Rage 2 is a fun game that makes me feel like garbage - Polygon

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,790
Right? Something like Mad Max (film series, didn't play the game) completely nails having a variety of baddies without demonizing any group of people in particular, especially given how kickass Fury Road was, so it's not like it's some special defense to be like "but it's a postapocalyptic game with mutants"
Maybe my memory of Fury Road isn't great, but I'm pretty sure it has a lot of the same problems as Rage 2, though to a much lesser extent.
 

Yossarian

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
5,263
Interesting read. Not thought of that before.

I agree, also add it to the list of ways that games, movies and television portray certain subsets of people based on physical attributes or social status. Where's the article that addresses how villains are largely portrayed as overweight in games and movies.
I guess it’s a byproduct of a visual medium. Standards of beauty are an easy shorthand to identify the internal nature of a character. It has been that way a long time and I strongly doubt it is a principle we will see change meaningfully any time soon.
 

thebagel1

Banned
Oct 30, 2017
359
This is maybe the softest thing I have ever read. The game is set in a post apocalyptic world with crazy mutant monsters with all sorts of abnormalities. I know I'm gonna catch shit for this on here but come onnnnn. Get over yourselves. This is like a burn victim complaining about Darth Vader. Jesus Christ. Insanity.
 

TManPlays

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,134
The Internet
Man, this article came up on my Twitter feed and I made the mistake of looking at the comments, most of which were trash mocking Polygon. I was hoping the Era thread would be better, but there's a lot of the same opinion here.

Steven Spohn (the creator of the Twitter thread in the first reply) is one of the nicest, most genuine people in gaming and he's a big voice in disabled gamer activism. When he speaks, everyone should listen to him, especially regarding ableism.

I appreciate this article a lot because it's something I wouldn't think about on my own, but to see the viewpoint is important.
 

Wonderment

Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
8,714
I totally understand what you intend with this and don't disagree with that intent, but for the purposes of this discussion, "cleft lip people" seems to be a fair statement as it literally revolves around them as a collective. I really don't think anybody is going to group them together outside of this discussion.
I intended to emphasize that they are individuals with rights to their own concerns, not a collective to be dismissed en masse. I'm glad you don't disagree.
 

pahlke1

Member
Oct 28, 2017
323
Brisbane
I totally agree. The talking head in the collector's edition to me comes across as offensive. Who would feel proud having that on their shelf?
 

jorgejjvr

Member
Oct 31, 2017
3,714
User Banned (3 Days): Drive-by trolling in a sensitive topic
damn, we gotta have a problem with everything huh
 

Kalor

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,275
I read the article yesterday and I agree with it 100%. There's literally 0% that the enemies need to be designed like this, or as the article mentions the designs didn't need to be entirely focused on the enemy side. Though I'm not surprised to see the people dismissing it completely because they're seemingly incapable of any display of empathy.
 

astro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,802
damn, we gotta have a problem with everything huh
Or, instead:

These things have been an issue for ages and people are finding a voice?

Yes, in a way we do "have to have an issue with everything", how else is positive change going to happen unless we talk about the myriad unfair/imbalanced/ignorant/hateful/hurtful/etc... things in society?

I don't get people who stand against this.
 

Pantaghana

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
461
Croatia
I dont know...mutated human monsters are a basic part of enemy designs especially in post apocalyptic games like this one is supposed to be. Saying its problematic because it somewhat is similar to a real world physical deficiency is strange.

Bloodborne wheelchair dudes are now problematic because they are mirroring people who are physically disabled in real life?

I am just having trouble parsing the concern.
Are 90% of enemies you fight in Bloodborne wheelchair dudes?

I think the authors that's the authors point, the cleft lip would not be a big deal for him if it was used occasionally or had sympathetic characters with that feature.
But its used as a distinguishing feature that sets the mutants as "the other."
 

teague

Member
Dec 17, 2018
517
Fury Road does at least show that the oppressed masses also have atypical bodies similar to the war boys.
Sorry to screw up your post by editing mine, oops. Anyway I was just agreeing with you that it doesn't seem hard to not repeatedly lean on the same shitty trope for every villain, especially when said trope makes fun of a common condition 1 in 1000 people have and is therefore mean-spirited.
 

