• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Cyberpunk 2077 - Review Thread

Should we lock this thread?

  • Yes

    Votes: 194 23.7%
  • No

    Votes: 626 76.3%

  • Total voters
    820

KyoShiRo330

Member
Jan 21, 2018
2,687
10,511
940
31
Bordeaux, France
Anyone doing a blind playthrough of this?

 
Feb 18, 2013
740
1,249
760
CDPR is a transphobic company. That will read as being incendiary but there's little else that fits when there's a history spanning years of their disdain, mocking of and disregard for trans identities in their games, conduct and promotions. From the outset I want to make it clear that coming in with "they support LGBT" isn't needed here. It's of no material concern that members of the company go to Pride. The LGBT community isn't some homogenous lump and never has been. Many people within the community and out support the LG&B while holding contempt and dislike for the T. This topic is about that final letter and the way in which this company has repeatedly proven that they hold no regard for us in their output.

All of the below are conscious actions being spoken to. What is also worth highlighting is the lack of action as well. CDPR across these past two years have been in every position, both in knowledge and ability, to extend an olive branch toward the trans community. In among their many delays they had the option to incorporate feedback from the community and haven't. In amongst all of the videos of cars, guns, chrome and gangs they had the opportunity to take the concerns to heart and deep dive into how gender and trans representation is being handled with nuance in CP77. They haven't. This speaks as much to their intent as the elements below, and is worth considering among them.

Nor can any of this be put down to an instance of a well-meaning blunder toward being progressive, which I might buy on a single incident from a small studio. This is a giant international corporation who, had they the intent of being inclusive as a focus of the game, would have managed to avoid any of the below. This – not being repeatedly transphobic – is something that most other major companies manage to avoid. There are trans charities in Poland and many internationally that could have been brought in from the start to consult. This is a company that is content to wave inclusivity around to garner press while committing no legwork or depth of thought toward it.


Context
-

I want to start by giving some grounding to the issue as far too often we have the refrain of "it's just a game" levelled against us. The truth is that the majority of people don't know someone who is openly trans. Have had no known contact with someone that is openly trans and therefore have little direct relation to the issues we face, our lives and our bodies. The majority of information people do receive about us is via the media they consume. The issue here is that trans representation or depiction in media has historically been either through mockery or disgust, and more commonly now – fetishization. We are set dressing for laughs, for being reviled or for pleasure. Frequently reduced down to our genitals and bodies in favour of seeing a person. Due to this, the way media presents us is in direct relation to the abuse, harm and threats we face in life. For more of an understanding around this in relation to film, I recommend the Netflix documentary Disclosure. This issue extends across all media, including games and print. People frequently perceive us through these depictions and when we're presented as little more than a joke, that's what we're taken as.

So if it is 'just a game' to you, consider why it isn't able to be for others. How you can help others enjoy them as just games, and not something they have to question how much mockery or harm they're expected to endure while interacting with them.


Tweets
-

On the 20th August 2018 the official Cyberpunk twitter posted this tweet response:



This initial instance can seem innocuous on the surface but it's a transphobic line conjured around "outrage culture" and the notion that trans people are looking to be offended. Which, naturally, is a common pushback from people that are being offensive and how this joke is usually employed. Trans people don't respond to being misgendered with "did you assume my gender?". In fact most trans people are terrified of even raising the fact that they are being misgendered. Contesting this is something that can frequently put you in harms way and unless you're speaking to an out and out ally it's always a dice roll as to how it will be received. Often it will be through mocking, and this is where the point of transphobic jokes is worth highlighting. It renders our identities as fanciful and frivolous; something to be tolerated instead of accepted. When trans identities aren't taken seriously it directly affects our ability to live as who we are.

There is no distinction between the joke and the transphobia because transphobia has persistently centered itself around the notion that we are a joke.

In response Cyberpunk posted this:



People who have had to deal with bigotry will recognise the all-too-common apology of "sorry to those offended". The apology isn't a recognition that their actions were transphobic nor a statement that trans identities are valid. Instead it appeals to that which we've just mentioned; those that see trans people as people constantly offended by everything. It doesn't offer a recognition that the act itself was the issue, but that it happened to offend some people.

This can be evidenced by the responses, some of which shown below, which are a crowd of fans CDPR has increasingly become conscious of and pander toward:






A couple of months later, on the 22nd October 2018, the twitter account for CDPR's online storefront GOG posted this tweet:



This made light of the hashtag #WontBeErased on Twitter that, at the time, was trending because of a Trump administration memo that proposed a strict definition of gender based on a person’s genitalia at birth. Something that would work toward the erasure of trans identities. Anyone viewing the hashtag would have seen the context in which it sat. This wasn't the first issue the GOG twitter account had had either, with a prior tweet appealing to the same alt-right fanbase by posting a tweet around the death of journalism and Gamergate.

In response, and to their credit, GOG fired the person involved who then went on to work for an alt-right website. However three troubling tweets in almost as many months caused concern around the culture across the two companies, and the tolerance for transphobia in their working environment.


Cyberpunk 2077 Adverts / "It's a Dystopia"
-

In one of the gameplay reveals in June 2019 this poster was spotted on a surface in the game:



It depicts a fetishized caricature of a trans women, complete with over-emphasised erection, the phrase "Mix It Up" and the name of the advertised drink; "Chromanticore". The issue will be apparent to many but I'll break it down so it's clear. First of all you have the character; a fetishized image of a trans woman's body that is only there to highlight the "trans" nature of her. As mentioned in the opening paragraphs this falls into one of the common ways in which transphobia manifests; reducing us down to our genitals for display at the expense of any sense of us as people. "Mix It Up" implies the frivolous nature of being trans as though we pick and choose our gender identity. Again falling victim to another form of transphobia.

