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Dead Island Riptide Reaction Was An Equality Fail

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Today, we collectively failed as a community once more. Even though not every one of us acted poorly, the fact that one side clearly pushed its rhetoric through has made this less of an open place and more of a restricted area: No fun allowed. To give this ongoing lament some context: Today, Deep Silver announced a risqué collector's edition called the Zombie Bait Edition, which prominently displayed a severed and dismembered torso with big breasts and small clothing. Is it tacky? Yes, probably. Is it a reason for a mass outcry? Hardly.

Dead Island Riptide
The culprit du jour.

Normally, I'd make this into an official piece, thinking up of a point by point case, argument, solution, future thought and that sort of thing. However, that would require me to go on endlessly about a topic that is out of my hands in this industry already. Instead, the swift rebuttal here serves to prove that this is a personal standpoint, though it has the same basis as most of my op-ed pieces, when I'm not using my education to look outside of my values, which I personally believe are the only rules to live by. For those wondering: I live by The Golden Rule. In short, it's that well-known line that goes "treat others like you yourself would wish to be treated." On that aspect, we treated the Zombie Bait Edition news like we would like to be picked apart by vultures. It's a standpoint I can respect, but not one I can condone.

News outlets were quick to release statements how "offensive," "disgusting," "repulsive," "outrageous" and more of these strong words on how appalling the limited edition was thought to be. Mayhap; I'm not saying such a provocative item won't burn in anyones eyes. I, too, am offended when Halo thinks it's a good idea to provide their promotional features with Doritos chips and Mountain Dew, implying that we're all greasy pigs. However, would I call for a massive outcry for someone offering a bust? No, not really; I'm not mad at art history for doing the same.

This point can be argued until the cows are dead and we're serving their racks in a self-righteous buffet of hypocrisy, but it's where my mind immediately went to. I immediately associated it with a bust, because that's what it is: a bust, which is defined as "the human chest." That seems accurate to me. Dead Island also features dead women in skimpy, tropical outfits and has dismemberment elements. All these things are fitting and no one gave a crap about that when the original came out. No, more so, prior to that, Deep Silver released a clip containing the "magical negro" trope, which was linked to their character Sam B, but doesn't resemble him in the slightest. That is, unless you're a racist and think all black people look alike. More so, that clip is also filled with objectification, but that is fitting, why exactly? Is it that hip-hop makes it okay? Is it because black people use women as toys? No matter how you look at it, it's going to be bad when a clip shows over a dozen shots of body parts with no face, for no reason other than to show it. Again, here no one cared. It's an issue now that Deep Silver rubs it in our faces. We're not being very consistent in how are brainwashing works, but I'll leave that point open to debate.


This shot of headless torsos is completely justifiable because...???...profit.

No, other than your personal stand on whether or not it's offensive, it's how we reacted like infants to it that caught my eye. Even that would normally not faze me too much, since we all know how the gaming community can be. However, this time is different for one particular reason. This frothing of the mouth; the knee-jerk, quick wit with no further thought came from the very crowd that would pretend to be different: It is those that make the sensible, adult remarks on how we need to evolve, accept each other and so on. I don't know about you, but I've never been taught that acceptance needs to be shoved down my throat and if my opinion is wrong I need to be snuffed out. That sounds like the reverse of accepting anyone for their good or lesser ideas and ideals.

How does acceptance work in Riptide's case? It made a provocative piece, so it needed to be shut down. Well, all this media outrage worked, as Deep Silver issued an apology the same day at how appalled they were by their own behavior. It must've struck them by surprise and so it should, because they did nothing out of the ordinary. They marketed their product with cheap attention grabbing, as anyone else in any walk of life does. No, not in our gaming community; we're fighting for equality in here, so there's no room for this.

That last sentence doesn't work. You can't have your cake and eat it too, then sue the baker for making you fat. At some point, this mass hysteria needs to end. Whatever happened to disagreement? "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Isn't that how the enlightened philosophers thought about equality? There doesnt seem to be any defending in massively coming down on Deep Silver. There seems to be only offense. What people are doing by projecting negativity on this campaign is calling for exclusive behavior that will only allow certain things and disqualify others. This is being part of the very problem you're trying to fight. I'll even leave out the fact that publications were quick to publish the provocative item once more with the apology update, because showing a bloody bust is so disgusting that you should do it twice, right? It can't just be updated in the same appalled article, that picture must be drained for all its juicy contents. Again, consistency is lacking.


Perhaps just use your fingers.


However, the lowest of all points today was not even this sad state of affairs; it's that the dogs weren't appeased with the blood on Deep Silvers hands. Instead, it went after their personnel and showed the true nature of what it means to not know what you're angry about. Some of you may know Maurice Tan from his time with Destructoid. He's now an employee of Deep Silver and earlier today tweeted an off color joke about this ordeal. Seeing as I don't want to actively feed the flames of other people's misery, I wont link it and just state what it said; which goes as follows: "It is cut off, so who knows. S(he) might have a cock down there." The response to it was immediately and overwhelmingly negative. Ill post a screenshot here.

Did we notice a pattern here? It has the same irate state of knee-jerk reactions, immediately going for the jugular, in the name of equality. The community had choice words for Maurice, because this was deemed offensive and bigoted. Yet, nothing in the tweet can be pulled any which way on that topic. There is no divide that would suggest a fixed view. Still, the immediate assumption is negative and the reaction is downright hostile. It's bullying in pure form, skewed on the platform of freedom of speech. It's not offensive, but it might be, so lets presume it is. It's these same presumptions that the community should fight, not endorse. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. The whole day today I thought I'd elevate myself and not fume like I watched people fume about their delusions. I failed, we all failed. Today was a bad day for gaming. We're not welcome in our own world, so what do we do now?


That's my secret...


It's getting to be exhaustingly late, the day was endless and I still need to edit this post with pictures and such, so excuse the longevity and unfiltered approach of this write-up. Again, I'd like to state that this is my personal reactionary movement and thus doesn't come equipped with the necessary softening filters. It is still based on my belief and my idealism focused on inclusion rather than exclusion. Let me end this rant, the only way the internet knows how:

TL;DR: Judge not lest ye be judged. We didn't fight for equality today, we merely fought equality. Deep Silver shouldn't have had to apologize for endorsing freedom of choice and the fact it did has made our world smaller, not more open. We are all to blame.

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