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

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l3o2828:
we as a community should stop with sexism already.
Feminism is just silly, its segregating.
And like yahtzee said ' It's very depressing when you can't make honest cultural commentary without having to disavow the assumption that your feelings are motivated by an irrational hate-trigger response to different levels of melanin. You know what? A society where anyone can make jokes about anyone else and everyone laughs is a truly tolerant society. Political correctness-charged censorship only serves to engender resentment and distance between social groups. Besides gangster rappers don't need defending - they've got guns for that!'

It still applies to this.

I still think that piece of code was just a joke. so no need to over react.

Cheers to you sir, for quoting yahtzee, and cheers to him for having some clarity in this lovely time of flying bullsh*t.

I like how the major complaint about this is what the perk is called and now how it acts, since, as previously pointed out ad nauseum, the same exact perk exists in Fallout. It's good to know that we're more concerned with the naming of things rather than their actual functions. Also, I like how people are totally cool with the fact that fallout did it and flip a bitch over this game, since this game only had a female character who could get a bonus to damage to men, and not a male counterpart with a similar skill. It's good to know we're all secure enough to handle that....

You want some REAL EQUALITY? Learn to laugh at both sexes equally and don't get your panties in a twist over the name of a perk in video game.

Sunrider84:
Depriving me? What? Did I say anything along those lines?

That's my point. You're not being deprived of anything, so your choice to get all "circle the wagons" about suggests bad things. You have nothing at all to gain by defending some random jerkass who can't make it 9-to-5 without saying things that would get most people in trouble at work. If you have nothing to gain or protect, it starts to look really suspect -- like you think calling people "feminist whore" is something worth fighting for.

I think people get upset and offended all the time over things they could just brush off because they weren't even a personal attack on the people who were offended. It wasn't 100% just for this situation.

But it's not that simple. If a game had a black character who was unsympathetic and a coder referred to him using the n-word, that does more than just sit there hidden in the code. It says something about the person who made it. It says they think it's appropriate to treat other human beings like that. And when other people choose to defend it, it says they approve of it. If I don't like a woman, my choice not to call her a whore has nothing to do with what I think of her as a person and everything to do with my understanding that whatever is wrong with her is not a product of her sex or of how well she adheres to gender roles. Techland's rogue coder and anyone else who resorts to gendered slurs doesn't seem to get that.

You disagree with me? Are you offended by this obvious joke?

If I got up in arms every time some knuckledragger said stupid crap about feminism because he didn't understand it, I wouldn't be able to use the internet or play video games. What does bother me is how the moment people pointed this out, a whole hell of a lot of people start straw-manning the hell out of the entire feminist movement or leaping to the defense of something that deserves no defense.

It's not the most awful thing anyone's ever done, but it's also unambiguously shitty to do and it makes no sense that people would defend it.

Assassin Xaero:
I bet if it said something against men on a male character, like "pig", nobody would say a thing about it being bad.

But of course. Thats how things work. Women want to be equal, but they cant take the heat they try to equally dish men. Just like someone who happens to be a different color can make white jokes all day long, but if a white guy makes a colored joke its immediately racist and hes in huge trouble.

Their professional reply is good enough for me.

Eventidal:
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!

This. I don't see how this programmer is sexist just because he used some terms that mentioned gender, or gender-specific derogatory terms. The programmer could very well be female but put it in because she was feeling creative about her descriptors that day.

What's the big deal? It's a piece of code never meant to be seen by anybody.

I know I do such things the whole time when coding. I had friend who declared his variables in C++ class as M,I,L and F. Even the professor got a chuckle out of it.
It's definitely not meant to be serious.

NOTE, THERE WILL BE A SPOILER FOR BALDUR'S GATE 2 HERE.

Dunno why, but this just isn't doing anything for me. I know it's petty and tasteless, but for some reason I just can't get worked up I guess it's just the fact this is so... eh.

Although, if the character really does hate men enough that she can harness some sort of an inner rage of extra-gory murder mayhem just at the sight of one, I'd say it's not completely without merit to call her mean names for it. Yeah, it's still petty and crude, but nyeh, I just dunno.

