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

Cabbagehead

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,788
Let’s stop jumping to conclusions about a company with a past against a group of marginalized people. I should just pray that these straight white people are going to do right by my community.
Not about assuming not even dismissing any past issues. But to set them on fire for certain out of context that it seems like misunderstanding things on purpose. Its falls into a trap of nitpicking.

Although i will agree that it is indeed a bunch of white people making the game. Though i doubt they are all straight.
 

plagiarize

Untethered once more
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
7,204
Cape Cod, MA
This game takes place in a cyberpunk dystopia. The trailers and demos have already featured various sexualized posters. In the other thread most people defending this issue already guessed the statement provided was the artist's intent. How much more context we needed for a background poster in an alleyway found within gameplay in these game previews?
Evidently we needed the artist to clarify things.
 

bluexy

Freelance Games Journalist
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
835
I don't think that's true. Just quickly scrubbing through the gameplay footage you can see a lot of ads and clubs
Sanitized of sexuality? What about in the gameplay demo when your character wakes up after casually fucking some random dude?
I feel like I'm getting called out on the letter of the law by a bunch of people. No, I'm sorry, but advertisements we in the modern day will see in Vogue magazine or going from a black screen to waking up from a one-night stand like is seen in every other PG-13 teen romance or comedy is sanitized as fuck. We're talking about an advertisement for future-Coka Cola with a detailed depiction of a penis in comparison.
 

Vince-DiCola

Member
May 22, 2019
28
Culloden
Women are hypersexualized in advertising, whether it is showing tight fitting clothes around nipples or a penis.

That said, there's a difference between this game simply recreating those conditions and actually commenting on them.
They way I interpret the in game ad is that a trans model is being sexualised to sell something, and this could mean that a trans model is as common as a cis model.
 
User banned (5 days): hostility and dismissing concerns over a series of posts
I feel like I'm getting called out on the letter of the law by a bunch of people. No, I'm sorry, but advertisements we in the modern day will see in Vogue magazine or going from a black screen to waking up from a one-night stand like is seen in every other PG-13 teen romance or comedy is sanitized as fuck. We're talking about an advertisement for coke with a detailed depiction of a penis in comparison.
Just take the damn L. The game has been sexualized from the very start, it's fucking cyberpunk dude.
 

CJSeven

Member
Oct 30, 2018
5
It's incredibly convenient for them to say "this is just how it is in 2077".

In present day, aka when this game will be released and played, it's still an exploitative representation of the LGBTQ+ community, and CDPR are the ones profiting from this game, not fictional "megacorporations".
 

Audioboxer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,347
I feel like I'm getting called out on the letter of the law by a bunch of people. No, I'm sorry, but advertisements we in the modern day will see in Vogue magazine or going from a black screen to waking up from a one-night stand like is seen in every other PG-13 teen romance or comedy is sanitized as fuck. We're talking about an advertisement for future-Coka Cola with a detailed depiction of a penis in comparison.
I posted about this earlier, what we see today would have been soft-core porn for people 50 years ago when it was all ankle skirts and if you're lucky a flashing of a knee.


You wouldn't be getting that put on during daytime TV, let alone the fact TVs might have been black and white then.

You're now transporting forward to a fictional world of 2077 that is far more explicit and loose than us today, let alone our world 50 years ago.
 

halfbeast

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,049
This is all to show that [much like in our modern world], hypersexualization in advertisements is just terrible,” Redesiuk continued. “It was a conscious choice on our end to show that in this world — a world where you are a cyberpunk, a person fighting against corporations. That [advertisement] is what you’re fighting against.”
and how does it show that?
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,967
This is the sort of commentary that requires extra.

On the surface level it's probably gonna just simply shock and repulse more of the target audience than its gonna get to think about the social commentary.

They need to have a positive protrayel of a trans character to bring attention to the intended commentary she's describing.

I feel otherwise the commentary is gonna be buried under surface level impressions and twitch influencers feignging disgust and trap memes over it.
Bingo.
 

Kiekura

Member
Mar 23, 2018
1,332
So what would be your version of the same ad that does what you're proposing?

I'm not trying to be all "debate me" at all, I'm genuinely curious how they could do this in a way that would satisfy all parties.
Maybe V could actually comment those ads when you watch them? Explain why he doesnt like those and thats why he hates those corporations and fights against them.
 

