Some days, I feel like the gaming industry is making progress in accepting its female audience and making them feel welcome. But then something happens, like Deep Silver announcing a mutilated female torso statue with a Union Jack bikini barely covering up its lady bits, and all that faith starts to crumble.
Their reprehensible UK-only “Zombie Bait Edition” for Dead Island: Riptide was announced earlier today, and was quickly followed up by an apology, but the damage was already done. Many gamers, especially freelance writer Jenn Frank, were absolutely outraged. “People, how did we get here? Really? Really. How is a woman’s mangled body, a literal trophy on your desk, even remotely defensible,” she tweeted. Frank’s statements were on point, and she didn’t let up: “Stop sending me apologies. It takes a profound amount of foresight to conceive, design, produce a limited run, and then announce them.”
What can Deep Silver do to make up for this? I don’t imagine they can, at this point. Sure, they’ll still sell games, but they’ve just lost a lot of respect. All I want to do is quote Frank more: “So hey, I have as much right to this as you do, right? You can still have a voice, I’m so into that. But here’s a thought: BE LESS HORRIBLE,” and “Anyway, if you play games, I love you. You understand my world, and you already know games can change the world. So don’t stand for this BS.”
The Mary Sue had a good point – the apology doesn’t ever say the word “woman,” and mentions nothing about them actually pulling the offensive edition.
This is a sad day for the industry.