MMORPG Info Logo Character Class? Feminist Whore.

I’ve not paid a lot of attention to Dead Island after the Official Announcement Trailer on YouTube. It just seemed tasteless. I couldn’t be bothered trying to analyse my response but pats_quinade on LiveJournal has written up an interesting consideration of why the Dead Islands Trailer is kind of despicable.

So, really not my playstyle, no big deal. As a result, I don’t actually know much about the game. But thank goodness, there’s always Wikipedia for a quick introduction:

Dead Island – Wikipedia

Dead Island is a first person horror action-adventure video game developed by Techland for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It is centered on the challenge of survival on a zombie-infested open world island with a major emphasis on melee combat.

The game hasn’t had an easy launch in the U.S. and is apparently beset by bugs.

News : 2011-09-07 Dead Island Steam Update

Here’s the latest from us on Dead Island PC for North American users. We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused to fans who wanted to spend their day crushing some zombie skulls. Thank you very much for your continued patience and support and we are completely committed to ensuring that you have an excellent time with our game.

· First, the correct version of the title is now available on Steam and fans are able to download it now.

· Second, the day 1 patch notes in their entirety are below. Please note that this update may cause incompatibilities between the incorrect version of Dead Island that was released and the fixed version and cause a wipe on some saved data. However, we have a solution to help regain some quest progress: When the game opens, select New Game -> Select the same character as you were using before, and then there will be an option for “Chapter Select” which will allow the player to jump to the last chapter they were playing in.

· Third, Deep Silver plans to announce a “make up” to North American fans who were affected by the day 1 PC issues, stay tuned in coming days for those details as internal discussions are ongoing on our end.

· Fourth, the Bloodbath DLC is still on schedule as planned – fans who preordered the title will still receive the Bloodbath DLC when it launches (date will be announced shortly!) as stated previously.

· Fifth, we are aware of The Ripper activation bug which will not load as a result of the version update and this will be fixed in the next game patch, coming soon.

So, not a lot to see here, really. But as a result of the bugs, people have been looking at the code to see if they can see what is going on. Browsing the Something Awful Forums, it turns out there’s some interesting sub-text.

You can choose one of four characters to play, One of them, Purna, is a VIP bodyguard with an interesting backstory.

From the Purna – Dead Island Wiki we have the following description: “Purna is a former officer of the Sydney Police department. After losing her career when she killed a child molester who could not be touched legally because of his wealth and connections, Purna then turned to working as a bodyguard for VIPs in dangerous places all over the world. She is hired not just for her skills but her looks as wealthy men did not mind showing up with Purna on their arm.”

Sounds like an intriguing character, doesn’t she? It turns out, Purna has some interesting skills. Specifically, Feminist Whore skills.

You think I’m kidding, don’t you…

Apparently, Steam user AlekseiVasiliev was browsing through the files, looking to find out what he could tweak. When he took a closer look at Purna’s abilities, he noticed something unexpected hidden in the depths. He posted his findings to the Steam Users’ Forums:

Data0.pak\Data\default_player_setup.scr

Code:
sub Skills_Purna(){
	Skill("TeamSpirit1Purna");
	Skill("SharpApprenticePurna");
[...]
	Skill("TeamSpirit2Purna");
	Skill("FeministWh*rePurna");
	Skill("MeleeDurabilityPurna");
[...]
}

Note: in the file the skill is called “FeministWhorePurna”. The tactful asterisk in the middle was added by the poster.

Purna also has a “Gender Wars” skill which does 15% additional damage to male characters. Internally, the skill is called “Feminist”. Some have put forward that this was a partial renaming of the Feminist Whore skill but I don’t see it. And honestly, defining “Feminist” as “hurting men” is pretty screwed up all on its own, don’t you think?

According to Eurogamer.net, Techland are disturbed by the reports.

“It obviously violates professional and ethical standards at Techland and should never have happened,” Blazej Krakowiak, international brand manager, told Eurogamer. “We’re investigating this right now and we’ll issue a statement later.

“For now, I can only express my sincerest apologies for this incident and assure you that whoever acted so irresponsibly did not represent the views and opinions of Techland.

“I’m equally sure that aside from the author of that unfortunate line of code, everyone at the office is as disturbed by this as you are.”

I’m glad they acknowledge that it is inappropriate. Still, I don’t know about you, but I can’t see how only one person saw that skill-tree within the development team.

If you watch Purna’s Character Bio on YouTube, she’s clearly intended to show a “strong female” in the male-dominated FPS genre. This makes the code all the more upsetting.

I keep reading that women gamers are the big up and coming market but it’s disappointing that there are still so many game developers who see us as an alien race. Worse, who think that if we believe in ourselves it is damaging to them. It’s just … tiring. Not even the cash incentive of a booming games market seems to be registering on the radar of these guys.

TOP TIP: if you are looking to sell games to women, maybe you shouldn’t refer to your female characters as Feminist Whores, even “behind closed doors” where you don’t think it’ll be noticed. No charge for that one.

Posted by Taymar on http://mmorpg-info.org.

 

Comments are closed.