternate reality where “pointless nudity” is replaced with “chocolate pudding”. You’re in a fantasy setting everyone’s wearing full armour and swigging mead and then for no reason we get a lingering shot of a guy eating chocolate pudding. Why? What’s the purpose? Does it forward a plot or expand the character? No. It’s just a guy eating chocolate pudding totally out of place. Now you’re watching a gripping crime drama, the undercover cop agrees to meet the gun runner, there’s a tense scene as they approach a meeting point. Inside as they sit down it turns out to be a chocolate pudding club. Dozens of people just sitting about eating chocolate pudding, lingering shot as a man licks his spoon clean. Does it add to the scene or detract? Is the viewer supposed to be focused on the characters and their meeting or are they supposed to be distracted by the chocolate pudding.

            Should the creator not be expected to justify his use of chocolate pudding? To stand up and say what it adds to have a lengthy scene in which Detective McNulty visits a bar and spends five minutes eating some chocolate pudding before going back to the story? If there is no justification then why is it there and why not something that does add to the story or characters?

            @ Michael Fogg
            http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xiyyf7_the-witcher-2-hot-sex-scenes_videogames#.UQ1rUfJsxZw

            Here you go, needless poorly animated sex scenes. I would argue Triss is at least more justified than the others. There’s a lot of history between them, a lot of feels and a sense that their characters are doing more than just mashing lips. But are there other ways they could have done it? Yes.

          • Herr Dr. Face Doktor says:

            So what you’re saying is we should question EVERYTHING that has sex in it now? You said “HBO level sex scenes.” Well, why not pry HBO for answers on that, I mean shouldn’t they have to explain themselves for everything they do too? Of course not, I think you’d agree with me on that because the work in HBO’s shows is expected to speak for itself, and most of the time scenes like that have context around them (though half the time they don’t, ironically). To know this, only to turn around and demonize developers do the same thing, sans PR explanation, is a flat insult to the game industry, and shows a lack of trust in it as a mature art form in the right hands.

            The Witcher games handled sex, violence and other mature scenes with the proper context and weight, but whether or not they did, the devs still don’t need to explain themselves for every little controversy their work springs up, just in the way that the novelists who’s books touch on heavy concepts don’t need to explain themselves.

            Anyone that needs to be explicitly told, “Our game explores this issue,” instead of inferring that is about as childish as they assume video games to be in this day and age.

          • Stupoider says:

            If you don’t understand the importance of McNulty’s sex life then you’re more of a dullard than you are a prude.

            You seem very uncomfortable about this glaring part of life. Models (both male and female) are routinely used to sell products in varying degrees of nudity. It doesn’t need an explanation, it’s being used to sell a product, and at least the nudity in CD Projekt’s trailer is setting the tone of this game and giving us an idea of what to expect.

          • Bhazor says:

            You seem to think I support the pointless sex scenes in HBO series where for example we get a 5 minute cut away of two people dry humping with their underwear on. Work can justify itself, but with CD Projeckt it doesn’t. Sadly that is the same throughout the industry. Their work doesn’t justify it.

            Why is Madison Paige introduced in Heavy Rain with a lengthy shower scene and then lingering ass shots? Is it justifiable as part of her character?

            Advertisers also used to make adverts like this.
            http://www.conradfirst.net/media/hawthorn-advert2.jpg

            As my dear mam says “Just because other people do it doesn’t make it right.” Just because pointless titillation exists doesn’t justify pointless titillation in your work.

            McNulty’s sex life is important. Seeing his many lovers topless is not. Viewers are not cretins, we don’t need to see characters fucking to understand these characters have fucked. There are hundreds of ways to tell it without falling back on the easiest way.

          • Stupoider says:

            Are we seriously having this argument in 2013? Breasts in games are banned, so are genitalia, but shooting people ang tearing them apart isn’t? Where did this dissonance come from and why are you trying to perpetuate it?

            Showing off some side-boob or a buttock isn’t sexism. No matter how hard you wish it was, it never will be. This prudish conservative attitude to nudity has been seen countless times, with Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the first films with nudity. Your argument is pretty much the same. Looking for justifications and issuing judgement like you’re some kind of authority on the matter, when you’re not.

          • Bhazor says:

            Again I don’t know where you’re getting these opinions about videogame violence from, they’re certainly not mine.

            If it’s not sexist, then what is it? What purpose does it serve.

            Sex is great one of my top ten hobbies.But as far as titillation goes, I’m sorted, I’m all full up. It is incredibly easy to find all the porn I would ever need online. So why should they keep trying to add it to everything else? I like chocolate pudding, that doesn’t mean I want it poured on my steak.

            Would Breaking Bad be better with HBO style softcore porn sprinkled in like croutons in a salad?

          • Stupoider says:

            It certainly wouldn’t make it worse. It would probably change it, at least the tone of it. “Softcore porn” doesn’t stop The Wire being the greatest TV show that has ever been made, it just upsets you. And not everyone is like you.

          • Bhazor says:

            Again, where are you getting these opinions from? It doesn’t upset me. It bores me. I’m not angry at CD Projeckt, I’m disappointed.

            I really don’t care about watching McNulty fuck a one episode character. So why does it take up three minutes of the show? Couldn’t they have put something with actual meaning in it’s place? Something that told me more about the character than that he enjoys putting his penis inside a woman? What about instead of wasting watching him having sex with waitress X we instead spend an extra few minutes building up tension on a story that actually matters.

            Pointless nudity whether you call it sexist, misogynistic or what have you is just aiming for the lowest common denominator . When has appealing to the lowest common denominator been something to applaud?

          • Snargelfargen says:

            One of my english professors pointed out to me once that most sex scenes in books are there because the writer wants to get you off. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the sex scene doesn’t have other, less salacious purposes though.

            E: lowest common denominator? seriously

          • quijote3000 says:

            “15 minutes of needless HBO level sex scenes in their second” I reeeeeeally need to play the witcher 2 again.
            I guess the preaching censors are at it again.
            If it were up to some people, the Wire, the best TV show ever IMHO, would be banned.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            I thought the sex scene with McNulty and Rhonda was pretty hot actually, although it was also an interesting and unexpected bit of character development.

            Frankly I don’t understand what’s wrong with a scene intended to titillate the audience, but it’s quite possible I missed something. I’m open to explanations for why the scene might be misogynistic or offensive in some way. Perhaps Bhazor can elaborate.

            Bringing up tv is a little strange too, because a lot of the creepiness in video games results from graphics limitations sending sex scenes to the uncanny valley. That isn’t a probllem with (talented) human actors.

          • Herr Dr. Face Doktor says:

            Comparing anything to Heavy Rain is an insult to whatever you’re comparing it to, HR was a stinker with more ham-fisted attempts at emotional appeal than writing.

            Plus as far as I can remember, TW2 didn’t even have sex scenes, just some light nudity and sensuality. There are of course sexual themes and implications sprinkled throughout but certainly nothing as explicit as HBO’s scenes, mild as they may be.

          • Ravenholme says:

            We get angry at games for being violent. So we want games that are more peaceful, so we get angry at games including sex, which is about the most peaceful, creative act that humans do.

            Oh gaming community, never change.

            I didn’t find the trailer offensive, my girlfriend thought the girl and the little mini-narrative was cool. Her dress style wasn’t even a blip on the radar and she certainly isn’t some poor woman needing saving, considering she just murdered a bunch of people in a cybernetic rage and then joins the Psycho Squad.

            Any undertones of penance in there have nothing to do with her sex, and everything to do with the fact that she committed a crime (murder) and is now part of Psycho Squad to pay for that.

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            Lambchops says:

            @ The Wire

            It’s a pretty bad example really, when you could have picked Game of Thrones or True Blood, both of which are guilty of shoehorning in many of thier sex scenes apropos of pretty much nothing.

            You could argue the sex scenes with McNulty in the Wire are actually necessary as the vast majority of the time they are there to portray him in a pretty negative light and show how he has fucked up that part of his life. They are frequently done in a rather seedy manner. If they’d gone another way and talked about them second hand then it would probably have to be locker room chat between the cops, and that wouldn’t work to anywhere near the same extent as a way to convey the negative side of McNulty.

          • stiffkittin says:

            I have to agree with Lambchops. While on the same page as Bhazor for the most part I really didn’t get that from The Wire at all. Maybe there is just so much else going on, not sure.

            GoT though is an excellent example of something that is awesome, incredibly well realized, done justice to the source material etc. But is a bit let down by a slightly smutty need to fill a quota of poorly justified titillation and bare-breasted beauties.

            Maybe just switching the conversation to TV is getting off track a bit.

          • nanowired says:

            @Bhazor

            Let me pose this question to you.

            What is more sexist. Displaying a provocatively posed woman to the public, or treating all women as victims that need to be coddled and protected.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Bhazor representing the gaming taliban again. No sex please, we’re gamers.

          • AngoraFish says:

            fantastic discussion

          • Bhazor says:

            Yeah wish I’d used Game of Thrones, that’s much more blatant but for some reason The Wire and Sopranos came to mind. But really all the HBO series are guilty to some extent

            @Nanowired
            Let me pose a question to you. What is more likely to have an interesting result. Letting PR companies and developers continue to use sex to advertise their product or kicking up a stink and maybe encouraging a bit of creativity? Which is more likely to produce an interesting ad campaign or character design?

            This is Cyberpunk, a setting of ridiculous body mods (including motor bikes for arms) and 80′s fashion. Where people can have bug eyes, piston legs, wings, chainsaw arms and detachable heads. Their poster girl? A playboy model in her underwear with sickles.

            You seem to think I’m treating women as victims I’m not sure why. As I’ve said, that’s not a woman, that’s a picture of a woman. Drawn by a man to appeal to men this isn’t an exceptional example this is perfectly average and that’s the problem.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Since Blade Runner’s been mentioned a few times, anyone remember the fight between Deckard and Pris, in which Pris is dressed in a leotard, and her legs are, like, totally naked, just like the woman in this trailer? And then Pris gets shot and killed?

            I must have missed the outrage about the sexualised violence in that disgusting film.

          • Stupoider says:

            Game of Thrones is quite a good adaptation of the book series, inclusion the sexual scenes being one of the reasons. Once again, it’s the tone of the series, the political intrigue marred with sex, violence and even incestuous instances that defines the series. But of course, get in a huff about a bit of tit in a TV show.

            They used an actual model as something to base the trailer on (here: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Cyberpunk-2077/6573211 ). Regardless of that, your argument is ridiculous. Who are you to dictate what people draw? Why does sex have to be removed from advertising? Why do you even care? Why do you need to completely reform the way advertising is done when you don’t know the slightest thing about advertising or PR? It’s just a bloody trailer for a game that doesn’t even exist yet. You’re no longer in the bounds of “social justice” and have strayed into the realms of censorship with your absolute ignorance of Cyberpunk’s setting. She could be a prostitute or dancer, heck it could be the FASHION of Night City. Sure you could focus on the technology and the cool weaponry (yep, must’ve missed all of that in the teaser), but ignoring the sexuality of a CITY setting, and of the characters, would be a complete disservice. Frankly, you’re just offended for the sake of being offended.

          • Bhazor says:

            Who’s trying to censor them?

            I’m not writing a petition, contacting the government or starting a protest. I’m criticising.

            If it had a hackneyed plot would I not be allowed to criticise the hackneyed plot? If it came with DRM would I not be allowed to criticise the DRM? If something comes with gratuitous nudity or needlessly graphic violence (COD for example) am I not allowed to criticise that?

            For people advocating *their* freedom of speech it’s funny you seem to have a problem when I use *my* freedom of speech to respond.

          • gwathdring says:

            Bhazor, thanks for being so level headed.

            Specific opinions aside, it’s disappointing how eager some posters in this thread are to forgo nuance and get overly snippy and unpleasant. I really appreciate what posts of yours I’ve read here.

            P.S. D3xter? I would also like to thank you for that utterly accidental but rather striking piece of dramatic timing.

          • D3xter says:

            Don’t you get it? Developers have to ask RPS and Bhazor for permission to add anything to their game now. And they better offer a proper explanation and reason for it too, or they won’t allow it!

            Also video games totally have to be art and can’t just be fun or good to look at and stuff.
            It’s like a circle jerk of people in an unending internal strife with themselves and insecure over wanting to play video games, who are desperately clinging to the belief that the “video game industry” has to be an “art form” and needs to achieve mainstream acceptance, so they can convince everyone that what they are doing is worthwhile and they couldn’t possibly just have some fun with a game or two.
            They totally have to be full of “social commentary”, “messages” and have to reflect recent events!

            As for CDProjekt, thank your for existing! Please keep making the games you make, and I will continue thankfully buying them (sometimes even three times, like The Witcher 2, because I wanted to own it on different things).

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            Continuity says:

            Bhazor, I think you’re way off on this one, for a start this game is in the early stages of development, judging it by the first trailer is literally judging a book by the cover.

            Then there is the fact that computer games are littered, stuffed to the gills, with unacceptable sexism and objectification of women… and THIS trailer is what you come up with as an issue? Come on, there’s not really anything here to find offensive, there are sexual undertones yes but you can’t and shouldn’t censor that, we are sexual animals and we respond to it, it will always be woven into our entertainment media.

            Then we have to consider that this is CDprojeckt, makers of the Witcher series: Adult computer games with explicit sexual content. Even in the most politically correct of universes there will still be specifically adult themed entertainment, so long as it doesn’t saturate the medium then that is perfectly acceptable.

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            Continuity says:

            Bhazor: ” If something comes with gratuitous nudity or needlessly graphic violence (COD for example) am I not allowed to criticise that?”

            You are, you are also allowed to not buy it and move along, leaving it for the people who do want it. I’m not a COD fan but I have no problem with the game existing with all its flaws because there are OTHERS that enjoy it. Other people Bhazor…. this isn’t all about you and what you want to see.

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            phoenixdk says:

            Just came here to say thank you Bhazer, for raising all the points you did.
            As a women, I am just so friggin happy that RPS do ask these questions, and I know that no matter how many of the “anti feminist brigade” (and that’s what I’m going to call you, you can’t do anything about it – your protests will fall upon deaf ears, just like some sort of beautiful allegory) make noises, scoring off the sexist bingo cards we’re all issued with:
            - There’s violence and sexism everywhere though!
            - No-one would mind if it was a MAN!
            - Your so POLITICALLY CORRECT it’s RUINING THINGS!
            ad infinitum.
            But you know what, I can shut my ears to you just as you can blindly shut your eyes and ears to me and my complaints about how I feel as a women being so disposable and used in games, marketing, characterisation (or lack of) storylines, etc etc etc
            - because I know, and here’s the kicker guys – RPS will NEVER STOP asking those questions. No matter how much you want them to.

            (Thanks RPS)

          • gwathdring says:

            @Continuity

            “Adult” and “mature” are different things though. And I guess I’d say this sort of imagery does saturate the media which puts CDPR in an odd place–they don’t make anything so awful it couldn’t exist happily in a perfect world … but we don’t live in a perfect world so we have to ask some questions because it’s difficult to tell the way CDPR deals with sex from the way other games do except that it’s a little more explicit than we’re used to.

            As I posted elsewhere, my primary concern is that CDPR has good reasons for making decisions that overlap with lazy stereotypes. Quite simply, if everyone does it … it doesn’t matter that you do it for your own reasons. We as an audience cannot read your mind. You as a creator have to be really careful relying on common tropes and stereotypes because they speak very loudly to your audience and through them, you let the collective average of video gaming speak for your game.

          • Bhazor says:

            @ Continuity
            Oh I agree, as I said elsewhere there is absolutely nothing exceptional about the trailer’s use of women, it is the absolute norm. That’s the problem. Though I’d argue CDProjeckt’s history of using sex in marketing, including Triss’ centerfold in Playboy, puts them very much front and center in this debate. Again I’m not angry with them, I’m disappointed, they write the most mature RPG’s I’ve ever played. They are most well known for collectable sex cards. They don’t need to use T&A, but they keep using it.

            I’m free to criticise as much as I want if I feel something is damaging to the medium. Look at how many awful dreary games were made after COD:MW and how many talented studios were culled as a result. The one track mind when it comes to women in games is damaging both to the medium and as an industry. Just look at how many horror stories come up about women working in the industry being mistreated by the press. There’s a reason Jade Raymond went into self exile.

            Showing tits does not make you mature. If it did the back of my high school exercise book would be hailed as high art. Sadly it isn’t, yet, and in fact my biology teacher gave my work a scathing critique.

          • Premium User Badge

            Jubaal says:

            Bhazor, just wanted to let you know that you aren’t a lone voice in this. I agree with the points you raised. It’s sad that so many people seem to not understand the points you are making or appear to deliberately misinterpret your view points.

            It is not about being a white knight it is about trying to assist in getting a level playing-field for women. It is yet another example of games companies stereotyping women as sex objects rather than the myriad of other ways they could positively portray women. If people like us do not speak up then the games industry will not listen and the cycle will never be broken.

          • razaron says:

            @Chocolate pudding: Because chocolate pudding is delicious.

      • nearly says:

        I think I disagree. these were pretty specific questions that were based on specific details interpreted a specific way from details that were vague at best.

        remember that first dead island trailer everybody liked so much? it’d be like asking “how does the father, as your main character, handle having killed his zombified daughter? will the game be concerned with the psychological effects of what happened? will this be a major facet of his characterization?”

        • The Random One says:

          I think your analogy works pretty well. We have very little do go on and perhaps the interviewer should have focused more on higher themes. Nathan, go join Alec in the corner.

          He did totally skirt the question about influences though.

        • Stochastic says:

          Yeah, it sounded to me like Nathan was maybe reading into things a bit too much. Also, it’s hard to say whether Kanik was dodging/avoiding the questions without witnessing the interview itself. To me it just seemed like he wanted to give succinct answers, which is understandable.

        • Consumatopia says:

          It would be like asking “So, the trailer for Dead Island really struck a chord with a lot of people. Are you aiming for greater emotional depth or resonance than we’ve tended to associate with zombie themed video games?”

          Which would be a totally reasonable question. Given what we know about how Dead Island turned out, the actual true answer was “no”–Dead Island was just aiming for fun. It’s very unlikely that they would want to give you that correct answer–they would either lie and say “yes” or tell you something vague and non-committal. (Probably wouldn’t sink to the “What is truth?” levels we’re approaching here, though.)

          But there’s nothing wrong with the question. Compare this to the interview with Ken Levine. When Jim mentions history, does Levine get all elliptical and, um, “Socratic” as some above would have it? No, he just straight up tells you the influence history had on the game. “I don’t think I would gauge success here as historical accuracy…”.

          Look, when someone says “The worst thing I could do as someone behind the trailer is to tell you how you should interpret it”, we can be certain that he means “if I told you the truth about what we were going for in that trailer, you would be less interested in our game”.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        Considering they’ve only released one trailer, I can see why CDP might be reticent. Anything they say now will colour the perception of the rest of the game. Unless that single trailer is a perfect representation of the game, it’s probably best not to go into detail until more information is released. Another example, Ken Levine only started commenting on Bioshock:: Infinite’s themes after journalists were able to play the start of the game.

