• Introducing Image Options for ResetEra 2.0! Check the left side navigation bar to show or hide images, avatars, covers, and embedded media. More details at the link.
  • Community Spotlight sign-ups are open once again for both Gaming and EtcetEra Hangout threads! If you want to shine a spotlight on your community, please register now.

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

Dec 17, 2018
338
This is absolutely a concern, but I don't think it's grounds for throwing the whole effort out the window. It's an individual effort, and part of the process is determining that. One thing I can say is that it sucks to be on the "wrong side" of an argument and be dismissed preemptively because someone has already full painted a picture of you (incorrectly). I'm sure everybody can relate to that to some capacity.
Definitely, I've certainly been in that position at times. I was mostly commenting on the exact phrasing getting super common in certain internet circles, which definitely sucks because it does make it hard to have a more nuanced discussion about how much contrarianism is desirable and how we make room for all kinds of viewpoints. But at the same time we don't want to give too much of a platform for shittiness and this defense is so often mounted in bad faith that I think a lot of us just have a bad taste in our mouths at this point. I think ERA in general does a pretty good job compared to other places at walking the tightrope on this one, most people are perfectly happy to listen to a viewpoint as long as it's expressed in a way that's not in bad faith or actively trying to hurt someone's feelings
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,652
i think that the responses saying that if you push hard enough you can get to conclusions like "the enemies are blonde, and that is unconisderate to blond people!!" to try to justify why these articles are "dumb", dont get that we are talking about a marginalized people, thats why we need articles like these.
 
Oct 27, 2017
302
I get his point of view, but then again this is not something that Rage 2 started, disfigured mutants as enemies have been a staple of post-apocalyptic cinema, tv and games.
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,574
UK
i was born with cleft lip / palate

i can empathize with the author but i wonder if he is a horror buff or not? i've always been glad to be repped by my boy francis in hannibal



i don't mind much personally seeing monsters with facial deformities, it's a pretty common horror trope
There's a world of difference in how that character is portrayed and the below though. One is made more 'monstrous' by exaggerating the deformity and making it the focus of the monster/enemy.

 

i-Lo

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
7,830
Not America
Having almost finished Rage 1 back in the day and with seeing videos of Rage 2, I would have not picked up on this at all. I think this really speaks to our privilege when it comes folks being born without body deformities. We just take things for granted.

Now, some one can correct me if I am mistaken but I do not recall any good or neutral story based NPCs (aside from late stage villains, Authority) suffered from any natural deformities. Essentially any and all mutants were cast as villains primarily because they no longer can function within the existing rule set of humanity.

Is it the same thing with Rage 2 with even more explicit and exaggeration of body deformities, especially cleft upper lip being assigned to mutants? Are all the neutral and good NPCs free from any form of birth based physical disability?

If you think people with cleft lips are murderous psychopaths based on a monstrous character from Rage 2 you are delusional. Not saying you do im saying that generally speaking.
Reading from page 1 and if that was your take away from your back and forth, I do have to ponder if english is your first language.
 
May 9, 2019
51
i think that the responses saying that if you push hard enough you can get to conclusions like "the enemies are blonde, and that is unconisderate to blond people!!" to try to justify why these articles are "dumb", dont get that we are talking about a marginalized people, thats why we need articles like these.
Yeah it's a slippery slope fallacy. The slippery slope is a real concern, but in order for your concerns to be valid...the things have to exist on the same proverbial slope lol. It's simply not the logical conclusion for this initiative.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,367
Having almost finished Rage 1 back in the day and with seeing videos of Rage 2, I would have not picked up on this at all. I think this really speaks to our privilege when it comes folks being born without body deformities. We just take things for granted.

Now, some one can correct me if I am mistaken but I do not recall any good or neutral story based NPCs (aside from late stage villains, Authority) suffered from any natural deformities. Essentially any and all mutants were cast as villains primarily because they no longer can function within the existing rule set of humanity.

Is it the same thing with Rage 2 with even more explicit and exaggeration of body deformities, especially cleft upper lip being assigned to mutants? Are all the neutral and good NPCs free from any form of birth based physical disability?



