Polygon: CDPR responds to sexualized trans advertisement in CyberPunk 2077 (Read Staff Post Before Posting)

derFeef

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,537
Austria
The narrative part of her response makes sense if the rest of the game reflects that, and she herself appears to be coming from a place of open-minded good intent. But is the idea of the world hypersexualizing all bodies in this way reflected in the rest of the game's overall narrative? Or is this just her idea for this particular piece of in-universe advertisement, and is the rest of the game's team coming from a more heteronormative perspective? The messaging within the ad is also off-putting, and is that the intended purpose or is it just in poor taste?

I absolutely want her response to genuinely reflect the direction of the game's narrative, and we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out at this point. I personally can't give CDPR the benefit of the doubt just yet but I hope we can get a rare game where mature subject matter is handled with the nuance it requires.
This is also my issue with the response but I did not want to comment since it seems to have received well.
Her intentions may be genuine, but that does not mean the game will reflect that and with the recent news I have my doubts...
 

RoninZ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
334
The game is already sexualizing what you could infer were cis characters, although that is part of the problem with assuming stills for this game, the world itself is supposed to be very gender/sexual fluid











It's probably also going to be very likely David Cage's favourite addition is in the game, sex robots or sex AI (unless anyone can correct me none of that exists in Cyberpunk). Sex implants do but I don't know about full on robots/AI.

No doubt there will be red light districts/brothels and more too. I mean, Love Hub? Peep Show?
That all exists in cyberpunk. There are robots and cyborgs in the universe and they can get sexualized along with AI. It would make sense for it to be there. AI with all kinds of functions are in the game. I mean you can get exotic body modifications like furred skin, animal like faces, hooves and tails, it is all in the sourcebook of the game.
 

lmimmfn

Member
Oct 31, 2017
141
Promo materials were released for the game. People watched those materials and discussed them. A criticism about something specific came up so often that a journalist asked about it in an interview, and they gave an answer. People are now discussing the original situation in light of that answer. That's how human interaction works. Responding to art as presented by its creator isn't "jumping the gun," it's the purpose of art.
Unraveling from the result in this thread and the devs response reveals the outcry was largely unfounded, its not about art, its about interpretation of art in a game and where the art posted had no context resulting in full on needless outcry without context.
I would just prefer if the art was actually analysed for what it was rather than raging on it and needing the dev to respond.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,810
Sweden
The narrative part of her response makes sense if the rest of the game reflects that, and she herself appears to be coming from a place of open-minded good intent. But is the idea of the world hypersexualizing all bodies in this way reflected in the rest of the game's overall narrative? Or is this just her idea for this particular piece of in-universe advertisement, and is the rest of the game's team coming from a more heteronormative perspective?

I absolutely want her response to genuinely reflect the direction of the game's narrative, and we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out at this point. I personally can't give CDPR the benefit of the doubt just yet but I hope we can get a rare game where mature subject matter is handled with the nuance it requires.
Yeah, I agree, we definitely have to see how the rest of the game shakes out. And I'm still most likely not getting the game.

The reports of racial stereotypes are concerning. I found the demo shown in the MS conference concerning because of how the black guy just turned out to be the stereotypical thug, and from what I've heard from previews, there's a lot more of that in the game
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,967
Unraveling from the result in this thread and the devs response reveals the outcry was largely unfounded, its not about art, its about interpretation of art in a game and where the art posted had no context resulting in full on needless outcry without context.
I would just prefer if the art was actually analysed for what it was rather than raging on it and needing the dev to respond.
People will discuss things when they're presented to them, with the context given with it. Feel free to shout into the wind for trans people to wait for The Appropriate Time™ before they're allowed to respond to characterizations about them in products.
 

Woylie

Member
May 9, 2018
697
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
 

SDBurton

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,097
The only lesson people should learn these last days here is to stop doubting concerns from trans and minorities people. But I know it's easier to call them outraged and kick them out of our community like it's already happening. This is the most dissapointing thing in Era right now. What chance we denied to devs? as far as I see they responded freely, and people took their conclusions (not everyone agrees with the statement).

People are free to raise concerns about any piece of media they see, and people is free to agree or disagree, but no one should categorize them as outraged or some bullshit, especially not when they are minorities.
Boom. Thank you.
 