        Also, let’s be honest, if the CDP developers ever reveal the true “message” of the game, it will almost inevitably be disappointing. We all remember Yohalem’s roundabout explanation of Far Cry 3… Sometimes the commentary from from RPS and other sites is far more illuminating than anything the developers can come up with.

        • Consumatopia says:

          Yohalem didn’t give a roundabout explanation of FarCry 3, Yohalem gave a straight forward description of the roundabout thought process he had making FarCry 3. FarCry 3 turned out to be a hot mess, but Yohalem probably thought all along he was making this beautiful satire or something. It turns out that satire and irony are harder than doing things wrong on purpose. Who knew?

          I’m guessing (who knows until the game comes out?) that Kanik isn’t like Yohalem. CDP just wanted to put a pretty girl in the trailer, but he doesn’t want to come out and admit that.

          • Premium User Badge

            Continuity says:

            Which is a little odd given that CDP’s modus operandi includes explicit sexual content, you’d of thought they’d be less reticent on the point. I got the impression though that Kanik was taken a bit off guard by the line of questioning and maybe a bit annoyed that it was being focused on.

  2. Tuco says:

    ” Why that woman? A number of people were fairly taken aback by the fact that she was a scantily clad and in a compromising position, which is understandable”

    Jesus Christ, really?

    • Premium User Badge

      FriendlyFire says:

      I think he fielded that question and the next one quite admirably. This is one case where I really do think the trailer would offend you only if you were looking to be offended.

      • Valerius Maximus says:

        They shouldn’t have been fielded at all. RPS is seeing sexism and gender in every shadow and corner these days.
        Anyone who thinks that the trailer had a negative display of women did not understand the trailer at all and knows nothing about the setting.

        • vanosofmanos says:

          No kidding. The people I’ve shown that trailer to, all fans of Cyberpunk 2020, were left kind of amused by many people’s reactions to it. It’s pretty much a typical encounter with a cyber-psycho, complete with having to get behind it before it rips your face off with it’s half ton of cybernetics. I can practically break that down on a round by round basis using just the Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook. Big credit to CDP for being so faithful to the source material.

          • Bhazor says:

            And it meant they could use a woman in her underwear to advertise the game, lucky.

          • Aedrill says:

            Holy shit Bhazor, you’re going for the record! Do you think that whole Antic Greece and Renaissance art should be banned because it shows naked body? Human body is beautiful, that’s the first thing. You can watch it and admire it without wanking in the same time. I know, shocking! Secondly, attractive, half-naked woman with huge razorblades covered in blood sticking out of her forearms makes for a) amazing piece of graphic design and b) tells more about the Cyber Punk world than almost anything you could imagine. Just by looking at this girl, even out of context, you can say A LOT about what’s going on in Night City in 2077.

            So yeah, she’s there for a reason, and not because “sex sells”.

            Also, you mentioned “15 minutes of pointless HBO sex scenes in The Witcher 2″ and then gave us 4 minutes of one of the key scenes defining relationship between Geralt and Triss. Well done.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            That’s really not the point Aedrill.

            Boy, this discussion be a whole lot more rewarding for everyone if people just listened to what others are saying instead of always replying to something that wasn’t said.

            You don’t say that violence is good if there is some well known work of art about the subject. You respond to violence in the context it is being discussed. In here the context is whether that depiction of a scantily clad female in a sexy pose is gratuitous or not. And if it is, how much of that is cause to consider the whole depiction as sexist.

          • Aedrill says:

            The answer is: no, it’s not. This trailer does remarkable job explaining the cyberpunk world to people who are not fans of this system. Adding a bloke with some really weird modifications would just give the wrong impression. It would look like saints row 3, not serious rpg. The way it was done trailer was very informative and open for interpretation. It wasn’t cheap, lazy marketing.

          • gwathdring says:

            @Aedril

            I know a fair bit about Cyberpunk and nothing about Cyberpunk 2020 … personally, I didn’t find the trailer even slightly informative about the world. It’s a teaser, so that’s probably ok … but I’m not sure how you’re justifying it as a highly successful explanation of the game’s world. Sexism discussion aside, I just don’t see how you could give it that much credit.

        • MiniMatt says:

          The moment questions are off the table entirely is the moment I think any journalist can stop defining themselves thusly.

          And a trailer than includes pretty lady in her pants – of course that’s going to raise gender and sex issues. The cyberpunk setting is vast and colourful and there are a number of ways that could have been advertised. I’m not saying the way they chose was necessarily the wrong way. I’m not necessarily saying it was an offensive way. But what I am saying is that when, out of the whole breadth of the lore you chose as your first introduction to marketing a computer game a pretty lady in her pants that will raise sex and gender issues and it’s absolutely right that those questions get asked.

          You might be happy with the answer, you might not, but of course those questions should be asked.

          • Premium User Badge

            maninahat says:

            That sounds right to me. I know absolutely nothing about Cyberpunk 2077, so my first impression of the series is this trailer, which is centred around what appears to be a cheap attempt to titillate me skimpy, sexy women. Apparently this is what people call a “cyber psycho”, and there is a lot more to it than the trailer shows, but as a new comer, I’m not going to see that. So really, the trailer kinds of shoots itself in the foot, because the message that comes across is less about beauty being tarnished by madness/robotics, and more about shooting sexy babes with cool ass hand scythes.

          • Aedrill says:

            It’s hardly CDProjekt’s fault. In fact, you were thinking that, because you’re used to game companies exploiting such images for cheap marketing. What you should do after watching the trailer was asking yourself “what do I know about the world of Cyberpunk now?” instead of “Why did developers do what they did?” Do you see the difference? First question focuses on the work of art and allows it to speak for itself, second one puts this burden on developer and assumes that their motives weren’t pure.

          • trout says:

            @ aedrill

            I may be going out on a limb here, but couldn’t we ask both of those questions at the same time ?

          • The Random One says:

            Aedril: Why shift the burden to the viewers? CDProjekt, or their marketing team, knows the current state of video game advertising. It’s incredibly presumptious to think “oh, sure, everyone is using naked women just because they’re tasteless bastards, but the second anyone watches our trailer they’ll KNOW we’re doing it right!” There’s a point where I’ll stop looking more deeply after a trailer shows a women in skimpy clothes because of how many previous instances justified it with “yeah our target demographic likes looking at tits”.

            I didn’t think the trailer was that bad, but I found the reaction completely understandable. If you hold an opinion also held by complete bastards, when someone accuses you of being a bastard for holding that opinion you don’t accuse them of being biased against you, even if you’d be correct.

        • TimEatsApples says:

          This trailer comes from the same developer that allowed you to collect nudey cards as trophies from your sexual conquests in the first Witcher game. Any questions about potential sexism are entirely justified.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            True, but The Witcher was a very manly game for manly men. They have evolved in regards to their character writing though. The Witcher 2 had some of the more interesting and well writen female characters i have played in a while.

            Also thanks to the setting, the few women you do meet are either going to be peasants, throwing magic at you or whores.

          • Bhazor says:

            “Some of the most well realised women” many of whom you can fuck to the point that this is what the game is most known for.

            I love everything about CDProjeckt but their core games are notorious for their sexual content and that is such a shame. Their games are highly regarded for their daring non linear narratives tackling complex issues that Bioware wouldn’t dream of. Their games are famous for having gratuitous sex scenes.

          • Premium User Badge

            Thurgret says:

            Your comment regarding rampant sexual content is valid for the first Witcher, Bhazor, but have you actually played the second at all?

          • Bhazor says:

            Yep, it was littered with lengthy sex scenes and one advertisement was Triss doing a nude spread for Playboy.

            CDProjeckt has a terrible reputation when it comes to using sex to sell their games. Their games are good enough to stand proud over anything in the industry, but they’re constantly overshadowed by their own dumb publicity.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            Poland has no time for Sexism. The major audience of the Witcher is males and sex sells, so their marketing was heavy in that area.
            However the in game content of The Witcher 2 was all incredibly tasteful.
            I don’t see anyone putting up a stinker about Dethmold getting is genitals cut off but that’s because he is a man and it’s ok to do stuff like that to men, right?

          • Skhalt says:

            I can count 3 sex scenes at most in my last playthrough, every one of them avoidable if you so choose. I’m not sure it’s the game’s fault if you decided Geralt had to spend all his money at the brothel or something.

          • Bhazor says:

            Depends. Was Dethmold tied spread eagled topless to a post with rivulets of sweat running down his chisled physique?
            No?
            Then it wasn’t comparable to how the female torture victim was originally treated. That was before they realised having a heavily sexualised rape victim wasn’t in the best taste.

            Again why are they relying on “sex sells” where their games are so much more?

          • someone else says:

            Actually Dethmold’s depiction and death is very problematic because he’s the only explicitly gay male character in the games. It’s fine to have gay characters be thoroughly disgusting people who meet gristly ends, but when there’s only one it comes across as homophobic.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            Dethmold is actually a really well done gay character. There is no indication at all that he is until the very end. It’s not forced, it’s not distasteful and they don’t make his sexuality a key feature of his character.
            To be honest, i really liked the guy and was dissapointed when he betrayed me.

          • gwathdring says:

            @Someone Else

            But does he represent a consistent, problematic stereotype of gay characters? If we limit games by saying that a game having only one character has to make sure that character is a nice, happy, heroic figure who lives a long and successful life then we’re not exactly being egalitarian. We’re just being really scared about our inability to handle things like homosexuality as ONE element of a person’s identity rather than the biggest one.

            I haven’t played the game so I don’t know if he’s a problematic character … but giving him special treatment because he’s the only gay character is kind of … well, BAD.

        • Rusky says:

          Agreed.

          I guess it’s just another media attention grab. Just like the crazyness regarding that female torso in the (i think) Dead Island game.
          Nobody would complain about seeing a bloody male torso, or in this case, some dude standing there bloody in his underwear, but holy crap, it’s a woman so it must be wrong.

          I wish the media (RPS included) would evolve their own understanding of society to the point that they’re trying to suggest their readers are lacking (because at the moment I’m finding it’s the other way around).

          • DXN says:

            You don’t think it would be kind of messed up if the torso was as sexualized as the one in question is, like with a big chubby half-mast nestled in its too-tight speedos?

            More to the point, there’s not nearly as much systematic objectification, sexualization and brutalization of men as there is of women. That statue is an artefact and a symbol of the oppression that goes on all over the place every single day.

            Arguments along the lines of “but would there be all this fuss if a minority did the same thing” are nearly always specious, because oppression isn’t just a single action, it’s a system or an aspect of a system.

            There’s nothing wrong with male fantasy, with Geralt being an irresistable player who never has to deal with pregnancy or STDs or breaking up marriages and relationships. There’s nothing wrong with gore-and-sex-filled schlocky grindhouse romps. Not in themselves. The problem is how all the choices made in the games, in entertainment, in business, and in society in general, in aggregate, lean so heavily in favour of the options that denigrate, devalue, disempower and exploit women, and privelege men. That’s what creates oppression, misery, inequality, and all that bad stuff, because it all feeds into and reinforces itself, makes it so it’s so pervasive it’s almost invisible.

            It’s not a problem for any one particular company to have a male boss, but it’s a problem if bosses everywhere are overwhelmingly male, and every company has to do their part to fix that if it’s ever going to change. No one individual thing is to blame, and fixing any one thing isn’t going to fix the system. But fixing everything you can fix, everything you recognize and understand for what it is in the greater context — or at least asking and vocalizing and agitating for it to be fixed — that will sure as hell help if enough people do it.

        • frosty216 says:

          SEXISM!!! VIOLENCE!!!!

          Watch any movie put out by Hollywood, then get back to me about how horrible these games are.

          Luckily, you can find out if you should play them prior to getting your self-righteous patootie in a bunch by checking the ESRB rating. If it has a “M”, that’s an “M” for mature, not a “C” for carebear.

          Also, get a haircut.

          • The Random One says:

            “I got robbed!”

            “So what? People get robbed EVERY DAY. The other day someone stole AN ENTIRE CAR! Don’t bother me with your stupid crap.”

        • Noise says:

          Agree completely, somehow this bizarre anti-sex pseudo-feminist idealogy has broken through into many journalists’ brains. It’s actually been enormously successful for a facist hate mongering movement.

          >for some of us a ‘nude sexually posed woman’ is not sufficient reason for a ‘nude sexually posed woman’.
          Each to their own, doesn’t obligate anyone to modify their art to suit you

          >And a trailer than includes pretty lady in her pants – of course that’s going to raise gender and sex issues.
          What? What the fuck? Why does including an attractive female raise “gender issues” or “sex issues”? How does your logic get this twisted?

          Youtube user girlwriteswhat has eloquently and thoroughly exposed the hypocrisy of these psuedo-feminists, from who the new wave of irrationality has spawned.

    • Lawful Evil says:

      And so it begins… Or does it?

    • MiniMatt says:

      Can’t speak for Jesus Christ but yep, really. It’s not so much a case of looking to be offended but can often strike as resorting to very lazy cliches in advertising which can sometimes do little to endear people to a product.

    • Askeladd says:

      You didn’t know sexism is a huge debate? Some people are offended – arguably: easily offended.
      Most of the times discussions about sexism only lead to more embarrassment for ignorant people.
      Big news: people are ignorant.
      Anyway, talking about the subject is important and it helps, but often it’s importance is exaggerated in a way everything seems to be sexism, which isn’t really a surprise because the sex is what defines both halves of mankind. So it leads us to the question: When does it become sexism? Or: How much sexism can be tolerated?

      We could now break down and analyze the Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer but.. I don’t want to. There’s no single answer.

      Goody two shoes… honestly, who likes those guys?

    • Jenks says:

      My first thought was, understandable to who? Certainly only the rest of the eternally outraged crew could even begin to understand.

      • Askeladd says:

        Well, you only have to shift your world view a little bit and then you understand. There’s always some truth to be found.
        You can understand the point of view of other people and still have your own opinion, yes?

    • Emeraude says:

      Personally, I like to take the music and image sync pretty literally: that’s not a woman, that’s a heavily modified man.

      Doesn’t change much of my opinion of the trailer, but at least the discussion surrounding it becomes much more amusing.

      • stiffkittin says:

        Ha! That would have made a much more interesting trailer. The transsexual Magnetic Dog Sisters guarding the entrance to the bar in Johnny Mnemonic remain one the most compelling mental images I have for the entire Sprawl setting.

    • Qwibbles says:

      100% this.

      Are we such teenagers that we much mention breasts every time we see them.

      • Emeraude says:

        I sometimes fear that’s a quite fitting description really, all the current discourse reeks of an adolescent “I want to be taken seriously” phase.

        Which doesn’t mean it doesn’t raise valid questions. Or at least point in the direction of some real problems.

      • MiniMatt says:

        One could suggest marketing departments consider we’re such teenagers that the easiest way to sell computer games is to slap them in every trailer.

      • Bhazor says:

        Is the industry still composed of teenager’s who must put tits into everything?

        • Terragot says:

          Yes, Let’s rip off the tits of all women and castrate all male genitalia too, Just like the Ottoman’s did to all pieces of art and sculpture they came across when expanding their empire, so the initial good intentions can echo throughout history as a reminder that no matter the intentions, men will always speak for women.

          • Aedrill says:

            Well said. I can (sort of) understand people saying this trailer was misogynistic, mostly because if you want to find misogyny you’ll find it anywhere eventually. But this is simply too much. Acting offended (or “bored” as you like to say) just because you caught a glimpse of woman’s skin is just silly. We’re humans, we have bodies, get over it already!

          • gwathdring says:

            That’s not what Bhazor said at all, or what anyone has suggested that I’ve read. Is it so hard to make a reasonable statement that responds to the content of someone’s post without bringing a bunch of unnecessary fear and baggage and discomfort with more extreme ideas into play?

            Also, I’m not sure the Ottomans did that … I’m fairly certain there was nude artwork in the Ottoman empire. Do you have a source for that? Sorry, this is a bit of a tangent. There was a pope that chiseled the crotch out of some statues in The Vatican, I believe. I forget which one, though, and my art history books aren’t with me presently. I’ve also never studied the period intensely, so I could easily be wrong about the ottomans.

        • Valerius Maximus says:

          Well it’s full of manchildren attracted to children’s cartoons so probably.

          • Totally heterosexual says:

            Oh shut the fuck up.

            I have not even watched the show but that is really fucking obnoxious.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            Are you denying that what i said is true?
            Are you defending a closet furry who hypocritically dubs men interested in breasts as teenagers?
            The same grown man that after saying men are childish for liking breasts, goes and watches his weekly dose of rainbows and ponies?

          • DXN says:

            He just hasn’t learned the true magic of friendship yet.

          • Totally heterosexual says:

            I don’t really even agree with the guy entirely, but trying to use some shows he likes as “ammo” on a debate with him just makes you look like a douche.

            The show and the possibility of this person being a “furry” are not related to the issue at hand in any way. So keep your arguments focused on the main point or stop posting, you fucking idiot.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            I’m replying to a shitty argument with a shitty argument.
            Do you honestly think that someone who says the industry is composed of teenagers who want tits on everything is worthy of a decent reply.
            You are just as bad as he is. Not only should you stop posting but you should probably stop voicing your opinions in general. They are terrible.

          • Bhazor says:

            @ Valerius Maximus

            PS Sweetie Belle is best simulant

            I like breasts they are in my top ten body parts*, that doesn’t mean I appreciate having them stuck in my face when I’m trying to do something like explore a complex narrative. I like chocolate pudding, that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about people pouring it all over my food when I order a meal.

            *below the brain but certainly above the spleen and lower intestines.

        • jerf says:

          @Bhazor
          Could you please give an example of a pointless sex scene, not advancing the storyline, which was forced upon you in The Witcher 2? To justify your “chocolate pudding” analogy.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            All of them.

            The game didn’t need to offer your sex. The story isn’t about having sex. Not even related. But it gives you sex because sex is, well, this cool thing that sells and has everyone talk about it.

          • hypercrisis says:

            Its not that sex is ‘cool’ so much that sex is a part of reality. Also its fantasy, a genre that has been dripping with sex for a long time.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            @Mario
            The story isn’t about sex so it shouldn’t be in the game?
            That is the most pathetic and childish argument i have ever seen. Would you say the story is about Triss? No? Why is she there then? What about Roche? Is the story about him? No? Why is he there? What about Geralt’s swords? Is the story about them? No? Why does he have them then?
            Sex is used as a tool or a story telling technique in the game. Be glad i gave an actual response to your braindead reply.

          • Bhazor says:

            Everything you mentioned is directly tied to the story. Seeing a succubus’ tits? Not so much.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            @Valerius Maximus,

            Nice name. He was one of the best rhetoricians in Ancient Rome history. It’s quite sad that you are the exact opposite. In rhetoric calling someone pathetic and childish, or even failing to completely address the matter at hand is completely out of the question.

