Dead Island Riptide and the problem with video game marketing

What decisions affect the marketing of a video game? What responsibilities do publishers have when creating advertising material? Five different voices in the games industry sound off on the Dead Island Riptide controversy.

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Last week, video game publisher Deep Silver unveiled a special marketing promotion for Dead Island Riptide: a collector's edition of the game featuring a 31cm resin statue of a decapitated near-naked female torso.

The bloody torso, meant to signify a "grotesque take" on the Roman marble sculptures of the second and third centuries, was described by Deep Silver as a "conversation piece".

The same day, prompted by an overwhelming amount of negative feedback, Deep Silver released a public apology for the product it had so enthusiastically praised hours earlier.

"We sincerely regret this choice," the company said. "We are collecting feedback continuously from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver's entire international team today. For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans, and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again."

Do game publishers have a responsibility to ensure marketing materials meet a certain standard? And should more game marketing strive to honor and reflect the original creator's vision for the game?

GameSpot asked five voices from different parts of the international gaming industry to sound off on the problematic aspects of video game marketing.

Rhianna Pratchett, games writer:

I'm a fan of Dead Island and I'll admit that I've chopped off more than a few zombie limbs in my time--mainly because it's pretty hard not to in the game. But when I saw the severed and mutilated, bikini-and-gore-clad torso which was being promoted with the collector's edition of Dead Island Riptide, I was a little shocked. Who thought that such a crass, offensive (to both men and women), and generally tacky piece of merchandise was an appropriate 'reward' for players who shelled out more money for the collector's edition? Why did part of Deep Silver's apology seem to be trying to shift the blame onto players by suggesting that it's already what they do in the game? There are many things that I do in games that I wouldn't want immortalized in a desktop accessory.

It's not surprising to see games marketing aimed at men, but it's not often quite so blatant i.e. "Look, tits!" It is perfectly possible to keep the creative integrity of a franchise without resorting to one-gender marketing tactics. AMC's recent collector's edition piece for their Blu-ray version of The Walking Dead shows this perfectly. It's a male zombie head with a screwdriver through its eyes. Nasty, sure. Gross, a little. In keeping, definitely. Offensive, no.

Having been caught up with a recent 'controversy' on Tomb Raider, I know that the way we market games matters. The way we speak about players, characters, and their relationships matter. The idea that there's no such thing as bad publicity was coined long before the days of the Internet and social media. It's simply not the case anymore. However, situations likes these do have an importance and value in our industry. They create necessary debate about the ways in which marketing should reflect a game's content. They let players and press discuss where the lines are, whether they should be crossed, and if so, how. I'd rather that these scenarios didn't happen, but talking openly about these issues is the only way that we'll ever move on from them.

Rhianna Pratchett is a scriptwriter and story designer for video games, books, film, and television. She is currently the lead writer on the upcoming Tomb Raider game from Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics.

Nels Anderson, Klei Entertainment:

Stuff like this just feels embarrassing. It's either remarkably tone-deaf or tremendously calculated and cynical, and either way that's pretty disappointing. I wish it didn't take a great public outcry to get some organizations to be more conscientious with what their means of promotion say.

I have no problem with gore or violence, or even something that's provocative, if it has some measure of purpose and context. Unfortunately, these things are almost always without either. It's literally meant to sell something, it has nothing to do with creative expression. And what it says about the beliefs of the developers (or at least some people in the chain) about who would be motivated to buy their game because of this just makes me kind of sad.

Nels Anderson is a game developer and designer. His last project was Klei Entertainment's Mark of the Ninja, on which he was lead designer.

Brian Moriarty, Worcester Polytech:

It happens that I am teaching a course called Social Issues in Interactive Media and Games this term. Last week, I was deciding which topics to discuss in the next day's class, when the Dead Island Riptide controversy flashed across the web. Talk about a gift! All I had to do is drop Deep Silver's hi-res promotional image of a dismembered bikini-clad torso into my PowerPoint, sit back and watch the fireworks.

Or so I thought.

The big moment came. After a bit of build-up, I flashed the gruesome torso onto the screen. First, I asked the three females in the lecture hall what they thought of it. Then I asked the remaining twenty-two males. The ones who responded said approximately the same thing: "Yeah, that's offensive, but…".

There was a brief discussion of whether it would make any difference if the breasts were realistically smaller. A few praised the canniness of the marketing. One woman pointed out that the bottom of the bikini would never really stay on like that. Nobody seemed interested in buying one, especially when I estimated what £100 was in American dollars.

The general reaction could be characterized by one word: "Whatever".

I told them about a couple of similar controversies in my youth. One was a 1966 album cover released by Capitol which showed the Beatles draped with bloody strips of raw meat and baby doll parts. Another was in 1972, when Warner Bros. wrapped each copy of Alice Cooper's School's Out LP in a pair of girl's panties.

So I asked my students, does this zombie-kitsch Dead Island torso objectify and degrade women or not? Does it contribute to the popular image of video games as violent, sexist and depraved? Do game companies bear any responsibilities to society beyond their mandate to make money? Would you work for a company that resorted to marketing gimmicks like this?

They looked down at me, silent, fidgeting in their stadium seats.

Maybe I shouldn't have showed the torso. Maybe I should have stuck to my lesson plan and played through Jason Rohrer's Passage instead, explicating the elegance of its procedural rhetoric, and holding it up as an example of how games, unlike any other medium, have the potential to instantiate beauty and truth in a process.

Or whatever.

