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

SapphiCine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
807
Missed that Kotaku's Heather Alexandra did an article on this. Kind of weak and she didn't really bring anything new to the discussion except this bit.
In Cyberpunk as a tabletop roleplaying game, a mechanic called Humanity denotes someone’s fundamental connection to their body and their human nature. This value can be reduced to dangerous levels with too many cyber-modifications. Sex changes also lower a player’s Humanity score in some rulebooks for Cyberpunk 2020. Players with a low enough Humanity enter into a violent state called cyberpsychosis.
JFC The first edition of Cyberpunk came out in 1988 and I have to wonder if that is still in latest edition which was released in 2005.
 

K.Jack

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,054
Dark Space
It's completely possible for her to genuinely believe in her intentions, but to have completely fucked up and missed the boat on the effectiveness of the execution.

What stands out to me most is that Kasia wants to increase empathy for the LGBTQ community. I have ask myself, from whom will this ad successfully draw empathy for trans people? Is she saying she is "falling on the sword" by making an offensive ad to purposely offend people? No wait she said she didn't mean to offend anyone.

She wanted it to be a sexy ad, first and foremost. She finds this woman sexy. But she wants it to show how oversexualization is bad. Come again?

I dunno, Kasia Redesiuk strikes me as a genuine person whose artistic intentions may be completely in conflict with the other departments of her job ultimately create around it.

The only way it actually works out the way she wants it to, is if the people in the writing department have actually dedicated serious time to presenting scenarios to the players that reinforce the truth that this hyper-sexualization of trans people has real consequences.

CP2077 will need grounded interactions with "normal" everyday trans women, living life in this complicated cyberpunk world. If they are all walking around near clubs in outfits like the one in the ad, and are all acting like they just popped a molly (whew), then it's all bullshit.

I don't believe they will pull it off, but that doesn't mean Kasia didn't put her faith in the belief that they would.
 

Dakkon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
266
She wanted it to be a sexy ad, first and foremost. She finds this woman sexy. But she wants it to show how oversexualization is bad. Come again?
This part isn't that complicated.

You can think that Kim Kardashian is sexy and also think that Carl's Jr using her to sell burgers is abhorrent. They're not mutually exclusive viewpoints.

...in order for the ad to showcase how corporations abusing sexuality for profit is gross the ad has to be sexy in the first place after all.
 

fireincairo

Member
Mar 27, 2018
2
I'm extremely disheartened by how insensitive and misplaced this is. I was looking forward to this game but can't say I want to support this company after this and their other transphobic fiascos. What a shame.
 

Xaszatm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,673
Missed that Kotaku's Heather Alexandra did an article on this. Kind of weak and she didn't really bring anything new to the discussion except this bit.

JFC The first edition of Cyberpunk came out in 1988 and I have to wonder if that is still in latest edition which was released in 2005.
Looking at it, it does look like even in the second edition (I think, I'm using a third party source because I cannot read the Cyberpunk source books because of how...messy they are) still has a humanity loss (though in a later book they try and hard correct it by making sex changes one of the few changes that you can regain most of the humanity you lost). I don't know if that happens in Cyberpunk 3.0 (which is an even bigger mess to read) but it looked like they just skipped talking about sex change itself and implied that you only suffered humanity loss if the bioware made you inhuman (i.e. night vision eyes, tails, etc).

Here actually is a source of many representation of transgender people and sex change mechanics in various Cyberpunk games if you're interested.

https://medium.com/@ranibaker/is-every-woman-here-a-sex-change-trans-in-cyberpunk-rpg-362cfbb4451f

One that isn't mentioned on that list is Shadowrun, which in its latest edition (and I think the previous one as well) definitely states that Sex Changes cost 0 Esence (humanity score).
 

Flipyap

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,307
Missed that Kotaku's Heather Alexandra did an article on this. Kind of weak and she didn't really bring anything new to the discussion except this bit.

JFC The first edition of Cyberpunk came out in 1988 and I have to wonder if that is still in latest edition which was released in 2005.
To be specific, that bit comes from a 1992's CP2020 spin-off sourcebook based on the universe of the novel When Gravity Fails (set in the year 2202 of a different continuity).



As far as I can tell, no edition of Cyberpunk 2013-3.0 actually gamified gender reassignment. The fact that Pondsmith's company published that doesn't exactly paint them in the best light, but technically it's not part of official Cyberpunk rules.
Also, there was no humanity loss assigned to bodysculpting (plastic surgery), it only comes into play when cybernetics are involved (which is still a stupid, outdated and potentially ableist idea, but that's a whole 'nother issue).
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,907
UK
...in order for the ad to showcase how corporations abusing sexuality for profit is gross the ad has to be sexy in the first place after all.
Still comes off as tone deaf if all this is is another large corporation abusing people's bodies for profit; they are a large company selling a video game to make a load of money.

If there doesn't pan out to be some wider nuanced theme surrounding trans and non binary people then they're literally just that which they hate.

As they've not earned any good will - rather the opposite - and seem to have zero care in reaching out to the community to reassure them and dive into how "Gender in Cyberpunk 2077" really is. They even declined to elaborate further on the design with the trans woman writer of the Daily Dot piece, just forwarding her to the Polygon article.

If you're known for mocking a sensitive topic and then claim to care deeply about it, maybe you should actually make some effort in showing that care and how you're handling it.

So this whole "we're trying to show how bad companies are" reasoning becomes a little questionable when you don't seem to be doing anything to distinguish yourself from them.
 

she_esh

Member
Sep 12, 2018
3,747
Ireland

For context, we're including Tomaskiewicz's full comments on this subject below.

Gamasutra: We haven't seen the full character selection screen. The team said it wasn't finished yet. There are still many changes you all are making to the game. Has the team at all considered, given their use of [trans] characters like that in the game to depict cyberpunk, has the team thought about giving players that kind of choice over their character, to give themselves similar representation?

And if they're not, has the team considered the gap between portraying characters like that, and limiting what you can have your players represent themselves as?

Tomaskiewicz: Of course. It's a very sensitive and important subject I believe. We have put a lot of thought into this. One of the things we want to do in the final game (which we couldn't show in the demo yet, because as you mentioned it's a work in progress) is to give the players as many options of customization in the beginning of the game as we can.

For example, we want to do this thing where, as you create your character, after you choose the body type, you can, for example, use physical traits as you build your face that could be assigned to a man or a woman.

Gamasutra: Or nonbinary?

Tomaskiewicz: Or nonbinary. The idea is to mix all of those up, to give them to the players, as they would like to build it. Same goes for the voice. We wanted to separate this out, so the players can choose it freely. This is something we are still working on, it's not as easy as it sounds.

This is one part of it. In terms of how we depict the characters within the setting itself, of course, yes, we are paying a lot of attention to it, we do not want anyone to feel like we are neglecting this, or treating it wrongly.
I hope they follow through with this.