Square Enix Uninterested in "Sexy Nun"-Style Controversy

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stilettos and war could be the next big thing :P

Baresark:

I guess I just miss the days that when people saw something they didn't like and it was causing no actual harm to anyone, they just didn't pay attention... If those days ever actually existed.

Oh, that happens. The problem is, that most of the idiotic accusations involve notions of it actually causing harm. "Think of the children!" and all that.

That, and people making a ruckus about the latest fad in corrupting literature tends to be somewhat more noticeable than people shrugging their dislike, and carrying on with their lives.

Andy Chalk:
Square Enix Uninterested in "Sexy Nun"-Style Controversy

And good on them.

IO Interactive did take a bit of stab at the "educated conversation" route, explaining shortly after the trailer hit that it was aiming for a sort of grindhouse vibe with the trailer and that a lack of context also worked against it.

Grindhouse is the first vibe I got from the trailer too.
But people love drama and that's why it all went the way it did.

AGAIN?

No review for fucking hitman, but you are ready to make two stories a CONTROVERSY EVERYONE FORGOT?

Might as well change your job descriptions to the "contrived controversy necromancers" because this site seems more intent on bringing back the dead than anything else.

Kargathia:
It certainly could add to a story, but would that be enough to offset the certainty of the internet pouncing at any perceived lack of sensitivity handling it?

I'm of mixed minds. I've generally been of the opinion that people finding something offensive, alone, is not sufficient reason for it not to exist; also that if video games are a medium to be taken seriously, it ought to be able to weather handling things that make some people uncomfortable, especially if there might be an interesting conversation to be had as a result.

But on the other hand, despite the old adage that "there's no such thing as bad press", there definitely is, and I can certainly see why S-E or any other game company as a commercial enterprise would be keen to avoid it. And like many, I get distinctly nervous when games do things that some might label "bad behavior" when they might lead to the entire medium getting tarred with the same brush by the news media- a possibility which, regrettably, still seems quite possible.

On the whole, though, I have to come down in favor of games taking risks if there's the possibility of it leading to more mature and interesting games and people in general recognizing games as a medium that can tell thoughtful and emotion-provoking stories.

TopazFusion:
Lets be honest here.

If it was a female assassin doing battle with a bunch of guys disguised as priests, no one would have batted an eye.

Yah they would. You left out the part where these priests would be half-naked and strippers.

DVS BSTrD:

Dexter111:
There is nothing wrong about nuns with guns in games, just as there is nothing wrong with this:


or this:

If you don't like it you don't have to watch it or buy the product, but get the f%# over it already and stop complaining.

And if you really don't want ^That kind of attention, don't make this type of trailer. Nobody takes either of those examples seriously and now nobody takes Square Enix seriously either.

You're right. I mean, this whole controversy is so reminiscent of that time when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino lost all credibility after they released Grindhouse, and it has absolutely nothing to do with videogames being judged by double standards.

Bought the collector's edition for the fiancee yesterday. Have to remind him to call me over when the sexy nuns appear.

I can't believe this stupidity is still going on. To be honest I think this is a dark day for gaming and the forcing of censorship and political correctness. I think it's pathetic not to see Squeenix fighting back, and instead backing down to this and crying "we didn't want this kind of contreversy".

Having seen this entire thing multiple times, and failing to see the big deal, I'll just restate what should be the obvious:

It's bloody heroic fantasy. To say there is something wrong with this is to basically argue that women should be put on a pedestel and pretty much omitted from any kind of action/combat related material. "Women instigating the violence being used as an excuse to show violence against women", well that could pretty much be used as an arguement against women being involved in any kind of fight scene.

To be honest to hear this alongside all the whining about why "action girls" aren't involved in more medium and given the same kind of treatment as guys, is bloody comedy gold. What are we supposed to assume from this? That women should never be the bad guys in these kinds of things? Or is it that we should reinforce the tropes that people complain about where say guys can't fight girls, so in every storyline it should come down to a cat fight between the good girl(s) and the bad girls(s) while the guys duke it out seperatly. Basically Agent 47 should have a female sidekick just in case a female target/opponent comes up. :P

Let's be honest, if you want to have girls in these kinds of situations, kicking butt with the guys, then you have to accept they are going to get their arses kicked as well. This incidently includes heroic girls, after all the hero getting pwned (sometimes multiple times) and then having to pick themselves up from it, or find other ways of defeating the enemy, is a genere stereotype.

