Furious reaction to apparent rape joke between man and woman during game demo at E3.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it’s known, is no stranger to controversy but has never trodden on the sensitive topic of rape before. During a demonstration for the Killer Instinct reboot, which will be an Xbox One exclusive, a particular bout of dialogue has caused immediate backlash on Twitter and led to a quick apology from Microsoft.
The banter between a male producer and his female opponent was the score to a Killer Instinct battle, in which they were promoting a new joystick – him using it to soundly beat her in the game. The moment of controversy went as follows:
Her: I can’t even block correctly, and you’re too fast! (Whimpers)
Him: Here we go. Just let it happen. It’ll be over soon. (Heavy breathing)
Her: You have a fight stick.
Him: Wow, you like those. (Maniacal laughter)
Her: No, I don’t like this.
Except it really didn’t. He was just promoting the Tournament Edition of the Mad Catz Fightstick and the Xbox One’s ability to record and upload videos of your gaming domination. His ‘victim’ opts to resume the fight and decimates her opponent in a similar fashion, in a bid to show off the new console’s partnership with Twitch, a streaming service that lets you broadcast yourself playing live. Context is everything.
Rape has to be one of the most horrific things that can happen to a person, but is this really the ‘rape joke’ that a Google search would have you believe? Isn’t a scenario in which a male wins and then loses in a staged video game fight against a female opponent called a tie? What happened to the third round? Why is the internet reporting that she is reinforcing stereotypes that girls are terrible at gaming when she tied with the game’s producer? If anything that makes her better than most people on Earth.
Microsoft’s grovelling apology just gives the accusations more credence, especially when a line such as “Bullying and harassment of any kind is not condoned and is taken very seriously”, appears. If anything you have to question people’s immediate jump to the conclusion that this was making light of rape. What the hell is wrong with people? It’s like saying “That’s what she said” after someone tells you they like sausages. Watch the video and decide for yourself.
Featured image: YouTube screengrab