Finally we have "Chromanticore" which on a generous read is a mix of "chrome" and "manticore" and at worst "chromosome" and "manticore". Forgiving the ambiguity of the first word the second still becomes inherently insulting. A manticore is a mythical beast comprised of parts of different animals. On a more subtle level it literally means "man eater", where the fear of men being "tricked" into falling for a trans woman resonates – though I highly doubt this specific aspect was part of the thought process, it works to support the fact that we need more trans women working on products that aim to depict us. On the overt and obvious, it's depicting an over-emphasised trans woman while relating her to a beast. Trans people will know all too well the common insults thrown at them in disgust (3 for 3), relating them to being unnatural or monsters.

In response to the criticism raised, CDPR came out with a response that included the following justification:


Which rings hollow in a few ways. The most apparent being that CDPR, themselves a massive corporation, are content to invoke this imagery and defend its use while simultaneously promoting the game as diverse and inclusive. This isn't just true of their use of it in the game, but also their literal use of it in offline events as set dressing and promo material:



Which only compounds the next point that you cannot state that it is terrible and what one is supposed to fight against, while continuing to position it front and center – completely decoupled from that message. It just becomes a transphobic advert being used to promote a game to make money for a massive corporation. In addition, there were cans of the drink available – a drink that is drawing a line to being trans – labelled as poison. One tone deaf incident is forgiven but when multiple elements come together, all transphobic, you start to question how much it's an articulation of issues in society, and how much it's using these things to reinforce a veneer of edge around their product. Appealing to a crowd of people all too content to mock trans people, at the expense of those being targeted.

This also isn't the only advert that comes at the expense of trans bodies either, as we can see below:



With no intent to explain the alleged nuance outside of defending the artwork, it's hard to take it seriously. These are plastered across Night City and seen in most promotional videos that have been put out about the game. No such video or message contextualizing these elements has been given alongside. Instead we have endless reams of how cool everything looks, what the guns are like and what Porsche model will be in the game. As mentioned earlier, if CDPR wanted to clarify these things and extend some consideration toward the trans community around them, they could – and would – have done. As it is, they're content to continue to use this imagery and claim diversity, all while leaving the extent of how much transphobic content will be in the game ambiguous to those trans people interested.

The response of "it's a dystopia it's meant to be bad" holds little weight as well when these things are constantly decoupled from any actual criticism. This is moving past the fact that just because a setting is supposed to be bad doesn't mean we need to lean on transphobia as a means to depict it. There's plenty of other awful things that the game will not invoke or use to facilitate this, and fetishizing and mocking us as the backdrop to it is an easy target. Especially in the knowledge that many fans see zero issue with these things, including Mike Pondsmith himself, so the extent to which that "terrible" message is landing is already minor.


Political Sympathies
-
In among this, it's important to bring the grounding that CDPR operates from a country that's in the midst of a nationwide crackdown on trans people and all those within the LGBTQ+ community. This has garnered worldwide condemnation and even brought into question the IOC's choice of hosting the Olympics there. Townships have declared themselves LGBT-Free and propaganda seeking to exile members of the community is regularly passed around, in some cases even being included with news publications.

In addition to further raising suspicion around the internal culture of CDPR with regard transphobia, it also becomes a direct concern when met against the content being spoken of in the game. In particular because in a recent interview with Paweł Sasko, the Lead Quest Designer on CP77, the politics of staff was mentioned:


Speaking to the importance of representing various political sympathies becomes concerning when you have both the above context and a company, and game, that have pandered to the alt-right and had numerous instances of transphobia. It becomes hard to not draw the line between this disregard of trans people in the game and in the output of the company, with that importance and the political climate of Poland.

If you are interested in learning more about the situation in Poland further information can be found here (1, 2, 3), and you can support directly here.


Character Creator
-



After speaking heavily to how inclusive Cyberpunk 2077 would be, it's been confirmed that the character creator will tie the pronouns the game uses to refer to the character with, with the pitch of voice chosen. Meaning that if you choose a traditionally female body type but select a deeper voice, your character will be referred to as "he" or "him" in the game's dialogue. Voice pitch is a sensitive issue in the trans community and with transition as HRT has no bearing on your voice when transitioning as a trans woman, or toward transfeminine identities. As a direct result it becomes something that many trans people are conscious of when they attempt to pass, as it's an element that works against you when people frequently associate a deep voice to being a man, and a high voice to being a women. This in a very real sense is an issue of safety for trans people offline, as having a deeper voice while presenting femme can result in abuse. However it isn't an immediate black or white picture when it comes to how trans people feel about their voice outside of those issues. Your voice is as personal to you as anything else, and there are many trans people that would prefer to be able to feel comfortable using their real voice as opposed to putting in considerable effort toward changing it in the hope of better acceptance.

So the consequence of the character creator is one that allows for cis people to make a "chick with a dick" a la the controversial poster, at the expense of trans people being able to create characters that represent them. Once again, it seems to highlight the nature of "diversity" when it comes to CP77; that it's commonly aimed toward the cisgender crowd over showing consideration for transgender people and true inclusivity. This hasn't prevented CDPR from lapping up a lot of publicity claiming that it is inclusive though, and in effect having their cake and eating it. Too often we now have cis people come back to us touting this alleged inclusivity and character creator, in the face of our issues with the game.


Official Cosplay Competition
-
Now we have the most recent example of CDPR's disdain for trans people. If you recall the defense for the caricature of the trans woman in the "Chromanticore" poster was that the fetishization of the trans character was to be seen as "terrible". Something CDPR claim to see as something that should be fought against. Which as discussed is already brought into question by their own use of it in offline promos, but is completely blown apart by their choice of finalist in their recent cosplay competition. Not just via social media, but in their official Night City Wire pre-presentation.




I do believe a cisgender woman can cosplay a trans woman, and that there's little issue if it's done respectfully. That isn't the case here though. This isn't a trans character in the game with any given depth, it's an illustration in an advert whose sole purpose is to fetishize the body of a trans woman, where her transness is reduced in full to her genitals and a comparison is drawn to a beast. The only reason it was of any note was because of the controversy surrounding it and the issues trans people had with it, so it's hard not to find the choice suspect in the first place.

