A Follow-Up With David Jaffe About That Oral Sex Remark

A Follow-Up With David Jaffe About That Oral Sex Remark

In a promotional video interview that went live on February 6, David Jaffe included a statement that I and others found objectionable. So I objected. After the piece ran, Jaffe reached out to me through Twitter and we agreed to schedule a call. Yesterday evening, we spoke about the issue by phone for roughly half an hour.

Although I took exception with his original statement and some of his Twitter-based defence, I didn’t (and don’t) feel that Jaffe was some himself some kind of villain, and tried to make a point of not calling him such. Even the absolute best, most socially-conscious and self-aware of us (which I do not claim to be) can still screw up and stick a foot firmly into mouth on occasion. It’s human nature: we all have our innate points of view and learning to consider widely divergent perspectives as often as possible is really extraordinarily hard work.

The important thing is to do the hard work.

During our talk, Jaffe and I went back and forth for quite a while, unpacking the original statement, discussing how editing plays into perception in a video, and discussing the problems of intent vs. outcome.

Although in the end we mainly agreed to disagree, it was still a productive chat. He stressed repeatedly, and passionately, that his intent was not to harm and although it does not change my position, I believe him:

Well, let me tell you my position. The reason I even wanted to do the call — obviously, you know, it was hurtful, when I saw this — there’s this line you wrote where you talk about, the issue is that to be a misogynist or a sexist you don’t have to be so overt, it’s the thoughtlessness.

That strikes home with me because I have a brother who’s gay, and I grew up in the 80s, and it was very common for us to say, “that’s gay.” Never meant homosexual, never entered my mind, and it wasn’t until probably 10 years ago that I was like, “Oh my God! I didn’t even realise what I’m doing.” That if you’re still using that term, even though, yes, you don’t mean it, as a knock against people who are homosexuals, the very nature of you allowing this to be in the culture and you associating that word that also means homosexual with something that’s crappy or bad or dumb or whatever, is perpetuating a really harmful and bad and frankly not even true stereotype.

And so I get that, and that’s why I’m like… Even, the word — you know, I don’t even like saying it, B-I-T-C-H, I won’t let my kids say it… it means something. I’ve said it — look, I’ve said it in the press, I’ve said it accidentally, ‘cause it’s so ingrained, just like, “guys, what up,” you know, like that, and I felt terrible about it! So I totally see where you’re coming from with that. And so I’m very aware of those things and I definitely don’t want to be the person out there doing that.

We did ultimately agree on something, and that was this: that even if women are a minority demographic for a particular game title, they are still a demographic, and should be taken into account. “That wasn’t coming from a place that ‘only men can game,'” Jaffe explained, “it was more, you know, that’s who I was speaking to. But I can see how that’s problematic, given that I really should have been thinking more about the entire realm of gamers.”


  • Oh man, I find things offensive that others may or may not find offensive also.

    However, since I am such a sparkling beacon of righteousness and morality I demand that everyone follow my example and find it offensive while ostracising those who don’t.

    Time to go and impose my views on people making harmless, throwaway comments.

    • Dude, it’s not a harmless comment if a group of people find it harmful. If you find it inoffensive and don’t think it matters — great! But don’t dismiss the concerns of those who found this hurtful. It’s really inconsiderate.

      • What do you expect? An apology? And if so why? Anyone can apologise for something and continue their lives in the exact same manner. It seems like some absurd social achievement so you can hold your head high and claim the moral victory over the evils of free speech and blow job jokes.

        People don’t have a right to not be offended, and people shouldn’t be forced to apologise for offending people, least of all for something said as a joke. Words are only ever as powerful as the listener allows them to be.

        Everything is offensive to someone, and if everyone acted like this at every thing that they found indignant we would be a community of blind, deaf, mute clones.

        I personally find the whole trend of people being offended by a verbal trigger, causing a huge fuss (mountain out of a mole hill in most cases) and wanting an apology for their offence to be sickening and offensive in and of itself. Where is my apology?

        • You’re addressing this issue from a position of privelege. You’re not offended by the joke as it has not come into conflict with your values, experiences and beliefs. I’ll make an assumption that you’re a heterosexual male, if so, there’s not much for you to be upset about with regards to Jaffe’s comments.

          Please consider the beliefs and experiences of others (that may be different to yours) and how Jaffe’s remarks may have come into conflict with them.

          • I am not arguing the point that it was not hurtful to people who viewed it. I’m sure it was, still, as I said, no one has a right to not be offended, and essentially everything in any community can be viewed as offensive to someone.

            I’m more questioning, what is the end game? What are you expecting as a result of this? Like I said previously, What do you expect? An apology? And if so why?