Brian Moriarty is a video game developer, academic, and creator of the 1990 Lucasfilm Games graphic adventure, Loom. He is currently the Professor of Practice in Game Design at Worcester Polytech.

Sam Machkovech, writer:

As offended as I am by a faceless, amply-breasted torso used to peddle a video game, I'm perhaps more offended by the game in question being Dead Island Riptide. In 2011, I doubled over in nausea as I watched games writers stumble over themselves to laud the first game's trailer--a pre-rendered clip that, in no way, resembled its eventual game. Since when did this stuff fool us? Aren't we past the PlayStation 1 era?

Yet the hype rolled, even though Deep Silver failed to live up to its trailer, which revealed a troubling truth about the usefulness of smoke, mirrors, and hubbub in modern gaming PR. A lot of writers complained about the lengths Deep Silver went to before announcing its sequel's torso trinket last week, yet it's obvious why the thing got announced: because those same writers waste no time promoting teasers, one-at-a-time character reveals, and offensive practices. Deep Silver has a responsibility as an entertainment company to not overstep the line between tasteless and degrading, but enthusiast outlets should consider their responsibilities too: to establish a better filter and shape the conversation in such a way that pre-order DLC and figurines don't always dominate the headlines, whether they’re offensive or not.

Sam Machkovech has served as a games columnist for The Atlantic and The Daily. He currently contributes gaming articles to Polygon, Ars Technica, American Airlines, and Unwinnable.

Ian Bogost, Georgia Institute of Technology:

Somehow, the video games industry has managed to convince itself and its enthusiasts that its product is distinct from its marketing. This attitude cuts both ways. When a product deemed worthwhile suffers from 'bad' marketing, it's the marketing that seems to get the blame. This is true whether it be a beloved title perceived to have been 'watered down' by plainclothes cover art (Bioshock Infinite), or a revolting and offensive figurine foolishly conceived and manufactured for a special edition pack-in (Dead Island Riptide).

Those of us who are engaged enough in the industry to be reading someone like me voice an opinion about it, we often take these marketing offenses to be either violences wrought against the purity of the game itself, or else demonstrations of the grotesqueness of Marketing, which becomes an amorphous, ghoulish abstraction.

But this attitude makes a surprising mistake. We live in a world in which, by and large, marketing and products are almost identical. The marketing, in some respects, is the product: it embodies all the feelings and sensations a company hopes a consumer might want to satisfy by buying its wares. For example, the marketing for a rugged 4x4 SUV might show a strapping young couple conveying themselves off-road to find a perfect, secluded spot for a romantic afternoon of kayaking. In reality, of course, the vehicle will probably be sold to an overweight, middle-aged parent who will drive it around town running errands. But the idea, the dream of adventure and outdoorsmanship: that's real. That's not just something the marketers manipulated out of air.

Perhaps there is a disconnect between design, marketing, and fandom in video games because nobody involved really wants to be much of anything in particular. A video game, we continue to insist, is just entertainment. It's just a game. It's nothing political, or social, it doesn't have anything to say. "Keep your politics out of my games," say players. "We're just here to make good games," say the developers. "People will vote with their wallets," they insist. "A game is good if it's fun to play, period." But then, simultaneously, we believe video games can do no harm. They don't cause or encourage violence, or misogyny, or anything at all apparently, except the numb sensation of basking in front of them.

No wonder gamers can't understand why the rest of the world thinks Bioshock Infinite looks like just another meaningless shooter, or why Dead Island Riptide now looks like a depraved rape joke. The fat dude in the 4x4 he never takes off-road may look like a stooge, but at least he's a stooge who had an idle aspiration.

I know we all hate marketing these days. We live in a world overrun by advertising. We can't escape it. But yet, marketing is also a public, collective conversation. It's a way for us to participate in common ideals. Many of those ideals are stupid, and some of them are actively detrimental to our prosperity. But others are weirder and more ambiguous.

It's telling that some of the most successful games of recent memory don't really 'market' at all. Digital downloads don't have boxes, and games like Minecraft and Angry Birds don't have transit ads or billboards, even if they do have vinyl figurines and pajamas. It's tempting to conclude that we're better off with such approaches, that these titles are more pure and less manipulative, allowing their true nature as designed experiences to take the place of ill-formed misrepresentations wrought by guileless, open-mouthed advertisers. But those titles are also empty in a different way: often, they don't seem to want to be much more than whatever they are to whomever finds them. All uses are good uses, after all. Nothing to see here, it's just a game.

Even if marketing really does amount to the crass, commercial attempt to create desire, shouldn't the desire it seeks to create be something that might be worth desiring? And for that matter, shouldn't we creators and players want our games to want something of us, at least to pretend to push us into a different way of thinking or living? Otherwise, I'm not sure what's worse, the marketer who invents a desire to bestow upon an inanimate object, or the game maker or game player who doesn't believe that such a desire is even possible.

Ian Bogost is a video game designer and critic. He is currently the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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872 comments
onlypc
onlypc

Feminism is just capitalism in a nutshell. As an equalist if that's even a word, why would a female body bring an outrage while a male's body would not? Aren't you just perpetuating this line between male and female?

jsly268
jsly268

Honestly I dont understand the absolute outrage...the collectors edition product was to be released in europe and australia...where if youve ever been, "sex" is a much more openly understood issue then violence... does this make it right not whatsoever, but honestly do you honestly think that violence in America and its glorified theatrical nature is less abhorrent than sex in Europe...