What solidifies the problem is when the cisgender woman in question is treating that aspect of the trans woman as a joke; as something to laugh at. Drawing primary attention once again to the genitals and making it the central part of the cosplay. There's no desire to become any character, but instead become a walking mockery of a trans person that was only ever there to begin with as a fetishization. It's not as though cisgender women are de-facto in support of the rights of trans women, so when someone is treating our bodies as something to be laughed over, and is roleplaying us purely to serve for comedic purposes, I find it poor – to put it mildly. It further reinforces us as a joke, and that in itself is transphobic.

This loops back to the advert itself, as mentioned before the justification was that it was intended to be terrible, in addition to:



If it's designed to be a terrible and distasteful advert working at the expense of trans women – something CDPR themselves tells us we should be fighting against – you can't then decouple it from the criticism to use frivolously for laughs or promotional material. Promoting someone taking that imagery, further accenting and highlighting the parts we're supposed to take issue with, all while laughing about it, renders that original intent meaningless. Put bluntly; when you're flying people out to take part in a video shoot for your promo and they're walking around with a fake neon penis representing the thing you claim to hate, how can we take any notion of nuance around trans people, issues and bodies seriously within both CDPR and Cyberpunk 2077?


CDPR are content to exploit both their workers and trans people for financial gain, alongside courting an obvious and loud alt-right fanbase.
-
They are a transphobic company content to lean on inclusivity as a promotional tool at the expense of trans people. Consistently treating us with ridicule and afterthought while claiming the opposite. They are happy to foster a toxic work environment grinding their workers to the bone. They are happy to lean into the chud fanbase they know they've garnered over the years.

It is obvious they don't care about us, but they still care about the fans that stick with them regardless. So it is in this that I ask that even if you're hyped to jump into Night City, you become vocal about these issues and offer support in bringing their attention to CDPR. Whether it's here, on Twitter or in feedback forms – letting them know that you're a fan but you dislike the way they have acted toward the trans community is of value. If you aren't willing to be critical of a company you like while enjoying their product, at the expense of trans voices, then – insofar as I'm concerned – you can't consider yourself a trans ally. If that stings, it should, because it means that you're aware that you allow your excitement of a game prevent you from supporting the communities it takes advantage of.

What's often missing from the retorts is that I was once hyped for the game. The logo treatment reveal was stunning, the art direction posters were a lock for purchase. It looked great. However when it becomes a question of how much transphobic content I'll be expected to put up with as I attempt to enjoy the game, it's hard to remain enthused by it. It becomes a question of why I'm supporting a company that's repeatedly showing they're content to mock people like me, and perpetuate stereotypes that affect us offline in life. That continue the lines of thought that place our lives in danger and our respect in question.

This isn't some "rah rah boycott" motion that people like to distill it down to. It's what it feels like when you face a company and product that comes at the expense of you and others like you. If you don't know what that feels like, consider how fortunate it is that you get to engage with this medium without such a concern. Perhaps become more active in lending your voice toward choruses like this, so that we too can enjoy games without it. If there's one thing I'm sure of it's that both CDPR and Cyberpunk 2077 have the ability to be great without being transphobic.


Never ever make troll posts this long again.
 

Bergoglio

Formerly 'La tua coscienza'
Jan 13, 2018
584
1,592
595
i don't have another platform to play it on so i will buy a copy for someone

And you do well. You will not be the only one. It is time to annihilate the SJW culture, by any means possible. Meanwhile, let's start by defending freedom of expression and supporting CPD.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: billyxci

Halo is Dead

Member
May 20, 2018
7,316
13,118
780
CDPR is a transphobic company. That will read as being incendiary but there's little else that fits when there's a history spanning years of their disdain, mocking of and disregard for trans identities in their games, conduct and promotions. From the outset I want to make it clear that coming in with "they support LGBT" isn't needed here. It's of no material concern that members of the company go to Pride. The LGBT community isn't some homogenous lump and never has been. Many people within the community and out support the LG&B while holding contempt and dislike for the T. This topic is about that final letter and the way in which this company has repeatedly proven that they hold no regard for us in their output.

All of the below are conscious actions being spoken to. What is also worth highlighting is the lack of action as well. CDPR across these past two years have been in every position, both in knowledge and ability, to extend an olive branch toward the trans community. In among their many delays they had the option to incorporate feedback from the community and haven't. In amongst all of the videos of cars, guns, chrome and gangs they had the opportunity to take the concerns to heart and deep dive into how gender and trans representation is being handled with nuance in CP77. They haven't. This speaks as much to their intent as the elements below, and is worth considering among them.

Nor can any of this be put down to an instance of a well-meaning blunder toward being progressive, which I might buy on a single incident from a small studio. This is a giant international corporation who, had they the intent of being inclusive as a focus of the game, would have managed to avoid any of the below. This – not being repeatedly transphobic – is something that most other major companies manage to avoid. There are trans charities in Poland and many internationally that could have been brought in from the start to consult. This is a company that is content to wave inclusivity around to garner press while committing no legwork or depth of thought toward it.


Context
-

I want to start by giving some grounding to the issue as far too often we have the refrain of "it's just a game" levelled against us. The truth is that the majority of people don't know someone who is openly trans. Have had no known contact with someone that is openly trans and therefore have little direct relation to the issues we face, our lives and our bodies. The majority of information people do receive about us is via the media they consume. The issue here is that trans representation or depiction in media has historically been either through mockery or disgust, and more commonly now – fetishization. We are set dressing for laughs, for being reviled or for pleasure. Frequently reduced down to our genitals and bodies in favour of seeing a person. Due to this, the way media presents us is in direct relation to the abuse, harm and threats we face in life. For more of an understanding around this in relation to film, I recommend the Netflix documentary Disclosure. This issue extends across all media, including games and print. People frequently perceive us through these depictions and when we're presented as little more than a joke, that's what we're taken as.

