I was in two minds about writing this piece because I don’t think Pinchbeck and his ilk deserve or need any more attention, than they current are getting. The developers of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and the Dear Esther, The Chinese Room, have come out firing against CD Projekt Red, which made The Witcher 3, with accusations of sexism. This wouldn’t be the first time The Chinese Room has lashed out against “sexism” in the video game industry. Dan Pinchbeck of The Chinese Room wrote an article for GamesTM comparing the depiction of Quiet in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain to some sort of Nazi propaganda.
The Chinese Room’s official Twitter account had some rather harsh words for CD Projekt Red and its upcoming RPG, Cyberpunk 2077 while linking to an article written on GameSpot that so just happened to use a photograph that detailed the production of the game’s initial CGI trailer reveal. Which you can see below. The image by itself, and without the context of the game’s CGI trailer does not really say much. But game designer James Desborough has noted, the design and aesthetic is a callback to the art of Art Cunningham in the original Cyberpunk 2013 books. Pinchbeck wrote his piece to denounce the popularity of games like The Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid 5, which both won multiple awards in 2015.
While I admire CD Projekt RED for not backing down from these outrage warriors, they really didn’t have to respond at all. Neither in an official or private capacity. I am glad CD Projekt Red doesn’t give a shit about pandering to these childish morons. Funny how ignoring these people and their stupid ideological agendas has absolutely no impact on their success, considering the unanimous critical acclaim given to the Witcher series has gotten thus far. I find it rather disappointing that such a developer would be so hypocritical when you really think about it. The Chinese Room should know better than to call someone out as shit for using less than kosher game mechanics, representations of people, or shit that they personally don’t like.
When they themselves refuse to cater to criticism for the sake of their own games artistic vision. This is extremely disappointing coming from them. They have complete freedom to make the games they want to make, perhaps they should focus on their own work and not that of another developers. Until The Chinese Room is able to prove that CDProjekt is in fact sexist, their accusations holds no water and thus no attempt to oppose it is required from CDProjekt. I find it constantly hilarious that the people who try to decry sexism in gaming are themselves horrifyingly primitive when it comes to concepts like female empowerment, and have no problem being more horrifyingly racist than the people they oppose.