If you do I honestly feel disturbed in the notion that violence has become more publically acceptable than sex...if this had simply been a gory full(to an extent, perhaps missing several limbs) fledged torso then no one would complain, potentially even jest at it...but the fact that it's not a women's torso, nor man's torso, but rather a crass and immediate suggestive piece of the concept "sex" everyone is in uproar...

jsly268
jsly268

Do I think this is a crass piece of horrendous marketing...Yes...Am I going to purchase this...H*** no (though honestly I wouldnt purchase gaming merorabilia in general)... Am I still going to buy the game...Absolutley...why, because I am adamantly and completly whole-heartedly strong within my convictions...I know who I am...I know how I feel, I understand the notion of violence, (shoot I still cry everytime I watch Saving Private Ryan) and I also understand the fact that one terribly horrific idea by a marketing team shouldnt slander my whole opinion of what the game is or isnt, when I play games such as saints row I love the outright ridiculousness and ludicrous behavior in which one can emplore...not for my wanting to actually do the acts, but simply because I understand it is in fact a game and not a prospect of what I would want to do in real life...

garyhal
garyhal

Also Laura, just so we can see this is not a one sided thing, here is a game where you can beat your boyfriend into the perfect boyfriend:

http://www.destructoid.com/ios-game-lets-you-beat-your-boyfriend-until-he-s-perfect-243517.phtml

You see, our desires are largely driven by physiology, thus:

Men = visual satisfaction in line with the primary directives of their physiology

Women = emotional  satisfaction in line with the primary directives of their physiology.

Yup, some might not like it, but seeking to satisfy our desires (men and women) are one and the same thing, that satisfaction is just expressed differently.

frodo10
frodo10

Everyone should have just ignored the statue, they clearly only did it to get attention because they knew that a gameplay video for the game that looks exactly the same as the last one (which was a mediocre game anyway) not just in terms of graphics but gameplay too wouldn't get any attention. Didn't they do this before with the last dead island, not much of a surprise that they'd do it again.

theoasis77
theoasis77

DaCrill... You ever get laid? You sound bitter lol. I like small natural boobs by the way... And "Real" women.

Anyways this statue was distasteful for the year we had with the murders and decapitation garbage. Don't need this kind of crap in gaming.

DaCriLL
DaCriLL

and were back to sexism again, godda love dat dere feminist-rage.

really, i dont get want these people want. Here are some basic sh*t that will never change due to our biologi
(yes feminists, BIOLOGI, learn the F***IN word!)

men love boobs.
men love females that arnt fat hippo-lookalikes.
men do NOT like small flat boobs.
men want sex, if they hang around you its probably in hopes of getting laid.
beauty is NOT in the eye of the beholder.
ur NOT big booned, ur fat...loose weight.
ranting will not change anything.
men will NEVER change, its in our dna. (again, biologi, women!)

Now, all the above is due to mens attraction to women. again this is in our DNA. is this what you want to change?
cause thats not a very good idea, in fact it would mean the end of the human race. but hey, what do i know. im just a man.

oooh wait heres a thing, if you women reeeally want to know how men work, u should just ask, we would tell you.
but then again, it wont be the answer u want so why would you. Finding the truth doesnt seem to be on the feminist agenda.

and last but defenitly not least, if it would have bin a male naked torso this would NEVER EVER, IN THE F***IN HISTORY OF EVERNESS, bin an issue. 
because apparently objectefying men is a non-issue. 

this is all really about womens insecurities, wich magnitude never seases to amase me.


equal pay for equal work, but thats about it. leave the rest alone.

Carpal_Tunnel
Carpal_Tunnel

For fucks sake people, have you no perspective? I'm not going too boast about how my argument should be valid because I'm "sooo not sexist" because that would be immature. My argument here is that if this were a male torso there would be no fuss, wich means that people who find this sexual are highly influenced by societies sexualization of the female body. In my opinion that makes these people more sexist than most on the other side of the arguement because they believe there is something significantly different about their body that should be hidden yet men are A OK because that's how we've been taught to think. "Men are not vulnerable therefore they can be exposed."

kool_zed_speaks
kool_zed_speaks

What a load of rubbish. Sensitive people and 'feminists' (because this is not what feminism is about) trying to create false outrage.

Quote Rhianna Pratchett "I'm a fan of Dead Island and I'll admit that I've chopped off more than a few zombie limbs in my time--mainly because it's pretty hard not to in the game. But when I saw the severed and mutilated, bikini-and-gore-clad torso which was being promoted with the collector's edition of Dead Island Riptide, I was a little shocked."

This right here is the most hypocritical comment. So it's ok to kill bikini clad zombies in the digital world of the game itself, but having a memorabilia in the real world about all those hours you've been spending slicing heads and limbs off doesn't concern you? 

I understand why some people wouldn't want to display a real world item like that, but clearly there are some who would. And since it's nothing 'wrong' about it just shut up and let them have it. It's not anymore outrageous or violent in a grotesque form ( and definitely far from sexual, oh God these fake 'feminists'!) than your average video game or violent movie/tv. If you're working in the games industry and you don't get this item, you're in the wrong industry.




Snakepond1
Snakepond1

I fail to see what's sexual about a head less, arms less, legs less torso with a bikini. It's nasty and tasteless more then sexist. But, if someone wants to buy it and hang it in there living room that's there prerogative and not the games media's business.

Who cares? The game is all that matters not the marketing. 

Also, the nuns in Hitman. Who cares? They were funny and not offensive in my opinion and I am catholic for crying out loud.