Reading from page 1 and if that was your take away from your back and forth, I do have to ponder if english is your first language.
pretty sure they just speak in disingenuity
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,849
Is it the same thing with Rage 2 with even more explicit and exaggeration of body deformities, especially cleft upper lip being assigned to mutants? Are all the neutral and good NPCs free from any form of birth based physical disability?
There are..."hero characters" that are also mutants. Their mutations are...different, however.
 

Elodes

Looks to the Moon
Member
Nov 1, 2017
653
The Netherlands
Lookism is a very real thing. I applaud Polygon's article, though I think Rage 2 is better still than games (and movies!!) that are less obvious about it, where evil characters are merely bad-looking people and the heroes all look pristine.
 
Nov 22, 2017
2,331
Uhhhhh, you did see that the dude called me trash and swine, right?
i know I'm replying to a ghost at this point, but I read your post asserting that people with cleft lip would and should be mocked for not appreciating their condition being used as a defining feature for mutant enemies in a video game about 15 minutes after interacting with a man that has a cleft lip. Due to the circumstances, your post really smacked the empathy bone.

now that I've had some time to cool down, I've decided to not edit that post because I was 100% right
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,098
to those who were banned

the stance you took in this thread is the same stance you would have taken at the black community when they started speaking out prior to the civil rights movment
 
Dec 5, 2017
1,874
I really feel for the writer, and I understand why and how someone could internalize the negative feelings and ideas these designs might bring.

The part I have a hard time answering though is what do we do about it? This is usually my hang up with a lot of these articles. Does this mean mutants are off limits now? Should they be? Does a fictional creature mutated by nuclear holocaust really say anything about those with deformities or birth defects, or is it a side effect because of how society treats actual people with these issues?

Or is it just a matter of being more mindful of what we as the audience take from it when we see mutant designs in popular media?

I guess I’m just never quite certain if these articles are a call to action or just a call to mindfullness.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,849
Sounds almost internal or bereft of attributes that would not, at first glance, cause repulsion.
Well...without spoiling anything, their mutations are...obvious and apparent.

But their mindsets are lucid and clear, so being able to discord with the characters in question seemingly puts the player at ease, or at the very least doesn't immediately trigger the player into killing them instantly.

There is certainly more thought put into them than the fodder enemies, let's say that much.
 

i-Lo

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
7,830
Not America
Well...without spoiling anything, their mutations are...obvious and apparent.

But their mindsets are lucid and clear, so being able to discord with the characters in question seemingly puts the player at ease, or at the very least doesn't immediately trigger the player into killing them instantly.

There is certainly more thought put into them than the fodder enemies, let's say that much.
Ah very well. Thank you for satiating my curiosity. To narrow my query down to simply one detail, do any of these characters display the cleft upper lip (with or without exaggeration)? Should you feel it necessary, spoiler tag it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,849
The part I have a hard time answering though is what do we do about it? This is usually my hang up with a lot of these articles. Does this mean ugly mutants are off limits now? Should they be? Does a fictional creature mutated by nuclear holocaust really say anything about those with deformities or birth defects, or is it a side effect because of how society treats actual people with these issues?
The people in those positions need to think longer and harder about the prefobs that they're putting into games. It's that simple. The interview posted earlier shows that they probably didn't even consider that people with disabilities might feel hurt or offended by the fact that the lion's share of enemies are disfigured mutants, they probably thought, "it's a mutant, I shouldn't care". We see this a lot with the way women and minorities are portrayed in games, with the level of violence seen in games, the decisions that come back to haunt developers are usually the ones no one sees from top down because everyone is so mired in their own way of thinking that they don't even consider their audiences. "The shooting is fine, the level design is fine, the car play is fine, the game is fine, who really cares who we're shooting or why" is a sentiment you see all the time.

Ah very well. Thank you for satiating my curiosity. To narrow my query down to simply one detail, do any of these characters display the cleft upper lip (with or without exaggeration)? Should you feel it necessary, spoiler tag it.
From what I've seen, no. But I've seen very little.
 