As I've said before, if this bothers you, you probably shouldn't be looking at stuff that involves action/adventure involving women. I'll also say that this "grindhouse" vibe wasn't quite the description I would have given it as much as comic-book like. To be blunt there have been many similar fight scenes over the years with female teams of super villains (or even heroes) getting trashed, sometimes quite violently depending on the rating of the comic.

If Squeenix backs down from this contreversy, or takes it seriously, it's pretty much reinforcing every negative, gender based stereotype that we've been trying to get away from.

As far as the costumes go, and doing kung-fu in heels and/or nun costumes or whatever, understand that this is hardly unheard of in fiction, and dudes dress just as ridiculously, oftentimes wearing even less than the female characters do (the typical barbarian hero comes to mind). To be honest, barring the heels, I'd rather be wearing what those ladies are (leather bodysuits) than what Agent 47 is wearing in a combat/action situation, the reason is quite simple... try sliding accross the pavement in regular clothing (even a suit) it's not fun. Try running through briars chasing someone. I've had cause to do both. I'll also say bikers cover themselves in leather for this reason as well, it's not so much to look "tough" as the fact that it's going to protect the skin if they wind up getting dumped and wind up taking an apshalt slide. The heels might be pushing it, but it IS fantasy, and like most costumes the basic answer is "it looks cool", if we had to make a list of every totally ridiculous thing that served no function or would be a disadvantage worn by a character in fantasy it would be a huge list, also men would probably outnumber the ladies, though admittedl due to there being more male characters at this point. To be honest if your worrying about the practicality of someone's footwear in a campy action scene, your kind of missing the point and it's probably not your genere. If you can't deal with that, wait until some dude shows up with a poisoned spiked ball attached to a ponytail that he whips people with or something like that.... which gets even more ridiculous, but the point of this kind of thing is to kind of put your brain into neutral and flow with it. Of course then again I did just get a kick out of watching "The Man With The Iron Fists" which while not the most insane kung-fu movie I've ever seen, would probably send anyone who complains about this video into seizures from the sheer amount of camp on display.

Kargathia:

Callate:
With all due respect, I think that women (or at least, specific women) being the initiators of violence is a pretty good excuse for violence against [those] women.

Make what you will of the sexy nun nonsense; if women are going to be the pro/ant-agonists of violent games, they're going to be subject to violence.

It's good to remember that the story does not have autonomous will - everything scripted that happens, happens because the writer says so. These nuns might have violence visited on them because they are the antagonists in a violent game, but the game's devs are still responsible for making them the antagonists, and consequently having them be the subject of lethal violence.

That said: this looks to be a relatively simple case of the stupids. They pushed their existing style of humour, and failed to take a step back, and realise that their creation was stupid, offensive, and plainly incomprehensible. Not like that never happens to anyone creative.

So... only men are allowed to be subjected to lethal violence? Or just nuns who AREN'T in clothes YOU deem provocative? Because that's starting to sound a lot like the puritanical bullshit the world could use less of, except you're masquerading it under the guise of "feminismz".

i don't giving a flying crap about the marketing campaign.
Most games are marketed as not holding your hands having awesome choice and end up being linear with broken AI. So A sexy nun advert means nothing to me.

I got the game and I am more annoyed at the over sensitive AI that can see through your disguise from another room and a few too many linear levels.
It looks like they compensated for their lack of creative larger level design by just ramping up the detection/instinct ratio.

Nurb:
Chicks get their barely-legal teenage sparkly vampire/werewolf romance-porn, can't guys just get to imagine being a bald badass that requires an army of sexy nuns to take down without hearing how our escapism is the one that is somehow destroying society and oppressing a gender?

I am not an animal!

The thing is the female fantasy books etc includes sexual stuff that can be seen as quite violent but at the same time it is consensual violence. This Hitman advert is just a man physically dominating women in an extremely violent and non-consensual way. When domestic violence and non-consensual sexual violence happen everyday (to both men and women) glorifying a man beating and killing sex objects (and don't tell me they aren't) is a really horrible thing to put out as an advertisement.

Also I get the whole wanting be a bald badass but why, especially in this context, are the sexy nuns a requirement?

NotALiberal:

Kargathia:

Callate:
With all due respect, I think that women (or at least, specific women) being the initiators of violence is a pretty good excuse for violence against [those] women.

Make what you will of the sexy nun nonsense; if women are going to be the pro/ant-agonists of violent games, they're going to be subject to violence.

It's good to remember that the story does not have autonomous will - everything scripted that happens, happens because the writer says so. These nuns might have violence visited on them because they are the antagonists in a violent game, but the game's devs are still responsible for making them the antagonists, and consequently having them be the subject of lethal violence.

