Dead Island Maker Gives Leading Lady 'Feminist Whore' Skill

One of the unlockable skills for Dead Island leading lady Purna allows her to deal extra damage against male victims. It's called Gender Wars in the game, but the original skill was apparently named "Feminist Whore".

The errant bit of renamed text was discovered by a resourceful computer gamer who found the original skill name buried in the code for the non-retail version of the game that was accidentally sent to digital game store Steam.

In the code, the game lists some of Purna's skills as "TeamSpirit1Purna", "SharpApprenticePurna" and "FeministWhorePurna".

Reached for comment this morning Techland confirmed that Feminist Whore was indeed the original name for the Gender Wars skill. The inappropriate name was caught by the developers and changed, they said, but remained in one debug, diagnostic file which ended up in the actual game.

Publisher Deep Silver confirmed to Kotaku that the line of code was in an early build of the game.

"It has come to our attention that one of Dead Island's leftover debug files contains a highly inappropriate internal script name of one of the character skills. This has been inexcusably overlooked and released with the game," Blazej Krakowiak, Techland International Brand Manager, said via email. "The line in question was something a programmer considered a private joke. The skill naturally has a completely different in-game name and the script reference was also changed. What is left is a part of an obscure debug function. This is merely an explanation but by no means an excuse. In the end that code was made a part of the product and signed with our company name. We deeply regret that fact and we apologise to all our customers or anyone who might have been offended by that inappropriate expression.

"The person responsible for this unfortunate situation will face professional consequences for violating the professional standards and beliefs Techland stands for."

Publisher Deep Silver also responded with a prepared statement:

"These unfortunate actions were of one individual at developer company Techland and do not in any way represent the views of publishing company Deep Silver."


Comments

    NO! Stick to your guns! God damnit...

    Political correctness is the first stone on the path to censorship. Someone important said that once. It was me, in the future. Or was it now? I can't remember.

      IMHO this is not an example of "PC gone too far". I can't think of a context where this kind of attitude is really acceptable in a mainstream game.

      To be clear, I'd not have a problem if a chauvanistic character used that language as it's something a real dickhead would say. Also, if the Purna character was actually a prostitute with a particular feminist attitude or agenda, that would arguably be fine too (although "whore" still has negative connotations).

      However, this was an internal reference to a leading female character in an action-survival-zombie-RPG. As such it was rightly pointed out as inappropriate and admitted as a mistake by Techland and Deep Silver.

        I have three words for you:

        Tears

        Bridges

        Overcoming

    This is not surprising seeing that all the playable characters in the game are horrible stereotypes.

      wtf? Yeah you're right, an aboriginal detective that got fired for shooting a politician... SOOOO STEREOTYPICAL!!

        By all accounts, that only plays out in the written biographies, otherwise, the characters are painful cliches devoid of any sort of personality.

          I like how there's a Canadian character, called Logan, who's an expert at fighting with knives. Just give him increased health regen and call him Wolverine already.

          Even L4D2's bunch of survivors are more likeable than these clowns.

    I was going to say how it is also an oxymoron... but then I remembered several 'feminist' women I know...

      Yeah! They're all filthy whores, huh!

        /facepalm

        My first reaction was that the two words are mutually exclusive and putting them together is an oxymoron, but then 'several' counter-examples suddenly caught in my memory and I realized that as 'Oxymoronic' as I had originally thought...

        :-P I was not calling all feminists whores... sheesh

    I guess it's good that they apologized for this, especially if it offended anyone, but to punish the person responsible...

    I don't know, that's going a bit far, I mean this is buried in the code, is a feminist woman going to dig through it, find it and then get offended? Even if they did, they apologized and said it was the actions of one person not the whole team.

      The guy will be told hes a naughty boy, get a warning and everyone will move on. I dont think hes in too much trouble.

      Hey Darren, hope you rmeeebmr me. We studied at Nottingham together. I now live and work in Canada for a software company called Maplesoft. Drop me a line sometime.

    I doubt anyone will actually be punished for this, they're probably just saying it in the press release to keep the PC brigade at bay.

    I don't see anything wrong with this.

    I would have rathered they kept it in than changed it.

      Is this the part when you say "and I'm a woman."?

    said it before and I'll say it again:
    take a teaspoon of cement and harden the f--- up.
    Someone found an alternate name for the skill that the developers found amusing, it was changed before release, but some reference was still there, burried where only people with way too much time who would rather look at the code behind the game than play it would find it... how will the world survive when people are allowed to have a sence of humor regardless of whether it is universally seen as apropriate...

    Oddly enough it sort of fits with the character background, she was discriminated against based on her gender and so I could imagine that being one of the insults thrown at her (after all, bigots are rarely concerned with using logical contradictions). Doesn't seem that unlikely that she'd turn it around and use that as a point of pride, saying "who's the feminist whore now??" as she chops mens heads off with a whacking great axe.

    Perfectly understandable why it was removed but I'd not be surprised if that was the initial reason for it.

    This isn't quite as stupid as when San Andreas had to be pulled because of the locked-away hot coffee content, but it comes close.

    I like it. Will start my first playthrough today. Maybe she actually was a whore?

    it wasn't even the retail version of the game, anyway. It was never intended to see the light of day

    Techland are a fucking joke. They're the Polish Obsidian. This entire game has been a joke from start to finish, from the four year dev cycle to the launch featuring a dev beta version, to keyboards causing microstuttering due to the game being designed for gamepads, to the farcical voice acting, to the obnoxious repitition of player character voices, and now this.

    Also, I'm embittered because I spent last night playing Dead Island and now when I booted my PC this morning my OS SSD could not be detected. It may not have caused it, but I'm blaming Dead island for it god damnit.