Relax with all this hate. 

ken_wakashimazu
ken_wakashimazu

i love the figurine, i would never actually spend money on something like that, but i think it's much more interesting than most of the stuff that you get with this overpriced collectors editions.

the same people buy this overpriced editions, no matter what the figurine actually represents, or how good the ost cd is, or how inconsequential the "exclusive" dlc may be.

nobody is paying that much extra cash just because they see boobs on a corpse, they pay that money because they want to have everything that was ever released relating to the favourite game. 

if the boobs where on the game cover, i could understand the outrage, i would not share it, because i'm not a crybaby that needs to be catered for in every small detail that live can produce, but i would understand the tears shed by those hypocritical idiots that probably have played tomb raider or dead or alive once in their lives and thought nothing about it.


this is not news, it's just a way for rehashed topics that nobody really advocates, to be thrown around like they still mattered.


LORD_HELLFIRE
LORD_HELLFIRE

Laura Parker is upset at this? lol The game is made to be a type of end of world/humanity reduced to its bottom basic level of survival against mosnsters/zombies! Just a game! I think the real reason for her upset is that the reality is when humanity is brought to that level of basic hardcore survival the only thing women are really good for is sex. that in itself is what I think angers women like Laura that it exposes the only card women have during such times revealed in a game. But by compalining about this and things like this in video games will just make it worse for women in the long run because it will just feed into the rising backlash against the equality issue.

norman69
norman69

Not really surprised by the uproar against this- the way the world works nowadays, you can't do anything without upsetting at least one person. And if you don't apologize then you'd be hounded until you did or someone stepped down/was fined/was sacked. You see it a lot with British politicians...

jcr8
jcr8

The reason this causes an uproar in some circles is very simple: its because its a female torso. Pure and simple. Rhianna Prathcett even has the nerve to say it straight up; if it was a male depicted in a similarly gruesome way, it would not be offensive. There is a word for people like that - hypocrites. 

And just why is the publisher apologizing? theyve done nothing wrong? just because a few feminists stir up trouble for their own selfish agendas doesnt mean everyone should cater to them.

Nminator_236
Nminator_236

Lets face it everyone.


The only actual reason that this is considered "offensive" is because that torso has breasts. If that was a male torso there wouldn't have even been a peep out of anyone.


Just like the whole "Lara Croft Rape scene" which wan't even a rape scene and was not graphic in the least bit, that received a lot of attention, but Lara blowing the guy's brains out all over herself was not even fucking noticed, as though that wan't there.


This selective outrage is really getting out of had, people really need to stop trying to appease all these politically correct assholes before they ruin yet another industry and snuff out any controversial social commentary from it with their nonsense whining!

4nationfury
4nationfury

Quite a lot has already been said and debated over this matter and its implications. So I won't be repeating what's been stated or furthering those discussions. I just want to add a question of mine. Was anyone supposed to actually want this? It's creepy as heck!

jomipira
jomipira

It's a zombie game. You walk around a beach resort hacking through dead beach vacationers there well, don't die. You slash zombies for crying out loud. 

Now if it was a naked man's torso it would be ok, a gory image. Some zombie head with a piece of human flesh in the mouth, it's perfectly reasonable. But hey... the torso has breasts! Now that's offensive!!! A female breast is offensive? Why?

NTM23
NTM23

Me: Hey, what are you making?

Creators of statue: I'm making this statue for our collector's edition.

Me: Aw, can I see?

Creators: Sure!

Me: Huh. Why is it just a slab of torso with boobs?

Creator: 'Cause, it sells I guess.

Me: Hm... Don't you think women are going to, well, dislike this?

Creator: It doesn't matter.

Me: What? Why's that?

Creator: Money comes first, then people.

Actually, that could have went any which way, I was just improvising. That was fun.

Razorlight6
Razorlight6

That last opinion by Ian Bogost of Georgia Tech was damn good.

Sandro7
Sandro7

Boy its have been years since i commented on gamespot paiges.... mostly because articles like this. I see what this is trying to get cross or at least i hope this is it. There was no reason, complety none to make statue look like that, they could just some dead guy in pieces there or someone head, anything else than BOOBS. But thing what pisses me off here is sentence "the problem of video game marketing" that sentence implies to me this is only marketing way in video gaming... that is big lie and you actually see this different marketing as often you see this type marketing. Few examples: GOWJ, mostly what we see is baird's face in trailers and monsters, MGR: revengeance, we sometimes have close ups of Raiden cyborg ass(does people have problem with that, no because raiden is dude) Dead space 3 isaac clarke adventures, dev edition includes "the marker" statue. Halo has master chief commiting another genocide... i could go on.... If this dead island type marketing happens in several or more games it doesnt mean it is only kinda marketing as this article implies.. Trailers are also marketing.

ejay_kain
ejay_kain

if this game was made in japan nobody would complain.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

Wow.  That was pretty much what I expected from tweed-jacket wearing pseudo-intellectuals with a social-justice bend towards thinking.  HAHAHA!!  Some of the responses were even better: like "They should make a male and female statue to not offend females that feel it is objectifying women"  Geesh, I am SO GLAD the political-correctness "I'm not offended but I'm sure other people are!" movement is dying in it's sanitized, definately not-blood-and-gut filled deathbed.  They have been successful in getting the name out there and that is essentially the point of advertising.  

