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

Wamb0wneD

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Oct 26, 2017
13,428
There's a world of difference between advertising status quo sexuality that's acceptable in the modern lens vs. using sexual imagery such as LGBT sexuality that isn't status quo framed as the "obscene and absurd."
But the satus quo framed in Cyberpunk isn't our real world perceived status quo of the respective sexualities. That's the point she was trying to make. Sexuality in general seems to be used to an obscene and absurd degree, not just LGBTQ sexuality. And my first post disagreed with your notion that that's not the case.
 

Mushroomer25

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Oct 25, 2017
1,933
I'm not discounting that, but my point was the image was shown prominently on stage without ANY context around it. When you remove all context from the imagery you're going to be in this situation where it's subjected to questioning and outrage. NVIDIA and CDPR should have known better about using it removed from the context of the story.
Again, I doubt anybody involved even realized the ad was a part of the promo image. Which means they probably didn't give much thought to how to would be read removed from context.
 

Ivory Samoan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
479
New Zealand
I think it's a reasonable point of view and its inclusion in the game is fine. People need to realize that things in media can and often do serve a narrative purpose.
Very much this.

OP, you say don't say it seems fine now that it's in context, but that context was well explained and showed artistic vision/thought behind it.

I thought that was a pretty fair comeback from CDPR.
 

Yerffej

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Oct 25, 2017
5,397
Solid answer, but faulting trans people for having major issues with it is about the last thing anyone should do here. What a mess.
 

SliceSabre

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Oct 25, 2017
3,376
I never understood the ad myself so I wasn't able to get upset over it, but that was a more reasonable and thoughtful response then I was expecting.
 

Rodjer

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Jan 28, 2018
4,735
They had a message in mind but some Era members told me that media never has a statement or message. 🤔
I don't know how people can say that Cyberpunk 2077 has no messages or that they are not making a statement about particular themes, i mean


 

AMAGON

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Oct 25, 2017
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User banned (1 day): Drive-by trolling.
Gotta love folks jumping to conclusion in the beginning without input from the creators.
 

JKuch

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Oct 25, 2017
290
So, I'm not confident about CDPR ability to handle this subject properly, but the art director response is decent, obviously to see if they do justice to the subject we will have to wait for the game come out and see the larger in universe context, so far material shown from the game has demonstrated issues and CDPR recent PR has been terrible particularly with the issue at hand here.

I wouldn't hope for them to overall deal with the subject well, though, time will tell...

It still doesn't excuse that ad in particular. Like, even if that's the only transphobic thing in the game, its still really bad.
It does, actually, the explanation being that they're portraying this kind of thing in order to criticize / explore it.
 

Complicated

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,038
Better response than I expected. They need more of this though. Not less. If your game has something to say and you're making it because you think it's interesting then shout that shit from the rooftops rather than waiting for people to question you about it.

I fully expected them to come back with some edgelord response about how audiences can't handle the world they're envisioning, so this was at least a step in the right direction for their ongoing PR shitshow.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,445
UK
I feel like this would've worked better as a response had they previously shown literally any evidence of trans/non-binary people existing within this world before this poster, rather than just us having to go on this as a claim.

Because while I feel like the explanation is fair devoid of context, I think there's fair reason to be wary of their word when it comes to this stuff, given previous events.
100% this. People are talking about context as though we've seen the context of it within the game world because none of it's been apparent through what they've shown. Also I'm not too keen on them using the obsession over aesthetic beauty of mixing anatomy as a theme when that doesn't speak for the majority trans women/men who just want to be seen as their gender. It just comes across as them using a trans woman (a persecuted minority that's fetishised especially by gamerbro/anime nerds) for a theme similar to the aristocrats from "The Culture" series who'd modify themselves with extra limbs and external organs to achieve perfect beauty. They really need to show the difference between this and well rounded trans characters in the game to get me on board along with gender fluid options in the character creator.
 
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Spoo

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Oct 25, 2017
1,362
I think people can reasonably disagree on Kasia's stance or rationale behind the imagery, but I will say this much: I'm at least happy that CDPR has someone on the team, in a high position, that appears to have a progressive mentality. I'm comforted by her wording even if the depicted imagery leaves something to be desired. It's a far cry, at least, from their twitter messaging, as there is an element of genuine concern in her words.
 

Mentalist

Member
Mar 14, 2019
928
Oh dear.



Um...



mmmmmmm.


I get it, but me thinks their vocabulary is not really up to date.
If she's Polish, all nouns and adjectives in the language are gendered. There's a male, female, and "neutral"

That kind of predisposes how you think about the world, if that's your native language.

I'm Ukrainian and even though I've been living in Canada for most of my life, I also struggle with this- simply because my brain's been wired from childhood to categorize things a a certain way. And I've been using English as primary everyday language for the last 19 years of my life.

Don't expect someone who probably doesn't use English regularly to be super gender sensitive oftentimes there's no offense meant through it- your brain just translates things from your native language into English, word-for-word.
 

Deleted member 888

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I don't get how it's transphobic.

The explanation here is that in a world more accepting of all gender identities, a wider variety of those identities become sexualized for the purpose of marketing. This feels like the opposite of transphobia.
I don't know if I'd go full "opposite of" yet, but it is advertising doing what its always done. I posted this in the other topic.

It's the continued evolution of advertising using what is deemed as sexually exciting or in demand of those times. If you look back at marketing to earlier eras, what was a "sexy ad" then, probably looks tame as fuck compared to what we see these days.