Inuhanyou

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
10,788
New Jersey
Are 90% of enemies you fight in Bloodborne wheelchair dudes?

I think the authors that's the authors point, the cleft lip would not be a big deal for him if it was used occasionally or had sympathetic characters with that feature.
But its used as a distinguishing feature that sets the mutants as "the other."
I guess that's a pretty good point too.
 

teague

Member
Dec 17, 2018
517
Yes, in a way we do "have to have an issue with everything", how else is positive change going to happen unless we talk about the myriad unfair/imbalanced/ignorant/hateful/hurtful/etc... things in society?
Right? Like, people are complaining about a lot of stuff because there's a lot of stuff to fix and therefore a lot of stuff to complain about.

For all the posters who are like "I don't like having to read about it", I would point out that

(a) you don't have to read anything if you don't want to
(b) if it sucks to read about, it probably sucks way more to live
 

OrdinaryPrime

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,450
Pointing out that the game excessively uses a certain physical characteristic to codify evilness and how it affects you personally isn’t "outrage" but I‘m glad we got the thread shitting brigade all up in here being their usual dismissive selves.
Outrage is now a general term used to dismiss or discredit valid AND invalid complaints about any medium. I'm not sure why, besides being lazy. But I see a pattern in the people in this thread willing to discount a simple observation and generally take offense at the very idea that treating people born a certain way with respect. Instead they mock it. It's really quite sad and depressing.

The author presents why they feel this way and I think it's well supported. Whether or not one agrees, you and I both agree that the drive-bys are unwarranted at the very least.
 

Jimbojim

Member
Jan 10, 2018
173
it's fiction ffs! Do people really think that because we see a human mutant as an enemy that we will associate people with birth conditions such as disfiguration as bad people?

No one is that naive and/or influenceable!
 

OrdinaryPrime

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,450
it's fiction ffs! Do people really think that because we see a human mutant as an enemy that we will associate people with birth conditions such as disfiguration as bad people?

No one is that naive and/or influenceable!
Birth of a Nation is fiction too. Defending something by saying it's make believe isn't exactly a compelling argument.
 

Dynamite Cop

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,726
California
Rage was influenced by Mad Max... which features disfigured mutant enemies. Bethesda specifically contracted Avalnche, the dev of Mad Max the game to work on Rage 2. It sad that someone is affected negatively by the designs, but they are a very small percentage of players and definitely shouldn't be mocked for it.
 

Oopy Doopy

Member
May 9, 2019
107
it's fiction ffs! Do people really think that because we see a human mutant as an enemy that we will associate people with birth conditions such as disfiguration as bad people?

No one is that naive and/or influenceable!
Think about the thing you are most insecure about physically. Okay, now imagine a game where every enemy is defined by that insecurity, no matter how silly it may seem. I don't see how anybody with a shred of empathy could do that and not find the author's position relatable, unless they're just overwhelmingly stubborn and defensive over this.
 

teague

Member
Dec 17, 2018
517
Birth of a Nation is fiction too. Defending something by saying it's make believe isn't exactly a compelling argument.
Was going to bring up this exact example. Yes, I do think that people are easily influenced enough by fiction that it can have real-world impacts. That's the whole point of arguing for more/better representation of marginalized groups in fiction, because people really do take social and ethical cues from the media that they consume.
 

Alucrid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,595
it's fiction ffs! Do people really think that because we see a human mutant as an enemy that we will associate people with birth conditions such as disfiguration as bad people?

No one is that naive and/or influenceable!
no. pretty sure he just said seeing things like this


where the cleft lip imagery is a part of something that is supposed to be mocked and jeered at doesn't make him feel good.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,270
I couldn't agree more. It's exhausting reading about everything that offends people. Because it's literally everything.
I'd like to highlight this post, because it strikes me as exactly why people talk about privilege. People who have been historically demonized and mistreated try to explain themselves gently, and the people who aren't act like they're the victims because the underprivileged won't shut up and let themselves be walked over.

When they have no other people, the last tool that any group can wield to defend themselves is their voice, their ability to simply say what's happening to them. But the moment they use it, the others who target them try to take that power away.
 