            When my delicate sensibilities are harmed by something that isn’t necessarily intended to be harmful, or not harming anyone in a tangible way I just disassociate myself from whatever that may be and let the people saying those things have their freedom. Perhaps it’s naive to expect everyone to be as thick skinned as I am?

            People can and will say whatever they please, many of these things won’t be liked by everyone who hears what is said, which is perfectly understandable and I have no problem with either, however, I don’t personally believe that the source of offence owes anything to those who are offended.

          • An apology would be good. Because if we allow for someone to perpetually commit offences to a group of people without any kind of reprisal, then the behaviour may be seen as acceptable.

            Everyone has the right to play games (except for R Rated ones in Australia), so industry creatives should try and act with a little more restraint. Just because you’re known (Jaffe in this case, not you) for making crude, offensive comments doesn’t make the next one any less offensive.

            Jaffe needs to think before he opens his mouth. As the author says, we all screw up, but Jaffe needs to do the “hard work” and apologise for his thoughtless remarks. An apology is not what we’ve seen in either of his responses.

          • First of all, it’s nice to see that a good majority of people who aren’t offended by Jaffe’s comments are refraining from publishing comments that degenerate into filth and juvenile humour.
            Here’s the thing.
            Interviews (esp’ with publishers/developers) are generally extremely boring and coy (personal opinion).
            Jaffe’s comments definitely broke the fourth wall when it comes to speaking in an unrestricted manner and he obviously had the intention of adding bite to an otherwise stock standard interview. I also feel that whoever edited the video betrayed the flow of conversation by adding the BJ reference to just bookmark the end of the interview.

            Now, Kotaku is a site that I frequent regularly as I enjoy the ‘keep it real’ feel of the site without the needless trivia quizzes/random top tens of other sites. When I come across articles such as this, I can’t help but feel that it’s sensationalistic journalism for the sake of it. Obviously it’s relevant and interesting, but when it comes to topics such as this, it’s clearly going to divide the majority. I did not find anything offensive in Jaffe’s remarks. If you could accuse him of ANYTHING, it would be that it was a bit juvenile. It was not masogynistic and it was not in any way meant to degrade women. Whilst I would not accuse Kate of being a bad writer, I would like to point out that taking the moral high ground on a news piece likely to cause an uproar amongst PC (sorry to categorise) individuals is the easy way out. Good journalism involves looking at both sides without putting across your own opinion too strongly. Allow breathing room for people to voice their concerns, but do not stifle those who disagree with the content (Tracey), especially considering most of us on this thread have been fairly mature about it.

            Out of interest, I asked my coworkers at a store renowned for its gaming reviews what they thought of the video. Most were indifferent and were confused why people would even get upset over it (No they were not all men). One girl replied with “well, why wouldn’t I get head for winning?” whilst another said “sex can be awkward and weird… Why not joke around with it… I mean, everyone does it”

            I’ve put a lot of thought into writing this as I try to understand why people get offended by things like this, as opposed to just being offended because you feel you have the right to. I appreciate Kate going out of her way to interview David, but I feel it may have been less about understanding what he had to say and more about seeking validation for her own opinion. If you were offended, then why?

            This has been my humble opinion on the matter.

    • It’s not really a throwaway comment if you make them all the time. Jaffe is known for being a bit of a renegade in this respect, and I think it’s perfectly OK for someone to pull him into line.

      I think the author did a great job here, honouring Jaffe’s right to reply.

      It also doesn’t sound as though he intends to apologise for the sexist connotations of his original remarks. Instead he just gives us more reasons to believe that he’s a reasonable person instead of addressing the problem that he created.

      • Because they were not spoken with that intention and though it may have caused offense, one does not need to apologise for what one did not intend, but only to explain one’s point of view and hope this clear misunderstanding is forgiven.

    • The point is that there is NOTHING harmless about a throwaway comment that denigrates people in anyway, shape or form.

        • I have to say, I’m with Shad on this one. The world is becoming too politically correct and it saddens me immensely. Let me get something off of my chest before I rant. I did not read the majority of posts as I’m running low on time, so forgive me if I commit to anything that’s already been said.

          I think Jaffe should be allowed to say what he said, why? Because this is a free world, at least most of it, and we believe in freedom of expression, right? He’s entitled to an opinion so long as he isn’t condescending or demeaning, right? However in these circumstances and this context, Jaffe did not mean any offense, it was as clear as day, his intention was not to offend. So wait, why are people still offended? Because they choose to be overly sensitive and appear pompously intelligent by looking too much into a few sentences and dissecting them beyond their original purpose, pedants they are. If I had a penny for every time someone offended me and didn’t aplogise I would be quite literally the wealthiest man in the word. People need to grow a thicker skin if they’re not used to reality. It’s like an associate of mine, he’s a homosexual, there’s nothing wrong with that, but..he is overly sensitive on certain matters to the point that it’s just ridiculous. For example, if I use the term ”gay” an an insult on a friend of mine to refer to them being stupid or annoying or to express my current discontent with them, the homosexual associate of mine will be outraged that I chose to use the word gay as an insult, and will demand that I refrain from using it. Where are my rights? Gay also means happy, words can mean so many things and be interpreted in oh so many ways.

