GOG Account Publishes Yet Another Awful Tweet

Yesterday, GOG, CD Projekt Red’s digital storefront, posted a tweet that included a hashtag that has been circulating to advocate for trans rights. However, the tweet was a promotional post about the storefront. The post was soon deleted, and the company explained the retraction last night. This is all familiar.

“Classic PC games #WontBeErased on our watch,” GOG tweeted on Tuesday. “Yeah, how’s that for some use of hashtags.”

The “won’t be erased” hashtag became popular on social media following The New York Times’ reporting that the Trump administration plans to roll back US federal civil rights protections for trans Americans, opening the door for discrimination in areas such as housing, healthcare and employment.

The hashtag has been used as a rallying cry for trans people and their allies protesting these harmful moves.

Yesterday, GOG quickly took down the tweet and, late last night, issued a response.

“Yesterday, we posted a tweet containing a trending hashtag as a pun. The tweet was neither intended as a malicious attack, nor as a comment to the ongoing social debate. GOG should focus only on games. We acknowledge that and we commit to it.”

GOG and CD Projekt Red’s social media accounts have sparked controversy before. In July, GOG’s Twitter account posted a gif from Postal 2: Paradise Lost of a headstone with the phrase “Games Journalism — Committed suicide August 28, 2014,” believed by many to be a reference to GamerGate.

GOG also removed that tweet and followed up to clarify that they “failed to make the association between the image, the date, and an abusive movement. Our intention was never to hurt or condone hate.”

In August, the Twitter account for upcoming CD Projekt Red game Cyberpunk 2077 responded to a fan with the phrase “Did you just assume their gender?!”, which many fans interpreted as making light of trans issues.

The company later apologised for that tweet, writing, “Sorry to all those offended by one of the responses sent out from our account earlier. Harming anyone was never our intention.”

All three of these instances follow the same pattern: Clumsy jokes that are not quite aggressive or blatant enough to be seen as outright hateful, which are then quickly swept under the rug with an appeal to “intentions”.

Maybe these posts are misunderstandings of hashtags or internet trends by a social media team that has a wide range of fans to reach. Maybe they’re intentionally hateful moves made by a person or people on the team.

I want to believe that whoever is tweeting does have good “intentions”, as each of the follow-up responses have claimed, and that there’s some obstacle on those intentions’ way from their brain to the page that can be moved aside with a bit of thought, or proofreading, or searching Know Your Meme before tweeting.

But these repeated stumbles demonstrate that even if CDPR’s social team wasn’t purposefully being offensive, they don’t seem to be learning from their mistakes, or at least, not in a way that has yet been observable to the public.

Having been out as trans for nearly two decades, I’m not all that bothered by any of these tweets. I’ve certainly seen worse. I don’t even think trans people are above being joked about; I know a ton of hilarious and successful trans comedians.

But every time this happens, it feels like one more reminder that at least one person who works at a company that makes things I like thinks my existence is funny, and that enough people there either agree or don’t disagree strongly enough to stop them.

These tweets don’t have to keep happening, and yet they do. And every time they do, CDPR’s follow-up plea about their intentions rings less true.

Even if the company doesn’t intend it, CDPR’s tweets make me feel as though their games, like so much of the art in this world that I love, aren’t for me. These posts say that however much I love The Witcher 3, however excited I am to play Gwent Homecoming, I’m not CDPR’s audience.

Years ago, I wrote that when you consume media as trans person, “at some point, everything you love decides to tell you it hates you”. In other words, eventually, an artist I admire or a TV show I like will voice an opinion about me, and it usually isn’t good.

GOG’s reference to Trump’s intended policies as an “ongoing social debate” position the company, whether intentionally or not, as people who believe my existence is a fact we can have differing opinions about. This turns games I like into another area where I have to think about how much I can overlook to enjoy something.

These jokes, like many jokes about trans people, might not be intended to be hurtful; most people, I really believe, don’t wake up deciding to be cruel. But jokes about trans people, like so many jokes rooted in bigoted assumptions, tend to punch down. They draw lines between people; they rank people’s worth.

You don’t have to do this to make good art, good games, or run a good company, and you certainly don’t have to do it over and over.

Years ago, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 writer Bill Corbett made an ill-conceived trans joke and subsequently apologised. It still stands as one of the best apologies I’ve ever read, saying in part, “I want to stand on the side of humanity. I want to be humane, even when being a goddamned wise-ass. There’s no tried and true path through this, but it’s really worth trying to find it.”

CDPR can have the irreverent, internet-edgy social media presence that it seems to want, or rather intends, to have. The team should be able to do it without kicking people in the process.


Comments

    posts like these makes me realise either a) I'm way too old to keep up with memes and / or b) as someone who speaks 5 different languages, English is weird and everything is offensive

      It took you years to learn 5 languages, why not take a few minutes to learn how to treat a minority group with respect and kindness?

        Lol comment removed because it was "demmend inappropriate" looks like someone who s offended by concrete drinking.

          My father died to drinking concrete after it hardened him up. I demand an apology and an unspecified charity run to victims of hardening the fuck up.

          I've had a comment banned for something similar. I had a drink of concrete and I was as right as rain after that.

          Hahaha inappropriate because I said how about you ignore the whinging masses.

          Similar to how if you ignore a bully, they soon give up.

          I don't see how that is inappropriate

            Apparently sarcastically pointing out the overreaction to an admittedly ignorant tweet is also inappropriate. The world is now a better place I suppose.

            This is a bit of an aside but "you ignore a bully, they soon give up" is advice given to victims by disaffected adults who themselves were never victim of bullying yet believe to know how bullies function. Anybody who's been bullied will tell you that ignoring bullies will only make them redouble their efforts, causing more damage.

              spent majority of high school being vilified for height and weight...
              While I partially agree, by showing disinterest or sometimes beating them to the punch, it had the desired effect for me.

              Maybe its a time thing, while it went on for a while, the frequency died off and new arguments/targets were found.