Many years ago I got fed up with being bombarded with commercials and starting consciously ignoring them.  I'm proud to say now that even when a really funny commercial comes out I have no clue who is trying to sell me said product.  I'm very excited about Dead Rising: Riptide for a pretty simple reason:  It's an RPG-heavy FPS that actually manages to make melee combat from the first-person perspective FUN!  If you were pillow-fighting the My Little Ponies in Fairyland I'd still be excited about the game if it still had such deep character-progression and weapon upgrades in a MASSIVE open-world.  The zombies are incidental in my case and probably in the case of a bunch of discriminating gaming connoisseurs.  Hell, I love Persona 4 and you're a Japanese High Schooler fighting  shadows through a TV set in the mall with a giant stuffed bear as a companion (I'm aware of how the game goes; i just don't want to give out any spoilers) while looking for love.... that's rather different than being a jerk-tourist fighting your way through a semi-fictional South-Pacific Island covered in rapidly-decaying zombies.... it's all about the content.  


I almost wish they HAD used a male figure instead of a female one; at least it would cut down on the holier-than-thou "Woman in bikini + zombie reference = sexism!  Zombie Sexism, in fact!"  Then I could run around saying how the male body is being objectified and how I now cannot look in the mirror without comparing myself to the 12-year-old-girl figure that IS Justin Bieber.  The only thing more ridiculous than that are some of the comments from the Tweed Sweater people they interviewed..... yeah, I sure play games to enhance my social awareness of important issues, too.  Games happen to be an escape.  I, like many people, have good and bad things in my life.  Sometimes when the bad thing are snowballing I want a gaming experience that transports me away from the bad.... I really don't want to be reminded of some Tweed-wearer's Social Campaign to Promote some Stupid Thing that Doesn't Offend Him but might, in Fact, Offend Someone, Somewhere Who Happens to take things Too Seriously and has no Functional Sense of Humor.  Look at the world, things can be depressing enough without adding stuff that really doesn't matter in any reasonable objective sense.  

The end.

ShadowJax04
ShadowJax04

But of course any publicity is good publicity.

Necromantic45
Necromantic45

Maybe people should find something better to put their attention to?  No one is forcing you to buy this product, if you don't like it, don't buy it.  I never understood why people flock to arms when a company releases a product like this.  I loved Dead Island and will probably get this game too, but seriously, go find something better to do with your time.  Amazes me at the things people get up in arms over.  First music, movies, video games, the pledge of allegiance, god, etc etc.  Guess we can cry about everything now huh?

dylan35
dylan35

yikes now thats one collectors edition i would not pay for !!!!!! and it's not censorship we need to worry about here !!

it's common sense and that's one Ugly Tacky Statue !!!

TokyoDiscoKid
TokyoDiscoKid

The only real problem I see here with why people don't like it is because of the implants. The insecurities of women and men are bursting out all over the place...sorta like these great zombie boobs. I for one don't see the big hubub. I guess these people haven't watched Human Centipede 2 yet, now that shit was offensive. I think people should just pump their brakes and look at the context that we were given this voluptuous statue. It's a fucking run of the mill zombie slasher. This kinda reminds me of the big problem with Quentin Tarantino making a movie about slavery and people getting offended by him using the n-word in it. Grow up and get over it. That is all.

NTM23
NTM23

 While I'm not into the whole, this is or this isn't offensive, all of you saying that you can't see why some people (mostly women) would be offended by this, are dumb. The simple truth is, as I've stated twice before below, it didn't need to be this. The game, while most likely having zombie women in bikinis all around, isn't really about that, so what's the great purpose of this item other than to adhere to men's likes? If that's what you want to call it. Just saying, why not go with a regular zombie or something else entirely instead of "Hey, lets put in this body of a woman, but it's bloodied up because it's a sexy zombie woman!"? Anyways, that's my take on it. It's just dumb, that's all.

skullandbones91
skullandbones91

@DaCriLL thats the truth. just watch out for all the white knight males that are going to come and try to prove you wrong. but i really couldnt have worded that better myself.

jsly268
jsly268

@DaCriLL  Sex is a common want and desire of both sexes though so in that regard you are correct...but if you simply feel that the only relationship with a women, the other individual being a man, is the end result that is sex then I'm afraid you are largely mistaken (and probably dont have many friends whether it be man or woman all together)...not to mention the strongest relationships often begin among friends while those that commence with sex, are unfortunatley, as frail and short as the act that initially brought them together (or perhap immensly short in your case as you seem to have some sexual frustration with women in general)

And finally if ranting or simply giving one's opinion doesn't matter...why bother even bringing your bleak and simplistic mind-set to this forum...

In regards to addressing this specific topic being the torso I shall do so in an above comment...but I was compelled to reply in regards to your...simple and supposed "fact"...about biologi, DAGUMIT u got me doing it now... Biology...have a good and meaningless day sir

jsly268
jsly268

@DaCriLL  In terms of beauty not being a personal opinion you obviously lack any friends, or at least any that are no more intelligent than a tree (though thats unfair as the tree I'm sure is very knowledgable towards his/her own kind), as there are men who do in fact love larger women, there are some who love brunettes, red-heads, blondes and the like, and equally those who abhore certain traits, me personally a cute smile and a genuine personality never hurt but I digress...beauty is the MOST relative notion I can think of, and if you dont feel so then obviously your pretty uneducated in both biology, psychology, and sociology (notice the y at the end of each word...not an i...common grammatical mistake I'm sure)...

