1. Yeah, this is an unfortunate bit of very expensive tech demoing in that regard. My guess is that the Quantic folks thought they were having their cake and eating it, too, that they’d grab their audience’s attention with the sexiness but thought they were ethically in the clear since it’s so obviously framed as a critique (though a meaningless one since, you know, no one makes arguments for the abject depersonalization and enslavement of sentient beings). The article’s insight in placing this in the context of game-culture-as-bro-culture seems apt, though I’m sure the people who made this would rile at the description. Hopefully they’re smart enough not to double-down and publicly lash out at their critics; down that path there can only be more shame.

    In general I think Quantic Dreams is doing interesting things in stretching out what games can be, but I think their hyper-awareness of the innovation they’re striving for blinds them to some of the mediocrities they end up putting into play. (Like with the otherwise excellent Braid and some of its mildly embarrassing inter-chapter text popups, if you’re doing something that feels new, it’s probably difficult to intuit against what rubric you should be judging it).

  2. What bugged me about it was that every robot story ever is the same same damn story. Going right back to Frankenstein and RUR. And this one didn’t add anything to it. Lampshading the sexism doesn’t sanitize it.

    (There’s one glorious exception: Charles Storss’s Saturn’s Children. Which actually features a sexbot… only her purpose has kind of changed since the human race has gone extinct.)

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