I mean you go back far enough and both women and men would have what resembles clothing, but nowadays you have aftershave ads where men prance about topless or there was even one in the UK with an arse on show. During daytime TV.

Or things like this


But maybe 50~60 years ago our time, and just having knees or thighs flashing for a second was the sexually stimulating ad of those times.

So you take that to the Cyberpunk world where modifications are the norm and sexuality is far more varied and less restrictive to "man/woman", and you presumably get corporations doing sexual ads that reflect that.

I mean, this is in Cyberpunk

 

blackw0lf48

Member
Jan 2, 2019
207
If this person was also behind writing and depicting trans characters in the game, I would feel pretty confident.

She's not though, so we'll wait and see.

However I do feel pretty confident about the in-fiction media in the game, as she's primarily responsible.
 

oni-link

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Oct 25, 2017
6,149
UK
Very much this.

OP, you say don't say it seems fine now that it's in context, but that context was well explained and showed artistic vision/thought behind it.

I thought that was a pretty fair comeback from CDPR.
Yeah I thought the OPs edit was odd too

I'd like to know how they could make the point they wanted to make, in a way people who don't think the context matters, feel wouldn't be an issue
 

Harlequin

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Oct 27, 2017
1,216
They never actually made a statement or gave an apology for those tweets?

And I actually don't know a whole lot about Hellblade - but that's good to hear.
If I remember correctly, their statement boiled down to "we're sorry you were offended" which isn't a real apology.

One of Hellblade's central themes is mental illness and it handles it in a very mature, serious manner. They talked to experts, they talked to people actually suffering from psychosis, they took loads of notes, they had those people watch them play the game and tell them if they got shit wrong,... And they were very open about how they approached the issue and that they were doing all of these things. They've also donated significant amounts of the money earned from the game to related charities.
 

BossAttack

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Oct 27, 2017
15,299
I don't know how people can say that Cyberpunk 2077 has no messages or that they are not making a statement about particular themes, i mean


Can't wait.

I'm ready to fucking dive into some weighty political messages and social themes. That's what I'm excited about. We'll have to wait and see if they pulled it off or fucked up royally. But it's way better than Ubisoft "we are very carefully trying not to be political in any way, please enjoy."
 

GUSH

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Nov 17, 2017
367
Yeah this is what I figured, an accelerationist take on hyper-sexualized advertising.

Good response, I'm glad (and surprised) she explained herself as well as she did.
 

SlothmanAllen

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Oct 28, 2017
1,317
I find it funny that what was picture on the wall in the background of an image attempting to show off RTX ray-tracing features became a controversy.
 
Nov 2, 2017
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They didn't show this on stage whatsoever. The piece of art in question is from a screenshot provided by Nvidia, and zoomed in like 500% so you can even see it.
That’s where the image got posted on Twitter from, but the Polygon article mentions they have the same ad posted in their E3 booth.

That person might have been misinformed about it being on-stage, but they’re absolutely promoting this.
 

Joey T

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Oct 25, 2017
1,154
Glad they didn't feel the need to "fix" it and remove it like immediately like 99% of western game companies would have.
 
OP
OP
BAD

BAD

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Oct 25, 2017
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Very much this.

OP, you say don't say it seems fine now that it's in context, but that context was well explained and showed artistic vision/thought behind it.

I thought that was a pretty fair comeback from CDPR.
Yeah I thought the OPs edit was odd too

I'd like to know how they could make the point they wanted to make, in a way people who don't think the context matters, feel wouldn't be an issue
I’ve updated my Edit and hope that clarifies what I mean
 

JaxiPup

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Dec 23, 2017
244
Massachusetts
Mod edit: Quote removed at users request.

It still doesn't excuse that ad in particular. Like, even if that's the only transphobic thing in the game, its still really bad.
If we lived in a society where trans panic wasn't a valid legal defense for murder, I'd have the patience to hear what CDPR have to say. It still stands as blatant sexualization of a trans woman's genitals. I guatentee their 'broader message' is no where near nuanced enough to warrant imagery that gets trans people killed in the present day

Edit: I'd love to be wrong though. Trust me, I want to love this game.
 
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accx

Member
Oct 28, 2017
257
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. She says that her intention is to show that "Hypersexualization in advertisements is just terrible" while at the same she is talking about how sexy she finds the person in the ad. I fail to see how an advertisment with "Mix it up" "Chromanticure" and a bulge that is not represented when men are sexualized are really making the statement that she thinks that it is.

The constant sexualization and fetishization that trans people have faced throughout society should probably be handled with a bit more nuance than whatever kind of reasoning this is as contributing to the problem does not increase empathy in any way and only further alienates us.
I agree with this.
 

hellorain

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Apr 21, 2019
15
Brighton
Cool statement. I look forward to their character generator allowing trans and non-binary options to back up those words and the game acknowledging those options.

Sure I won’t be disappointed
 

Antiax

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Oct 27, 2017
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bytesized

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Oct 27, 2017
1,477
Amsterdam
Good on polygon for going to her but I think it would've been much better if they themselves would've reached some outlet to respond to the controversy which was more than warranted high their past.
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
17,409
I don't know how people can say that Cyberpunk 2077 has no messages or that they are not making a statement about particular themes, i mean


One of the most common kneejerk responses to any sort of critical discussion with video games is

"Wait, I LIKE THIS THING, by criticizing they're criticing ME for liking it. How dare they."

Which inevitably leads to incredibly ridiculous sentiments like, actually, there are no statements being made in a piece of media because there are no bills being passed.
 

Fisty

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,987
Wow this thread has a lot of people who were just chomping at the bit to feel better about hand-waving these issues.