Also if you were educated on biology whatsoever aside from the word itself and how to spel...oh wait nevermind... then you would understand that some individuals unfortunatley have chemical imbalances, differeing metabolisms, potential conditions i.e. diabetes, that unfortunatley keep them from being able to maintain a certain weight scale... but I'm sure you knew that...

jsly268
jsly268

@DaCriLL  I apologize but maybe you should learn to correctly spell the word before you call other people out on their lack of understanding in relation to the term b-i-o-l-o-g-y...

all of your argument has no relevence with the topic, until the end, though I would beg to differ that I'm sure there would still be a large degree of controversy...remotley as largescale, prolly not, but such is life...

And considering youve never sat in a classroom (or at least listened in one) in earlier times women of a "larger" stature were in fact to be considered much more desirable due to the fact that they were more apt for child bearing, more wealthy (being why they can afford more food), and for other various reasons I'm sure. So in that regard you are blatantly wrong...biology does play a large factor into the perception of what is deemed attractive or sexually desirable but so does culture and society...

There are some men who dont love giant breasts (some men who dont like breasts whatsoever, ideally because there not into women whatsoever, but nonetheless)

DaCriLL
DaCriLL

inb4 "ur soooo imasure", "ur soooo sexist", "ur suuuch a man-pig", "how old are you, like 12". "(random comment by women to castrate my male athouraty, just because im a man)"

edjos
edjos

@LORD_HELLFIRE sorry but you are sexist. I defend the statue but I could easily be killed by a woman since I am short and weak. there is the strong, and there is the smart. don't you play games! it's because of this kind of comment of yours that I am crucified for actually enjoying the statue.

ESPM400
ESPM400

@Nminator_236 Although I whole-heartedly agree with the part about cessation of the appeasement of all those whining PC anuses out there, it's not the male/female aspect of this product that I find offensive. Personally, I find it more visually offensive than anything. Whether it was released as a male or a female, it's not really something I would want on display in my apartment. I mean it's got to raise certain questions about a person's character when you walk into someone's home and see a dismembered corpse on display (although something tells me it would be slightly more off-putting if it was real...).

Jediprince
Jediprince

@NTM23 My take on this is:

Me: Hey, what are you making?

Creators of statue: I'm making this statue for our collector's edition.

Me: Aw, can I see?

Creators: Sure!

Me: Huh. Why is it just a slab of torso with boobs?

Creator: Well it's meant to signify a "grotesque take" on the Roman marble sculptures of the second and third centuries, it's a "conversation piece".

Me: Hm... Don't you think women are going to, well, dislike this?

Creator: There is that possibility, but it's got a bikini, if I were to make it naked, then I could see how people would react to it negatively, and most likely women.

Marketers: I think it's brilliant, people will slam it or love it. Those who do will pledge their undying love, those who find it offensive will cause so much press that even if it's bad press, on scandal alone people will still buy the game and check it out, because most people jump on the offended bandwagon and then go buy it behind their backs because they're too afraid to be singled out by the crowd.

Me: So it's offensive and tasteless but it's ok since it sells?

Marketers: I knew you'd see it my way.

Me: What? Why?

Marketers: Money comes first, then people. AND, if anyone asks we'll just quote Timmy "the sculpturer" here and appease people.


Marketers are Machiavellian at best, the end justifies the means. "What's the end? Money. And how do we obtain it? By any means possible... just uh.... try not to break any laws...... staying in the blurry line between ilegal and legal should be your aim". Like jess_effff said below, these things are slowly changing, but since in some cases the line between legal and ilegal is so damn blurry, legalization can be a tough cookie. Especially when it's subjectiveness is too great or if the law is open to interpretation, for which there is no room in law. Laws have to be clear and concise, with it's crime clear and the punishment clear, no room for interpretation. And that's why a law against what's offensive isn't out yet, it's just too subjective, too open for interpretation.

And as long as we have in our society women helping the whole "sex sells" thing that the marketers love so much, we'll keep seeing it. Some of these people arguing against it post photos of themselves on social media in their underwear or without underwear and just covering up a bit and then they jump at something like this? Why the hypocresy? It's not entirely sexual because the torso is wearing a bikini, if it was naked, I'd say it's sexual in it's entirety, but it's up to each and everyone of us to make our own judgement of it.

That it promotes violence towards women, well, the game does feature female zombies getting their heads pummeled with melee weapons, getting their limbs shot off and this includes the head too. Violence towards both genders is depicted in the game. Zombies are not selective. If a zombie went "Oh look, people!.... damn.... they're all women, I guess I better find the next man that comes around the corner".

Still, do they have a right to be offended yes. I mean, they did slap a notice that people might find it offensive.

And I was looking more into the whole thing and, maybe I'm wrong, but for what I saw in the Dead Island community, people voted on the contents of the collector's edition, so even if they were trolling with the selection, could it be that part of the blame also lies on the dead island community too? I'm not trying to single them out, as I said, I could be wrong about this, but maybe?

jcr8
jcr8

@NTM23 Change that from "women" to "a handful bigoted feminists" and you just might be spot on. Because i assure you 99% of all women could not care less about this thing. Heck, most of them will never even know it existed.

3DMaster
3DMaster

@NTM23 Funny. You'd think that if it were a "regular zombie": read male zombie, because usually apparently zombie viruses avoid women, there'd be just as many people offended, men at least; and yet, there wouldn't be. In fact, we could say people sexist for being fine with a mere "regular zombie" but are all up in arms about a female one.

It's almost like women are bunch of mentally malformed basket cases that get offended and cry at any wishy washy thing, and men are these awesome mentally strong people (aka adults) that can handle just about anything.