So if it is 'just a game' to you, consider why it isn't able to be for others. How you can help others enjoy them as just games, and not something they have to question how much mockery or harm they're expected to endure while interacting with them.


Tweets
-

On the 20th August 2018 the official Cyberpunk twitter posted this tweet response:



This initial instance can seem innocuous on the surface but it's a transphobic line conjured around "outrage culture" and the notion that trans people are looking to be offended. Which, naturally, is a common pushback from people that are being offensive and how this joke is usually employed. Trans people don't respond to being misgendered with "did you assume my gender?". In fact most trans people are terrified of even raising the fact that they are being misgendered. Contesting this is something that can frequently put you in harms way and unless you're speaking to an out and out ally it's always a dice roll as to how it will be received. Often it will be through mocking, and this is where the point of transphobic jokes is worth highlighting. It renders our identities as fanciful and frivolous; something to be tolerated instead of accepted. When trans identities aren't taken seriously it directly affects our ability to live as who we are.

There is no distinction between the joke and the transphobia because transphobia has persistently centered itself around the notion that we are a joke.

In response Cyberpunk posted this:



People who have had to deal with bigotry will recognise the all-too-common apology of "sorry to those offended". The apology isn't a recognition that their actions were transphobic nor a statement that trans identities are valid. Instead it appeals to that which we've just mentioned; those that see trans people as people constantly offended by everything. It doesn't offer a recognition that the act itself was the issue, but that it happened to offend some people.

This can be evidenced by the responses, some of which shown below, which are a crowd of fans CDPR has increasingly become conscious of and pander toward:






A couple of months later, on the 22nd October 2018, the twitter account for CDPR's online storefront GOG posted this tweet:



This made light of the hashtag #WontBeErased on Twitter that, at the time, was trending because of a Trump administration memo that proposed a strict definition of gender based on a person’s genitalia at birth. Something that would work toward the erasure of trans identities. Anyone viewing the hashtag would have seen the context in which it sat. This wasn't the first issue the GOG twitter account had had either, with a prior tweet appealing to the same alt-right fanbase by posting a tweet around the death of journalism and Gamergate.

In response, and to their credit, GOG fired the person involved who then went on to work for an alt-right website. However three troubling tweets in almost as many months caused concern around the culture across the two companies, and the tolerance for transphobia in their working environment.


Cyberpunk 2077 Adverts / "It's a Dystopia"
-

In one of the gameplay reveals in June 2019 this poster was spotted on a surface in the game:



It depicts a fetishized caricature of a trans women, complete with over-emphasised erection, the phrase "Mix It Up" and the name of the advertised drink; "Chromanticore". The issue will be apparent to many but I'll break it down so it's clear. First of all you have the character; a fetishized image of a trans woman's body that is only there to highlight the "trans" nature of her. As mentioned in the opening paragraphs this falls into one of the common ways in which transphobia manifests; reducing us down to our genitals for display at the expense of any sense of us as people. "Mix It Up" implies the frivolous nature of being trans as though we pick and choose our gender identity. Again falling victim to another form of transphobia.

Finally we have "Chromanticore" which on a generous read is a mix of "chrome" and "manticore" and at worst "chromosome" and "manticore". Forgiving the ambiguity of the first word the second still becomes inherently insulting. A manticore is a mythical beast comprised of parts of different animals. On a more subtle level it literally means "man eater", where the fear of men being "tricked" into falling for a trans woman resonates – though I highly doubt this specific aspect was part of the thought process, it works to support the fact that we need more trans women working on products that aim to depict us. On the overt and obvious, it's depicting an over-emphasised trans woman while relating her to a beast. Trans people will know all too well the common insults thrown at them in disgust (3 for 3), relating them to being unnatural or monsters.

In response to the criticism raised, CDPR came out with a response that included the following justification:


Which rings hollow in a few ways. The most apparent being that CDPR, themselves a massive corporation, are content to invoke this imagery and defend its use while simultaneously promoting the game as diverse and inclusive. This isn't just true of their use of it in the game, but also their literal use of it in offline events as set dressing and promo material:



Which only compounds the next point that you cannot state that it is terrible and what one is supposed to fight against, while continuing to position it front and center – completely decoupled from that message. It just becomes a transphobic advert being used to promote a game to make money for a massive corporation. In addition, there were cans of the drink available – a drink that is drawing a line to being trans – labelled as poison. One tone deaf incident is forgiven but when multiple elements come together, all transphobic, you start to question how much it's an articulation of issues in society, and how much it's using these things to reinforce a veneer of edge around their product. Appealing to a crowd of people all too content to mock trans people, at the expense of those being targeted.

This also isn't the only advert that comes at the expense of trans bodies either, as we can see below:



With no intent to explain the alleged nuance outside of defending the artwork, it's hard to take it seriously. These are plastered across Night City and seen in most promotional videos that have been put out about the game. No such video or message contextualizing these elements has been given alongside. Instead we have endless reams of how cool everything looks, what the guns are like and what Porsche model will be in the game. As mentioned earlier, if CDPR wanted to clarify these things and extend some consideration toward the trans community around them, they could – and would – have done. As it is, they're content to continue to use this imagery and claim diversity, all while leaving the extent of how much transphobic content will be in the game ambiguous to those trans people interested.

The response of "it's a dystopia it's meant to be bad" holds little weight as well when these things are constantly decoupled from any actual criticism. This is moving past the fact that just because a setting is supposed to be bad doesn't mean we need to lean on transphobia as a means to depict it. There's plenty of other awful things that the game will not invoke or use to facilitate this, and fetishizing and mocking us as the backdrop to it is an easy target. Especially in the knowledge that many fans see zero issue with these things, including Mike Pondsmith himself, so the extent to which that "terrible" message is landing is already minor.


