Why I’ve Given Up Hope For Cyberpunk 2077

A short essay on marketing, flavor text, and Poe’s Law

Cyberpunk 2077 is no stranger to controversy when it comes to its behavior towards trans people.  Faith was all but lost when their official twitter replied with a transphobic meme.

They said sorry, and there’s a rumor that whoever tweeted this was fired, who knows though.  The point I want to make is highlighted by this nearly year-old tweet. In order for this joke to be funny, you have to believe that misgendering is funny when it’s been shown that doing so leads to higher suicide rates. This types of jokes come at the expense of trans concerns and always from an outsider pov.

Many found new love for the name when Keanu Reeves appeared by surprise announcing he’s in the game. Known for the Matrix, a movie that has strong trans themes and was made by two trans siblings. And as much credibility Keanu can bring, Cyberpunk 2077 has a huge problem: Poe’s Law

It’s an internet adage that says without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied view.

This week at E3 when they showed off more of the game, a lot of people saw a new problem. Namely, this fictional soda ad:

On it you have a femme model with a penis showing, which caused many to ask why. And the art director was quick to defend saying, “their beautiful body is used — for corporate reasons.” as reported by Polygon. Not only am I concerned that irony has died in the year 2077, but here’s where Poe’s law kicks in.

The art director went on to say:  “In [the year] 2077, especially with how much body modifications are available, I think people just mix and match however they want, however they feel. […] This is not to say that the player should see this kind of advertising as good. Redesiuk said that it was designed to feel jarring and overly aggressive, like all the other ads in the game, but not because of the femme-presenting trans model.

While that’s all well as good, it has the same problem that “did you assume my gender” jokes have if not something worse and worthless.  2077’s critique of “soda companies sell to trans people” is not criticizing rainbow capitalism. It’s hardly even critiquing capitalism. It’s largely saying “isn’t it edgy to be trans, mix it up, buy two of our sodas and combine them.”

Let’s look at Watch Dogs Legion, another do crime ‘n hack shit game coming out around the same time. In the top image, their flavor text images show something that is clearly pro-nationalism, and if you ‘misread’ or even agree with these ads the whole plot is there to correct you. It’s a game about subverting the police state, something they make known from the first seconds of the trailer.

Cyberpunk 2077 (shown again as the second image above) instead uses this background space to have two meaningless ads and then this one. And here’s the point I don’t think I can emphasize enough. If you “misread” 2077’s ‘critique of capitalism’ you end up with ‘soda companies are selling transgenderism, aren’t they out of control?!” That’s a problem, one the developer CD Projekt Red could have easily avoided instead of trying to play a double negative about hypersexuality.

But instead, their defense is: There are many examples of hypersexualized women, hypersexualized men, and hypersexualized people in between. […] You fight against corporations. That [advertisement] is what you’re fighting against.”

In 2077, the “we’re not sexist, we objectify everyone” defense is still around?
That’s cispicious.

Dudes Being Dudes (Aces in Fiction List)

Someone asked me for a list of asexual guys in fiction so here’s a wide collection across media times. But first, a warning. This list was made with what I know about the story. Any miscategorization is accidental and will be promptly fixed if you let me know. Some men might have been accidentally excluded because I don’t know enough about the character, the list will be updated when I do. | Masterlist found here | Send updates here

* Denotes I’ve read/watched/played it

Aro Aces (Assorted Media Type)
Daud from Dishonored*
Jughead*
Men of color (Assorted Media Type)
Dionysus from The Wicked and The Divine*
Luffy from One Piece
Lance from The Once And Future Queen*
Dareka/Anonymous from Shimanami Tasogare
Raphael from City of Bones*
James from Dreamland Burning
New Adult Aces
Aidan from The Alpha and His Ace
Trey from Crush
Brennan from All The Wrong Places
Elie from The Life and Death of Elie and Jay
Neil from The Foxhole Court
Cy from How Now To Summon Your True Love
Wes from Mr. March Names the Stars
Regan from Chameleon Moon*
Adult Aces
Casey from How To Be A Normal Person*
Scott from Hello World*
Roman from City of Soldiers
Nick from The Pardoner’s Tale
Young Adult Aces
Kevin from Guardian of the Dead
Tom From This Song Is (Not) for You
Jake from The Asexual Equation
Bran from Coffee Cake
Micheal from Thief of Souls
Manny from Ball Caps and Khakis
Dexter from To Terminator, With Love

Aces on TV
The only one I can fully rec is Todd from BoJack but remember to check the master list for details of more aces who were on television!  

Ace Audiobooks

       

Sometimes ebooks and paperbacks just don’t cut it, during those times you might want an audiobook and I got you covered!

To see which character is which & find more stories, check my master list!