              Much like what is happening in the here and now regarding nigh on everything that one can take offence too.

              Once the blood dissipates in the water, they go looking for more prey.

              I've got two kids and this is advice I supply them from personal experience.
              Engaging those that scream and scream justifies their screaming and gives them more resolve to continue.

                True, it differs case by case. And it's also true that your attitude may help somehow, even if not to stop the bullying, to diminish the damage you take. On the other hand, though, it does very little to stop bullying itself: as you say, in the best case scenario for the person in question, the bully will finally move onto new "prey"; thus the problem was not solved, merely passed over to somebody else, perhaps somebody gifted with less fortitude, somebody who'll end killing or harming themselves.

                What I'm trying to say (and the reason why I used the word "disaffected") is that the advice puts the whole burden of action on the hands of the victim--usually a kid--while the advice giver does nothing to prevent or stop the bullying from happening. Some people even believe that by intervening, they are somehow interfering with a process of "hardening" which they believe is necessary for the kid.

                  thanks for the reply.

                  Just curious, have you got kids?
                  The idea of 'hardening' one tends to dissipate pretty rapidly once you hold your own.
                  ...unless you're just a prick and think that's how it goes.

                  I don't know, I was always taught flight rather than fight, nothing good comes from a punch to the head or a shove down a stair well and what not.
                  Sure - I wasn't beating the girls of with a stick because of my bravado - but im doing a damn sight better than most.

              I was bullied in school so was my mother I used that advice and it worked fine, sticks and stones.

                Well then, I'm glad you had some of the less determined bullies! I mean, generally speaking, it's good advice. My problem with it is that it actually does nothing against bullying itself.

                  The problem I guess now days is that it's inescapable with social media and whatnot, suicide rates are much higher now amongst young adults and teens.

                  But I also think it's an issue with modern parenting putting the idea in there kids heads they are special and can accomplish anything.

                  In reality most can't and should probably be told as much, the saying goes
                  "expect the worst hope for the best"
                  or
                  "Want to know thesecret to happiness, low expectations"
                  give kids a dose of reality that they will probably be driving a garbage truck till retirement.

                  If they don't think so highly of themselves then they may not accomplish as much but it would hurt less when they are knocked down.

                  Now that's pessimistic.

                Surely there's a middle point where you can ground kids to be realistic but also encourage them to go beyond? (Pluuuus Ultra!) Baking humility into dreaming, sobriety into ambition... it's probably much more difficult than just going the overly pessimistic or disingenuously optimistic way, but maybe it will get better results than either? Ask me again how it went in 20 years or so.

                  I guess in my mind you should give praise when they accomplish things like getting an A or acing a test, not build them up before the get that A or ace that test, just don't set them up for disappointment.

                  I think that there are a lot of kids growing up believing they can shoot for the stars, but not right how to land when they fall.

                  We have been wrapping them up in cotton wool for ages not letting them out to climb trees of fear they will get hurt, now we're doing the same for there psychology/emotions, and when the get hit it hits HARD.

                Yeah, I can agree that a balance must be sought.

            Replying to this one as the other branch of the thread reached its limit.

            I believe that you might have misread the last bit of my comment? I'm certainly /not/ for "hardening your kid", all the opposite! What I'm trying to say is that even better than advising either "fight or flight", I believe one should also take hands in the matter to stop bullying, rather than delegating the full task to the kid.

        so you assume I don't treat (trans) people with respect and kindness because... I don't get what is offensive about the tweet?

        ok sure I don't really get your logic but if that's what you think then that's what you think

          Why not take a few minutes to learn? Because by not taking a TINY amount of time out of your day, and dismissing the concerns of an entire minority, then no, you are not treating them with respect nor kindness.

          What is offensive is that is that transpeople have been under attack for a while thanks to the US government, and while it didn't start under Trump, it has gotten much worse, to the point Trump is now trying to deny them there very existence.

          Co-opting a movement that is literally about saving an entire identity, to use as a marketing grab, is not funny

            so you want me to take a few minutes to learn about English memes and whether it may or may not be offensive...?

            sure, ok that's reasonable. point me in the direction. website, reddit thread, I'm open to reading

              You don't really need any sort of primer. Be guided by compassion, decency and humility. Someone asks you to call them "he" instead of "she", you do it, it's not hard to understand and really doesn't take any kind of big effort from you! Think how if somebody asked you to address them by Ms. instead of Mrs. you'd do it without question.

              And if you are a bit confused and don't exactly know what's going on with that person's identity? You can call them "they". Easy peasy.

                I don't think I insinuated that I don't do what you said. excuse the following ramble

                the point mrcynical focused on was that if i took the effort to learn 5 languages then I should spend a modicum of effort to learn what is offensive to (trans) people. my interpretation of that is in regards to memes specifically... and that's a point I can understand

                how did I conclude that? quite simply the fact that if I sent a screen grab of that tweet (just the tweet, not this article) to my other Asian colleagues (JP, KR, ID, IN for example) and ask "Do you see a problem?", I'm willing to bet 90 to 99% will reply "What problem?". yes English is not their primary language and no they aren't suddenly going to be winning literature awards but their ability to communicate in English is perfectly fine

                I'm largely discounting context here, you can argue that for a corporation like GoG they should have dedicated person (or team) that combs the internet and keep up with trends and meme culture

                  Maybe there is a disconnect in the conversation, then? I really don't think mrcynical (or I, for that matter) were talking about memes at any point, but rather about gendered language, which I guess is what he was going when he made the "5 languages" commentary, which I'll try to elaborate: if you have the kind of mind who can become fluent in 5 different languages, you already know well how pronouns work in English. At that point, it shouldn't be hard to amend that knowledge with the fact that some people may let you know that they prefer to be called "her" instead of "him" or maybe even "they".

                  But yeah, this whole aside doesn't have much to do with the tweet in question, which is problematic for reasons other than gendered or discriminatory language.

                Now that's the sort of thing I've no issue doing, and I doubt any reasonable person would. If they come across such a situation, they work out how to best handle it and move on with their day without issue.

