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what is this I don't even

UPDATED: The Makers Of Dead Island Would Like You To Purchase This Woman’s Dismembered Torso (Really)


Dead Island: Riptide is the sequel to Dead Island, the survival horror video game that has players stranded on a tropical island with a zombie outbreak. To promote the game, publishers Deep Silver are offering a special “Zombie Bait Edition” which includes the console game, artwork, a weapons pack, and a statue of a woman’s bikini-clad torso with her head and arms chopped off. And so help me god, they’re comparing it to the Venus de Milo. The graphic image is after the jump and probably NSFW. [UPDATE: Deep Silver issues apology. More below]

So…yup. The special edition is a UK exclusive (hence the Union Jack bikini) and runs for around $160. The torso is 31cm X 18.5cm and Deep Silver claims it’s a ”grotesque take on an iconic Roman marble torso sculpture.” We can only assume they’re referencing the Greek statue of Venus de Milo here. You know, the one whose arms weren’t meant to missing. How about you not compare your vile excuse for a statue with classic art you don’t even understand? Either way, it’s incredibly offensive and leaves me wondering who approved of this idea. Maybe we should be thankful she’s even wearing a top.

UPDATE: Via Joystiq we’ve learned publisher Deep Silver has issued an apology. The tweet linked to a page with a longer reply:

A statement on the Zombie Bait Edition:

We deeply apologize for any offense caused by the Dead Island Riptide “Zombie Bait Edition”, the collector’s edition announced for Europe and Australia. Like many gaming companies, Deep Silver has many offices in different countries, which is why sometimes different versions of Collector’s Editions come into being for North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

For the limited run of the Zombie Bait Edition for Europe and Australia, a decision was made to include a gruesome statue of a zombie torso, which was cut up like many of our fans had done to the undead enemies in the original Dead Island.

We sincerely regret this choice. We are collecting feedback continuously from the Dead Island community, as well as the international gaming community at large, for ongoing internal meetings with Deep Silver’s entire international team today. For now, we want to reiterate to the community, fans and industry how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again.

Missing from this apology? Whether or not they’re actually pulling the special edition and replacing it with another. Notice also how they don’t use the word “woman” at all.

(via Rock, Paper, Shotgun)

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  • http://twitter.com/DisposableTea Bronson O’Quinn

    Gross.

  • http://www.facebook.com/macbastardz Rick McDowell

    Yeah, pretty tasteless, as far as Special Editions go. And this is coming from a guy who prides himself on his love of tasteless art. And you know there is somebody who’s going to try and defend this with an arguement like “Well what about the Walking Dead DVD Cases? Those were ZOMBIE heads?”

  • http://twitter.com/Chizwick Charlie

    Awkward? Yes. Gross? Yes. Overpriced? Yes. Unnecessary? Yes.

    Offensive? Hardly,

  • Alexander Hooley

    The first game was ignored by gamers and shat on by critics, they’re obviously trying to get some controversy publicity and goodwill from the people who instinctively defend shit like this for the sequel.

  • http://louderplease.com Kelly Stephenson

    I wonder what else is on the shelf that’ll end up on at a fan’s house.

  • Anonymous

    It is gross but I don’t find it offensive. It is cheesy zombie collectors item that is in bad taste, something my old college house mate would put on her shelf. The amount of mantles this will sit on is probably very small.

  • http://twitter.com/witchfury Bel

    And who are you to say, exactly?

  • http://twitter.com/witchfury Bel

    Well that’s completely disgusting.

  • Vicky C

    It’s absolutely offensive. Nothing says objectification like “buy this video game and get a free pair of boobs!”

  • http://twitter.com/FroWillis Sarah

    I feel like if they had actually made it look like the Venus De Milo and included the head and legs it would have looked really cool in a gruesome way. This torso looks like someone said “Oh let’s include a dead body statue of just boobs because BOOBIES”.

    I’m not offended by it though. It fails for me aesthetically and I find the anatomy horrible.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    Of course it’s not offensive to YOU, they didn’t mutilate the only parts of a woman you think are important.

