Dear everyone involved in the marketing of crap games with awful campaigns, and the equally awful people who actually buy and get excited over this stuff. I have something to say to you.
I appreciate that, as a white male in his twenties, everything you see in the marketing of a videogame is designed to appeal to what you think I am interested in seeing. So, cheers for this relentless assault of shameful marketing campaigns. All that effort you put into thinking up that Facebook ad where I could tell someone they had small tits or - heaven forbid - they were ginger, and kill them for it was all for me! Being associated with such a badass thing will definitely make me want to part with my money. I hope it was worth it! Clearly the massive backlash and fact that the offending campaign had to be pulled after presumably costing SOME money wasn't enough to put you off, because another month, another game, and here we are again.
Let’s look at the original Dead Island, which is, at its very best, a tedious, buggy action-RPG. I tell you what though, you did a fucking bang up job of convincing everyone that it was going to be a GREAT videogame. An important videogame. A clever trailer, a touch of slo-mo and a bit of piano music went a long way into encouraging people to ignore a lot of the negative reports and drop some cash at launch. As full of shit your CGI trailer may have been, it did not contain anything particularly offensive. Lies, of course, but at least it wasn’t a whopping great big pair of breasts with BUY THIS written across them.
Which brings us nicely onto your latest release, Dead Island: Riptide, which literally does come with a pair of tits for anyone who buys the special edition version of the game. A disembodied pair of boobs in a bikini - the game is set in a beach resort, so it isn’t COMPLETELY irrelevant - that you can proudly display alongside your creepy Penny Arcade endorsed Anime-Rape cards.
And no, people on the internet, it wouldn’t be ‘better’ if Dead Island: Riptide was boxed alongside a zombified cock and balls. That’s not equality, that’s just the same ‘battle of the sexes’ horseshit that, if anything furthers this rubbish. What’s next, release ‘lads night and ladies night’ versions of the games, packed with loads of tedious sexualized crap? A pink version and a blue version of the box art, so you know which version is YOURS? How about we just don’t package our games with the sort of thing that only a sweaty, neckbearded sociopath wants on their shelf? I understand that they might, unfortunately, be your target audience, but they’re going to buy this shit anyway, right?
Duke Nukem Forever is a game that actually has a moment in it where the Duke cracks a ‘joke’ about the rape of two of his ‘babes’ at the hands of the alien enemies, and they didn’t package their misogynistic power fantasy in a severed pair of boobs. Shame, as it at least would’ve worn its awful colours on its sleeve and given us all a clear reason to give it a wide berth, rather than falling to crippling nostalgia on launch day to the tune of forty fucking quid. I’m still bitter.
It isn’t just down to the marketing men and PR, though. Most people I know who play videogames are well adjusted members of a functioning, nice community. Unfortunately, our hobby does attract a hell of a lot of awful, entitled, screaming man babies, who are easily led to make purchases by the promise of seeing the edge of an asari tit. Just look at the comments thread under any article on the entire internet. You’ll see ignorance. You’ll see self-importance. You’ll see blind rage and anger. You’ll see misogyny. You’ll see death threats aimed at the person who simply played a videogame and voiced their opinion, delivered by some basement dweller that HASN’T even played the game. There’s a lot of these people, and they all spend money. Single, twenty-something white males who want nothing more to have the coolest special version of the most violent manshoot. It is their fault too that playing Mass Effect is the act of a tragic nerd and watching Looper is just someone going to see a movie.
So, check yourself. Are you part of the problem? Do you find yourself up at 4am, commenting on a review of DMC because the new Dante looks like a ‘hipster faggot’ and that DEFINITELY means the game isn’t very good? Have you ever retweeted a ‘hilarious’ meme of a battered woman with ‘LOL GOT IN FRONT OF THE TV WHEN I WAS PLAYING CALL OF DUTY’ or something? Have you ever thought that the best way to advertise your game is by making a massive group of people feel really fucking unwelcome?
I hope not, but I do have some final words for you if you are one of these people and you’ve stumbled across this website (which dislikes you immensely, might I add).
Thank you for your continuing efforts to ensure that telling people I play videogames is still somehow slightly more embarassing than pissing yourself in public, whilst wearing a Lostprophets T Shirt. Nice one.