Steam User Finds Misogynistic "Joke" Buried in Dead Island Code [UPDATED]

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maybe if he'd just stuck to kitchen duty references then it would've just been considered silly fun (bred from boredom while coding)

tl;dr: The western world is suffering under the problem of wanting to engage in a truly equal society without a neutral starting point to help them understand what the concept they're trying to achieve is or how it can be reached. Rather than address this issue, all the people involved just sit around loudly asserting over each other that they know how to solve the problem. The end.

jmarquiso:

TheAmazingHobo:
And this is the reason why you should always clean up your code.
Just take a couple of minutes to take out all the unnecessary whitespaces, breaks, placeholders, sexist jokes, demonic summons and threats against people who always leave the fuckning lab-door open, so everybody can just walk in and steal shit, STEVE.

Voltano:
That just sounds like a variable name--a variable that inside the code, and nowhere visible in the game when it is running at run-time. I agree that the name could be insulting to women, but are we really bickering about what a programmer/game-designer names their variables in code that is never seen by non-hackers?

Yes, we do, because obviously how we name our variables when we are bored, frustrated, annoyed and/or angry is totally an accurate way to judge us as a person.
Which is why I am OBVIOUSLY a demonic cultist and possibly dyslexic.

It's really just professionalism. Cleaning up code acknowledges that the code is used by everyone in the team, and that may include females that either are hired or will be hired. Leaving unnecessary jokes that may offend someone is just poor judgment.

If those females get offended by everything remotely politcally incorrect they should consider improving their social competence and psychosocial perception [humor].

Archer666:

Stall:
Who gives a shit about misogyny? Besides, isn't there something more important in the world to complain about? Like the actual STATE of Dead Island on Steam instead of some silly little line of code?

The second post on the Steam thread nails it: QQ more.

Yeah, fuck that shit. Women's rights? The only right they have is staying in the kitchen. Hatespeech against women? Please, its not my fault they dress like whores and seem to believe they're equal to a man. Ain't that right, buddy?

And yes, video games are so much important than hateful language against another human being.

Dear sir or madam, please cool down a bit.
There was no hateful language present, just an inside joke.
You are still free to find it, tasteless and inappropriate, of course.

OT: People, this was a joke. You can find it tasteless, sure. But if you honestly get offended by that, you should sit down for 5 minutes and take a look at yourself. You may realize now how easily offended and overreacting you are, and how that makes you look like.

I don't get what is misogynistic about that. It's just an insider joke (hidden in a code, in fact!) with no mean intentions behind it.

Can we move our attention to more important topics now?

I'm buying Dead Island now, who cares. Honestly. It's a line of code and is being made into a huge deal. If something were said about the men which would be considered "offensive", no one would care.

Just the first page of this thread makes me wish being stupid was a bannable offense not just a suspendable one. The only thing funny about this is imagining the reaction of their PR department when they found out about this and the emails sent to the programmer shortly after, it's not a joke it's just somebody calling someone a "feminist whore". Even ignoring how offensive that is it's incredibly unprofessional.

Welp, this thread is just about the most depressing thing I've read all day. Kinda' makes me wonder if I somehow typed the wrong URL and wound up on Kotaku.

Just one thing: those people alleging that feminists wouldn't want to be included in the military because they only want the "good" parts of feminism are either deliberately misleading you for the sake of their argument or are grossly misinformed. Feminists have fought tooth and nail to be permitted into more and more positions in the military, and continue to fight to be permitted onto the front lines. It is the conservatives and chauvinists who resist this.

Nor is everywhere in the world the USA. Here in Canada women in the infantry serve in combat. Both men and women of fighting age are equally eligible for conscription (what you would call the draft). It was one of the most prominent and hardest fought for parts of our own equal rights amendment by feminists back in the 80s. Who tried to block it? Conservatives and anti-feminists.

Difference is, here the feminists won. In the US, they lost.

Get your facts straight, at least, if you're going to allege something completely idiotic.

I'm off to drink. Heavily.

Pearwood:
Just the first page of this thread makes me wish being stupid was a bannable offense not just a suspendable one. The only thing funny about this is imagining the reaction of their PR department when they found out about this and the emails sent to the programmer shortly after, it's not a joke it's just somebody calling someone a "feminist whore". Even ignoring how offensive that is it's incredibly unprofessional.

