CD Projekt's Upcoming Title: Cyberpunk

zeroKFE wrote:

If you're interested in hearing a detailed and nuanced rundown and discussion of what was actually in the demo, Austin Walker and the Waypoint folks discuss it in this video around 2:55 in.

more like 3 hours 15 mins in. over 4 hours of recording. 4 hours.

5 star podcast
5 star runtime

Bummed to read folks finding some of this content offensive (bummed people are offended, not that they took offence), took some digging for me to understand the problem with the billboard as it took the penis to be specifically mentioned before I saw it, the interview Charlie Hall had with the artist who made it really seemed like the creator was acting in good faith and was considered. The message they were shooting for seemed interesting to my straight cis male mind fwiw (probably not much to many). If accurate, the issue around the faction/gang the 'Animals' being largely black and ending up as fodder for the PC's guns stands out as pretty problematic to me, but I'm also weary of the way many users of social media are seemingly always looking for the hottest take to stir up reactions, none of which helps a group that already feels targeted.

I have absolutely zero problems with that poster. I am pretty confused by people taking offense to it. Cyberpunk is all about body modification, up to and including changing your genitals willy-nilly if you like.

Unfortunate to see some already folks branding this game and everyone associated including folks who are looking forward to it as heretics.

I don't want to see anyone hurt or defamed by this game.

I also don't want art depicting a dystopian society be expected/forced/end up conforming to current social mores.

If there is no f*cked up system - like the poster could be shorthand for - to rebel against, there is no point to the cyberpunk universe they are creating, it would be paradise.

The collectors edition is $250.00. I'm not sure how big that statue is but if it is less than 20 inches I can see this being worth it. Then the game might be crap. This seems like something you want to pull out on the third game of the series. There was another game with a CE coming in around $400, just nutty.

There will also be three different versions of SteelBook case. The one you get will be random.

As a major lurker, I just want to say I'm so happy GWJ (and these forums!) exist.

I was very much disturbed by that RPS article, what I've been hearing about representation in Cyberpunk 2077, and the detailed breakdown of the demo by the Waypoint group.

I come to these boards for refuge, and to read other gamers' more personalized views on these issues (thank you ClockworkHouse and Amoebic!). I'm encouraged by the discussion.

Kind of a silly post from a long term GWJ'er who hasn't posted on the forums in like six years, lol. But the discussion surrounding this game and these issues left me a bit sick, and conversations I've had elsewhere have been less than productive.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

The collectors edition is $250.00. I'm not sure how big that statue is but if it is less than 20 inches I can see this being worth it. Then the game might be crap. This seems like something you want to pull out on the third game of the series. There was another game with a CE coming in around $400, just nutty.

I am fortunate to be able to afford extra stuff like this, but after the Fallout 76 one, I think I am done with these special editions. These things are getting more expensive. And honestly just big piles of plastic. I have purchased every special edition for the Fallout games, Dishonored 2. Maybe it's just Bethesda...

Final Fantasy VII one is like $300? Crazy! That's a console.

It will be interesting to see how the full game feels about these issues. Any one screenshot can paint, well any position. It will be much more important, to me, how the whole comes together.

TrashiDawa wrote:

Unfortunate to see some already folks branding this game and everyone associated including folks who are looking forward to it as heretics.

I don't want to see anyone hurt or defamed by this game.

I also don't want art depicting a dystopian society be expected/forced/end up conforming to current social mores.

If there is no f*cked up system - like the poster could be shorthand for - to rebel against, there is no point to the cyberpunk universe they are creating, it would be paradise.

'Heretic' is a bit dramatic here. Mostly what's happening is people expressing their discontent at this company for being regressive. When you have a world you're creating you have the freedom to do anything, so every piece of content is chosen and approved by a large group. It's disappointing that they choose to do this, that such a large company is fetishizing trans people and has a gang of black men called 'The Animals'. But for a lot of people who've followed games this isn't new from CDP and so it's just another thing in a series of things to be frustrated with. It's even more frustrating that they continue to be so successful despite the problematic stuff. It shows how few people actually care about these sorts of things.

A person expressing their discontent with media does not implicate you or anyone else that doesn't have the same view. For example I can play Borderlands 3 because a company is far larger than just one man, but many cannot because of how vile of a person Randy Pitchford is. Another example in this thread is that Cloq and Pyxie clearly have a problem with it, but Boog does not. These 3 are directly impacted by this sort of fetishization but different viewpoints lead to different opinions. The point of these discussions are to illuminate the problems that people have so you yourself can decide if it's enough of a problem to keep you away from the product or not. If not, that doesn't mean YOU are transphobic/racist/etc, it means that your world view isn't as impacted by these things as other. That's what privileged is. It's easy to see that word as being an attack on you but we all have it so some degree(some far far less than others). An example of this is a white trans woman still has the privilege to say they're not profiled by police.