  • http://twitter.com/ChannelDiza Chanel Diaz

    I knew that game was sexist from that “rapper song trailer,” and that male
    rapper (he also seemed to be the most sexist character, in the game, too). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHgO0YD1IE8

    And there’s that whole “Feminist Wh*re Mode:” http://kotaku.com/5838387/dead-island-maker-gives-leading-lady-a-feminist-whore-skill

    This brings me back to that Axe commercial, but at least they gave her LEGS….. not that it’s much of an ‘improvement:’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NvX71ZbTk-E

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    Just out of curiosity, why don’t you as a male find this offensive?

    Does it have anything to do with the fact that the figure’s breasts and (presumbly) vagina haven’t been torn off and are still in perfect condition for you to stare at?

  • Anonymous

    Umm, look, Dead Island guys… remember that whole thing about how how the gaming industry is striving to be taken as a serious medium and art form that caters to mature adults of all genders and not just to teenage boys?

    Yeah. You failed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/macbastardz Rick McDowell

    ^^ Told you that somebody would try and rationalize this, with what I said earlier.^^

  • http://twitter.com/Chizwick Charlie

    Your assumption that I care only about a particular portion of a woman’s body simply because I disagree with the artwork in question being called “offensive” is sad and misguided.

  • http://twitter.com/Chizwick Charlie

    A human being with an opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/EmberDione Kim Pittman

    Well, at least now women gamers have a very clear red flag for Serial Killer if they ever walk into a guy gamer’s house.

    (Seriously, does it say anything OTHER than “I am going to kill you, chop you up, and display your body parts like I am Ed Gein?”)

  • http://twitter.com/EmberDione Kim Pittman

    They are! At which point we can point to how the head is at least an identifiable feature, where as this is completely dehumanizing.

  • Anonymous

    I will say that I can see the logic. The figure has to be female because they wanted the Union Jack and a male torso wouldn’t be wearing anything. The figure had to be wearing a bikini because the game is set on a beach, making it thematically appropriate.

    So I get it, but that doesn’t stop there from being serious unfortunate implications. Someone should probably have figured out that it sent a completely wrong message before it was made.

  • Travis Fischer

    Agreed. If this were a half-eaten mockery of the Statue of David, the word “sexism” wouldn’t come up unless to complain that they used a dude when they could have just as easily had a female zombie statue.

  • http://twitter.com/Mimidraw Marina Rice

    Some people like creepy things. I’m sure there are people who collect grotesque busts and the like.

    …but there is just something so damn unsettling about it not having a head. We don’t even know if this is the torso of a zombie, or just a regular woman. Its been completely dehumanized- but don’t worry! The boobs are still intact!

    If it had a head, it would be a ‘character’. [Sort of.] Without it…

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    I think the main issue that people have with this is that the gaming industry is yet again using silly inflatey tits to market their product. It gets old and the industry will never grow as a result.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501983222 Matt Graham

    See, I am one of those creators who always works on an idea, and suddenly my idea is on trailers or comic solicitations shortly after I complete the work.

    I just this weekend painted a woman wearing a pair of Union Jack briefs and an oversized t-shirt…and now this. EVERY TIME, AHHHHHHH.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501983222 Matt Graham

    You nailed why it’s bothersome, to my tastes.

  • Anonymous

    I’m just… super confused by those boobs. Whoever made that statue has obviously never looked at a pair of breasts before. How do they work? Are they tumors?

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    They also don’t know how bikini tops work either.

  • EleniRPG

    I don’t know…A male torso could be wearing the torn remains of a Union Jack t-shirt. T-shirts are appropriate clothing for a tropical island as well as bikinis. But who in their target audience would want that? It definitely seems they’ve chosen the mangled remains of the type of body their target audience would find sexy. And attempting to mix sexy with decapitated and de-armed is just revolting.

  • Anonymous

    That’s true, I could see that working as well. If they really did choose a female torso for reasons of sexiness, then I have nothing, it’s just terrible.