Ding ding ding. We have a winner. Seriously a bunch of butt hurt easily offended idiocy. You know the best way to screw with someone trying to offend you? Apathy. Don't give them any attention at all and you win. If they aren't doing it intentionally they are probably joking, which which case you should probably stop whining, perhaps calmly explain why the joke isn't cool and move on. If it is simply ignorance, educating them to their faults works better than demonizing them for them and screaming at them.

God is humanity still infantilely stupid as all fuck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cycXuYzmzNg

Thus showing us just the kind of sexist jackasses that practically own the gaming industry and the kind of sexist jackasses that are entertained by the aforementioned sexist jackassery (as seen by so many of the comments from the first page). Of course people who don't see the problem and they would derail this kind of situation because they don't understand oppression, under-representation, and misrepresentation. Most of them are sexist, heterosexual, cis-gendered, Caucasian males or love everything that sexist, heterosexual, cis-gendered, Caucasian males do (either way, they're all men). THAT is YOUR white, male privilege at work. No wonder the gaming industry isn't looked at as an art or is taken seriously. There are so many "jokes" that make it the laughingstock of any entertainment industry. These people can be so philosophically and intellectually impaired. There is so much growing up to do.

minuialear:
Easy to say when you haven't been the one suffering due to centuries of institutionalized misogyny that affects everything from the way you are expected to act, dress, to the career you can obtain and the rank you can reach, etc.

The problem with things like racism/mysogyny/homophobia/etc isn't just that racist/sexist/homophobic comments are insulting to a group of people (which sucks in its own right, but everyone gets insulted at some point, so no big deal); it's that these insults have been used for centuries as ways of putting groups of people down and painting them as unqualified to do certain things, or too stupid/crazy/weak/perverted/etc to function at the same level as other people who haven't been oppressed as much (mostly white heterosexual males). And by painting them as such, people have justified de facto discrimination for centuries, because these insults evolve into stereotypes which evolve into expectations that people in power can use to judge and oppress those without as much power.

In this example, the term is "feminist whore"; the term "whore" has a centuries-long history of being used to demean women who explore sexual options not considered the norm for females (implying that it's not right for women to sleep around as much as men, that it messes up their purity; something you still see to some degree in society today). So when you call someone a whore, all that connotation goes along with your statement; aside from just accusing the woman of sleeping around, you've used this word that basically implies that this woman has less of a right to do so that any man, that she should be having sex less because it's not right for women to want to have a lot of sex, that purity is being tarnished by her actions, etc. History DOES matter, because people have been using this word to tell women to stop having a lot of (and often any) sex, and it has shaped a society that still, to this day, considers a woman who sleeps around to be worse than a man who sleeps around (hence why there are so many adjectives for a woman who does it, and little to no adjectives for a man who does the same), and forces women to adhere to this constraint accordingly. By continuing to use the word, you still reinforce this history, even if all you want to do is insult the woman for sleeping around (which in and of itself, again, isn't the issue).

By attaching "feminist" to it like an adjective, it appeals to hated stereotypes of feminists (that they're awful mysandrists who don't deserve respect, etc). People think calling someone a feminist whore is funny because for decades most people painted ANY feminist (including the sane ones who actually want equal rights) as women who only want special treatment, who don't deserve to be treated any better than they are now, etc, to the point where when you think of "feminist," this is what you expect to get, even if you've never met one before. Not only that, but when someone says something about women's rights, people start to assume they are feminists, and they anticipate this sort of behavior even before the person has even had a chance to explain that they aren't looking for diminished male rights. That in and of itself is powerful stuff.

I will say that I don't think the example in this article is egregious enough to warrant widespread anguish and anger, and while it was completely unprofessional, I wouldn't say it was necessarily done with mysogynist intentions. HOWEVER, the notion that we can just forget about centuries of history, when that very history still profoundly affects the living conditions of many groups of people who still don't receive equal treatment, is a willingness to be willfully ignorance of the problems they suffer from, and is a cop-out. And just because some of us are privileged enough to be able to forget that history and therefore have the privilege of using these words while forgetting the context from which they arose, not everyone is that lucky, and it's basic human decency to be willing to be at least somewhat sensitive of that.