          So people need to get over themselves and think before they choose to pursue such trivial pursuits, it was a joke, he’s only offending you if you choose to allow yourself to think that he’s offending you, and to be honest anyone who does that puts them through the pain themselves and sounds masochistic.

          • I would also like to say that I’m not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, not Kate, & not Tracey. This is a general stance.

            I would also like to thank Shad, & Z for their remarkably outstanding points of insight, thankyou for sharing them with us. You did it well, you did it concisely, neutrally, and most of all professionally. And I agree wholeheartedly with you Z on your point about how journalism is an art that’s made up of providing the news without becoming too personally attached so as to find yourself opening up your personal views on the news piece at hand.

  • Wait, what did you have to agree to disagree on? He’s obviously sorry and not bigoted – what more do you want from the guy?

    • At what point does Jaffe apologise? Admitting that you’re embarrassed or ashamed of something that you’ve done doesn’t = an apology. You’re not engaging with the person that you harmed in the first place.

    • Yeah it’s an interesting convo. Because he never says he is sorry per se, but he at least acknowledges that what he said may have been offensive.

  • I still remember the fallout from “John Romero wants to make you his bitch” and “Suck it down” advertising.
    Bad call on the advertising agency for sure back then.
    But lately the level of sensitivity around things that really shouldn’t require that level of analysis such as Battlefield 3’s “I am getting my excrement repositioned over here” articles seem to forget context.
    Do people trash talk when playing online games? For sure, would they talk like that to their Boss or coworkers / family probably not.
    Is it juvenile, yep.
    Is it eroding the impressionable minds of people playing them?
    Well no more than our hundreds of hours in our murder simulators is likely to make us go on rampages.
    There are always the few, but likely if it wasn’t video games being a trigger it would have been something else

  • I think it was a dodgy attempt to ‘speak on the level’ of fratboy gamers, insulting to women for sure, but also insulting to men to think that kind of talk will sell the game to us. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, though. Just made a really bad judgement.

  • I’m just going to quickly jump in before this comment thread potentially turns into a shouty one, because we’d really like to avoid that!

    I understand that not everyone agrees with the writer of this post as was expressed quite clearly in the first post that was written about Jaffe. I know a lot of people aren’t affected/offended by Jaffe’s comments and think it’s bs that anyone would even draw attention to it. But please, PLEASE, try and be considerate when you comment on this issue. People were obviously hurt by it, a lot of people found it degrading, and it’s really inappropriate to dismiss their concerns. We can disagree with each other, but let’s not tell someone their opinions are invalid or that they’re over-reacting/over-sensitive/being hysterical.

    I’m not trying to censor this discussion, I’m just asking everyone on both sides to be mindful of the way they approach it, otherwise the entire Kotaku team will have to wash our hair with Johnson and Johnson’s No More Tears shampoo tonight.

    Thanks. 🙂

    • A whole bunch of people don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept of minor comments building up and creating a larger issue.

      Obviously people don’t have a right not to be offended, and people get offended over all sorts of nonsense. But that doesn’t mean we should abstain from discussing whether certain offensive comments are harmful (in that they contribute to and perpetuate a larger problem).

      Playing swtor the other day it became apparent that one of the players speaking in general chat was female. What resulted was a huge load of creepy comments and sexist bs. Whilst it does make the rest of us guys look good, it’s incredibly tiresome and does actually create real world harm. When people in the industry talk like Jaffe it perpetuates this crap and makes people think it’s ok. Stop it.

    • This whole thing reminds me of a section on the Dave Chappelle show (start at about 16mins in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te4QaMFUurI). He talks about his sketches, which clearly contain racial/gay/sexist jokes. Then he asks the audience to voice their opinions. I think anybody that finds this kind of shit offensive, should watch this part of the video and see what some other people think.

      Basically, in my opinion, the problem lies with the douchebags that take this kind of language and use it against people. Of course it’s inconsiderate to say to someone who finds it offensive “it’s just a joke”, “be more thick skinned”, but unfortunately as a fact of life, fuck heads are always going to be around.