                But some people get angry seemingly just because others don't want to go hunt down trans people and be all like, "Tell me your preferred pronouns so I can prove how much of an ally and not-evil I am!!!"

                Sort of unrelated... Even in light of our earlier discussion on the vote system, I'm a little confused why your comment was down voted like that. Seemed pretty reasonable compared to a lot of the insanity going on here lately.

                  I appreciate your saying so. Don't worry much about it, let's just say I have a bit of history with some people. You may notice some of the names in there downvoting almost every single one of my comments. Used to make me quite upset but mods have gotten quite fast at taking me out of the automoderation the downvotes get me into.

      What do meme's have to do with any of this? Offense was taken because a trans rights issue was used to try and sell a few videogames. Simple as that.

    I see the "good jokes don't punch down" bit used by people as some sort of silver bullet basically any time a joke is told about anything they find offensive, as if they'd be okay with the jokes if they were better told or the likes. It is blatantly dishonest bullshit.

    I'd have more respect for people if they just said, "Don't tell jokes about MY particular thing because I think it is offensive no matter what."

    Instead of trying to portray it as if you're advocating for better joke telling and that you can actually take a joke for what it is, when you're clearly not and clearly cannot.

      "I see the "good jokes don't punch down" bit used by people as some sort of silver bullet basically any time a joke is told about anything they find offensive, as if they'd be okay with the jokes if they were better told or the likes. It is blatantly dishonest bullshit."

      Spot on.

      The only dishonesty here is you saying you would respect people. The trans community is already one of the most at risk minorities out there, and the attacks on them are getting worse to the point that their actual existence is now under threat in America.

      You defending people who joke about this, instead of supporting the people who are fighting for survival, shows exactly the level of respect that you are capable of.

        did i miss something are trans people being murdered now in america or are you being hyperbolic?

          The murder rates of trans people in the US is much, much higher than any other demographic, but this hashtag is about trump trying to stop trans people from actually changing their gender legally, to stop them actually existing.

            to stop them actually existing.... If i lose my drivers license because of a DUI the only form of ID i have, does that mean i stop existing??? NO IT DOESN'T

            benefit of the doubt on the murder rate for trans people, are you suggesting that the higher instances of trans murders are trumps fault for trying to stop people legally changing their SEX or my fault for defending people and companies rights to make a joke?

              For any trans person, the moment when they legally change their gender is a big moment. It is usually a long time in the making, and carries a lot baggage.

              Trump is literally trying to erase that. A man, born in a woman's body can no longer say legally that he is a man.

              It was bad enough when the prejudice was "just" there to stop them using the correct toilets, but Trump is trying to stop every legal protection as well.

              No matter how many surgeries or hormones or wigs or body hair, you will never be allowed to be who you are.

              Can you see how this might mess with someone's head?

              It's more about contributing to a culture that affects a certain demographic disfavourably. When the President of the nation says something to the effect that "I don't believe that you should legally exist and will use my power to prevent it" the people who would murder, or humiliate, discriminate, mock, deny service, etc to trans people will feel vindicated and emboldened: "why the government has my back on this, I'm on the right here".

              So these people are fighting back, desperately for their right to be acknowledged and for stopping the haters from becoming endorsed... and GOG cavalierly appropriates their tag to promote a sale? You surely can agree it's not nice, even if there was no ill intent. Imagine that a loved one of yours was going through a really desperate time and created a hashtag in order to seek help. How would you feel if a corporation appropriated that tag to promote themselves? Even if you'd like to believe that they're not malicious, it's still exploitative as people use hashtags to search for content. By appropriating that hashtag, they're literally profiting from the plight of that person.

            "The murder rates of trans people in the US is much, much higher than any other demographic,"

            Bullshit,

            Citation needed yet again for your comments.

              I'm assuming the demographic of trans people is so small that it only takes one or two people to boost the stats. So I guess while technically it may be true, it would be disingenuous of someone to claim the stat is a major issue like old mate up there.

            I crunched some numbers.

            Population of the US:
            325,000,000
            Percentage of people who identify as transgender in the US:
            0.6% (1,950,000)
            Recorded deaths of transgender people through violence in the US in 2018:
            22
            Percentage of the transgender community in the US who died through violent means in 2018: 0.0011282051282051283%

            Men are still disproportionately affected by murder than any other demographic, in almost every country, and statistically dwarf transgender violent deaths in the US with a 3.7% homicide rate.

            This isn't saying that those transgender deaths don't matter, it's saying that you are harming your own argument through wilful ignorance of the facts. Get your numbers straight, and then build an argument around that. Or don't make absurd quantitative assertions that someone with no prior interest or knowledge can fact check and disprove within minutes.

            Sources:
            https://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2018
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homicide_statistics_by_gender

              Thanks for some actual evidence. Something mrcynical has yet to actually present.

              Where did you get a 3.7% homicide rate for men? Are you saying there’s nearly 6 million homicides against men in America each year or am I missing something?

              The rate I managed to get was 0.00725497% for men using your source and this one: https://www.statista.com/statistics/737923/us-population-by-gender/

                I'm shocked it wasn't all wrong. I'm a designer not a statistician.

                  Well I achieved a different rate on trans murders but is was within the same order of magnitude so I didn’t bother reporting it.

              You've misinterpreted the male homicide rate in the article. It's not 3.7%, it's 3.7 per 100,000 total population, which converts to 0.007% of the adult male population.

              What's relevant here though is the motivation. The likelihood of a man being killed for being a man is understandably much lower (not none, but few) than the likelihood of a transgender person being killed for being transgender (not all, but many). That's not to suggest that all murders aren't a problem, but being murdered simply for being who you are is more of an existential threat. This is the more relevant statistical area to research, and this one takes more than a few minutes.

                Thank you, it's exactly the same when it comes to violence done to every other minority. If somebody jumps in the middle of a crowd that exhibits a majority of people with a machine gun, shooting indiscriminately, you can expect more people from the majority to die than those from the minorities, simply because their number is significantly higher. On the other hand, if a given percentage of a minority starts dropping dead, you may suspect they're being targeted.