Audioboxer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,360
That all exists in cyberpunk. There are robots and cyborgs in the universe and they can get sexualized along with AI. It would make sense for it to be there. AI with all kinds of functions are in the game. I mean you can get exotic body modifications like furred skin, animal like faces, hooves and tails, it is all in the sourcebook of the game.
Good to know, I would expect it given in the gameplay demos some depictions looked almost like full on robots as opposed to heavily modded humans. I personally think some of the more far out mods might not make it in for the player, but maybe for NPC's.

Anyway, David Cage will be happy if there is robot sex workers



Something that Cage jokes aside is actually hugely interesting and will be a moral conundrum for the generations after us. I mean we're getting sex robots of some forms, but it's going to be a while longer before all the private data Google, Amazon and Apple are taking from us is turned into insanely complex and even self-aware AI.
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,967
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start."

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
Thank you so much for this response.
 

Triscuitable

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,837
This just reads so hollow when everything shown of Cyberpunk 2077 so far has been so completely sanitized of sexuality and LGBT representation. Nothing shown so far makes it seem like brazen depictions of objectified sexuality aren't still considered taboo in Night City, which makes the advertisement just popping up on a wall seem more like an attempt to be absurd and mocking. Especially when the advertisement's design is designed similarly to bigoted jokes about trans people - "Oh, a sexy woman! Ah, surprise, there's a penis. Mix it up! Don't take it personally, It's a joke." which just comes across as bigotry in the guise of edgy social commentary.
If something stinks, people are gonna call it out- and for good reason. If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s for the devs over at CDPR who might want to consider actually showing the queer characters they’ve supposedly got in the works. When this ad is all we’ve got (and it is all we’ve got, and we had to raise a stink to even get the supposed context for it in the first place), it’s hard to want to give them any benefit of the doubt. These are real concerns that affect real people’s lives. But go on.
Indeed. CDPR can say "actually, it's supposed to be fucked-up," but with the company's prior track-record on queer issues, a notable lack of Cyberpunk 2077 actually depicting how transhumanism affects the queer identity (in spite of how much they've talked and shown the sexual aspect of transhumanism in demos and trailers), and the fact that trans rights are a present-day hot-button topic (which means callous depictions of transpeople for any reason comes off as punching down) makes this all look really shitty.

They can put a nice PR spin on it, but with everything CDPR's done in the past, I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt. As the saying goes, if it walks like a duck.
 

derFeef

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,537
Austria
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
Thanks you for posting this. Always appreciated if those affected step in instead of hearing from creators or writers explain how well they think they handle it.
 

JCG

Member
Oct 25, 2017
905
It's not enough, but I am willing to at least take this response from the artist in good faith. That doesn't erase the criticisms that many have expressed, especially (yet not limited to) trans individuals, because even having a plausible artistic intent does not automatically remove the impact and consequences of said depiction. Even if there is a larger context behind it, the fact is it also raised concerns about transphobia.

Furthermore, CDPR itself has not yet proven that the more interesting angles mentioned by the artist are fully reflected within the game. We haven't seen other non-cis or non-binary depictions that would contextualize it.
 

fantomena

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
9,463
Norway.
I remembered Denis Villenueve was criticized for how women were represented in Blade Runner 2049 and this was his answer:

“What is cinema?” Villeneuve continued. “Cinema is a mirror on society. ‘Blade Runner’ is not about tomorrow; it’s about today. And I’m sorry, but the world is not kind on women.” He also adds that his film is a “dystopian vision of today” that “magnifies all the faults. That’s what I’ll say about that.” Read his full interview here.

Of course, he's talking about a movie, not a game and I don't know that much about Cyberpunk, but maybe there is some parallels between Blade Runner and Cyberpunk and their portrayal of women compared to Cyberpunk 2077, the game?

I remember a lot of people were excited for Cyberpunk 2077 when it was first announced and were thinking talking about Blade Runner. And how many people were dissapointed with the trailer as it didn't look like BR.

But of course, in the end, films and games are not the same.
 

Orbit

Member
Nov 21, 2018
1,008
i mean, you said that i am blatantly ignoring Red's previous faults out of convenience. you already passed judgement on me, even though in my previous posts i acknowledged that everyone had reason to doubt the pic's intentions, given Red's horrid and insensitive actions in the past. i don't really know what to say to someone that replies to my post like that. you already made up your mind.
 

