This fetishized in-game ad from Cyberpunk 2077 raises some questions about how the game may depict LGBT (NSFW) [See Staff Post Before Posting]

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60fps

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Dec 18, 2017
1,834
I can't see the problem with a tasteless ad in your fictional future cyberpunk world.
People expect everything to be nice and inoffensive?
Wait until full release. I cannot even imagine the uproars caused by thousands different groups of people who feel offended by this game in some way and the bad mainstream media coverage. I don’t think today’s world is ready for a gritty & detailed first person Cyberpunk game.
 

BabyMurloc

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,083
A lot of white straight dudes here trying too hard to justify the purchase of a game that is clearly out of touch with minorities. What a way to resolve their cognitive dissonance. "It's there only if you want to be there" "There is nothing wrong" "Its interpretation".

Guys the game is out of touch, it may be a cool game to play, an immersive world, an so on... but it has a lot of cultural and social issues addressed in the worst posible way.
Let's wait until the game is out before reviewing it, ok? It's not to anyone's benefit to start assuming things that might or might not be in the final product.
 

texni

Member
Mar 17, 2018
25
Yes there is, because it is world building. In Nazi Germany you would expect those posters randomly around a city, in a Cyberpunk you would expect extremes of fetishization shown in advertisements. This should be offensive and it makes sense why in the context of a cyberpunk world and the themes you would expect from the genre.
to add more to your point ( which i agree with), the goal here is to create a coherent world, that feel alive and plausible within it's own context. shitty marketing is one of the best way to achieve that, especially in the world they try to create, because shitty marketing is something we are all accustomed to, this marketing is not propaganda, it's world building, a single add tells you a lot of things about cyberpunk world.
Economic disparity, Racism, modern segregation HAVE to be exacerbated.
 

Alavard

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
723
Let's wait until the game is out before reviewing it, ok? It's not to anyone's benefit to start assuming things that might or might not be in the final product.
Or, hear me out, we could react to what they're marketing of the game now, and maybe cause them to fix their shit before the game releases.
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,009
Not sure if that would be a joke in this world though, or simply reality that people are modifying their bodies with implants/stimulants and engaging in open sexuality.

As in joke with an intent to be derogatory, as opposed to trying to celebrate how accepted sexuality is in the mainstream in some sort of fun way.
To be clear, I spelled that out because you seemed to insist it was a body-mod thing, not just a beverage. The way you didn't skip a beat and are now declaring that there's no negative subtext makes me raise an eyebrow.
 

Mesoian

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,214
Wait until full release. I cannot even imagine the uproars caused by thousands different groups of people who feel offended by this game in some way and the bad mainstream media coverage. I don’t think today’s world is ready for a gritty & detailed first person Cyberpunk game.
Like, real talk, for me personally, when I first saw this game, I was hoping it would do more to explore cyberpunk as a construct and say something meaningful, rather than doing bad south park-esque jokes.

"Chromonster" is "City Wok" levels of eye roll.
 

j.zed

Member
Oct 29, 2017
80
Well as we all know, sex sells. Why would this change in the future? Maybe one of the things that will change is that it's no longer just hot guy or hot girl that's used to sell products, it could be a model whose gender is more complicated than that. Not necessarily a negative thing if you ask me.
 

Tayaya

Banned
Oct 31, 2017
239
Trans voice here, not saying I represent everyone but its worth noting.

My issue with this portrayal directly is the blatant fetishization of genitalia. It's a key centerpiece of the advertisement, framed as if to say 'look here'.

Trans folk to a lot to avoid being defined by our genitalia. We'll see 'genitalia preference' debates on facebook and cringe, as cis folks will go to great lengths to avoid outting themselves as transphobes but claim they wouldn't date one.

To boil a person down to their genitals goes against everything we fight for. We fight to make people understand our identities go beyond physical characteristics.