                In the end--and what many people don't seem to understand--we're not saying that one murder is more important or worse than another. It is the targeting what is bad and we fight against.

                Thanks for the correction. I'll let my mistake stay in the original comment as there's a couple of comments that have corrected it now that people can see.

                Actually the reason why the number of men murdered is higher than say, women, for example is precisely because of what men are. As a society we have certain views towards violence towards men and the value of a male life vs a female one that are pretty much hardcoded into us biologically. We can't be making your argument unless we take it to its logical conclusion.

                That said, "You need to understand i'm not murdering you for ideological reasons, but for other reasons entirely" might ring a bit hollow for the victims.

                  The motives for why men are murdered more than women in the United States isn't because they're men, it's generally because of choices made or actions taken. Gang-related violence is the leading specific category for homicide, accounting for about 16% of all homicides (Statista gang homicide rates 2012, correlated to FBI homicide figures for the same year). Further, in 2017 79% of homicide offenders were men (Statista, murder offenders in the US in 2017 by gender) which strongly undermines the presumption that there's a significant gender-based motive in play.

                  There's no biological imperative that drives the value of human life by gender, I firmly call bunk on that. If you have an academic paper backing that up, please provide it so I can have a read. I'm also not aware of any academic papers on differences in social value towards human life by gender in the modern era, so if you have any of those too I'd love to take a look. In their absence, both these are anecdotal at best.

                  @zombiejesus You know what, I actually can't find supporting evidence for that claim I made immediately. I'll keep looking but it could just be me projecting my values / assumptions about biology onto the situation.

                  I just figure that it'd be in a species' best interest to protect the childbearers given that they are necessary for the continued survival of said species. We see this in other ways such as the scientifically observed maternal instinct (protecting children to continue the species), so I don't think it's a huge stretch to see these same behavioural qualities in other areas where the concept makes sense. The closest I can find currently is a concept called Mate Guarding.

                  The motives for why men are murdered more than women in the United States isn't because they're men, it's generally because of choices made or actions taken.

                  I think this is a dangerous path to head down given your position on this. I am happy to go down it but I think when we take this way of thinking and apply it to the victims in this case we might find a way to explain away the motives of the attackers. If men are killed simply because of the choices they made, then are transgender people killed for the same reason?

                  Also, in the statistics you cited (thanks for doing that by the way, always good to be arguing with and against hard numbers and facts), they actually haven't disproven my hypothesis. While the majority might be gang-related, and why the majority of offenders may be male, that doesn't make the violence un-gendered. A man can kill another man because he is a man, and in fact his own capacity for violence might be a key contributor to that. Another man might be viewed as a potential threat because of traits that are more commonly associated with men (aggression, physical strength, etc.).

              Can't argue with Maths. It would also be an interesting thought point ifwe could understand of those 22 deaths which were. Murder, self inflicted, accident etc.

                You can't argue with maths but you can argue with the way the results are interpreted or used for. Check Zombie Jesus's post above.

                All of them are violent deaths (homicide/manslaughter), the list the HRC maintains does not include accidents or suicides.

        Survival? Piss off. There is a difference between under representation and lynch mobs. The amount of needless hand holding going on for literally every group is ridiculous, the reason why every boycott is quickly forgotten is because we live in an age where people are outraged over relatively mundane crap. Imagine for a second how much more people would care if you didn't blow out every joke to sound like WW2 had never ended.

        When everything is "problematic" you can't be surprised when anyone outside of the committed left do not even blink.

          Do you understand what this hashtag is about? Trump is literally trying to stop trans people from legally changing their gender. He is trying to deny them their very existence.

            Even if it is vacuous, it isn't putting a gun to their head and pulling the trigger. Anyone who can't wait for the inevitable loss in the mid terms and the incoming devastating loss of the republicans need to get checked into child care.

            So once again, there is a giant difference between what is between the hyperbole being peddled and the reality of the matter.

          I don't know about "murder", but it is well documented that the trans demographic exhibits an abnormally high ratio of suicides. This was also the case back in the day for gay people. Living in a world that is making sure to let you know that it doesn't want you is not very conducive to mental health.

            The mid terms are coming up, stop being a ponce and making out like Trump represents the majority.

              Not sure, man. The midterms race seems to be much tighter than I hoped for. Sometimes I do wonder.

        I'm not actually defending anyone if you'd care to read instead of becoming unhinged by a clear "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem!" mentality.

        I was commenting on people who argue as if they're all for something, "Lets tell GOOD jokes instead guys!" when in reality no matter how a joke is told it will never be 'good' enough. It's why no matter what a company or individual does to apologise should they ever offend, people will remain screaming for their scalps until the end of time.

        Not surprised though since I made such a comment at an author who identifies with a particular group, so of course you automatically assume I simply MUST hate them and everything they associate with. You don't even realise that nobody else needs to actually do anything to sink a cause, when people like yourself do more to harm any cause you are associated with than you do to help it.

        I couldn't say I truly care about advocating for any particular cause anymore. In life I'm very much a don't bother me and I wont bother you type, and I treat any person with respect until they give me reason not to. I'm not interested in being recruited. But the notion that if I don't actively support something means that I hate it, is manipulative bullshit used almost exclusively by scumbag human beings... So why in the hell would I want to suddenly change my mind and associate with their cause if they are the shining example of it?

        As was already alluded to by others in this comment section, people become pretty numb to giving a shit when they're constantly bombarded by cause after cause, and constantly labelled things they're not. All because they have the sheer audacity to think for themselves, and may have found that they simply disagreed with even the smallest of details that a particular person or group has put forth.

        So yeah, I've got no issue with letting people advocate for their cause honestly. Instead of screeching at people with hyperbolic statements like, "their actual existence is now under threat in America" as if it actually means something.

          You are part of the problem. Your sitting back and "good people on both sides" and cruel jokes has led to exactly this point where trans people can come under this attack.