That said: this looks to be a relatively simple case of the stupids. They pushed their existing style of humour, and failed to take a step back, and realise that their creation was stupid, offensive, and plainly incomprehensible. Not like that never happens to anyone creative.

So... only men are allowed to be subjected to lethal violence? Or just nuns who AREN'T in clothes YOU deem provocative? Because that's starting to sound a lot like the puritanical bullshit the world could use less of, except you're masquerading it under the guise of "feminismz".

Oh yeah, because objecting to women wearing fetish wear for no reason given getting beaten and murdered is puritanical and not oh lets say a reasonable response from a mature human being. I don't object to violence at all and them just being woman isn't the issue here it's that both the women and the violence are portrayed in a fetishist manner. Can't you just sit back and objectively view why people might have a problem with that?

Deathninja19:

Oh yeah, because objecting to women wearing fetish wear for no reason given getting beaten and murdered is puritanical and not oh lets say a reasonable response from a mature human being. I don't object to violence at all and them just being woman isn't the issue here it's that both the women and the violence are portrayed in a fetishist manner. Can't you just sit back and objectively view why people might have a problem with that?

If it were men wearing fetish gear for no reason given getting beaten and murdered, people would just view it as goddamned hilarious.

Lol they interviewed a stripper really?

HEY I HAVE AN IDEA ! Let's remove women from gaming completly! That way no one will complain that women are getting hurt! It's okay to beat up and kill men right? RIGHT?

You know what publishers / developpers should do? Make games , and ignore everyone who complains .

Moosejaw:

Deathninja19:

Oh yeah, because objecting to women wearing fetish wear for no reason given getting beaten and murdered is puritanical and not oh lets say a reasonable response from a mature human being. I don't object to violence at all and them just being woman isn't the issue here it's that both the women and the violence are portrayed in a fetishist manner. Can't you just sit back and objectively view why people might have a problem with that?

If it were men wearing fetish gear for no reason given getting beaten and murdered, people would just view it as goddamned hilarious.

And that would be just as sad but in different ways. The thing is when it comes to men and women life experiences can be completely different. When women interact with the vast majority of men they get treated as being lesser than they are, as sex objects or as inferior people. Men can whine about being objectified too whether it be unreasonable depictions in fiction or advertising but that is nothing compared to how women can and are treated on an almost daily basis, the leers, the dismissing of opinions and so on.

Look, I'm not trying to force my views on anyone who likes the game or the advert or whatever, I'm just trying to explain why people found it distasteful.

I still don't get it. Is it because it's a man killing women? Well, they attacked him first so he was fair game. Is it because they're wearing fetish outfits? It's a part of the theme that they were going for. If it was a female assassin getting attacked by a group of male assassins in fetish priest outfits, I'd probably find it more funny than offensive.

If you find something offensive, just don't buy it or support it. Vote with your wallet.

Spitfire:

DVS BSTrD:

Dexter111:
There is nothing wrong about nuns with guns in games, just as there is nothing wrong with this:


or this:

If you don't like it you don't have to watch it or buy the product, but get the f%# over it already and stop complaining.

And if you really don't want ^That kind of attention, don't make this type of trailer. Nobody takes either of those examples seriously and now nobody takes Square Enix seriously either.

You're right. I mean, this whole controversy is so reminiscent of that time when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino lost all credibility after they released Grindhouse, and it has absolutely nothing to do with videogames being judged by double standards.

Yes, because after the Grindhouse trailer was released, Rodriquez and Tarantino issued an apology and said they weren't interested in stripper leg gun and car crashing physco murder porn controversy. No, they wanted their movies to be known for something else.

NotALiberal:

Kargathia:

Callate:
With all due respect, I think that women (or at least, specific women) being the initiators of violence is a pretty good excuse for violence against [those] women.

Make what you will of the sexy nun nonsense; if women are going to be the pro/ant-agonists of violent games, they're going to be subject to violence.

It's good to remember that the story does not have autonomous will - everything scripted that happens, happens because the writer says so. These nuns might have violence visited on them because they are the antagonists in a violent game, but the game's devs are still responsible for making them the antagonists, and consequently having them be the subject of lethal violence.

That said: this looks to be a relatively simple case of the stupids. They pushed their existing style of humour, and failed to take a step back, and realise that their creation was stupid, offensive, and plainly incomprehensible. Not like that never happens to anyone creative.

So... only men are allowed to be subjected to lethal violence? Or just nuns who AREN'T in clothes YOU deem provocative? Because that's starting to sound a lot like the puritanical bullshit the world could use less of, except you're masquerading it under the guise of "feminismz".