Dec 5, 2017
1,874
The people in those positions need to think longer and harder about the prefobs that they're putting into games. It's that simple. The interview posted earlier shows that they probably didn't even consider that people with disabilities might feel hurt or offended by the fact that the lion's share of enemies are disfigured mutants, they probably thought, "it's a mutant, I shouldn't care". We see this a lot with the way women and minorities are portrayed in games, with the level of violence seen in games, the decisions that come back to haunt developers are usually the ones no one sees from top down because everyone is so mired in their own way of thinking that they don't even consider their audiences. "The shooting is fine, the level design is fine, the car play is fine, the game is fine, who really cares who we're shooting or why" is a sentiment you see all the time.



From what I've seen, no. But I've seen very little.
Yeah this is a good point, design is is difficult and I don’t want to be limiting to artistic intent, BUT it would probably be worthwhile if artists and creators took a step back and said to themselves “is there anything here that I’m unintentionally saying with the way I designed this?”.

I bet if you asked the artists and designers behind this, they never intended to mock actual people with deformities or disabilities, but it’s also pretty clear that they didn’t actually take that into consideration because their view of it was too close to their creation.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,797
My initial response to this was to be completely dismissive but there is some merit to the thought. It’s just that it never occurred to me before.
 
Oct 28, 2017
319
I am a very empathetic person but i think this review is ridiculous!

Mutants will always have some disfigurement, if some of them had 1 eye should people with 1 eye be upset about that?

You could go on and on.
 
Aug 11, 2018
696
Uh, I'm very much aware of that. My point is it's really shitty to make fun of people for being bothered by certain types of content, even if it doesn't bother you.
I understood that. But the comment about "forcing devs to remove it" was more why I made that comment; there's a difference with asking devs to evaluate their content when the difference is it makes you sad vs it leads to the perpetuation of stereotypes. One is a "don't like, don't play it/go in knowing what to brace for" the other is a "lets have an actual discussion about this because it's a legitimate issue with real world consequences for entire groups of people"
 
Oct 28, 2017
905
Iowa
that flippant "what's the big deal"/"it's always been this way" is excatly the attitude that the movement faced at every turn, and it all stems from the i've never heard anyone complain before. as tho they've done any leg work on the subject when they haven't
Yeah that's an awful analogy. You're comparing the civil rights movement to post apocalyptic mutants in a video game having a common genetic mutation and being bad guys.
 

TakeshiZero

Alt Account
Member
Apr 23, 2019
87

Are most enemies like this? Or is it only a boss / one enemy type?
If it's the former, I agree it was a pretty inconsiderate design choice by the devs and I think it should be modified.
If it's the latter, then I think the devs should address the issue but not change it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
273
I couldn't agree more. It's exhausting reading about everything that offends people. Because it's literally everything.
I'm offended that people are offended and also not offended by things on the internetz.
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.
 
I understood that. But the comment about "forcing devs to remove it" was more why I made that comment; there's a difference with asking devs to evaluate their content when the difference is it makes you sad vs it leads to the perpetuation of stereotypes. One is a "don't like, don't play it/go in knowing what to brace for" the other is a "lets have an actual discussion about this because it's a legitimate issue with real world consequences for entire groups of people"
Fair enough. I feel the article leans more on the former "this makes me uncomfortable" than the latter "this is offensive to disabled folks" though.
 
Mar 21, 2018
383
Netherlands
Even if Rage 2 is far from the only offender, obviously, it's great that this brave author is raising the issue. I'm just gonna hope that the lack of empathy shown by some is due to unfamiliarity with the topic, because I think the author has a good point that goes beyond just this game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
16
As always with fiction i just seperate it from reality.
Fiction is framed by reality. Take racial coding in Lord of the Rings. People are constantly influenced by the media they consume and fictional stories can have some impacts on the thoughts of people. While you may not consciously act upon images in the media you consume, there are some subconscious impacts that can occur. It's not really helpful to just say you separate it from reality.
 