            Moving forward. The question is not whether sex should be or not in the game. That was not what I was answering. The question that I was answering was what sex scenes in Witcher 2 didn’t help advance the plotline. My answer was (and still is) ALL of them. And you didn’t help since you failed to completely argue against that.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            I’m seriously wondering if you have brain problems or if you choose not to read what i wrote.
            The sex scenes are directly involved in the story in that they are tools in order for CDPR to express a point.
            Sex with Triss in the beginning is to show that the Triss romance was canon and the two are romantically involved. It’s the start of the game and how better to show the condition of their relationship than with the act of love making?
            The sex scene with Vess does a similar thing. Geralt and her have reached a point where they are romantically involved so the act of sex is used once again to show the state of a relationship. It’s also used so that the rape of Vess is that much more traumatic for the player character to deal with.
            Those are the only two sex scenes i experienced in my playthrough. Both have reasons to be there.

            Also Bhazor, it’s a succubus, what the fuck did you expect? It’s a side quest right? If you are afraid of demonic tits, don’t do it.

          • Bhazor says:

            As I said else where in the thread, I liked the Triss scene. It was interestingly shot and it was obvious the characters had a deep history in how they acted with each other. Could it be done differently? Yes. Did it require lingering ass shots to convey this personal history? No.

            The other dozen or so sex scenes with interchangable prostitutes/quest rewards? Not so much.

            Like I said elsewhere, what purpose do the scenes serve? Are people such cretins that we can’t grasp two character’s have had sex without watching them have sex? If a director put in a five minute scene of someone eating chocolate pudding, then they have spent five minutes of the film showing a man eating chocolate pudding. The fact I can choose to fast forward through the scene does not change the fact that scene is there.

          • jerf says:

            @Bhazor
            Could Botticelli make his Venus fully clothed, or Rembrandt his Danaë? Yes. Would it be a very different piece of art in each case? Yes.

            Then why do we shy away from some nudity in The Witcher 2? It’s just one of the tools available for designers and artists to convey their vision to us. And denying them the use of this tool is completely childish.

          • Bhazor says:

            I’m a big believer in creative restraint spurring creativity.
            Limiting the number of swear words you use means writer has to be much more creative and it means every swear word becomes that much more impactful. Violence is far more shocking when it’s built up and used sparingly. If HBO suddenly weren’t allowed to show fucking they would need to find more interesting ways to infer the infidelity and relationships.

            Sadly many creatives don’t even try, they include swearing because they can and nudity because they want to.

    • Nameless1 says:

      It’s RPS baby, where every time their editors see a woman not fully clothed they HAVE TO (stupidly) bitch about sexism. And put It at the top of every dedicated interview.
      It’s probably the tenth article I read here like that, the last one at this point.

      • Archonsod says:

        At this rate it’s only a matter of time before we get an article on the outrageous blatant display of feminine ankles in the medium.

        • Bhazor says:

          Nudity is fine.
          Objectification or using nudity as a PR commodity is not.

          I’m thankful this has finally become an issue, maybe now people in the industry can grow up and stop relying on T&A to drive their advertising.

          • Archonsod says:

            I find nudity perfectly acceptable. Perhaps you’d be happier if you emigrated to one of the more repressive theocracies out there, I hear they have some incredibly strict guidelines on this sort of thing.

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            Lars Westergren says:

            That was a pretty nasty thing to say Archonsod. Bhazor already said he/she is perfectly ok with nudity, but not ok with how it was portrayed in this particular piece of advertising.

          • Aedrill says:

            Now you’re just assuming they did it for marketing only, which is not nice. I see plenty of different reasons to do it how it was done (as I mentioned in comments above). Just because you’re biased, doesn’t mean they’re cynical.

          • Bhazor says:

            The trailer is an advert.
            They could have put anything in the advert.
            They put that in the advert.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            What if the person kneeling on the floor isn’t actually a woman? No one said you can’t have augs that change your gender appearance. Maybe thats a man holding a gun to a man’s head? Creates quite an interesting dissonance when you look at the image with that in mind.

          • Poliphilo says:

            So then it’s fine for games to feature nudity like the rest of the arts and entertainments, and subsequently you expect media won’t, you know, publish 250,000 screenshots of it?

            Or perhaps it’s fine so long as nothing features in any of the promotion material, which includes journalist playthroughs, previews, reviews?

            Or perhaps there shouldn’t be any sexualizing of women, you know? And to make sure we avoid that we’ll just stick to a sort of misguided medieval or Victorian sense of sinfulness and modesty; long dresses and the like (after all; the burden of avoiding sexual violence, rampant orgies and if you believe in certain religions, complete chaotical breakdown of society into sexual mayhem, has always fallen on women’s choice of clothing, right?.. wait.. what?).

            If you take a step back you can see we’ve landed in a farcical land of absurdity, here. If you take a few steps further back, you might come to realize just why that is.

            As long as you can’t recognize that your attitude is part of the problem and not the solution, and by attitude, I mean equating almost half of all depictions of the human form with “softcore porn” (your words), specifically, then religions and marketing people alike will always keep exploiting societies for power and profit using the power of suggestion to either control or profit and generate controversy at the same time, respectively.

          • Phantoon says:

            Man? Woman?

            I don’t care about that. Scythe arms do it for me.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            Bhazor, you missed the point of the trailer entirely. That woman is most likely an escort, prostitute, entertainer, or some other career that requires heavy body modification. Hell they even look like pijamas, she could have just been preparing for bed when she lost it.
            Either way, she has modified her body with enhancements so much that she has essentially lost it and started killing people in the heat of the moment. It happens in the cyberpunk setting, the guy is from a special police force that recruits people this has happened to, the reason she was lying on the ground like that was because she was most likely being hacked by him or reached a point where her enhancements shut down.

            Research the setting even a little bit before you go on your feminist quest to look like an idiot.

          • Bhazor says:

            Oh I’ve played a few games of Cyberpunk P&P. It was filled with women much like the one in the trailer.

            But it also had women with three foot high mohawks, piston legs, shoulder cannons, batwings, head to toe tattoos and sunglasses implanted below the skin Adam Jenson style.

            Which of those two would be more instantly impactful?

            Instead we get a playboy model in her underwear. That’s gonna stand out right? That’s like basing a Planescape Torment game in a small mundane village.

        • Nameless1 says:

          Oh The Horror!

      • Gorf says:

        Surprise surprise….Ive not been to RPS for about a month cos I just got fed up with the fixation on sexism.
        ……and what do I find the day I revisit?

        Rock Paper Sexism is here to stay.

        • gandalf733 says:

          If someone can PM me and tell me a good site that covers video games but isn’t a bunch of whiny politically correct hipsters, that’d be great. I thought I found it here but I was wrong.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Oh stop being a poseur, you know full well where other sites are and visit several regularly already. Why did you even bother commenting? If You don’t like it here then piss off and stop filling up the comments with pointless complaining.

          • PopeJamal says:

            IGN has been looking for you.
            It’s that way ——–>

          • D3xter says:

            Forbes (yes, really) http://www.forbes.com/games/ is alright in regards to that, although unfortunately they aren’t completely free of it, it seems to be some sort of important coming-of-age topic in nerd journalism to “prove oneself” or something. Unfortunately there are very few dedicated PC (as in Personal Computers, not the other thing) sites around.

          • Snids says:

            Kotaku. Have fun. Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.

        • Gorf says:

          If RPS is going to continue tickling the arseholes of tedious tossers like the ones here, then dont worry people will be leaving in droves.

          Ive shown that trailer to 3 women friends, one of which is my boss, and they all liked it.

          Block away.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            I think seeing that RPS has been covering social commentary since it first started the people who are leaving will be a tiny minority of vociferous newcomers and casual readers. The majority of readers come here for the social commentary because RPS has always presented games as a culturally relevant medium. Thinking that the majority of a websites readers don’t actually like the site because you don’t happen to smacks of naive adolescent self-centredness, and the idea that social commentary is something new around here suggests you aren’t exactly a core reader.

            But you know, you did show the trailer to your sister and your mum who didn’t have a problem with it, so I must be wrong.

          • Gorf says:

            deleted original reply, its a waste of time and you’re a presumptious A hole.

          • gwathdring says:

            Gorf? That’s a really poor argument. Which doesn’t mean you’re wrong. I don’t find the trailer objectionable, either. But a sample size of three is quite laughable in terms of rigorously analyzing just about anything–especially something as complicated as sexism. It’s no more interesting that you showed the trailer to three women who didn’t find it problematic as that there are at least three posters here who didn’t find it problematic. Finding people who agree with your argument doesn’t make it better. This is a discourse, not a democracy.

            Furthermore, your behavior here is utterly appalling and you really ought to apologize. You’re embarrassing RPS and you’re embarrassing yourself if the best you can do is block opinions you dislike and call people names.

      • nearly says:

        you’re right, we should just ignore it. mostly undressed is a perfectly natural and normal appearance for women, and we shouldn’t think of depicting them otherwise.

        • Snakejuice says:

          We are born naked, the naked human body is perfectly natural. Heck I’m naked right now! PM me your Skype ID and I’ll add you so you can have a look through the webcam, it ain’t pretty but it’s there!

        • Tuco says:

          Yes, we SHOULD, because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that specific depiction of women, because attractive doesn’t imply “sexualized”, becuase even in presence of sexualization, among active feminists you’ll find plenty of women that aren’t so prudish and easily outraged by representations of sex, and because if you’re uncomfortable with the human body than it’s your problem. Not one with the society.

          Now, I could understand (pointless) complaints about sexism/sexualization if we were actually talking about something like Dead or Alive.
          We are talking about a trailer where a psychopath girl on a rampage is slaughtering dozens of people and you’re actually outraged by how she isn’t wearing a longer skirt?
          What a joke.

          You guys aren’t promoting a cause, as you seem to think, you’re trivializing it to the point of irrelevance.

          • Phantoon says:

            Depends on what you mean by feminists. There’s the actual people concerned with equal gender rights, and there’s the college students that take it to mean that all men are evil.

            Luckily, the second group is rather small. They’re just a bit more vocal, like all other college students with “an agenda”.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Yes, because ignoring topics makes them much more relevant.

          • Tuco says:

            @Eddy9000 Still, it’s surely better than crying outrage out of any trivial bullshit.

    • Davie says:

      Honestly, this is probably one of the more justified uses of a scantily clad woman from a narrative perspective. I knew nothing about the Cyberpunk universe when I watched the trailer, but the fact that our central character was wearing an outfit obviously unsuited to the environment immediately conveyed that she wasn’t where she expected to be that morning; that there was some “glitch” or mental instability in her actions. And what do you know, I was right.

      A man in his shorts would’ve conveyed the same thing, certainly, but without that sense of…vulnerability, I guess, it’s just a slow-mo fight scene. In this case we actually learn a lot about the setting from one simple detail.

      • Aedrill says:

        Yes, FINALLY someone putting effort in understanding the work of art first, and only then considering author’s intentions. You’re a perfect example that this trailer does it’s job brilliantly, and all you need to do is not blush or go into righteous fury the instant you see a lady with no trousers.

      • Ravenholme says:

        Pretty much how I feel about it.

      • The Random One says:

        You’re right. Still, to me, the relationship between CDProkect and sexy women is the same between Rockstar North and stories centered on men. They are great at doing it and it would be ridiculous to demand they change, but other games do it so often, so poorly, so out of the automatic notion that their target demographic are teenagers and teenagers like tits and swears, that it reflects poorly on them.

        It may seem unfair to judge a trailer doing something well because of something its peers are doing poorly, and a hundred years from now it will be unfair. Now I can only think of a dozen other marketers looking at it and thinking, ‘See, this trailer is great because tits.’ You can’t ignore the context you’re inserted in.

      • StranaMente says:

        I completely agree with you.

    • Jeroen D Stout says:

      I was convinced your “Jesus Christ” referred to his ‘why not this woman?’, which made my roll my eyes.

      Question hardly is whether this fits some binary ‘is it SEXISM?!’ newspaper headline. I was happily surprised Rock Paper Shotgun pointed out something I myself found in poor taste as well. In poor taste because of the gender and presentation.

      I am terribly sorry some people here seem to be exasperated by all these questions, but for some of us a ‘nude sexually posed woman’ is not sufficient reason for a ‘nude sexually posed woman’.

      • Valerius Maximus says:

        Where is this “nude sexually posed woman” in the trailer? I can’t see her.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      I always just figured the answer was “because the genre will never get past that scene in Blade Runner where the stripper in the transparent raincoat gets shot in the middle of the street.”

    • DGMockingJay says:

      This is what happens when you think way too much into stuff.

  3. Yosharian says:

    No offence, but I think he dealt with a lot of your ridiculous questions quite admirably.

    I came in my pants when he mentioned Gibson’s Sprawl. God I love these guys.

    • Battlehenkie says:

      Agreed, not the RPS review to go down in history as having the best list of questions asked. Mateusz rightfully dodged most questions and admirably refused to provide clarity on interpretation. I wish more developers did that.

      • stiffkittin says:

        Not answer questions? You don’t think it might have been better if he’d fielded Nathan’s inquiries with an alternate point of view, or even some insight into their creative thought process? Perhaps some details that might actually help market the game, which is generally the goal.

        Or maybe they just shouldn’t give interviews when they’ve got nothing much to say.

        • Battlehenkie says:

          Where exactly did you go from my comment that the CDPR guy is ‘rightfully dodging poor questions’ to not giving interviews? Certainly the quality of the questions is RPS’ responsibility and not CDPR. No, I do not think that in this case providing clarity would necessarily have been better for marketing of the game. I firmly believe in a world where we get everything we don’t understand or are able to uncover spelled out to us and demonstrated, this type of approach is exactly what will make people talk about you. If anything, look at the vast amount of comments this interview has already spawned. It seems to be doing a pretty dang job of getting people to talk about CDPR’s next game.

    • The Random One says:

      I don’t think he was too evasive, but answering that your inspiration to a cyberpunk work is the Sprawl is like saying that your inspiration for a videogame is the NES.

      • Yosharian says:

        Uhh… ok. So you’re a fan of cyberpunk but you don’t like the Sprawl trilogy? Gibson virtually invented the fucking genre…

        • Emeraude says:

          a) You can enjoy a genre and not enjoy its originators, and rather the evolution it followed down the line.

          b) More importantly, I think what The Random One meant is that name calling Gibson when talking about Cyberpunk is akin to name calling Miles Davis when talking about jazz: everybody knows him, he’s got a deserved reputation and body of work that puts him beyond critic for most commentators; it’s consensual, expected and utterly insignificant if not argued in detail.

          • Yosharian says:

            But to criticize Gibson’s work is like saying you like Westerns but can’t stand Clint Eastwood’s work in them… Or you love Japanese film but can’t stand Kurosawa… it’s just stupid. But anyway maybe I misunderstood the comment, sorry if I did.

          • gwathdring says:

            @Yosharian

            I don’t understand how either of those examples would be stupid. I like most of the non-Clint Eastwood westerns I’ve seen and few of the Eastwood ones.

            Plenty of people like Tolkien-esque high fantasy and can’t slog their way through Tolkien. Whenever I geek out over Tolkien I get eye-rolls and comments about how boring LOTR was from some pretty hard-core fantasy fans who love plenty of stuff that wouldn’t have happened without Tolkien and his ilk.

            Just because everyone says Gibson writes the best Cyberpunk doesn’t mean he writes the best Cyberpunk. It means he’s widely accepted to write the best Cyberpunk … once more I’m left confused as to what you find objectionable or “stupid” about this sort of idea.

            You’re saying one cannot like Fudge and dislike straight butter. Sometimes it is only when something is added to the mix (and sometimes, only when chemical changes occur) that the ingredients are appealing. So with me and westerns–I find Eastwood’s westerns to be like eating a raw stick of butter. I like the potential but it’s kind of bland and nauseating when it’s not mixed in with something.

    • gwathdring says:

      What makes the question ridiculous, though? You might think there is nothing problematic about the trailer at all, but that doesn’t make asking the creator to explain their design choices ridiculous … and since the creator did not explain his design choices, he starts looking a bit silly to me even though I don’t even think the trailer is particularly problematic.

      I didn’t think anything much of the trailer except that I liked the music the first time I saw it. Then the discussion started and I got really disappointed by the extreme and unreasonable reactions on both sides–but mostly on the reactionary side. There were so many “This is bullshit, shut the fuck up” style comments and it was quite disheartening. I’ve always thought of RPS as a safe place to discuss this sort of thing. That’s what brought me to the site.

      People discuss all kinds of things I dislike, despise or care nothing for on here, and I coexist with THEM just fine. But for some reason, a lot of them don’t want to coexist with me. It’s disappointing and it’s kind of immature. This is a bit of a tangent:

      My point, here, is that reading the designers responses disappointed me. I was hoping for an answer about the artistic decisions behind the trailer. For some commentary that showed the designer gave a damn and was willing to do more than duck-and-cover or roll his eyes when someone questions his artistic choices. He wasn’t. And that’s … kind of lame. I didn’t have a problem with the trailer, and now I’m a tiny bit more wary about CD Projeckt as a design studio. Not much … but there it is.

      • Yosharian says:

        Would you ask the painter of the Mona Lisa ‘why that woman?’

        To ask such a redundant question about a piece of art is just obtuse.

        Also, art isn’t about design by committee. The artist isn’t required to justify his design choices to his audience. Remember we aren’t talking about the actual game here (and even with games to a certain extent it is unhelpful sometimes).

        • gwathdring says:

          Yes. I would.

          (I think that’s one of the most common question asked about the Mona Lisa …)

          The designer can make whatever they want. I don’t have to like it. It can be so offensive it gets banned in 50 countries and so awful it’s not even played by “So bad it’s good” fanatics. I’m not asking to be nominated Chief Censor of the Video Game Industry.

          But I want products I like. And I want good design. And I want good discourse about design because I love designing things and thinking about the way things are designed. So I’m damn well going to want designers to explain themselves and I’m going to hold them to a particular standard. It’s not like they lose much if they fail to meet that standard–they lose my money or maybe my good word among my gamer friends and that sort of thing. I am only one of many small voices, after all. I guess I’m not sure what about this bothers or confuses you …

          Games are designed by committee quite often, I would add. Large teams, fan input, focus groups, various stages of testing both in-house and out … these are common features of game design. I’m part of the potential pool of customers, if nothing else, so while my opinion isn’t more important than, say, yours … it is part of an important collective of opinions that will ultimately decide the financial fate of the game. If no gamers buy it, CDPR is in trouble.

          I expect justification when I play these games. If I can’t find a good justification myself, I’ll look to the developers. If they don’t provide one … well, we’re all going to have to live with my disappointment. That said, I think both the game designers and I will manage.

          I want to ask why that woman. To a lesser extent I want to ask why arm-blades, why the imperviousness to bullets, why the rain, and so forth and so forth. And yes, I’d bring social issues to bear in those questions when I deem it important or interesting to do so. If there’s a good answer … fine. If not, then I’d ask the developers to be suspicious of anything that’s too cliche or too stereotypical or too similar to more clearly sexist work (notice two of those aren’t necessarily about social issues at all). And at the end of the day, that’s really all I want. For the question to be asked. For there to be suspicion about tropes and cliches and stereotypes.