          Not being able to change your gender legally is literally erasing trans people.

          People like you, who stand by indifferently while people suffer needlessly are deserving of every label you are given.

          The idea that you not just refuse to care about the powerful preying on the weal but actually defending the powerful and laughing at the weal, because you feel they didn't ask for your help in the "right way" doesn't make you a wise free thinker, it makes you cruel.

            People don't start out indifferent... They get there precisely thanks to people like you screeching at them for not blindly following your opinions and beliefs without question. You don't practice compassion, understanding or respect, yet you demand it from everyone else without even being willing to earn any of it.

            People like you are the single worst thing any cause could have on its side. Because not only do you dig your own grave, you dig graves for anyone who might even be remotely associated with you.

            True cruelty is acting like you're some sort of genuine, caring friend to people that you'd stab in the back the instant they stopped dancing to your tune.

              “I wasn’t going to be a racist/sexist/whateverist but those annoying people going on about civil rights has convinced me that no marginalized group deserves the same rights as others.”

                And there it is... Being labelled a racist, sexist, whatever because I'm not actively supporting whatever someone thinks I should.

                Thanks for proving my point.

                  Wow, you missed the point completely.
                  No, the people who say they would’ve done something if not for the people doing activism is a common thing.
                  If you think I was labelling you, you missed the point spectacularly.

        "The trans community is already one of the most at risk minorities out there"

        Bullshit.

        Citation needed.

      The entreaty serves two purposes, because things are able to have more than one intention or meaning:
      - Make better jokes.
      - Stop making lazy, cruel jokes at the expense of groups who may not have the social cache to adequately defend themselves on the social stage.

        you mean adequate like how they have the company falling over themselves to apologise??

        at which point they get the not good enough we know you really hate trans people

        Maaate, you are blowing it way out of proportion. This is obviously a trigger for you, but I don’t think it had the malice behind it that you think it did. You must remember that most people outside of the US wouldn’t even know about the hashtag. People are different. Something I find funny, you may not - and that’s not a big deal! But you can’t tell people what they are allowed to find funny - it would be hippocritical. This tweet wouldn’t influence the way I think about trans people - but the ridiculous “I’m wounded” reactions are definitely don’t make people more sympathetic.

      I'm not sure you understand what the "punching down" thing means, going by your definition here and in another comment below? It's not about the /way/ jokes are told or how good they are but about how humour needs to "punch up", that is, take down a notch those who are "up", in power. It's meant to have an equalising effect, helping those who are not in power experience some relief and those who are in power to be exposed as just humans.

      Laughing at those who are discriminated or suffering is not humour, is plain mean pettiness. It may also be a tool of discrimination when haters use what they call "harmless jokes" in order to pervasively or spread the message that "X" group is worthy of contempt or that their discrimination is acceptable because it is amusing.

        When people who use the argument will pretty much never see those being joked about as being anything but victims, no joke will ever be reasonable to them.

        They use that argument acting like they're always up for a good joke. Yet the moment it is about their particular group in any way whatsoever, and no matter how tame, that all goes out the window and suddenly people are evil.

        That's the point.

          Sure, you can argue that if the joker has no real ill intention, then they are not "victimising" whoever is the butt of the joke. But what I am telling you is... what if the one you are making the butt of your joke /is already/ the victim of people who are intently discriminating them? You'd be kicking somebody who is down, which puts you in the unprestigious company of those who brought down that person, to begin with.

          I understand how being called evil or "-ist" can bristle you if your intentions were never discriminatory. On the other hand, how could you expect people (who do not know you) to presume your innocence when your joke makes you stand right next to people who are indeed guilty? I know that it may feel to you as though your right to express yourself freely is being violated by implying you cannot joke this way, but in reality, the ones you can blame for this are the people who are truly discriminatory, not the ones suggesting you not to joke that way. As the saying goes, "they are the reason why we can't have nice things".

          Also, there's the consideration that in an ideal world where certain demographics have not been systemically discriminated or disenfranchised, maybe we wouldn't have grown conditioned to find making light of them "funny"? Who knows. I only know that as I've been growing up to be more empathetic and considerate of others, I also find myself being less amused by jokes I once laughed at.

          Sure! You can argue that if the joker has no real ill intention, then they are not "victimising" whoever is the butt of the joke. But what I am telling you is... what if the one you are making the butt of your joke /is already/ the victim of people who are intently discriminating them? You'd be kicking somebody who is down, which puts you in the unprestigious company of those who brought down that person, to begin with.

          I understand how being called evil or "-ist" can bristle you if your intentions were never discriminatory. On the other hand, how could you expect people (who do not know you) to presume your innocence when your joke makes you stand right next to people who are indeed guilty? I know that it may feel to you as though your right to express yourself freely is being violated by implying you cannot joke this way, but in reality, the ones you can blame for this are the people who are truly discriminatory, not the ones suggesting you not to joke that way. As the saying goes, "they are the reason why we can't have nice things".

          Also, there's the consideration that in an ideal world where certain demographics have not been systemically discriminated or disenfranchised, maybe we wouldn't have grown conditioned to find making light of them "funny"? Who knows. I only know that as I've been growing up to be more empathetic and considerate of others, I also find myself being less amused by jokes I once laughed at.

    As someone who had no idea what that hashtag referred to before reading this article, if I was to click on it, wouldn't that lead me to the transgender rights movement? I can't see that as being too bad a thing as I would then be informed on their cause and if wanting to, add my voice. I guess everyone sees it differently and gets offended by different things.

      No one is stopping you from adding your voice now. Except you are using your voice to defend a comment that should not be defended.

        People like you stop people from adding their voice.

        If we're not 100% on message we get thrown to the wolves.

        hahah wow, the way this guy carries on and im the one with breached comments.
        He is unhinged and needs to see someone, kotaku, you suck

      Oh the other side, I can’t really figure out exactly what the Trump administration are actually doing outside of references of narrowly defining sex (not gender) and loads of articles stating it’ll ‘erase’ transgender people and the risk of them losing health benefits etc. I can’t figure out exactly what impact it has because visible articles are written with a strong undertone of fear.