Political Sympathies
-
In among this, it's important to bring the grounding that CDPR operates from a country that's in the midst of a nationwide crackdown on trans people and all those within the LGBTQ+ community. This has garnered worldwide condemnation and even brought into question the IOC's choice of hosting the Olympics there. Townships have declared themselves LGBT-Free and propaganda seeking to exile members of the community is regularly passed around, in some cases even being included with news publications.

In addition to further raising suspicion around the internal culture of CDPR with regard transphobia, it also becomes a direct concern when met against the content being spoken of in the game. In particular because in a recent interview with Paweł Sasko, the Lead Quest Designer on CP77, the politics of staff was mentioned:


Speaking to the importance of representing various political sympathies becomes concerning when you have both the above context and a company, and game, that have pandered to the alt-right and had numerous instances of transphobia. It becomes hard to not draw the line between this disregard of trans people in the game and in the output of the company, with that importance and the political climate of Poland.

If you are interested in learning more about the situation in Poland further information can be found here (1, 2, 3), and you can support directly here.


Character Creator
-



After speaking heavily to how inclusive Cyberpunk 2077 would be, it's been confirmed that the character creator will tie the pronouns the game uses to refer to the character with, with the pitch of voice chosen. Meaning that if you choose a traditionally female body type but select a deeper voice, your character will be referred to as "he" or "him" in the game's dialogue. Voice pitch is a sensitive issue in the trans community and with transition as HRT has no bearing on your voice when transitioning as a trans woman, or toward transfeminine identities. As a direct result it becomes something that many trans people are conscious of when they attempt to pass, as it's an element that works against you when people frequently associate a deep voice to being a man, and a high voice to being a women. This in a very real sense is an issue of safety for trans people offline, as having a deeper voice while presenting femme can result in abuse. However it isn't an immediate black or white picture when it comes to how trans people feel about their voice outside of those issues. Your voice is as personal to you as anything else, and there are many trans people that would prefer to be able to feel comfortable using their real voice as opposed to putting in considerable effort toward changing it in the hope of better acceptance.

So the consequence of the character creator is one that allows for cis people to make a "chick with a dick" a la the controversial poster, at the expense of trans people being able to create characters that represent them. Once again, it seems to highlight the nature of "diversity" when it comes to CP77; that it's commonly aimed toward the cisgender crowd over showing consideration for transgender people and true inclusivity. This hasn't prevented CDPR from lapping up a lot of publicity claiming that it is inclusive though, and in effect having their cake and eating it. Too often we now have cis people come back to us touting this alleged inclusivity and character creator, in the face of our issues with the game.


Official Cosplay Competition
-
Now we have the most recent example of CDPR's disdain for trans people. If you recall the defense for the caricature of the trans woman in the "Chromanticore" poster was that the fetishization of the trans character was to be seen as "terrible". Something CDPR claim to see as something that should be fought against. Which as discussed is already brought into question by their own use of it in offline promos, but is completely blown apart by their choice of finalist in their recent cosplay competition. Not just via social media, but in their official Night City Wire pre-presentation.




I do believe a cisgender woman can cosplay a trans woman, and that there's little issue if it's done respectfully. That isn't the case here though. This isn't a trans character in the game with any given depth, it's an illustration in an advert whose sole purpose is to fetishize the body of a trans woman, where her transness is reduced in full to her genitals and a comparison is drawn to a beast. The only reason it was of any note was because of the controversy surrounding it and the issues trans people had with it, so it's hard not to find the choice suspect in the first place.

What solidifies the problem is when the cisgender woman in question is treating that aspect of the trans woman as a joke; as something to laugh at. Drawing primary attention once again to the genitals and making it the central part of the cosplay. There's no desire to become any character, but instead become a walking mockery of a trans person that was only ever there to begin with as a fetishization. It's not as though cisgender women are de-facto in support of the rights of trans women, so when someone is treating our bodies as something to be laughed over, and is roleplaying us purely to serve for comedic purposes, I find it poor – to put it mildly. It further reinforces us as a joke, and that in itself is transphobic.

This loops back to the advert itself, as mentioned before the justification was that it was intended to be terrible, in addition to:



If it's designed to be a terrible and distasteful advert working at the expense of trans women – something CDPR themselves tells us we should be fighting against – you can't then decouple it from the criticism to use frivolously for laughs or promotional material. Promoting someone taking that imagery, further accenting and highlighting the parts we're supposed to take issue with, all while laughing about it, renders that original intent meaningless. Put bluntly; when you're flying people out to take part in a video shoot for your promo and they're walking around with a fake neon penis representing the thing you claim to hate, how can we take any notion of nuance around trans people, issues and bodies seriously within both CDPR and Cyberpunk 2077?


CDPR are content to exploit both their workers and trans people for financial gain, alongside courting an obvious and loud alt-right fanbase.
-
They are a transphobic company content to lean on inclusivity as a promotional tool at the expense of trans people. Consistently treating us with ridicule and afterthought while claiming the opposite. They are happy to foster a toxic work environment grinding their workers to the bone. They are happy to lean into the chud fanbase they know they've garnered over the years.

It is obvious they don't care about us, but they still care about the fans that stick with them regardless. So it is in this that I ask that even if you're hyped to jump into Night City, you become vocal about these issues and offer support in bringing their attention to CDPR. Whether it's here, on Twitter or in feedback forms – letting them know that you're a fan but you dislike the way they have acted toward the trans community is of value. If you aren't willing to be critical of a company you like while enjoying their product, at the expense of trans voices, then – insofar as I'm concerned – you can't consider yourself a trans ally. If that stings, it should, because it means that you're aware that you allow your excitement of a game prevent you from supporting the communities it takes advantage of.

What's often missing from the retorts is that I was once hyped for the game. The logo treatment reveal was stunning, the art direction posters were a lock for purchase. It looked great. However when it becomes a question of how much transphobic content I'll be expected to put up with as I attempt to enjoy the game, it's hard to remain enthused by it. It becomes a question of why I'm supporting a company that's repeatedly showing they're content to mock people like me, and perpetuate stereotypes that affect us offline in life. That continue the lines of thought that place our lives in danger and our respect in question.