NameUser

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,247
I don’t have the right to say if this a good reply because I’m not personally affected by the image. So I’m just reading the thread. Hopefully they try to handle everything with care in the final product.
 

SugarNoodles

Member
Nov 3, 2017
6,527
Portland, OR
i mean, you said that i am blatantly ignoring Red's previous faults out of convenience. you already passed judgement on me, even though in my previous posts i acknowledged that everyone had reason to doubt the pic's intentions, given Red's horrid and insensitive actions in the past. i don't really know what to say to someone that replies to my post like that. you already made up your mind.
I took a clear stance. You’re not obligated to respond, so if you have nothing of value to contribute then why reply?
 

Mitchant93

Member
Oct 5, 2018
46
Honestly this explanation makes sense to me . I mean look around today at pride month marketing by businesses? This is the obvious destination when LGBTQ+ is normalised right? I know it’s easy to dunk on CDPR based on their own actions ,but in this particular instance I don’t feel like this picture really feels out of place? I really want more games to feature LGBTQ+ themes , and would hate devs to feel like they cannot do this.
 

Odinsmana

Member
Mar 13, 2019
14
Indeed. CDPR can say "actually, it's supposed to be fucked-up," but with the company's prior track-record on queer issues, a notable lack of Cyberpunk 2077 actually depicting how transhumanism affects the queer identity (in spite of how much they've talked and shown the sexual aspect of transhumanism in demos and trailers), and the fact that trans rights are a present-day hot-button topic (which means callous depictions of transpeople for any reason comes off as punching down) makes this all look really shitty.

They can put a nice PR spin on it, but with everything CDPR's done in the past, I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt. As the saying goes, if it walks like a duck.
I have seen people in various threads talk about CD Projects historiy of transphobia and bad LGBTQ reprensetation in a way that makes it seem like they have done it multiple times, but I only remember the transphobic tweet. What other stuff have they done? The only LGBTQ content in their games that I can remember is the homosexual huntsman and the cross-dressing merchant from The Witcher 3 and from my outsider perspective (correct me if I am wrong) both of those seemed like solid/positive portrayals.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2, 2018
1,207
The new project runway has a transgender model.

I like their statement re: the choice of the transmodel.

If anything, this seems like a positive thing to me. A game like this with this much interest highlight a trans person and having so much global interest.
 

Orbit

Member
Nov 21, 2018
1,008
I took a clear stance. You’re not obligated to respond, so if you have nothing of value to contribute then why reply?
your post called me out personally, so why would i not? all i had to reply with was "nah, not really" meaning i am do not see accepting this developer's reasoning for the pic as closing my eyes to everything Red has done as a whole as a convenient route. i think the developer's reply was well done, showing that she is putting a lot of thought and effort into her job instead of just throwing out garbage that is insensitive. my eyes are not closed to Red's past misgivings.
 

Rotobit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,650
I only just found out that the poster is on the wall of their E3 booth.

I have to question what rational they had printing that out on massive poster paper, packaging it up, presumably putting it on a plane, and shipping it on over to LA. Did no one along that chain realize it might cause this reaction?

it's one thing to have it in the game as a piece of artwork among many, where it can blend into the surrounding lurid posters and neon signs, but they put it pride of place in their booth.
 

TheMadTitan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,738
That was essentially what I thought when I saw it as well, though I can understand how it could be taken differently.
I don't disagree with you, but the biggest offender is not the image itself, but the image + everything the company has said and done on social media that either was blatantly anti-trans or leaned heavily that way. If this was something from Ubisoft or Activision, the reaction wouldn't have been as strongly negative.
 

DerpHause

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,711
What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising.
As I read the explanation, it's not supposed to be a take-down of sexualized advertising. It's not subversive or anything of that nature. It's not going to provoke any analysis from the casual observer more than it does for the ads they see around them in the same context this is designed to replicate rather than satirize.

I certainly can't come at it from your perspective so I'll just ask, how did it come across as a "joke" to you? Also, did you feel it was specifically different from the exploitative tone of other sexually exploitative advertising the game features?
 

lmimmfn

Member
Oct 31, 2017
141
The only lesson people should learn these last days here is to stop doubting concerns from trans and minorities people. But I know it's easier to call them outraged and kick them out of our community like it's already happening. This is the most dissapointing thing in Era right now. What chance we denied to devs? as far as I see they responded freely, and people took their conclusions (not everyone agrees with the statement).