Also, it doesn't appeal to men's likes; contrary to popular belief, men aren't a bunch of beasts who grab any pair of breasts they come across even the bloodied ones on a dismembered torso.

This was made to appeal to the people who like gore, horror and disturbing shit; not sexually.

Jediprince
Jediprince

@NTM23 Make no mistake, we do see how women might be offended by it. But this "offense" is something subjective, and for the sake of freedom of choice, of speech, of artistic expression, being offended is not reason for censorship. Not now, not ever. And maybe it's how I'm understanding it, but for what you're saying what would the definition of a regular zombie be for you? A male zombie?

You do realize that it's completely against the concept of equality of gender that the feminists advocate so much for? True equality can't be selective, you can't be equal in some grounds and superior or inferior in some others. So if it makes it alright that the zombie be male, why should it not be if it's female? Why the double standard? Double standards have no place in the fight for equality.

The arguement is that it objectifies women? That it somehow promotes violence towards women? So then under these accusations, if it's violence against women, then it's offensive and sexist, but if it's against  males, then it's completely socially acceptable. Again, double  standard. The statue of David, which isn't something new, objectifies men in the eyes of women and homosexual men, but it's art and it's completely socially acceptable. Again, double standard.

Why? Why the double standard? You want equality? Then this piece should be as offensive if it was of either gender or completely acceptable as well.

And the fact remains, that even if the torso is a marketing ploy, even if it's a tasteless, disgusting, tacky and offensive piece of art, it remains what it is. Art. It was made by a sculpturer, an artist who was finding a way to express something to the gamers that were going to buy this game in it's collector's edition. You could critisize it, you could say "this piece was the wrong choice to add into a collector's edition" and I would say to you, yeah, I share your opinion. I wouldn't buy it. But there are still people who would. And what's underlying here is the fact that Deep Silver was censored on grounds of "being offensive" towards a group of people, for doing something that is in no way ilegal. You have a right to be offended, but there's also the other side of it, there are those who have the right to not care if you're offended.

You are free to say, do or choose whatever you want as long as it remains in the boundaries of law. No law was broken here, except the fact that these people were attacked and forced to apologize for excersizing their  right to choose what they wanted to do, even if we disagree with them and think that their choice was the wrong one.

LORD_HELLFIRE
LORD_HELLFIRE

@edjos  in fact don't comment anymore on this so you can at least still keep the ounce of dignity you have left in knowing you are able to recognize that you are a male. 

LORD_HELLFIRE
LORD_HELLFIRE

@edjos  well then since you are short and weak then you would be killed easily and would probably become someones woman replacement in such a end of world zombie situation. I think you are the one who is sexist against men since you don't feel much like one, sorry for you.

3DMaster
3DMaster

@ESPM400 @Nminator_236 That's the point... it would thus be for the people who like having something that disturbs them, and/or even offends people, whether it remains in a private room or in public display in the living room would be their choice.

That means it's not for you, that's however not a reason for a bunch of butthurt, sexists to scream enough bloody murder the artwork gets pulled.

aovannor
aovannor

@ESPM400 @Nminator_236 No worse than walking into someone's living room and seeing all the Saw DVDs on their shelf. Some people like gore and horror. Some people like Glee. Some people like Friends. What does it matter? It's all fictional and just for fun. If it was a torso based on a real life event then I could understand some offense but it's 'fiction'.

edjos
edjos

@ESPM400 @Nminator_236 I liked it so what, is this Inquisition again? will you lock me out of society?

Razorlight6
Razorlight6

@Sandro7 @ejay_kain In Japan, the game itself would be near naked, amputated bloody torsos, not just the marketing goods.

NTM23
NTM23

@Jediprince A regular zombie could be male or female, so no, I didn't mean just male. I should also make it clear that I personally am not offended by it. My point was that, yes, I do think it's tasteless that someone would make something for this collection such as this when it has little to do with what the game is trying to convey; so I said as such, it's dumb. I agree with you about the whole freedom thing, and that doesn't necessarily concern what I had to say. Furthermore, I never mentioned anything about it being censored, and to be honest, I couldn't care less if it was or not; no, I don't think it should be, but it doesn't change my opinion of it. A bad idea's a bad idea, and I see no problem with someone being offended by it, that's reality.

jess_effff
jess_effff

@Jediprince Firstly, as the first post states, this statue does NOT represent what the game is about.  This statue represents sex, female sexuality, and violence.  That is what this statue represents.  Is that all the game is about?  Secondly, if for whatever reason marketers HAD to make a sexualized statue, why did they chose the female over male?  Because they are selling sex, NOT the game.  I'm all up for equality, so why not have two statues, one of a male, one female?  Once again, I don't see how a sexualized bust has anything to do with the game and it's just stupid.  Point is, they specifically chose a women's bust, with her breasts hanging out because they are selling sex. NOT the game.  Don't forget that we see this over and over and over, companies using women's bodies to sell sell sell.  Get your head out of your ass if you actually think this is just as much of an issue with men.  

Jediprince
Jediprince

@edjos Look, we don't like it. And like I can't force you to not like it, you can't force me to like it. We all like different things.

I am not defending the statue because I don't like it, BUT I am defending the right to put it out there in the market and I am against artistic censorship regardless of the real motive(entirely left to your own perception) of the marketing.