This isn't some "rah rah boycott" motion that people like to distill it down to. It's what it feels like when you face a company and product that comes at the expense of you and others like you. If you don't know what that feels like, consider how fortunate it is that you get to engage with this medium without such a concern. Perhaps become more active in lending your voice toward choruses like this, so that we too can enjoy games without it. If there's one thing I'm sure of it's that both CDPR and Cyberpunk 2077 have the ability to be great without being transphobic.




 

DonJorginho

Member
Jan 22, 2020
3,345
8,942
730
Kanye's Kitchen
CDPR is a transphobic company. That will read as being incendiary but there's little else that fits when there's a history spanning years of their disdain, mocking of and disregard for trans identities in their games, conduct and promotions. From the outset I want to make it clear that coming in with "they support LGBT" isn't needed here. It's of no material concern that members of the company go to Pride. The LGBT community isn't some homogenous lump and never has been. Many people within the community and out support the LG&B while holding contempt and dislike for the T. This topic is about that final letter and the way in which this company has repeatedly proven that they hold no regard for us in their output.

All of the below are conscious actions being spoken to. What is also worth highlighting is the lack of action as well. CDPR across these past two years have been in every position, both in knowledge and ability, to extend an olive branch toward the trans community. In among their many delays they had the option to incorporate feedback from the community and haven't. In amongst all of the videos of cars, guns, chrome and gangs they had the opportunity to take the concerns to heart and deep dive into how gender and trans representation is being handled with nuance in CP77. They haven't. This speaks as much to their intent as the elements below, and is worth considering among them.

Nor can any of this be put down to an instance of a well-meaning blunder toward being progressive, which I might buy on a single incident from a small studio. This is a giant international corporation who, had they the intent of being inclusive as a focus of the game, would have managed to avoid any of the below. This – not being repeatedly transphobic – is something that most other major companies manage to avoid. There are trans charities in Poland and many internationally that could have been brought in from the start to consult. This is a company that is content to wave inclusivity around to garner press while committing no legwork or depth of thought toward it.


Context
-

I want to start by giving some grounding to the issue as far too often we have the refrain of "it's just a game" levelled against us. The truth is that the majority of people don't know someone who is openly trans. Have had no known contact with someone that is openly trans and therefore have little direct relation to the issues we face, our lives and our bodies. The majority of information people do receive about us is via the media they consume. The issue here is that trans representation or depiction in media has historically been either through mockery or disgust, and more commonly now – fetishization. We are set dressing for laughs, for being reviled or for pleasure. Frequently reduced down to our genitals and bodies in favour of seeing a person. Due to this, the way media presents us is in direct relation to the abuse, harm and threats we face in life. For more of an understanding around this in relation to film, I recommend the Netflix documentary Disclosure. This issue extends across all media, including games and print. People frequently perceive us through these depictions and when we're presented as little more than a joke, that's what we're taken as.

So if it is 'just a game' to you, consider why it isn't able to be for others. How you can help others enjoy them as just games, and not something they have to question how much mockery or harm they're expected to endure while interacting with them.


Tweets
-

On the 20th August 2018 the official Cyberpunk twitter posted this tweet response:



This initial instance can seem innocuous on the surface but it's a transphobic line conjured around "outrage culture" and the notion that trans people are looking to be offended. Which, naturally, is a common pushback from people that are being offensive and how this joke is usually employed. Trans people don't respond to being misgendered with "did you assume my gender?". In fact most trans people are terrified of even raising the fact that they are being misgendered. Contesting this is something that can frequently put you in harms way and unless you're speaking to an out and out ally it's always a dice roll as to how it will be received. Often it will be through mocking, and this is where the point of transphobic jokes is worth highlighting. It renders our identities as fanciful and frivolous; something to be tolerated instead of accepted. When trans identities aren't taken seriously it directly affects our ability to live as who we are.

There is no distinction between the joke and the transphobia because transphobia has persistently centered itself around the notion that we are a joke.

In response Cyberpunk posted this:



People who have had to deal with bigotry will recognise the all-too-common apology of "sorry to those offended". The apology isn't a recognition that their actions were transphobic nor a statement that trans identities are valid. Instead it appeals to that which we've just mentioned; those that see trans people as people constantly offended by everything. It doesn't offer a recognition that the act itself was the issue, but that it happened to offend some people.

This can be evidenced by the responses, some of which shown below, which are a crowd of fans CDPR has increasingly become conscious of and pander toward:






A couple of months later, on the 22nd October 2018, the twitter account for CDPR's online storefront GOG posted this tweet:



This made light of the hashtag #WontBeErased on Twitter that, at the time, was trending because of a Trump administration memo that proposed a strict definition of gender based on a person’s genitalia at birth. Something that would work toward the erasure of trans identities. Anyone viewing the hashtag would have seen the context in which it sat. This wasn't the first issue the GOG twitter account had had either, with a prior tweet appealing to the same alt-right fanbase by posting a tweet around the death of journalism and Gamergate.

In response, and to their credit, GOG fired the person involved who then went on to work for an alt-right website. However three troubling tweets in almost as many months caused concern around the culture across the two companies, and the tolerance for transphobia in their working environment.


Cyberpunk 2077 Adverts / "It's a Dystopia"
-

In one of the gameplay reveals in June 2019 this poster was spotted on a surface in the game:



It depicts a fetishized caricature of a trans women, complete with over-emphasised erection, the phrase "Mix It Up" and the name of the advertised drink; "Chromanticore". The issue will be apparent to many but I'll break it down so it's clear. First of all you have the character; a fetishized image of a trans woman's body that is only there to highlight the "trans" nature of her. As mentioned in the opening paragraphs this falls into one of the common ways in which transphobia manifests; reducing us down to our genitals for display at the expense of any sense of us as people. "Mix It Up" implies the frivolous nature of being trans as though we pick and choose our gender identity. Again falling victim to another form of transphobia.