      If a problem exists, then you are entirely in control of your reaction to it.
      Like a lot of kids in school, I took a lot of shit from people because of the things I liked (video games being one of them). After a while I just thought, why the hell do I care about what these kids say to me? I kow who I am, and I’m going to keep it that way. At that point, they could say pretty much anything to me and the only reaction I would have was pity for how shallow they are.

      I guess my point is, if you can’t fix the root of the problem (fuckheads), then come up with your own solution (not giving a shit/whatever works for you). Might sound harsh, but it definitely worked for me.

      It’s good kotaku is bringing this discussion to the table, but I really think some people are overthinking on this topic.

      • So it’s inflammatory to have the opinion that there is a complete over reaction to an off colour comment.

        Yes he probably should think before shooting his mouth off.
        But you & your ilk seem to be on a crusade to crucify him for a tasteless comment.

        • “You & your ilk”? What the hell does that mean? Females who didn’t appreciate a crude remark about blowjobs? Or something else?

          I thought the comment Jaffe made was tasteless just on first contact with it but as a straight male I had no reason to be offended by it. It’s juvenile humour but I grew up watching some pretty juvenile movies and reading juvenile magazines.

          On revisiting this because, you know, people got offended and that started making the rounds on the internet, it’s not only offensive to women in general but demeaning to the capabilities of gamers who happen to be female.

          And frankly if your girlfriend is interested enough in games to play Twisted Metal with you on Valentine’s Day, you best check she’s not letting YOU win, son.

        • I don’t think that he’s been crucified at all. He was given right of reply and had a rather large quote repeated verbatim, which helps ensure that his views are in context. The article also shies away from using emotive language. I think that all that Tracey is trying to say is that given the degree of professionalism that we all expect/demand from Kotaku, we as a community should strive to exhibit a similar degree of professionalism when commenting, no matter what our position on the issue may be.

  • Kate, get over it. Lets not pretend oral sex is taboo please, its insulting to everyone’s intelligence. And if you honestly think that then you really arent that smart… Jaffe said something immature, we all do it, so why the crucifixton?

    • You know, I don’t think anyone is objecting to the fact that the comment is about oral sex, not in and of itself.

      But apparently our girlfriends will love this game so much they’ll eagerly perform the act in exchange for us letting them win at it…

      You don’t see the issue here, at all?

      • My girlfriend is shit at video games and i do let her win and every now and then im lucky enough that she plays with my penis….so no i dont…..but thats just me

        • Your girlfriend isn’t going to get any better at video games if you let her win all the time, man.

          But hey, you know, if that’s how things work in your world.


    Get over it, jesus. Crybabies trying to censor each other is flushing this world down the tubes almost as fast as the obsession with bombing countries full of brown people.

  • At first I was for Jaffe, as I think people shouldn’t get offended so easily and shouldn’t be so sex-negative that they consider a blowjob to be a bad thing for a person to do. It’s easy to replace blowjob with backrub and it doesn’t sound so bad. But then I thought about replacing blowjob with “get in the kitchen and make me a pie” and I started to see the sexism of the comment. You can’t just say “what if it was a man giving a women oral sex” because there’s not a history of sexism against men, and we still live in a world where there’s a lot of inequality between the sexes.

    If gaming was primarily a white hobby and some white developer made a comment about letting a black person win and they might shine your shoes, there wouldn’t be this debate.

    • “Well if he said this…”

      HE DIDN’T. Judge people on what they say, in context, not what they could have said in an alternate universe. Hey, if I replace “shouldn’t get offended so easily” in your statement with “should rape children with pitchforks and spit on their bleeding bodies”, some people might think that you were being offensive… but you didn’t say that, did you?

      • Actually Jaffe did say “I would have just as easily said to a woman ‘buy this product and your man will please you orally’. ” as a defence for his comments.

        And I stand by my remark about replacing blowjob with “make me a pie”, they’re both potentially degrading to women when taken in historical context, which is why I believe people are getting offended by this in the first place.

        I can understand why people are saying “relax, it’s just a joke’, but I’m making an effort to see both sides of the argument, and in the end I believe that what he said was not just inappropriate, but also offensive.

        • The point he’s making is that replacing almost anything in any context with “Make me a pie” automatically makes it sound more sexist, and also said in an Eric Cartman voice…

          I just this morning asked a female coworker if she could make me a copy of something since she was heading in that direction already. She politely said “Sure, no problem”.

          Now, imagine if I’d said “Hey, could you make me a quick *PIE* while you’re over there?”… omgsexist, right?
          😛 replacing words just doesn’t seem like something one should base one’s opinion on

          • Yeah I totally get what you’re saying. What I’m saying is that “give me a blow job” and “get me a pie” both have sexist connatations – they are similar, which is why it’s reasonable to imagine what would happen if they were swapped, in a way that’s not reasonable by imagining swapping “shouldn’t get offended so easily” with “should rape children with pitchforks and spit on their bleeding bodies”. I’m not replacing words randomly just to prove a point, I’m comparing similar statements to reinforce the sexism that I believe is already present. In fact, in the context of letting someone win so they’ll do something for you, getting a blowjob is probably more sexist.

