Boxing Helena, Only Without The Conversation

« January 2013 »

Memo to Deep Silver: YOU ARE DUMB.

You wouldn't know it from reading this website for, oh, the last year-and-a-half, but stupidity isn't exclusive to the world of politics. The worlds of video games and technology also contain copious quantities of dumb, and it seems like today would be a good venue to explore those in.

Dead Island was a video game about zombies, which I know seems somewhat redundant phrasing these days. It was largely famous for not living up to the expectations of its trailer. Dead Island: Riptide is the sequel to Dead Island, due out sometime this year.

For years now, game companies have sold "collector's editions" of games, charging double or triple the price for putting the game in a metal case and putting a toy in the box like it's goddamned Cracker Jacks. Oh, they call the toy a "collectible replica", usually of a gun or a car or a helmet or a dude, but it's a toy.

Dead Island: Riptide has, or had, a collector's edition for its European release. It was gonna come with the game, the metal case, some DLC, some artwork, and, oh yeah, the toy. This time, the toy in question was a "hand-painted figurine". That figurine was of the dismembered torso of a bikini-clad woman.

It bears repeating. A lot of dude nerds hate women. This might change in a decade or two, when a new generation of nerds, unrejected by women during their formative years, take over for the ones with lingering bitterness that exhibits itself in creepy misogyny and hand-painted titty torso figurines, but until that day, shit like this will keep happening.

Deep Silver originally promoted it as "a striking conversation piece on any discerning zombie gamer’s mantel", which is true. That conversation begins with the question "what the ever-loving fuck is wrong with you", segues into "well, I'm a discerning zombie gamer", and ends with someone being struck.

Dead Silver has apologized, and promised it wouldn't happen again, although nobody seems to know if they'll stop it from happening this time, or go ahead with it this time and be better people after the preorders are fulfilled.

Of course, this wouldn't be the most blatant example of the gaming world's shitty, creepy, violent and hypersexualized view of women without a bunch of shitty, creepy, violent and undersexualized gamers denying that this is misogynistic, or even bad.

I'm not going to quote their arguments, because they're arguing that selling a limbless headless torso of a woman in a bikini and calling it"Zombie Bait" isn't misogynistic. Normally, this level of denial is only seen amongst creationists and the "ex-gay" movement, and there's no arguing with that level of delusion. All you can do is point, laugh, and make sure you don't invite them to parties.

As a middle-aged nerd, I am largely resigned to the fact that a lot of the nerds I grew up with are going to embarrass the living fuck out of me by association for the rest of my life. This is just another example of that. We get it. The cheerleaders dated the football players. That was the way of things. Some of us got over it. The rest of you pop a boner when a buxom chunk of plastic gets her limbs chopped off and think that's normal.

For the record? It's not.