I’ve to confess, CyberPunk 2077 actually has a dark appeal (Image: CD Projekt)
It’s set in a dystopian future the place mega-corporations and technical development have taken over.
Right here, cybertech, weapons, hyper-sexualisation and excessive violence are commonplace. Advertisements promote the sale of merchandise like weapons, neural stimulators and even cyberware that uploads your consciousness to a tough drive if you die so your family members can maintain you with them perpetually.
Lengthy before it was even released, the sport whipped up plenty of dialogue and criticism when a poster displayed within the fictional world was leaked in June final 12 months.
Promoting a faux smooth drink by the company ‘ChroManticore’, the poster exhibits a girl sporting a decent leotard, by which you’ll be able to see the detailed define of a big, bulging penis.
The picture was criticised for objectifying trans individuals, with many arguing that trans our bodies are being commodified by the sport’s builders.
Whereas I knew the poster is meant to mirror the fictional society and the way excessive it has develop into, I felt anxious about the way it was going to go down on social media.
Some individuals angrily responded to the poster, making transphobic statements and declaring that they have been ‘disgusted’ by the picture. In consequence, trans individuals needed to step in and defend their proper to existence as soon as once more.
Regardless of all this, I made a decision to purchase the sport when it was launched. As somebody who performs plenty of narrative-led video games, I needed to see what it needed to provide apart from that controversy.
I’ve to confess, CyberPunk 2077 actually has a dark appeal. Regardless of the hopelessness of Night time Metropolis, the place the sport takes place, there are nice story arcs you may comply with and pals you can also make alongside the best way.
Nevertheless, anybody that treads the streets of this sport sees posters and TV adverts that consistently oversexualise ladies, each cis and trans.
As with the leaked poster, these fictional adverts are presupposed to be reflective of this horrible dystopian world but it surely nonetheless doesn’t imply they’re any much less uncomfortable or unsettling. The harm that the sexualisation of girls brings – inequality and violence – means this actuality feels too near dwelling.
Maybe one of many largest speaking factors, although, is the distinctive function that lets you select your character’s genitals.
As a trans particular person, I’ve combined emotions about this. I can think about the identical goes for many individuals who’ve gone by a protracted medical transition, together with genital surgical procedure as a result of their physique induced them such misery.
Anybody that treads the streets of this sport sees posters and TV adverts that consistently oversexualise ladies (Image: CD Projekt)
Being confronted with the chance to create a personality with sure genitals may simply be a bit too shut for consolation — for myself included.
However, from the viewpoint of trans individuals who don’t need surgical procedure, it may very well be deemed an amazing possibility to permit them to create a personality that displays who they’re. It’s an fascinating addition, and one that may undoubtedly get individuals eager about totally different our bodies.
There has additionally been a bug in the game the place the fallacious genitals generally get displayed if you look in a mirror, for which there have been numerous complaints made to the builders.
The boards are crammed with cisgender individuals complaining that they all of a sudden have a personality that has genitals that they didn’t select or really feel uncomfortable about.
The irony of cisgender individuals getting wildly upset about having the fallacious genitals in a online game isn’t misplaced on me. Maybe it’ll make them just a little extra empathetic with the struggles of some transgender individuals.
Oddly, the voice of your character appears to be the deciding issue of how you might be referred to by the characters within the sport: when you select a masculine voice it leads to characters gendering you as ‘he’ and, for a female voice, as ‘she’.
It’s a missed alternative, not solely to permit individuals to decide on their very own pronouns but additionally to incorporate any for non-binary individuals.
To be honest to the builders, there are some representations of queer individuals within the story of the sport, though scarce. Probably the most notable ones I’ve encountered up to now embody a lesbian named Judy and a bisexual character referred to as Johnny Silverhand. They each play an element in the primary storyline to a level and are romance choices for some gamers.
There’s additionally a – spoiler alert – trans character referred to as Claire, who’s a part of the primary storyline and helps your character out quite a bit when you befriend her. You don’t discover out till in a while that she is trans, when you advance her friendship, which I personally assume is a pleasant contact.
It reminds individuals that you simply gained’t at all times know if somebody is trans, similar to in actual life. The illustration, subsequently, turns into virtually informal, which I imagine is an enormous step ahead in the direction of trans acceptance in society.
So, even inside this sport of hopelessness and despair, there are stunning moments of character connections and friendship. It goes to point out us that even when issues appear dangerous, there’s at all times the possibility to seek out significant connections — and that’s one of many major cause I made a decision to proceed taking part in the sport.
I do should gear myself up for it each time, although, and may solely play for a short time earlier than the discrimination and objectification within the sport get too overwhelming.
The world mirrored in CyberPunk 2077 could be onerous to digest and triggering when you’ve got skilled this stuff first hand to some extent.
It is going to be fascinating to see the place the builders take it and the way they reply to the unfavourable suggestions. There’s plenty of alternative for enchancment, and I hope they’ll act on the decision for extra genuine queer illustration, even inside a dystopian setting.
By the 12 months 2077, I hope we will probably be dwelling in a world the place gender expression and gender identification is much more various and expansive than it’s now, or within the sport.