There is potential for trans body positivity. I've seen girls proudly exclaim that they're rocking a bulge. But this doesn't come from a place of positivity. It's blatant sexualization, and even potentially mockingly so
Thanks for this. It does help me understand a bit more. One of my trans friends used to rock the bulge and she was very proud of this. To me it's always been one of things that at least signifies that someone is curious about changing from the normal perceptions about who they are seen as. Eventually, he did decide to fully transition. You're right though... my other two trans friends have always just kept it very discreet. Knowing them as one gender for a decade made it a little hard to adjust, but now I don't even think about it. The only confusing thing left to cis old me is how do I refer to them in the past tense? Using their current gender or the gender they were at the time? It seems different people have different preferences there.
 

Deleted member 888

User requested account closure
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Oct 25, 2017
14,361
To be clear, I spelled that out because you seemed to insist it was a body-mod thing, not just a beverage. The way you didn't skip a beat and are now declaring that there's no negative subtext makes me raise an eyebrow.
I didn't say there wasn't, just tried to look into why the ad might exist other than simply trying to advertise a beverage.
 

impingu1984

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,438
UK
You know I think Cyberpunk settings are actually ripe for looking into how things like body dysmorphia might manifest if you had the ability to use scifi tech to do just about anything your imagination could want. Not sure how this game will handle it though which is sad as it could lead to some interesting conversations, figuratively and literally, and also to some more exploitation-y avenues like horror stuff. We'll see how this goes...
Basically this, I'm not going to condemn the game on the basis of one poster we have briefly seen in a trailer without seeing how they handle it overall... It could have some very interesting, thoughtful, and well written discussions on the topic given the setting...

But with CDPRs track record around this I completely understand why people are extremely skeptical about that line of thinking.

For me I'd probably say it's there last chance on this topic... For others that time has passed.

I will be very interested to see how this pans out.
 

Beje

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,286
A lot of you surely need to start listening to trans people and interacting with them instead of just getting the idea of how trans people are through porn stereotypes and Japanese media. I really really mean it.

In fact, just out of my twitter feed, latest post that popped up by a trans woman. And the follow up to that tweet is a very interesting article to read.

 

Trickster

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,041
A lot of white straight dudes here trying too hard to justify the purchase of a game that is clearly out of touch with minorities. What a way to resolve their cognitive dissonance. "It's there only if you want to be there" "There is nothing wrong" "Its interpretation".

Guys the game is out of touch, it may be a cool game to play, an immersive world, an so on... but it has a lot of cultural and social issues addressed in the worst posible way.
Genuine question. What would be a good way to address cultural and social issues in a dystopian cyberpunk future? Which is basically a fucking shit future.
 

Suicide King

Member
Oct 27, 2017
523
Do you think you’re a good person for posting trash like this?
Is this an argument? A rethorical question? Legitimately curious. Do you believe that being part of the majority but not lynching minorities excuses you from any kind of social analysis?

I am a male. If I don't consciously understand my role as a dominant gender in a society where women suffer some kind of oppression, then I'm still oppressing. Heck, even if I consciously mind my words and behaviors, I'm still someone who gets paid more and doesn't get harassed in certain spheres. I recommend you read about the concept of spiral of silence.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,965
UK
Genuine question. What would be a good way to address cultural and social issues in a dystopian cyberpunk future? Which is basically a fucking shit future.
"a fucking shit future" where someone has drawn the line on just how shit it is. As it's not real.
So if all you're going on is "it's supposed to be shit" where would you draw the line on who it's ok to be "shit" to and in what way, and why?
 