            I think replacing words/situations is a very powerful tool in critical thinking. Such as “what would happen if it were a woman saying that instead of a man” and “what if they were asking for a backrub” – it’s a good way to find out the quality and meaning of the intention behind the words. I’m not sure why this a controversial point? I think it’s ‘thinking 101’ to be honest.

          • Yes, I understood your use of ‘word replacement’, though I wouldn’t describe it as ‘thinking 101’… It might be a thought exercise of sorts, but obviously the phrases “Give me a blowjob” and “Get in the kitchen and make me a pie” are not the same phrase. They can both be used to communicate sexism, but that doesn’t make them interchangeable in every case. They might fit well in this instance, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to make a habit of ‘phrase swapping’ when you’re talking about a specific individual/instance like we are here.
            Once you swap out a phrase for another one you’ve removed the discussion from the specific and created a parallel abstraction to discuss. And while that might relate back to the original specific instance, that doesn’t make it less of an abstraction of that instance.
            So, yes, abstraction is important when it comes to thinking about problems and creating hypotheticals… but you have to realize that abstractions are exactly that.
            So those two phrases can be used similiarly, but they are not equal/interchangeable.

  • Professional Internet feminists who look for things to be outraged about.
    Sure Jaffe should be told to watch his mouth. There is no need for rants about how he has slighted all women & is misogynist bigot.

    There are much bigger problems in the world affecting women than whether they can win at video games.

  • Hmm im guessing now wouldnt be the best time to tell everyone how my girlfriend was trying to get my attention last nite as I was playing the Twisted Metal demo last nite lol

  • Less of this Politically correct drivel on Kotaku please. If I want outrage, I’ll talk to someone religious, or watch Fox. This is a gaming website.

    • Pretty sure this is related to games.

      Just saying.

      Maybe what you want is an anti-outrage website. What you need to do is find a hobby noone is passionate about. Try trainspotting.

      • As part of an incredibly passionate and professional trainspotting community, I find that comment incredibly offensive, good sir. Perhaps you should watch what you say in the future?

        • Oh my goodness, it’s possible to find outrage everywhere! Wharcglblarglnoooo how does this happen on teh internets?!!1

      • It’s related to the same politically correct whinging which a) will never happen because this is the interenet, and b) has been posted on Kotaku about FOUR THOUSAND times before.

        Quit your mincing, Kotaku. And before you whine about me using a homophobic, offensive term:

        mincingpresent participle of mince (Verb)
        Cut up or grind (food, esp. meat) into very small pieces, typically in a machine with revolving blades.
        Walk with an affected fastidiousness, typically with short quick steps.

        That is to say, you’re slicing up statements and taking the bits from it which offends you. You are also labeling gamers, which I personally find offensive.
        Having to add a footnote is also fucking ridiculous. The end. It was the butler.

  • Isn’t this kind of like “Won’t someone think of the children” issue?

    frankly, it’s been said, he’s replied, author still not happy. everyone can now move on. People aren’t as thick skinned as others and some have heard it all before and just think “child” but she is entitled to her opinion as everyone is.

    I will say this on a side note, more people or more groups today seem to jump up and down over small things that they would find terrible but 90% of the country would just laugh. What happen?, we can’t have Golly Wogs anymore because it’s a bad name even though that has been used before god knows when, maybe 1940s or further back than that. I’m refering to the Noddy show (children’s show) and you used to be able to buy a Golly Wog but can’t now.

    • The Golliwog is a racist charicature, much like minstrels, that riducled and devalued an entire race. Just society progressed to abolish slavery, it is continuing to abolish the prejudices that allowed slavery to be accepted practice.

      • Racist charicature it wasn’t. It was a children show that was created and on before you or I were even born. The character on the show was NEVER seen as racist, I didn’t and millions of other viewers didn’t either. Much like voilent shooter games that some poeple want to have banned and for what?

        They had a character on the show called Big Ears and that was because of his big ears but his name wasn’t changed and by logic here, that’s hurtful towards people with big ears and should be changed.

        What I’m saying is people over react more and more today, some are proven and some is just BS where you yourself can act on. Another example is the Internet Filter that the current government wanted to slap on us parents. People jumped up and down saying we need it when in fact only a very small handful wanted it when the first line of defence is the parents.

        A lot of people need to grow up and NOT force their views on to others. The way the author did it was the right way and I say here here to her but a lot of others don’t.