Giever

Member
Oct 25, 2017
976
Yeah, I can see why that would make you feel like shit. Hopefully we can do away more with tropes like these, but if they're just so entrenched at least lets get some more atypical looking folks in the role of hero as well to combat the stereotype.
 

TManPlays

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,134
The Internet
it's fiction ffs! Do people really think that because we see a human mutant as an enemy that we will associate people with birth conditions such as disfiguration as bad people?

No one is that naive and/or influenceable!
Young women watch Hollywood actresses in movies and think being that thin is the pinnacle of beauty. Young men watch Hollywood actors and think being ripped and muscular is the peak male form. Or they watch TV shows and think being a "nice guy" gets them unlimited women.

Even if it's subconscious, what we consume as entertainment influences our world view.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,790
it's fiction ffs! Do people really think that because we see a human mutant as an enemy that we will associate people with birth conditions such as disfiguration as bad people?

No one is that naive and/or influenceable!
Literally everyone is that influenceable. Not overnight or anything, but media does have an effect on how you see the world.
 

Toxi

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
7,427
Pointing out that the game excessively uses a certain physical characteristic to codify evilness and how it affects you personally isn’t "outrage" but I‘m glad we got the thread shitting brigade all up in here being their usual dismissive selves.
It’s really fucking disappointing coming from this forum. It’s the sort of shit I expect to see on Reddit, not Resetera, which makes me wonder why I’m on Resetera in the first place.
I dont know...mutated human monsters are a basic part of enemy designs especially in post apocalyptic games like this one is supposed to be. Saying its problematic because it somewhat is similar to a real world physical deficiency is strange.

Bloodborne wheelchair dudes are now problematic because they are mirroring people who are physically disabled in real life?

I am just having trouble parsing the concern.
No, because Bloodborne doesn’t tie disability to moral alignment. The wheelchair Yharnamites are not bad because they’re in a wheelchair, they’re just part of a wide variety of townspeople gone mad. Gherman is also missing a leg and partially bound to a wheelchair; he’s one of the most sympathetic and prominent characters.
 

Dictator

Digital Foundry
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,913
Berlin, 'SCHLAND
I had to think about this one as I agree fully with the author of the OG polygon piece when it originally came out. I enjoyed to read willits saying he felt like shit about it after.

Sucks that the mutants in the game make this author feel like crap, surely, with enough foresight, there are many ways to design mutants which do not revolve around a common birth deformity. Warhammer 40k teaches us that!

I was curious by the way as how this might have become default Rage 2 mutant design (and rage 1 to an extent), and then reading on cleft lip/ facial features you can find out it is a birth deformity resulting from iodinising radiation apparently (among many other enviro factors). It is not too left field, but honestly, the baddies do not need to look that way and I really sympathise with the OG author.
 

teague

Member
Dec 17, 2018
517
People who have been historically demonized and mistreated try to explain themselves gently, and the people act like they're the victims because the underprivileged won't shut up and let themselves be walked over.
It's crazy to me how often this false equivalence happens. But, that's what happens when historical privilege becomes part of your self-identify. Power is a helluva drug.

But again, the idea that having to think a little bit about people who are different from you's struggles is just as hard/difficult as going through those things (especially when you've been complicit in perpetrating them!) is just so hard to take seriously, but I swear someone makes this exact comparison every single time they want to bin an article like this as "outrage". There's a difference between how exhausted you get having to see the headlines of articles you disagree with and how exhausted you get being crushed beneath historical power asymmetries, lemme tell you
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,270
It’s really fucking disappointing coming from this forum. It’s the sort of shit I expect to see on Reddit, not Resetera, which makes me wonder why I’m on Resetera in the first place.
Always remember that there is nothing innately special about ResetEra's userbased. It's a gaming forum, and it draws in people who are attracted to gaming forums. The barrier of entry to ResetEra is not so large that people who visit or used to visit the likes of 4chan or Reddit are prevented from coming here.

Basically, the only thing that would make ResetEra better than any other gaming forum is a constant, active effort to make sure it that it and remains that way.
 

AvernOffset

Member
May 6, 2018
340
Wow, some of the posts in this thread are fucking embarrassing.