          I want media that pushes me and excites me. I want good reasons for my media to be familiar–and I want my media to avoid all of the particularly BAD reasons for being familiar.

          Sometimes, that won’t happen. Sometimes, without a good reason, a cliche gets in. Sometimes, I’ll encounter sexist media. But as long as there’s something to like about the product and it was designed thoughtfully and the designer learned something from it, I’m ok with that.

          But we have to ask, don’t we? We just have to! That’s the heart of design not to mention learning. If we never ask, then what’s the point? Nothing changes. Art never goes anywhere. Games never create the experiences we want out of them because we don’t understand what we’re doing.

          That’s just how I think.

          • Yosharian says:

            “(I think that’s one of the most common question asked about the Mona Lisa …)”

            That’s not the point I was making. The question answers itself: she is a woman, a fairly pretty one. Why not this woman? There are far more important questions to ask than who she is, or why she was chosen. Such as, what does the look on her face mean? Why is she sitting in this particular way? All these questions are for the viewer to answer, not the painter. Do you think Da Vinci would be happy to answer the question ‘Why this woman?’. It would be beyond irrelevant to him.

            “But I want products I like. And I want good design. And I want good discourse about design because I love designing things and thinking about the way things are designed.”

            But you are not the designer, and despite being interested in the design process, any thoughts you might have on the design are going to be from a different perspective to the developer, and therefore not as useful as you might think.

            “Games are designed by committee quite often,”

            I said art is not designed by committee, not games.

            Sometimes it is unhelpful to design games ‘by committee’, which is to say as an attempt to please everyone. But that is not to say that games are designed by one person alone, but rather that games should be designed by a small group of people with a strong idea of what _they_ want to do. Designing for the masses dilutes ideas and makes them generic and boring.

            “Large teams, fan input, focus groups, various stages of testing both in-house and out ”

            Are important for bug testing but apart from that are capable of causing more problems than they prevent/solve.

            ” it is part of an important collective of opinions that will ultimately decide the financial fate of the game. If no gamers buy it, CDPR is in trouble.”

            How arrogant! CDPR is definitely not in trouble because of a few people who get in a huff over a portrayal of a woman in a trailer. If anything, all this controversy has worked in their favour.

            “I expect justification when I play these games.”

            If that’s the reason you play videogames, I wonder at your enjoyment of them.

            “I want to ask why that woman. To a lesser extent I want to ask why arm-blades, why the imperviousness to bullets, why the rain, and so forth and so forth.”

            These are all questions which CDPR want you to answer for yourself.

            “If not, then I’d ask the developers to be suspicious of anything that’s too cliche or too stereotypical or too similar to more clearly sexist work”

            Art, and to an extent videogame design, cannot function in such enclosed spaces. It’s either good, or it’s bad, much like humour. Yes, there is a line. No, it is not crossed by having a woman in a skimpy outfit with cyborg blades on her arms.

            As for tropes and cliches, that’s a whole other discussion not really related to the original topic of discussion.

            “But we have to ask, don’t we? We just have to! That’s the heart of design not to mention learning. If we never ask, then what’s the point? Nothing changes. Art never goes anywhere. Games never create the experiences we want out of them because we don’t understand what we’re doing.”

            No, it’s the opposite. Art, and videogame design, goes places when artists, and designers, are free to create what they want. The ensuing questions which WE answer, are what pushes things forward. Good art, or design, or literature, or whatever, produces a change in the perception of the reader/viewer/etc, NOT the creator.

          • gwathdring says:

            There are far more important questions to ask than who she is, or why she was chosen.

            In your opinion. I’ve certainly heard plenty of art students and critics ask questions about who she was as a person and who she might have been to Da Vinci. Paintings take a long time and that sort of close-up portrait takes some intimacy. It’s possible one could ask a stranger to sit for a long portrait, but it’s not exactly the most likely answer. And you go on to ask me why Da Vinci would care who the woman is … well he bothered to PAINT the woman, didn’t he? Since when is focal subject of a work of art “beyond irrelevant” to the artist?

            But you are not the designer [...]

            This is baffling to me. I’ve pointed out at many junctures that I’m a small fish in a big pond. I know my ideas only count for so much. I don’t understand why you find it worth taking me down a peg when I see myself as a faceless piece of a larger machine already.

            Moving on to the next point, I’m not suggesting design by the masses is usually better. I’m merely pointing out that feedback from people like me is very much a part of the game developing process. Market research, focus testing … it’s part of successfully selling a product. I’m well aware that I’m one of many, and that my personal opinion doesn’t count for much all by itself. Apparently that’s arrogant of me. You even put an explanation point in there to show how arrogant it was of me. Forgive me for suggesting CDPR is running a business that needs to appeal to customers. I’ll try to make less arrogant suggestions in the future.

            If that’s the reason you play videogames, I wonder at your enjoyment of them.

            Different people, different entertainments. I design tabletop board games and role playing games, but I find video games just as fascinating for similar reasons. It’s about trying to create an experience using a system of rules and inputs; your player has a computer … what else do you have to give them for them to experience Mike Pondsmith’s vision for Cyberpunk? What genre would best convey that? What RPG conventions would hinder that effort? What control scheme would work best? What colors do we want this alleyway to have? That’s the stuff I love most about games. The how and why and what. Sure, it’s fun to play them. I love that part, too.

            These are all questions which CDPR want you to answer for yourself.

            I think that’s a cop-out. I can tell myself stories all day. I spend my weekends answering those sorts of questions for myself and a handful of other players with the help of dice. If I’m going to spend money on a game, I want it to give me something more. Mysteries and ambiguities are great, but only when properly applied. And it’s not like this is a big plot spoiler, or a big story question. For something as simple as why did you put this woman in this teaser trailer? The answer can be simple, too … like “We drew things out of a hat”. It doesn’t have to be “deep” and soulful. But saying “It’s all meaningful and mysterious and we want you to GUESS” is a cop-out.

            It’s not like they’re doing me (or themselves) a favor by keeping meta-secrets. Sure, don’t give me plot spoilers. But if you’re not going to justify any of your artistic choices, or explain any of your design goals? I’m going to be a little skeptical of your work. I might still decide I like the game or decide it achieves it’s design goals. But I’m going to be more suspicious of a work when the author isn’t forthcoming about the design process.

            “If not, then I’d ask the developers to be suspicious of anything that’s too cliche or too stereotypical or too similar to more clearly sexist work”

            Art, and to an extent videogame design, cannot function in such enclosed spaces. It’s either good, or it’s bad, much like humour. Yes, there is a line. No, it is not crossed by having a woman in a skimpy outfit with cyborg blades on her arms.

            As for tropes and cliches, that’s a whole other discussion not really related to the original topic of discussion.

            I’m not suggesting they crossed a line in the video. I’m also not creating enclosed spaces or saying that games are either good or bad. I’m saying something entirely different. I’m saying that if a developer has what I deem to be poor reasons for making simplistic, boring, or over-used design choices … it’s going to take a lot more to impress me than if the game either made more unusual choices or seemed to have really solid reasons for the more traditional/boring choices. That’s not an enclosed space.

            As for tropes, sexism certainly relates to tropes and cliches and stereotypes. My point was two fold 1) I expect a high standard when a game uses a high-frequency trope/cliche/stereotype because they’re often boring and their use is often lazy 2) (and this was meant to be implicit, not explicit) Many high frequency tropes/cliches/stereotypes related to gender can be considered sexist 3) Combining these two, when a game uses gender tropes/cliches/stereotypes that are frequently used in media, I expect the game to have really good reasons for using them because they are very often boring, lazy, and/or sexist. It is most definitely related to the original topic of discussion.

            No, it’s the opposite. Art, and videogame design, goes places when artists, and designers, are free to create what they want. The ensuing questions which WE answer, are what pushes things forward. Good art, or design, or literature, or whatever, produces a change in the perception of the reader/viewer/etc, NOT the creator.

            I’m really confused as to how this is the opposite of what I said. I agree that designers and artists should be free to create what they want. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be challenged and it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask questions of their work.

            Design is about questions. In order to design a game I have to ask questions like “How should I best design the game?” These questions get very specific, very fast. If I want to really fine-tune the experience, I start asking questions like “Why is that character wearing sunglasses?” or “Do we want this to happen next to the coffee shop, or across town near the prison?” or “Would he tell the player character his name?” or “We’ve really changed this character a lot over the course of development. Is it still best for this character to be female?”

            These questions are important. Asking “Why this woman?” is pretty important. Because if that character could be any other woman, any other man, any other creature, robot or thing … then maybe it’s not important enough to be featured in the opening cinematic. Maybe it shouldn’t be the main character or the main character’s first party member or the main villain or any other remotely important role. If the character’s identity doesn’t matter … that character better be in a role that doesn’t require an identity such as a digital extra that just walks abound the city to make it look more crowded, or a throwaway character that’s only there to show a facet of the world to the player. Does that make sense? If we don’t ask questions, we don’t learn anything about what we’re designing and we end up with thoughtless design. That’s all I’m saying. I didn’t think it was a very controversial statement, but perhaps I was wrong.

            In closing, I don’t think your idea about the audience answering their own questions is incompatible with anything I’ve said. I’m not saying art shouldn’t ask us questions or that we should whine at developers whenever we get confused or annoyed. Mysteries are cool. Ambiguous, thought-provoking cliff-hangers are cool. All of that is fine … but that goes both ways. The artist doesn’t just get to say “It’s cool and edgy and mysterious” and be magically right. We don’t have to take that at face value. We can ask them to explain and defend their work. We can ask artists and designers and business folks in the gaming industry to examine and change their practices. We can hold the industry to a higher standard and expect them to think a little more about the games they make. I don’t see what’s wrong with that, and I haven’t heard you present an argument against that either. Do you disagree, or are we just cross-talking and misunderstanding each other?

  4. Premium User Badge

    jmexio says:

    When asked about it, Mr. Kanik focused on the girl being shown in the trailer, but I would have loved to hear his thoughts on gender and sex issues in general.

    I mean, I remember when the first Witcher came out, and it was suddenly so very adult for games to be so blunt about sex, but at the same time there has been quite a bit of arguing later about how you’re really just collecting cards, and sex is just a puzzle to solve… What does he think about that argument? I’m not sure how it was in Witcher 2, haven’t played it yet… Is that aspect being discussed at all for CP2077 or it was just part of the Witcher’s narrative and not a particular direction they intend to explore further?

    Don’t know, just some thoughts that crossed my mind when reading :)

    • stiffkittin says:

      I’d love to see the developers at least take the global debate going on seriously. The trailer itself really isn’t a drama, but it’s a hot topic so of course it’s going to get scrutinized. Europeans in general have a more laissez faire attitude to the subject; which is probably where the lack of foresight comes from and certainly the casually chauvinistic angle of the Witcher games. I respect that, but still hope it doesn’t mean they don’t give a shit.

      The Cyberpunk forums themselves though are extremely hostile to the conversation.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        How “global” is it, if Europeans are relaxed about it? I can’t imagine Asia or Africa are really interested in it either.

        So, North America, and the UK? (of course, that’s assuming you don’t put the UK in Europe)

        • stiffkittin says:

          Well, I didn’t actually mean ‘globally’ in a geographical sense but in the ‘overarching’ sense; as in, outside of this particular example.

          That said, even if European attitudes towards sexuality are more relaxed that doesn’t mean the debate has no context here. Marketing that relies heavily on sexual stereotypes still makes people roll their eyes, particularly when it’s unnecessary or out of context. It’s simply that the issue of the exploitation of sex and gender roles in media isn’t so tangled up with puritanism, as it can be in the States.

          And yes, of course the UK is part of Europe.

          • Aedrill says:

            It is NOT outside of context. It is as much inside the context as it can be. You’re just not familiar with the context and you’re used to assuming that human body is cynically used by broadly understood “media” companies for marketing purposes only. It is not the case here. Go watch this trailer once again, and focus on this trailer only this time. Ask yourself, what do you learn about Cyberpunk world from it, forget about CDPR, or anyone else from real world for a minute. Maybe then you’ll understand.

          • stiffkittin says:

            I’m very familiar with the setting, thanks. I read Neuromancer when I was 12 and thought my life was over, because no one could possibly write anything as cool as that ever again. Of course I was already a massive fan of Blade Runner, The Running Man, Cherry 2000… I still own the rulebooks for Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun 2nd Ed. along with a number of supplements and Chromebooks. Although it’s been years since I’ve played them. It is you who is making the assumptions here.

            I’ve watched the trailer a dozen times. I still think it was very cool. It was also doing so that allowed me to separate my natural joy for the subject matter from what was really going on with it in the real world.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            And let’s not forget that Neuromancer had a particularly strong female major character who was in many ways more powerful than the male lead.

      • Fluka says:

        I really just wanted them to give some hint they *thought* about it, rather than “We put a sexy half-naked lady in the trailer because hey, that’s what goes into videogame trailers!” Forget even the loaded question of whether or not they’re being sexist (and I’m still not decided if the above trailer is sexist or not). I just want to know they’re not being lazy and not even stopping to think about what they’re making.

  5. Valerius Maximus says:

    Stopped reading the moment you started on gender.
    You really didn’t understand that trailer at all, did you?

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      You must have missed Grayson’s original piece on the trailer. I’m honestly surprised he didn’t press those questions further.

      • Valerius Maximus says:

        I recall something, not sure i read it though. Was it full of words like “objectifying”, “oppression” and “privileges”?

        • Donjo says:

          It was full of words, yes. If you fear certain words then God help you.

          • Emeraude says:

            Fearing words is wise, as long as you fear them properly, and for the right reasons.

          • Valerius Maximus says:

            Where did i mention fear?
            You finished projecting now?

          • Donjo says:

            Valerius – do you mean to say that I’m projecting my fear of words like “objectifying”, “oppression” and “privileges” onto you? But I don’t fear those words… those words are necessary for discussions such as this one. Well, maybe you don’t fear them, but you definitely don’t seem to like them. It seems strange.

          • Toberoth says:

            RPS commenters are so annoyingly pseudo-intellectual sometimes that it makes me want to poke pencils in my eyes. I hope you all appreciate what you’ve done here today.

          • Emeraude says:

            Would-be intellectuals, not pseudo. Thank you.

            I hope you all appreciate what you’ve done here today.

            Always.

          • Azdeus says:

            “RPS commenters are so annoyingly pseudo-intellectual sometimes that it makes me want to poke pencils in my eyes. I hope you all appreciate what you’ve done here today.”

            After a bit of thought, I’d say I want to stab pencils in -their- eyeballs instead.

            ;)

          • Emeraude says:

            I can understand that, given the eye-patch.

            Would mean double the fun !

    • killias2 says:

      I’m curious as to how the deep meaning of the trailer hinged upon having a beautiful big breasted woman in her panties.

      • sinister agent says:

        Yep, and that’s pretty much what Nathan asked, too, and got no real answer.

      • Tasloi says:

        Entirely. Not at all. Somewhere in between. You decide. There’s your answer.

      • Bhazor says:

        Because if it had been a guy in tightie whities that would have been like so gay.

      • Tuco says:

        I’m curious about how many women could you have met in your life if you actually think the girl from the trailer had “big breast”.
        Beside, what’s your issue with panties? Do they make you blush?

        • Eddy9000 says:

          So you like to accuse people of not being ‘real men’ if they don’t agree with women being portrayed as scantily clad tit vehicles?

          Classy.

          • sinister agent says:

            That’s not even slightly what he said.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            There’s that ‘scantily clad’ accusation again. Are you blind, or do you just prefer that women are always covered head to toe?

          • Eddy9000 says:

            No sinister, i think that implying that someone doesn’t have much experience with women and blushes at the sight of panties is a pretty clear attack on masculinity.

            And no, I don’t think women should be covered head to toe at all times, don’t be childish. There is a chasm of difference between women being constantly covered from head to toe and being constantly portrayed as half naked, big breasted sex objects as they are in videogames at the moment. I think a bit more diversity in the portrayal of women in games is what’s being argued for here.

      • Davie says:

        Let me explain in the same way I did earlier: The woman in her underwear is quite deliberately out of place. Turn off the OMG OBJECTIFICATION part of your brain for a second and think about what that design choice means in context.

        She is obviously wearing an outfit completely unsuited to a rainy alleyway in the middle of the night. This tells us that did not plan to go out and kill a dozen people; that she was somewhere safe and private and then something went VERY wrong. It hints at mental instability, and then we see her arms and the possibility of implants going haywire becomes likely.

        I knew nothing of the Cyberpunk universe before seeing the trailer, but it was obvious to me afterwards that people with augmentations are in danger of snapping and killing people. As it happens, that is pretty much exactly what they were trying to convey. If our central character had been wearing, say, combat pants and a raincoat, the whole scene would look very deliberate, and it would just look like cops shooting at an assassin or something.

        As I said before, the message would be the same if it was a man in his boxers or something. Kanik says “Why not that woman?” and I assume he’s aware of what the trailer’s trying to do narratively and, since this isn’t actually about titillation, it doesn’t really matter if the unexpected killer is male or female, just that they look suitably unprepared for sitting in the middle of a rainy street getting shot at.

        Sure, a woman in her underwear is a concept very frequently associated with sexist attitudes and objectification, and for good reason. However, this doesn’t invalidate the trope when it’s actually used in a context that makes sense, conveying narrative elements that are unrelated to sex appeal, and that wouldn’t have been obvious otherwise. It makes a bad first impression, but that’s hardly CDPR’s intention, and that should become obvious when applying even a little critical thinking. There are plenty of reasons to get mad about sexism in gaming; this is not one of them.

        And holy shit I just wrote five paragraphs about a two minute video game trailer; it’s time for bed.

        • Tagiri says:

          If it truly doesn’t matter whether the character in their underwear is a man or a woman, “Why is the character female?” is a valid question. This may or may not even be a character we’re going to interact with in the game, so it’s not as if she’s a pre-defined character who needs to be shown (though even then ‘this character needs to appear in her underwear because reasons’ could come across as a bit problematic).

          Even if we’re going to accept the idea that a conventionally attractive bionic woman in her underwear wasn’t meant to appeal sexually to people watching the trailer, some other commenters here have said that they felt the trailer wouldn’t work as well with a male character because a woman in her underwear seems more ‘vulnerable’. Choosing to depict the character as female for that reason (or because of the long line of waif-like female characters who are unable to control their super-powered bodies) is still drawing on stereotypes that are problematic.

          • Davie says:

            Yes, I’ve no doubt that somewhere along the line somebody said “well we might as well make our half-naked character a sexy woman” and it’s totally valid to point that out. Probably some twentysomething male concept artist who felt like drawing something he’d find appealing. I’d also argue, however, that in this case it really doesn’t matter. The narrative point isn’t diluted by the fact that it’s a sexy woman; she’s still a cybernetically enhanced unstable killer sitting in her victims’ blood.

