The Silence: Deep Silver Hiding From Torsogate

By John Walker on April 25th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

As I mentioned a few days ago, a popular technique from publishers who want bad news stories to go away is to employ silence. Just pull down the shutters, switch off the lights, and sit on the floor below the window until everybody goes away. And RPS has had enough of that nonsense, so we’re taking silence to be a response worth reporting. Such is the case for Deep Silver, who as Adam revealed the other day are still selling their dismembered, bikinied torso statuette version of Dead Island: Riptide, despite having previously apologised for even considering doing so.

Whatever your feelings on the statuette, what makes this so interesting is the peculiar PR practices that got us to this point. Here’s how it went down:

On the 15th January, we received a press release telling us of this amazing special edition of Dead Island: Riptide, in which you would receive a dismembered torso of a woman as a statuette. Astonished that this was real, we posted about it, rather outraged, as did very many other gaming sites. There was a lot of internet noise, which came to an end when Deep Silver issued an apology for it later that same day. It read, in full:

“We deeply apologize for any offense caused by the Dead Island Riptide “Zombie Bait Edition”, the collector’s edition announced for Europe and Australia. Like many gaming companies, Deep Silver has many offices in different countries, which is why sometimes different versions of Collector’s Editions come into being for North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

For the limited run of the Zombie Bait Edition for Europe and Australia, a decision was made to include a gruesome statue of a zombie torso, which was cut up like many of our fans had done to the undead enemies in the original Dead Island.

We sincerely regret this choice. We are collecting feedback continuously from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver’s entire international team today. For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.”

That final paragraph seems pretty conclusive, yes? They “sincerely regret this choice” and they are “committed to making sure this will never happen again.” Well, as Adam pointed out earlier this week, no they weren’t. So what’s going on?

Why would a publisher make such a contrite, impassioned statement, and then just carry on regardless, selling the “Zombie Bait Edition” on Amazon and via GAME as if they’d never muttered a word? So we asked them, the day before yesterday. I sent an email to them, via their PR (who to the best of our knowledge has done his best to get a response for us), saying:

Could we get a statement from Deep Silver regarding the Dead Island torso? After their apology, it did seem rather like they wouldn’t be selling it. But of course they are.

So the question is, when saying,

“For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.”

what did they mean? Because right now it looks like it was just a lie to make the story go away.

And, as you might have guessed, we’ve heard nothing back. Not a peep. Nor did we, I should add, back in January (although I think the email I sent might have read, “What the fuck are you thinking?!”).

And nor has anyone else, this time. There’s been no comment from the publisher since it was spotted that they were still selling the product they so deeply regretted and were so wholly sorry for having created. They’ve employed The Silence. The game is out, the thing’s on sale, so what do they care about talking to anyone about it?

So, yes, you can probably conclude that they’d had thousands of the things manufactured already, and didn’t want to lose a bunch of money on the things. And you can conclude that their apology at the time was completely insincere, and designed just to make the fuss die down while they were in full promotional swing for their game. A game, it turned out, that was pretty crap after all. But while there may be guessable reasons, cynical or otherwise, it remains the most bizarre behaviour to so openly and obviously deceive about something. What Deep Silver are failing to recognise is that trust does make a difference, and while companies like EA can swallow so much lost trust and survive, smaller publishers like them should surely be playing the game far more carefully than this?

Troublingly, Deep Silver are the publisher who got Saints Row out of the THQ jumble sale, a series that could so easily be hideously mishandled. And their attitude to this almighty mess is to pretend it’s not happening, to ignore the press they’ll certainly come running to when Metro: Last Light is about to release in a couple of weeks, and again when Saints Row 4 starts winding up its hype. It’s a very worrying attitude indeed.

We leave the ball in Deep Silver’s court. We’d love to report their statement on why the torso went on sale after they so heavily implied that it would not.

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414 Comments »

  1. Ravenholme says:

    “Again” would appear to imply that it will never happen after this time. Not once do they say that they are withdrawing this particular objectionable mistake, they are simply acknowledging that is objectionable that they won’t do it again. The Zombie Bait edition was already done, the statues are made, but we won’t do it “again”.

    • Premium User Badge Luringen says:

      Yup, they never actually promised to withdraw it, even though their statement heavily implies it (which is of course intentional).

      • Jediben says:

        Totally this. RPS reading what they want to believe and not what was said. If only they put so much into calling out developers on the lies about their games instead of the meaningless tat that goes with them.

        • Sleepymatt says:

          You have actually heard of SimCity, yes?

        • John Walker says:

          First of all, this article explains that it’s about what was heavily implied by their statement, and the implication of a lie.

          Second, OH MY GOD WHAT? Are you serious? Could I put more effort into calling out EA on the SimCity lies for you? Maybe I could hack off an arm and paint the posts with the flopping hand using the blood pouring out of my shoulder?

          • Ravenholme says:

            Well, actually they haven’t lied. You see an implication of one, but it wouldn’t stand up in court. All I’m seeing from it is that they won’t do it again. Looking up the dictionary for “Again” reveals that all it’s usage in this context means “on a new occasion”. Riptide is the same game they were talking about, so probably doesn’t constitute a new occasion.

            For what it’s worth, ignore Jediben, what he started insinuating has nothing to do with my point. I absolutely agree with RPS that this is a horribly tasteless piece of crap that Deep Silver has pulled, but I don’t think they can be said to have lied. What they are guilty of is weaseling about like a rat in a trap and giving an overall great impression that their lawyer definitely wrote this.

          • Ravenholme says:

            Oh and tasteless sexist claptrap, but that was self-evident.

          • Jediben says:

            No no. Both arms and the head, and bisect at the waist. Pop it in a collector’s edition!

          • DeFrank says:

            YES

          • Tacroy says:

            You are technically correct – the best kind of correct!

            But seriously, can you actually see a real human being ever using that argument?

            That’s the reason they haven’t said anything – if they do, it’s going to look ridiculous no matter what.

          • f69 says:

            That’s the implication you see. I got the opposite implication from the very fact they did not say they will remove the statue. It was a clear signal they wouldn’t.

          • Baines says:

            Like some others, I wouldn’t call it “heavily implied” either.

            Deep Silver never said that they were canning the bust. With a situation like this, anything other than a clear “We are not releasing this item” is itself an implication that you haven’t decided to not release said item.

            They did say that they’d continue to collect feedback from both the game’s fans as well as the larger community, for ongoing internal meetings. That implies that they had not finalized their decision, and that it could or would be shaped by future responses and meetings.

            While they acknowledged the negative attention that the bust received, they did not describe it as a universal sentiment. They made the distinction between listening to the game’s fan base and listening to the general gaming community, which implies that they could see the two groups as potentially having different opinions on the issue. And, indeed, while people were raising a storm over the bust, there were also people who wanted to get one.

            And if the busts were already made, it would be somewhat silly to assume that they’d automatically end up buried in the desert under a pile of ET cartridges. They were going to resurface in some fashion.

            The above doesn’t justify their silence on the issue now. The odds are that they know that they’ve been caught in a PR issue. That gets into a separate kettle of worms as to whether that silence is justified.

          • nitehawk says:

            Well, the background of your comment post is redish….

          • WrenBoy says:

            Kind of depressing how many apparent supporters of legalistic weasely bullshit exist in the world.

          • Synesthesia says:

            I feel you, WrenBoy. It’s just sad.

          • GoliathBro says:

            Troublingly, Deep Silver are the publisher who got Saints Row out of the THQ jumble sale, a series that could so easily be hideously mishandled.

            On the contrary, Mr. Walker, on the contrary.

            This whole saga with Riptide makes me very happy indeed, because this is exactly the kind of attitude and rampant display of BALLS that the owner of a property like Saints Row needs to have. I’m still holding onto the hope that the collectors edition will come with a dildo or a buttplug or something, and I’m being 100% genuine when I say this.

            Bring on the juvenile. I want the stupid. GIVE ME MY INNER 13 YEAR OLDS POWER SEX TRIPPING PHANTASY REALITY CLIMAX PLEASE.

            Films have been catering to this market for the better part of a decade, and while they keep getting critically slammed, they also make a lot of money. Most recently, Movie 43 comes to mind.

            I like that things like that exist, and I hope they keep existing and getting even more outrageous. The rest of you can eat many dicks.

          • Kpatrpa says:

            So first you make an assumption of their reply, and then you are mad when they don’t act according to your stupid assumption?

            There’s nothing wrong with the torso in the first place, a few of you acting like babies and being ‘offended’ is no reason for it to be taken off the shelves, I’m sure they’ll still find plenty of homes, and it’s not like this matters at all when things like DRM, and always on functionality are seemingly something you just glance over.

            Great job looking at that silence though! I almost thought this was a video game journalism site, not a ‘we promote feminism every other week and write enough about games to stay afloat’ site.

          • VertigoTeaparty says:

            The problem is that they did NOT heavily imply they wouldn’t release this bust. They didn’t even vaguely imply it. Had they said something like “We apologize, and will be replacing the bust with something less offensive” you’d have a case. But they said they wouldn’t do it in the future. They makes it pretty clear that the item for this release was not going to change.

            There was absolutely NO deception going on here. You read it as you wanted to and are now holding them accountable to your unreasonable interpretation of their statement.

          • colossalstrikepackage says:

            John, I’m pretty sure they are trolling you. So here is one from the rest of us: thank you for covering this and calling them out on their bulls**t. The devs messed up, kind of apologised and then are trying to sneak one past us. It may have worked before the internets but not now. Good on RPS for this article. Keep ‘em coming!

          • Mr.Snowy says:

            John is just peeved that Deep Silver didn’t take him up on his suggestion of mounting a fleshlight into the statue…

        • iucounu says:

          They said they “sincerely regret this choice” to include this statuette in the collector’s edition, and that they are “deeply sorry”. It isn’t a humungous stretch to infer that they wouldn’t continue selling it.

          • solidsquid says:

            “I’m really sorry I went and purchased this pack of thermite with the intent to burn through your car bonnet and engine. Hang on one second while I light it and we can talk about what we can do to prevent this ever happening again”

          • nitehawk says:

            The bigger lie here is that they are sorry. They are absolutely totally not sorry, considering the press this has drawn for them. I know the old marketing mantra of “No press is bad press…” But seriously, fuck that.

        • DickSocrates says:

          Are you trolling or genuinely stupid?

          • colossalstrikepackage says:

            I think the first but now I suspect the latter plays a big part too. Damn sexist apologists.

      • Skabooga says:

        It’s certainly a good illustration of the differences between truthfulness and honesty.

      • rb2610 says:

        Pretty sure that if they were actually intending to not continue selling the ‘collectible’ in this instance, they would have explicitly stated in their statement something along the lines of:

        We will be withdrawing this promotion, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.”

        As it stands, they said no such thing and to assume their PR statement meant they would be withdrawing the item from sale without ever having mentioned withdrawing it is pretty damn naive.

        • nitehawk says:

          Fine, then they lied about being sorry.

        • dangrak says:

          The thing is, this isn’t about their statement, and whether or not it contains “we will not continue selling this collector’s statue.” It’s the fact that they DID imply their sorriness would result in the ceasing of the thing they are so sorry about. We can continue to argue about their press release, but the fact is that they didn’t correct the people who assumed they would stop selling the edition with the statue, and that is pretty misleading in itself.

      • Deano2099 says:

        This should definitely be reported, but the tack seems a tad disingenuous – when RPS reported the apology (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/01/16/deep-silver-issue-apology-over-dead-island-torso-debacle/) they said “Whether this means the special edition will be pulled remains to be seen” and yet now “That final paragraph seems pretty conclusive, yes?”.

        I wish I could tell you they were by different writers but they’re not.

        I mean for christ-sake, it’s a disembodied, sexualised, female torso. Do we really need to disingenuously add ‘also they lied’ on top to be clear that this is bad?

        And more worryingly, four pages of comments and no Doctor Who jokes yet? God knows I wish this whole debacle would vanish from my mind the second I look away…

    • azureblade89 says:

      Finally registered just to say I completely agree with you Ravenholme, I’m not going out to buy this collector’s edition for a number of reasons, one being the game isn’t good enough to warrant a one hundred plus dollar purchase, but the uproar of something so stupid is mind boggling. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. That easy, move on to something newsworthy.

      • Colonel Mustard says:

        @azureblade89

        “Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. That easy, move on to something newsworthy.”

        Don’t like it? Don’t comment on it. That easy, move on to something commentworthy.

        • elmo.dudd says:

          Actually, he did comment on something he liked and thought comment worthy, he stated at the beginning that he liked something another user said, he thought that was worth commenting on, and liked it so much, that he registered.

  2. Vorphalack says:

    Expect more silence. They are in a hole of their own making and there is nothing they can say on this topic that would allow them to dig up.

  3. loktar says:

    Another one of these stories? Attempting to beat up a company because they offered an item in the collectors edition you didn’t agree with? I find myself questioning if this a site dealing with PC Gaming anymore, because it seems as of lately this has turned into a site trying to come up with “hard hitting stories” like they are the nightly news on a mission. I hope you don’t honestly think you are on some sort of crusade, the vast majority of gamers do not care why the statue was still sold, and surely they do not owe you any sort of explanation into their business practices.

    Lets also ask ourselves, would RPS have cared if it was a male torso?

    • Premium User Badge Luringen says:

      No, because a bloody male chest is different from a bloody female chest with spotless breasts. Still stupid, but not nearly as offensive.

      • SwENSkE says:

        You can’t be fucking serious.
        It’s either equally as bad for both sexes (yes, I refuse to use the artificial word ‘gender’) or it’s not bad at all. Choose one!
        I for my part am not offended. I wouldn’t buy crap like that (neither male nor female) but I don’t mind if others think they need to own it.

        • Canisa says:

          Do you genuinely not know what sexism actually is? Given that you plainly don’t, maybe you should take steps to learn before you start voicing opinions on it?

          • Raziel says:

            And women can’t be sexist, amirite?
            Just stop with your ugly double standards. The male body can be sexualized just as much as the female.

          • colossalstrikepackage says:

            @Raziel: Can be and is are two different things. I can’t believe people are defending this crap on the grounds of equality. Where the hell is your humanity?

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            @Raziel
            Can it be?
            Currently the ratio is like 1,000:1 sexualized women to sexualized men

        • belgand says:

          Gender is definitely not an artificial word, but actually refers to a fairly well-understood scientific principle in that sex (physical traits) and gender (mental traits) are different and not always aligned. For example, I could take a chromosomally XX rat that has a female sex and expose it to a massive dose of male hormones during development and end up with a sexually female rat that exhibits male gender behavior (e.g. trying to mount and procreate with other females). In humans who can express these feelings it is even more obvious and valid scientific explanations exist in many cases.

      • oldfart says:

        Excuse me for my not so good English.

        I’d like to point out that in the past other games had very similar male naked dismembered torsos and I failed to find the similar outraged RPS article condemning such disgusting imagery.

        • Tagiri says:

          It’s kind of a false equivalency to compare whatever that thing is to the statuette for two reasons:

          a) That’s an in-game model, not some creepy thing to put on your coffee table.
          b) The primary reaction it’s meant to evince is horror/disgust, not arousal. The Dead Island torso is bloody and torn apart but also designed to be sexually appealing to people who like breasts. I don’t think there was an expectation when that corpse figure with the tubes was designed that it was going to be attractive.

        • oldfart says:

          1) Huh, no. Regardless if the severed torso will be in a tematic box or into the game, both are manifestations from the game creator visions. Would you be OK if the female torso appeared only in a secret level in the game instead ?

          2) I can’t conceive most of the people being “aroused” by such image (even between the pre-teenage public, although I would be too naive if I believed being impossible a small, f* up portion of the public being sexually excited by dead girls). More likely, I feel most of people will feel at first shock, surprise and (maybe) a bit disgusted by the idea of a once attractive female being brutalized in such way. And I truly believe THAT was what the game developers wanted to transmit in the end – a beautiful, gracious and delicate thing (like a hot girl) being horribly brutalized. Unfortunately, I see this being used to push a completely absurd pro-feminist agenda. That’s why I am asking: WHY THERE’S NO SIMILAR REACTION FROM RPS TO SUCH EQUALLY DISGUSTING IMAGERY FROM DOOM 4 ? Double standards ?