Finally we have "Chromanticore" which on a generous read is a mix of "chrome" and "manticore" and at worst "chromosome" and "manticore". Forgiving the ambiguity of the first word the second still becomes inherently insulting. A manticore is a mythical beast comprised of parts of different animals. On a more subtle level it literally means "man eater", where the fear of men being "tricked" into falling for a trans woman resonates – though I highly doubt this specific aspect was part of the thought process, it works to support the fact that we need more trans women working on products that aim to depict us. On the overt and obvious, it's depicting an over-emphasised trans woman while relating her to a beast. Trans people will know all too well the common insults thrown at them in disgust (3 for 3), relating them to being unnatural or monsters.

In response to the criticism raised, CDPR came out with a response that included the following justification:


Which rings hollow in a few ways. The most apparent being that CDPR, themselves a massive corporation, are content to invoke this imagery and defend its use while simultaneously promoting the game as diverse and inclusive. This isn't just true of their use of it in the game, but also their literal use of it in offline events as set dressing and promo material:



Which only compounds the next point that you cannot state that it is terrible and what one is supposed to fight against, while continuing to position it front and center – completely decoupled from that message. It just becomes a transphobic advert being used to promote a game to make money for a massive corporation. In addition, there were cans of the drink available – a drink that is drawing a line to being trans – labelled as poison. One tone deaf incident is forgiven but when multiple elements come together, all transphobic, you start to question how much it's an articulation of issues in society, and how much it's using these things to reinforce a veneer of edge around their product. Appealing to a crowd of people all too content to mock trans people, at the expense of those being targeted.

This also isn't the only advert that comes at the expense of trans bodies either, as we can see below:



With no intent to explain the alleged nuance outside of defending the artwork, it's hard to take it seriously. These are plastered across Night City and seen in most promotional videos that have been put out about the game. No such video or message contextualizing these elements has been given alongside. Instead we have endless reams of how cool everything looks, what the guns are like and what Porsche model will be in the game. As mentioned earlier, if CDPR wanted to clarify these things and extend some consideration toward the trans community around them, they could – and would – have done. As it is, they're content to continue to use this imagery and claim diversity, all while leaving the extent of how much transphobic content will be in the game ambiguous to those trans people interested.

The response of "it's a dystopia it's meant to be bad" holds little weight as well when these things are constantly decoupled from any actual criticism. This is moving past the fact that just because a setting is supposed to be bad doesn't mean we need to lean on transphobia as a means to depict it. There's plenty of other awful things that the game will not invoke or use to facilitate this, and fetishizing and mocking us as the backdrop to it is an easy target. Especially in the knowledge that many fans see zero issue with these things, including Mike Pondsmith himself, so the extent to which that "terrible" message is landing is already minor.


Political Sympathies
-
In among this, it's important to bring the grounding that CDPR operates from a country that's in the midst of a nationwide crackdown on trans people and all those within the LGBTQ+ community. This has garnered worldwide condemnation and even brought into question the IOC's choice of hosting the Olympics there. Townships have declared themselves LGBT-Free and propaganda seeking to exile members of the community is regularly passed around, in some cases even being included with news publications.

In addition to further raising suspicion around the internal culture of CDPR with regard transphobia, it also becomes a direct concern when met against the content being spoken of in the game. In particular because in a recent interview with Paweł Sasko, the Lead Quest Designer on CP77, the politics of staff was mentioned:


Speaking to the importance of representing various political sympathies becomes concerning when you have both the above context and a company, and game, that have pandered to the alt-right and had numerous instances of transphobia. It becomes hard to not draw the line between this disregard of trans people in the game and in the output of the company, with that importance and the political climate of Poland.

If you are interested in learning more about the situation in Poland further information can be found here (1, 2, 3), and you can support directly here.


Character Creator
-



After speaking heavily to how inclusive Cyberpunk 2077 would be, it's been confirmed that the character creator will tie the pronouns the game uses to refer to the character with, with the pitch of voice chosen. Meaning that if you choose a traditionally female body type but select a deeper voice, your character will be referred to as "he" or "him" in the game's dialogue. Voice pitch is a sensitive issue in the trans community and with transition as HRT has no bearing on your voice when transitioning as a trans woman, or toward transfeminine identities. As a direct result it becomes something that many trans people are conscious of when they attempt to pass, as it's an element that works against you when people frequently associate a deep voice to being a man, and a high voice to being a women. This in a very real sense is an issue of safety for trans people offline, as having a deeper voice while presenting femme can result in abuse. However it isn't an immediate black or white picture when it comes to how trans people feel about their voice outside of those issues. Your voice is as personal to you as anything else, and there are many trans people that would prefer to be able to feel comfortable using their real voice as opposed to putting in considerable effort toward changing it in the hope of better acceptance.

So the consequence of the character creator is one that allows for cis people to make a "chick with a dick" a la the controversial poster, at the expense of trans people being able to create characters that represent them. Once again, it seems to highlight the nature of "diversity" when it comes to CP77; that it's commonly aimed toward the cisgender crowd over showing consideration for transgender people and true inclusivity. This hasn't prevented CDPR from lapping up a lot of publicity claiming that it is inclusive though, and in effect having their cake and eating it. Too often we now have cis people come back to us touting this alleged inclusivity and character creator, in the face of our issues with the game.


Official Cosplay Competition
-
Now we have the most recent example of CDPR's disdain for trans people. If you recall the defense for the caricature of the trans woman in the "Chromanticore" poster was that the fetishization of the trans character was to be seen as "terrible". Something CDPR claim to see as something that should be fought against. Which as discussed is already brought into question by their own use of it in offline promos, but is completely blown apart by their choice of finalist in their recent cosplay competition. Not just via social media, but in their official Night City Wire pre-presentation.