AmbientRuin

Member
Apr 18, 2019
305
It's incredibly convenient for them to say "this is just how it is in 2077".

In present day, aka when this game will be released and played, it's still an exploitative representation of the LGBTQ+ community, and CDPR are the ones profiting from this game, not fictional "megacorporations".
Its that spiderman pointing picture, but everything is the future and theres Japanese text sometimes
 

Alucrid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,583
I posted about this earlier, what we see today would have been soft-core porn for people 50 years ago when it was all ankle skirts and if you're lucky a flashing of a knee.


You wouldn't be getting that put on during daytime TV, let alone the fact TVs might have been black and white then.

You're now transporting forward to a fictional world of 2077 that is far more explicit and loose than us today, let alone our world 50 years ago.
is it really that loose if they can't even show it? this is like jon hamm papparazi photo level.
 

bluexy

Freelance Games Journalist
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
835
I posted about this earlier, what we see today would have been soft-core porn for people 50 years ago when it was all ankle skirts and if you're lucky a flashing of a knee.

You're now transporting forward to a fictional world of 2077 that is far more explicit and loose than us today, let alone our world 50 years ago.
Exactly, but that's my point. What CDPR has shown so far regarding sexuality isn't that dissimilar to what we see today, for the most part. Except for this poster.
 

Andrew-Ryan

Member
Dec 4, 2018
522
Interesting so to show how absurdly sexualized ads are they use an overly sexualized minority group to get the point across. Because this group is seen as a vile and disgusting group of people by most men in the world and what better way to depict it then to use this group of people.

Because it’s hard to show a vile and disgusting depiction of an ad by using overly sexualised women to get the point across. Since most men would just find it socially acceptable and ok because it’s a beautiful woman.

The irony in this is fucked up.
That underlined point basically explains why CDPR used that type of ad in the game.

Redesiuk said that the world of Cyberpunk 2077includes many people who are gender-nonconforming, some of whom enjoy showing off their bodies in public. They are a demographic group with significant purchasing power, and so, megacorporations use their likenesses to sell soft drinks. It’s supposed to be a play on the same sort of hypersexualized advertising that modern companies use to sell products today, just brought in line with the kind of future CD Projekt wants to portray.

“In [the year] 2077, especially with how much body modifications are available, I think people just mix and match however they want, however they feel,” Redesiuk said. “And even society is more open to different kinds of relationships.”


So as you stated in your comment, in today's society corporations would target straight men (as they're the demographic with "significant purchasing power" ) with adverts using women since it's socially acceptable and appealing to them. In the world of CyberPunk 2077, it's the "gender-nonconforming" citizens that have the "significant purchasing power" and hence why they're are being targeted by ad featuring this model that's depicting a body type that seen as appealing and socially acceptable in the world of CyberPunk 2077. So the entire point is that this body is NOT seen as "vile and disgusting" in the world of CyberPunk 2077, much how like "beautiful women" are not see as "vile and disgusting" in our world.
 

Suicide King

Member
Oct 27, 2017
523
Honest question for people of color in this thread: if a team composed of white people made a game portraying black men as thugs with big cocks and black women as sex objects, going so far as to call them the N-word, but said that it is supposed to be a portrait of how society treats people of color and that it is a commentary on social issues, would that be acceptable? Would you trust them to do that in a sensible manner? Not considering anything of their past.
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,967
This is all to show that [much like in our modern world], hypersexualization in advertisements is just terrible,” Redesiuk continued. “It was a conscious choice on our end to show that in this world — a world where you are a cyberpunk, a person fighting against corporations. That [advertisement] is what you’re fighting against.”
and how does it show that?
The ad is designed to garner real-world audience disgust (and thus achieve an emotional reaction against the in-game corporations) by using trans imagery. It's crazy to me that some are having trouble parsing that logic chain, or at least get how that will be one of the most common interpretations.
 
I did not realize that cyberpunk was just sexualized women. Fascinating. Clearly my love of the genre for having a fucking point was clearly wrong.
I was talking about his post, which is why I replied to him.

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.
Which is false.
 