On a sidenote, this reminds me, somewhat, of Baldur's Gate 2 and the global variable that had to do with Yoshimo betraying the party. Turns out the coder really didn't appreciate the man's assholity either, and so, you can find, to this day, a global variable named "ButtPluggingCumBubble" if you look hard enough. I guess this is just something coders do, apparently.

If it was a joke, what's to get all uppity about?

wow, I'm amazed at the amount of people who got suspended/warned for sexist remarks in the first page alone. Goddamn, between this and the Deus Ex controversy gamers aren't really making themselves sympathetic, are they?

Logan Westbrook:

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

I hope this is corperate speak for "we're gonna say he's gonna get punished, and then move on with our lives like you should."

EDIT: Why can't people just

image

I'm amazed this guy was able to find that one line of code out of the millions of lines in the game!

Hatter:

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.

Maxing an insult oxymoronical doesn't invalidate the insult; it just shows that not only are you rude, you're stupid too.

Sure, I doubt he seriously means anything by it. But it doesn't imply you have very professional standards as a company if you can release a product with this kind of coding joke still embedded there for all to see, and that's why he's being punished. It's not that (speaking for myself) the joke is really offensive so much as 'what were they thinking?'/

i think the biger problem is that the company has failed to release the correct version and not about some programmer inner joke in debug. i have created enough in-house jokes in my time (not about feminists though, i never really cared about them).
on the other hand, the game is really good.

I can see that it's inapropriate, it's wrong and shouldn't have been in the game.

But please, everyone who is screaming for blood: don't you recall a moment where you made an inaproriate comment or joke that accidently got out of your private circle? I certainly can think of a scenario like that. Maybe if the joke wasn't meant like that, but got pulled out of context. Or seemed funny at the time, but later sort of turned out rather mean.

In my opinion, not knowing the exact detail, we (the people of the internet) should let it slide, enjoy the game and let the person/people responsible punish themselves. I would be horribly emberassed if I had left that code in. Also, don't forget it was a deeply embedded piece of code in what is essentialy a late beta. It was probably changed in the "real" version, I don't actually know that, because noone talks about that.

Logan Westbrook:

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.

Oh, it's indicative of somebodies attitudes alright, against a NONEXISTANT character.

I don't get how this is important, it even has her name in the file, if it is offensive it's aimed specifically at a character that only exists in code, it's a narrow field here, unless you're Purna how does it refer to you? The file is not named "EveryFeministisaWhore".

To be honest I don't see this as a big deal, it's one small line of debug code. If this actually offends you, don't buy the game. It's not like if I made a game I'd consider the possibility that someone would comb the code of an old build of it. (It's party the fault of techland for releasing the old build though.)

Assassin Xaero:
I bet if it said something against men on a male character, like "pig", nobody would say a thing about it being bad.

But wait really, "Pig" is equivalent to "feminist whore"?

I think the big problem is that in most of the world, except for the internet and fox news, feminism actually describes the people who have worked for equal rights and continue to all of these years. So when people say shit like that, it's like saying there should still be Jim Crowe laws. So the point isn't "it's insulting women" the point is that it's insulting that group, and I'm sorry to break it to you, for all of the people who think feminists are women who are looking for special treatment, most of the world isn't going to agree that the feminist group is bad.

thaluikhain:

Secondly, throughout much of the western world, the men aren't conscripted either, and haven't been for decades. I can't speak for your nation (in ignorance of what it is), but if they tried to re-introduce conscription here for any gender, there'd be outrage. Though, conscription is a bit of an awkward issue, people only tend to support it if they support whatever war there is going on at the time, and that's another issue altogether

Actually quite a few countries in europe still have national service.

Basically your conscripted for about 3-7 years (depending on country) when you turn a certain age.

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

The more you try to ban a word, the more you try to control it's usage, the more afraid you are to use it, the more power you give it.

I gotta say, after reading this thread, the sad thing about the whole matter is not the joke in itself, which is stupid, but meh.

The sad thing is the people here, eager to bring out straw feminists and slapping each other on the back because they are so proud they are un-PC and don't give a damn about hurting people; happy to condone things that are much more hurtful than this joke up there because oh, those wimmenfolks, they sure are getting their knickers in a bunch again. Yes, it's very nice how easily you can shrug off attacks that aren't aimed at you and don't hurt you. You are so very brave.