            I don’t know what to say about the people who think the fact that she’s a woman makes her inherently more vulnerable, other than if they really think her gender says more for her vulnerability than the fact that she’s just murdered a dozen guys and is taking bullets to the face like a champ, well…that’s an issue with their own sexism, and not that of the trailer. I suppose it’s entirely possible that the trailer is intentionally playing off that deep-seated sense of inequality some people have, and I’m just not noticing it because I genuinely believe the trailer would’ve accomplished exactly the same thing if it had been a man in the same position.

            I think the entire point here–assuming they actually put this much thought into it–is the contrast of expectations and reality. There is the expectation of vulnerability–implied by the fact she’s half-naked, not the fact that she’s a woman–versus the reality of invulnerability, as she’s immune to bullets and won a fight with the odds stacked against her. This could have been done just as effectively with a male character, but some guy decided it was Draw Pretty Ladies Day and now Nathan Grayson thinks CD Projekt is sexist.

            Really a whole lot of uproar over using simple narrative elements to make someone look badass.

    • wodin says:

      Nathan sadly isn’t my favorite RPS commentator due to him being way to PC at times and it starts to grate abit and ruins what could be a great asset to RPS as when he does on the rare time not go that way he is a good writer.

      • Donjo says:

        wodin – you are definitely my least favourite commentator on this page, please use appropriate spelling, grammar and punctuation marks in future. Without them your comments are nearly indecipherable.

  6. TimMc says:

    Most non-interview I’ve ever read.

    I understood the trailer being early to help recruitment, but what does this accomplish?

    • RoAE says:

      It seems that RPS is the one who pressed for the interview, since it doesn’t reveal much and CDPR have set up an announcement not long from now. As a result RPS came out with some really lack-luster questions.

  7. vanosofmanos says:

    I love you RPS, but when you interview Mike Pondsmith (assuming it’s not already done), could you at least get someone familiar with tabletop Cyberpunk to do it? Half the questions you’ve been positing, both in interviews and news posts, could be easily answered by someone, anyone, who knows that setting.

    • TimEatsApples says:

      For those of us who don’t know the setting, it’s interesting to see those questions asked and answered.

      • vanosofmanos says:

        This is true, and this is just personal preference, but I like my interviewers to at least have some form of passing knowledge of the thing they’re interviewing someone about as it tends to lead to more interesting questions. It’s not just on RPS, and it’s nothing against anyone in particular, but I keep seeing people ask about cyberpunk the genre, and not CYberpunk, which is a distillation of the genre with it’s own personality. Like in this case instead of “What are your influences?” it could have been “Cyberpunk 2020 has a distinct 80s, early 90s vibe as far as style and aesthetic is concerned, how much of that are you going to maintain?”. For me, an informed interviewer asks more interesting questions. YMMV of course!

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Because gaming journalism is going through its teenage, acute self-awareness and hanging out with angry goths phase, which isn’t everyones cup of tea, granted. It means the gamey issues sort of take a back seat. I admit I prefer gaming journalism when it focuses on funny, but maybe that was gaming journalism’s 7 year old, care-free and happy phase.

      Like this http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/17/the-longest-day-24-hours-in-white-gold/

      or this:

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/20/from-our-tank-correspondent-part-1-cats-and-hats/

      Next up is gaming’s “Oh God Its Still Just a Job Isn’t, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This” disillusionment era.

      • Marik Bentusi says:

        It’s an interview about a game that’s far from release (thus, no concrete details) and about a video which interpretation the dev refuses to clarify (thus, no concrete details) and we already know from third parties the basics of the psycho squad/how they recruit (thus, no more concrete details needed). However, some people had quite a vivid reaction to the woman in the trailer, so RPS addressed the situation and asked questions a good chunk of people probably had.

        I mean seriously, what were your expectations?

      • Valerius Maximus says:

        “gamey issues sort of take a back seat”
        I hate this so much. Game journalists focus too much on this “gaming culture” nonsense. What ever happened to talking about video games? Why do we have to talk about gender, culture, race, etc and how they might feel if they are offended by video games?
        Who am i kidding, gaming journalism is a joke anyway. Forbes is about the last decent bastion for solid opinions that aren’t Patricia Hernandez levels of writing.

  8. Premium User Badge

    fupjack says:

    I really enjoyed the first and second Witcher games; far more than I expected. I was frustrated by the difference between the overall gender symbolism and the individual characters.

    I liked the structure (theme? I don’t know the right word) of the political battle between the sorceresses and the kings, for instance, but I was frustrated by the fact that Triss seems to exist only to be faint, taken hostage and moan theatrically when touched.

    This isn’t some sort of gender critique; this is me saying the neat work they did wasn’t consistent, so please keep that in mind if you are currently composing an angry retort in your head.

    • Lawful Evil says:

      I can’t quite remember (played The Witcher years ago), but I think Triss was quite a formidable character. And her “hostage” I think was a facade, because, you know, she was capable of teleporting herself. And she even rescued Geralt on one ocasion by teleporting him to completely (to Geralt) unknown location. Thus I believe she played a role of a hostage, in order to fulfill some of her intentions. My memories blur… Perhaps it’s time to replay.
      Also, I didn’t play The Witcher 2, so things might have gotten worse for the Triss…

    • Kasab says:

      Triss becomes a sufferer from what I’ve once heard referenced as “Cortana Syndrome”- she transitions into a kidnapped love interest as opposed to the formidable, conniving protagonist she is the original. She goes from active to reactive, and does little in The Witcher 2 except faint and moan. There’s a bit where she shields the cast from arrows, but it’s followed by a fainting spell. There’s a spot of investigative espionage, but it’s told retrospectively and is followed by a kidnapping. Ves and Philippa sort of fill her role, two characters present in one of the two paths for Chapter II. They’re not as fun, though.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        “Cortana Syndrome”

        Haha, that’s great, thanks for this. The AI is in another castle….

      • BooleanBob says:

        A.k.a. Tetra syndrome. Oh, Tetra. You were so awesome for the first half of that one game.

        (except the moaning, obvs. This is Nintendo we’re talking about.)

    • Yosharian says:

      “was frustrated by the fact that Triss seems to exist only to be faint, taken hostage and moan theatrically when touched.”

      Is this meant to be some sort of joke? Triss is an amazingly powerful woman. She fainted because she conjured up a fucking magical shield which deflects arrows. She was taken hostage because of some pretty unusual circumstances, hardly a ‘helpless princess’ moment. Moaning theatrically when touched? I don’t even know where that comes from.

      I tire of these redundant discussions involving gender. Stop trying to create a problem where there is none.

      • gwathdring says:

        Please don’t confuse the fictional justifications for a character with the author’s out-of-fiction justifications. As an example, if I write a hundred books and in every single one of them my female characters are constantly out-of-action and being rescued whereas the same isn’t happening to my male characters … justifying this with the in-fiction power and respect those characters have doesn’t cut it. It’s easy to SAY a character is powerful and respected and another thing to show them being so.

        Let’s be careful though; The Witcher 2 is a sample size of one, not hundreds, and as I say in each of these discussions: a truly egalitarian entertainment culture has room for stories in which female characters are weak and vulnerable and even whole fictional worlds in which they are treated as second-class citizens next to men. The problem arises from unreasonable consistency. We don’t need one “strong” female character for every “weak” female character (as much as those terms tend to miss the point), and we don’t need every character to be fully fleshed-out. But surely you notice that the patterns are decidedly non-random? Yeah, a random coin toss MUST come up heads 7 times in a row every now and then … but we’re talking about something a little more absurd here.

    • Ringwraith says:

      The fainting was justified after the aforementioned display of magic, and then she ends up spending most of the time when captured either as a small statue or clapped in magic-nullifying irons.
      Heck, the original case of being kidnapped is mostly due to being taken by surprise by someone who knows all well what magic does.

      • gwathdring says:

        (see my reply above)

        I’d be suspicious of such explanations. They aren’t necessarily wrong, but there’s a dialectic at work here between the fiction and the meta-fiction and it’s very important.

        • Snargelfargen says:

          Agreed. Wish more people kept this in mind.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Regardless, I don’t think the Witcher 2 is a game that takes a particular stance.
          Apart from the fact living in it suuuucks.

  9. DarksDaemon says:

    Can we go one week with where a trailer with a woman doesn’t cause a sexism debate.

    • RobertJSullivan says:

      No can dosville, baby doll.

    • Premium User Badge

      Naum says:

      Or, alternatively, could we go one week without any scantily clad women in ‘AAA’ video game trailers?

    • Feferuco says:

      How about can we go a week without people getting upset because someone talked about gender and video games? What exactly riles people up with an article touches on this issue?

      • killias2 says:

        This is the thing that freaks me out. It’s not like RPS won’t be gushing with Cyberpunk 2077 love for the next three years. They’re several realities away from calling for sexist content to be banned or something crazy like that. They’re just pointing out, “Hey, this trailer is built around sex appeal with a needlessly scantily clad woman based on a Playboy model.” Why does that suddenly create such a reaction? Why so many, “THIS SI TTEH STUPID” and “ENOUGH WITH THE GENDER DISCUSSION?”

        The mere mention of the possibility of sexism sets people off in a way that really comes off as creepy.

        • Premium User Badge

          RedViv says:

          At least if this ran on Twitter, we’d have a fitting icon for folks who set up accounts to just rant and figuratively throw trash around.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          It’s not the mere mention of sexism that sets people off, it’s the sensationalistic representation of a valid social concern by media outlets such as RPS.

          • DXN says:

            Uh, so these comment-section critics are protecting women’s rights from the RPS’s ‘sensationalizing’ by.. shouting down all discussion of the subject?

            NON.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Both sides are doing a lot of shouting, so don’t bother trying to play that card.

          • DXN says:

            Well, my point was really more: it is the mere mention of sexism that’s setting people off. Your comment implied that all these people saying “stop talking about gender stuff” are somehow trying to improve the discourse on this “valid social issue”. But obviously they’re not doing that, they’re trying to shut down the discourse.

          • The Random One says:

            I’ll add: “Cheapening” the issue is something that may indeed happen, but complaints about it are rarely framed as such, and usually take the form of “your site is boring when it talks about gender issues”.

          • Davie says:

            This is the problem here. I totally agree with them calling out stuff like the Dead Island dismembered tits statue, or the whole thing with Tomb Raider and “players wanting to protect Lara” like she can’t do that herself. There is totally sexism and some straight-up misogyny in the video game industry, but not every female character with exposed cleavage is a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the industry’s attitude towards women. This is a special case, where the lack of clothing is a narrative device that makes sense in context, and yet Nathan still thought it necessary to grill the developer about it.

            Obviously, this example does not exist in a vacuum, but we’re not doing anyone any favors by generalizing this into the same category as the Dead Island bullshit. It’s possible to approach this issue intelligently and critically, without assuming crass sex appeal is the only goal whenever a woman appears partially clothed.

            But yeah, as for the people that go to comment and just say “Blah blah blah gender issues I don’t give a fuck”? Those people are clearly under the delusion that video game sexism isn’t an issue at all, and their opinions should be ignored.

        • Tasloi says:

          Well, I obviously don’t mind asking questions but i’m also not naive enough to think this is all just meant to inform or enlighten. Of course a good number of people want to see this not done anymore. It’s been outright said in some of these articles. Yeah they’re not calling for an official ban or censorship but if they raise enough outrage and it’s not done anymore the end result is the same.

          This is probably part of the reason why there’s such a strong reaction to a topic like this. I doubt i’m the only one who can read between the lines here.

      • Archonsod says:

        “What exactly riles people up with an article touches on this issue?”

        Apart from the fact that, as others have mentioned, it sometimes feels like they’re grasping at straws just to include a mention of it somewhere? Possibly the fact that this is supposed to be a gaming site rather than feminist international. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for articles discussing sexism and the like, however one can’t help but feel that it’s become problematic when the only thing I can tell you about the new Dead Island game based on RPS’s coverage is that it contains boobies. Considering the editorial stance RPS tends to take it’s something of a shotgun to the foot when I find myself going to other sites to read previews precisely because they don’t have such a fixation on the presence or absence of mammary glands.

        • DXN says:

          It’d be easier not to cry sexism at so many trailers featuring women, if women weren’t shown so frequently in sexist ways in trailers. *shrug* RPS could choose to deliberately suppress their ideas and reactions to this, but why would they? And why should they?

          Now this trailer’s hardly as bad as, say, the Hitman nuns, but the whole ‘men badass and geared-up, women naked and helpless’ thing is part of a big, nasty ol’ pattern. What does the fact that that was their go-to image for introducing the game to the world, say about the game? I’m interested to know (among all the many other, non-sexism-related things I want to know) and Nathan included it in his questions. That’s cool.

          • Archonsod says:

            “It’d be easier not to cry sexism at so many trailers featuring women, if women weren’t shown so frequently in sexist ways in trailers.”

            They aren’t, generally speaking most trailers depict both genders as some form of idealised fantasy. What you’re looking at there is simply sexualisation; perhaps when they start depicting the male lead as a pot-bellied thirty something nerd while leaving the voluptous scantily clad maiden in there you might have an argument for sexism, but until then I’d say they’re doing a good job of depicting both genders equally (whether this is negative or not of course is a different matter entirely).

          • Tagiri says:

            @Archonsod: “They aren’t, generally speaking most trailers depict both genders as some form of idealised fantasy. ”

            But what does it say about the way we think that an idealised fantasy of a man is powerful and self-actualised while the idealised fantasy of a woman is sexualized and not in control of her own abilities? The trailer is just part of a larger cultural trend.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          If you can’t tell the difference between sexism and presence of boobs then maybe you need to think about the sexism problem some more.

          • stiffkittin says:

            If you think there is absolutely no correlation between the use of sexuality in marketing and the issue of sexism then you might need to take a little time for reflection yourself.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            @stiffkitten: The difference is my comment is actually in response to the one I was responding to, while you are replying to a straw man.

            Archonsd stated pretty clearly that people are actually upset about the presence of boobs. This position is fairly farcical and suggests that he or she believes being upset about the presence of boobs is the issue, or that being concerned about boob-presence is actually equivalent to being concerned about sexism. That, or archonsd is being disingenous and trying to paint the discussion in some misleading false context. I couldn’t say which, but any of the above positions are silly and wrong. My comment was designed to point that out.

            In response to this, you try to claim that I think there’s no correlation between boob-showing and sexism. Either you have the same problem as archonsd, where you can’t actually distinguish between the concern over sexism and being bothered by boobs, or you’re so unperceptive as to assume anyone who understand these aren’t the same thinks that they’re aren’t related at all. Or you too are being disingenuous and trying to cast the conversation in a false light. Any of the above positions are silly and wrong.

  10. Imbecile says:

    OK, but why was she in her underwear?

    Edit: also, looking forward to the game!

    • Tuco says:

      Why is that an issue? Are you so uncomfortable with it?

      • Imbecile says:

        Nah, no issue. Its just weird. I’d be asking the same if it was a guy, or if there was a chipmunk with vicious razors. It doesnt make much sense. Do you have a convenient explanation?

        • vanosofmanos says:

          Explanation: The young lady in question is a waitress at a bar in the rougher side of town, and she chose to get some covert cybernetics to better protect herself from the unruly customers ( and just people ) she sees in Night City on a day to day basis. Sadly, she’s always been a bit emotionally distant, and the inclusion of these cybernetics triggered a paranoia psychosis, possibly while sleeping or getting ready for bed. Believing that the people outside her apartment building were out to get her, and at this point thinking more like a machine than a human, proceeds to go on a vicious rampage of destruction against those who she believes are threatening her. The Night City Cyber Psycho squad gets called in to disable her.

          Typical day in Night City, really.

          • Imbecile says:

            That works perfectly :D

            I’m sure I’ve seen the “movie!”

          • Kasab says:

            Alternatively: because this is CD Projekt.

          • The Random One says:

            Uh, that was a bit florid.

            Straightforward explanation: The trailer was meant to show that people with augmentations freak out and go on rampages without warning, so she was dressed in a way most people wouldn’t dress outside (those are clearly pajamas, not a sexy going-out outfit).

            Slightless less straightforward explanation: To create a dissent between the seeming vulnerability of a women in her underwar and the fact that she is killing people and is like bulletproof.

        • derella says:

          It would never be a guy. If it was a male model in his undies, it would be mocked endlessly.

          • Fluka says:

            See: the outraged reaction to the new, frequently naked Dante.

          • gwathdring says:

            http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m65rszcC4g1r37w3co1_500.png

            Precisely. Because then people would start to realize how silly it can look when you’re not the target audience! Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen ever. Just … that we can stop defending it like it’s an essential part of our artistic culture. It’s fine, utterly absurd, and I guess some people think it’s sexy or otherwise aesthetically pleasing … but for goodness sakes, we need to stop taking it seriously and recognize that the frequency consistency with which these pin-up poses appear is a bit weird. And that, combined with other factors, it can make problematic imagery MORE problematic.

      • kyrieee says:

        It’s not about being uncomfortable with it, it’s about being tried of companies selling their products with sex.

        • Emeraude says:

          Not even really.

          It’s about the discrepancy in used bandwidth when comparing various signals.

          There is no problem with using sex, even to sell. There are moments where it is fitting. The problem is more that there is little to no alternative message being emitted.

        • Thoric says:

          Well, if they wanted to market their product through sex appeal, it would’ve been better to bump the psycho lady’s body to the first half of the trailer, and spared it the bloody background. Last I heard gore was a pretty niche fetish.

          You have them dead to rights on the cop’s chiseled jaw and shiny pecs though.

          • Marik Bentusi says:

            The gore’s not that explicit. There’s some blood and people lying around in a certain shot, but it’s nothing grotesque. I’d cite the arm scythes as more of a dissonance and even those can be classified as “neato”.

    • breakfastcereal says:

      Might be because there’s been a lot of action and things have gone messy.

    • Emeraude says:

      She was a client of the shown cyber-clinic, and was going through a full body exam of her modifications when she had a psychotic outbreak.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        Yeah, with that sterile look, it’s far more fitting to be a patient’s gown OF THE FUTURE!
        Hadn’t even spotted the clinic, but still assumed she was just going psycho after one upgrade too far.

  11. P.Funk says:

    ” but we pose questions and won’t give you an answer.”

    I like that. My favourite films and books leave huge gaping holes so that you have to think about what happens.

    If people think he didn’t answer a lot, maybe he didn’t give details, but I feel like I got enough of a vibe on their attitude to give this interview a warm thumbs up. I’m much more excited for the next one though. Pondsmith should be gooooood.

  12. Azriel says:

    The second and third question about gender? Really? what a damn waste. I love RPS, but you really f’d the ball on this one. Can you stop with the “gender” bullshit already. I think the vast majority of us are sick to death of beating this dead horse. Let it go and focus on awesome games and not on “oh my gawd! sexy women! help!, help!, virtual women are being repressed in a fictional world by sexist pigs basement dwelling male gamers!”. Games, remember those? Can we focus on if the game is fun or not and leave the PERSONAL political opinions out please.

    Still, the interview was pretty meh. No real information.

    • MiniMatt says:

      There are a thousand other sites that will do that.