        Today has become far too much of a Nanny Era.

        • You need to do a little reading. The Golliwog wasn’t just isolated to Noddy, and it is very much an inflammatory image to A LOT of people.

          To say so absolutely that The Golliwog was never seen as racist is a stunning display of ignorance.

          • Just to point out I’m only referring to the show Noddy and the doll that was sold because of Noddy. Not referring to outside of that area.

    • To go off-topic, you can buy/sell golliwogs again now. I found this out yesterday when an aboriginal lady came into our (antiques) store trying to find one, only to be disappointed to find the last ones had been sold last week.

      I forgot where I was going with this, but yeah.

      • I bet that woman looking for the doll wasn’t offended by it being called a gollywog and I bet she even used that very word. Kind of proves my point about people over reacting to things that aren’t there and disproves lazlow’s reply too

        • Yeah, she had wanted to buy one. We chatted for a bit and she said she saw them as charming and didn’t see why people got so hot and bothered about it.

          It’s very much a choice; the extent of which you react to something that offends you.

          • Uh, who’s being racist here, exactly? We already know about the doll; we were just discussing it.
            All that was said is that not everybody gets offended by it.

          • I love how people jump on the “You’re racist!!!” bandwagon – even though they don’t get what the definition of racism is: namely that your race is superior over another one. Making comments about something in general (heck, even laughing at certain jokes) isn’t racism if you don’t actually think you’re superior to the person in reference.

            It’s like calling me racist when I say that black dudes have bigger penises! OMG, I’m so ‘racist’!

          • “Amaury Nolasco plays Angel, the sidekick of Lee (Ben Koldyke) in ABC’s “Work It.” Both are unemployed and dress as women because they think they’ll have a better chance to get a job (ha!). In the pilot episode, they discuss possible work at a pharmaceutical company, and Angel says: “I’m Puerto Rican. I’ll be great at selling drugs.”

            The line is gratuitously offensive and, worse yet, not funny. Many question Nolasco’s judgment and wonder why he didn’t refuse to say the line. We actually don’t know whether he complained or at least warned the writer and director of the show about a backlash from the community. He’s been mum since the protests started.

            To some, all this may seem like a tempest in a teapot. And in the larger context of real-life American citizen Latinos being stopped and asked for papers and even deported just for looking Latino, it may very well be.

            But years of demonization and hatred take their toll in many ways, one of them being that one’s skin gets thinner and thinner.

            No one enjoys being a cry-baby or playing the victim role, but it’s disappointing that things don’t seem to change.”

            Racist jokes no laughing matter

            Laughing at “certain jokes” might no make you a racist, but it facilitates racism, normalizes it, makes it acceptable.

          • Lazlow, I remember reading that somewhere and thinking the following:

            Kind of silly really considering that comics are racist to their own kind and help build the sterotyping (Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy to name too) but comics have been doing this for many years. Billy is racist to his own and many others, including Australians but what is different is we know it’s only a joke and we take it as a joke. Something that the person in the article did not do.

          • Everyone is racist to a degree (this is a fact of life) and for your information, I’m white, as white that is humanly possible and my wife is an aboriginal woman (full) from Rockhampton.

            Calling me racist? yeah I am to a degree but it’s small, I’ll give you an example of the racist in me which I consider to be very small. I get into a taxi, I ask to be taken to a place and the driver doesn’t understand or speak english that well so I had to write the address down for him so he could enter it into his GPS.

            I get upset over that but who wouldn’t, is that racist? yeah it is but it’s so tiny but I don’t jump up and down and say things like “go back home” like that woman on the UK train that was on YouTube.

  • Why is the behavior of constantly getting offended at every available opportunity deemed as appropriate? How about we all go around feeling offended at all the people who claim they’re offended at something. Because I find the immaturity of this… offensive.

    And exactly WHAT did he say that’s so ‘offensive’. Did he have a go at Kate directly – or any other person for that matter? No, he didn’t. He made a silly remark that’s clearly over-the-top unrealistic which some will find funny and others should just brush off.

    Yet people will quickly jump to put their hand up sand say “I’m offended by what you said… because… well I just am and you shouldn’t say those things.” Why don’t we also call this guy racist and a bigot while we’re at it?

    Get over it Kate. My girlfriend read this (his comments) and she just laughed at it.

    • “Why is the behavior of constantly getting offended at every available opportunity deemed as appropriate?”

      By and large it isn’t, and it certainly isn’t condoned I would have thought. But this is mere hyperbole on your part.

