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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Trickster

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Oct 25, 2017
5,002
Nah, you didn't, and it's apparent why. Your position of "it's a fucking shit future so everything that's shit goes" is dumb, and breaks down immediately when you're prompted to clarify exactly what offensive trash you see as being justifiable in such a setting.
Did you just "edit" your initial reply so you could have your reply at the top of the page?
 

Mushroomer25

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,926
Polygon asked the lead art designer about the ad.

“Personally, for me, this person is sexy,” Redesiuk said. “I like how this person looks. However, this model is used — their beautiful body is used — for corporate reasons. They are displayed there just as a thing, and that’s the terrible part of it.”

Redesiuk said that the world of Cyberpunk 2077 includes 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.
So as suspected, there's intended commentary behind the depiction.
 

Dphex

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
6,695
Cologne, Germany
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.
20 years ago maybe. did you play Mankind Divided? "Augment lives matters!" and the whole shit? how was this different to CP2020?

as i said, Cyberpunk as a genre is full of stereotypes and cliches, some people want a sanitized version of Cyberpunk with an equal rights for everyone stance and that won´t happen, especially not when Cyberpunk 2020 is the source material.

CP2077 will definitely cause a shitstorm of epic proportions, that is sure because society changed in the last 10 years, this game presents a future world which is stereotypic as it gets and will rub many people in the wrong way.
 

borat

Member
Jan 2, 2018
341
e
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
exactly. there's no context. people have made up their mind regarding cdpr and cyberpunk already though.
 

SapientWolf

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,592
I think the litmus test will be whether they lock character customization options to one gender.

As for the ad, current day advertising is also a cesspool of blatant exploitation and sexualization. And corporations are not ethical or trustworthy entities in cyberpunk fiction.

The problem is that I'm not sure if Cyberpunk 2077 is cohesive when it comes to its theming and its world building, and I suspect the ad is a one off joke rather than world building and an example of corporate culture.
 

Psychoward

Member
Nov 7, 2017
15,171
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?
I don't trust CDPR to have literally anyone in the game be a positive representation of diversity so....it would be one thing if this was just the game world being shitty but actual individuals being treated with respect in some capacity by other individuals (the MC mainly). Based on the studio's issues and the segments with racial minorities in the previews, the game is gonna be a shitshow.
 

Trickster

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,002
I'm travelling on the train but well done for avoiding the post for the fourth time.
I mean, we can go back and forth on this all day it seems. My answer is pretty straight forward. But you mostly seem very intend on just trying to get me to say I want x offensive thing to be in the game. Which is not really a "discussion" I intend to participate in
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,924
UK
I mean, we can go back and forth on this all day it seems. My answer is pretty straight forward. But you mostly seem very intend on just trying to get me to say I want x offensive thing to be in the game. Which is not really a "discussion" I intend to participate in
It's the one you started by saying this all made sense because it's set in a "fucking shit future" though.
 

Deleted member 888

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Oct 25, 2017
14,361
Polygon asked the lead art designer about the ad.



So as suspected, there's intended commentary behind the depiction.
Shortly after the image showed up on my Twitter feed, I walked into CD Projekt’s meeting space at E3 and asked the company about it. I sat down with the artist responsible for creating it, Kasia Redesiuk. She’s one of the art directors working on Cyberpunk 2077.

Redesiuk joined CD Projekt Red years ago to create concept art for Cyberpunk 2077. She would eventually go on to become the art director for both Gwent: The Witcher Card Game and Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. Today, she’s responsible for all the in-fiction media in the environments of Cyberpunk 2077. That includes advertisements like this one, as well as branding for the game’s many megacorporations.

So I asked her: Why was a trans model used in this particular advertisement?

“Personally, for me, this person is sexy,” Redesiuk said. “I like how this person looks. However, this model is used — their beautiful body is used — for corporate reasons. They are displayed there just as a thing, and that’s the terrible part of it.”
Redesiuk said that the world of Cyberpunk 2077 includes 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.”

This is not to say that the player should see this kind of advertising as good. Redesiuk said that it was designed to feel jarring and overly aggressive, like all the other ads in the game, but not because of the femme-presenting trans model.
“Cyberpunk 2077 is a dystopian future where megacorporations dictate everything,” Redesiuk said. “They try to, and successfully, influence people’s lives. They shove products down their throats. They create those very aggressive advertisements that use, and abuse, a lot of people’s needs and instincts. So, hypersexualization is apparent everywhere, and in our ads there are many examples of hypersexualized women, hypersexualized men, and hypersexualized people in between.

“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.”

I asked Redesiuk what she would say to those in the trans community who might be offended to see themselves portrayed this way in the game.

Confirmation it is a penis as well, which I think everyone had agreed on now.

“I would say it was never the intention to offend anyone,” Redesiuk said. “However, with this image of an oversexualized person, we did want to show how oversexualization of people is bad. And that’s it.

“I think that sexy bodies are sexy. Full disclosure: I love female bodies. I love male bodies. I love bodies in between. This is who I am. However, I hate it when it’s used commercially. And that’s exactly what we want to show by doing this exactly, by showing how big corporations use people’s bodies against them.”
Pretty long answer, will take a while to parse. Seems to mix hypersexualization with glamourizing concepts of beauty to sell products.
 

impingu1984

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,436
UK
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?
I completely agree with you.