You do realise the "quote" button is at the top of somebody's post? I didn't pose any judgement calls whatsoever on what gender it is ok to inflict lethal violence on, or what dress code victims of said violence should adhere to. Nor did I even remotely hint at any involvement of feminist sentiments. (Nor would I ever spell "feminism" with a "z")

That said: there's nothing wrong with any individual aspect of "heavily armed women dressed in provocative latex and stiletto heels underneath nun habits engaging in gun / knife fights with Agent 47" - it is the combination that makes it ridiculously stupid.

/snip/

That said: there's nothing wrong with any individual aspect of "heavily armed women dressed in provocative latex and stiletto heels underneath nun habits engaging in gun / knife fights with Agent 47" - it is the combination that makes it ridiculously stupid.[/quote]

So at this point, as a controversy-minded game designer, I'd find this quote, agree with it wholeheartedly, apologize, and move on... The game would release exactly the same, except the women would then be in sensible shoes....

Quaidis:
I've seen nuns portrayed worse in anime from the 80's and 90's and no one gave a two rats and a shit about it then. Why are we suddenly shocked over it now? People need to chill and find their funny bone again.

Uh. Maybe because not a whole lot of people watched those anime series. And they weren't probably putting that stuff up front in their advertising. Whereas this Hitman advert has been seen by a whole lot of people and has been in the public spotlight. If the shocking stuff you were talking about was in the public spotlight, then it too would be very shocking to a lot of people.

It's like saying "I've seen much worse stuff done to nuns in these snuff films I saw, but no one ever gave a shit about those. People are too sensitive." Just because you can find something much worse doesn't mean that other people are just being too sensitive about what you deem completely inoffensive.

Deathninja19:

Nurb:
Chicks get their barely-legal teenage sparkly vampire/werewolf romance-porn, can't guys just get to imagine being a bald badass that requires an army of sexy nuns to take down without hearing how our escapism is the one that is somehow destroying society and oppressing a gender?

I am not an animal!

The thing is the female fantasy books etc includes sexual stuff that can be seen as quite violent but at the same time it is consensual violence. This Hitman advert is just a man physically dominating women in an extremely violent and non-consensual way. When domestic violence and non-consensual sexual violence happen everyday (to both men and women) glorifying a man beating and killing sex objects (and don't tell me they aren't) is a really horrible thing to put out as an advertisement.

Also I get the whole wanting be a bald badass but why, especially in this context, are the sexy nuns a requirement?

They are a group of highly trained and deadly assassins sent to kill him, that's why he's fighting them. They both know what they're doing. There's a reason for it. They are equals.

As for what they wear... so what? They wear tight gear that shows off the female figure in a way that's appealing. Female fantasy books/movies get barely dressed and shirtless teenaged boys showing off their bodies... or in the case of the yaoi fangirls, all-out gay porn with romance. Both are fantasy, only different because both genders often don't share the same ideas.

What it all comes down to is that both men and women like fantasy that sometimes tickles their naughty bits, but we get to hear the BS pushed that:
Men's fantasy = bad
Women's fantasy = good

Kargathia:
That said: there's nothing wrong with any individual aspect of "heavily armed women dressed in provocative latex and stiletto heels underneath nun habits engaging in gun / knife fights with Agent 47" - it is the combination that makes it ridiculously stupid.

So what if it seems stupidly over the top, that's what the series is. He's a clone of a man trying to create a race of engineered killers in the bowels of a mental hospital and he once killed a morbidly obese target that was hosting a fetish gear party in a meat locker dance club. Oddball violent fiction isn't a place to try and apply real world thinking or morality and people look silly when they do.

Moosejaw:
If it were men wearing fetish gear for no reason given getting beaten and murdered, people would just view it as goddamned hilarious.

They would indeed xD

krazykidd:
HEY I HAVE AN IDEA ! Let's remove women from gaming completly! That way no one will complain that women are getting hurt! It's okay to beat up and kill men right? RIGHT?

That wouldn't work, because then they'd complain that there are no women in Call of Duty/FIFA/Other games here.
It's literally one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of thing.

Best way to deal with it is indeed to ignore all the internet angry/offended people and make your games instead.

DVS BSTrD:

Spitfire:

DVS BSTrD:

And if you really don't want ^That kind of attention, don't make this type of trailer. Nobody takes either of those examples seriously and now nobody takes Square Enix seriously either.

You're right. I mean, this whole controversy is so reminiscent of that time when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino lost all credibility after they released Grindhouse, and it has absolutely nothing to do with videogames being judged by double standards.

Yes, because after the Grindhouse trailer was released, Rodriquez and Tarantino issued an apology and said they weren't interested in stripper leg gun and car crashing physco murder porn controversy. No, they wanted their movies to be known for something else.