      On the other hand, when someone interested in transgender rights clicks in the hashtag from somewhere else, suddenly they were being peddled games. That was the problem. It was good that they corrected it promptly.

    offence is taken not given.

    this joke isn't even edgy it is so tame but it gets described as "kicking people" or "draw lines between people; they rank people’s worth" that one was my favorite i love the irony.

    if this joke genuinely made any trans person feel the way described above that is horrible but it is your own fault grow a thicker skin.

      I'm sorry but that's fallacious thinking. Words /can/ harm and your having a thicker skin or not doesn't mean that anybody can say whatever they want with impunity, the burden of keeping the peace entirely on the victim. I understand that this is not an issue close to your heart, but I'm sure you are capable of applying some empathy. Think about a cause, or a person that you really care for and I'm sure you'll be able to imagine words regarding them with the capacity to hurt or inflame. Should you be told to get a thicker skin while whoever is abusing you is free to keep doing so?

      I don't know if you have been victim of harassment, but if you have, you surely know that some people will not rest until they have gotten a rise from you. You can make your metaphorical skin as hard as titanium and that will only serve to encourage them to find something harmful enough to pierce titanium, at which point you'll be worse than if you didn't harden at all and experienced some pinching.

      Obviously, I'm not saying that GOG's little misguided tweet was that, simply saying that "offence is taken not given" is a truism that needs to die.

        in this exact instance that we are discussing not some mythical trump "erasing people form existence" but this exact crappy marketing stunt that i don't even think is funny by the way, the people who lost their shit over it are 100% CHOOSING to be offended.

        I agree that you can try to be offensive of course but at the end of the day it is the other person who takes offence, i have been a victim of bullying and i have also been a bully i have been in fights i have been in brawls i have had the shit kicked out of be by a group of people who didn't even have the excuse "but he gay/trans/black or whatever" literally no reason i have gay friends i have trans friends and i can empathise with actual problems these groups face '"IN REALITY" but that tweet hurt nobody.

        The legal changing of gender issue all depends on language if we are talking changing your sex well you can't do it that is a biological reality get over it, if you mean gender then yeah trump is being a dick assuming that i have all the information which i doubt i do since my only source at the moment is mrcynical and he can't be trusted at all.

          Yeah, I can entirely agree that some people take offence when there's really no necessity to do so. I was merely arguing against the use of absolute statements. It's true that some people could stand to get harder skin for the sake of their mental health (also beneficial if they're professionals in a customer-facing position, for example). On the other hand, there are many cases where people are being intently harmed, at which point our focus should be stopping the abusers, rather than advising the victims to be harder.

          But yeah, as I said, I really don't think that GOG's tweet was intently discriminating. It was exploitative, though, which may be the reason why the took it back and apologised, as opposed to trying to appease the offended masses.

          I can entirely agree that some people take offence when there's really no necessity to do so. I was merely arguing against the use of absolute statements. It's true that some people could stand to get harder skin for the sake of their mental health (also beneficial if they're professionals in a customer-facing position, for example). On the other hand, there are many cases where people are being intently harmed, at which point our focus should be stopping the abusers, rather than advising the victims to be harder.

          But yeah, as I said, I really don't think that GOG's tweet was intently discriminating. It was exploitative, though, which may be the reason why the took it back and apologised, as opposed to trying to appease the offended masses.

            depends how cynical you are i guess i think they got quiet the surge of traffic from their last snafu... would could all be arguing about a deliberate marketing decision -_- that would really piss me off

              Yeah it does feel dodgy, I can totally see somebody who'd plan to take over a hashtag like that for marketing purposes. That said, I'm getting the vibe that it was an honest mistake in this case. The tweet writer just didn't think it through.

                on the other hand it could have been a legitimate attempt to gain attention from their customers for the trans issue in question. The irony if the marketing department is headed or contains a trans person that wanted to try and help the cause.... and the resultant backlash...

                  Yeah haha, I also considered that possibility. Somebody with good intentions, a bit of arrogance and a lot of lack of awareness may have thought, "hey, if GOG uses the hashtag it will be like support from a big company or something!"

    There are far more racist or anti Semitic jokes going around and even jokes making light if pedophiles (Jimmy Carr).

    If you have ever laughed at a joke that could offend someone else for whatever reason you have no right to complain about jokes that target or mention your race/religion/sex/gender

    I don't want to watch a comedian telling nothing but knock knock jokes

      Don't worry, soon enough we will only be allowed to watch white nose... and maybe a dull brick if it isn't deemed offensive to clay.

      even jokes making light if pedophiles (Jimmy Carr).
      Are you implying Jimmy Carr is a paedophile, or that he makes jokes about them?

      I'm not sure, have I missed something?

        He tells a lot of jokes about pedophiles and Catholics and is actually a very funny comedian.

        But by the logic being posted here he is either a Pedo or supports them and so are all the people who laugh at his jokes.

          I was just a bit confused by your singling him out, as he is far from the only one to make those jokes.

            i think he's using Jimmy Carr because he's really well known

      As Ricky Gervais avows you can joke about anything as long as the target of the joke is well-meaning. The tweet trivialises the transgender cause. It's the same as guys using #metoo and whinging about their supposed tough lives.

        Which guys are you talking about, are you saying there are guys using #metoo aren't victims and just being dbags or that there experience is void for being male, i.e Kevin Spacey's behavior.

        Also wondering how you feel about Nike co-opting #blacklivesmatter, because they are very similar in nature

        You do realize Ricky himself has made jokes about trans people right? Perhaps you should watch his latest show "Humanity" on Netflix.

      Are you saying that comedy is simply not possible if a discriminated demographic is not being made fun of? I mean, I hope not, but there's no other way to interpret your post as it is, hence my seeking confirmation.

        I'm saying its all fair game or it's nothing, if you start saying you can't make fun or joke about one group or one topic then you can't for any of them, because that would be discrimination.