Someone pointing out problematic aspects of a piece of media is not a call for you to stop enjoying that media, nor is it an attack on you for enjoying that media. It is a call for you to acknowledge those aspects and in doing so, lessen the capacity for them to influence your worldview. Art is one of the most powerful tools for shaping the way you perceive the world, and if you just blindly consume it with no further analysis, you're going to wind up absorbing some shitty lessons along the way.
 

Toxi

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
7,427
This is maybe the softest thing I have ever read. The game is set in a post apocalyptic world with crazy mutant monsters with all sorts of abnormalities. I know I'm gonna catch shit for this on here but come onnnnn. Get over yourselves. This is like a burn victim complaining about Darth Vader. Jesus Christ. Insanity.
No, this would be like all the Stormtroopers and Sandpeople and whatnot being insane burn victims who kill, rape, murder, and eat non-burn victims and are slaughtered en masse by the non-burn victim heroes.

Which would be understandably really fucking uncomfortable for a burn victim to watch.
 

jviggy43

Member
Oct 28, 2017
12,424
Polygon loves to find ways to get people outraged at them for clicks. It’s a huge reach to claim mutants look like cleft lip people.

Wheee do we draw the line lmao.

Not all German soldiers were nazis
Not all Russians in MW2 are evil
Not all bandits in uncharted are bad
Boomers from L4D attack fat people
Smokers from L4D stigmatize smokers
Polygon writes a pretty innocuous article about subtext that seems pretty legitimate and of course we get trash like "where do draw the line?" Arguments from gamers.

It's a legitimate discussion, no one is coming to take your games away
 
Oct 26, 2017
12,947
It’s really fucking disappointing coming from this forum. It’s the sort of shit I expect to see on Reddit, not Resetera, which makes me wonder why I’m on Resetera in the first place.
You and me both. It's threads like this that show how much of Era's "progressiveness" is a facade upheld by strict moderation.
 

teague

Member
Dec 17, 2018
517
Someone pointing out problematic aspects of a piece of media is not a call for you to stop enjoying that media, nor is it an attack on you for enjoying that media. It is a call for you to acknowledge those aspects and in doing so, lessen the capacity for them to influence your worldview. Art is one of the most powerful tools for shaping the way you perceive the world, and if you just blindly consume it with no further analysis, you're going to wind up absorbing some shitty lessons along the way.
https://thebaffler.com/kate-takes/dont-let-people-enjoy-things-wagner

EDIT: TL;DR the author (Kate from McMansion Hell) argues that criticism is a vital part of media consumption
 

thebagel1

Banned
Oct 30, 2017
359
No, this would be like all the Stormtroopers and Tusken Raiders being insane burn victims who kill, rape, murder, and eat non-burn victims.
Nah. The game is set in a post apocalyptic world like Mad Max. That shit is normal for the insane crazy people that have to live in that world. They do that because it's their only option. Not because they are deformed.
 

astro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,802
This is maybe the softest thing I have ever read. The game is set in a post apocalyptic world with crazy mutant monsters with all sorts of abnormalities. I know I'm gonna catch shit for this on here but come onnnnn. Get over yourselves. This is like a burn victim complaining about Darth Vader. Jesus Christ. Insanity.
It's "soft" to consider the impact these things have perpetuating negative stereotypes?

It's "soft" to consider those whose representation is largely in a negative light, who are already demonized by society?

It's "soft" to stand up for the countless issues that plague society?

Get over ourselves because we think these things are important and you can just ignore them easily?

Come on now...
 

thebagel1

Banned
Oct 30, 2017
359
It's "soft" to consider the impact these things have perpetuating negative stereotypes?

It's "soft" to consider those whose representation is largely in a negative light, who are already demonized by society?

It's "soft" to stand up for the countless issues that plague society?

Get over ourselves because we think these things are important and you can just ignore them easily?

Come on now...
They are mutant characters in a video game. They are not dehumanizing people with actual physical deformities.
 

ThisIsBlitz21

Member
Oct 22, 2018
1,715
User banned (3 days): trolling a sensitive thread
I wonder what would happen if posts like these had to be elaborated on threat of ban.
threat of ban for having a opinion that differs from yours.... seems legit.

edit: era members need something to get mad over every day. Yesterday it was the fact that america is called america, today it's this. Video game mutants.