That's irrelevant. The potential for controversy was there, and Grindhouse could have easily been portrayed negatively in the media, regardless of what Rodriguez and Tarantino claimed to want their movies to be known for.
Looking past Grindhouse, there's really no shortage of movies featuring sexual imagery, and copious amounts of violence and gore, and yet we rarely see any of them sparking major controversies in the media, in the way that games like Hitman: Absolution or Tomb Raider did. Why is it that imagery and subject matter that is perfectly accepted in movies, is such a hot topic when present in videogames?

DVS BSTrD:

Dexter111:
There is nothing wrong about nuns with guns in games, just as there is nothing wrong with this:


or this:

If you don't like it you don't have to watch it or buy the product, but get the f%# over it already and stop complaining.

And if you really don't want ^That kind of attention, don't make this type of trailer. Nobody takes either of those examples seriously and now nobody takes Square Enix seriously either.

You obviously know jack all about what you are talking about if you think no one takes Quinton Terrintino serious after Grindhouse.

And yes, they were going for the grindhouse feel with their trailer and game.

"The religious themes have been there from the very beginning, along with outlandish party scenes. And there are a lot of movie influences in Hitman Absolution, like Tarantino and Rodriguez. The grindhouse theme is something that we're using throughout the game. It tends more towards sixties exploitation movies - these were a fascination [for us] because they were so extreme."

http://www.vg247.com/2012/06/07/io-interactive-responds-to-hitman-trailer-controversy/

FelixG:

DVS BSTrD:

Dexter111:
There is nothing wrong about nuns with guns in games, just as there is nothing wrong with this:


or this:

If you don't like it you don't have to watch it or buy the product, but get the f%# over it already and stop complaining.

And if you really don't want ^That kind of attention, don't make this type of trailer. Nobody takes either of those examples seriously and now nobody takes Square Enix seriously either.

You obviously know jack all about what you are talking about if you think no one takes Quinton Terrintino serious after Grindhouse.

And yes, they were going for the grindhouse feel with their trailer and game.

"The religious themes have been there from the very beginning, along with outlandish party scenes. And there are a lot of movie influences in Hitman Absolution, like Tarantino and Rodriguez. The grindhouse theme is something that we're using throughout the game. It tends more towards sixties exploitation movies - these were a fascination [for us] because they were so extreme."

http://www.vg247.com/2012/06/07/io-interactive-responds-to-hitman-trailer-controversy/

Grindhouse is supposed to silly, not serious. As near as I can tell from not having played a Hitman game, they're supposed to take themselves more serious than this. This wasn't Hitman, this was Square trying to be outrageous for the fun of it and stamping the Hitman brand on it. If you want to make a "grindhouse" trailer, than put it on a grindhouse game. I find it laughable that they couldn't have seen this controversy result, since the whole appeal of that trailer WAS controversy.

DVS BSTrD:

FelixG:

DVS BSTrD:

And if you really don't want ^That kind of attention, don't make this type of trailer. Nobody takes either of those examples seriously and now nobody takes Square Enix seriously either.

You obviously know jack all about what you are talking about if you think no one takes Quinton Terrintino serious after Grindhouse.

And yes, they were going for the grindhouse feel with their trailer and game.

"The religious themes have been there from the very beginning, along with outlandish party scenes. And there are a lot of movie influences in Hitman Absolution, like Tarantino and Rodriguez. The grindhouse theme is something that we're using throughout the game. It tends more towards sixties exploitation movies - these were a fascination [for us] because they were so extreme."

http://www.vg247.com/2012/06/07/io-interactive-responds-to-hitman-trailer-controversy/

Grindhouse is supposed to silly, not serious. As near as I can tell from not having played a Hitman game, they're supposed to take themselves more serious than this. This wasn't Hitman, this was Square trying to be outrageous for the fun of it and stamping the Hitman brand on it. If you want to make a "grindhouse" trailer, than put it on a grindhouse game. I find it laughable that they couldn't have seen this controversy result, since the whole appeal of that trailer WAS controversy.

You were mistaken about the motivation of Hitman, they have always been tongue in cheek and a bit on the silly side like grindhouse, the last game in the series had a female assassin that got herself off on killing people, and hid a desert eagle and about a dozen knives in about a foot of material, her name was Eve.

image

and as previously mentioned you can chloroform an idols panties to KO her body guard when he sneaks into her room to sniff them, so yeah it has always been a bit on THAT side of silly.

The only reason that it was controversial is because it is a game and some stupid double standard.

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