      If you want a site that does more than just regurgitate press releases then you employ and empower individuals with those personal and political opinions you hate so much. Sometimes they say things you agree with. Sometimes they say things you disagree with. And the best times are when they say something you initially disagree with but by the end of reading have entertained and considered an opposing opinion.

    • killias2 says:

      IGN should be nice for you. They don’t discuss real issues at all. Of course, they’re also borderline braindead. I’m guessing there’s a correlation here.

      In any case, if objectifying females wasn’t the instant go-to strategy for selling EVERYTHING in game, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation.

      I’m not saying I hate CDPR or anything for this. In fact, I thought it was a lovely trailer, and I’m super excited for the game. It’s just blatant sex-appeal-for-attention, which is pretty much Sexism 101.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Did you seriously just suggest IGN for anything about games just because someone is getting a bit tired of some aspects of RPS?

      • Holdthepickle says:

        “sexism” in video games isnt a real issue.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      @killias – I think you have a mild case of Black and White vision here. Try to appreciate the existence of at least a TINY spectrum or grey area between your two, binary opposed viewpoints eh? You do your cause little justice by coming across as extremist, even if it does make you feel better to vent.

      • killias2 says:

        If I was a black and white extremist, I probably wouldn’t have said: “In fact, I thought it was a lovely trailer, and I’m super excited for the game.”

        A big breasted beautiful woman in her panties? Totally for sex appeal. I don’t think that’s black and white extremism. I think that’s just stating a fact. I mean.. honestly? Is that point even arguable? If not, what are you even arguing?

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          Unfortunately your opening two sentences had the effect of completely nullifying everything that came after it. Its sort of like burping the national anthem as your opening gambit to an electoral campaign. No one really hears what you have to say when the smell of your lunch is still hanging in the air.

          • killias2 says:

            I was just pointing out that, with higher caliber writing you’re also going to get more discussion of issues like this. Maybe I did it rudely (OH MY GOD I WAS RUDE ON AN INTERNET COMMENT), but that’s still not exactly proof of extremism.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Those jalapenos are still repeating on you. Anyways, go get em, Tiger.

          • killias2 says:

            “Parts of this trailer are sexist”
            “No, you’re an extremist!”
            “Some parts obviously are.”
            “Oh, well, you’re rude.”
            “Haha, whatever.”
            “You’re still rude!”

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            No one accused you of being an extremist killias2, yet you saw fit to mention it twice. Are you possibly projecting?

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Nah, I mentioned the word but just meant “extremely black and white”. He was just being a bit binary for the sake of drama.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          There’s something so disturbing in these attitudes. Do you have big breasts? THEN COVER THEM UP. Are you a beautiful woman? Then hide yourself away, vixen, so you don’t excite me.

          • The Random One says:

            Yeah it’s awful what they are doing to the poor woman in that trailer that was certainly not written, scripted, modeled and animated by a mostly male team

    • Donjo says:

      no politiks hear pleze.

    • Marik Bentusi says:

      We don’t have a lot on the actual game, the dev is being understandibly silent about concrete aspects this early on, the weird out-of-place sex appeal struck a lot of people and stirred up quite a few questions, and videogames and terrible female characters have a looong history everyone would like to stomp out ASAP.

      The problem’s not “nekkid woman pls halp”, it’s a plethora of “mature” games casting a negative light on gamers. Some people don’t like to be associated with that image. Some people even think the medium’s not going to be respected as an art form if the big titles are riddled with pretentious “mature” games that sell because male teens buy anything with enough tits’n'violence in it.

      They certainly don’t want Cyberpunk 2077 to fall into this trap, given the devs’ history, and thus some red lights were tipped off by this trailer.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jubaal says:

      Azriel, if it bothers you that much it may be time for you to find another site then. I very much doubt that RPS will stop asking these kind of questions and nor should they. It is the reason why myself and many others come here to read intelligent articles that cover these kind of important issues.

  13. Brosepholis says:

    I long for the days where RPS was more concerned with videogames than reddit-style social justice.

    I don’t disagree with the sentiments expressed, I just think they’re constantly expressed in a preachy, holier-than-thou way and it’s beginning to grate.

    • breakfastcereal says:

      A new name suggestion: Rock, Paper, ShitRedditSays

    • dE says:

      Yeh. But it’s here to stay. Reason being: There’s the inherent idea here, that shouting matches do solve problems and the method to solve them, is to shout louder and more angry than the people specialized on angry shouting. Well, good luck with that.
      That said, outside of John Walker Articles, the tone is much more reasonable and I really appreciate that. There’s none of that harmful, binary friend or foe attitude in this article. It’s merely (and politely) asking the question – and that’s good.

      • Stupoider says:

        Aye, I may not agree with some of the content of the article but the tone is leaps and bounds ahead of other ones.

    • DXN says:

      I just went back through the last 100 RPS articles. The only ones that have even the slightest mention of anything gender or sexism related are last week’s Sunday Papers (2 links out of 10-odd), and this one.

      If you don’t like the subject, I’m pretty sure you can handle skipping less than a percent — probably much less — of the content. Most of the articles that are actually about sexism seem to have tags like ‘sexism’, so it shouldn’t be hard. Those saying the site’s suddenly become all about discussing these kind of subjects (oh the horror) is crazy in the coconut.

      • Uthred says:

        You miss the complaints about the terrible misogny in the Dungeonland trailer?

        • DXN says:

          Huh, yep, I did miss that. Okay, add one sentence to my tally.

          Still a really low rate, which is why it’s so bizarre to hear people moaning about how the site is suddenly “all about” sexism.

  14. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    They all turn up in a gang, don’t they? Maybe they have a treehouse HQ.

    • Donjo says:

      Yep. A bulwark must be rapidly created to protect against presumed arguments and fearful ideas.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m guessing that, like everyone else, “they” turn up just after articles are posted.

      Most of the time there’s nothing in the articles about it to comment on.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Te weirdest thing is that there was like one question about the way women are portrayed in the entire interview, and it’s what people are endlessly banging on about. Some people will take any opportunity to defend their own privileges and maintain the subjugation of others I guess.

  15. Thoric says:

    Compromising position? Don’t stop there, ask him if the stream of bullets in the beginning was a metaphor for bukkake. Unveil that patriarchy at work.

    Anyway, nothing new. Hopefully the Mike Pondsmith interview will have some meat.

    • Davie says:

      Shit, kneeling on the ground with your arm blades twitching covered in the blood of the crowd you just killed, while shrugging off bullets to the face, is a compromising position? Thanks for telling me; I might have mistaken it for actually pretty badass!

  16. Strelok says:

    Stop with this gender absurd, please. Or change the profile of this site to something other than videogames. As someone said earlier – nice answers from Mateusz to stupid questions.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    To be honest I’m surprised the “please stop talking about gender” crowd are angry about the second question being asked. I can’t help but think they just saw the word “woman” and hopped straight aboard the angry bus. The question goes on to strongly imply that Nathan doesn’t see the trailer as being about objectification and offers what the “it’s an outrage” crowd would probably see as an easy way out.

    Just as guilty of the knee jerk reactions they accuse RPS of. It’s a right old knees up to be sure!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      There’s a lot to ask about the game, but it really does come across as a “two feet first” attempt to shoehorn some “feminist agenda” when they’re almost immediately asking about it. The first question about it alone probably wouldn’t have been much of an issue by itself, but the second comes across as a way to really shove it right in there.

      There’s also a slightly bizarre notion of “disempowered female” who needs a specialist squad to take her down while every other part of the police-force has apparently failed. That’s on top of the assumption that it’s the main character (this isn’t Tomb Raider obviously).

    • killias2 says:

      It’s sort of creepy how defensive people are about this. I figured it was pretty obvious that the trailer used sex appeal to sex the game. Why is the discussion of this so frightful? The go to discussion point is, “It’s an old topic, let’s move on.” Like people would feel the same way about DRM or always-on or free2play. “Okay guys, enough bitching about DRM. This is a games site! TALK ABOUT TEH GAEMZ”

      • Snakejuice says:

        “I figured it was pretty obvious that the trailer used sex appeal to sex the game.”

        And why exactly is that so bad? You DO know that sex is necessary for reproduction and the survival of the human race, right? Moreover, what is so wrong with a naked body or even just a half-naked body? We were born naked, we are the only animal on this planet that even use clothes.

        You know why people get upset at this discussion? It’s because we WANT to see naked bodies in our media, and there is nothing wrong with that. I have no problem whatsoever with the movement for equal gender rights but sex and naked bodies do not belong in that discussion.

        Sorry for the rant but I’m sick and tired of this conservative, sex = bad, violence = good BS point of view. Go back to medieval times Vatican rule were you belong!

        • The Random One says:

          It’s bad because, historically, reducing women to sexual objects is one of the ways they’re stopped from being taken seriously. If you don’t believe me, go look at any article about a female political figure and watch her opponents all call her ugly. Now do the same for a male political figure and watch him get called everything from Hitler to literally braindead but not a word about his appearance.

          Furthermore, sex is a cheap way to sell a product. Unless you’re selling condoms or motel rooms your product likely has nothing to do with it. Using sex to sell a product is a clear sign that you don’t know how to sell a product, so you’re trying to appeal to the basest instincts of ‘you’re horny now, buy this!’ Which is why sex is often used to sell beer, the true appeal of which for buyers is that they’ll get drunk, which is not something that society says should be encouraged and therefore ads must skirt. This has nothing to do with hating sex. If an ad for a car showed people eating hamburgers I would think it was stupid as well, even though I love hamburgers. But eating hamburgers hasn’t been historically used to block women from power so it wouldn’t be as bad.

        • Premium User Badge

          Jubaal says:

          I was going to post a comment in reaction to this but “The Random One” above covered the points I wanted to raise and I’m sure much better than I would have.

          Er, so… what he/she said *points above*

    • Qwibbles says:

      I am sure most of us would be fine with this being mentioned for the first time (although the entire article was sub-par, Nathan’s questions were very average)

      It’s just that every god damn interview were the a trailer was released previously in which a woman had a slight bit of cleavage and suddenly a question MUST be based on that.

      “What were you trying to say about this woman wearing this?”

      Where are the articles on the portrayal of men as being portrayed as nothing but brutes that only know how to kill?

  18. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    I feel a bit embarrassed for RPS with some of the questions in this interview. I can imagine Kanik sitting there rolling his eyes at all this stuff.

    • DXN says:

      It’s kind of interesting how much Alex’s interview with Ken Levine has changed how I read interviews now. I’ve got to admit, it’s made me keep a harsher lookout for interviewers asking leading questions and throwing out pet theories. On the other hand, I’m not exactly sure how you avoid that without falling back to standard vague prompts that encourage press-release style answers.

      • The Random One says:

        Probably too early for an interview, and both parties should know it. At least the fact that the woman in the trailer isn’t the main character has been kinda confirmed.

  19. Josh W says:

    This discussion has of course happened before, but I thought I’d take a slightly different stance to it, I noticed a few silly things about the trailer, and got a totally different impression, that has been reinforced by this interview:

    The character is placed in a basic pinup type pose in underwear, presumably post-killing.

    This is not surprising, loads of concept artists use pre-existing stereotypes for their early work.

    Then to make a video from that model, other characters are placed in generic “shooting guns” poses, presumably because that makes animation easier. And a lot of nice background stuff is made. (Maybe they mainly have environmental and visual artists on team at the moment?)

    And dead bodies are equally independent of animation requirements.

    It’s effectively a tableau. One that happens to centre around “shooting at a girl in a pinup-ish pose” in a few different ways.

    This is only sexist to the extent that the original depiction drew on stereotypes drawn from the softist of softcore porn. To me, it’s dominant implication about the team is that they are quite good at working artistically within a limited technical scope, and wanted to upgrade some existing art assets to make something more evocative. (And it does succeed at that.)

    To some extent it’s “lazy”, but it’s really them trying to give people teaser stuff using what they’ve made at the moment. It’s not made particularly reflectively, because they’re probably in some kind of heavy-duty development. In some aspects it’s a very well done piece, and in others it’s jotting down ideas on a piece of paper to say, “look here’s what we’re doing”.

    In that sense it’s much more logical to talk to Pondsmith and so on, (and I do look forward to that interview) because he’s got a bit more available time to ponder stuff, and I’d rather that CDprojekt went media-dark for a bit to give them the same breathing space.

    It always seems to me like Deus Ex Human Revolution’s team explicitly went on about the technorenaisance because it was something that they’d nailed down at a reasonably early stage, and so could actually answer questions about during interviews, whereas these guys are probably just too early in the process to be really doing interviews or subjected to the level of analysis that I love to do.

    So I’ll subject analysis to that analysis instead!

    • Askeladd says:

      Okay, go then.. I won’t stop you. Let’s see the RPS version of this… fuck, I can’t believe I said that.

    • stiffkittin says:

      I agree with your evaluation. Particularly about the animation requirements and why the whole thing revolves around this particular still scene. The fact that it uses stereotypes that have become an issue is probably a certain level of obliviousness of the devs rather than cynical marketing tactic. I really hope so in any case.

      Also this ‘making of’ story-board and subsequent photo shoot with an underwear model would appear to support your theory

  20. SuperNashwanPower says:

    How do you create a game that you know wont be out until 2015, and pitch it to the tech that will be available? Is it going to be as simple as building an engine on PC, that can run on the predicted specs of the next gen consoles? Is this even meant to be multi-platform?

    It was interesting watching the birth of Black Mesa, in that they had to do a major revision due to the advances in graphics tech from the time they started. How do you manage the uncertain aspect of technological improvements when deciding on how far to push a game technically when its release is so far off? Theoretically you could just keep upgrading it indefinitely and never releasing, no?

    Any programmer types out there can comment?

    • Emeraude says:

      Theoretically you could just keep upgrading it indefinitely and never releasing, no?

      In before Duke Nukem Forever jokes I guess.

  21. Utsunomiya says:

    I honestly don’t know if this is an example of a Project Lead not being able to speak even a little bit about what his work freely because marketing department told him not to; or a man that can’t do it because he never even thought about it.
    “We’re only pose questions”, my ass. Start trying to answer them, or stop pretending that you’re making anything but low-brow entertainment piece.

    I’m unusually angry. That’s not good.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I share some of your frustrations. I’ve seen a fair few videos on this, and most of them include the inimitable Mike Pondsmith talking about his vision for the game, and the past it came from. There are mentions that the combat will be based on the ‘pen and paper’ combat of the tabletop games, so I don’t know how that will work, but anyway I am getting off the point:

      There does not seem to be any significant meat, at least in a media- releasable state. There seems to be a tight vision of the world they are creating, its history, the target audience and the vibe they want to us to feel. There seems a lot of passion involved. But I have a suspicion that at the moment these media slots have more to do with investors and convincing them that a profitable audience exists for the product.

      I can confirm that I am postively brimming with enthusiasm for Cyberpunk from what I have seen. Hopefully Prey 2 will make it out the door before this one, as the idea of BladeRunner style games really gets my juices going.

      • Utsunomiya says:

        Well, I am, of course, willing to overlook the lack of information on exact gameplay details, et cetera; but even this late in production I still don’t know who’s making this game, and why he’s making it!
        Yet mister Kanik assured me, that this game is “deep”, and not shallow in the slightest!
        Ri-i-i-ight.
        Oh well, maybe I just need to go read a good book and unwind.

    • JonathanStrange says:

      To be fair, Nathan never asked any gameplay related questions beyond ‘will braindance have gameplay implications’ and ‘do you want to make the game look as good as the trailer’.

  22. Drake Sigar says:

    The guy seemed really annoyed at having to answer questions.

    • trout says:

      He did seem very uncommunicative, cranky even. It reads like a fairly awkward interview, with Nathan trying to elicit a response more indepth than the standard promotional babble.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Maybe the guy had read the comments section from the last RPS coverage of their trailer :)

    • Holdthepickle says:

      Well Nathan was asking some pretty stupid questions.

  23. oceantorment says:

    This debate about sexism is really funny, while everybody waste time talking about a character in underwear on a video game trailer, real women suffers all kinds of real violence around the world. If you start talking about sexism every time you see a woman in underwear you only manage to dilute the meaning of the word.

    If it was a man with a gun appointed to his head, it would be better? Cyberpunk 2020 was never politically correct, it was a discussion on how a developing on technology without a developing on ethics could cause a social disaster. A society living on social chaos and opression isn’t a society that cares about genre equality. Even if the game is going to show sexism (which I doubt), show sexism isn’t the same thing in agree with the sexism. You can make a terrible racist character, for example, but it doen’t mean that you as a writer is racist. I don’t understand this concealed desire for censure.

    • Emeraude says:

      The fact that worse problems exist don’t mean that you can’t tackle on the smaller ones. If anything, one might argue it’s only buy tackling those, one at a time, that you may deal with the bigger issues.

      If it was a man with a gun appointed to his head, it would be better?

      I would be different.
      Are EVERY men shown for marketing ploys used as sexual cyphers ? The problem, if problem there is, is not one of individual takes, but one of volume of discourse.

      • oceantorment says:

        My point is: She is a beatiful woman, on a vulnerable situation, this automatically trigger masculine instincts, most players are men then the trailer attract attention and generate buzz around the game. They use her image to attact attention? Yes. But this is the same thing as sexyism?No. Sexyism is about the use of violence against women to force them on a inferior social position (They can’t work, they can’t go to school, decide who to marry and etc.). I don’t see this on the trailer. I see a cyborg getting out of control and a member of the Psycho squad putting her down.

        • Emeraude says:

          And my point was to address the fallacy encapsulated in a sentence like “This debate about sexism is really funny, while everybody waste time talking about a character in underwear on a video game trailer, real women suffers all kinds of real violence”.

          Trying to devalue any effort toward correcting something because other bigger problems exists is overall disrespectful and counterproductive.

      • Snakejuice says:

        ” If anything, one might argue it’s only buy tackling those, one at a time, that you may deal with the bigger issues.”

        Or, you could argue that one might “deal” with these petty “issues” because one doesn’t have the guts to deal with the real issues.

        • Emeraude says:

          Or quite simply, the strength. There are things we can only address structurally, as a community, through some of the various tools we’ve created for that. Others we can at least try to confront individually.

    • Askeladd says:

      Well, depends of how you analyze the trailer.
      Do you judge it from an in game viewpoint, or do you judge it as a consumer?

      This site is not meant to discuss everything… most countries have problems discussing this on the highest level.
      At some times it’s better to be less serious about something. This trailer is not a good discussion material on that matter.

    • P.Funk says:

      I agree with you. I think the knee jerk reaction against the depiction of a sexualized vulnerable woman is without thought or sophistication.

      I think that if there is one genre that NEEDS to utilize the image of the sexually exploited woman it would be cyberpunk. Its a genre that deals with the dystopian aspects of our technologically driven future. The idea that we should depict things as if sexism is an extinct cultural trope is as absurd as Gene Roddenberry’s revisionist utopian trope he enforced on TNG that was clearly non existent in TOS.