JaxiPup

Member
Dec 23, 2017
245
Massachusetts
Thanks for this. It does help me understand a bit more. One of my trans friends used to rock the bulge and she was very proud of this. To me it's always been one of things that at least signifies that someone is curious about changing from the normal perceptions about who they are seen as. Eventually, he did decide to fully transition. You're right though... my other two trans friends have always just kept it very discreet. Knowing them as one gender for a decade made it a little hard to adjust, but now I don't even think about it. The only confusing thing left to cis old me is how do I refer to them in the past tense? Using their current gender or the gender they were at the time? It seems different people have different preferences there.
Vast majority of trans folk I know use current preferred pronouns even in past tense. Neutral they/them is also acceptable to lots of folks
 

Javier23

Member
Oct 28, 2017
734
The post went beyond that. I mean, this thread is full of good posts discussing the problems in the material we've been shown/told about.
The post very clearly stated the problem exactly as it is today - it has a lot of cultural and social issues addressed in the worst posible way. I was looking forward to this game as much as anyone else, but this warrants addressing NOW, because it is what they are showing TODAY, and what they are showing is simply not right.
 

Hobbes

Freelance Games Journalist
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,411
United States
You ever notice how rumors of MS and Nintendo teaming up become guaranteed stories among gamers but when it comes to calling game devs out on blatant transphobia it suddenly needs a thorough investigation from multiple parties and a congressional investigation before an opinion can be made.

Never change gaming community, allies you will never be.
If we consider the wider gaming community to be blindly accepting everything that they read, then this is accurate. However, if we are narrowing our scope to people who want to understand the intent and context behind something before they commit to whatever action is required, then this isn't accurate.

We always talk about rumors as needing to be taken with a grain of salt, because its unverified. Trust, but verify.
 

BAD

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Oct 25, 2017
3,694
USA
People need to stop skipping the context of the fact this is coming from CD PROJEKT Red - a company known for poor representation and social issues handling.
 

Kyuuji

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Nov 8, 2017
4,965
UK
If we consider the wider gaming community to be blindly accepting everything that they read, then this is accurate. However, if we are narrowing our scope to people who want to understand the intent and context behind something before they commit to whatever action is required, then this isn't accurate.

We always talk about rumors as needing to be taken with a grain of salt, because its unverified. Trust, but verify.
Hey, would you mind continuing this string from earlier?
I have a suspicion that any response from them will not be well received or believed, to be quite honest. I’m already getting the “GOTCHA” vibes from some of the responses.

And in end I completely agree that they are responsible for their own work and depictions and yeah, given their history should provide a response or explanation.

But again, I don’t think it’ll be believed or accepted.
You seem to imply this is with the affronted side being irrational and not able to be appeased.

Instead it's that the CDP Group have gone from a non-apology for one transphobic incident, to flat-out not apologising in the next transphobic incident, to... whatever the hell this is.

So when two incidents are transphobic and the response is a non-apology and no apology, why is the immediate doubt being cast on behalf of the recipients of the response-to-be rather than the response itself.
 

Gestault

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,009
OK, I'll be the first to say that I do not know everything about genders, but based on the premise of the game, the message that I see here is how far humanity can go to alter their nature. Its more of an exageration of today's culture.

Today people who want to change their sex or gender goes great lengths to do so. Men have to go surgeries and after that they have to stay on medications if they want to stay on a female gender.

The way I see it is that the in game ad as an exageration of today's culture.
That reading of it leverages one of the key misunderstandings of trans identity, in that it's highlighting the claim that people are flippantly going through these changes, rather than it being a part of who they are on a more fundamental level. The same way gay conversion therapy is predicated on the idea that people are "choosing" to be gay. The way the imagery is used here, there's the strong impression the IRL artist/writer assumes it's ridiculous or "scary" that things would have "gone so far" in the future that this would be how drinks are sold. Because in-universe, the idea of a woman with a penis would be totally mundane in a society built around body modification and broader transhumanism.

The "joke" is that the poster shows something implicitly ridiculous, not that it's highlighting progress around an identity being accepted. This is similar to mocking hyper-sexualization in ads, but it's using discomfort with trans people as the punchline.
 

Beje

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,286
Genuine question. What would be a good way to address cultural and social issues in a dystopian cyberpunk future? Which is basically a fucking shit future.
Trying not to use the multi-million platform you have to shit on oppressed people with a life expectancy of ~35 years old that are on the crosshairs of hate groups by perpetuating harmful stereotyping? Like, there are millions of stuff that can get really bad in a dystopian future about opression and inequality, so focusing on the group that's "hot" (i.e. getting all shitted on for daring to speak up and demand equal rights) in the current political climate is absolutely tone deaf.
 