</rant>

I agree with you for the most part. It undermines everything feminists have worked hard for and women still haven't come as far as they should in America. To laugh at that and spit it back at their faces is childish and bigoted. Hell, in Germany, they have more rights equal with men and they're a younger country! It's a joke.

i'm actually amazed that company's don't keyword-search their code for things like this before release

actually, gob-smacked is more like it.

and, no i don't think it's funny, but then the ability is sexist in the first place so they deserve all the flak they get for it.

'oh no its a female zombie, i better not hit it too hard because.. it's still only a gurl!'
but its ok to mash the male zombies in the face tho, they deserve it.
really? REALLY ?? LOL at you!

I don't see the big deal. It's a small line of code written by some guy who has a bad sense of humor. Nothing really to get up at arms about. And I'm not just saying that cause I'm a guy. It could go either way and I really wouldn't care about it. Just let people like that think what they want and ignore them. It's not like this is having some huge negative effect.

I'm saddenned and offended that said bigot programmer didn't just type 'Feminazi', which is way more shorter, far more descript, and way more offensive, and thus would make this whole sitation that much more hilarious.

Wow. Well easy to know why females would feel uncomfortable entering the gaming scene. People thinking that using stuff like feminist whore is totally just for lulz. Glad the Escapist doesn't stand for such discrimination and is handing out warnings and bans. A lot of people deserve to be judged for the kind of opinions they hold on this. I think poorly of a lot of these posters. Terrible people.

who gives a fuck, honestly???

Meh, I do not have a problem with them making a sexist joke. I have a problem with them making a stupid joke.
FeministWhorePurna for a skill that increases damage against men is just stupid, rename it FeminaziPurna and that my friends is comedy gold.[1]

[1] Well maybe not gold. Maybe bronze or copper but you get the idea.

The thing is, during programming, people tend to lose most mental functions as the works goes by. So what most likely happened was that this specific person just thought, "God I have no idea what to label this specific ability," and--as it's rather crucial to organize things properly in work involving a team--said to his compeers, "Hey, I'm going to call this thing FeministWhorePerna." Everyone gets his reasoning because of what the ability does and they probably get a few kicks out of it too as they are also suffering from brain atrophy. Obviously, the self-imposed writer meant to take it out at the final stage of production; the title only exists as a placeholder for a better title that can be thought of later on. That didn't happen.

Considering that I do this all the time when I program--though with more gravity on my wit--I sympathize wholly with this guy. I don't think this person deserves to be put on the chopping board for this, except for a stern lecture on naming things more properly. Such a situation shouldn't be used as a battleground for feminist dicussion because that's not the major problem here. Of course, as a forum goes, this is irrelevant because the discussion is now on the commentary rather than the article. So rage on.

And you know what? Feminism is a logical step. There. I said it. Women are treated unequally in the States and it's a problem, and I don't need statistics to prove what is true. But the way you do it, by advocating female individualism, is wrong. The notion of the female individual is derived from our old societal notions of women, which were the wrong ones. Saying "I am woman, I am strong" simply advocates the attitude implicated on you guys for a few centuries. If you truly want to be equal, you have to forge a new, neuter identity that is different from that of men and yet also harmonious with the opposite identity. Some feminists do that, which is admirable. It seems a whole lot don't and instead use feminism to push the agenda of "I", which is, pardon my French, being a total bitch (I use this word in such a context that it means a rather unpleasant female who bases this status on the pretense of being a female). The latter case only wants to further themselves away from the opposite gender. The former case wants to de-emphasize such intentions and instead create an identity of independence and merit without dependence on the male identity to mold it on. THAT'S WHY MEN HATE FEMINISTS. It's because you're not doing this. You're doing the other thing! If you all did this, I would be a hundred percent on board. No I'm not going to explain what I just said even though I'm having trouble parsing through.

I dont find it that funny

though I dont know if this charachter is a "bitch" or not...theres just somthing so hateful about the word whore

The Random One:
I'm saddenned and offended that said bigot programmer didn't just type 'Feminazi', which is way more shorter, far more descript, and way more offensive, and thus would make this whole sitation that much more hilarious.

actually I find feminatzi less offensive (and probably wouldnt have a problem with it) but as i just said...I find somthign very hatful and mysoganistic about "whore"

People of each/every group usually just support their own agenda. Period.