But I think people's concern lies in that given CDPRs track record here they will cross line from what you described to straight white male wank fantasy.... "Oh look a woman with 6 tits and is hung like a horse... Niiiiicccee" Vs exploring what journey that woman had and exploring who they are etc.

Like the red light district example you give... Will cp2077 have a red light district? Will it cater for all or really just straight white male version of "catering for all"
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,683
USA
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?
You “don’t see the issue” with this particular sexualization coming from this particular company and their poor handling of trans issues before? That sounds ignorant to just give them the benefit of the doubt and say it makes sense.

No. It could make sense, but CDPR haven’t shown that we can assume they’ve handled this representation well for it to be acceptable. You don’t just put out sexualized minorities after nothing but poor interactions with those communities.

You’ve latched way too hard onto why it could make sense, to the point you’re ignorant of all the reasons this content may be as abhorrent as CDPR’s mishandling of trans issues always tends to be.
 

Hobbes

Freelance Games Journalist
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,378
United States
Hey, would you mind continuing this string from earlier?
Absolutely, I don't think I was able to respond before due to the thread being locked.

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.
Any response from CDPR isn't going to be the correct one, is that I'm saying.

They will either, again, have a non-apology/no apology, or provide context to the poster that probably makes the situation worse.
 

Psychoward

Member
Nov 7, 2017
15,171
You “don’t see the issue” with this particular sexualization coming from this particular company and their poor handling of trans issues before? That sounds ignorant to just give them the benefit of the doubt and say it makes sense.

No. It could make sense, but CDPR haven’t shown that we can assume they’ve handled this representation well for it to be acceptable. You don’t just put out sexualized minorities after nothing but poor interactions with those communities.

You’ve latched way to hard onto why it could make sense, to the point you’re ignorant of all the reasons this content may be as abhorrent as CDPR’s mishandling of trans issues always tends to be.
☝
 

z1ggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,173
Argentina
Polygon asked the lead art designer about the ad.



So as suspected, there's intended commentary behind the depiction.
I think this is important as well:

“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.”

This is not to say that the player should see this kind of advertising as good. Redesiuk said that it was designed to feel jarring and overly aggressive, like all the other ads in the game, but not because of the femme-presenting trans model.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,924
UK
“I think that sexy bodies are sexy. Full disclosure: I love female bodies. I love male bodies. I love bodies in between. This is who I am. However, I hate it when it’s used commercially. And that’s exactly what we want to show by doing this exactly, by showing how big corporations use people’s bodies against them.”
"I hate this thing so let's do it some more" - what?

I get that it can make sense, of course, but with the relationship they have with the community, if they're making a nuanced point do some outreach and dives into it to reassure that which you've directly mocked and insulted before.

I don't think "but now we mean to do it" is really the best tact, considering the actual advert in discussion.

Over you know, something like promoting a fleshed out and nuanced trans or non binary character to explore those themes.
 
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JaxiPup

Member
Dec 23, 2017
244
Massachusetts
20 years ago maybe. did you play Mankind Divided? "Augment lives matters!" and the whole shit? how was this different to CP2020?

as i said, Cyberpunk as a genre is full of stereotypes and cliches, some people want a sanitized version of Cyberpunk with an equal rights for everyone stance and that won´t happen, especially not when Cyberpunk 2020 is the source material.

CP2077 will definitely cause a shitstorm of epic proportions, that is sure because society changed in the last 10 years, this game presents a future world which is stereotypic as it gets and will rub many people in the wrong way.
In adapting a material, it is definitely the responsibility of the adapter to understand the social relevancy of controversial topics from said source material.

You can have a 'gritty and realistic' dystopian setting without marginalizing vulnerable present day minority groups. There's a ton of cyberpunk fiction that does just that.

Claiming the sourcebook is just as bad doesn't excuse the end product
 

Rodjer

Member
Jan 28, 2018
4,709
Polygon asked the lead art designer about the ad.



So as suspected, there's intended commentary behind the depiction.
Add more to the story

“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.”

“Cyberpunk 2077 is a dystopian future where megacorporations dictate everything,” Redesiuk said. “They try to, and successfully, influence people’s lives. They shove products down their throats. They create those very aggressive advertisements that use, and abuse, a lot of people’s needs and instincts. So, hypersexualization is apparent everywhere, and in our ads there are many examples of hypersexualized women, hypersexualized men, and hypersexualized people in between.

“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.”
 

Razmos

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,671
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?
Okay so this "sexually liberated" future caters exclusively to straight men. It's pretty obvious that that the game, clearly marketed towards straight males is done through a heteronormative lens, and with the context of the company being transphobic assholes its not hard to assume that this poster is not there to be positive representation or representative of a "woke" future.

I get where you are coming from but nothing seen of this game so far is as sophisticated as the arguments defending it would suggest.