Alavard

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
723
Trans voice here, not saying I represent everyone but its worth noting.

My issue with this portrayal directly is the blatant fetishization of genitalia. It's a key centerpiece of the advertisement, framed as if to say 'look here'.

Trans folk to a lot to avoid being defined by our genitalia. We'll see 'genitalia preference' debates on facebook and cringe, as cis folks will go to great lengths to avoid outting themselves as transphobes but claim they wouldn't date one.

To boil a person down to their genitals goes against everything we fight for. We fight to make people understand our identities go beyond physical characteristics.

There is potential for trans body positivity. I've seen girls proudly exclaim that they're rocking a bulge. But this doesn't come from a place of positivity. It's blatant sexualization, and even potentially mockingly so
Thank you for this. I wanted to make some of these points, but I'm not trans.

This is a very good post that should be read.
 

loquaciousJenny

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,580
Would there be a defense force for this if it was a big black man with rippling oiled muscles in a towel advertising an energy drink with a tagline like "like a horse" or "stud" or something

Thanks for this. It does help me understand a bit more. One of my trans friends used to rock the bulge and she was very proud of this. To me it's always been one of things that at least signifies that someone is curious about changing from the normal perceptions about who they are seen as. Eventually, he did decide to fully transition. You're right though... my other two trans friends have always just kept it very discreet. Knowing them as one gender for a decade made it a little hard to adjust, but now I don't even think about it. The only confusing thing left to cis old me is how do I refer to them in the past tense? Using their current gender or the gender they were at the time? It seems different people have different preferences there.
Trans people have always been their gender it's a question of realizing it and coming to grips with it.
I wasn't a boy ever, even when I tried so hard to conform.
 

Nexas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
160
It seems difficult to give CDPR the benefit of the doubt on this considering their past with trans-issues. I am curious if anyone knows how trans/non-binary people where represented in Cyberpunk 2020? Where they better represented? About the same? Or where they never really brought up at all in the game?
 

Vulkar59

Member
Jan 16, 2019
32
I am so sick of the gaming community giving creators and companies a pass on blatant ignorance and bigotry just because they create popular or acclaimed games. This goes beyond CDPR. I am looking at you Kojima.
 

Javier23

Member
Oct 28, 2017
734
I don’t think today’s world is ready for a gritty & detailed first person Cyberpunk game.
Someone must have said literally 20 years ago in the run up to Deus Ex release in 2000. Considered one of the best games ever made, it totally did without offensive and juvenile dumb shit like this.
 

Pyro

Member
Jul 30, 2018
2,269
United States
At the very least that is fetishism. But given the company’s history with this stuff, it doesn’t bode well for the representation in the final game.
 

Trickster

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,041
"a fucking shit future" where someone has drawn the line on just how shit it is. As it's not real.
So if all you're going on is "it's supposed to be shit" where would you draw the line on who it's ok to be "shit" to and in what way, and why?
My "line" is "does it make sense that this would be in a game with this setting". I think it does makes sense that there would be an ad like this in this setting. Of course that doesn't mean it's good ad, or how I think trans people should be represented in the real world.

I would still like to know what would be a good way to address these cultural and social issues that people think are being addressed poorly in 2077 though
 

Razmos

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,685
Wait until full release. I cannot even imagine the uproars caused by thousands different groups of people who feel offended by this game in some way and the bad mainstream media coverage. I don’t think today’s world is ready for a gritty & detailed first person Cyberpunk game.
It being a cyberpunk game doesn't excuse it from being offensive, especially when it's coming from a company with a bad track record of being fucking bigots or refusing to address or apologise for offending.
Theres nothing wrong with the game being edgy if done in the right way, but from everything seen so far the game seems to handle it in an amateur, childish and irresponsible way
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,258
No one is going to blame him for this, though.
I can see someone starting a change.org petition so Keanu doesn’t appear in CP2077, otherwise he’s clearly supporting a transphobic studio and deserves to be cancelled yadda yadda, you know how it is.