It's human nature. Even if something is minor/unintended/easily overlookable/anal-to-be-upset-over-by-the-outsider, if you're the target group you're gonna jump the bandwagon. I've seen it time and time again; nothing new.

iamultraman:
The thing is, during programming, people tend to lose most mental functions as the works goes by. So what most likely happened was that this specific person just thought, "God I have no idea what to label this specific ability," and--as it's rather crucial to organize things properly in work involving a team--said to his compeers, "Hey, I'm going to call this thing FeministWhorePerna." Everyone gets his reasoning because of what the ability does and they probably get a few kicks out of it too as they are also suffering from brain atrophy. Obviously, the self-imposed writer meant to take it out at the final stage of production; the title only exists as a placeholder for a better title that can be thought of later on. That didn't happen.

Although if the programmers didn't possess that kind of mentality in the first place, it wouldn't matter how tired they got: they still wouldn't have even thought of using those terms at all, never mind in a professional setting. It's analogous to being drunk: you don't do anything whilst drunk that you'd never dream of doing otherwise; you simply end up feeling less inclined to pay attention to the nagging feeling in your head that tells you to keep those thoughts/actions in check.

So there's still a problem with it, even though the programmers obviously weren't trying to purposefully offend everyone. And pretending that sexism doesn't have anything to do with the incident doesn't really help anyone.

Looks like I'm buying the game

juraigamer:
Men and women are equal, it's just that feminists, the ones called that, are well... that B word.

Well, instead of me having my long, winded ass thing, I decided to get someone with a similar Idea and edit out my fart of a paragraph for THEIR writing, because it was just that good.

iamultraman:
And you know what? Feminism is a logical step. There. I said it. Women are treated unequally in the States and it's a problem, and I don't need statistics to prove what is true. But the way you do it, by advocating female individualism, is wrong. The notion of the female individual is derived from our old societal notions of women, which were the wrong ones. Saying "I am woman, I am strong" simply advocates the attitude implicated on you guys for a few centuries. If you truly want to be equal, you have to forge a new, neuter identity that is different from that of men and yet also harmonious with the opposite identity. Some feminists do that, which is admirable. It seems a whole lot don't and instead use feminism to push the agenda of "I", which is, pardon my French, being a total bitch (I use this word in such a context that it means a rather unpleasant female who bases this status on the pretense of being a female). The latter case only wants to further themselves away from the opposite gender. The former case wants to de-emphasize such intentions and instead create an identity of independence and merit without dependence on the male identity to mold it on. THAT'S WHY MEN HATE FEMINISTS. It's because you're not doing this. You're doing the other thing! If you all did this, I would be a hundred percent on board. No I'm not going to explain what I just said even though I'm having trouble parsing through.

I don't mind a joke, but don't make a joke that IS offensive openly. And programmers have their brains WRECKED while coding, so coding something a simple, short name, offensive or not, is just easier for them then putting in a more detailed one. Personally, its OK because their minds were dozing off, and its good to apologize, but they should have made their game complete and done all the stuff needed earlier.

Shamanic Rhythm:

ImprovizoR:
And what if he was being serious? Feminists are unreasonable creatures. So unreasonable they surpassed PETA a long time ago. They deserve all the hate they get.

Because 'Feminist Whore' is kind of an oxymoron. It shows more that whoever programmed it was just throwing together misogynist adjectives without stopping to think. It reminds me of the time a certain kid at my school described our housemaster as a 'Jewish Nazi'... I think that's one of the only times the phrase 'epic fail' really is applicable.

Or perhaps he did stop to think and intentionally made it an oxymoron, this whole thing isn't even worth the time any of us put into posting about it, especially since there is no context.

Techland's response was extremely political, I highly doubt the person who wrote it even gave a shit.

Well this is kind of a silly thing to get mad over, it was a stupid little joke that doesn't seem to be the guy's actual attitude, and the sentiment of this character being a "Feminist whore" doesn't come through in the actual game (at least as far as I know).

I agree that, joke or not, it should never have made it into the final code, but from where I sit getting really mad about this is roughly the same as getting mad about graffiti on the bathroom wall.

:/ I've seen many people use feminist jokes like this in, while not necessarily tasteful, jest. Face it: we've all used the occasional racist quip and the sexist joke there, so we might as well embrace it. We've grown so used to hearing about these stereotypes or these offensive jokes that sometimes the little quip comes out now and again. Normally these jokes aren't done in any crude or vulgar manner, and are usually innocent. I honestly think the best way to overcome these racial or gender barriers that we've seemed to establish on each other is to acknowledge the fact that we've made these jokes, and simply laugh at them. If it's all in good fun, why try to spoil it?