People are free to raise concerns about any piece of media they see, and people is free to agree or disagree, but no one should categorize them as outraged or some bullshit, especially not when they are minorities.
If something stinks, people are gonna call it out- and for good reason. If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s for the devs over at CDPR who might want to consider actually showing the queer characters they’ve supposedly got in the works. When this ad is all we’ve got (and it is all we’ve got, and we had to raise a stink to even get the supposed context for it in the first place), it’s hard to want to give them any benefit of the doubt. These are real concerns that affect real people’s lives. But go on.
People will discuss things when they're presented to them, with the context given with it. Feel free to shout into the wind for trans people to wait for The Appropriate Time™ before they're allowed to respond to characterizations about them in products.
The discussion on representation is largely a discussion for an overall thread on representation in general, whether its race/LGBT representation or whatever. Having a picture or 2 posted from a game and finger pointing on representation without context is negative and disruptive in terms of the games themselves and can negatively influence the games themselves.
For example if the storyline of the Baron in Witcher 3 was revealed and there was outcry that he abused his wife, was an alcoholic etc. then one of the best stories of the game could have been removed.

Games and media in general shouldnt be judged out of context on a picture or 2, it should be left until the game is available and people play and then can comment on their perceptions or anger or whatever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,343
Atlanta GA
I have seen people in various threads talk about CD Projeckts historie of transphobia and bad LGBTQ reprensetation in a way that makes it seem like they have done it multiple times, but I only remember the transphobic tweet. What other stuff have they done? The only LGBTQ content in their games that I can remember is the homosexual huntsman and the cross-dressing merchant from The Witcher 3 and from my outsider perspective (correct me if I am wrong) both of those seemed like solid/positive portrayals.
Their games have a tendency to objectify women, and it's a valid concern that they are similarly objectifying/fetishizing LGBTQ people in Cyberpunk.

I only just found out that the poster is on the wall of their E3 booth.

I have to question what rational they had printing that out on massive poster paper, packaging it up, presumably putting it on a plane, and shipping it on over to LA. Did no one along that chain realize it might cause this reaction?

it's one thing to have it in the game as a piece of artwork among many, where it can blend into the surrounding lurid posters and neon signs, but they put it pride of place in their booth.
This is what I'm talking about. The artist's intent is one thing, but is it being presented in the rest of the game just as a trashy piece of shock value? This makes me doubt their intentions.
 

PopsMaellard

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,559
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
And there it fucking is.

This should be a threadmark.
 

halfbeast

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,049
I only just found out that the poster is on the wall of their E3 booth.

I have to question what rational they had printing that out on massive poster paper, packaging it up, presumably putting it on a plane, and shipping it on over to LA. Did no one along that chain realize it might cause this reaction?

it's one thing to have it in the game as a piece of artwork among many, where it can blend into the surrounding lurid posters and neon signs, but they put it pride of place in their booth.
I'm trying to decipher what the tagline says: unchain the _________?

also, it's officially ChroManticore (and not cure, as it was unclear in the previous schreenshot).
 
Oct 2, 2018
1,207
I have seen people in various threads talk about CD Projeckts historie of transphobia and bad LGBTQ reprensetation in a way that makes it seem like they have done it multiple times, but I only remember the transphobic tweet. What other stuff have they done? The only LGBTQ content in their games that I can remember is the homosexual huntsman and the cross-dressing merchant from The Witcher 3 and from my outsider perspective (correct me if I am wrong) both of those seemed like solid/positive portrayals.
the thing with a previous thread about the word "cocksucker" is that sometimes, the apologies aren't ever enough as these past trangressions with apologies were again brought up. Yes, its been uncomfortable but CDPR did apologise.


I don't disagree with you, but the biggest offender is not the image itself, but the image + everything the company has said and done on social media that either was blatantly anti-trans or leaned heavily that way. If this was something from Ubisoft or Activision, the reaction wouldn't have been as strongly negative.

As for the idea of them being anti-trans. It was the social media guy being an idiot and again, there's been an apology. The game isn't made by 1 person. Its a big company full of creatives.