Audioboxer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,347
is it really that loose if they can't even show it? this is like jon hamm papparazi photo level.
Show what? The penis? I'd be under an assumption corporations were still beholden to a bit of "professionalism". I'm sure there will be posters in the game or "underground" ads with nudity and such. Or there's straight up just going to be red light districts.

Exactly, but that's my point. What CDPR has shown so far regarding sexuality isn't that dissimilar to what we see today, for the most part. Except for this poster.
Yes and no, we've still got a lot of prudishness depending on the time of day, how graphic the ad is and what country we are talking about. Doesn't America still have quite an issue with bare ass on cable TV?

Over in the UK Conservative religious people are still going postal at the idea of simply telling kids in school LGBT people exist.

The world of 2077, if I take it at face value, is far past that. So much so, body mods and implants are even now the norm.
 

Loudninja

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,661
Honest question for people of color in this thread: if a team composed of white people made a game portraying black men as thugs with big cocks and black women as sex objects, going so far as to call them the N-word, but said that it is supposed to be a portrait of how society treats people of color and that it is a commentary on social issues, would that be acceptable? Would you trust them to do that in a sensible manner? Not considering anything of their past.
Hell no I would not trust them they most certainly have not earn that type of trust.
 

Haubergeon

Member
Jan 22, 2019
464
The setting is a dystopian future where corporate power exceeds the power of the state. I don't think it's necessarily fair to say that CDPR's stance on representation is communicated by the presentation by that ad. The exploitation of people by sociopathic mega-corporations is what cyberpunk is all about. The punk part is railing against that machine.
Yeah it's a difficult situation to be in. I definitely think CDPR have their own problems with social issues at large and they need to be taken to task for it, and overall this game is almost assured to not really do a good job nailing the difficult balance, though. I do see how these (literal definition of the term) out of context screen grabs are hard to talk about, because at some point to display the concept of trans people being objectified by capitalism into being a kinky toy, well, the game has to actually make that, which is going to look super gross at a glance but kind of the entire nature of the genre is being deeply uncomfortable hypercapitalist dystopia. So if you don't show that in some way you're kind of missing the point. You're either being too cowardly for not going all the way or looking really bad on the surface if you do.

Though again, this game, I doubt, will handle those topics well on balance and probably favors the "wow cool robot" side of things.
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,967
Death of the Author. Creators have to learn to compensate for audiences only focusing on the surface level.

Nearly everyone here certainly assumed it was meant to disgust in that other thread.
Figuratively, "the author deserves to die" if they don't grasp why their intent matters less than execution. Particularly for a mass-market product, if you're not conveying your point cleanly and succinctly, but are using slap-dash, loaded imagery, the audience interpretation is the only interpretation that matters.
 

Cabbagehead

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,788
Honest question for people of color in this thread: if a team composed of white people made a game portraying black men as thugs with big cocks and black women as sex objects, going so far as to call them the N-word, but said that it is supposed to be a portrait of how society treats people of color and that it is a commentary on social issues, would that be acceptable? Would you trust them to do that in a sensible manner? Not considering anything of their past.
Where is any of that happening in 2077? still i get the hyperbole example. But lets deal with the reality in relation to the topic. Now i'd say caution is certainly warranted. In that case although people interpret things as they see fit. Yet at the same time given the element in question, given the genre modification, corporations and the explanation. I feel like its contextualized in that sense, and if its contextualized and not taken to a level of stereotyping like Deus ex or Crystal Dynamic games and its commentary then its okay, if handled right.

Still i'd understand the caution.
 

Alucrid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,583
Show what? The penis? I'd be under an assumption corporations were still beholden to a bit of "professionalism". I'm sure there will be posters in the game or "underground" ads with nudity and such. Or there's straight up just going to be red light districts.



Yes and no, we've still got a lot of prudishness depending on the time of day, how graphic the ad is and what country we are talking about. Doesn't America still have quite an issue with bare ass on cable TV?

Over in the UK Conservative religious people are still going postal at the idea of simply telling kids in school LGBT exist.

The world of 2077, if I take it at face value, is far past that. So much so, body mods and implants are even now the norm.
this is the dystopian cyberpunk future. there's no need for professionalism from corporations.
 

Siggy-P

Avenger
Mar 18, 2018
4,500
I thought it was meant to shock. To disgust? Nah.
That poster is the "trap" meme personified. The models outfit is identical to countless transphobic manga and western comics I've read in the past.