There is very little deeper meaning here, it's a dude bro game for dude bros
 

Mesoian

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,177
Pretty long answer, will take a while to parse. Seems to mix hypersexualization with glamourizing concepts of beauty to sell products.
Sounds like it's purposeful fetishism which they will go further into later.

We'll see.

Okay so this "sexually liberated" future caters exclusively to straight men. It's pretty obvious that that the game, clearly marketed towards straight males is done through a heteronormative lens, and with the context of the company being transphobic assholes its not hard to assume that this poster is not there to be positive representation or representative of a "woke" future.

I get where you are coming from but nothing seen of this game so far is as sophisticated as the arguments defending it would suggest.

There is very little deeper meaning here, it's a dude bro game for dude bros
Part of me is expecting a "words and deeds" situation here...but we can't know until the final game is out.
 

Harlequin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,213
Polygon asked the lead art designer about the ad.

So as suspected, there's intended commentary behind the depiction.
Another quote from the article:
So, hypersexualization is apparent everywhere, and in our ads there are many examples of hypersexualized women, hypersexualized men, and hypersexualized people in between.
If it is how she says it is in this interview, then I think that's fine and there isn't much of an issue with this particular ad. That doesn't mean the concern is unwarranted, though, of course.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,295
I feel like this image * divorced from this studio's repeated social fuck-ups * wouldn't be innantely bad. But given their record, this probably fits their caricature view of all, real trans-people.

This game is looking more and more like an expensive version of that pixel "cyberpunk" game from a few years ago, that stated "feminism won" as a dystopian problem.

(If someone disagrees and thinks it's a problematic image in any context, I'd love a discussion.)



God, reading an entire thread of people saying 'its okay to marginalize you because its cyberpunk' in a world where Red Strings Club and Hardcoded exist, hits right in the gut
Can you elaborate? I was tempted to grab RSC. Is it better with social stuff or also problematic? If so, what does it do?
 

Uthred

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,882
Well, I'm glad a PR person stepped up and gave the laziest, most hypocritical response. Nothing like having to go out of their way to explain the intentions instead of making it non-controversial in the first place.
The lead art designer is not a "PR person" they are the obvious person to art about art direction in the game because thats their job.
 

Evil Monkey DTT

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,730
USA West Virginia
I think it's getting to a point where they need to say something because until they do it's really hard not to assume the worst. Its basic pr at this point to just address it, otherwise every aspect of this game is going to be viewed with the worst assumption.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
4,924
UK
I mean, it makes sense, right? It's not like CoD devs endorse war or anything just because they're portraying it.
I get that it can make sense, of course, but with the relationship they have with the community, if they're making a nuanced point do some outreach and dives into it to reassure that which you've directly mocked and insulted before.

I don't think "but now we mean to do it" is really the best tact, considering the actual advert in discussion.

Over you know, something like promoting a fleshed out and nuanced trans or non binary character to explore those themes.
 
Oct 31, 2017
1,913
Beach City
I’m trying to, but I don’t see how this one can offend someone. It’s just a sexualized ad in the in-game universe. The PR statement makes sense as well.

It’s not making fun of or degrading trans people at all.
 

texni

Member
Mar 17, 2018
25
Nah, you didn't, and it's apparent why. Your position of "it's a fucking shit future so everything that's shit goes" is dumb, and breaks down immediately when you're prompted to clarify exactly what offensive trash you see as being justifiable in such a setting.
i'll answer for him: I'll accept any form of racism, economic disparity, discrimination that is a result from any economic collapse or corporate abuse , which is the context of the game.
 

Mesoian

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,177
I think it's getting to a point where they need to say something because until they do it's really hard not to assume the worst. Its basic pr at this point to just address it, otherwise every aspect of this game is going to be viewed with the worst assumption.
To be fair, the biggest reason why this is a problem is because they have a history of transphobia coming out of people attached to their PR responses.

So...maybe they just need better PR.

i'll answer for him: I'll accept any form of racism, economic disparity, discrimination that is a result from any economic collapse or corporate abuse , which is the context of the game.
"Especially when none of it applies to me directly".
 

accx

Member
Oct 28, 2017
257
I mean the easiest thing for the artist to do would've perhaps been to spend any amount of time researching the topic at hand and, you know, talk with people in the trans community?
Something i sincerely doubt happened.
(This in regards to the polygon article)
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
17,378
as i said, Cyberpunk as a genre is full of stereotypes and cliches,
The creative bankruptcy of developers doesn't mean that cyberpunk is full of stereotypes and cliches. FFS Watch Dogs: Legion is a cyberpunk game and if your reaction to that statement is "wait, what?" then that shows exactly how poorly the genre has been treated in the gaming industry.
 

labx

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,076
Medellín, Colombia
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.
The only way to address the social issues of a dystopian future (like al futures hipypotetical scenarios) is to honor the
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.
My dude, like ever future ever imagine is an hypothetical scenario. The cool thing to do is a knowledging the problems of the present like the solutions yo those problems. The future of cyberpunk is dystopian alright but that doesn't mean that people have collective amnesia about the struggle of minorities and their rights. And the future of cyberpunk you can be anything without prejudice. Or I wrong?
 
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