    I like to try and understand people so, I hope that no human being sits around in the merchandising department saying “Gee, we really hate women, but really like boobs, how can we put these feelings on one figure?”

    Maybe I’m wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/Deviija Devi Sage

    It is very tasteless. It is downright repulsive, actually. This combined with the original Dead Island’s issue (the feminism/woman bashing and shaming code crap) just makes for a huge pile of ‘no thanks’ for me. Not interested in this company or what it produces anymore. Clear red lags and signals aplenty.

    Like we’d ever see an idealized/sexualized phallus/dude crotch as a trophy in-game. It’s just not acceptable. And it is alienating.

  • http://twitter.com/princessology Chaka ♥

    Because even after she’s dead, a woman is nothing more than the sum of her body parts. Jesus H.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Davis/100001921898489 Susan Davis

    How do you even tell it’s a ‘zombie’ torso? From its name, ‘zombie bait’ I would assume that it was a dead human body, because zombies are known for eating humans, not other zombies. Also, aren’t zombies traditionally after people’s brains? This ‘bait’ is missing a vital ‘bait’ component, if so.
    I mean, if it were grey/green/motled and with pus and innards hanging out, that would say ‘zombie’ it me. This? Just says creepy objectification with a side of necrophilia.

  • http://twitter.com/nachtritter Duke Fleed

    What is especially offensive to my intelligence is that they’re acting surprised at the backlash from the community and acting like they’re so very sorry that people are offended at all. As if that zombie bait statue wasn’t a half-assed attempt at drumming up publicity for their game.

    Dead Island had a great promo cinematic that got lots of people talking only to discover that the game was an emotionless, buggy POS. They can’t really play the emotional cinematic thing again, because it won’t work a second time. So what are they to do?

    Oh, I can see how it went in the briefing room: “Welllllll…. there’s this whole debate about sexism in the video games industry that’s all over the place these days, so tell you what, guys, let’s stir some controversy about sexism! That’ll do it! EVERYONE WILL TALK ABOUT OUR GAME!”

  • Jamie Jeans

    Of COURSE she’s wearing a bikini… got to sexualize that violence against women!

    And guess which game I’m NOT buying?

  • Anonymous

    I think it isn’t exactly the best thing they could’ve done, but it’s a
    horror game, and the horror genre is basically gore and boobs. I’m not
    saying that’s ok, of course, but this is hardly the first time someone
    has tried to mix gore and sex appeal. How many times have horror movies
    shown topless ladies being graphically killed? And in those cases many
    of them didn’t even have on so much as a bikini top.

  • Jane

    Who is actually surprised? Have you played Dead Island?? One of the huts you have to explore is obviously the site of a p*rn shoot with bowchicka bowbow music playing in the background and the star-turned-zombie still lashed to the bed, lunging at the player. Could there be ANY more sexism built into this franchise??

  • http://brightblueink.net/ Inky

    The thing is, the TRAILER was amazing, fantastic, and practically a story in and of itself–a deeply moving, depressing story along the lines of, say, The Walking Dead. The game, well…wasn’t. It was just another zombie game.

  • Anonymous

    It scares me that you would make such an assumption and even more so that as of writing this five others agree to your assumption.

    The figures breasts are of no concern to me because it has no arms, legs, or head and so it bares no attraction for me. I would also not find it offensive if it was a naked man with an intact penis and a rockin bod.

    Do you find mannequins in malls wearing bikinis to be offensive? I would think a mangled body would draw more attention than some cleavage. Although both of these things fit the context of the game, being on a beach and being eaten that is.

    Going by the crudeness of your comment, I bet if you had a rock you would throw it at me.

  • Anonymous

    I heard a lot of that. I avoided the game because of such comments. It is a shame, and even more so that Lionsgate are the ones to take inspiration from the trailer and get the rights. They tend to do the types of movies I avoid, that is lots of blood and some story crumbs if there is time left.

  • http://twitter.com/witchfury Bel

    Women are subjected to this bullshit on a regular basis, it wouldn’t be the same were it a man anyway.

  • Anonymous

    A downvote? I guess someone from Lionsgate reads here.