    • John Walker says:

      A thousand times just shut up. Are you questioning that? Are you really? Because I *feel* like we’ve put up dozens and dozens and dozens of posts about PC games this week!

      I’ll give you a hint: We’re pointing out that a company is ignoring all attempts to find out why it deliberately deceived customers.

      Also, every time someone says something as idiotic as “if it was a male torso?” an actual baby dies.

      • arrakisdef says:

        Why is saying if it was a male torso with clean breasts stupid? Men can’t have sexy chests? Tone abs aren’t sexualized? It would be “just” as bad. We are just pointing out that RPS wouldn’t have mentioned it at all, they might have even promoted it, if it was a male torso.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Women don’t tend to discriminate against men because their chest isn’t to their liking, they don’t tend to masturbate over pictures of men’s chests and they don’t tend to pay for men to get silicone implants to make their chests more to the woman’s liking.

          • arrakisdef says:

            Its good to know that you are most women.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            It’s good to know how “deep” your understanding of women goes.

          • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

            While I don’t disagree with your core point, I’ve never understood the assertion that the male chest is non-sexualized. While I don’t have much first hand experience on the matter, everything from products directed at women to art drawn by women suggests to me that a six-pack is rather desirable and rather fetishized.

          • Bhazor says:

            It’s true though.
            Most women are attracted to more delicate features. Hence why Johnny Depp is a much bigger sex icon than Vinn Diesel or Dwight York.

          • gwathdring says:

            The masturbation comment is incredibly wrong. It isn’t a problem that those men who find women sexually attractive masturbate while imagining women’s breasts. More importantly, suggesting that women do not masturbate or that women who find men sexually attractive don’t do so while imagining the chests of sexy men is bizarre as all fuck.

            The bits about social perception and discrimination on the basis of perceived attractiveness are fine–women have it tougher then men in that sense.

            edit: @Bhazor I don’t think there’s any reason to say “most” women prefer body-region X unless Y is something like the spleen. If we’re going anecdotal, Vin Diesel has his share of fan girls, too.

            Also what on earth is a delicate feature? Some people have delicately muscled frames that imply grace and fitness without implying power.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @gwathdring – I’m sorry, yes women do masturbate, but no, women are not turned on by visual stimuli as much as men, if at all.

          • Merlkir says:

            Yeah, no. Women do masturbate looking at naked male chests. Men do get silicone implants for their butts and calves (which i don’t understand at all, but it apparently matters), to be more up to women’s standards.

            But nope, boo hoo, women are the only opressed people in the world, I know.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Merlkir – Why don’t you tell me the percentage of men who have implants for purely cosmetic reasons vs the percentage of women.

            And while your at it, why don’t you research the percentage of men who find female implants attractive vs the percentage of women who find male implants attractive.

            The statistics may undermine your point somewhat…

            It’s my firm belief that men only get implants to out-alpha other men. I hope they don’t think that making their calf’s protrude more is attractive. Now if you were to compete in the tour and sculpt your legs through the training needed to that, then we can talk!

          • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

            @Bhazor

            That’s true to one degree or another, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the idealized version of a Johnny Depp-type figure is more likely to involve a muscly abdomen than a flat one (fortunately or unfortunately, I’m not really in a position ATM to google “sexy Jack Sparrow” and substantiate that). IMO, the “action hero” look has other things that make it more directed to men than women aside from muscles.

            @more generally
            I would also strongly question the idea that women aren’t turned on by visual stimuli, if only because my limited psychology experience suggests that men and women don’t differ very much in lots and lots of areas.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @darkChozo If scans of the brain and observations of which area’s light up as men and women are exposed to various stimuli are to be believed, and it would be a brave, or well qualified doctor of neurobiology who disagrees, then this is absolutely true. Visual stimuli does not turn women on anywhere nearly as much as men, despite the claim that it does by women from certain countries. Which would indicate that there is social pressure to be with a “good looking man”, but not a biological pressure.

            And can we close off the “Women masturbate over chests just as much as men masturbate over breasts theory” by examining the sales of porn mags aimed at either gender, or the popularity of sites which display images of men’s chests vs women’s breasts…. exactly.

          • Pliqu3011 says:

            @Sheng-ji:
            I mostly agree with you but:
            “If scans of the brain and observations of which area’s light up as men and women are exposed to various stimuli are to be believed, and it would be a brave, or well qualified doctor of neurobiology who disagrees, then this is absolutely true. Visual stimuli does not turn women on anywhere nearly as much as men, despite the claim that it does by women from certain countries. ”
            Can you provide an actual source for these scans and observations? It seems weird to me that visual stimuli wouldn’t turn women on.

          • gwathdring says:

            Sales figures? That doesn’t close off the argument at all. Social pressure can still cause the differences you’re describing. Bear in mind that male dominated society has shaped the porn industry, for example. That in turn shapes both male and female perceptions of porn which shapes how it is marketed and who buys it.

            I haven’t read research about visual sexual stimulus across gender lines, but I’m utterly in love with neuroscience. I wouldn’t mind a journal article name or two if you have them at your disposal. If it’s not from a journal, giving me a “normal” article would be fine, I’m sure I could dig up the research from there. If it’s not any easier for you to pull up than for me to hunt down unassisted, that’s fine too.

            P.S. I would add, though, that all research into sexual response is exceedingly limited at this time. Too few researchers have the funding to deeply investigate human sexuality on a neuro-biological level. There’s also far too little investigation of the social side of sexuality: orientation, pair bonding, etc. The research exists, but it’s not robust enough for us to start making claims about how *most* women (or men for that matter) live in a sexual world in such detail as to pick their favorite body parts.

            Unless we’re just talking about mass media culture instead of individual sexual preferences. Then it gets easier (and more well studied, for that matter).

          • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

            Well, I just read a summarizing psych paper on the issue here. (not exactly something I was expecting to do today. Sidenote of little relevance, apparently women are more likely to be aroused than men by bonobos fucking. So maybe we should see more of that in the gaming industry.)

            So yeah, I withdraw my earlier statement, though I would moderate that by mentioning that societal factors are theorized to play a large role in gender differences in sexual arousal, which inherently introduces a weird kind of sexual feedback loop (ie. women are less likely to be aroused by visual stimulus due to probably-sexist societal pressure, which means less material is produced, which means probably-more-sexism, which means more probably-sexist societal pressure). That’s probably just me being contrarian though.

            Also, this suggests that the “why don’t we have near-naked men with huge crotch bulges” is rather fallacious, or at least as fallacious as the “it wouldn’t matter if it was a man’s torso” thing. Seems to me that what the industry needs is more properly-fleshed out (heh) relationships to balance out the TITZ, though given the quality of video game writing that might be a tall order.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @gwathdring & Pliqu3011 No probs, I’ll pick a few from from the 70 or so I have here:

            Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953
            Laan, Everaerd, van Bellen, & Hanewald, 1994
            Money & Ehrhardt, 1972
            Murnen & Stockton, 1997
            Schmidt, 1975
            Steinman, Wincze, Sakheim, Barlow, & Mavissakalian, 1981
            Chivers, Reiger, Latty, & Bailey, 2004
            Laan et al., 1994
            Wincze, Hoon, & Hoon, 1977
            Bancroft, 1978
            Laan et al., 1994
            Peterson & Janssen, in press (Ambivalent affect and sexual response: The impact of co-occurring positive and negative emotions on subjective and physiological sexual responses to erotic stimuli. Archives of Sexual Behavior.)
            Janssen, Carpenter, and Graham (2003)
            Money & Ehrhardt, 1972
            Symons, 1979
            Rupp & Wallen, 2007
            Koukounas & Over, 2001
            O’Donohue & Geer, 1985
            Kinsey et al., 1953
            Kelley & Musialowski, 1986
            Schmidt, Sigusch, & Schafer, 1973
            Kelley and Musialowski (1986)
            Costa, Braun, and Birbaumer (2003)

            Should keep you going over the weekend! If you want more, ask and I’ll check back on Monday and post up the rest – if you have trouble finding any, I’ll get you the full article name.

          • SwENSkE says:

            No, women would never ever judge a man by his looks. Nevah. Not in a thousand years. Nope. Definitely not.
            And what means ‘discriminate’ in this context?
            I wish the day will come soon when women will have to be the ones to start things going and guys will be the ones to deal out the rejections. Maybe that’s also the day when the suicide rates for young girls will be six times higher than the rates for young men.

          • gwathdring says:

            @Sheng-ji

            The perks of being in a long-haul for graduate work: access to scientific databases. I should be able to get at least an abstract for all of these.

            Thanks a bunch! :D

            P.S. “That’s probably just me being contrarian though.”

            I don’t think so. I think it’s really important for us to keep in mind how much social engineering can affect these matters since social relations are very likely to change on a time scale of decades while genetic biology isn’t likely to change much even on a time scale of centuries.

            This is all further complicated by research into epigenetic factors which suggests more and more every year that short-scale changes as a result of our environment (say, our social structure) can be transmitted down through multiple generations and subvert our very genetics at least for a while.

            Of course, even if it had nothing to do with biology … what does that tell us? The reality of our social relationships and sexual preferences matters most. What causes that only matters if we want to change that reality. While I have a vested interest in removing senseless discriminations from society, I have no vested interest in controlling what women do and do not find sexually arousing; therefore whether it’s primarily biological or social in nature becomes less important albeit no less interesting.

            Just some musings.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @SwENSkE – What I mean’t by discriminate is that a woman will not tend respond sexually any differently to a man based solely on his looks. Sure if he is ugly because he doesn’t wash regularly and his bedraggled beard is an eyesore, or is a passive aggressive dick, she will judge him on that, but if he doesn’t have the ideal chest, it does not mean that your average woman will not find the man attractive. Bythe way, I am stating that this does not reflect on the “shallowness” positively or negatively of either gender.

            I do understand that there are some women who do judge men on their looks, but as I point out earlier, this is more behaviour related to trying to fit in socially that biologically driven. Equally there are men who can look beyond the physical and see the beauty within, but again he is often responding to social pressures and often, biologically would actually prefer that the girl he is mating with is in fact, in his eyes beautiful.

            Oh, and I believe that young men’s suicide rate is high because of how young men treat each other. The women and girls I know abhor the kind of behaviour that leads to boys killing themselves and in no way find this pseudo alpha behaviour attractive.

            @gwathdring – It is honestly a pleasure, it’s nice when work I did previously and has been filed away to collect dust forever more can be of interest to others! Be aware that I haven’t re-read through it before posting it for yourself, so some may only contribute in a roundabout way to the point I made, but it’s all interesting!

          • SwENSkE says:

            @ Sheng-ji

            So what you’re saying is in essence women are the better human beings.

            I agree that there are differences between the sexes on what they think is attractive. While it’s the looks of a female for most men it’s the wealth/power/social standing of a male for most women. So by your standard men ‘discriminate’ women on their looks while women ‘discriminate’ men on their wallets.

            Concerning the suicide rates of young men. Your argument holds no water because up to the age of around 13/14 (beginning of puberty) the suicide rates for both sexes are nearly equal. Then the number for males skyrockets to at least six times (other studies have even higher numbers) the rate of girls. The inequality in suicide rates goes down a bit for later ages but the number for men is significantly higher throughout all ages. But never anywhere as high as in puberty when young men start to take interest in the other sex (and start to have to deal with refusals because it’s still men who’re supposed to ‘get things going’). If it had anything to do with ‘male behaviour’ the differences between the ages wouldn’t be that big. The same argument was spread to explain why men die a lot younger than women. It doesn’t hold water, too.

            If I was a feminist I would accuse you of ‘blaming the victim’.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @SwENSkE

            Sigh… No, I’m not saying that women are better than men, just pointing out that women are not treated equally and that it is a problem, though it’s very interesting you took it that way.

            A lot of things happen at puberty, not just an interest in girls. Lets think about testosterone, that thing that happens at puberty, and what effects testosterone has on a group of boys. Lets talk about the increased aggression that a boy has due to the hormonal changes and how, quite often he will direct that aggression against other boys, either directly or passively. Lets wonder how bullying of boys by other boys may become worse at puberty because boys have a hormonal drive to compete. Let’s not ignore all the other changes that happen during puberty just because they don’t happen to fit your “theory” and only focus on the one tiny bit that does just happen to fit.

            Oh, by the way, if men are committing suicide because women won’t have sex with them, but not the other way around, that rather supports the case that women are treated as sexual objects which only damages your argument more.

            “So by your standard men ‘discriminate’ women on their looks while women ‘discriminate’ men on their wallets”

            Nope, I think greed and laziness are common to both sexes equally.

            If you must know who I blame, it’s not boys who kill themselves, it’s people like the person you have portrayed yourself as here. People who think they stand for equality but expect all the social norms to apply when they benefit themselves.

            Also, stop playing the victim, it’s making me nauseous. You are not a victim due to your gender, you may not be treated equally, but we are all trying to solve that problem. You playing the victim is just making things worse.

          • Canisa says:

            @SwENSkE

            So even if you were right about the causes of those suicides, how exactly would you solve this problem? *Force* young women to sleep with young men in order to protect their precious male egos? If men believe that they are entitled to sex, and they cannot handle the harsh reality that they are not, that’s hardly anyone’s problem but their own. Also a large part of your argument is that men are expected to be sexually proactive whilst women are expected to be repressed. Whilst this disparity in expected roles is certainly a problem, you seem to be under the impression that this state of affairs was *our* idea!

            Guess what? Feminism has a major problem with slut-shaming! We are also harmed by this prescriptivist attitude to desire, primarily intended to control women and use our own sexuality as weapon against us. If it also happens to harm men then this is not, as you suggest, a symptom of the emergence of a reverse-sexist proto-matriarchy; it is merely a case of the existing patriarchy backfiring on men. This happens a lot. If you’d like it to stop, all you have to do is help feminism to dismantle that patriarchy.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @gwathdring re. your musings – I don’t disagree, but it would be nice if the people resisting change in the industry actually knew what women found attractive before shouting from the rooftops that if the bust had been a man’s chest, no-one would have complained.

            Also, it’s important to understand what the biological differences between the genders is and what differences have been imposed by society so that we know what’s fine and normal and what is actually a problem.

          • Earl Grey says:

            @SwENSkE

            How do you account that (reported) ‘attempted’ suicides by females is generally three times higher than males in your point about suicide rates?

            It could be argued that the higher mortality rate among men is that they are much more likely to use immediately fatal methods.

            Now, young men feeling unable to come forward and seek help is an issue. Believe it or not, there is concerted efforts that exist to alleviate this. Conversely though, selectively using statistics and turning what is a complicated societal problem irregardless of gender to support an argument that suicide is a predominately male issue is dishonest and a bit twatty really.

          • gwathdring says:

            @Sheng-Ji

            Ah, but the catch is this: who is to say that the biological behaviors are the better ones? Whether behaviors “should” be protected and preserved is down to how we want to construct our society. Whether they are biological or not is more relevant to HOW we address them than whether we address them.

            Biological responses can be conflicting and counterproductive, just as social responses can be. Considering those things that are biological and “natural” as inherently more valid runs counter to my social philosophy. What’s “fine” is different from what’s “normal” is different from what’s “primarily biological” is different from what “doesn’t need to be changed” is different from what’s “good” is different from what’s “optimal” is different from what’s “ideal.” I don’t see any of these as inherently similar, though several have inherent intersections.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @gwathdring

            I understand what you’re saying, and though I don’t necessarily agree, though that may be because I haven’t yet given the subject enough thought, I think we can agree on the points that are relevant in this context; let me try to explain a bit better by working through a made up example.

            Biological fact: Gender does not play a role in the ability to be an accountant. If there is a difference in the ability between men and women to do the job, it is such a minuscule difference that it would be impossible to measure.

            The issue: Most companies would not employ a woman accountant. (Please remember this is a made up example)

            Debate: There is no biological difference between a man and a woman to be an accountant, therefore it is society which creates a gender divide on this issue.

            I would conclude that this is sexist because in this situation there is no biological basis to the concept that women can’t do the job.

            Next made up example:

            Biological Fact: Women do not produce as much testosterone as men. Testosterone is the hormone which amongst other things causes body hair growth.