The point is, self reflection goes a long way and not everything is a personal attack.

Yeah, it’s just so frustrating.

My personal feelings are very similar to Austin Walker’s on the matter. With Witcher 3, CDPR showed that they really kind of are the best studio out there currently making one of my favorite kinds of games. You could even put together a pretty solid highlight reel from that game showing that in many ways they had progressed and improved themselves in how they handle challenging and controversial subject matter.

But, you could also put together an equally solid highlight reel showing the opposite, and especially in the time since the release of that game they’ve done an astounding job of building a super sh*tty reputation as a company. As Clocky said a few pages back now, CDPR just isn’t in a place collectively to be given the benefit of the doubt that they are acting in good faith when they wade into these waters.

I’m sure that CDPR employs numerous artists like Kasia Redesiuk, who I AM willing to believe is acting in good faith based her interview with Charlie Hall — albeit, perhaps woefully undereducated and unthoughtful about her approach to handling the topic, as has been been well illustrated by other folks in this thread very kindly sharing their reactions to her statement. But even if all of their good faith people do get more thoughtful and more educated about the giant pile of challenging and important ideas that make up the core concepts of Cyberpunk, even if most of the content does end up being handled well, CDPR’s substantial institutional karmic deficit is so large that it’s hard to imagine playing the game without constantly cringing, waiting for sh*tty, regressive shoes to drop.

They are simultaneously the best possible company to be making this game, in terms of having the technical chops and institutional focus to build it mechanically (and the resources to build it well), and the worst possible, because the subject matter is so deeply troubling and impactful that it deserves to be handled by a team of people who have an equally impeccable track record of being able to service ideas with an equivalent level of care and integrity.

farley3k wrote:

It will be interesting to see how the full game feels about these issues. Any one screenshot can paint, well any position. It will be much more important, to me, how the whole comes together.

I think this was mainly my point. Yes, some of the info we see looks bad, but the game is almost a full year away still. Let's see what the end product is, even if CDPR has reasons for us to be doubtful. Instantly shutting down the conversation with "THERE'S NO CONVERSATION TO BE HAD" is not helpful or productive. It's just seeing who can yell the loudest, and I'm sad that people are being told to not rejoin this thread.

If the end game ends up being completely disgusting, then it'll be completely warranted.

Also if that collector's edition doesn't come with a shark penis I'm not getting it.

TrashiDawa wrote:

I also don't want art depicting a dystopian society be expected/forced/end up conforming to current social mores

I think you’re in good company, then. One framing of the issues people are expressing is that this does conform to current social mores already. Trans people are similarly fetishized right now. CDPR appear to have done very little to break from current social mores, and by their creative choices continue to reinforce some sh*tty ones.

Yup. That poster is not much different to some of the LIGHTER stuff posted in /d on 4chan and jerked off over on a daily basis by cis-het dudes.

The ad probably wouldn't get to me if not for a few things:

1) There's already been a kerfuffle around this game and trans stuff in the past—the transphobic joke that got tweeted last year.
2) As people have noted, this kind of body diversity doesn't seem to show up elsewhere in the game, which means that this body-that-looks-very-much-like-how-most-people-imagine-trans-women-look* is represented solely in terms of sexualized advertising.
3) The "oh, we're really trying to make a point about how highly sexualized advertising is bad and can go too far!" thing rings way hollow, given that. Like... "Okay, so... what you're saying is that a trans-representative body is the first thing you think of when you think 'sexualization taken too far'? Wow."

So, none of that makes me feel great about the people doing this design work thinking about the breadth of trans experience, or the complicatedness of the kinds of relationships trans people have with their bodies. Some of us can barely stand to let people look at us. Some of us finally find we're able to be sexually intimate with people. Broadly, all of us of whatever experience are... just people. And here we are... just a sex object. And that's frustrating as heck.

* On the subject of "this is how the artist imagines a normatively attractive by European beauty culture standards woman who has a penis looks"... I am actually kind of amused that video game artists apparently don't have any more idea how a penis works than they do how breasts work, because that thing isn't attached right for a) built-in equipment, b) a strap-on, c) a strapless, ord) a packer. Like, holy crap... look at real life naked queer folks some time! I promise you can find pictures on the Internet!

TrashiDawa wrote:

Unfortunate to see some already folks branding this game and everyone associated including folks who are looking forward to it as heretics.