Oct 30, 2017
849
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.
This is a fantastic post
 
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.
Yeah, the defensiveness here is embarrassing
 
Nov 8, 2017
2,967
Are most enemies like this? Or is it only a boss / one enemy type?
If it's the former, I agree it was a pretty inconsiderate design choice by the devs and I think it should be modified.
If it's the latter, then I think the devs should address the issue but not change it.
I am only 3 hours in but the enemies are, so far, split between mutants under the control of "The Authority" (like some sort of nanomachine mind control they had in the first game after a certain point) and multiple bandit groups. The bandits are the mad max looking punks who have spikey hair and such, but at least the ones I noticed seemed to not be mutants.

There are probably other mutant enemies not under authority control, but I'm not up to that or didn't notice them specifically. The person in the screenshot you posted there is an ally btw, not a boss fight.
 
Apr 7, 2019
174
"Feel what you feel... but keep your mouth shut. Don't make it an issue."

Really sounds like a creed to live by.
If you feel bad about something that almost no one else will why raise the issue and just try to force censorship when it is not something blatantly hateful and the like
 
Nov 2, 2017
99
I've never seen the mutants in Rage (haven't played Rage 2) as 'evil'. When it emerged in the first game that the reason behind the mutations was
the Authority experimenting on people and then just releasing them into the wild
, I felt kind of sorry for them. It really said something to me about how the world had regressed where you had stuff like Mutant Bash TV, where these poor mutants were used as disposable entertainment. It felt like a Roman circus in a way.

I think we should look beyond the fact that the 'bad guys' are mutated, and examine the reasons for the mutations. The mutations evoke fear, yes, but they also elicit a kind of pathos at the tragic result of evil experimentation.
 
Apr 7, 2019
174
But... it IS a social issue.

Perpetuating negative stereotypes and tropes of people already vulnerable to negative perception is a bad thing.

I don't understand how people cannot see this, truly.

"Feel what you feel, but don't stand up and call for change"?
so you want them to make a game with mutants where all the mutants look unmutated? and ignore that you can only design a human mutation that is still humanoid looking so many ways.
 

Dusk Golem

Local Horror Enthusiast
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
3,030
My honest thoughts are there's some areas humanity in general are still really "stupid" about, two huge areas are disability and disfiguration. Not only is it very telling that these two things are often interchangeable and used in conjuncture with one another when they most often have no correlation with one another (as one is physical, one is psychological), but how normalized the tropes these things play into so often are that no one bats an eyelid at them. I am telling you, there's ways these things are treated today that is like the equivalent of treating Native Americans as "primitive tribal" or how commonly accepted "black face" was a century ago. I know of course neither having a disability or a disfiguration is a race, but it is a characteristic often used to group together people by a certain visible different (either physically or in behavoir) trait.

The portrayal of people with disabilities or disfigurations in popular media stemmed from the fucking circus treating them like literal "freaks", which then became normalized as media played onto this with propagating three very unhealthy views. The first and most common is the "bad guy", I cannot even begin to tell you how many works of media portray those with disfigurations especially, but also disabilities, as being villainous, IE they don't look like the rest of us or have something really weird in how they act, so they become villain fodder over and over again. The other two equally harmful viewpoints is the "magical" person with disfiguration or disabilities, which is still normally accepted but is basically the same as the "magical black person" trope from the same vein. Likewise there's also often the "one disabled/disfigured friend" trope, which again parallels and unhealthy trope that also is suited for black people.

When you actually start digging in how many parallels you can make between racist stereotypes and people with disabilities/disfigurations, you might begin to realize how toxic this all actually is, and how unpleasant it is for everyone how these things are propagated.