As for this. The fact that they're highlighting a trans person does not immediately put them in a spot where its "anti trans". If anything the inclusion is a great step forward. (to me)

its not like adding a trans person in this gives them extra publicity. Keanu did that. It's pretty much the most hyped game coming out of E3.
 

Adaren

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,005
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
Thank you for this post. Clear and well-written.
 

anexanhume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,928
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
Thank you for your perspective. Do you think that it is possible for games as a medium to portray images such as this (not just CDPR who has a poor track record)? Do you think it is believable for a universe to contain advertisements such as this, and games just fail to handle it in a thorough and intelligent manner?

It seems to me that games first need to demonstrate they can positively portray people on the gender spectrum before they can have the currency to portray them in a negative manner with the implication it will be constructed in such a way that the narrative or tone of the universe will help the player to see that it is a bigoted, exploitative and marginalizing practice that is going on. Otherwise, I agree people will see it through the lense of shocking stereotype that only serves to reinforce marginalizing viewpoints.
 

BBQ_of_DOOM

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,679
I think the response is solid and that actually responding is better than what we've seen in the past (by them/others).

That being said--no corporation deserves your benefit of the doubt and always scrutinize everything.
 
Eurogamer also interviews same CDPR artist

Audioboxer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,360
Eurogamer have spoke to her as well



"I'm not surprised people have questions," Redesiuk told me. "I'm currently taking care of in-game media, so branding and advertisements for the various corporations. And in this dystopian future, these megacorporations are oppressive, they've basically taken over and prescribe who people live. They constantly, aggressively sell everything.

"You'll notice many advertisements - for anything, a table, chair, a roof tile - slap a random sexy person on top and say 'hey, buy this'. This shows the sexploitation of those people, and many of our advertisements feature this sexualisation. We sexualise men, women, and people in between, all to show how terrible this is.

"With our advertisements, we want to say something. For instance, there's an advert for a fashion shop with the Colosseum - this beautiful piece of architecture - which has been taken over and turned into a marketplace. It's art destroyed for consumerism's sake. We have more examples here [in Cyberpunk's E3 2019 booth]."
Redesiuk and I are standing next to a poster which says 'three mouths, one desire'. It's a nod to Total Recall's 'I wish I had three hands' scene, she says, but also an example of the grotesque sex movies available in Cyberpunk 2077's world.

"So yes, we have a person with both breasts and a penis on an advertisement, done on purpose, because it's terrible to exploit people's bodies like this," Redesiuk continues.

The poster in question is an advert for Chromanticore, a regular cola, one of many fictional drink brands in the game.

"We thought this would be a brand which would slap a body on the advert and think nothing of it. It's a terrible thing to say 'mix it up' [the poster's tagline]. We're emulating what a company would say in Cyberpunk 2077."
Another comment I've is that this comes as one of the first examples of Cyberpunk 2077's transgender characters (after earlier similar controversy) and that it wasn't an ideal start to that conversation.

"People need representation, and representation in a good way," Redesiuk agrees. "And in Cyberpunk 2077 we're showing a world where many of the things which may be taboo or unusual today are completely normalised. It's a world where you can go to a ripperdoc and change your body. It's become normal. We have a character creator where you can mix up appearance and voice options and make the character you want to play. And, of course, through gameplay you can roleplay the character you want through your interactions with NPCs.
"It was meant to make people feel uncomfortable," Redesiuk concludes. "Not because they're seeing someone with breasts and a penis, but because the body is being exploited. I didn't slap the penis there for people to laugh about it. There is a beautiful body there being used to sell soda."
 

NameUser

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,247
that's a good stance, I'd like to use it as my post too, if permission is granted
Fine by me. I feel like it’s the only reply I can make. I know we recently had that thread about folks chiming in on topics they really had no business discussing. Like when a white person tries to tell a black person what is or isn’t racist. That’s not their call to make.
 

WadeIt0ut

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,041
Iowa
Honestly this explanation makes sense to me . I mean look around today at pride month marketing by businesses? This is the obvious destination when LGBTQ+ is normalised right? I know it’s easy to dunk on CDPR based on their own actions ,but in this particular instance I don’t feel like this picture really feels out of place? I really want more games to feature LGBTQ+ themes , and would hate devs to feel like they cannot do this.
I don't personally have any objective idea as to whether it's offensive or not, but I do know of a popular club in Minneapolis that actually has a lot of similar art to this and it's a popular LBGTQ+ hang out.
 