        I was also being pretty broad not just talking about jokes about "a discriminated demographic" but any jokes that might offend.

        I don't believe that anyone or anything is off limits for comedy, as long as its funny or at least trying to convey humour.

          That's way too general, don't you think? Have you lost a loved one? I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it if somebody made offensive jokes about that person or your own pain. If so, then we'd agree that some limits may be necessary and maybe there is a conversation to be had about the placement of such limits? I am positive that humour is possible without being offensive to groups of people. In fact, I'd say that some of the best sitcoms nowadays are those who actively try to have a more positive aim for their humour.

            That is, to put it bluntly, insane.

            Pretty much ANYTHING one might joke about there is likely to be SOMEONE that has had a bad experience with it.

            You basically just have to ban telling jokes as a whole following that logic.

              Hmmm not really what I am trying to say. I'll try to make myself clearer with an example. I know a funny joke about a man who had a bad experience with a dentist and used to rant about it, but everything was put into perspective to him when he was eaten by a shark. I'd feel comfortable telling that joke most of the times (I'd probably not tell it at a funeral, though).

              However, it may happen that someday one of the people listening to my joke is somebody who lost a loved one to a shark and they let me know it. What happens next? Turns out that I'm a bad person for telling an insensitive joke? Not really, the joke is very specific about a really statistically unlikely kind if death; the likelihood of my finding such a person was really low and it was probably even lower in my mind. Still, I'd apologise to this person; it was not my intention but I caused them pain, so it's the right thing to do. Then maybe I'd go home and check the statistics and the likelihood of me finding more people like that. If it's higher than I thought, I'd probably consider taking that joke out of my repertoire. I do not enjoy casually inflicting pain to people even if it's one out of every 10,000 or whatever. I have many other jokes that involve no death or physical harm or real people, I don't /need/ to tell that specific joke.

              Now let's stop talking about me and the extremely limited pool of people I'll ever be able to tell this joke through my life. Let's talk about people with an audience of tens of thousands, or millions. Also, let's not talk about jokes involving really, really unlikely causes of death, but rather ones involving a well-documented plight of people who are discriminated against every day. I argue that if you have such a big audience you have a responsibility to be careful with your words. Especially when we are not talking about a tiny, unlikely group of people but about a whole demographic who is already experiencing discrimination.

              Or, you know, you could /choose/ not to be careful with your words and say whatever you want; it's indeed your right. However, that would be under the understanding that people have also the right to communicate to you their displeasure.

                I'm actually with you on that people should be fully accepting of the fact that if they say something potentially offensive, others have every right to express their dislike of it. But it is ludicrous for those offended to have the expectation that the other party should automatically agree with and apologise to them for no reason beyond that they were offended.

                I disagree on the 'numbers game', so to speak, though. You can't simply choose to be okay with some jokes because less people than your particular group would find them offensive, or are less likely to be around to hear them.

                It is either all allowed or nothing is allowed. People don't get to pick and choose based on what specifically offends them, while having no issue with jokes that might offend other groups/demographics of no concern to them and being unable to see how hypocritical that is.

                  Well, I approached the whole numbers thing from an internal point of view, what I think (and yeah, maybe what I think decent, humane people should think as well), not about what should or not be /allowed/. In an ideal world, there would be no need for policing, we could trust everybody to be mindful with their words. The problem is that some people are not mindful at all. It may be because they're ignorant about the conditions of other people, it may be because they revel in getting a rise from people ("edginess"), it may be because they're pathologically less empathetic, or it may be because they're actually intending harm.

                  So nobody here is lobbying for some sort of law that will enforce limits. Rather, we're calling out the cases we perceive a line was crossed. As you yourself admit that's an entirely acceptable response. (For the record, in case I said it somewhere you haven't read it, I don't believe that GOG's tweet crossed a line in that respect, though I think it was unethical from the point of view of exploiting the popularity of a humanitarian tag for profit.)

            If something pushes my limit I just don't laugh simple, if we start putting limits on who you can and can't make jokes about where does it end.

            Make it a crime to joke about a group, and then what group A is protected so now groups what about groups B-Z.

            Anything can be offensive hurtful in some way or another, if we were going to start with what your advocating then it wouldn't be long before the things you can't say far outstrip the things you can.

            I don't believe in censorship unless it is directly promoting hate or violence, it's not hard to ignore people that say things you don't like.

              So if somebody is doing offensive jokes about something you really care for... you simply "do not laugh"? Is it all? You just sit there with a stoic face as that person keeps going on? As other people start laughing because your silence fails to inform them that you're being affected?

              It seems to me that you are afraid of what's a fallacious slippery slope, but that's just human nature. Back in the day when the first few transit and road rules were created, some car owners revolted because they thought it would conduce to a slippery slope where cars would simply be banned outright one day. Almost a century after, that did not come to happen, but we've managed to keep the number of casualties and accidents to a minimum despite the ever-increasing prevalence of cars within cities.

              A good way to combat slippery-slope thinking is to understand that limits don't exist in and out of themselves. They are not a self-feeding mechanism that, if unchecked, will inevitably reproduce. Limits exist for a reason, so as long the objective for their existence is accomplished, no further limits are necessary. In the case of road rules, the objective is diminishing casualties. In the case of the much-reviled political-correctness, the goal is to encourage respect, compassion and decency to people who are not us. You fear that it would end at a point where we can't say much at all, but I argue that's pessimistic: it implies that we cannot have comedy or humour unless we're making fun of somebody else.

                I don't agree with a lot of what people say, for example the West Bourogh Baptist Church (probably not spelled correctly) but I don't think they should be silenced, they should be ignored.

                If nobody paid any attention to them they might not go away but they would be a lot less well known.

                I see trying to censor jokes about any particular group be it a religion, culture, race or sex/gender a definite slippery slope because if you do it for one group than you have to go it for all otherwise your discriminating against those other groups.