      Anybody remember Bladerunner? Basic premise being that replicants are used as cheap slave labour, devalued as self aware creatures, given no rights, hunted if they express the most basic of living creature’s instinct: survival. One of them was a stripper. You got to see her boobies. Its not an accident that she was objectified as a woman sexually, it was key to the underlying nature of the replicant within the society being depicted.

      Objectification is one of the most enduring issues with female identity, and the image stuck in nearly frozen form allows us to ask many more interesting questions than simply if she were half naked. The fact that she’s heavily modified is one of them. It suggests all sorts of things like, was she basically used and then reached her breaking point? Was she robbed of all her humanity, or even was never human to begin with because of the role that was created for her?

      The people on both sides that talk about sexism are boring. On one hand you have people who want to attack every supple breast present in our culture, and on the other you have people who never want to even acknowledge they exist. The real conversation, like it is almost everywhere else, exists somewhere in the middle where rational thought and real human existence persists.

      Extremes exist only for those who choose a binary interpretation of the world. The conversation about sexism should never end because frankly it never stopped being a problem. People just have a tendency to turn things into extremes and as such it tires people out, however their reaction is to end the conversation when the real solution is to reorient it into the plausible medium of sensible middle ground discourse.

      • MarcP says:

        Sometimes, reading articles and comments on RPS feels like a masochistic, pointless waste of time, but then there’s the odd gem that makes it all worth it. Thank you, sir.

  24. LeMonde says:

    What’s wrong with being sexy?

      • LeMonde says:

        Ta

      • Askeladd says:

        What’s wrong with being sexist?

        • Emeraude says:

          I know you’re being facetious here (or at least probably are) but again that conservative equating of sexual, sexy, and sexist in modern feminist discourse.

          • Askeladd says:

            They do? This was meant as a response to the initial comment and the funny part about the video.

          • P.Funk says:

            I didn’t think modern feminism had a discourse anymore. I never meet women that even identify as feminist. Its almost like Feminism was going great and then took an arrow to the sideboob somewhere along the way.

            Probably doesn’t help that women’s studies is the most ridiculously single minded pursuit that manufactures ignorant twits with insufferably obnoxious attitudes.

          • Emeraude says:

            Well, the thing is, I personally think some parts of what used to be feminist discourse have been re-appropriated and re-purposed by conservatives to serve their agenda, while conveniently claiming to take the defense of women.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Nothing, and I don’t thing anyone is arguing that it is wrong to be sexy. What I at least find tiresome at least is stereotypical representations of women as passive, powerless and having little personality beyond being idealized objects of masturbation fantasies.

      It’s not going to keep me from playing the game (I’m really excited about it in fact). I just expected better of obviously intelligent and creative people.

      And before anyone goes “Oh there goes Lars again” – YOU ASKED.

      • Fluka says:

        Wait, was he seriously asking that question, or was he just referencing Spinal Tap? Damn it, internet, I just can’t tell any more! (EDIT: Aw dang, someone else got there first.)

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          Shit, is my irony detector broken again? Damn it, I had it repaired just a week ago!

          • Emeraude says:

            I think there’s a pandemic. And the virus is evolving so fast that as soon as one’s irony detector is back to health, it gets infected again by a new mutated version.

          • LeMonde says:

            Yes, I was just attempting to bring a modicum of levity to this otherwise stodgy dialectic on ‘sexism’ / ‘the representation of women in games’. Of course my success in doing so was entirely dependent on my fellow RPSers familiarity with This Is Spinal Tap.

            For what it’s worth I see things much like you – it would be refreshing if intelligent and talented developers could escape their apparent reliance on hyper-sexualised caricatures. I’m not holding my breath though.

      • Stupoider says:

        I think you’re too focused on the boobs and not the dozen or so fleshbags she just sliced.

        I dunno. Maybe you just need to read up on Cyberpunk before you bleat on about your representations of women in gaming. As far as my understanding goes, there aren’t any “helpless” women. She’s passive because her cybernetics have driven her insane and inhuman. Or is it because she’s scantily clad? She could be a prostitute for Christ’s sake.

        “Intelligent and creative people” don’t let the trivial worries of some busybodies on the internet get in the way of their vision.

      • Archonsod says:

        “What I at least find tiresome at least is stereotypical representations of women as passive, powerless and having little personality beyond being idealized objects of masturbation fantasies.

        It’s not going to keep me from playing the game (I’m really excited about it in fact). I just expected better of obviously intelligent and creative people.”

        You’re talking about someone who’s just slaughtered an apartment block worth of people. I’m not seeing where the passivity and powerlessness come into this, and I suspect the lack of personality is somewhat justified in this case given the psychosis involved.

  25. Askeladd says:

    Oh, so you got a patent on the solution of it? I can fully understand why he had to ask those questions, as they are, as can read, still an issue.
    I’d have loved to see a more in depth response from Kanik, regarding the debate. But, I sympathize with him dodging that question.

    • garisson says:

      I’d say it’s an issue blown out of proportion lately, and gaming journalists perpetuate that impression. Besides, I’d rather leave the social justice crusading to Bioware and let CDPR focus on what they do.

      • hypercrisis says:

        Of course journalists perpetuate the issue and blow it up. Look at the view-counts on any article involving sexual politics and you’ll see they’re leaps and bounds beyond that of any other article content.

        Its shallow journalism, but what to be expected from an era where hacks have taken over.

        • Popcornicus says:

          Pretty awful interview. Nathan, who should the developers have used in place of the beautiful woman? A cybernetic grandmother? A robot dog? Should the handsome policeman have been fat instead? It sure is sexist when games, films, and TV fill their narratives with attractive people…or is it human nature, because people prefer to look at beautiful characters in visual media and the creators prefer to make beautiful things?

          • Acorino says:

            .

          • Acorino says:

            @Popcornicus:
            I dunno. Why didn’t they choose to portray somebody else than a sexualized “beautfiul woman”? If you view games and media in general as communication, then you have to wonder why CD Projekt chose to specifically express themselves in that manner. The trailer could have been done in a million of different ways, but they chose this one, for whatever reasons, intended or unintended, consciously chosen or merely influenced by the surrounding culture.
            If you take games as a form of expression, or even as art seriously, then I think it would be careless not to ask the questions Nathan did. Maybe he could have phrased them better, and certainly the interview was pretty lame overall, but I don’t think questions like this should remain unasked.

            (reply function seems to be broken for whatever reason now…)

          • Sunjammer says:

            @Acorino in that case I demand to know why Christian Bale wears a white suit for the final scene in Equilibrium, or any other random aesthetic choice made by artists. Because those damn artists, they think they can just “do what they want” and “make art according to their own sensibilities”, those inconsiderate pricks.

            I guess we should just remove women from games altogether then, since artists are no longer allowed to apply them without making them actively unattractive, so gamers can get their wang-cognitive dissonance under control.

            In other news, anybody else find it sort of refreshing to see Dante being actively objectified in the new DmC? More of that please, so we can finally stop wasting our god damn time with this kind of ridiculous bullshit.

          • gwathdring says:

            Why can’t we ask about “random” aesthetic choices? I mean … the answer can be “just because” sometimes, but if the answer is always “just because” I’m going to start questioning the ability of the artist.

            Not that that’s going to hurt the artist …I mean, I’m one guy. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d be disappointed if the artist didn’t have a satisfactory answer to my questions about his or her aesthetic choices … but I think we can both live with me being disappointed.

          • vondas says:

            I think we as a society should generally strive to move back to the early 19th century, where men were just as if not more objectified as women – just read all those comments of well-bred ladies unabashedly checking out, appraising and comparing fine gentlemen’s calves.

          • Premium User Badge

            Kong says:

            Nothing much has changed since then. Maybe the ladies do not care that much about calves anymore but more about more central regions of male bodies…

          • Premium User Badge

            Kong says:

            they should use models who look like average preconception of gamers. Male, overweight with empty eyesockets. In underwear or naked

        • Acorino says:

          @hypercrisis: that implies that there weren’t hacks involved to begin with. which is funny, considering gaming journalism wasn’t exactly ever respected for its high degree of integrity…nah, things are getting better rather than worse here.

    • Xzi says:

      See, there’s where we differ. I don’t see that as being an issue with this trailer. At all. Maybe it’s because these were the thought processes each of us went through when watching bullets shatter on the skin of a woman with scythes for arms, surrounded by a bloody corpse trail of her own making:

      Me – “Holy shit, I wouldn’t fuck with that chick. She looks badass. Therefore this game is going to be awesome.”
      RPS writers – “Hot damn, I want to fuck that chick. Tap that ass. Therefore this game is going to be sexist.”

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s fairly enjoyable watching them squirm while trying to project their issues with women on to us, but it’s starting to get in the way of the PC gaming news everybody came here for in the first place.

      • INCA says:

        So true, it’s like reading Yahoo News biased reporting.

      • gwathdring says:

        Edit: Damn. The reply thread broke. Oh well. I’ll generalize the post a bit … not much point in it now, though ….

        If I advertise a brand of soda by having a woman writhe sexually on screen for a while and then at the end go “Pepsi” in a sensual voice at the camera … my advertisement could be fairly criticized in terms of effectiveness. I could make a case for the advertisement’s success, too, but it wouldn’t be at all unreasonable to pick at the add and suggest something less cliche and more beverage related so that it a) stood out more and b) sold the product in addition to just pushing desperately for brand recognition.

        I could also make the case, depending on the precise add in question, that it is representative of sexism and use specific features of the add to build that case. Show that it reinforces specific problematic cultural memes and stereotypes. This is hard to do with the abstract idea of an add, but I didn’t find anything wrong with the Cyberpunk trailer so I can’t really do a blow-by-blow of why I think it’s sexist or otherwise problematic–so bear with me.

        Note that none of this requires me thinking the add is sexy. None of this lose legitimacy if I think the add is sexy. This is because sexism isn’t just about sexiness and sexuality and sex. It’s about gender discrimination and gender hierarchy and gender stereotypes and so forth. Because gender and sex are certainly related topics, sexiness and sexuality and sex frequently turn up when we’re talking about sexism in media. Slurs against women tend to relate to sex-acts and sexual imagery, because gender and sexuality are tied together.

      • Tagiri says:

        What about people who are women themselves, since the generalizations you’ve made don’t seem to cover us? Though of course, we probably also run the gamut from “Damn, that looks badass, I wish I had scythes for arms!” to “Damn, another trailer with a half-naked woman in it.” Opinions!

    • vondas says:

      As a hypothesis, perhaps he thinks it’d be easier to discuss their take on such social issues (attitudes towards which are somewhat different in Poland from how they are in the west, per my shallow impression) when they have released more than just one trailer. Better still when they have a whole game. Then they can point at examples and say: “this and this is how our exploration of those issues is more complex”.

      Then again the line this man has taken in the interview appears to be more, see and judge for yourself. Whether it is facetious or not.

  26. killias2 says:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/6734-Accepting-the-Isms – Although Jim Sterling is hardly a paragon of wisdom, especially when it comes to sexism, I think he’s right on in this video. Basically, why does it have to be so hard to accept the possibility of sexism even existing? I mean, here’s this beautiful woman.. based on a Playboy model. She’s big breasted and in her panties. She’s also sitting in a classic pose to emphasize her crotch. Why is this even a question? Of course this was partially about sex appeal. Of course they were using this to try to gin up attention.

    But that happens. Life is filled with all kinds of crazy stuff. I love CDPR, I love the Witcher, I love the Witcher 2, and I’m excited for Cyberpunk 2077. It’s crazy. It’s almost like I can admit that things aren’t perfect without hating them entirely! I can point out sex appeal without either freaking out entirely or entering “defensive mode” and acting like sexism doesn’t exist, or doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t be discussed at all. That’s all I really ask for here.

    • Askeladd says:

      The problem is people like to make laws, which define the way you have to live. Those people want to know what is right and what is wrong. They don’t like to see the world in shades of grey.
      I mildly dislike those Lawful Good people.

      • Lawful Evil says:

        Yeah! Those… Lawful Goodies! Ugh! Don’t ever mention them again!

      • The Random One says:

        So wouldn’t it be nice if we could self-police as to not be overtly offensive, instead of ignoring the issue until it explodes so brilliantly that people outside immediately have the wrong view and those awful “Lawful Goods” can march in and slap a sledgehammer of a law with the people’s approval?

    • Stupoider says:

      Because the social justice crowd will have you believe the objectification of women in media will influence men in real life. Y’know, the same way violence in a game causes people to be violent in real life (that still happens, right?)

      • gwathdring says:

        These are fundamentally different arguments for a number of reasons.

        Sexism is about how you see other people, and the lines you draw in the sand as a result. Media can most certainly affect this. If you’re shown time and time again that people with a particular skin color act a certain way, that idea becomes consistently reinforced.

        Here’s part of the problem: humans are great at collecting stuff. We’ll coble together memories from fragments and fill in the interstices with photographs and stories our families tell us … we can form entirely false memories that feel utterly real to us because we’re so terrible at sourcing data and so great at collecting it into a coherent shape. But … we have little ability to source that material. A memory based mostly off a photograph from our youth seems as real as an intact, unaltered memory.

        When we play a game, we watch people die in very specific ways with specific rules. Quite simply, game violence is typically very clearly connected to the game and the button pressing and the screen and as such it’s much easier to isolate the source of any associated violent thoughts with the game, and the game alone–and it is often quite dissociated from real violence in the first place.

        So, the violence in games is fake violence. But the ideas, say the ideas presented in a snippet of dialog, are real ideas. Which one does real-life sexism has more in common with? The violence or dialog? This is important.

        We learn how to talk and think and process from the words and ideas we consume. The more words and ideas we encounter, the more we’ve got to drawn upon. When you consume media that repeats certain tropes and stereotypes … well, hearing someone say “woman” is going to cause you to think of a billion different things … and it’s a lot easier for you to grab one of them and think it’s your own thought than remember where it’s really from. The more sexist stuff floating around in your head, the more likely you are to incorporate it into your thought process without being sufficiently suspicious of it’s origins to give it a closer read.

        This relates to the idea of implicit associations. Everyone has implicit reactions. Many white Americans have implicitly racist responses to non-white people–a sometimes noticeable awkwardness or discomfort, or an unwanted racial slur that pops into your head without you wanting it to be there, or something even more subtle and impossible to measure through introspection. This isn’t the same as being racist–it’s what you believe or think or even how you act. But it can have an effect on those things. It can affect your relationship with people who cause these implicit reactions. Social hierarchy is insidious because of this; people can draw lines between one-another without realizing the lines are there or to what extent the lines prevent them from having proper relations.

        In summary, if I play a bunch of violent video games … hey, maybe I think about violence more but it doesn’t mean I’ll be more likely to commit it. I’m probably going to be less uncomfortable with violence to some extent, I suppose. If, however, every book and television show and game I watch tells me that having blue eyes is absolutely the best thing ever or that women and men have different roles in society … I’m going to begin to internalize that. I’m going to think about those ideas more. And it takes some effort to counterbalance that or to form mental antibodies to some of these social memes and stereotypes and rules. When it’s not just media, but an enforced social reality outside of our media … well, now you identify more strongly with the media you watch and you’re even MORE likely to adopt ideas from it because it doesn’t seem out of place and you will have less reason to toss it away as suspicious.

        You might notice that’s not all bad news. This is part of how things like moral codes propagate, in a very simplistic sense. Those can be quite useful and positive. But the system has it’s bugs, and those can be exploited by viruses.

        I think most of us would find an idea like “Kill all of the people wearing blue and grab all of the flags” somewhat suspicious. “Women shouldn’t be in combat zones”? Not so much.

  27. Marik Bentusi says:

    I’d love an organic cyberpunk game where going on a civvie slaughter would actually lead to a possible “invitation” by the psycops. No prior quest chain, just how you interact with the world with what you have will make it react that vividly.

    • gwathdring says:

      That would be awesome. Living worlds are just around the corner with the kinds of hardware that’s available in the mainstream. Well … on the PC at least. :\

  28. Nameless1 says:

    And here it is, another potentially interesting article consecrated to your useless and pathetic idea of sexism in videogames.
    You don’t deserve to interview that guy, and I really hope he will take your stupid questions about “scantily clad and in a compromising position” women that treats your idiotic idea of “even-handed genders” for what they are: junk.
    PS: yeah, censor my post too. This is my last visit on this site anyway.

    • trout says:

      that seems to be the 2nd time you’ve commented about leaving the site… ;D

      also, let me repeat this for your benefit: “We do not have a freedom of speech policy here. If we find your post offensive, or just don’t like it, it may get deleted.”

      but if you want to continue posting angry and unconstructive comments, without thinking about the broader context of your actions, don’t let common standards of decency stand in your way

      • Nameless1 says:

        Bla bla…sorry for the angry post but after the tenth time I read an article like that (worst of all an interview where the interviewed have to defend against such pathetic accuses) my patience is over. And surely I’m not the only one, as you can see.

  29. dsch says:

    It’s not the fact that there were questions about gender that is off putting, but the fact that they were not very apt to the situation. The second question about ‘disempowering’ the female lead was especially strange, considering the female lead has just killed any number of men, is apparently bulletproof, and joins (it seems) the super badass SWAT squad. When this takes in the face of the fact that the player character is customisable, it’s even odder. It would have been much more suitable to ask directly about how the cards from the first Witcher and perhaps some scenes from the second will or will not find expression in the new game.

    • oceantorment says:

      The disempowering the female thing is really strange, it sound to me like that cliche slogans people throw on discussions thinking they are really being intelectual. The use of a vague slogan without explain exactly what you are trying to say is a cheap trick and as you say she is bullet proof, killed alot of people and have blades on her arms, I don’t know about you, but I think that the guy on the trailer was smart on thinking that a frontal aproach wouldn’t be a good idea.

      • tobecooper says:

        I don’t really want to argue, because I see your points and mostly agree with them, but here’s the thing.

        The trailer centers around an image of a woman on her knees. Kneeling is associated with obedience and/or submission. That’s where the disempowerment argument comes from.
        It doesn’t help that she’s in her panties which, I guess, triggers in many people anger, that advertising dudes are, again, playing to the lowest common denominator.

        Now, as you mention, in the context of Cyberpunk, it all makes sense. The people in the trailer act as they would in that environment and in these circumstances. And there, is indeed, a story being told there. The problem is in the presentation. It definitely could be worse, it could be better too. CDP doesn’t care either way, just as the army of the commenters in here.

  30. Eddy9000 says:

    It’s almost as if a whole bunch of people didn’t know RPS has a reputation for commenting on how cultural attitudes are reflected in PC games and decided to get all angry. I mean I really like the way RPS treats games as a culturally important medium, if I was angry about it then I probably wouldn’t visit the website, and certainly wouldn’t be complaining about it as if the authors should give a damn.

    • oceantorment says:

      I like their attempts to comment cultural attitudes reflected on games, but sometimes they are a little too silly on the cultural commentary, and see too much on something that doesn’t have all that depth. The use of the female figure to attract attention isn’t something new. It’s one of the oldest maketing tricks, but confound this with sexism only show that people don’t really have idea of what sexism is.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        “The use of the female figure to attract attention isn’t something new. It’s one of the oldest maketing tricks, but confound this with sexism only show that people don’t really have idea of what sexism is.”