I don't want to see anyone hurt or defamed by this game.

I also don't want art depicting a dystopian society be expected/forced/end up conforming to current social mores.

If there is no f*cked up system - like the poster could be shorthand for - to rebel against, there is no point to the cyberpunk universe they are creating, it would be paradise.

This is a very telling post.. it shows how much more work we need to do. Just bringing up how this is problematic and troubling to some marginalized groups is viewed as an attack on others. The mere act of speaking out is a problem to many.

Vrikk wrote:

Instantly shutting down the conversation with "THERE'S NO CONVERSATION TO BE HAD" is not helpful or productive. It's just seeing who can yell the loudest, and I'm sad that people are being told to not rejoin this thread.

This was my exact feeling as I lurked this thread yesterday.

I’m at my most cynical this week so I will say this all looks very orchestrated. Guerilla marketing dollars at work. A closed door demo for a highly anticipated game as this one... nothing in that demo was included by mistake. The reactions to the ad and the ethnic makeup of the gangs were all predicted and welcomed. Polygon and Kotaku are going to view the demo? Let’s make sure to give them something to write about.

I’m not as sure about the social media mishandling... but you never can tell for sure. The most important thing is the game is generating a stir. No one can afford to release an unremarkable game anymore.

This all lines up with the early stage Cyberpunk dystopia that we all live and breathe right now, every day.

FWIW in the Waypoint podcast video shared above, Austin Walker mentions the 'Voodoo Boys' gang as being Hatian and if not handled correctly could be problematic, questioning if they "know the history" on what they're playing with, but in mentioning 'The Animals' gang, the only way he describes them are as "roided out" and doesn't flag any racial concerns.

troubleshot wrote:

FWIW in the Waypoint podcast video shared above, Austin Walker mentions the 'Voodoo Boys' gang as being Hatian and if not handled correctly could be problematic, questioning if they "know the history" on what they're playing with, but in mentioning 'The Animals' gang, the only way he describes them are as "roided out" and doesn't flag any racial concerns.

He also said he was impressed on how they handled the language of the Voodoo Boys, and Animal was the enemy's gang name. Not how they were described. The PC Gamer article also said the same.

I think it's safe to say that RPS integrity as a valid journalistic entity is long gone. They're nothing but click bait shills.

I'm not going as far as Ranalin as I cant say I know much about the integrity of Rock Paper Shotgun but the wording in the RPS article didn't seem click baity to me and only expressed growing discomfort with the subject matter, but it flags to me the need to be wary. CDPR seem to be listening and responding which is what I'd hope.

For most of our history as humans, denigrating 'the other' as an animal to dehumanise them is a common practice. In the united states, the native people and black slaves were seen and treated as subhuman, often compared to animals. Not exactly an outlandish stretch to see CDPR hamfisting that old 'they're animals' comparison into their game without realizing it's history in the context of the location they're setting their game to, unless they're just winking at their redditors by triggering sjw's again.

Just because RPS sucks, and they put out an article, doesn't mean everything touched on in the article is baseless. For the record, I formed my impression, and found the article that described some of what I'd seen, not realizing RPS is considered offensive source material prior to that. Sorry I brought it up yet again, as many people had already linked to it in previous pages in this thread, and I suppose my posting it more recently was just the final straw.

Anyway when the one person of color at the table on a livestream didn't mention anything public about a game calling people of color animals, that doesn't mean it's therefore a non issue. It's not the responsibility of people of color to point out every single instance of harmful racist stereotypes for the rest of us to notice and rest assured if something is racist or not. Likewise, if one person of color doesn't take issue with it, they're not the mouthpiece for their entire demographic. Some things require context and perspective, and as adults we should think about that critically and sort it out amongst ourselves.

(When you are the only one of your demographic at the table, and there's stuff that touches on the power dynamic imbalance between your demographic and the demographics of other people at the table, things can get really complicated and really uncomfortable very fast. The way he quickly skirted the Haitian elements was tricky enough).

We are living times where nationalism is on the rise, wage/class disparity is increasing, gun violence is still heavily glorified, and we're seeing social regression on large and small scales due to the current political climate. It seems this game is influenced by that and I'd be interested to see if CDPR can pull their chestnuts out of the fire and actually do something interesting with that.

I'm expecting a trainwreck and secretly hoping for a redemption that puts my fears to bed. It'd be nice to see if groups like CDPR actually learn and grow from their mistakes for a change.