(Not saying this applies to everybody who defends Dead Island, of course. I don't find the "joke" in question that bad either and can certainly understand the "What's the big deal" faction of the comments.)

Purna does come across as pretty scary when you pick her on the character selection screen. Her voice is just full of bitterness and hatred. I commented on it to my friend when I picked her as my character last night.

That aside I'm sometimes disturbed about the attitudes towards womens rights. It's very clear that a lot of people have no idea how things are for women atm. We still get paid less than men for example and are less likely to be hired becuase of maternity leave. That is a fact.

Also when women assault men it is an offence and women go to prison for it... if this wasn't the case people would have a point when they say that society overlooks this violence. I once nearly got done for GBH for beating up my attempted rapist. The police take physical assault VERY seriously from either sex. However, Men do need to feel more secure about reporting it.

The game is pretty awesome from what I played of it last night :) PS. My friend can't drive for crap...lol.

jmarquiso:
If it fits the character that she has some problem with men, then it makes sense she'd damage men more out of anger. The insinuation that all feminists wish to damage men more is the misogyny.

No, not really. Hating someone doesn't make the bullets leave your gun faster, or something.

I can imagine getting a damage bonus on another species ("Try to shoot the human above the eyes") but on male or female ... zombies?

Developers: the thing to take away from this is that this is literally the stupidest possible way in the world to get fired.

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.

Way more offensive? I'd have thought that way less offensive. It targets a narrower group of people who are much less liked publicly, and it's much more accurate in conveying what I presume to be the intentions of the programmer.

I am so sick of bloody political correctness!
Learn to take a joke people.
How have you made it this far in life if you're offended so easily?

I wanted to comment on this, but I think if I do, it will probably offend *someone*. I don't want to be the next subject of one of these articles!

goathax:
That's my point. You're not being deprived of anything, so your choice to get all "circle the wagons" about suggests bad things. You have nothing at all to gain by defending some random jerkass who can't make it 9-to-5 without saying things that would get most people in trouble at work. If you have nothing to gain or protect, it starts to look really suspect -- like you think calling people "feminist whore" is something worth fighting for.

And I think you're overreacting and really calling out the wrong person here. I'm just annoyed over how people always take things far too seriously.
By your logic, embracing the idea of freedom of speech is the same thing as being free to call anyone anything and get away with it. I'm sorry, but I just don't care about it, and I don't think other people should pay it any heed either. I'm not defending it. I just think people are overreacting. I'm guessing you can see the difference.

But it's not that simple. If a game had a black character who was unsympathetic and a coder referred to him using the n-word, that does more than just sit there hidden in the code. It says something about the person who made it. It says they think it's appropriate to treat other human beings like that. And when other people choose to defend it, it says they approve of it. If I don't like a woman, my choice not to call her a whore has nothing to do with what I think of her as a person and everything to do with my understanding that whatever is wrong with her is not a product of her sex or of how well she adheres to gender roles. Techland's rogue coder and anyone else who resorts to gendered slurs doesn't seem to get that.

I don't think you should be quick to judge like that in your example either. There might be unknown circumstances, like how that character behaves in said game. You didn't give me anything else to go by here, and just made up an example that happened to fit your view of this whole thing. If that black character happened to be a "gangsta" like in GTA: San Andreas, where they call each other "nigger" and white people "cracker" over and over, it could be easily understandable between the coders. If it isn't an attack on you or anyone else, just get over it. As I said before, I'm not defending it. I just think you're overreacting about it, and that's what bothers me. If someone came out and called you something like that, like saying you're fat (not saying you are, I have no idea. I used it because I am.), it would be a whole different ballgame. If someone used "fatty" to describe an obese character, I wouldn't care, and nor should any other overweight person. That's all I'm saying. Stop saying I'm defending it as if I actually think it's "proper". I don't. I just don't think it's worth getting upset over.

If I got up in arms every time some knuckledragger said stupid crap about feminism because he didn't understand it, I wouldn't be able to use the internet or play video games. What does bother me is how the moment people pointed this out, a whole hell of a lot of people start straw-manning the hell out of the entire feminist movement or leaping to the defense of something that deserves no defense.