        I would say that presenting a male focused sexualised portrayal of women to sell objects to men falls pretty squarely within the remit of sexism.

    • Premium User Badge

      maninahat says:

      Yes, it galls me that much of the comments are devoted to telling RPS what RPS is all about.

      “RPS is only supposed to talk about games. Not about social issues around games, or depictions within games, or game promotions, but ONLY GAMES! I keep telling RPS this, every time they do an article on gaming social issues, and have been doing for the last couple of years since I started reading it…”

      • distrocto says:

        Yeah, me too. You’d think they’d get that after the first 100 times or so that what their audience wants to see more of (and what they come here to read) is information about PC games, not the writers personal opinions on gender studies in triplicate. Can always visit Tumblr for a good laugh instead.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          Do you put bread in your DVD player and then get angry at it that it fails to toast it?

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      That’s a good point you make there Eddy. RPS has indeed always got a social undertone to almost every serious piece of game analysis they made.

      We do have to accept that and at least give the guys the pleasure of discussing these topics on their terms. But sometimes that becomes hard when you feel your are being led by the nose to some moral high ground. That’s when people get upset. It’s not the particular case of this interview. I feel there’s a huge overreaction to an honest and important question. But it’s been the case in recent past with the articles on misogyny.

      • The Random One says:

        I see people reacting to a non-existent issue with excessive zeal, and that ain’t RPS.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        How can you even feel that you are being “led by the nose to the moral high ground”. If you don’t agree with what the article author is saying, doesn’t that just reduce any influence they have on you? I often read articles by people I don’t fully agree with and it doesn’t make me uneasy or feel put upon, I just feel less inclined to take what they are saying as much to heart.

        it’s only when I secretly think the author is probably right and dont’ like it that I get angry. This usually happens when I wish the world was different than I think that it actually is.

  31. JackDandy says:

    Do you really have to bring this gender bullshit into every one of your articles, RPS? It’s getting ridiculous.

    • gandalf733 says:

      Agreed. I started reading this site a few months back without realizing what a bunch of politically correct hipsters these guys were. I’m disappointed.

    • DXN says:

      Of the last 100 RPS articles (all I could be bothered to check), only this article, and the last Sunday Papers (2 links out of 10-odd) had anything at all to do with sexism or gender, or even made a single reference to it.

      Relaaaaaaaax.

  32. Holdthepickle says:

    I’m really getting sick of this armchair feminism bullshit.

  33. Stupoider says:

    Christ if people are already getting flustered over the portrayal of women in this I’d hate for them to see Ghost in the Shell.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Was that even confirmed that Major is really a female?

      • Stupoider says:

        Well considering the amount of augmentation the person has in the trailer the same argument could be made for ‘her’.

      • Junon says:

        Judging from the tremendous amount of backstory given to Kusanagi and Kuze in 2nd Gig, I think it’s safe to say that she has certainly always been a female.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Well GitS definitely has it’s own problems with gender. Great show, and decent movies anyways, but that doesn’t free it from criticism.

      There’s a new GitS coming out this year by the way!
      http://kokaku-a.com/

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      There was already a lengthy discussion regarding GitS and sexism in the original article about the Cyberpunk trailer.

    • Rawrian says:

      Major’s outfit in the most stupid thing in TV series, but it’s more understandable because it’s Japan.

  34. Lemming says:

    I’m against sexism in gaming when it’s actually happening, but just once I’d like the response to the question ‘why not a strong female lead character instead?’ to illicit the response from a dev: “Because I wasn’t interested in doing one.”

    That, surely, is enough?

    • gwathdring says:

      It should be. It is, alas, more complicated in some cases.

      I guess I would agree with you, but add that I’d like the question “Why this protagonist?” to come up more often in general. I would love to see interviews on RPS challenge designers more on the fundamentals rather than just on the higher concepts. I want to see questions that prod and poke at generic design. I see it a lot more here than elsewhere, so I’m not complaining exactly.

      For example, I would have liked more questions to be asked about “Why Elizabeth and Booker?” from the perspective that we see this paring a lot in games and I’m not convinced from what I’ve read about the game that this type of duo is the best way to tell the story. Obviously that’s something more applicable to a postmortem than a pre-release interview but it’s the first example that came to mind. I want to know why so many stories are best told with the player controlling the most powerful and competent figure on screen. There are some really obvious answers to these questions, but a little creativity renders them unsatisfactory. I want to see designers pushed about that, not because I think they tend to be wrong and I want to see them squirm, but rather because I think the answers would start good discussions. Because I want readers (both players and designers) to hear the answers and think about games they’ve played or designed, how they would answer, and what they would change in the future.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        This is one of the things I like about more communicative developers, Obsidian being one of the best examples with Project Eternity. Not only do the regular and openly accessible discussions and statements build confidence in the studio, but they also further the understanding of the creative process on the consumer’s side.
        It’s just really bloody interesting to see what goes into creating games, worlds, characters, art, and so on. And this kind of documentation is far better than one of those ten minute making-of videos that are only accessible on the Super Deluxe Game Plus Fifty Quid DVD.

        Sidenote on the protagonist question… I’m quite disappointed that I am having such a hard time right now finding a mere ten “big” games with a black main protagonist. GTA:SA, Walking Dead, Prototype 2, Shadow Man… Beyond Good & Evil, if it would count…
        This is a bit sad. Is one of the absolutely replaceable CoD people non-Caucasian? Not that this would really help. I’m looking for characters.

        • drkeiscool says:

          Actually, the American protagonist of CoD4 is black (African American?) I believe, and the American protagonist of Modern Warfare 2 is Latino (er, Hispanic?).

  35. gwathdring says:

    I’m going to put this here from the Skullgirls thread because I think it still applies:

    “Another example of essentialism would be women (or men on their behalf) assuming that because a piece of media offends them (or, more commonly, doesn’t) in a way that relates to gender, it is (or isn’t) definitively sexist. For example: “I work in the games industry and it sucks for me because I encounter sexism; therefore there sexism is widespread in the games industry,” or “My sister is female and she LOVES this game and it’s art and doesn’t find it sexist at all; therefore, it’s not sexist.”

    Crucially, the first part of BOTH of these statements can be an important and relevant part of the discussion. It’s the assumption of universality on the basis of something as inessential as gender that becomes problematic. Further qualifying, the second half of each statement could quite easily be justified without essentialism and thus could ALSO be perfectly reasonable and relevant parts of the discussion.”

    I think it’s reasonable to be a little irritated with RPS at present given how frequently their arguments lean uncomfortably close to this sort of essentialism. There are certainly counter-examples, though, and I’m glad RPS is interested in the cultural elements of gaming and game design. I’m far more preturbed by how often commenters on both sides take up these sorts of essentialist stances–usually while implying or explicitly stating supremacy of their personal ethical response to a piece of media. We as a community should be better than this.

    I’m tired of all the commenters who insult and try to hush-up opinions that they find uncomfortable or that they otherwise don’t want to deal with. RPS has particular perspectives on gender issues in games that seem approximately consistent across staff members. There are a few reasonable ways to deal with this and saying “SHUT UP I’M SICK OF THIS BULLSHIT” is not one of them.

    Similarly, there are people here who don’t find this trailer sexist, or the torso sexist–and who don’t find gender issues important. Heck, there are people here who think the only important part about games is the bit where you press buttons to make cool stuff happen. This is fine. There are a number of reasonable ways to deal with this if you disagree (I certainly do!) and saying “SHUT UP AND GO BACK TO KOTAKU YOU ASSHOLE” is not one of them.

    Anyone who sees one of these comment threads and thinks “Oh jesus, this bullshit again?” should ask themselves: what can I do to make this less of a clusterfuck? Because no matter what stance in a given debate you take (including the “I want to talk about something else”), I guarantee you there is something you can do that makes this thread more pleasant and too few people here are choosing one of those options. We should be mature enough here to be comfortable with people talking about things that disinterest us or that we disagree with–there should be no need to take such discussions as a sign of the Apocalypse or a cause for bitterness.

  36. Hauskamies says:

    Is there actually someone who felt sexual appeal because of the trailer? I thought the scantily clad woman fell so hard into uncanny valley that to find her attractive you would need to be into gynoids or some other weird things. Somehow I thought that was the point. To show someone who is beautiful but repugnant at the same time.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      The imagery of the trailer plays with that a bit, I think. There are a lot of contrasts there. Young and pretty woman with little clothing, but at the second glance she’s rather obviously showing signs of being altered in various way, then you realise that she has just murdered possibly quite a lot of people with these SCYTHE ARMS, and so on.
      It’s playing with expectations, and Nathan’s question here was about that kind of contrast – in no reasonable way should that trigger these “OMG sexism discussions again I’m leaving this bollocks site!!1″ comments – AGAIN trigger them, because those are the ones he likely referred to. This result is just silly.

      • Fluka says:

        I’ve actually heard some excellent defenses of the trailer based on this subversion of expectation (i.e., the switch between “submissive girl being shot at” to “bullet-proof cyborg post-rampage”), enough that I was willing to reevaluate my initial negative impression of the trailer. I think that’s why this interview is so disappointing. There *is* an interesting conversation to be had here, but he dodges the question altogether with a non-answer. And with all the discussion that’s happened recently, putting that kind of image in your trailer is making a statement, whether you want it to or not. We’ve gotten to the point where we can’t not talk about these things, regardless of what some commenters want.

  37. garisson says:

    It seems Nathan felt obligated to broach the gender issues topic. It’s starting to get annoying really, when journalists focus on this whenever CDPR is mentioned. So they had sexy cards in TW1. Big deal. They are hardly the only dev to depict sexuality in their games.

    Although I know everyone’s chomping at the bit to hear more about the game, It may be a bit early for CDPR to even give interviews at this point, as not much was said.

  38. Holdthepickle says:

    E-feminists wont be happy until all women in video games are forced to wear burkas it seems.

  39. Michael Fogg says:

    Funny thing about the trailer is that the subject was apparently modeled after Polish comedienne Katarzyna Pakosinska (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katarzyna_Pakosi%C5%84ska)

  40. Snargelfargen says:

    So has anybody commented on the girl’s nose? I think it’s nice to see a protagonist with a non-aquiline nose for once :3

  41. frosty216 says:

    I WAS ANTI-SEXIST BEFORE IT WAS COOL.

    But now I’m not, because now it’s cool.

    Serious.
    Fucking.
    Business.

    • The Random One says:

      The cool kids are all fighting against transphobia nowadays. Yeah I guess you wouldn’t have heard of it, it’s pretty new actually.

  42. Tukuturi says:

    Everyone talks about the sex in the Witcher as though it is sexist, but no one ever mentions the argument between Shani and Triss over Alvin, which actually is sexist. People seem to be awfully confused about what sexism is. Let me help: sexuality is not inherently sexist.

  43. Laurentius says:

    What a terrible interview, now talk about bad PR. This dude didn’t dodge question masterfully, he just simply didn’t answer them and make an idiot of himself, presenting this irritating attitude ” hey, check how clever iam by not answering your questions at all, just providing some blabering with no substance whatsoever”. Terrible, terrible guy, and his a lead for this game, suddenly i am kinda worried about this gama.

    • garisson says:

      Give me a break. He’s a programmer not a celebrity. And the interviewer asked the wrong questions.

      • stiffkittin says:

        Giving pre-release interviews is done for a purpose (particularly with AAA products), free advertising. It doesn’t matter if it’s not his full-time job to answer questions. He was the guy picked for the job and did a lousy job of marketing his game, or even stimulating much interest beyond the existing fan base.

    • Davie says:

      Nathan asked some pretty terrible questions though. The first three were all variations on “Why was there a scantily clad woman in the trailer” and then there was “Why is your concept design uninspired by my standards” and somewhere in there was “Where are you drawing inspiration from for this game that was inspired by a traditionally cyberpunk pen-and-paper RPG”. They force the conversation down roads that really don’t leave much intelligent to say.

      The questions about Braindances and working with the original creators were the only worthwhile ones, and those were answered pretty well, I thought.

  44. ChiefInspectorLee says:

    You guys are missing the real question that needs to be asked here: “Why did you choose such a terrible song for the trailer?”

    • Fluka says:

      Yeah, the thing which is making me most grumpy about the trailer is not the central, sexualized female figure (which I’m now kind of ambivalent on, having heard both arguments for and against – despite their past games and this disappointing interview, I’m willing to give CDP the benefit of the doubt). It’s the lame, waaaay on-the-nose music selection. Come on, guys, at least try to convince me you’re going to be a little more clever than that!

    • Premium User Badge

      yhancik says:

      When they could have gone for actual Braindance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braindance#Braindance

  45. StingingVelvet says:

    These articles are slowly driving me away from checking RPS. It’s getting pretty bad now. There is a fine line between social equality advocate (which I am) and asshat white knight looking for issues to be righteous about. This site stepped over it a while ago and is going further and further into enemy territory.

    • Stupoider says:

      It’s even worse because most of us ARE social justice advocates. A lot of us recognise that 9 times out of 10 it has nothing to do with the issue at hand, but are often called out for being supportive of the issue. The “you’re either with us or against us” Walker articles are the apex of it, to the point where filtering posts has become routine among some readers. These Nathan articles are banging on about violence and nudity in games which all feels a bit out of date- we’ve moved on, and so has most of the industry. However, we still get John Walker preaching to the choir, insulting commentators and driving people away from the site because they came to read about some upcoming games and not about being offended at something that just doesn’t warrant it. For instance, the Dead Island bust, admittedly made in bad taste but appropriate, sending RPS to go into full “BAN THIS SICK FILTH WE WANT AN APOLOGY” mode. Either this is one big test of patience on RPS’s part or they’re actually trying to draw in the Tumblr audience.

    • Uthred says:

      Totally agree, RPS has gone from a site I’d check multiple times a day to one I check every now and then if I think of it. I salute the concept of what theyre trying to do, just not the ham fisted way theyre going about it. Recently its been particularly laughable e.g. the complaints about the Dungeonland launch trailer

  46. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Here’s an idea.

    We are way in the future, where corporate greed and the pursuit of aggressive advantage has become the norm. You can augment yourself in any way you see fit.

    In this day and age, the equivalent is plastic surgery. What do people have done in (non-essential) plastic surgery? They have things done that make them more sexually appealing, and appealing by the standards of current society. Women have liposuction because they want to be thin. Men have chin implants because they want the movie star profile. Breast implants. Pec implants.

    Wind that forward to the future. Sure, we have got implants to make you smarter, quicker, stronger, able to do things that only certain animals can do (want to navigate by the earth’s magnetic fields? Cool, now you can). But there will always be vanity, the emotion thats preys on life’s most basic advantage – sexual fitness. And now its here, ultra-commoditised.

    Why WOULDN’T a woman, who has, we are told, taken augmentation to the point of insanity, not have chosen a hyper-sexualised image for herself? This doesn’t have to be CDP using sex to sell us a game, it might actually be an expression of the very theme the game is about. The refinement of external features at the expense of the hidden, inner moral ones. The creation of a police force so morally disordered, that only they can predict the minds of the similarly broken.

    Hell – we’re into such blue sky thinking with augs, that character in the dress could even be male.

    EDIT: And good lord, beaten to it. Forward to 2:20 in this here video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZX58fDhebc

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Well this is interesting because body modifications like breast enlargement aren’t harmful on their own, but the motivation to get such an alteration can be, if it stems from insecurity. A character’s motivations wouldn’t necessarily be problematic in a game, even if they were character flaws. It does however rely on having a fully fleshed out character with inner desires, motivations and flaws.

      Or, and I’m hoping this isn’t the case, it could be a poorly written character whose surgical alterations are only there to titillate the player.

      You could extend this line of thought to clothing too.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I would love to see what could happen if CDP start messing with the idea of what constitutes male and female. Transhumanist Transgenderism? Could be cool.

      • Arglebargle says:

        The novel Dr. Adder by KW Jeter plays around with this subversive aspect of plastic surgery used for increasingly bizarre fetishism.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          I shall have to look that one up

          • Soon says:

            You may also want to check out the film “The Skin I Live In”. But without reading too much about it beforehand.

            I would also like to think she is a reflection of the society in which she was “created”. It’s mildly insulting to suggest they haven’t thought about any of these things, as Kanik himself seems to suggest. I’d hope I’m not giving them too much credit.

      • Archonsod says:

        “Well this is interesting because body modifications like breast enlargement aren’t harmful on their own, but the motivation to get such an alteration can be, if it stems from insecurity. A character’s motivations wouldn’t necessarily be problematic in a game, even if they were character flaws. It does however rely on having a fully fleshed out character with inner desires, motivations and flaws”

        The idea that modifications are essential simply to remain on a level playing field is somewhat central to Cyberpunk as a genre. It’s particularly interesting in 2020 because of the downsides to augmentation and the fact that each individual had a different tolerance towards implantation. It could be quite effective in the hands of a competent GM, with the characters being forced to exist on a permanent knife-edge between having sufficient augmentation to remain competitive while retaining enough humanity not to flip.

    • garisson says:

      Well said.

  47. Kusz says:

    This is how I see this trailer sexism debate and that bioshock: infinity cleavage outrage:

  48. INCA says:

    Nathan might as well wear panties. He seems to be preoccupied with womens’ issues 24/7.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      See reply below. Nathan in panties may in fact be a major selling point.

  49. Totally heterosexual says:

    I do want to see a trailer where you have a very sexy man wearing a speedo is kneeling on the ground in a dominated fashion, while a woman wearing police gear aims a gun at his head.

    And then everyone gets angry because it’s supporting feminism.

    • Lanfranc says:

      At least that would be something different.

      Come to think of it, it would not just be different, it would be downright subversive of the status quo. Which is precisely what cyberpunk is supposed to be.

    • coldvvvave says:

      I can probably find something like that on pixiv.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Then people would be angry that the woman is put in a stereotypically masculine role.

  50. Xzi says:

    Too much complaining about the answers, not enough complaining about the questions that were asked. In this case, I’m a lot more interested in the game itself than I am in RPS’s personal crusade to defend women on the internet, or how involved CDPR is in debates on gaming as medium.

    When you look at the three questions that Nathan started with, it isn’t at all surprising that Kanik was eager to dodge much of the questioning that came next. I’m sorry, but you’re no Diane Sawyer, and we don’t expect you to be.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      “not enough complaining about the questions that were asked”

      Are you fucking kidding me?

      • Xzi says:

        I am not. This was a terrible interview all-around, and the journalist has to share in the blame for that.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          No, sorry I mean’t that to mean haven’t you seen the 8 page whinge-a-thon going on here about (one of) Nathan’s questions?

          • The Random One says:

            If you shift through the posts you’ll see people complaining about his other questions as well. Questions and answers both left wanting.

            Which makes me wonder why I’m scrolling down this thread at two in the morining and replying to random posts, but it’s because I’m really interested in Cyberpunk.