For the record, (since I think it's cropped up a couple of times in the past few pages of the thread) there's nothing wrong with RPS. Certainly nothing you wont find on any other left-leaning gaming website. Unlike most gaming sites, they actually employ trans/NB columnists to write their transgender/NB related think pieces where possible, afaik.

Usually the vast majority of people complaining about it's output veer towards the gamergate side of the gamer divide (not that i'm saying anyone here is, just to nip THAT in the bud in advance) because they lean more towards openly talking about "SJW" issues rather than pretending they don't exist.

I will be keeping an eye on it but i'm not holding my breath. There's still a lot of "umming" and "erring" whenever the topic of their character creation options crop up, and no mention at all about pronouns or anything that would actually affect anything in-game (or suggest to me they've actually taken the time to consult with trans/enby people in it's creation for that matter) .

I think I'm just going to try and go dark on the game until the week before it drops and find some way to assess where I'm at with it all as close to release as I can I guess. Not sure the hyper-analysis of games pre-release is for me, I think I'm going to judge the end product which is kind of what I've been doing lately anyway.

Amoebic wrote:

For most of our history as humans, denigrating 'the other' as an animal to dehumanise them is a common practice. In the united states, the native people and black slaves were seen and treated as subhuman, often compared to animals. Not exactly an outlandish stretch to see CDPR hamfisting that old 'they're animals' comparison into their game without realizing it's history in the context of the location they're setting their game to, unless they're just winking at their redditors by triggering sjw's again.

Just because RPS sucks, and they put out an article, doesn't mean everything touched on in the article is baseless. For the record, I formed my impression, and found the article that described some of what I'd seen, not realizing RPS is considered offensive source material prior to that. Sorry I brought it up yet again, as many people had already linked to it in previous pages in this thread, and I suppose my posting it more recently was just the final straw.

Anyway when the one person of color at the table on a livestream didn't mention anything public about a game calling people of color animals, that doesn't mean it's therefore a non issue. It's not the responsibility of people of color to point out every single instance of harmful racist stereotypes for the rest of us to notice and rest assured if something is racist or not. Likewise, if one person of color doesn't take issue with it, they're not the mouthpiece for their entire demographic. Some things require context and perspective, and as adults we should think about that critically and sort it out amongst ourselves.

(When you are the only one of your demographic at the table, and there's stuff that touches on the power dynamic imbalance between your demographic and the demographics of other people at the table, things can get really complicated and really uncomfortable very fast. The way he quickly skirted the Haitian elements was tricky enough).

We are living times where nationalism is on the rise, wage/class disparity is increasing, gun violence is still heavily glorified, and we're seeing social regression on large and small scales due to the current political climate. It seems this game is influenced by that and I'd be interested to see if CDPR can pull their chestnuts out of the fire and actually do something interesting with that.

I'm expecting a trainwreck and secretly hoping for a redemption that puts my fears to bed. It'd be nice to see if groups like CDPR actually learn and grow from their mistakes for a change.

I'll admit that i have very little love for RPS and have 0 patience when they misstep, but the part you quoted from their article was just wrong or if folks want to give them the benefit stupendously ignorant and at worse intentionally inflammatory.

CDPR needs to be held to a critical light due to their previous f*ck ups, but with this particular project not only created, but continually being developed by people of color i'm more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they're being mindful of this issue and will wait to hear about the final product than anyone from RPS.

If 10 people don’t take issue with a scene of a white dude gunning down black people from a gang called Animals doesn’t mean it’s not problematic. This forum proves that many people will have zero issue with it. But some might and those that might speaking out about it isn’t an attack on those that don’t. It’s simply pointing out that it makes them uncomfortable.

Same goes for RPS vs other sites reviewing the demo.

Fwiw, I believe the Voodoo Boys are from the P&P rpg.

I can't speak for the Animals gang though. (Crazy juicers are a typical cyberpunk concept.)

garion333 wrote:

Fwiw, I believe the Voodoo Boys are from the P&P rpg.

I can't speak for the Animals gang though. (Crazy juicers are a typical cyberpunk concept.)

Man, I loved Rifts...

TheGameguru wrote:

If 10 people don’t take issue with a scene of a white dude gunning down black people from a gang called Animals doesn’t mean it’s not problematic. This forum proves that many people will have zero issue with it. But some might and those that might speaking out about it isn’t an attack on those that don’t. It’s simply pointing out that it makes them uncomfortable.

Same goes for RPS vs other sites reviewing the demo.

Honest question, but if there's a character creator that allows you to be any skin tone you want, does this become a moot point? For the third time, I just wonder if we are jumping the gun here.

I am also assuming you can make your protagonist non-white. If you can't, well... carry on.