            The issue: Most back hair collection companies will only shear men.

            Debate: The cushion stuffing pillow industry, from which the back hair collection companies come from are not being sexist, women don’t produce anywhere nearly as much back hair as men and it would be a significant expense to these companies if they were forced to shear women in order to meet some society imposed equality.

            In my opinion, this is not sexist. Women just don’t produce the necessary product in economic quantities. Trying to force the back hair collection companies to shear women – same time spent as shearing a man for a dramatic reduction in yield – would be lunacy. Yes, there are some hairy women, but the huge expense in the female specific shearing machine is prohibitive. It is more efficient to rule women out of the process altogether. While, from the outside this may seem like sexism, it is simply efficiency and should be encouraged.

            Just be glad I’m stuffing a cushion right now rather than making cottage cheese….

            Do you see what I’m getting at when I refer to biological driven inequalities as being OK, but not society driven ones?

          • Grape Flavor says:

            @Sheng-ji

            “I do understand that there are some women who do judge men on their looks, but as I point out earlier, this is more behaviour related to trying to fit in socially that biologically driven. Equally there are men who can look beyond the physical and see the beauty within, but again he is often responding to social pressures”

            Women don’t care about looks, huh. I guess that’s why the promotional materials for Twilight don’t all have all the male characters on the cover with their shirts off and abs clenched, for no discernible reason. Mustn’t be all that visual stimulation that women don’t even appreciate. And men who are capable of factoring in anything but looks being the exception is your corollary? Hmm, that’s seems a bit wrong there.

            “Oh, and I believe that young men’s suicide rate is high because of how young men treat each other. The women and girls I know abhor the kind of behaviour that leads to boys killing themselves and in no way find this pseudo alpha behaviour attractive.”

            The second quote comes across as blithely ignorant of the widespread, well-reported-on, vicious and even physically violent bullying that is common to adolescent girls as well as their male counterparts. And do I even need to mention the emptiness of relying on the “the people I know” fallacy. I could tell you a few things about the feminists I’ve come across, but that doesn’t exactly move you does it? Yeah.

            “Also, stop playing the victim, it’s making me nauseous. You are not a victim due to your gender, you may not be treated equally, but we are all trying to solve that problem. You playing the victim is just making things worse.”

            Interesting the way you feel being treated unequally due to to ones gender has nothing to do with victim status. It’s all in the chromosomes, huh?

            Look, I can’t speak for Mr.SwENSkE or his opinions, but let me pose some questions to ALL of RPS here (not just Sheng-ji): Why does the very notion that he might feel like he has been victimized in his life in some way, possibly even because of his gender, offend and threaten “feminists” so badly? Why does it detract from your idea of progress?

            In the larger sense, why is it considered so incredibly important for feminism to cling to these structural, absolutist maxims about power and un-power, about victims and victimizers? All generalizations about society are just that, simplified summaries of the broad trends among many individual human experiences, are they not? So if, hypothetically, society is biased in 87 ways against women, and 13 against men, or if out of a sample group of 100, 83 victims of gender prejudice are female and 13 are male, then we could say society levies disadvantages against both women and men based on their genders, but primarily / more often against women. That is in of itself a simplification of course – ideally we would say society is 87 parts biased against women and 13 parts biased against men, but we can’t measure these things to anywhere near that degree of accuracy, so we settle for the former.

            Well, or do we? Feminism, as commonly defined, certainly doesn’t, preferring instead to cast things in conspiracy-theory-esque metanarratives about The Patriarchy and black and white classifications of Oppressor Class and Oppressed Class. If issues that men face are pointed out, they are often either denied or ridiculed, insinuated to be the men’s own fault, or, where none of those approaches are plausible, dismissed as “not really counting” because the ideology of Oppressed Class and Oppressor Class, of inherent power and un-power, does not permit there to be more than One True Type of human victim. Which is, in feminist thought, defined as the entire female gender, occasionally amended to allow for “intersectionality” where other True Victim Classes, in other spheres, can be acknowledged to exist so long as they do not threaten the assumptions of inherent moral superiority and victimhood status of women when it comes to the sphere of gender relations.

            And there’s the central conceit, and the reason feminism as it is currently constituted can never gain total acceptance – it is predicated upon the notion that women inherently occupy a higher moral plane as the One True Victim Type, or at least as ONE of the exclusive True Victim Types, of malaise in society and in life. For men to engage with feminism, acceptance of this is touted as a prerequisite – the small bone is thrown that men did not “choose” to be a member of the morally inferior Oppressor Class, that they are not “personally” at fault, but they must nonetheless acknowledge that as men they are inherently the bully, inherently the oppressor simply by virtue of their maleness, due to the fundamental nature of gender as structured in feminist ideology. Men will never accept this – some will, of course but most will realize that the presence of that floppy thing between their legs doesn’t actually make them culpable in jack fucking shit, and they’re not going to apologize for it. (And most of them aren’t going to take the invocation of the holy word “privilege” as some kind of beat-all discussion-ender, either.)

            That is where the stumbling block lies, because human beings are really good at sniffing out bullshit and rejecting it. No matter how hard societal pressures try to force upon people the idea that these distinctions matter, that there are “these people” and “those people”, intelligent humans will always find a way to recognize that despite the relatively superficial differences in biology or culture, we are ultimately all human beings of the same stock, with the same fundamental rights and hopes and interests. Whether it’s conservative ideology or leftist ideology that is trying to tell us that these distinctions are of the gravest importance, deep down we know that fundamentally we are all equal, perhaps not in our own individual abilities or talents but in our right to be judged by the merit of what’s inside, not by our identity.

            And that is the problem, as I see it, with feminism. I’m not some MRA douchebag coming on here saying “nuh-uh, women have it good, men are the real victims, the REAL “One True Victims”, as I put it. I’m also not claiming that different groups face the same levels of bullshit or oppression, because it’s plainly obvious that that’s simply not true. What I’m saying is that this entire premise of “isms” and identity politics is fundamentally flawed and corrosive to society. It’s not good enough to say “it’s not a zero-sum game”, you have to act like it, and that means not playing stupid games like Oppression Olympics and it’s accompanying cult of simultaneous self-pity and self-moral-aggrandizement. All of our issues, whether they be women’s issues or men’s issues or black issues or LGBT issues or whatever, are humanity’s issues because we’re all in this together, and factionalism and infighting about whose issues take precedence accomplishes nothing.

            You can dismiss what I’m saying as a bunch of pretentious platitudes that don’t actually do anything to help move society forward, and you may be right. I’d say at least this set of principles can’t be used to set us further back, which is what I see happening now. And sure, we can’t all tackle everything at once, it’s often useful to specialize and focus on a particular field. If that’s what feminism means to you then I’m all for it. But elevating these specializations to the level of an actual ideology or worldview is just sad and is a big part of the reason this dialogue never goes anywhere.

            Just please save the “concern troll” or “disingenuous” or the like, I certainly wouldn’t be bringing this loaded subject matter up if I wasn’t sincerely passionate about it. Because like most people, I am interested in progress, and also because these issues, specifically the gender-type ones, are deeply personal to me. I am a bisexual man (to simplify), and while not transsexual, I have never felt comfortable with mainstream gender roles either. So this is not a bunch of cheap rhetoric for me, it is integral to who I am, although I saved that bit for last so as not to be interpreted as playing that card to establish some kind of cred.

            Oh, and thank you to anyone who took the time to read this. Should have saved something so long for a forum post.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Grape – You’ve put a great deal of effort into your post, so I hope my reply does it justice. Please understand though that I am on the train and this is the last time all day I will have a chance to post, also I’m on my phone which the only reason why I am leaving quotes of your post to reply too – usually that drives me mad because I like to reply to the entire post in context, but this is the only way as touchscreens do not make for great RPS commenting!

            “Women don’t care about looks, huh. ”

            I didn’t say that, what I said was:

            “Visual stimuli does not turn women on anywhere nearly as much as men” and also “here is social pressure to be with a “good looking man”, but not a biological pressure.”

            So your twilight situation is based solely on social pressure – otherwise every program which shows gratuitous manchest would be popular with women (why wasn’t Hercules with Kevin Sorbo just as popular?) as we see with programs and their popularity with men due to gratuitous woman flesh being displayed. Anyone care to explain the success of red letter diaries any other way?

            But to further your understanding, do read through the journal articles I posted a list of, which demonstrate this scientifically.

            “And men who are capable of factoring in anything but looks being the exception is the corollary?”

            The way our biology works is fixed, a known factual quantity. Again read the articles I posted. Don’t like it, take it up with God or Darwin or Mother nature. It’s not women’s fault that men like to look at women (which strangely enough is usually the rallying call of the people who don’t want anything to change when they mistakenly think that they are being told it is wrong to enjoy looking at a bit of woman flesh), and visual stimuli is the most important to turning on a man. Let me know when xxx bars involve you being taken into a private room and the performer has a spiritual conversation with you to get you going.

            “The second quote is blithely ignorant of the widespread, well-reported-on vicious and even physically violent bullying that is common to adolescent girls as well as their male counterparts. ”

            Yes I know girls can bully too, believe me I do but this is key. Women, no matter what their own behaviour is like do not tend to find men who beat the shit out of other men in some pseudo alpha male display attractive. You know the “jocks” that the media likes to portray as popular with women because they are bullies. Not true. Women do like sporty men, yes. But not all sporty men are bullies. Also, that research your touting also quotes female bullying as 89% woman on woman. So yes, woman do bully and I like to think that if even the prettiest woman was a bully, it would put all the men off, but sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Because men are visual.

            “And do I even need to mention the emptiness of relying on the “the people I know” fallacy.”

            What people I know fallocy did I use? I can provide journal links for any claim I make. Just ask, rather than go straight for the accusation, that’s really rude.

            “Interesting the way you feel being treated unequally due to to ones gender has nothing to do with victim status. All in the chromosomes, huh? I’m seeing quite the pattern here.”

            I would, and have said exactly the same thing to women. If a man or woman is subject to abuse, yes, they are a victim, but if a man or a woman is offended by something, they are not a victim. SwENSkE was claiming he was a victim of sexist behaviour because other men are abused by women and other men have committed suicide. I find that as disgusting as the legions of 911 “victims” who neither lost anyone or thought they may lose someone nor were anywhere near NY at the time.

            “Why does the very notion that he might feel like he has been victimized in his life in some way, possibly even because of his gender, offend and threaten “feminists” so badly? Why does it detract from your idea of progress?”

            Because he always referred to these things happening to other people. As far as I can tell the only thing he is a “victim” of is criticism for his opinions. And yes, it is a problem if men are claiming that people trying to get some equality in life are “victimising them”. It’s as black and white as this – We are saying we don’t want to be depicted as sex objects, he’s saying that this request amounts to a victimisation of him. Huh? That’s absurd.

            “In the larger sense, why is it considered so incredibly important for feminism to cling to these structural, absolutist maxims about power and un-power, about victims and victimizers?”

            It’s easy to breeze over the problems with inequality in power and abuse when you are on the side that has more power and suffers less abuse.

            ” then we could say society levies disadvantages against both women and men based on their genders, but primarily / more often against women.”

            That is exactly what I’ve been saying. Firstly, I cannot stop banging on about the concept that inequality against men and against women are two sides of the same coin – seriously google that, I wouldn’t be surprised if I were on the front page somewhere writing that. I keep saying it and I keep getting ignored, and then, people like you insinuate that I don’t believe in equality for men. They are two sides of the same coin and you cannot solve one without solving the other.

            “Well, or do we? Feminism, as commonly defined, certainly doesn’t, preferring instead to cast things in conspiracy-theory-esque metanarratives about The Patriarchy and black and white classifications of Oppressor Class and Oppressed Class. ”

            Just because someone shouts the loudest most extreme message does not mean they represent the people who follow the cause they claim to represent. This thinking is responsible for the reprehensible internet witch hunt to find the Boston bombers, singling out people on the basis that they are brown. Just because the loudest most extreme people claiming to be Muslims are inciting terrorist action, does not make every brown person a terrorist.

            “If issues that men face are pointed out, they are often either denied or ridiculed, insinuated to be the men’s own fault, or, where none of those approaches are plausible, dismissed as “not really counting”.

            Not true, I am deeply concerned about the rate of male suicide, especially given my job in which I have seen, with my own two eyes more teens who have committed suicide than most people have ever heard about. My job involves ensuring accused people are treated fairly during the legal process. But here’s the thing. I cannot be sympathetic to a man who blames it on women, unless he’s got some evidence so golden, it is spewing sunshine coloured mana over the world. It does no-one any good to guess at what the problem may be, in fact it is fucking disgusting to abuse peoples very real, very complicated problems to support your internet argument.

            Also, I don’t believe inequality can be solved without solving inequality against men at the same time – remember two sides of the same coin. So I certainly don’t dismiss or treat lightly mens issues, but please, don’t come to me claiming to represent men with issues that you personally don’t have. I have treated people on here who tell me that they have had issues in the past kindly, sensitively and hopefully gave them help and support which I can only pray (figure of speech, I’m not religious) helped turn their situation around while at the same time helped society as a whole become just a smidgeon less sexist by helping men to break free from gender roles and inequalities. I do that, because I care.

            “Which is, in feminist thought, defined as the entire female gender, occasionally amended to allow for “intersectionality” where other True Victim Classes, in other spheres, can be acknowledged to exist so long as they do not threaten the assumptions of inherent moral superiority and victimhood status of women when it comes to the sphere of gender relations.”

            What utter claptrap.

            “And there’s the central conceit, and the reason feminism as it is currently constituted can never gain total acceptance – it is predicated upon the notion that women inherently occupy a higher moral plane as the One True Victim Type”

            BULLSHIT

            “, or at least as ONE of the exclusive True Victim Types, of malaise in society and in life.”

            OK, this is true. Some men are not victims, some women are not victims. Being treated unfairly does not make you a victim. I, for example am not a victim of sexism. I am in fact a shining beacon of hope that women can come to be respected at work, that they can have a family and a high flying career, that this world has come such a long way since the 70′s that there are so many opportunities open to us that weren’t before. But I can criticise sexist behaviour where I see it and will continue to do so for as long as I have the strength in me to fight for a fairer world.

            ” For men to engage with feminism, acceptance of this is touted as a prerequisite ”

            Not true, all that is required is a wish for a more equal world and the ability to actually engage on an adequate intellectual level.

            “the small bone is thrown that men did not “choose” to be a member of the morally inferior Oppressor Class”

            People who are not sexist are not sexist. People who either choose to be sexist or simply are sexist because they know no better are a problem and indeed do contribute to the “morally inferior Oppressor Class” as you choose to put it.

            “but they must nonetheless acknowledge that as men they are inherently the bully, inherently the oppressor simply by virtue of their maleness”

            Not simply by virtue of their maleness, by virtue of them deciding to not empathise with the person they are treating in a sexist way:

            “Well I’m not giving up my job when we have children, I can earn more than you”
            “Us women don’t talk to or even acknowledge the men at the school gate, they only letch over us anyway, bet they want to have an affair”
            “She’s back at work already, only 2 weeks after giving birth – surely that’s going to affect the child”
            “A stay-at-home Dad, wtf dude, where are your balls”

            and so on.

            “due to the fundamental nature of gender as structured in feminist ideology.”

            Being a man or being a woman is a fundamental truth. Every human being alive is designated a gender by society and while society may not always agree in the fringe cases – and those people get the worst of both – the truth is people are treated differently depending on their gender. I want this to only happen where it is appropriate. Tell me how you would like to see gender structured?

            “Men will never accept this – some will, of course but most will realize that the presence of that floppy thing between their legs doesn’t actually make them culpable in jack fucking shit, and they’re not going to apologize for it. ”

            Please don’t apologise for identifying with being a man, no matter what you have between your legs, just don’t treat women in a way that we don’t like to be treated. We don’t like being distilled down to our base sexual organs. Don’t constantly portray us this way and if you do, apologise for it!