I do believe a cisgender woman can cosplay a trans woman, and that there's little issue if it's done respectfully. That isn't the case here though. This isn't a trans character in the game with any given depth, it's an illustration in an advert whose sole purpose is to fetishize the body of a trans woman, where her transness is reduced in full to her genitals and a comparison is drawn to a beast. The only reason it was of any note was because of the controversy surrounding it and the issues trans people had with it, so it's hard not to find the choice suspect in the first place.

What solidifies the problem is when the cisgender woman in question is treating that aspect of the trans woman as a joke; as something to laugh at. Drawing primary attention once again to the genitals and making it the central part of the cosplay. There's no desire to become any character, but instead become a walking mockery of a trans person that was only ever there to begin with as a fetishization. It's not as though cisgender women are de-facto in support of the rights of trans women, so when someone is treating our bodies as something to be laughed over, and is roleplaying us purely to serve for comedic purposes, I find it poor – to put it mildly. It further reinforces us as a joke, and that in itself is transphobic.

This loops back to the advert itself, as mentioned before the justification was that it was intended to be terrible, in addition to:



If it's designed to be a terrible and distasteful advert working at the expense of trans women – something CDPR themselves tells us we should be fighting against – you can't then decouple it from the criticism to use frivolously for laughs or promotional material. Promoting someone taking that imagery, further accenting and highlighting the parts we're supposed to take issue with, all while laughing about it, renders that original intent meaningless. Put bluntly; when you're flying people out to take part in a video shoot for your promo and they're walking around with a fake neon penis representing the thing you claim to hate, how can we take any notion of nuance around trans people, issues and bodies seriously within both CDPR and Cyberpunk 2077?


CDPR are content to exploit both their workers and trans people for financial gain, alongside courting an obvious and loud alt-right fanbase.
-
They are a transphobic company content to lean on inclusivity as a promotional tool at the expense of trans people. Consistently treating us with ridicule and afterthought while claiming the opposite. They are happy to foster a toxic work environment grinding their workers to the bone. They are happy to lean into the chud fanbase they know they've garnered over the years.

It is obvious they don't care about us, but they still care about the fans that stick with them regardless. So it is in this that I ask that even if you're hyped to jump into Night City, you become vocal about these issues and offer support in bringing their attention to CDPR. Whether it's here, on Twitter or in feedback forms – letting them know that you're a fan but you dislike the way they have acted toward the trans community is of value. If you aren't willing to be critical of a company you like while enjoying their product, at the expense of trans voices, then – insofar as I'm concerned – you can't consider yourself a trans ally. If that stings, it should, because it means that you're aware that you allow your excitement of a game prevent you from supporting the communities it takes advantage of.

What's often missing from the retorts is that I was once hyped for the game. The logo treatment reveal was stunning, the art direction posters were a lock for purchase. It looked great. However when it becomes a question of how much transphobic content I'll be expected to put up with as I attempt to enjoy the game, it's hard to remain enthused by it. It becomes a question of why I'm supporting a company that's repeatedly showing they're content to mock people like me, and perpetuate stereotypes that affect us offline in life. That continue the lines of thought that place our lives in danger and our respect in question.

This isn't some "rah rah boycott" motion that people like to distill it down to. It's what it feels like when you face a company and product that comes at the expense of you and others like you. If you don't know what that feels like, consider how fortunate it is that you get to engage with this medium without such a concern. Perhaps become more active in lending your voice toward choruses like this, so that we too can enjoy games without it. If there's one thing I'm sure of it's that both CDPR and Cyberpunk 2077 have the ability to be great without being transphobic.

Cool story bro! Now onto Cyberpunk!
 
Jun 23, 2020
2,635
4,921
435
I'm thinking of an average score to bet on, but I just realized I dunno what the journos care about nowadays so... Meh :messenger_grinning_sweat:

I'll pirate it, try it and if I like it buy it and play it. Unless it's a bugfest, in which case I don't mind waiting.
 

Astorian

Member
Feb 11, 2020
498
1,476
465
Politics and social commentary are riddled in reviews for the past 4 or so years.
It would be pretty ignorant to assume the "journalists" would look the other way on this one.
So where are these journalists that are calling out CDPR and how many are they?
 

RJMacready73

Member
Jun 25, 2020
626
1,207
410
Most of the press haven’t even reported on this or even care about it as far as I’ve noticed, I’m not sure where people are seeing that reviewers are going in biased or something, all the crunch talk about Rockstar and ND didn’t affect the reviews.

a very small extremely vocal minority of purple haired fuckwits over at Reeeee will voice their assine opinions on this and the world will ignore them and buy it enmasse.. nobody gives a fuck about those gender confused cunts
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rayderism

CartoonsNCereal

You're wayyyycist!!!!
Nov 26, 2020
449
361
340
This will be the exact opposite of TLOU2.

Most critics will rate this lower (7 and 8) because of all the cat piss surrounding it, while youtube reviewers will rate it highly.

Lol the 50 minute footage alone merits a higher score than a 7 or an 8.

It would be an injustice to say this is the same level as assassins creed, you can tell it clearly is better than that. Cmon guys lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: KyoShiRo330

Saber

Member
Jan 30, 2019
3,814
3,510
660
Anybody who actually thinks my post was serious...my avatar is a guy named Dick Pole who played for a team called the Beavers. I am not a serious person.

To be completelly honest, your post feel more like a 5 page article than a parody. Its too big for reading to be even considered a joke. Most people express themselves comically with way way less words.
 

Golgo 13

The Man With The Golden Dong
Jun 14, 2014
4,910
2,734
835
I don’t think the reason for holding back reviews is quality of the game.

I think It honestly has to do with the day-1 bugs that wouldn’t be addressed unless reviewers played with the patch; the game was admittedly in very rough shape on PS4/Xbox before the the latest delay and the recent rollout of the patch.