It is convenienly identical to the sort of imagery constantly used to make straight men uncomfortable.

I've seen better commentary on Trans issues from ITV's Benidorm.
 

halfbeast

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,049
The ad is designed to garner real-world audience disgust (and thus achieve an emotional reaction against the in-game corporations) by using trans imagery. It's crazy to me that some are having trouble parsing that logic chain, or at least get how that will be one of the most common interpretations.
is that why they make trap-jokes? well, good job CDPR!
 

Audioboxer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,347
this is the dystopian cyberpunk future. there's no need for professionalism from corporations.
Well, I don't set any "rules" myself, it's simply my perspective on how throughout history however sexualised mainstream media has gotten, it's always lagged behind where independent creators, the people or smaller corporations go.

The mainstream tends to be the most risk-averse and feel more concerned about blowback/complaints.

It sounds like you just really want to see penis in the game, and don't worry, I'm sure that will be the case. Minus going soo far they skirt with Sony/MS wanting an AO rating. Unfortunately, you do need to keep that in mind, the ESRB and PEGI have to rate this game and the platform holders allow it.
 

Froyo Love

Member
Oct 28, 2017
784
They way I interpret the in game ad is that a trans model is being sexualised to sell something, and this could mean that a trans model is as common as a cis model.
The ad is a visual joke. It's not neutrally portraying a trans model as glamorous, it's delivering the punchline of "woman with a penis." That suggests an exceptionalist view of trans identity, not common acceptance or inclusion.
 

JaxiPup

Member
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 they want a salient point about the commodification of trans bodies from the viewpoint of transmisogyny, there needs to be a backbone beyond shocking imagery. I guess I am putting the cart before the horse, assuming the game won't do that; but honestly the statements from the art director didn't give me a lot of faith.

You and I share similar views on present day sexualization of transwomen, its roots in transphobia, and so on. Like, trust me girl we're on the same page.

If this game turns out to have a deep dialog about trans folk, in a meaningful way, I'd be overjoyed
 
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ravannis

Member
Jan 1, 2018
45
I still don't like it (the ad).
Ehhh...

CDPR's history with trans issues notwisthstanding, the reason I am iffy with it is that negative media portrayals of trans people as sexual deviants, as opposed to people trying to cope with body dysphoria, has remained steadfast in popular culture.

Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, for example, was never even intended to be a transgender person. Could one honestly say that was how the audience of the film interpreted it? Could one honestly say that the film has had no negative consequences for the trans community?

So while I can in good faith believe that the artist is honest with her intent, I could not offer that sort of faith in the audience would read anything other than "of course this sort of trans degeneracy would be common in a cyberpunk dystopia".
This is what I'm afraid of. Even if the artist/director understands the issue and has good intentions but then fucks up while implementing their message, this will be the result.

I really hope they know what they're doing... I guess we'll see next year.

Btw was it confirmed that you can create non binary or/and trans characters? I would be grateful for a link, please. I am asking because someone mentioned it in this thread.
 

dude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,042
Tel Aviv
Telling people not to ask for explanations to things that concern us is a defense. Period.
I'm not saying not to ask for explanations - But that we should ask for them when we know what they are i.e what's the context they live in inside the greater narrative. Until then, in my opinion we should have a more mindful discussion - less demanding explanations and try having a more nuanced a conversation, because none of us have enough information to be sure of anything. If you see that as defense - Well, I guess we'll have to disagree.
 

RoboPlato

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,286
Good response and what I was hoping the context was. It’s so frustrating that we can’t just assume they’re handling these issues well because of their awful social media posts. I really hope they respond about the racial stereotypes too since those seem even more egregious and less likely to be more acceptable with the context. They still have a lot to prove before I can be fully comfortable being excited for the game.
 
Nov 2, 2017
370
They way I interpret the in game ad is that a trans model is being sexualised to sell something, and this could mean that a trans model is as common as a cis model.
You know what might send that message more strongly? Actually doing more to center trans and non-binary people in what they’ve shown of the game.

Because that’s what the game is, supposedly, right? So is the lack of that in their messaging a “we suck at PR” thing, or is it a “we invented some bullshit because it turns out that people didnt like our ‘she has a dick lol’ joke” thing?