            “(And most of them aren’t going to take the invocation of the holy word “privilege” as some kind of beat-all discussion-ender, either.)” That is where the stumbling block lies, because human beings are really good at sniffing out bullshit and rejecting it. No matter how hard societal pressures try to force upon people the idea that these distinctions matter, that there are “these people” and “those people”, intelligent humans will always find a way to recognize that despite the relatively superficial differences in biology or culture, we are ultimately all human beings of the same stock, with the same fundamental rights and hopes and interests. Whether it’s conservative ideology or leftist ideology that is trying to tell us that these distinctions are of the gravest importance, deep down we know that fundamentally we are all equal, perhaps not in our own individual abilities or talents but in our right to be judged by the merit of what’s inside, not by our identity.”

            The evidence suggests that you are wrong – go look up the Milgram experiment and the The Stanford prison experiment – they repeatedly have shown that if you give someone privilege, which men have had for centuries, then the group given the privilege will abuse it with minimal prompting, and commit disgusting acts to keep the status quo.

            “And that is the problem, as I see it, with feminism. I’m not some MRA douchebag coming on here saying “nuh-uh, women have it good, men are the real victims, the REAL “One True Victims”, as I put it. I’m also not claiming that different groups face the same levels of bullshit or oppression, because it’s plainly obvious that that’s simply not true. What I’m saying is that this entire premise of “isms” and identity politics is fundamentally flawed and corrosive to society.”

            Well it is if you make it that way. I personally use the label “sexism” to great positive effect. Once a pattern of systemic abuse has been given a title, it empowers society to make a positive change.

            “It’s not good enough to say “it’s not a zero-sum game”, you have to act like it, and that means not playing stupid games like Oppression Olympics and it’s accompanying cult of simultaneous self-pity and self-moral-aggrandizement. ”

            I cannot relate even slightly to what you think I am doing. I have no self pity, I can’t even begin to imagine why you think I am playing games with this, I don’t get your cult reference. All I do is tirelessly work to do what I believe is right. I believe inequality is wrong, so I criticise it where I see it. Call it all the names under the sun but I believe this is OK.

            “All of our issues, whether they be women’s issues or men’s issues or black issues or LGBT issues or whatever, are humanity’s issues because we’re all in this together, and factionalism and infighting about whose issues take precedence accomplishes nothing.”

            I agree which is why we are talking about gender inequalities here while arguably there are more pressing problems in the world.

            “You can dismiss what I’m saying as a bunch of pretentious platitudes that don’t actually do anything to help move society forward, and you may be right.”

            I’ll say this, you have a very fixed negative view of feminism and I fear it has coloured your view of any woman fighting for equality. For what it’s worth I dislike the term feminism and don’t view myself as one, and also I can understand why you have the view you have of people who do identify themselves under that term, but this pre-judged opinion you hold of them is quite possibly causing you to get angry about people trying to achieve exactly the same thing you are.

            “I’d say at least this set of principles can’t be used to set us further back, which is what I see happening now. ”

            Women being empowered is not setting gender equality further back – If our voices have reached a computer games manufacturer which has responded to our criticism even slightly, this is a good thing because the male voice is lodged firmly in their ear – and that’s all it is, criticism. No-one is lobbying for a change of law, we’re just saying that portraying women that way is offensive to women and we are going to tell you that.

            You’ll just have to get used to the concept that our voices are getting heard and that massively changes the dynamic of the industry. It will still be able to make offensive caricatures of women, but it will have to deal with the criticism that comes with that whereas in the past, women’s voice may not have reached the relevant parts of the industry. Women having an equal voice and being able to criticise just as much as men in the gaming industry is a good thing, and I will call you sexist if you disagree with that statement.

            “And sure, we can’t all tackle everything at once, it’s often useful to specialize and focus on a particular field. If that’s what feminism means to you then I’m all for it. But elevating these specializations to the level of an actual ideology or worldview is just sad and is a big part of the reason this dialogue never goes anywhere.”

            Well, people can only talk about what they know about, but men need to engage in these conversations in a positive way as well in order to change society into a fairer more equal one. It’s no good claiming that teen aged boys commit suicide due to the way they are treated by women unless that can be demonstrated to be true. Instead, tell us that you are concerned with how men are portrayed in gears of war, ask game devs to make characters you can relate to, criticise the games which portray men as bumbling and use your voice in a mature, sensible way. Don’t attack others doing the same.

            “Oh, and thank you to anyone who took the time to read this.”

            Thankyou for posting it

          • Tasloi says:

            @Grape Flavor One of the best comment posts i’ve read in a while. Well said.

          • gwathdring says:

            @ Sheng-ji

            I understand what you’re getting at with your example. But consider this: different equalities have different values. Some inequalities are value-neutral. Deciding whether or not they should continue to exist, in such cases, becomes a lot more difficult than deciding whether or not they should have developed in the first place.

            A made up example:

            Women are taught to prefer Daisies and men are taught to prefer Pansies. Both flowers are highly associated with the respective genders and come to symbolize the genders in everything from poetry to courtship rituals. Individuals who prefer cross-gender flowers are looked down upon for violating this social norm. There is no biological imperative here, and while there are problematic implications caused by the norm … they aren’t especially relevant. The same problematic implications would arise if Pansies were seen as good and Dasies bad without any gender associations. In this case, the inequality is not the true problem. Rather the gender binary causes conflict, and the flower stands to do little other than symbolize it.

            Consider the difference between this and clothing restrictions like Dress vs. Pants. Dresses and Pants have different practical functions and provide different levels of mobility. They are more than a symbolic representation of gender roles; they assist in establishing micro-roles through their functional differences which are physically unavoidable. Individuals must interact with the items much more consistently than individuals must interact with flowers in my example. Perhaps my made up example seems facetious, but there are many real gender norms that lie closer to this end of the spectrum than to your examples’ end of the spectrum (Women can’t be accountants, Men can be accountants). My point is not that gender functions primarily as it does in my example but to illustrate my initial dissent more clearly.

            I fully appreciate how damaging gender norms and distinctions can be; they can also be relatively harmless extensions of the idea of gender itself–whether or not that idea comes with it’s own problems. To an extent, every social phenomenon will be packaged with norms with varying potential to cause harm. This is unavoidable. We should, of course, always look for ways to alter our perceptions and allow greater fairness .. but sometimes the social work required to adjust a phenomenon vastly exceeds the value of altering the phenomenon.

            As another example, suppose women were attracted to men’s arms and men were attracted to women’s legs. This was not biological, but social. Suppose that in our made-up model society it could be reasonably separated from problems of social hierarchy between the genders and seemed to be a relatively isolated artifact of gender performance–that is to say, extremely relevant to the content of our media and so forth, but not in a way that alters fairness of treatment between men and women. Despite there being no biological cause at work here, there is nothing problematic about the distinction. It makes the genders different, but without causing any greater harm to one than the other. While harm might be caused to individuals, this would be no less frequent than if men and women were both attracted to each other’s arms or both attracted to each other’s legs.

            Conversely, one could have a problem with your back-hair system if it created systematic economic and hierarchical distinctions between the genders. What happens if, over the long run of history, this back-hair difference causes one gender to be fundamentally favored and becomes part of a larger gender gap in economic, social and political spheres rather than a mere physical difference?

            Now we have a problem: biological distinctions power what are, initially, harmless and biologically appropriate distinctions in treatment and behavior. Those are extrapolated into harmless social and economic distinctions which, over a very long time, become harmful and become social messages unto themselves merely represented by rather than elicited by the original back-hair distinction? Hopefully this type of social development sounds familiar. Biological difference can cause harmful social differences simply by existing. At that point we have to ask … how fair does a society have to be to be functional? How egalitarian can a society truly be? Do we want to maintain the illusion of social justice in the face of clear, measurable differences in treatment mandated by biology or maintain the illusion of biological equity in the face of clear social distinctions that arise from biological differences we systematically deny?

            This is, at heart, and issue of philosophy. Practically speaking, we are not nearing the limits at which this kind of argument becomes essential. But imagine what happens as we start breaking down the kinds of barriers that are easily described as unfair. As we start approaching the limits I describe. What do we do then? Does the answer to that question reflect back on how we should deal with issues of inequality NOW, far away from these limits of efficacy?

            Food for though.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @gwathdring – I couldn’t agree more – where those social constructs don’t do anyone any harm – note I used the word harm, not offence – then there is no problem, far from it, as you mentioned, it creates a more interesting and diverse society which should be encouraged!

            But, this is why it is all the more important to listen to the people who believe that it may be causing them harm. What little boys and girls are given to play with has never, ever been an issue in our society until the computer games industry started to mature and girls find themselves at best unwelcome and at worst, bullied and predatory sexual advances made towards them in the scene. At this point we need to adjust society because real harm is being done.

            As you say, society evolves and constantly changes. I think it is important to squash harmful trends and force it to evolve in a different way. Historically, certainly from the fall of the Roman Empire to the aftermath of the two world wars, women have been treated as second class citizens. While nothing was being done to stop this, society pushed it further and further. Men consolidated their domination over them. We got to the point where little girls in some cultures were systematically euthanized, so you can’t just ignore the problems and hope they evolve out of the system naturally.

            Arguably, if women hadn’t been empowered by the sheer shortage of men after the wars, there would have been no change even now!

            So, no, where there is no problem, leave it be, I quite agree but as soon as people start to notice problems, we should, if we wish to continue to consider ourselves civilised, pay attention and not sling the kind of mud some people are in these very comments section!

          • Grape Flavor says:

            @sheng-ji, Gwathdring

            Finally had the time to check back and see the replies, and thank you. You two in particular have posted a lot worth thinking about.

            I’ve complained about the RPS community from time to time (mostly the pessimism can be a bit grating), but really this conversation wouldn’t be possible on any other gaming site. RPS with all it’s flaws is worth appreciating.

        • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          The treatment of male and female bodies in games is not a reasonable comparison.

          The males are presented as something to want to be.

          The females are presented as something to want to fuck.

          • arrakisdef says:

            Because women and homosexuals don’t play games? Wtf is wrong with you where you think that?

          • Bhazor says:

            @ Lordcustard

            This.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @arrakisdef Well, I don’t want to fuck your typical male character and I certainly don’t want to be your typical female character. So there’s that…

          • Frypan Jack says:

            @ Lord Custard

            This is the best simple explanation for this issue that I’ve ever heard. I’ll be stealing this.

          • Shuck says:

            @arrakisdef: Well game developers certainly believe that this is the case. I know this because I am a game developer, and my bosses have, upon occasion, “explained” this to me.

          • cog says:

            Well said.

          • luukdeman111 says:

            @lord custard You’re a hero dude….. Great job!

          • Nutbag Deluxe says:

            Most women in video games indeed look like how the average man likes his women: big tits, nice ass, etc.: a good-looking body.
            And that is exactly how most women want to look like. Some even go as far as mutilating their bodies to look more like that ideal. It’s nature, women want to be attractive to men and men to women (assuming they’re not homosexual).

          • WrenBoy says:

            The treatment of male and female bodies in games is not a reasonable comparison.

            An engineer needs to be sent to the comment mines immediately. The coils on the surreal humour device have ceased turning and the children are beginning to become rational.

          • colossalstrikepackage says:

            Drops mike and walks away. Or puts down tea cup and smokes pipe. Either way, epic win.

          • Premium User Badge Jubaal says:

            Well said Sir. I think this is something a lot of people just don’t get.

        • killias2 says:

          False equivalence, thy champion is arrakisdef.

          • Frypan Jack says:

            No kidding. The only way that argument works is by willfully ignoring literally everything else about gender relations in our society.

        • David Bliff says:

          More than one thing being sexualized doesn’t mean they’re being sexualized to the same degree, or that that sexualization has the same effects. Sexualization of women’s bodies is tied to unequal pay, political inequality, domestic violence, sexual assault, eating disorders, sexual harassment, and a whole lot more. Women admiring the male figure doesn’t have any of that attached to the same degree or anything approaching it. Ignoring sexism, racism, and homophobia is not how those issues go away.

          • Merlkir says:

            Switch men and women in your post and read that slowly out loud. Nope, not biased or silly in any way.

          • David Bliff says:

            @Merlkir

            Please tell me how anything I have said about the inequality of society and the media’s obsession with women’s and men’s bodies is off. “Biased”? Sure, in that our culture, society, and economy is biased against women and I like most people are aware of the complex nature of the issue and interested in addressing it honestly instead of ignoring it and pretending it’s not an issue and that men have it just as bad as women (they don’t – but if you approach feminism as a man with an open mind you’ll find it has a lot to say about how men are hurt by patriarchy too. Though walking into a conversation and saying “STOP WHINING, MEN HAVE IT JUST AS BAD” is a sure way of getting shouted down for being an idiot).

          • RedPoll says:

            @ merlkir – What would that achieve? Are you saying men are paid less than women, and that women hold ninety percent of all the positions of power in the world? I am genuinely confused by your point.

          • sinister agent says:

            It appears that someone has just tried to make out that one group can’t possibly be oppressed if, when you make them swap places with their oppressors, the resulting sentence does not reflect reality.

            We are dangerously close to reaching the moron singularity, people. We must turn back at once.

            Of course Britain never invaded Iraq! If you swap “Britain” and Iraq” around, then it makes no sense because Iraq didn’t invade Britain. QED.

            OH GOD IT’S SPREADING

          • RedPoll says:

            @ Sinister Agent

            Brava! (Or bravo!)

          • SwENSkE says:

            You obviously have not the slightest clue what you’re talking about. Just spouting the same crap over and over again and ignoring every scientific study on the matters you’re talking about won’t help.
            Yes, women are paid less in general. But not because there’s some obscure patriarchy that decided that women should earn less but because of their own choices.
            And don’t get me started on domestic violence. There’s hundreds of studies on that matter meanwhile and each single one of them comes to the conclusion that domestic violence is divided up equally between both sexes. In the most cases both partners are equally violent.
            Political inequality? Sorry, but you must be kidding me. Or you’re not living in north america, europe or australia/new zealand.
            What really pisses me off is the one-sidedness. People like you only care for the disadvantages of one sex (and I agree there are still some areas where women are really disadvantaged – but so are men) and completely disregard everything else.
            What about the lower life expectancies of men, the insanely higher suicide rates (especially for young men), the higher rates of homelessness. I could go on for a while but I stop it here.
            I don’t want anyone to be disadvantaged – be it a male/female, black/white/green, gay/straight/whatever. Because I think all human beings should be treated equal.

          • DrollRemark says:

            @Merlkir

            Ahahaha.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @SwENSkE – You talk about women being paid less in equal job situations “as a result of choices they make” but then go on to somehow try to say that men are treated unfairly in this world because they die earlier.

            Men die earlier, are homeless more and commit suicide more because of the choices they make. Suicide by definition is a choice. Otherwise it is surely murder?

            Now if you want to argue that men make poor lifestyle choices because of pressures society puts on them, which is unfair, then why cant women use the same argument for inequality against them regarding their unfair pay situation?

            Oh, and the patriarchy is not obscure, it is quite clear for all who are not blind, metaphorically speaking, to see.

            Now, care to link to a couple of those hundreds of studies which came to the conclusion that domestic abuse of men by women is equal to that of women by men?

          • Hanban says:

            @Swenske

            “There’s hundreds of studies on that matter meanwhile and each single one of them comes to the conclusion that domestic violence is divided up equally between both sexes. In the most cases both partners are equally violent.”

            The first report I came across (US Department of Justice) contradicted what you said in relation to domestic violence. Can you share with you these hundreds of studies?

            P.S. Women’s violence against men is of course a concern and a problem.

          • SwENSkE says:

            @ Hanban

            http://frauengewalt.wordpress.com/

            The page is german but the studies linked there (as well as the quotas) are in english.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            From your very own link:

            “Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British Crime Survey show that more than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims.

            So men are not as abused as women, are they and that’s not even considering the magnitude of the abuse or the length of time it occurs over. Every article referenced treats a slap in the face as equal to false imprisonment and forced prostitution taking place over decades. Makes you think about the validity of them, no?

          • Grape Flavor says:

            @David Bliff:
            I think I missed where it was decided that sexualization of the female body is inherently wrong in the first place, or is that not what you meant to imply? Because if so, then wow, you just pathologized the entire gynophilic orientation, that’s straight men, lesbians, bisexuals, probably over half of the world’s population there that you’ve made their sexuality, or cultural indulgence thereof, to be the scapegoat for a vast number of social ills.