... Except for the N-word. That honestly has way too much hate behind it to have a reason to live.

The most disappointing thing to me about all of this is the sheer number of people who flipped shit over one line of code.

Seriously people, calm down. It's not the end of the world...right?

Oh gosh, what a huge deal. I guess being a guy, I wouldn't understand, but I don't flip my shit whenever there's a misandric event happening on TV.

iamultraman:
And you know what? Feminism is a logical step. There. I said it. Women are treated unequally in the States and it's a problem, and I don't need statistics to prove what is true.

Modern day "feminism" is not a logical step in the US(and many other developed countries), especially when they're equal in many cases and treated better than men in other cases.

I thought the code is funny.
The programmer was told to program in a sexist thing (something called "Gender Wars" allowing one gender to do greater damage to another) and so he gave it a sexist code.

Makes perfect sense. Makes for a good laugh.

People need to lighten up, it's not hurting anyone.

Be warned coders: even your variable names and comments are being watched...

Who cares what some random programmer uses for a variable. Nobody is going to see the source code in most situations so it doesn't matter much. Not to mention that only the programmers are going to bother sifting through the junk so lots of this stuff isn't going to be monitored beyond does it work and does it work efficiently? Tell the guys not to use offensive jokes in their code (que proliferation of cracks at manegment in the comments) and move on.

So this is considered an outrage? The fuck? Seriously, the fuck?

I know pretty much all gamers are weird creatures that have stupid view on everything, but this is just fucking retarded. These people were going through some code that they weren't really supposed to do, and they found the word "whore". Big whoop. This isn't news, this is ridiculous.

Logan Westbrook:
Steam User Finds Misogynistic "Joke" Buried in Dead Island Code [UPDATED]

image

Developer Techland has included some less-than-PC language in the code for Dead Island.

The code for Dead Island has turned up some interesting things. Earlier in the week, it was revealed that the version of the game on Steam was actually a debug version never intended to be seen by the public, and today we've learned that someone on the dev team seems to have an "interesting" attitude towards women.

Tucked away in the code for Purna's - a former cop, turned bodyguard - skills is an entry for a skill called "FeministWhorePurna." Steam user AlekseiVasiliev discovered the entry, and posted it to the official Steam forums. It's thought that the entry refers to Purna's "Gender Wars" skill, which grants her a bonus to the damage she deals to male zombies. The fact that other entries in the file have names like "MeleeDurabilityPurna" and "TeamSpirit2Purna," which don't directly refer to the skills Purna uses in game, make this scenario seem all the more likely.

I'd imagine - or hope, at least - that this is some really, stupendously, dumb in-joke at Techland, and not indicative of someone's actual attitudes. All the same, this is not something that should have made it into the final code, even if Techland didn't think that anyone would see it. We've reached out to Techland to see if it has any comment on this discovery and will update when and if we hear anything back.

Update: Techland has issued a statement regarding the issue.

It has come to our attention that one of Dead Island's leftover debug files contains a highly inappropriate internal script name of one of the character skills. This has been inexcusably overlooked and released with the game.

The line in question was something a programmer considered a private joke. The skill naturally has a completely different in-game name and the script reference was also changed. What is left is a part of an obscure debug function. This is merely an explanation but by no means an excuse. In the end that code was made a part of the product and signed with our company name. We deeply regret that fact and we apologize to all our customers or anyone who might have been offended by that inappropriate expression.

The person responsible for this unfortunate situation will face professional consequences for violating the professional standards and beliefs Techland stands for.

Permalink

Slow news week, much?

I don't understand the problem really a programmer had a privet joke buried in the code where most players would not of seen it

I don't get it. Why is this bad?

A feminist can be a total whore, or bitch, or whatever else they want to be. This is not the case of something calling all feminists - or even a certain group of feminists - whores, but... really, not even calling -A- feminist a whore. It's like putting LazyCouchFratBoy in your code as a skill. It's hardly an insult, and NOT directed at anyone at all. It's saying nothing. It's not a joke. It's not funny. It's not hurtful. There's nothing to apologize over!

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