But I will also defend your right to buy it if you like it. I reiterate, I DO NOT LIKE this statue, I WOULD NOT buy it and put it on display. But some people do, and I will stand by your freedom to do so.

edjos
edjos

@Jediprince @NTM23 what? I am defending the statue per se. it can be interpreted in bad ways? sure. even the bible can.

Jediprince
Jediprince

@NTM23 @Jediprince I agree with you entirely. But like I said, you think it was a bad idea, I share your opinion. But clearly given the responses of some of the people here... the minority, think otherwise. One man's treasure is another man's trash. It's a difference of opinion. I'm not saying we can't disagree and that you should like it no matter what. Because I don't even like it, and would make less sense if I was to force you to like something I don't even like.

Now, I'm not defending the statue per say, what I am defending is the right that they have to put out anything, as long as it is within the boundaries of law. That's it.

jeffrobin
jeffrobin

@jess_effff @Jediprince To you it represents sex, female sexuality and violence, not to me. You are putting words into other peoples mouths. I didn't look at that statue and think "Oooh yeaaah *slobber* gonna get me some heheh, dumb bitches!"

The worst you could level at it is that it's a bit tacky, but then again all that collectors stuff is. Try not to view the whole world through your glasses. Kid shouldn't be able to buy it would be my view.

NTM23
NTM23

@Jediprince Actually... I don't know what kind of store you're talking about but usually when it's a male model, that's for the men, not for the women. The reason there's male models is to say "Hey, if you buy me, this is what you'll be." It's not necessarily for the women, or just for them, and the same goes for female models as well, it's for women to look at and make them think "This is what you'll be to others if you buy our product." Though I'm sure any sane person doesn't think like that, that's how it is. I just wanted to point that out. I've never seen a woman's store that had male figures in it, that's all.

Jediprince
Jediprince

@jess_effff @Jediprince And that is exactly your problem. You can be offended all you want, the fact of the matter is, even if you find it offensive, tasteless, tacky, or  whatever adjetive you want, they are still free to put it out. You may not like it, like I said before I DON'T like it, but they are free to do so and it's their constitutional right to do it. And no one has any right  to censor or stop them for X or Y reason. Being offended by it doesn't mean anything, because it is subjective, what offends you may not offend me, heck some women might not even care about this at all. And like the first post said, there are zombie women running around in bikinis in the game, you attack them and you take their arms of, their heads explode and all that's left is exactly that... a torso with no limbs attached. So how this isn't part of the game is completely irrelevant, because it is part of the game.

That it is a part of the game they shouldn't have focused on? Yes, I agree, there are a lot of other things in the game to focus on. Why not offer a statue of one of the main characters holding their preferred weapon? Why not offer a statue of one of the game's most iconic  special zombies, wether if they were male or female? Something other than this? Sure, I agree a 100%, my point is and always has been, you can't censor freedom  of choice, of speech, or art expression on the grounds of "offensive", because it goes against THAT constitutional right. And yeah, some things are changing.

But our culture has been like this for years. Sex has always been something that sells, and you know what, if the breasts were actually naked, if the torso had no bikini on, I would have lifted you up and support you because THEN it would be completely about sex. David's statue is entirely about sex too. But the thing is, it's not, so it's still in the boundaries if you look at it objectively.

jess_effff
jess_effff

@Jediprince I'm confused.  Since when is the exploitation of women's sexuality in the media vs the exploitation of men's a matter of question?  It is a FACT that women's bodies are objectified and sexualized in the media to no end - And I am by no means suggesting that men are not objectified, but once again, get your head out of your ass.  Not that there should be any objectification at all, but there is a disgusting imbalance.  I  understand that these companies are marketting to their audience, but I'm not seeing how your perfume example is relatable at all.  Perfume companies are marketting towards either men or women, and their ads will depict a male or cologne, or a women for perfume.  I don't want to get into how these ads portray the "ideal" body type blah blah, but the point is that the ads don't objectify men to women, or women to men...so I'm a little confused.  The issue lies in when a woman's body is objectified for the sake of a male consumer (and vice versa), especially when it has nothing to do with the product.  

 I also don't understand this whole 'I can whine all I want, a crime was not committed' business.  So...as long as there is no "legitimate crime" committed (not just in terms of this event, but any other situation), I just need to grow up and deal with it?  Are you actually serious?  I really think you need to restate this.  Because there is no way you can be serious. Who said anything about 'never being offended again'?  Sure, I'd love to have equality and all that jazz, and I am hopeful.  I'm not naive, though I would still like for certain things to change.  And they are, slowly.

Jediprince
Jediprince

@jess_effff @Jediprince So the whole point is that you get to judge if it's an issue with men or not? That is just laughable. You do realize that what you're talking about can be said about different industries? And that some industries are more focused on their dominant segment of buyers over the minority? Like how companies that make perfume usually advertise with insanely fit, handsome men without shirts and tight pants to appeal to women, because fragrance is mostly a market dominated by female costumers. The sad reality is that the gaming industry is dominated by male costumers still, and what do marketers do? Appeal to men by offering this kind of product.

As men, we have a right to be offended by the cosmetics industry for objectifying men, but we just get laughed at and society tells us to live with it.

Sure, like I said, I wouldn't buy it, I don't see the appeal of showcasing a mutilated human body anywhere. But that's just me, and there are sure people out there that would buy it. Who needs to get their head out of their ass is you and start growing up.

And like I said, you can whine all you want, a crime was not commited by them for excersizing their  constitutional rights, so  grow up and deal with it.

You want to live in a democracy and never be offended again? Well then you're an idiot.