            Even if you agree in theory that the sexualized female form is not inherently offensive, I’d like to ask, what exactly are the criteria here for feminist types not to find the sexual female form offensive? What is it that people would have to do in order to not draw your ire? It can’t simply be to “cover up”, because then you’re not a feminist, you’re just a prude.

            And that’s my point – I agree that the gaming sphere should be more inclusive of women, and pruning away the gratuitous T&A that seeps into so much game art is part of that. Such content says to the straight male gamer “this is for you”, not the broader “this is for everybody” message that we would like our hobby to aspire to.

            But with that in mind, I can’t see to what productive end it serves to go around crusading against every last tight bodysuit or bit of bared cleavage like the frigging Iranian modesty police. We seem to already be at the point where a game character having a low neckline or bare midriff or having too-clearly-defined buttocks is in of itself considered worth of a full-length article on RPS.

            It seems to me like treating sexual female bodies as inherently offensive in this way is just taking away one problem – the chainmail bikini trope – and replacing it with another one, with potentially far more insidious implications, to boot. You can’t escape the analogy here, either – if all it takes the revealing clothing on a female that you find in of itself offensive then you really are no different than a conservative prude, regardless of whether you came to the conclusion that the female body needs to be all covered up from a different ideological direction.

            So again, what more sophisticated criteria ARE we using here, if that’s not what’s we’re doing? Because to a casual observer it can look an awful lot like John’s just taking a screengrab of every female he deems “too sexy” and turning it into the outrage of the day. Maybe if RPS could do more towards providing some sort of compelling argument as to what exactly they’re taking exception to with this stuff instead of simply saying “hey look, boobs!” and assuming everyone else finds that to be enough, maybe the articles would go down a bit better.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            what exactly are the criteria here for feminist types not to find the sexual female form offensive? What is it that people would have to do in order to not draw your ire?

            Not portray so many women so offensively. And no, it’s not that they are showing skin that is offensive, it’s how much of a caricature of a real woman they are.

            Let me ask you this. If well over 50% of every black person in games was depicted as a golliwog, would you question the black men asking for them to be rendered more realistically, or would you also be really pissed off that another human being was being depicted in a way that boiled him down to a caricature. Also would you have a massive loss of immersion every time one came on screen. If you are a black man, would you have problems relating to the golliwog you are being told is the option to represent you.

            Because, yeah, it’s offensive and it alienates people. But does it suddenly become OK if many white people think golliwogs are attractive? Still no. Because it still alienates people and it is still offensive. But it’s OK to turn women into hideous distorted unrealistic caricatures which distort the features men lust after the most into a teenagers wet dream is it? I guess I’m a prude because I feel alienated and can’t relate to these hideous mannequins. It’s nothing to do with showing tits and ass and everything to do with the unrealistic way in which they are portrayed, simply to titillate teenagers.

          • Grape Flavor says:

            @Sheng-ji says:
            “Not portray so many women so offensively. And no, it’s not that they are showing skin that is offensive, it’s how much of a caricature of a real woman they are.”

            Okay, well, I agree with pretty much all of your post, because I never disagreed with all that in the first place. But that kind of misses the point of my question: What qualifies as “offensive” or as “a caricature”? It’s a judgement call, isn’t it? Where do we draw the line?

            If women are being depicted as the gender-based equivalent of a golliwog, well obviously that’s horrible. I wasn’t asking that question, though. My point was that RPS is doing a shallow job of highlighting such sexism, instead often settling for “Look, boobs. For shame.”

            I think we can do better than that. I’m in all likelihood not very familiar with these games, being an adult I tend to gravitate towards “intelligent” games, not stupid crap for stupid teenagers (well, as much as is possible in this industry, at any rate). So maybe the problem is one of properly exposing the sexism.

            I’m just concerned that we’re starting to consider the sexual female body as inherently offensive and we don’t want that, do we? That’s all I was saying there. Prudery is dumb.

      • sinister agent says:

        But is it a sexy baby, or a regular, potato-looking blobby one?

      • Nick says:

        everytime someone puts gate at the end of a scandal that isn’t watergate, or any other place/thing that actually has the word gate at the end, an actual baby dies.

        • Ultra Superior says:

          You’ve just exposed the most sinister BABYGATE !

        • Ovno says:

          Other than Plebgate, because that did involve a gate….

          But other than that I agree whole heartly…

          Gate does not mean scandal and should not be used as such!

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Hey I’ve got news for you:
            Appending -gate to the end of something actually DOES imply a scandal. It’s been that way my whole life, at least.
            Language changes, dudes yo.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        John, thanks for pursuing this.

        I might not always swallow ANY statement regarding equality issues, but this case is particularly disgusting and serves as a perfect example that can, I hope, bring more people to the rational side of the debate.

    • iucounu says:

      The vast majority of posts are purely game-related, as a cursory look back over the last week of posts would show. I count about three posts you could put in the ‘RPS campaigns against sexism’ category, and probably another three in the ‘RPS campaigns against other stuff.’ It’s like 5% of all the content on the site.

      • Brun says:

        This, they’ve definitely dialed it back in the past few weeks.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Well, up until the last Torsogate article. Which was, what, three days ago?

    • Sleepymatt says:

      If you want a site that just features Reviewtisements then feel free to head off somewhere else. Some of us actually are glad that someone is trying to drag our industry kicking and screaming in to the 21st century.

      • loktar says:

        Eh actually I find myself on pcgamesn. I dont have to worry about coming across articles telling me how rotten of a human I am because I was born a white male.

        • Hanban says:

          “… articles telling me how rotten of a human I am because I was born a white male.”

          Iknorite! Because that’s EXACTLY what the articles have been saying. That being born white and male is the problem.

          Derp.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            I’ve heard the term “white guilt” before but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it exhibited so obviously.

        • John Walker says:

          Um. http://bit.ly/YVkIhC

          Turns out PCGN like people to be decent humans too!

          • loktar says:

            Oh come on now? This equates to being a decent human being now?

          • Surlywombat says:

            You need to go kidnap Steve Hogarty btw. I prefer to have all the writers I like in the same place, it’s tidier.

          • gwathdring says:

            You’re welcome to your opinions but so are those of your detractors who’ve put in the same amount of consideration and ended up at a different conclusion. The torso isn’t as straightforwardly bad to some people as it is to you, and that doesn’t necessarily make them indecent people, gender discrimination apologists, or ignorants.

            I understand your frustration with a lot of the comments you receive in these sorts of articles; I’m frustrated by a lot of them too. But your statements in this thread have been somewhat more snide than I’m used to and unnecessarily aggressive. While I’m sure it doesn’t particularly matter to you what I think as one of your many, many viewers, I find this disappointing and unpleasant–as a fan of yours, and as a casual reader.

            I’ll get over it, but there it is. It’s probably just hyperbole, anyway. I’m sure you don’t think everyone who’s OK with the torso is an indecent human being. Still, words matter. It adds something to the atmosphere I can’t put my finger on. Unpleasantness of some form.

          • evenflowjimbo says:

            So … you’re trying to turn the gaming community into decent human beings? I guess we should just quit with all the violent video games and such, because people obviously get offended by that. And as decent human beings, we have to cater to everyone, not just the people that are offended by a plastic statue for a game that has people getting ripped to shreds or heads getting blown off.

          • Arkh says:

            So, anyone who doesn’t agree with you isn’t a decent human being? Wow. Just wow.

            I agree with gwathdring. And I add: hostiliziing your readers is awful and I would like to see an apology for this. You are offending people. You are trying to force people to agree with you with fallacies, like implying they aren’t decent human beings if they don’t see it your way.

            Some people who defend the “women rights”, to me, seems like are turning into religious zealots, fanatics who bash at anyone who doesn’t agree with them. People are just saying “anybody who doesn’t agree with is wrong”. And that is clearly detrimental to any debate.

            Anyway, no offense meant to anyone.

            @evenflowjimbo

            Have you ever read Fahrenheit 451? I fear in the future there will only be “right” games.

          • Baines says:

            But your statements in this thread have been somewhat more snide than I’m used to and unnecessarily aggressive.

            It’s been what I’ve been expecting, and warning about. You can look at articles over the last year or so and see the progression, as it shifts from raising awareness to lashing out at things that John takes offense at while ignoring or dismissing issues raised against his beliefs and those he supports.

            Countering counterpoints with comments like “A thousand times just shut up.” is just the next step in the progression, where anger at continued disagreement replaces more peaceful (but still not positive) dismissal of dissenting opinion with more aggressive tones.

            I was hoping it wouldn’t turn out that way, that maybe some warnings would have gotten through, that someone could have calmed him down. John’s blind crusade is hurting his own cause. There are valid issues to be raised and debated, but they are becoming lost in John’s increasingly antagonistic hair-trigger and dismissive approach. Though, since John is an RPS writer, and I’m just a commenter, it will probably be my view that gets moderated.

          • gwathdring says:

            I don’t think it’s a blind crusade, and I really don’t see it as a long-haul problem.

            I feel like most of the past building has been a reasonable reaction to an increasingly entrenched subset of RPS readers who aren’t interested in the discussion and feel like they have more an ownership of the content on this site then it’s writers, suggesting they know what they writers OUGHT to write about.

            I fine with this article appearing. I’m fine with John being angry about the way sexism in games is categorically dismissed. I’m fucking sick of the phrase “white knight” and the insinuation with or without the accompanying phrase.

            I just felt the scales were a bit off in this case, with this article and these responses. I haven’t seen how much shit John’s had to delete, though, and I have nothing against this subject being broached or broached angrily.

            I always feel uncomfortable with dismissals of a particular stance, no matter how certain I am of another’s correctness … and I felt like mentioning that I was disappointed as a concerned reader who gets very involved in these discussions when they crop up and who is quite interested in bettering the gaming industry both in terms of gender attitudes and corporate practice. I don’t think it’s a particularly big deal, I don’t think it’s a pronounced pattern over the past few years.

            I don’t mean this as an attack on you. I just wanted to clarify where I’m coming from; you might be right, I just feel uncomfortable for different reasons than you do.

          • Canisa says:

            “I find this disappointing and unpleasant.”

            “Still, words matter.”

            “You are offending people. You are trying to force people to agree with you with fallacies.”

            “Lashing out at things that John takes offense at while ignoring or dismissing issues raised against his beliefs and those he supports.”

            OH, GOD, THE HYPOCRISY!

          • Tssha says:

            What they’re doing is applying SOCIAL PRESSURE to people, not proselytizing! They’re not “fanatics”, they’re calling someone out for shameful behaviour and calling everyone else out who’s defending them! You’re free to hold a contrary opinion, but they can say anything they like about those who hold that opinion. It’s their site, not yours.

            They have every right to apply social pressure to the people who comment on this website. By calling something bigoted and wrong, they apply social pressure (again, not fanaticism or rhetoric) to an issue by shaming people. Shame fulfills a vital role in human socializing, in that it provides a strong disincentive to not do a thing which is shameful. By being shamed, you feel very strongly that you should not do that again.

            Obviously, Deep Silver feels no shame. Neither do any of you, apparently.

          • cowardly says:

            I would suggest you re-read what John said. He implied not that those with opinions differing from his own, or that those who are “OK with the torso” are indecent human beings, but rather that those who produced and marketed this sexualised dismembered torso, clearly believing this to be a normal and inoffensive thing to do, pretended to apologise for it and said they wouldn’t do it again (so admitting that, or feigning admittance of the fact that it was horrendous), and are now in fact selling said torso with their only defense being linguistic technicality, which while correct, shows a certain disregard for the problem at hand (somewhat like saying, I know what I’m doing is terrible, but just wait a sec while I finish doing it and then I promise I’ll never do it again) – *draws breath* – are not, in fact, acting as decent humans would.
            Now it is true that this is a mite over the top, but I very, very much understand the sentiment.

          • Arkh says:

            @cowardly
            I know, I’m not talking about the article itself. I’m talking about John comment:

            Um. http://bit.ly/YVkIhC

            Turns out PCGN like people to be decent humans too!

            In this comment, he directs you to an article that agrees with his viewpoint in that site. That’s completely okay. But then Turns out PCGN like people to be decent humans too!, implying people who aren’t of the same opinion he and the site have isn’t a decent human being, which is offending his readers and that is an act as horrible as the one he is criticizing.

            @Tssha
            Nope, offending someone is not social pressure. It’s just rude.

            they’re calling someone out for shameful behavior and calling everyone else out who’s defending them!

            He is offending someone with an opinion different than his. An opinion is not wrong or right, it is an opinion.

            Shame fulfills a vital role in human socializing, in that it provides a strong disincentive to not do a thing which is shameful.

            I don’t think shaming offending someone because they have a different opinion than yours is a good thing.
            The guy clearly felt insulted, I felt insulted by his aggressiveness. And yes, read the comment, he does insinuate people who don’t have X opinion aren’t decent human beings. And that’s an insult. Ironically, this goes against golden rule number one:
            1) Don’t insult anyone, whether they’re an RPS writer, reader or anyone else whether present or not.
            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/28/commenting-on-rps-3-golden-rules-2/

            Sorry, you can’t defend this. I’m not talking about women rights or anything else, I’m talking about insulting people because they have a different opinion. That’s borderline fanaticism, for me.

            Not to mention he applied The Silence technique (by the way, great article about The Silence, John) in other articles as well, but this is not really the case in this one. The case is, insulting people is wrong, and if you need to to do it in order to pass your argument, there’s something wrong. Yes, this is their site. Yes, they can do whatever they want. But insulting people is wrong, no matter what. Are you actually saying because this is their site they can just insult their readers? Mistreat them? Just like EA does with it’s costumers? I’m not saying readers can insult the writers. Nobody should insult anyone, no matter the argument or the opinions.

          • cowardly says:

            No, I know you were referring to that comment, I was just saying that by that he was referring to Deep Silver (or at least their marketing division), rather than the people who have different opinions. In fact, by specifically referring to PCGamesN’s article, he reinforced that, since that article only refers to Deep Silver’s actions, nobody else’s (as does his).
            That’s how I read it, anyway, as being critical of DS, and saying that look, PCGamesN has the same complaints as we do. In fact, the only person who was personalising the debate was the post he was responding to, who seemed to be implying that this article was diabolising and criticising white men, or, if we put it through the rubbish filter, criticising people who would want to buy such an item.
            As I understand, the criticism is directed towards the absurdly twisted mind who think that gamers want such things because clearly they love their blood-splattered boobs since they play these games, and compounded by the whole “we’re sorry but not really” issue.

            Anyway, as I said, I do not think that John was insulting his readership in any way, just Deep Silver ^^

          • Sheng-ji says:

            “I don’t think shaming offending someone because they have a different opinion than yours is a good thing.”

            You may hold the opinion that there is no problem with drink driving, but I’m sure as hell going to shame you for holding that opinion.

            and how the hell do you format text here to get a strike-through, bold etc? And change your pic :(

          • frightlever says:

            Thanks. That guy has a righteous looking dog.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            What?! A dismembered boob torso offensive?! You bunch of prudes!
            What?! Implying that site has decent human beings? I’m offended!!! oh the OUTRAGE! ARRR! *punches air*

          • Mr.Snowy says:

            Um, he was only playing on the words of the poster he was replying to:

            “Eh actually I find myself on pcgamesn. I dont have to worry about coming across articles telling me how rotten of a human I am because I was born a white male.”

            Cool your jets people!

        • lewismistreated says:

          Feel free to stay over there – RPS have laid their cards on the table on a number of occasions at this point, and if you still find yourself questioning what they should and shouldn’t be writing about, there’s a whole wide Internet out there for you to sample. Please stop pretending to speak for ‘the vast majority of gamers’ while you’re at it though. It’s a bit silly.

          Keep it up John.

        • Barberetti says:

          I see that reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit.

        • killias2 says:

          Hrmm, bloody mangled torso with surprisingly in-tact and sexualized fantasy breasts…

          Yes, clearly, criticism of this amounts to criticism of all white (how did this become racial?) men everywhere under any circumstance.

          • John Walker says:

            When I wrote this post about how a publisher had seemingly implied it was going to do one thing, then did another, and then refused to answer questions about it, that was secretly my coded way of saying that all straight white males are EVIL MONSTERS. So fair play to him for picking up on that.