But looking at that piece of art alone, I don’t really know what to make of it. Who did it? With what purpose? Who’s this character?

They don’t seem to have the best record regarding these topics, but I need more information
 

Suicide King

Member
Oct 27, 2017
523
Would there be a defense force for this if it was a big black man with rippling oiled muscles in a towel advertising an energy drink with a tagline like "like a horse" or "stud" or something
This is why it's so hard to be intersectional with some people that can't understand their own dominant identities. Any other minority has a simpler potential to be understanding of the issues that trans people face, but it's just way too hard to try awakening this same understanding from groups that only identify themselves as apolitical, woke gamers. If the only woe a guy had to live with was a game being cancelled, then he sure as fuck wouldn't understand how some people feel scared for their lives for being queer, black, female, refugee, etc.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,965
UK
My "line" is "does it make sense that this would be in a game with this setting". I think it does makes sense that there would be an ad like this in this setting. Of course that doesn't mean it's good ad, or how I think trans people should be represented in the real world.

I would still like to know what would be a good way to address these cultural and social issues that people think are being addressed poorly in 2077 though
You said it yourself, the setting is a "fucking shit future". So if you wouldn't stop at transphobia where would you go next?

What other minority groups would you be alright offending in that setting?
 

Gustaf

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,809
I'm genuinely wanting to understand this, because I'm only seeing the angst against it in my feeds, but what exactly is wrong with the image?
given CDPR previous mishavings with trans topics

and the fact that is a woman with a giant penis and the words MIX IT UP! all over the place.

seems to be they are taking the piss on all the people who complained about lgbt issues on CDPR
 

Trickster

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,041
the problem isn't that they shouldn't address those problems, the problem is that most likely they won't address them in the right angle.
But the person I quoted is stating that they already are addressing the social and cultural issues in the worst possible ways, not that they might.

You said it yourself, the setting is a "fucking shit future". So if you wouldn't stop at transphobia where would you go next?

What other minority groups would you be alright offending in that setting?
So you just want me to answer your questions while not answering mine?

And that's a loaded fucking question alright
 

Dphex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,713
Cologne, Germany
I don’t think today’s world is ready for a gritty & detailed first person Cyberpunk game.
this, nothing more to say

Cyberpunk as a genre is literally fueled by cliches, stereotypes and racist undertones and the source material Cyberpunk 2020 is exactly that.

do people even know the source material? when you do a game based on Cyberpunk 2020 you can expect Cyberpunk in the most hamfisted way possible. Even Shadowrun has more nuances than CP2020. not to excuse anything but when they decided to stay true to the source material then yeah, it will hit a lot of people in the wrong way.
 

Mazinger

Member
Nov 15, 2017
71
I don't really see the issue here.

In a dystopian cyberpunk world where body modification has become the norm and sex basically has become a commodity, the fetishization of LGTBQ+ people and having tasteless sex ads targeting those fetishes is an inevitability. If you think that's farfetched, then you sure as hell don't want to look at all the available categories on PornHub. For all intents and purposes, the poster is transphobic, and likely intentionally so. It shamelessly caters to people with a trans fetish because in a cyberpunk future that's bound to be catered to. Within the rules and norms of this world (as far as we know it) that makes sense, even if with real world standards it would be considered reprehensible. It honestly would make less sense for there not to be something like this poster.

If there's one thing that struck me odd in speculative (cyberpunk) fiction, it is that the red light districts seem to cater largely to hetero men by having all the sex workers be straight females, even though that you'd think in a more sexually liberated future where society's major sexual tastes have diversified, you'd see more male sex workers too, and everything inbetween and beyond.

Like shit, did nobody see the Cyberpunk 2077 sex ad with the lady with three mouths?
 