And it absolutely does have a real world affect outside of media. Look up the suicide rates for those with disabilities or disfigurations. One percentage I know is related to autism. Did you know between categorized "normal" people and people on the spectrum of autism, they are 5x more likely to have a suicide attempt by the age of 17? That 22%, or about 1/5, by the age of 17 will have thought or talked about suicide with someone. That around 50% of people with autism won't live past 60, with 60-70% of the reason being because of suicide? It's not that people with autism naturally are more suicidal, it's how fucking society treat these people continually punching down on them. And it's not just autism, the way how most of society lacks knowledge, real support, understanding, empathy, and often how they choose to represent these groups, have a whole lot to do with it.

It's honestly sickening some of the post in this thread talking about a broader range here. RAGE 2 is not the first to do something like this, and it's definitely not even close to the most offensive. Hell, if a few things were changed around it could even be okay, like for example the Resident Evil series uses mutation in an interesting way I don't think is offensive to those with disfigurments or disfiguration (but it does have a few trope-esque things which could be seen as problematic, such as to date the only RE character in a wheelchair has been a villain) but how they handle B.O.W.s is absolutely fine I feel). But it's telling how normalized this sorta' thing is because this is something people are so used to, and there's so little empathy for the struggles of those who have to live life in a way outside of the norm, and just be used in most media as a trope often to fill some villainous or "magical" character use that either uses the disfigurement or disability as a basis of why they're evil or magical, or a visual character design queue that they are.

There's so much to unpack here I couldn't possibly do it in this post, it gets a lot more complicated because there's so many differences between different disabilities and disfigurations. For example, a disfiguration can be from birth, it can be from an accident, it can be from a development defect, etc. But what I can say for certain to condense a lot is that how it's currently treated and normalized is not okay, and is very evidently not okay if you actually spend some time to both see how these groups are often perpetuated in media and how they're treated in society.
 
Apr 11, 2019
102
I often come into threads like this to witness the 'body count' of bans piling up. They always bring out the shittiest people.

I feel like disability, more than most things, doesn't get a lot of attention in western society because 'we've already got disability access so its fine' type mentality.

Which is just, not cool or empathetic at all.

People who are disabled should be given consideration, always.
 

Mitch1971

Banned
Member
Nov 11, 2017
51
User banned (permanent): account self-destruction
Can one of the mods please ban me from this one side morality circle jerk of a forum. If you ain't singing from the same song sheet you just get shat on from a great high by this holier than thou moderation. Keep building that wall of social justice, guys. V
 
Apr 11, 2019
102
Can one of the mods please ban me from this one side morality circle jerk of a forum. If you ain't singing from the same song sheet you just get shat on from a great high by this holier than thou moderation. Keep building that wall of social justice, guys. V
"I don't want to consider other people's feelings so I'm going to throw a tantrum" - The Gamers
 
Oct 27, 2017
284
Melbourne
you can really see who read the article or who didn't
Its not about "censorship"
the author literally had a previous interview with a dev on this, and was given false hope
 
Feb 17, 2018
87
Yeah that's an awful analogy. You're comparing the civil rights movement to post apocalyptic mutants in a video game having a common genetic mutation and being bad guys.
Nah, it's a great analogy. Whenever minorities speak out about the biases against them, they are always met with dismissal and fragility. The only Commander Quackers got wrong was that it's not just limited to prior to the civil rights movement. It happens to this fucking day.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,873
How much of an asshole do you have to be to get upset at this??? Gamers really lack empathy don't they?

Can one of the mods please ban me from this one side morality circle jerk of a forum. If you ain't singing from the same song sheet you just get shat on from a great high by this holier than thou moderation. Keep building that wall of social justice, guys. V
Oh no not Mitch1971!!! The greatest poster on era!!! How ever will we survive without you?!?

don't let the door hit you on the way out asshole
 
Oct 28, 2017
905
Iowa
Nah, it's a great analogy. Whenever minorities speak out about the biases against them, they are always met with dismissal and fragility. The only Commander Quackers got wrong was that it's not just limited to prior to the civil rights movement. It happens to this fucking day.
What exactly is the bias? The game has mutants in a post apocalyptic world. They have all sorts of various mutations. A cleft lip is an actual mutation that humans get. Is the game actually saying "They are bad guys specifically because of their appearance"? Because nothing I can find makes it seem that way.