  • Anonymous

    Are we talking about the assumption about me or the figure? I don’t think Sara’s assumption about me was at all fair, regardless of how often she may be the target of others assumptions as I am not them.

    The figure I won’t discuss anymore as this comment section has turned vitriol for anyone who doesn’t take offense to it. Here I thought offensiveness was a per person thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    …The fuck is this shit?

    I’m even more ashamed that I went to the midnight release of this crap, as if the lackluster gameplay and story weren’t enough of a thorn in my snatch.

    Fucking yuck.

  • Travis Fischer

    Or maybe they wanted to combine “Zombie” “Island” and “United Kingdom” on a single statue and putting a zombie dude in a Union Jack bikini seemed a little bit too far out of the way to go just to avoid the wrath of The Mary Sue.

    If this were a torso of a jacked zombie dude with a union jack tattooed on his pecks, nobody would bat an eye and this wouldn’t be a story. So way to shoot for equality!

  • http://www.widdershinscomic.com/ Kate A

    I tried playing it, but couldn’t find a single reason to not turn it off and play Left 4 Dead instead. Characterless, dull, and weirdly slow so you felt like your character was wading through jam the entire time.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    See… the thing is, inflatey titties aside…the thing is fucking gross! Even if it was a hacked up male torso it’d still be gross. And I know some people like their icky things and have models of disembodied body parts on their mantle piece or whatever, but that kind of thing is pretty niche. And that’s why I’m like “What the fuck were these guys thinking?” because who the hell would want a bloodied, headless, armless human torso amongst the rest of their video game collectables apart from maybe the few people with that particular taste? So yeah, don’t worry, I think disembodied male torsos are just as offensive as female ones. Equality!

  • Galena Ostipow

    Not that I’m defending this in the slightest, but it does appear to be a zombie, as I can see ribcage hanging out underneath the right boob-tumor.

  • Anonymous

    “I am not offended by this” is personal. “This is not offensive” sounds like an attempt to state a fact, which challenges other people’s taking offense as incorrect.

    I can’t say I was offended by it either. I haven’t really had the set of life experiences to sensitize me to objectification in that way. But I still thought it was really dumb of them to produce it, and pretty creepy/insulting to their audience. I just can’t come up with any reason to design or (unironically) want that product other than “Ooh, sexy zombie boobs”. Ugh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003107319304 Silje-Marie Svendsen

    Honestly though.
    Who is offended by this? The people that actually play the game?
    Don’t think so.

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    Really, the “slow” part was the only reason I never played it again.

    I can appreciate good, mindless fun. I can!

    But if you’re going for mindless fun, you need to have it keep up the pace.

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    Arguably, that’s what XBL achievement points are, but I’m probably taking the epithet “e-peen” too literally here.

  • stanleyyalnats

    They don’t use the word “woman” at all because that is a zombie torso.

  • http://twitter.com/p3n_th13f Sarah

    LOL! That was one of my grievances with the game. All of the women have coconut shell boobs. What a disservice to the female body.

  • http://twitter.com/p3n_th13f Sarah

    I had to look that up because I couldn’t believe it. Dang.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bailey.bednar Bailey Bednar

    Sorry babe, but I’m gayer than NPH at whorehouse…. and this is AWESOME! It’s a beach resort, hence the bikini… it’s a zombie themed game.. hence the missing.. well.. everything. The whole game is set up like Pirahna 3DD and this is just another cheesy, but fitting, tidbit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bailey.bednar Bailey Bednar

    perhaps women should stop getting silly inflatey tits implanted then…

  • http://www.facebook.com/bailey.bednar Bailey Bednar

    well, at least they chopped off her head or she’d be whining more than you.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Ah yes cos that describes all women everywhere O.o

  • http://radicalcentristblog.wordpress.com/ HeatherN

    £10 says not one person involved in coming up with this concept even considered the possibility that they might use a man’s torso.

  • Ampa Pantages

    i honestly feel like it’s better without the head. That way it’s not watching you while you sleep >.>