It's not the most awful thing anyone's ever done, but it's also unambiguously shitty to do and it makes no sense that people would defend it.

Seeing as I didn't straw-man the hell out of anything, I'll view this as a general statement, and just say "fair enough". I think the basic idea of feminism shouldn't even exist as feminism. It should just "be". Anything else is just silly. But I can see why people are upset with parts of the feminist movement, just as with any other group that has an extremist side to it. I won't go into it further, I'm pretty sure we will agree on the point of feminism in general.

ilikepie59:
I am so sick of bloody political correctness!
Learn to take a joke people.
How have you made it this far in life if you're offended so easily?

Yes, because describing an assertive female character as a "feminist whore" is absolutely hilarious. Ha.

i think its just a programer thing, i doubt the person who found this was looking to incriminate the Dead Island guys, he/she probly just found it amusing, hell my i've named 4 programs using acronyms that spell: shit, fuck and ballsac.

This kind of reminds me of the hot coffee thing from Grand theft auto someone found something inside the game files no one was supposed to see and now a tizzy is being made about it.

Loreley:
I gotta say, after reading this thread, the sad thing about the whole matter is not the joke in itself, which is stupid, but meh.

The sad thing is the people here, eager to bring out straw feminists and slapping each other on the back because they are so proud they are un-PC and don't give a damn about hurting people; happy to condone things that are much more hurtful than this joke up there because oh, those wimmenfolks, they sure are getting their knickers in a bunch again. Yes, it's very nice how easily you can shrug off attacks that aren't aimed at you and don't hurt you. You are so very brave.

(Not saying this applies to everybody who defends Dead Island, of course. I don't find the "joke" in question that bad either and can certainly understand the "What's the big deal" faction of the comments.)

I really don't know what the hell is up with my generation. Like MovieBob said back on his Correctitude episode of the Big Picture "words mean things." Seriously, if someone made a trophy that threw an ethnic slur on it, would people just say for Asians, Latinos, or Blacks to "get over it" or "it's just a game"? Dear Buddha, you'd bet yer ass that if gamers were caught using that in public they'd be lucky to get away with only a few bruises.

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.

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.

i guarantee this wouldn't have happened if there was a woman on the programming team. Best practice is to never put anything that could be construed as offensive in production code, because you never know if or when a customer will come across it. Whatever momentary amusement you get out of it is simply not worth the risk to your company's reputation.

The reason this is a feminist problem is because this guy was obviously in a mindset where the term "feminist whore" was OK. I get that his brain was probably fried from marathon coding, and normally he wouldn't do anything that stupid, but the issue is that thought was there in the first place.

It's also a problem that some presumably rational people here honestly don't understand why the phrase "feminist whore" is offensive. I worry for the human race sometimes.

Who cares if its hidden in the code? You're not SUPPOSED to be looking at the code anyway.

mikeysnakes:

Assassin Xaero:
I bet if it said something against men on a male character, like "pig", nobody would say a thing about it being bad.

But wait really, "Pig" is equivalent to "feminist whore"?

No, it isn't, I just couldn't think of anything worse than pig that was used as a bad term towards men...

i think what most people think of as feminists are actually feminazi extremists. real feminists (from what i read in previous discussions) just want equality.

so should the script have read FeminaziWhorePurna ?

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

While it is right that the programmer or designer in question should be reprimanded for including the joke in the first place, what about the QA team that allowed it to go through into the release? I don't imagine they will see any consequences for their failure to catch this. :(

BSCCollateral:

jmarquiso:
If it fits the character that she has some problem with men, then it makes sense she'd damage men more out of anger. The insinuation that all feminists wish to damage men more is the misogyny.

No, not really. Hating someone doesn't make the bullets leave your gun faster, or something.

I can imagine getting a damage bonus on another species ("Try to shoot the human above the eyes") but on male or female ... zombies?

Developers: the thing to take away from this is that this is literally the stupidest possible way in the world to get fired.

Last I checked it was mainly a melee game?

EDIT: And I agree he shouldn't be fired, but at least lectured.

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