                Comedy isn't just about making fun of someone else it's just one part of it, but if you say don't make fun of trans people (in a non hateful way) then you could argue you can't make fun of religious people or Trump.

                One could then say "What constitutes hateful" but one person's limit would be different to another, you would then be continually moving the "Goal Posts" so to peak, at that point there will be a cascade of thing that you could no longer say and that seems like a very Orwellian.

                You right though I'm probably a pessimist, but I feel the same way about a lot of things.

                  The problem is, and allow me to use your Westboro Church example, is that by ignoring them you may succeed in removing them from your sphere of awareness. However, your ignoring them is not going to stop them from picketing funerals or harassing abortion seekers. In other words, you succeed to increase your own peace of mind, but their direct victims still have to deal with their abuse. Personally, I'd rather keep them into the spotlight to raise awareness and encourage people to take measures against them. In fact, didn't that work already? Haven't heard of them in a while and last time I did they were getting tons of backlash.

                  I can see what you are saying about making fun of "everybody" and your concern with "moving goalposts". That's why I do subscribe to the whole "humour should 'punch up, not down'" belief. It's a self-updating, non-arbitrary goalpost that is backed by sound reasoning. To wit: Trump is a millionaire who has achieved one of the seats of highest power on the planet; he has used this power and position to verbally abuse people and to unashamedly lie regarding matters that are easily verifiable. He can stand to be taken down a notch with the use of humour, especially by those who feel threatened by his rhetoric or policies. He can wash away the sting of those jokes with a fat roll of $100s or by answering angrily in twitter and having his horde of sycophantic followers echo with a huge cheer. On the other hand, when disenfranchised or discriminated people are the butt of a joke, it comes as added insult to their already sore injury. What good is to make fun of somebody who is already down?

                  @pylgrim
                  In that case then I guess it's the level or quantity of jokes, some can handle more than others.

                  In terms of Westboro again they did get a lot of backlash but I don't believe people like that would ever stop and giving them a platform or media coverage can make it worse and give them more reach.

                  Treat them like that racist Uncle/Auntie we all have you only see them at Christmas or family events and just nod when talking to them without really listening.

                  You know what, you are right. We just need to apply nuanced, thoughtful and case-by-case reactions. For example, I agree if the Westboro guys did something /now/ when they have been out of the news for so long (a clear cry for attention, then), the best we could do is entirely ignore them. They have become inconsequential and disallowing them any kind of spotlight will just accelerate their demise as a community. Back then, on the other hand, when they had the numbers, the will, and the means, I'd not accept ignoring them, that would only have allowed them to go entirely uncontested, grow their numbers, do worse.

                  So yeah, like with many things, best we can do is not go by one-size-fits-all measures but rather apply some critical thinking to the best strategy at the current situation.

      Did you laugh at the GOG tweet though? It isn't exactly funny. The problem is not that the trans rights issue was joked about but that GOG were trying to sell games off the back of a serious issue.

        I didn't laugh no, and I think it's stupid of them, my problem is saying you can't tell jokes about one group for which ever reason.

    There's no social debate when you have an abusive group - who are part of a majority - advocating for the removal of a minority or their rights.

    Just the pretext to the groundswell of a lynching.

    Every ostensibly ironic, irreverent, iconoclastic attempt at a joke provides further support for groups working toward that goal.

    Stop pretending these jokes are innocent jabs. They're cruel and serve an insidious purpose. All this anti-trans bullshit has an explicit meaning - if you, reader, haven't considered how you fit in, reflect and stop abdicating your responsibility.

      So by that logic making jokes about pedophiles excuses it as those jokes are a product of people trying to make pedophilia mainstream or acceptable.

      Same logic could be applied to Black comedians telling racist jokes, guess there part of an agenda as well.

        At any point in your comment did you stop and think "maybe equating trans rights with paedophilia isn't the smartest idea"? Because that's exactly what you've done. And it's not the smartest idea - it's the kind of cowardly, callous posturing that's rife in this thread.

        Don't talk logic if you don't know shit, because you clearly don't know shit about the subject. You've reduced at least two complex subjects into "I don't know shit, but I do know how to play to my audience."

          It's applying your exact logic to a different situation, how bout racist jokes or jokes about women or jokes about men or jokes about.... anything

          What I do know shit about is that jokes can be offensive to any and all groups and if you can't handle that then you can never laugh at any joke that might offend anyone for whatever reason.

          Wonder how long it will take to come down of that clydesdale.

      i have no responsibility towards trans peoples feelings and these jokes are not serving any additional purpose there is no anti trans conspiracy between trump and gog.com you lunatic

        Take your shit elsewhere if you can't respond to the subject without making shit up.

          my comment was deemed offensive so ill just edit it

          didn't make anything up, trump was mentioned in the article and you insinuated a concerted maliciousness behind trans jokes leading to a lynching, your being hyperbolic and disingenuous. And i will damn well use any comment section i like you will not silence me you authoritarian ******* i deeply dislike your comments but i don't tell you to shut up and leave.

            That's how they try to shut you up, they disagree and next thing you know, your comment is inappropriate. Sit and spam that report button to cement their point.

            How many others here are actively trying to report @mrcynical or @scrumptatoes comments? Because all the unhinged narrow minded single serving tripe theyre spewing is still up in the comments.

            Make a comment that someone might need to talk to someone for attacking everyone in the comments and BAM - deemed offensive.

            You cant have a reasonable conversation as the hatred from them is too great

    I would imagine trans people go through a lot worse than attributing a hashtag to something that it wasn’t intended for. I guess journalists see this as mana from heaven because it’s bound to get a lot of clicks, I also dont think it helps the situation. Telling people how and what to think will always have the opposite effect.

    It kind of feels like the tail wagging the dog.

      the biggest threat to trans peoples feelings is all the media and people like scrump telling them the whole world hates them every time someone cracks a joke, the trans comedians were mentioned in this article i went looking and i found some and holy shit if you think this joke is offensive do not look up trans comedians... wait no i forgot it's okay to make trans jokes depending on who you are not what the joke is.