Apollo

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,130
The discussion on representation is largely a discussion for an overall thread on representation in general, whether its race/LGBT representation or whatever. Having a picture or 2 posted from a game and finger pointing on representation without context is negative and disruptive in terms of the games themselves and can negatively influence the games themselves.
For example if the storyline of the Baron in Witcher 3 was revealed and there was outcry that he abused his wife, was an alcoholic etc. then one of the best stories of the game could have been removed.

Games and media in general shouldnt be judged out of context on a picture or 2, it should be left until the game is available and people play and then can comment on their perceptions or anger or whatever.
Not everybody is afforded the luxury of being able to stay quiet. If we don’t stand up for ourselves, our friends, our allies and those who have it even worse than us, how is anybody going to know when there’s a problem? It’s not like discussing these things is going to force CDPR to cancel the game. It’s not like discussing these things is going to stop this game from selling millions upon millions of copies. But if there’s even a slight chance doing so can lead to things getting fixed, or even just to get statements on record for future reference, it is worth it. Frankly, it’s worth it even if all it accomplishes is getting people to think about us and what we deal with, because too often we’re invisible to the eyes of most of the populace. Hence why it’s such a big deal when shitty representation rears its ugly head, because if we don’t say anything, that’s what people are going to see of us.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
6,151
a sunken pirate ship
What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?
100% agreed on these bolded parts. This interpretation is unfortunately completely in line with the sort of company CDP has been trying to court with their brand messaging. I still believe there are ways that an ad like this could actually send the message the artist would want us to take away from it, but it would require significant normalization both in-universe and in the company's own communication, and between "did you just assume" tweets and the lack of any sort of non-binary identification options in the game, the sort of people who might have to think about the message here will be able to ignore it with no consequences.
 

Icemonk191

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,239
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
Great post especially the last part. Last thing we need is cis people telling us when we can or can't be outraged.
 

fester

Member
Oct 25, 2017
939
I'm not sure that making an offensvie advertisement in a game actually does make any meaningful commentary on the subject beyond just spreading the narrative around further.
This is exactly my problem with both the content and the response. It's an attempt to "intellecualize" the narrative in a way the average person playing the game will never pick up on. People will view things through their own bias filters and it won't be surprising to see a supposed attempt to criticize bigotry as actually an endorsement. Just look at how some people twisted the social critique from HBO's Chernobyl series into the exact opposite of what was being said.
 

Abstrusity

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,266
Those two things aren't mutually exclusive though. It's possible to viewed as less than a person while still being viewed as a sex object, and while it's hard to tell if this is going that far or if they'll actually have something redeeming in the game, I don't really see it as overcompensation at all. They're hitting very normal levels of representation for trans people by aiming for that fetish side of things.
Oh yes, I know that for sure. I'm just saying, it's a step up to be treated how women are right this moment, and certainly better than getting killed for having the gall to exist in the first place. But still, it's...ill advised. I wish they'd have asked some transpeople about this.
 

trashtabby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
541
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with this. The fact that they're using the poster that's meant to criticize sexualized advertising to advertise the game in their E3 booth also makes that argument feels incredibly flimsy at best. And even if it is the artist's sincere about what they say their intent is: like you say, gamers aren't going to see it like that.

Also, if these ads are meant to represent what's common for people at that point: that better be reflected in the game's actual world. There'd have to be a whole lot of positive representation of trans or genderqueer people in the game to counter this ad. And considering that this is the first and only hint of queer people being in the game at all, I'm not getting my hopes up for that.
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
820
So I'm honestly a bit confused, the implication is that the trans population in this universe is accepted enough to be marketed towards, but the game won't provide a trans option for the player character? Has that changed? The biggest problem I read is that the trans representation seems to be limited to a possibly problematic objectified ad. Objectification can be used as satire and cultural critique, but if there is no counterbalance, it just feels like the game is presenting trans people as fetishes.

Admittedly, my perspective is limited to what I've seen from previews on this board, but the game seems to be overly comfortable playing into broad cultural stereotypes. Maybe the story will save all of this, but from what they have show and released to the public, not to mention their own twitter issues, it's hard for me to say criticism isn't warranted.