      “And exactly WHAT did he say that’s so ‘offensive’.” (sic)

      The suggestion that girls that play video games with their boyfriends will give blow jobs to their boyfirends upon playing this game. Sure, in a joccular way in a room full of juveniles it’s a great throwaway line that would bring about uproarious laughter. If someone told me it had been said in the male cubicles at DICE and Treyarch’s offices more than once before I would not be surprised. However that does not remove the implicit meaning in such a phrase.

      It is a mulitlayered sentence, that is multi-faceted in its intent. On one tentacle (I might be an octopus), it is a throwaway frat boy line (to borrow a term from an above poster) that is meaningless and easy to brush off for some. On another tentacle it is exactly what it is – an offensive slight against women. And again, it isn’t as simple as the words and their target – in 2012 not many people will be offended by the word blowjob or its uncontextualised meaning (sucking doodles) – it goes back much much farther than that. Indeed, Jaffe could have said that girlfriends will wash the dishes/rub your feet/walk the dog/wear your favourite earrings instead of give you a blowjob and the implied slight would still be as offensive.

      Most people wouldn’t say what Jaffe said to their mothers, and not many of my mates would say to their partners ‘you can suck me off after we play this game’ and expect to get a pleasurable result.

      That gut feeling you get when thinking of saying something like that is internal dissonance which – given thought – resolves in the reason why this was the wrong thing for Jaffe to say.

      And therein lies a hint to the crux of the issue. Not the words or their wikipedia meanings, they’re superficial.

      “Did he have a go at Kate directly – or any other person for that matter? No, he didn’t. He made a silly remark that’s clearly over-the-top unrealistic which some will find funny and others should just brush off.”

      You haven’t convinced me why other people should just ‘brush it off’. Bare in mind the above note about saying this to your mum.

      “Yet people will quickly jump to put their hand up sand say “I’m offended by what you said… because… well I just am and you shouldn’t say those things.””

      You’ve missed the point. A word or sentence can be offensive, broadly speaking, and yet not offend you.

      “Why don’t we also call this guy racist and a bigot while we’re at it?”

      Yeah! And why don’t we call ‘Triangles’ ‘Kunta Kintas’ instead, and rename ‘Pencils’ to ‘Wobbegongs’?

      • Sufficient to say, if my girlfriend said ‘you can eat me out after we play this game’ – I’d be one happy chappy.

        The difference being that people have been trained to think of sex as a big taboo and then associate everything they possibly can with sexism. Probably because they have nothing better to do with their time than to get offended at everything and read too much into what others say.

        Also, I was raised in a pretty open household where I could talk to my mom about these things. In fact, I’ll raise this EXACT thing with her the next time we catch up over coffee to see what she says. (No joke, I promise I will).

        • “Sufficient to say, if my girlfriend said ‘you can eat me out after we play this game’ – I’d be one happy chappy.”

          Not the point, and if anything, furthers the original intent of Kate’s objection.

          “The difference being that people have been trained to think of sex as a big taboo and then associate everything they possibly can with sexism. Probably because they have nothing better to do with their time than to get offended at everything and read too much into what others say.”

          All very true, but the roots of sexism go back far beyond gaming and ‘taboo’ chit chat. Women couldn’t go to universities, could not vote, could not own property, and many other things until very recently (the last century or so, and even then only in fairly liberated (very very small L there) countries)). When that is your starting point, the fabric of your existence is tied to being behind or less than someone else (perhaps not in the lifetime of anyone reading this article, but that’s not the point today) and I don’t mean to make light of any part of this, it is easier to understand why Jaffe’s comment might be construed as more than just tasteless.

          • “Not the point, and if anything, furthers the original intent of Kate’s objection.”

            Which is what exactly? To scream out that he’s not taking every single person’s feelings into account when he’s making comments? That he might as well shut up, because he’s bound to offend someone on the planet, no matter what he says?

            I’ve lost Kate’s point (if there was one to begin with) after all this talk of being offended by everything.

            “All very true, but the roots of sexism go back far beyond gaming and ‘taboo’ chit chat.”

            The roots, yes. But we’re well behind that. Society (in the West at least and not all, but mostly) has moved on.

            I love my girlfriend and she reciprocates those feelings too. However that doesn’t stop us from being able to make such jokes. Often she’ll tell me to ‘get to the kitchen and clean up bitch!’ – however I’m well aware that she’s doing it in jest.

          • Clearly we are not beyond that, as white people still regard veiled/scarf wearing people with suspicion; aboriginals treated with contempt in judicial proceedings (and vastly over-represented in every stat pertaining to juvenile detention you can come up with); both sexes are prejudiced in the workplace on a daily basis and (incoming tangent: bbbbbbbbbwwwwwwwwooooooooooossssshhhhhh!) Andrew Bolt is a leading columnist in Australia.