          • killias2 says:

            If you look at every third capitalized letter, you get the secret message: “WHITE MEN ARE EVIL”.

            Touche RPS. You’ve made me hate myself.. without even seemingly talking about white males at all!

          • thaquoth says:

            John, you, as a straight white man, are a monster. A MONSTER I say! *shakes fist*

          • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

            I can imagine the scene. John finishes writing his latest article and turns from the computer, keyboard in hand. But what’s that in the corner of his eye? Reflected by a discarded DVD, that most heinous of creatures, the White Man! John jumps from his chair and looks left, right, and left again, but the creature is nowhere to be found. But where then?

            The keyboard clatters to the ground, as John stares at his shaking, pasty hands. “No, it cannot be!”, he stutters, as the dark realization dawns on him. “I have become that which I most hate!”

            The scene cuts to the exterior of Castle RPS. Seconds later, a dull thud is heard, and an ominous message appears in the upper left in bold, white text: ☠ John Walker

          • BooleanBob says:

            He who fights with white men must take care…

        • Urthman says:

          So women saying “I wish I didn’t have to see game companies selling boob statues when I just want to buy and play video games” is completely illegitimate and you don’t want to hear about it.

          But you saying, “I wish I didn’t have to read articles about sexism when I just want to read about video games” is totally legitimate and we’re supposed to care deeply about your hurt feelings and how the article just existing is so terrible you can’t just ignore it and go on to the next article, you have to whine about it.

          Good luck with that.

          • Premium User Badge Wisq says:

            I think this is actually my favourite comment in this entire thread.

      • Premium User Badge Malibu Stacey says:

        If you want a site that just features Reviewtisements then feel free to head off somewhere else.

        That’s one way to say it.
        Personally I would’ve gone with “Fuck off back to Kotaku and don’t let the door smack you on the arse on the way out” but that’s just me.

        • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

          I’m idly amused how Kotaku is apparently a synonym for “bad” no matter what the context. Usually I see people complaining about how RPS is becoming Kotaku for running these articles.

          • rustybroomhandle says:

            Contrary to popular belief, Kotaku does actually put out some superb content once in a while.

          • John Walker says:

            I tend to think of it as a compliment. So long as it’s not creepy Ashcraft crap. They’re a mighty fine site.

          • Jumwa says:

            After one of Kotaku’s editors contacted me about a story they were doing on a blog post I wrote, had a lovely back and forth email conversation, they then went and sensationalized the story, dramatically altering events to make it more “interesting”, I ended up rather put off by them.

          • Premium User Badge Malibu Stacey says:

            It’s personal preference I guess. I don’t read Kotaku very often but I do see their articles appear in the Steam syndicated news feeds and the odd link from the Sunday Papers here.

            Perhaps I should’ve used IGN as a better example of somewhere for him to fuck off to?

          • Shooop says:

            RPS even gets some of their stories from Kotaku.

            Sure they could be a lot better, but they’re not IGN. Why they seem to be considered worse than cancer here I may never understand.

          • Shuck says:

            Kotaku is a mixed bag in terms of content, but I personally find it unreadable because their readers/commenters are disproportionately troll mouth-breathers.

          • Tssha says:

            I find they seem to read more like a tabloid, but that’s just me. That’s why I don’t read Kotaku.

            I read RPS because they’re fair and interesting. Also, quite funny.

            …Well, mostly funny.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Kotaku is a clear 7/10 site. RPS is more of a 9->6->4->8/10 site.

    • Wednesday says:

      So, our Journalists are acting like, y’know, journalists, and that’s a bad thing?

      Where is this supposed “change”. Have you never read any of John’s articles before?

      • loktar says:

        I guess I didn’t realize being a professional critic was the same as being a hard hitting journalist!

        • Wednesday says:

          Which might be in any way relevant at all if all this site did was reviews.

          • subedii says:

            Does RPS do reviews?

            I think you legally need to boil everything down to a single score (double digit or less) and be up on metacritic or something.

      • Archonsod says:

        When the journalists in question work for the Daily Mail, yes.

      • The Random One says:

        Journalism in my glorified blog? Preposterous?

    • Jumwa says:

      Yes, equal responses, eh?

      Because men and women are equal and treated equal in society in every way, therefore matters concerning them must be regarded the same! Equality!

      C’mon, gimme a break.

      We do not live in a fantasy world where both genders are equal and therefor addressing issues concerning them has to be done in an equal manner.

      It’s like the American’s I know who whine that because they don’t mind when they’re called “crackers” or “gringo” that insulting minorities back doesn’t carry any more weight. There is a thing called context, and equality only exists as a concept to which we can strive for, not a factor in our world.

      • Merlkir says:

        Yes, social justice is not about equality for everyone. It’s about making sure the evil men suffer for all the horrible existing inequality towards women. That’ll make it right, yes.

        • David Bliff says:

          Straw feminism strikes again!

          The idea that social justice and opportunity is zero sum is so insane, and yet a lot of conservative white people and men really do buy into it. It’s not how “equal pay” and “access to birth control” work.
          http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/whites-believe-they-are-victims-racism-more-o

        • Frypan Jack says:

          Dude, he didn’t say anything remotely like that. He was talking about the importance of putting things in cultural and historical context, not “punishing evil men”.

          • Jumwa says:

            Thank you, yes.

            It’s a trend I’ve noticed as of late. A lot of young 20′s/30′s people that can’t seem to recognize that our world is more complicated than simple premises of “equal treatment for everyone!” (or “free markets put everyone on a level playing field for success!”) allow for. Humanity is a complex organism with a rich and varied series of histories and cultures that make matters too complicated to be brushed off so easily.

    • Beelzebud says:

      Speak only for yourself, because I assure you that you don’t speak for a “vast majority of gamers”.

      • loktar says:

        The vast majority of gamer’s do not spend time on game review sites, thus the reason for the comment.

    • RedPoll says:

      The point is: a male torso would NEVER, EVER have been made or marketed. If it had, and this was a Deep Silver duo of torsos, so to speak, then it would not have been nearly so offensive. Gross, but not offensive. I still think it would be an unpleasant object, but I wouldn’t object to it for what it represented. If the boob-torso had been paired with a statue of a man’s crotch, thighs bloodied and shredded, but enormous dong intact and swelling beneath a union jack pair of mini-Speedos, then I’d have thought, ‘Ew, no thanks!’ but I’d have got over it. But here’s the thing: that would never, ever, have happened. No marketing executive or games publisher anywhere would ever have thought about marketing their game with a moulded, bloodied penis. It’s just not going to happen.

      As it is, Deep Silver is marketing a game with a woman reduced to a pair of unlikely tits – ravaged, bloodied, sexual, and deeply unpleasant. It says: ‘I don’t care about women playing our games.’ It says: ‘The only people we care about are immature young men.’ That’s why RPS is on ‘a crusade’, I’m guessing.

      • Vandelay says:

        I would actually not be surprised if Saints’ Row Collectors’ Edition featured a mold of a bloody cock. At the very least, they might include a giant purple dildo.

        But you are correct; the two situations are completely incomparable and the number of people in gaming communities that suggest there is no difference demonstrates just how ignorant of the issues they are.

        • RedPoll says:

          I’d forgotten about Saints’ Row. I stand corrected! Thanks, pal.

      • Siamese Almeida says:

        Yeah… And? Who gives a fuck, let people who want a bloodied titty torso on their shelf get their fix of a bloodied titty torso on their shelf. But no, we can’t have completely tasteless zombie slashing games come in politically incorrect packages.

        Their audience *IS* immature young men and there’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on someone stupid enough to want something entirely idiotic as this.

        Way to fabricate an issue out of absolutely nothing. I don’t even know how you got past how entirely fucking stupid this thing is to even register that there are tits attached. The angle here is “this is promoting objectification of women” — Jesus fucking Christ. There’s enough blood, gore and absolutely gratuitous violence in that game to fill entire tankers. But no sir, can’t have anything remotely disrespectful to womenfolk in the equation.

        RPS — Grow balls.
        Women actually offended by this — Get a job.
        People who actually bought this thing — Swallow a few cyanide pills.

        • xenoss says:

          This exactly.

          It is incredibly stupid of Deep Silver to design this product in the 1st place; given the world we currently live in, this sort of thing would bring a shit storm.

          But why shouldn’t they be able to sell it? It is toxic? Would little kids accidentally swallow it? Is it dangerous? Those are good reasons because they are physically harmful to everyone. But different people have different morality standards (unlike physical harm, and gravity), why is it right to force yours on others?

          Let those who’d buy it, buy it. Live and let live god damn it. They are sick fucks even without this product. IF anything this just exposes them for what they are.

    • Kills Alone says:

      This used to be one of my favorite PC gaming related web sites, but man you guys have gone off the deep end over this politically correct pussy-madness.

      It seems like every other article as of late is out-right insulting to your own readers as well. Talking down to those of us that use Windows 8 as if we are idiots; thats not news, thats your own ignorance coming out.

      Its a mature game, get over yourself. A naked woman’s torso is to be expected from a B-movie-style zombie game.

      • Dominic White says:

        So, you’re leaving then? Never to read this unsufferable pussy-whipped tripe again? Oh, please say it’s not so – you’re such a vital contributor to the site! A pillar of the community on which we all rely on!

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Talking down to Win 8 users as if they are idiots is something RPS needs more of.

        • zin33 says:

          whats the difference between win7 and win8 with classic shell or something similar? i believe win8 wins in that regard
          personally i hate both, but i had to upgrade due to a few games req dx11 (f*** microsoft) so i went from xp to win 8 with classic shell, and yea some stuff in the UI could still need more work but if you already put up with win7 (because i guess everyone needs more than 4gb of ram because they suck when it comes to handle their own pcs) then win8 shouldnt be so bad
          tldr: if youre gonna call win8 users stupid, might as well do it with win7

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        “politically correct pussy-madness”

        That’s also the name of my new glitch hop band, funnily enough.

  4. Utsunomiya says:

    Now’d be just the time for Spanish inquisition to appear!

  5. boiglenoight darkstar says:

    I find this statuette disgusting, so I didn’t buy it.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Exactly. It’s bad business and terrible taste.

      • slerbal says:

        I would also add that Deep Silver are a terrible company that produces poor quality shit and I think it is a shame that Metro Last Light and Saints Row went to them, because I won’t be buying either now.

      • boiglenoight darkstar says:

        But that said, I’m fine with someone else buying it if that’s what they’re into.

        • Ultra Superior says:

          Yes, absolutely.

          And it’s appearance on the market is rightfully criticized and such discussion might help, hopefully, create a better demand.

  6. arrakisdef says:

    You wouldn’t have said anything about this if it was a male torso. Why don’t you actually start actually treating people equal?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      If it were a male torso, it wouldn’t have fallen into tired old gender stereotypes and hence would have only been of note due to it’s sheer tackiness.

      • Brun says:

        By this logic it would have been impossible for them to use a female torso without it being sexist.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Well, had it actually represented the natural female body, it would have been possible, but it was straight from the pages of playzomboy, with perfectly clean breasts which didn’t seem to follow the laws of physics.

          • glix says:

            That’s not great or anything, but it would still be a headless pair of tits, and that’s the the problem.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            Sheng-ji

            I know we can’t agree on politics, you being federalist leftie and me freemarket libertarian, but I do love your comments on this issue.

          • Brun says:

            While I see your point I’m not sure how they could have modeled the “imperfection” in such a way as to completely squash the debate. Even if they dialed it back some people would still be offended (as seen above). They would have to exaggerate to the same degree but in the opposite direction, and wouldn’t that risk potentially offending other groups of people?

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’m certainly not claiming that if the breasts looked more like breasts that it would suddenly become tasteful and a perfect gift for a grandparent, it’s still offensive but at least it would appeal to women who are into their trashy horror (Of which I am one) a bit more.

        • evenflowjimbo says:

          By any logic these days, it’s impossible to mention anything with a female in it to not be sexist.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Because it would never have been a male torso. And even then, I think it might’ve raised a furore, because it is in exceptionally bad taste.

      Why don’t Deep Silver treat people equally?

    • Premium User Badge Luringen says:

      No, because a bloody male chest is different from a bloody female chest with spotless breasts. Still stupid, but not nearly as offensive.

    • Premium User Badge Anthile says:

      But it’s not. That’s kind of the point.

      • Fluka says:

        It’s never a male torso.

        • cptgone says:

          like i said before:

          because we care more for women, because the ironic shock value is raised by the juxtaposition of beauty, frailty and attractiveness with death, because screaming attractive girls are the staple of the genre, etc.

          there are basic instincts at play here, engrained in us on a biological level.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      It’s a sad fact that death can cause engorgement of the male falus. Censorship dictates that an erect penis a topped with its puce glans is not suitable for public consumption!

      • Ultra Superior says:

        so…. consumption in private you say…

        *wink* *wink*

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          :oDWell up until today NO but what with the recently revealed fact that straight white males are evil I’m going onto Xamster to look at buff dudes buffing pylons. I will post my findings in a scale of trouser arousal; 1 being pure evil, 10 being saintly, sadly I can smell my sulphur :-( but you never know……….

    • thaquoth says:

      But it isn’t. So you don’t know.

      Maybe there wouldn’t have been as much outcry. But we don’t know. That would-be scenario doesn’t matter at all. Because there is no male torso.

      See, that is the thing. It is not a male torso. And there is no way it would have been. Now, there are some implications to think about. Hint: These implications are why people get upset. Rightly so.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I’m sure they would if we lived in a misandrist matriarchy where men were frequently objectified as sex objects or carers for women and weren’t valued further than their ability to fulfil this function, a society where women dominated in positions of wealth, status and power over men, a society where men hadn’t been able to vote until recently and the majority of sexualised attacks on them by women were not prosecuted, a society where the creators and consumers of games were over 90% female and creating computer games where the player character was overwhelmingly of female gender and most male characters were shallow, passive and functioning only to be sexually desirable to women.

      Yes, I’m sure under these circumstances RPS probably would be outraged over a dismembered male torso with the bulging crotch and washboard abs designed to female norms of sexual desirability left untouched and prominent amongst the gore and violence. However we don’t live in this society and as much as you’d like to pretend that men are hard done by it is very difficult to argue against gender inequalities favouring men to the deficit of women.
      Yes there are difficulties caused for men by notions of power and dominance inherent in masculine discourse, particularly if they are unable to attain these, however having difficulties because you have membership to a socially dominant group is a much better position to be in than having difficulties because your group is marginalised, subjugated and used.
      If I was given a choice between my difficulties being due to empowerment and my difficulties being due to disempowerment then I know full well which I would be better off with.

  7. Sheng-ji says:

    If it were a male torso, it wouldn’t have fallen into tired old sexist stereotypes and hence would have only been of note due to it’s sheer tackiness.

  8. westyfield says:

    Oh, Deep Silver got Saints Row and Metro? That’s a shame.

  9. subedii says:

    PCGamesn just did a piece on this yesterday as well.

    http://www.pcgamesn.com/opinion-heres-what-i-think-about-deep-silvers-terrible-mutilated-zombie-breasts

    Basic notes (although I recommend reading the article): Whether or not you agree that the item is an example of the ridiculously sexist nature of the game industry at times, with what they’ve done here it’s still freaking ridiculous because of how Deep Silver have treated the whole affair, essentially trying to keep their cake and eat it.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      Oh poor Loktar…. where is he going to go now for his gaming news?

      • loktar says:

        I don’t know I guess I’m screwed :(

        • Urthman says:

          So women having to see male-oriented fan service all over their games is no big deal and they should just get over it.

          But Loktar having to see articles about sexism at a gaming website is a tragedy and we should care about his poor hurt feelings and put a stop to these articles at once.

          Poor, oppressed Loktar!

    • Skabooga says:

      In light of a certain comment posted above, that PC GamesN wrote an article about this matter is just plain hilarious, with the comedic timing of angels.

      • subedii says:

        Haha, I just read Loktar’s comment about how he depends on PCGamesN now. That is freaking hilarious.

    • evenflowjimbo says:

      I still don’t understand the fuss over this? I’m a man and I have boobs, yet I’m not offended by this plastic statue.