The discussion on representation is largely a discussion for an overall thread on representation in general, whether its race/LGBT representation or whatever. Having a picture or 2 posted from a game and finger pointing on representation without context is negative and disruptive in terms of the games themselves and can negatively influence the games themselves.
For example if the storyline of the Baron in Witcher 3 was revealed and there was outcry that he abused his wife, was an alcoholic etc. then one of the best stories of the game could have been removed.

Games and media in general shouldnt be judged out of context on a picture or 2, it should be left until the game is available and people play and then can comment on their perceptions or anger or whatever.
See, if that's true, then what's the point of demos and prerelease footage in the first place? The company puts out this material, and the public isn't supposed to react at all? The game is trying to tackle sensitive subjects, if they're doing a bad job, or a making problematic choices, then early responses could help the game. You're implying that there is going to be some context that no one is seeing that will justify everything, other aren't as hopeful. The public letting the developers know that they are concerned about possible issues with their portrayal of minorities and LGBTQ characters and imagery isn't going to hurt the game.
 

Audioboxer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,360
This is exactly my problem with both the content and the response. It's an attempt to "intellecualize" the narrative in a way the average person playing the game will never pick up on. People will view things through their own bias filters and it won't be surprising to see a supposed attempt to criticize bigotry as actually an endorsement. Just look at how some people twisted the social critique from HBO's Chernobyl series into the exact opposite of what was being said.
Well, of course, it's up to CDPR to try and fully normalize this world via the means of a video game, that's their challenge.

But the angle the artist is going for is explainable. Go find me some sexual advertisement right now. It will be a straight woman or a straight man. Very rarely do gay women or gay men get sexualized in the mainstream to sell perfume, clothing or a car or something. Before we even get to trans people who would be lucky to be in an ad on TV/billboard, full stop.

The Cyberpunk 2077 era is soo far on from that any identity is sexualized/normalized in this world. How that is handled is up to CDPR to get across to the player. That is a risk as the player interacting with this game is not a member of 2077, they live in 2019, planet Earth. But I think it's okay to attempt it, this is a fictional world in the same way Blade Runner is. It exists by its own set of rules and time period, and the challenge for any writers or artists is to manage to convey that to the viewer and explain why. Presumably without trying to unnecessarily offend the viewer, or so severely lack in contextual explanation their message isn't taken on board or understood.

But you kind of need the whole product for that, or at least for more in-depth previews to begin to critically examine if the artists and writers have managed it or not.
 

Chrome Hyena

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,316
As a girl with a dick who doesn’t have dysphoria about her dick, I do feel especially qualified to talk about this, LOL.

It’s offensive.

What I mean is, this isn’t a nuanced, thoughtful takedown of sexualized advertising. It’s a chance to use non-op trans women’s bodies as a thing of lurid shock value, as happens so often in stuff like porn, or transphobic jokes in movies and games. This explanation just reads as "My transphobic joke didn't go over as well as I had hoped, so let me pretend it was all well-intentioned from the start." You're really telling me the average cis het gamer teen is going to see something like this in game and think about the cultural impact of sexualized marketing, as opposed to snickering at the funny trans lady?

It doesn't help that I don't trust CDPR as far as I can throw them with respect to trans issues. But go ahead cis people, keep giving them a pass and talking about how context is everything, How brave of you.
The average gamer is now 35 years old. Its no longer teens. And if the over all games narrative is what she claims then you hope your audience will get it. Some wont. But thats a given in any medium. And context is 100% everything. I can post some images 1000 percent out of context that would look horrible. But in context they would make sense.
 

Icemonk191

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,239
The discussion on representation is largely a discussion for an overall thread on representation in general, whether its race/LGBT representation or whatever. Having a picture or 2 posted from a game and finger pointing on representation without context is negative and disruptive in terms of the games themselves and can negatively influence the games themselves.
For example if the storyline of the Baron in Witcher 3 was revealed and there was outcry that he abused his wife, was an alcoholic etc. then one of the best stories of the game could have been removed.

Games and media in general shouldnt be judged out of context on a picture or 2, it should be left until the game is available and people play and then can comment on their perceptions or anger or whatever.
So we shouldn't judge the things they put out and instead blindly lap up whatever they say? What a take🙄