            And despite (or in spite of) that, the world keeps on turning and things are alright.

            As a society, we are nowhere near ‘beyond that’. We can barely even stomach to have the conversations needed to approach these issues. Crazy conservatives and loco lunatics aside, that is.

            That you and your partner have a jovial conversational manner is great, most intimate people do. But you and your partner are not the world.

  • Surely there are worse things in people’s lives than to worry about flippant comments/jokes from games developers.

  • Another case of “I’m choosing to be offended by this.”

    In turn, I’m grossly offended by this practice. Some dude making an off-hand remark is twisted into being a key cog in supposed on-going misogynist culture.


    • Do you go by the name of ‘Erick’ on ThePunch by any chance? Talking in absolutes does no one any favours, and this is a particularly good example of it.

      Gaming will be foreverajoke.jpg if it can’t self moderate and grow up, even just a little. Not talking about stopping the industries personalities from being personalities (I fucking love Jaffe and his passion), but just look at all of the responses to this and the level they are at. We’re a long way from Citizen Kane, Rotten Tomatoes or even Sex and The City.

      To your SP idea, that crossed my mind also, especially after he said that the entire conversation was taken out of context by editing.

      • Being offended at such jokes that are clearly meant in jest is also pretty low on this so called ‘maturity scale’…

        • For sure – I can’t find the exact quote I’m thumbing through my brain for, but any number of great comedians over the years have said words to that effect at the beginning of their sets.

          Having said that, if this were an isolated incident that had never occurred before we could all probably laugh it off. But I don’t think it is, this just happened to be the latest misstep from an industry figurehead.

          A thought experiment: what if we were to condone his words instead of call him out on them? Would then all the racist, sexist, bigoted commentators on XboxLive suddenly feel justified in their minds – “If Jaffe can say that then we sure can!”. A long bow for sure, but an interesting thread of thought to follow.

  • Also, has anyone considered that he’s merely referencing a recent South Park episode about how taking women to musicals results in blow jobs?

    Let’s all put a jihad on Trey Parker and Matt Stone. How dare they make light of (insert something someone wants to be offended by).

  • Hypothetical question
    Jaffe’s original statement goes like this:
    “I tell you why, Twisted Metal, February 14 — Valentine’s Day — it’s a great, great romantic gift, if you have a romantic friend and s/he really wants to know the best game ever, and s/he will give you a f**king blowjob, if you play this game. If you let him/her win Twisted Metal split screen, s/he will go down on you right there and then.”
    What then?

    • Some people will be offended
      Some won’t
      The offended will state why
      The unoffended will tell the offended to “lighten up, it’s only a joke”
      The offended will further explain why
      The unoffended will tell the offended “stop being so sensistive/you’re only choosing to be offended by this”
      The offended will shake their head, walk away and get on with their lives
      The unoffended will alt+tab back to WoW/CoD

      • I am offended by this! I’m not offended by his comments, but I don’t play WoW or CoD!

        Sheeeez… how offensive.

        • My thoughts exactly. What a horrid generalisation; that people who aren’t offended by offhand remarks are the same people who play CoD and WoW.

      • This is less productive than I’d hoped. My point was, by removing obvious gender references (or rather, making it equal to both sides), would this be as acceptable as a blowjob joke can get?

        Also, I’m also offended at the implication that I would dare touch WoW or CoD.

  • Some people will be offended
    Some won’t
    The offended will state why
    The unoffended will tell the offended to “lighten up, it’s only a joke”
    The offended will further explain why
    The unoffended will tell the offended “stop being so sensistive/you’re only choosing to be offended by this”
    The offended will shake their head, walk away and get on with their lives
    The unoffended will alt+tab back to WoW/CoD

    • Hey Lazlow, isn’t that what you were doing up above a fair bit (not trying to be rude just pointing out). Sounds the same :-p

    • I find your implication that I play WoW or CoD highly offensive.

      I demand you apologise at once to placate my otherwise empty life.

  • So no one can make any joke that includes any type of person, whether they be male, female, black, white or whatever because someone might see it as offensive? Get over it. Some women perform blowjobs, not all of them, and he didn’t say all of them do. He said that some might perform oral sex if you let them win. If you don’t do this, then it doesn’t concern you, so why get offended about it. Seems to me like people need to get over themselves and have a laugh sometimes, be it at the expense of others or not, it’s all in good nature. I agree that there is a limit to what should be said, but most things, including this one, are not intended to be offensive.

  • Getting “upset” about comments about sexual acts is utterly pathetic. Not to mention people like you have no problem with graphic depictions of violence yet get all uppity about simple everyday human anatomy and NORMAL sexual behavior. Your sir, and your kind are a huge cancer on society.

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