  10. Pryde says:

    Oh, that’s so cool! I was really sad when they apologized and thought those cool figures won’t be sold. I must get one now! It’s one of the best collector’s editions EVAR!

  11. Demievil says:

    At least you can play the game – I redeemed my steam key and received Dark Souls.

    • Pryde says:

      Wow. You’re a lucky guy indeed!

    • i saw dasein says:

      Count yourself lucky.

    • Bhazor says:

      Thats like complaining about buying a Kia online and recieving a Porsche.

      • Sian says:

        Weeeell… Maybe a nice Oldtimer instead of a Porsche – it’s a joy to drive, but can make trouble sometimes and it doesn’t have a lot of horsepower.

  12. Malkara says:

    John, I honestly don’t know how you deal with the fucking idiots in the comments without just giving up on the whole industry. Thanks for doing it.

    • John Walker says:

      I find the “delete” button helps a lot.

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        You’ll be a busy man methinks :oD

        • slerbal says:

          Terrifyingly busy – I’ve had to use the block button a lot.

          That said, please keep doing what you are doing John, there are many of us who read RPS because it is a bastion of quality journalism and not afraid to challenge issues that need challenging. RPS is the only site I read every day without fail.

          • Twitchity says:

            These days the “block” button is my eighth favourite feature on the site, right above nostrils and below the Horace statue that mysteriously appears in my garden every fortnight. Although it does make the site look as if it’s populated by politically-enlightened hobos arguing with thin air.

          • Canisa says:

            I agree! RPS and PCGamer are the only mainstream game sites I read now. I used to read a couple of others, but their frequent Top-Ten Hottest Chicks In Gaming etc. articles put me off them quite badly. Seeing this site, full of men who Get It is really, really brilliant. I want to thank all of you for being here.

            John: Thank you especially. I am aware that it isn’t easy for men to call out other men, and I am truly grateful to you for doing so. Please keep it up; you and your site give me hope for the future of gaming.

    • Barberetti says:

      Seconded. Keep it up John.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Thirded

    • loktar says:

      Yeah I don’t understand how you can deal with people of differing opinions. Id have a nervous breakdown , keep up Gods work!

      • Wednesday says:

        The desperate and myriad defence you’ve put up against the legion of people disagreeing with you is all there intact.

        Freedom of speech has never equated to the freedom to never be told you’re wrong.

        • Ovno says:

          Also

          ‘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. Complaining about it won’t change anything.’

        • SwENSkE says:

          Well, he’s far from being alone.

        • harbinger says:

          I think it’s highly presumptuous to read through the comments and surmise that “Everyone agrees with me, you’re wrong!” or that even what many often present as a “majority of gamers” do.

          It’s kind of like only reading FOX News, Jezebel or some religious right-wing christian-ingrained site and from the few articles and people apparently “agreeing” in the comments surmising that everyone obviously does. This is especially funny, since on this very site there are many people who cannot and do not agree with the party line even if they’re made to feel like lepers for it or even funnier “blocked” so that certain commenters feign only a unison opinion exists at all, among the “myriad” of them already driven out by the groupthink circlejerk performed on every new article akin to this one (“Oh, John, you are so very right, I want to have your babies and you should be made king!”) and even more that are outright censored since their opinion is either not “proper” enough for the group and its leader or their manner of expression offends.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      He loses his cool and tells them to Fuck Off. Or was that the other guy?

  13. Zenicetus says:

    “Again” is the key weasel word here.

    They also used the classic politician’s weasel phrase in their original apology — ““We deeply apologize for any offense caused by…” which is a not-so-subtle attempt to shift the burden onto the offended party, instead of admitting that it was just a bad idea in the first place.

    Here’s an idea: in all future references to the company, why not just call them Deep (Bikini Torso) Silver? That might get their attention.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Yep, that’s what caught my attention.

      Their lawyer definitely wrote this, and it’s as such why I can’t really find them guilty of lying. (Just guilty of being tactless pricks who have their lawyers write their press releases).

      The again means that there subsequent actions (to sell the statuette) do not in fact violate the word of the statement above, and the statement is the only way to judge their intent.

      • Blackseraph says:

        Yes but who cares, their customers can see through their bullshit.

        And they will like them even less for hiding behind lawyer talk. So even if they didn’t lie no one will like them any better after this, on the contrary.

    • alw says:

      The stupid part is that there may be benefits to their wordplay if there were some legal aspect to this, but seeing as this trial is being played out in the court of public opinion, people are generally just going to think they’re untrustworthy fucks. Even if they’re not technically lying.

  14. Surlywombat says:

    According to many commenters they HATE being forced at gun point to read any story which isn’t a review or directly related to a new trailer/press release. So according to that logic RPS must do “these” stories to lose page views.

    • gwathdring says:

      I’m baffled. I mean I guess some of these comments might have a causality train like: “Huh maybe this article is okay … NoPE I HATE IT.” But that doesn’t explain all the “STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS CRAP, I’M TIRED OF EVERY ARTICLE BEING THIS KIND OF CRAP” people. :\

  15. derbefrier says:

    /rollseyes

    What a dumbass article. I guess in your world were everything is so black and white its impossible to think this might be a stupid inconsequencial thing to get all pissy about. Or this might not be as bad as your extremist sensibilities make you think. Yes I know what I just implied.

    • glix says:

      Just because it’s a micro aggression doesn’t mean it’s not worth talking about. The comments here show that this is still definitely something that needs to be talked about and drawn attention to.

      • SooSiaal says:

        Really? Because some people don’t agree with the general point of view? I find this whole thing blown way out of proportion..

        • glix says:

          The general point of view that a dismembered torso that’s still apparently supposed to be viewed in a ‘sexy’ way is okay and cool? Mhmm.

    • _Nocturnal says:

      Let me see:

      You implied that someone else has a black and white worldview.
      Then you implied their concerns are of relatively low importance in the grand scale of things.
      Lastly, you implied that there’s no reason to discuss concerns of relatively low importance in the grand scale of things.

      So, what you’re saying is, you know you’re projecting your own faults onto others, looking like a fool in the process?

      • slerbal says:

        Well summarised, sir. I don’t understand the urge to post “not another such article/I didn’t read the article” comments. I guess people like the sound of their own voice. Personally I read and enjoyed the article and I am delighted that RPS is taking the use of silence as a PR tactic head on as I know from experience in the industry that it is a widely used tactic.

      • _Nocturnal says:

        It’s people acting out on their insecurities.

        The problems with the torso itself aren’t even the point of the article, which makes everyone trying to proclaim it a non-issue look especially silly.

        Then again, publishers unabashedly lying to their customers and the media could probably be considered “a stupid inconsequencial thing to get all pissy about” too, I guess.

      • derbefrier says:

        no thats not it at all. I am implying that in his crusade hes become close minded and unreceptive to opposing points of views. Or even the slightest possibility that he could be wrong and many of you are just as guilty of this. this isnt so cut and dry and to pretend it is in my eyes does a great disservice to your credibility and the cause. That it seems its more important to pursue an ideology then it is to get to the truth or that maybe a stupid toy for fans of zombie games isn’t the big battle he needs to be fighting because at the end of the day this doesn’t affect anyone at all and the real problems will continue to go on because john chose the easy target that wont push back.

      • _Nocturnal says:

        Is he wrong about Deep Silver feigning apologies, then doing what they said they wouldn’t do anyway and finally using silence as a means to get away with it? What part of that isn’t cut and dry?

        Because that’s John’s focus here and the one who’s actually focused on the stupid toy… is you.
        Also, you’re the close minded one when you say the torso doesn’t affect anyone. It very obviously does.

        Finally, saying other problems will continue to go on because John is talking about this one is simply absurd. Talking about one thing does not exclude talking about the others. I’m sure RPS would appreciate any tips you have about important issues they are not covering.

        If this isn’t a conscious attempt to derail the discussion or “troll” in some ridiculous way known only to you, then I suggest you seriously examine why you’re being so defensive about this whole deal, because it really comes through.

  16. Premium User Badge Lexx87 says:

    I’d have nuked the website already for these comments. Why is humanity so completely stupid.

    Carry on the good work John!

    • Brun says:

      Being intelligent or informed (relative to other humans) is not itself a requirement of being human.

    • Premium User Badge Luringen says:

      Agreed here, I can’t believe the comments section is open, this place is a shithole right now. Thanks to the moderators for deleting the worst of it.

      • Merlkir says:

        Because censorship is always the best option to deal with stuff you don’t agree, amirite or what?! You smart and educated progressive people, the world is a better place with you in it!

      • subedii says:

        Believe me when I say RPS is still one of the better ones.

        That’s a point that you really don’t want to spend too much time pondering.

  17. maximiZe says:

    From what I’ve seen in recent years that publishers really can’t lose “gamers’” trust due to questionable PR practices, because The Silence works. If people don’t trust Deep Silver it’s because they tend to make shitty games.

    Anyway, props to RPS for pointing out another nasty thing publishers do.

  18. arrakisdef says:

    Also, who the hell is thinking of masterbating to a bloody toros? I think you/they have worse things to think about then if its female.

  19. LegendaryTeeth says:

    More of this please. Don’t let them get away with silence. I love hearing follow up stories, especially if the follow up is “they are ignoring us and hoping we go away”

  20. Drake Sigar says:

    Is a lack of response from ‘the day before yesterday’ a long time in the journalism & PR world?

  21. Redcoat-Mic says:

    I found Dead Island to be one of the best gaming experiences I’d ever had, I didn’t bother with single player, just co-op. I played it a few months after release so never really encountered any of the bugs in the earlier reviews.

    Yes it could be done better, but at present, it is one of the best games in it’s genre.

    I never understand the absolute disdain it gets.

    • John Walker says:

      I thought Dead Island was great! I really enjoyed the single-player too. Silly in the extreme, but a really good time.

      This sequel is so derivative of the original, and even then missing all of the spark that made it so fun. It’s a dreary, pointless repetition this time.

    • Sian says:

      Well, the sound bug on my headset culled my enjoyment of the game a lot, but when it worked, it was good fun. They still haven’t fixed the bug, though.

    • Premium User Badge Martel says:

      I tried it co-op with a buddy, and we both found it to be so poorly made that there could be enjoyment in playing it. Ugh, what a bad experience. We even tried to forget about it for a bit and try again, hoping we were just in bad moods or something the first time. Uninstalled it the 2nd time.

  22. Jimbo says:

    Haha, could the games press be any easier to manipulate do you think?

  23. daphne says:

    I quite approve of this new trend of calling out the silence (probably surprising the idiot that replied to me in the Kairo comment thread in the process), but I feel you’re exactly one step away from accusing your readership from being an accomplice to what you kind of call “Torsogate” (really, Mr. Walker?), just because the majority is also silent about this thing. Keep on eye on that Nathan fellow in particular, he’s kind of firebrand.

  24. briktal says:

    Now I don’t want to get in the way of a good story but are they actually selling it? That is, has anyone actually bought this game/edition and received the statue? Being in America I have no way to realistically check myself.

  25. SooSiaal says:

    I wonder why people are saying the statuette is in bad taste..It’s ok to dismember people in games, and then this is somehow awful. I know quite some splatter horror fanatics that would love a piece like this

    • gwathdring says:

      Personally, I find dismemberment in games distasteful, but I don’t have anything against people who feel otherwise.

      I think this issue is more the intersection of all the decisions that went into the statue. Let’s do a female torso. Island means of course it’s in a bikini. Let’s tie it in with the Venus de Milo in the press release because thats a statue without arms! And so on and so forth.

      To a certain extent they would have difficulty winning no matter how they’d designed it once they went with a woman. I’m not sure they could have done anything short of a fully clothed, small-breasted female torso that wouldn’t have been called out as part of the gaming industries problematic attitudes towards gender. I’m a bit torn about that, because I think our industry drives a grand-canyon sized fissure between men and women … but I don’t want us to over-correct by being too afraid of sexuality or too unwilling to allow female characters their violence, danger and sexuality.

      That said, this is not a character. This is a statue. It doesn’t have a personal narrative to contextualize the imagery. What contextualizes the imagery is the company’s general advertising policy and following that the overtones of the entire industry. Which are tinged with gender discrimination and female objectification. So the statue is not in a very safe place. Add to that the specific details–the clean breasts without blood or viscera or wounds, the flag bikini, the choice to go with iconic spherical breasts instead of more realistic ones, and so on and so forth. In line with my second paragraph, perhaps wounding the breasts would have cause a different kind of furor, so again there’s an extent to which Deep Silver couldn’t have won. But they didn’t exactly play to win in any case so I have little interest in defending the statue beyond presenting this slight ambiguity.

      They could have easily avoided all of this with some other gory statue–blood spattered pool furniture or palm trees. A machete. A disembodied arm. Lot’s of options they didn’t choose that had fewer potential issues.

      • David Bliff says:

        Very well said.

      • Upper Class Twit says:

        Oh boy. I think I might actually have something to add about this. Here goes.

        I think they didn’t choose, as you said, blood spattered palm trees or a machete, because that wouldn’t be as effective at conveying the specific visual hook of Dead Island. A machete just says, “Zombie Game”, which is kind of what Dead island was, but in the marketing, they always emphasized the “Island” part. As in, they always showed the player running around this rich, playboy, kind of island resort, and, according to many reviewers, this was actually a compelling environment to kill zombies in. Contrast, probably. Same reason i think Romero set Dawn of the Dead in a shopping mall. So then, how does Deep Silver PR effectively convey the “zombies at a rich playboy island resort” contrast? The zombie part is easy, just put some gore everywhere. As for the rich playboy island resort? I figure the first thing many people think when they hear the phrase “beach party” is “girls in bikinis”, probably as a result of the cultural influence of rap videos and American Pie.

        So I can see Deep Silver’s thought process when they were making this thing, I don’t think its sexist in and of itself, so much as its supposed to work because of sexist cultural perceptions (i.e beach=bikini girls). Its still dumb as hell though.

        • gwathdring says:

          Does it matter if it’s sexist or just dumb as hell?

          I used the phrase “safe” territory intentionally. They used imagery that has troubling connotations and casually ignored those. Whether they ignored them in full understanding or not isn’t really relevant. When you operate in a place with as much damaging potential as the space they put this statue in you have an obligation to be more cognizant of what you’re doing.

          Keep in mind this isn’t just someone’s artwork. This was part of a collector’s edition. A double-feature advertisement and customer incentive. This is a piece of commercial speech more than it is a piece of artistic or consumer speech. That puts Deep Silver in the position of power, and makes it Deep Silver’s responsibility to walk carefully. They didn’t just pick something that hits all of their bullet points as you describe. They picked the easiest, most boring thing that hits all of their bullet points without, as far as I can tell, pausing to consider the implications. Their defense of the object was to pretend to be sorry and then clam up, not to actually defend the object. There isn’t an artistic integrity at work here–just incautious publicity grabbing and lazy marketing.

          Given the ambivalent space the marketing operates in, laziness is a problem.

          • Upper Class Twit says:

            I’m not arguing for the validity of their artistic vision. Its more like I think the response to this has been a bit less than rational, what with John Walker and friends being “deeply outraged” and whatnot.

            You are right though, about them being “lazy”. As marketers, it’s kind of their job to consider what public response and consequences will be, regardless of rationality. Obviously, they didn’t do so hot with that.

          • gwathdring says:

            I think a lot of the outrage here is broad spectrum. This is one more thing in a long line of things that aren’t artistic visions or essential design elements. They’re just lazy choices that alienate large swaths of the audience and intersect with broader social conflicts in utterly preventable ways.

            I’d prefer us all to talk about this down a few volume levels, but that’s more about my personal preference than a judgment as to whether or not the response is fair. I’m undecided as to whether or not any of this is “out of proportion.” I’m not sure it’s terribly important either way. The discussion is still here, still relevant, and this kind of thing still needs to stop happening; there’s more complexity at work than one side is presenting … but the other side isn’t acknowledging there’s even an issue. That sort of tips the scales a bit. I think the outrage is justified, even if it’s not something I share.