    All of you mouth-breathers who are using the term 'political correctness' need to get off your computer, walk over to your mum, girlfriend, wife, sister, female cousin etc and call her a feminist whore. Explain to her your views on women and how any woman who stands up for herself is actually secretly selling her body to whatever man wants to use it.

    Then let me know if you still think that not using the phrase is somehow linked to gaining political capital, or if its more about not being a horribly offensive, misogynist asshat with a dick-shaped sense of humour.

      +1
      I'm no "feminist whore," but I am becoming extremely tired of waiting for the gaming indutry to catch up up with the rest of the world and mature in its attitude towards women.

      I had a big long post to write but it was basically this. So, yeah... This.

      Idiots.

      Agree completely. It doesn't matter that people would never see the code, the fact is, someone used incredibly unprofessional language in this companies work. It's not a joke game on newgrounds, it's a mult-million project that the jobs of hundreds of people depend on. I'm going to bet the people who say "it's just a joke" haven't felt that sort of responsibility before... You can't just act like a 13 yr old and expect to get away with it in the real world.

      Spot on Adam.
      You've summed it up nicely.

      Furthermore, if we like to say how computer games are not only for kids but are for adults too then maybe we should hold the developers and the games accountable to an acceptable adult standard.
      Using the term "feminist whore" just makes me think of some foul-mouthed 14 year old who needs to be smacked more buy his or her parents.

      Also people think about this.
      If you send a personal email to someone from your work account containing such a sentiment then that is grounds for your work to fire you even though it was a personal email and no one else would see it. This is why the person responsible is facing disciplinary action. You cannot use such terms in the work place under any circumstance.

      I don't think people are defending the use of the term.
      They're defending that a company is getting shit for a joke (in poor taste) that one of their programmers put into the code, which was never meant to be seen to begin with, and it was in the dev version, making it twofold.

      The anger on both sides right here is being directed in the wrong places.

      huh?

      but if a guy in-game had a skill called "wife-beating dickhead" and does extra damage against women, would you go all nuts over it as well?

      You're also assuming that everyone defines "feminist" as a "whore". That's YOUR own lonely assumption. How in the world did you get to that conclusion?

      Anyway, Cerzel said it already, you've all got misdirected anger.

        Wow. So you compare a feminist being insulted as a whore for standing up for herself, with a guy beating his wife being called a dickhead? Your ignorance speaks for itself. The fact that you would put wife beating and feminism in the same basket is incomprehensible.

    This sounds like something someone put in as a tastless joke during crunch time at 3am and then later thought better of it but accidentally left a remnant in.

    Techland are right to apologise, and right to remove it, but I don't see why the employee should be punished more than a solemn shake of the head.

    I remember on a dev project we had a developer insert random lines from Monty Python as notes throughout all the code.
    Its was a funny little easter egg when I found it.

    I'll put $50 on it the bloke who made the name is a virgin.

    I love how they're apologising for something most people wouldn't have access to or would know how to get access to.

    It's like reading someones diary and finding out they slept with someone you hate years ago and getting angry at them for it.

    Yea, because this is the reason this game is offensive to women.

    :(

    Its a really big deal.
    While (in C/C++) comments might get stripped out by a compiler, method and classnames dont. A simple bit of reverse engineering can uncover this stuff.
    Hardly anyone thinks of this stuff- its unfortunate they discovered this way.
    The earliest example I can think of where this happened and caused serious fallout was the Windows 2000 source code leak...

    Umm, the real inappropriate thing here which nobody has brought up is that they are rewarding the female character for targeting men. That is sexist and disgusting! They should be apologizing for that. FAR OUT!

      Why would any keyboard activist on the internet care about men? It's only cool for men to defend woman, because men think all women are too weak to stick up for themselves, especially the feminist men.

    Oh look, its the reverse of "Lady Killer" in Fallout 3.

    Only instead of it being "Gentleman Killer", it is something infinitely more amusing.

      The reverse in Fallout 3 was called "Black Widow".

      Ignoring that "Feminist Whore" is entirely inappropriate, (and for a second trying to stop imagining what kind of person would even write such a thing) it doesn't really have the same ring to it.

      In fact, "Gender Wars" doesn't really either.

        Exactly. Even Gender Wars insists that the woman is only attacking the man because "oh hey, different people hate each other" and Feminist Whore goes even further basically saying the only reason a woman would attack a guy is out of misplaced anger. Either term is degrading the issue (of sexism) and treating it like some kind of childish concern.

    And it doesn't bother any of the Politically Correct crowd that she deals out more damage to men because she's a woman with a grudge against men?

    That's not much different than if Logan dealt out more damage to black zombies because he's white.

    This whole thing is so stupid. It's just a silly inside joke that got changed in the actual retail release anyway. Some people need to harden the fuck up and not purposely get insulted for other people.

      It sounds like you are in fact butthurt that people think this is bullshit.

      I guess I could ask if you would be so dismissive if a skill named "Reparations" was given to a black person that made them do extra damage to white people, or "Slavery" for the worst, but that would be too easy. Or how about KKK? Nigger Hater? You see where I'm going with this.

      Fact is, it was a dick move, and it's in Techland's best interest to acknowledge that early on. It wasn't a joke, because it wasn't funny, it wasn't intelligent, and I'd wager whoever put that in has some severe mother issues.

    Uh-oh, sounds like someone "Burned the Poop". (http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/We-Burned-the-Poop.aspx SFW) Although the fact that a debug build got released far outweighs a line in an unused script in terms of releasing code you shouldn't.

    I worked at a place where a similar thing happened before my time. One coder put an error message with expletives in an exception catch he never thought would ever fire. Well, it did, when the boss was using the software. Did I mention he wasn't working there when I started?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now