Wrellie

Member
Oct 29, 2017
372
See, I think I’d agree. It seems as though there are some trans people who don’t have any issues with this. I think where I personally stop is when I look at their past history. I’ll see if any context is given, but this certainly doesn’t look good for them.

As a straight person, the black and white in this scenario vanishes when people like you and others, particularly other trans people, have no issue with it. At that point the discussion may change into a discussion within your own personal community instead of people like me and others defending you on presumption of offense. I, and many others, have no frame of reference.
I think LGBT people as a whole are just like everyone who isn't LBGT. That is, there is a lot of variance in what people find offensive. More than anything, I want Cyberpunk to be a good game. If it's not a good game then I am not going to play it. This one image gives me nothing to go on in the game, other than it is a game that definitely has a mature audience targeted. I also am of the mind that the people who wrote, produced, directed, etc...this game may not share the same views as their completely incompetent social media team. You can also have the most pro-LGBT cast/crew/developer/whatever and still have a shitty product. For instance, I watched the first episode of Netflix's new version of Tales From The City last night after seeing it had my favorite actor and was essentially created by and with almost an entirely LGBT everything. Thing is, the writing was absolute garbage and I'll now never know what happens in episode 2 because episode 1 was so bad.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,965
UK
So you just want me to answer your questions while not answering mine?

And that's a loaded fucking question alright
You still haven't answered mine, that's why I was clarifying.

It's not a loaded question. You literally said transphobic trash made sense in that setting thus it was fine. So I'm asking what else offensive you would allow in that setting.
 

Uthred

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,888
The source material is not where you want to be looking for defenses of this kind of representation.
Cyber psychosis was always sort of creepy and poorly written, but a) people always leave out the fact that the core book has rules for how to treat and avoid it entirely, in short if you get counselling after major cybernetic augmentation you adjust just fine and b) do you have a source for that quote because while sadly the Cyberpunk 2020 PDF isnt searchable there's nothing showing up on a quick scan of the cybernetics and body modification section. I actually dont recall the core book having anything about transitioning in it.
Well to answer my own question, the quote

medical transition is treated similarly to cybernetic augmentation, and affects your overall humanity negatively. Humanity is a particularly vital score in Cyberpunk 2020 because allowing your score to go too low results in cyberpsychosis, surrendering your control over the character, who then becomes an NPC controlled by the Game Master from then on out.
Seems to have been pulled from this article here https://medium.com/@ranibaker/is-every-woman-here-a-sex-change-trans-in-cyberpunk-rpg-362cfbb4451f It's actually not talking about Cyberpunk 2020 "proper" (which as far as I can gather has no rules for transitioning, though you could probably adapt the bodysculpting rules) its talking about a supplement called "When Gravity Fails: Adventuring in the world of George Alec Effingers Novels" which is a sourcebook for a novel/series of the same name (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/132694.When_Gravity_Fails) , a novel/series which deals heavily with transgender issues. it's entirely and explicitly divorced from the Cybperunk 2020 universe and game.

As I alluded to in my previous post, cyber psychosis was always on the borderline of bullshit ableism, the core concept of needing counselling to adjust to major artificial limb replacement seems sound but it was very poorly presented in the corebook and the end result of cyber-psychosis had all the usual tact you'd expect from a nineties pen and paper game dealing with mental illness. But a 1992 sourcebook which just adapted the Interlock ruleset to a different IP isnt meaningfully "what the source material says". Though if Cyberpunk 2020 had actual rules for transitioning I imagine they probably would have just cut and pasted ""Sex change has a 1D6 Humanity Cost. Counseling cancels the humanity cost" so this is borderline pedantry.
 

Psychoward

Member
Nov 7, 2017
15,256
People need to stop skipping the context of the fact this is coming from CD PROJEKT Red - a company known for poor representation and social issues handling.
Nah Im sure the company with sex trading cards, no minorities in their fictional games and a history of shitty social media posts is gonna handle this setting well.
 
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