  26. Sian says:

    I might’ve bought riptide despite the first torso scandal, just not the torso edition. I might’ve bought it after they appologised – my respect for them grew a little then. But now, not a chance until they explain themselves. I hate being misled. And since the chances of them ending The Silence™ are tiny, I’ll probably miss out on the next Saint’s Row. :(

  27. Merlkir says:

    They probably already had a bunch of these made, so they just kept them. Why throw them away? Anyway, nobody should give a hoot. Don’t buy the game, that’s the best way to protest.

  28. doho7744 says:

    I think too many people are focusing on the “boobie” torso and not on the message.

    Deep Silver is creating internet buzz with this tacky statue. They get called on it and throw a “mea culpa” to the masses. But, they still intend to use it. Why not? It is wonderful publicity and their game really can’t stand on it’s own merit (as many reviews have shown) so remember kids “There is no such thing as bad publicity”.

    Now do you want to do business with a company who uses hyped videos and tacky torsos to sell their
    shovel ware games?

  29. vanosofmanos says:

    I can totally see why they’d actually release this: it was already paid for and produced, so they have to make up that investment somehow. I’m sure that’s the reasoning that’s floating around in the heads of the corporate honchos who made this decision. From a purely business standpoint, the idea that they’d want to make some money, any money, off something they’ve already paid to have produced is not that big of a stretch, is it? I can see why they’d still sell it, but then, if the gaming public doesn’t like it that much, guess what? They don’t have to buy it. Let them put it out there, and let it sit on store shelves as a testament that we just won’t purchase the crap that offends us so much.

    It’s really that simple. If something like this offends us so much, then just stop buying it. I can think of many things I see on a regular basis that I believe should never have been made in the first place. I don’t buy them. I send a message with my wallet because all the corporate honchos will ever understand is the language of money. Our verbal tirades sound like the adults from a Charlie Brown cartoon to them. If we, as enlightened gamers, want our industry to change for the better, then we’re going to have to do it with actions, not words.

  30. Sami H says:

    To be honest, it seems like Deep Silver were trying to be too clever for their own good with the idea of this. The piece of… erm, “art” is called “zombie bait”, as in something to get the attention of zombies which are of course the main antagonists in Dead Island. What gets the attention of zombies? Flesh. Any flesh. It doesn’t matter where from, flesh is what they want.

    “Aha!” some clever marketing guy could have said. “Lets add in hidden meaning by using the kind of flesh that would get the attention of humans as a basis for our statue.” “Genius!” another marketing guy possibly replied, “that’ll create a superb juxtaposition between the base needs of zombies and the base needs of men. People will clearly see the irony in sexualising an object designed to appeal to something without sexual desire and see it as a meta-commentary on sexism and misogyny itself”.

    What failed to happen is marketing guy 3 piping up and going “That’s great and all, but a dismembered female torso will probably cause a lot of offense simply for being a dismembered female torso, regardless of the extra layers of meaning we’re applying to it” and then marketing guy 1 and 2 agreeing and coming up with something else.

    I want to believe that Deep Silver were trying to push boundaries, provoke discussion and challenge viewpoints.

    I’m probably wrong.

    edit: if Deep Silver were actually smart (smarter anyway), they would have still released this to get their money back on the costs to produce them, but would have included some kind of cheap garment to cover up the breasts.

    • vanosofmanos says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that they probably got the idea for The Torso from looking at horror movie collectibles and such. While it’s completely and utterly tasteless, it does fit right in with that market. In fact, it reminds me of this old zombie body thing they used to sell in old issues of Fangoria magazine. I’d almost be willing to say the idea was to sell it towards the horror movie fans if I was willing to give them that much credit.

  31. Sardukar says:

    ENOUGH about what RPS should or shouldn’t do. Vote with your wallets – don’t like what they say, don’t read their crap. Jesus. It’s not complicated.

    John’s “crap” makes a fundamentally important point about consumer powerlessness. It is currently a viable tactic for a business in this industry to lie to it’s customers and clam up when called on their lies. And still sell the product to customers! For our actual dollars!

    It happens in other industries. Governments do it. Sure. But don’t tolerate it. Don’t just let them shove it down your throats and then smile all the way to the bank.

    Based on this debacle, my decision to buy Dead Island and it’s sequel changed. I dislike being lied to by people I’m going to buy stuff from. Especially so…poorly.

    • Jenks says:

      “ENOUGH about what RPS should or shouldn’t do. Vote with your wallets”

      I do, I un-whitelisted RPS from my adblock. I read John’s post about it on his blog this week, it was brilliant.

      • andytt66 says:

        “I un-whitelisted RPS from my adblock.”

        Now that’s harsh.

      • Grape Flavor says:

        You know, if there’s one issue I would genuinely love to see John address, it would be to explain the difference between his condemnation of adblock and his flippant attitude towards piracy. I really can’t quite fathom how he works this out where perfectly legal ad-blocking is an injustice that deprives writers their due, but illegal piracy of PC games has no ill effects upon developers whatsoever and even if it did, who are we to judge, anyway?

        Because it’s that much harder to have sympathy for his complaints when you remember all the pieces in which he claims the astonishingly high piracy rates on PC do not result in a single lost sale, where he’s bending over backwards to reassure the readers that he’s not taking a moral stance one way or another as to whether game makers actually deserve to get paid for their work, or where he’s excoriating the industry for even taking objection to this situation where they spend millions to make games for us and then the majority of their audience feels perfectly entitled to just torrent it.

        Maybe it’s just that when it’s your own revenue stream at stake, these things start to feel important all of a sudden?

        • Sheng-ji says:

          “all the pieces in which he claims the astonishingly high piracy rates on PC do not result in a single lost sale”

          I don’t remember that, would you be so kind as to link?

          “has no ill effects upon developers whatsoever and even if it did, who are we to judge, anyway”

          Nor this… linky?

          ” he’s not taking a moral stance one way or another as to whether game makers actually deserve to get paid for their work”

          Nor this… er linky please?

          “or where he’s excoriating the industry for even taking objection to this situation where they spend millions to make games for us and then the majority of their audience feels perfectly entitled to just torrent it.”

          Link sil vous plait

        • Jenks says:

          Agreed completely, and I regularly read this site so no links are required.

        • WrenBoy says:

          I must have missed RPS proposing paywalls and supporting a three strikes law for anyone glancing at their articles without having paid or, you know, treating their readers like thieves.

          • MarcP says:

            Many studios offer games free of any DRM. They still get bit by piracy.

            If you put every developer in the same bag, you should also blame RPS for stuff Kotaku or IGN writes.

          • MarcP says:

            Also, in a post on his own blog John has made it pretty clear he considers his ad-blocking readers thieves. As clear as Deep Silver lying, anyway (no irony there, I’m just saying if you consider one to be true, then both are true).

          • WrenBoy says:

            @MarcP
            Your first post is essentially meaningless nonsense and from having read Johns recent blog post on the subject your second one appears to be wishful thinking. Where exactly did he call his readers thieves?

  32. SuicideKing says:

    The trolls in the comments are tiring.

    Keep it up, John, RPS, and its community.

    • Canisa says:

      Yes! I too have noticed that the proportion of dick-headed troll to well-reasoned human being has been decreasing of late. Hopefully in the fullness of time they will all finally make good on their threats to leave.

  33. Calabi says:

    And the torso isnt even anatomically accurate either. Bones in wrong places, no stomach and a gstring way to high.

  34. Wang Tang says:

    Thank you for shining the spotlight on these issues.

    One thing which has absolutely nothing to do with this story whatsoever; only with the title:
    I see this on many blogs and sites, and it annoys me to great end. This “X-gate” stuff has to end. Please. Do it for me. Thank you!

  35. jha4ceb says:

    Well, reading this comment thread has thoroughly ruined my day.

    May I politely suggest that if you are disposed to react badly to this article, RPS may well not be the gaming site for you.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      So many people just love complaining.

      Amusingly, they’re often the same people who are quick to accuse others of going out of the way to be offended by something.

      • _Nocturnal says:

        “Careful there, don’t want to get lost in… complainception!”

  36. Evil Betty says:

    Yawn… give it a rest guys.

  37. Tasloi says:

    I’m not surprised given the way this whole thing played out. I never had a problem with this being released but there are obviously plenty of people with a different opinion. As a company you better be able to handle something like this competently. Hopefully this was a good learning experience.

  38. Premium User Badge cpt_freakout says:

    If you want games to be taken seriously (but not solemnly, mind you: we don’t want to kill them) and stop all the mindless bashing of them that goes on in news outlets / adult minds everywhere then you have to accept (whether you agree with its content or not) that the industry needs serious, good journalism. It’s the kind of journalism that looks into contexts and, more importantly, poses questions, in this case to an industry that has gotten away with lots of idiotic things because the press always decides to focus solely on content, never looking at the whole picture that includes not only form but context. What good is a review of Riptide if it (or an article related to it) doesn’t take into account the kind of shit it’s relying on for sales?

    Now, I know many, if not most, gamers only want to know if something’s fun or not, and that’s OK as long as you’re not hitting anyone else in the head with it. But competent jouranlism demands judgement in the way of critique, only as long as it’s valid, and unfortunately all these gamers who just don’t give a fuck whether a game company is doing atrocious things or not to produce and sell the fun they so much value are coming onto these articles and wailing on about how RPS needs to be reductionist, and that’s just not a valid point. Why? Because that’s just asking for RPS to be like any other newspaper, most of which have completely abandoned all the critical principles of journalism in favor of mere descriptions of events. I applaud this turn RPS has given, and while it’s maybe a rocky start, I hope it keeps getting better and better until we have the games journalism we fucking deserve.

  39. Premium User Badge Bluerps says:

    Keep it up Mr Walker (and RPS in general, of course), you are great!

  40. mpk says:

    For reference, this is how you do a perfectly acceptable* zombie-based collectors edition: http://c534909.r9.cf2.rackcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Walking-Dead-Zombie-Head-1.jpg

    *Obviously not perfectly acceptable for your toddler, or mibbe your gran. But certainly acceptable to have on a shelf in the living room.

  41. Zaftrum189 says:

    Maybe it’s rather cynical of me but it strikes me that they were saying they would try never to have this sort of negative media attention again rather than that they’d never release the torso. I honestly don’t think a company can create something like that without knowing on some level that it’s going to disturb or disgust people, and as such it feels as though they just went ahead with it anyway, regardless of public opinion.

    Also, I hope these Silence articles are a recurring feature, nice to see somebody trying to hold developers/publishers to account a little more on what they say.

  42. Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

    -dammit rps, it definitely said reply-

  43. Phantoon says:

    Reporting in to say that of course this was going to be shit, Dead Island was shit. Duh.

    And I don’t care about the sexism now. I did, once. But my energy for the subject is expended. More interested in ongoing genocides in third world countries, and general unrest in the areas that aren’t.

  44. Had says:

    That’s it John bow down to your feminist overlords

  45. craigdolphin says:

    John,

    as a PC gamer and a consumer, I thank you for tilting at this particular windmill.

    I’ve had a gutsfull of anti-consumer BS (DRM etc) from the likes on EA, Microsoft, and endless outright lies and distortions from game marketing departments. Yes lies and exagerations are common practice in the industry. No, that’s not an excuse, nor is it ok. That’s a massive part of the problem and why so many gamers feel burned by titles that promise the moon but instead deliver a squalid slum outside a seedy third world city.

    What I would wish, though, is that you journalists do more than tilt at windmills as individuals. I would love to see all the big game journalism outlets get together and develop an agreement to take a collective stand on this kind of nonsense. Imagine if EA knew that while they could employ ‘the silence’ for one title, it would be at the cost of all the big gaming outlets employing ‘the silence’ on all their upcoming games until they respond. No advertising, no articles, no hype-mill for bad actor publishers.

    Dreams are free I guess.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Basically, your dream involves the entire gaming press having the exact same viewpoints and opinions as each other and voluntarily colluding together to blacklist anyone who offends said opinions, or it involves actively shutting down those who aren’t with the program, ending free speech as we know it. Because those are literally the only ways you are going to get a situation anything like what you’re describing.

      Hivemind and/or Thoughtcrime? I can think of better dreams than those.

      • Niaco says:

        Seriously? Journalists agreeing to collectively call out lies would be the death of freedom of speech?

      • craigdolphin says:

        Not at all.

        If a journalist feels differently about the original issue being discussed then I’m 100% in favor of them writing an article with their viewpoint. I’m not, in any way, advocating that a developer making a controversial decision re tasteless marketing (deep silver), drm (sim city), etc be given the silence by the gaming press. Controversies should be discussed from varying viewpoints.

        What I am saying is that, if a publisher/developer gets caught blatantly /lying/ to the press about said controversial issue, and then resorts to ‘the silence’ to make the bad PR go-away without addressing the bald-faced lies, then there ought to be some kind of adverse consequence for those lies. My suggestion would be to withhold the megaphone from that publisher until the issue is addressed in some way.

        Journalists are dependent on developers for information, true. But publishers are likewise dependent on the press to drum up hype for their games. Cut them off from their media outlets and they’ll be squirming in no time. The key issue is that the big outlets would need to have an agreement to work together to ensure that ‘the silence’ ceases to be a get out of jail free card.

        That said, I doubt it’ll happen.

  46. GuerraRod says:

    Ok, they have said that will never happen again, but they did not say that will stop selling it.

    This is only a big deal because of you guys. You see things like machism and misogyny where it doesn’t exist.

    The thing is: we lives in a free world, and it could be a nice thing for some people, and they will buy it. For those that is not, just don’t buy.

    It is simple. Just stop trying to be those type of guys that see erotic things in everything.

    This is really sick. Seriously. Come on!

    • Niaco says:

      Yeah, what’s erotic about boobs in a bikini?

      And what’s sexist about that kind of graphic treatment being reserved to women?

  47. Captain Kirk says:

    The lack of empathy for women suffering at the hands of overt sexism in media/marketing is disturbing. I have met few (none, but anecdotal I admit) women that enjoy it. How could it be any simpler than that?

    • Tasloi says:

      It’s only simple when one has a mindless urge to protect the sensibilities of women no matter what. I find nothing simple or clear cut about alot of the issues raised whether it’s this statue, the woman in the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, the assault scene in Tomb Raider to name but a few.

      Of course I empathize with them i’m just not automatically going to embrace their reasoning myself and join them in calling for things to be changed or fixed. In fact I may even argue against this.

  48. Rincewind says:

    I’m late to the game, I just wanted to add my voice in saying that I love that you do articles like this, and the fact that you’re willing to stand up to the isolated voices of ignorance in the comments makes me come back here time and time again. Well done, John.

  49. Vinraith says:

    I still don’t see how “tacky, exploitative game has tacky, exploitative marketing” qualifies as anything worth discussing. I’ve got no problem with issue stories, and I applaud RPS’s efforts to expose and root-out misogyny in the industry, but surely there are far more serious examples worthy of your attention and time.

    • Premium User Badge Nogo says:

      It’s more about Deep Silver lying to their customers then playing the “I can’t hear you” game when asked why.

      How you got this far into the comments without noticing, or why you insist on proclaiming “there are worse things!” are still mysteries to be solved though.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      yup. pretty much this.

  50. ARustyFirePlace says:

    Is this a gaming site or is it about feminism? Guess I’m done either way.

    • Rincewind says:

      Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    • Chelicerate says:

      Seeyah. Glad you’re gone.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      It’s a gaming site that considers gender representation in gaming to be an important social issue. But yeah, don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

      Also, it’s interesting that when RPS posts articles on things like the ARMA devs being imprisoned, computer hardware, uk tax breaks for gaming etc. (you know, anything else related to gaming that isnt a game) absolutely no-one says “I thought this was a site about gaming, I’m never coming here again”; I mean it’s only when gender in gaming is raised. Funny that.

      PS. RPS, can you just auto IP ban anyone who says they’re not visiting again, y’know, just to make sure?

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Would bugger it for a lot of people if it was posted from an internet cafe/uni computer room/IP redirect service/shared house/”borrowed” wifi etc

      • Grape Flavor says:

        IP ban would be cruel, because we all know a lot of these people fully intend to come back and keep reading RPS. Not that I’m judging – I know I’ve said some disparaging things about the site, and yet here I am.

        It’s like the Modern Warfare boycott – which one was it, 2? Where they where upset enough to pledge to boycott and to set up a Steam Group to that effect, but not upset enough to not be caught playing the game while still a member of said Steam Group.