Killer is Dead: Misogyny is Not

There are some flaws in video games which can be forgiven. Frame-rate issues and ropy graphics in places can be absolved bImagey the player if the gameplay itself is engaging and fun. For many players, a whole host of issues can be forgiven if a game stands out as a work of art, a creation of true beauty. And so on. It was with some disappointment that I realised that Suda51 had created a flaw in their latest game ‘Killer is Dead’ which is completely inexcusable;  the misogynistic nature of its content. In too many sections of society the way in which women are portrayed and represented is completely unacceptable. It seems that video games have also been unable to avoid this problem. The way in which women are used in this game is appalling. The awful nature of the ‘Gigolo Mode’ is pretty self-explanatory. However, in addition to this, many of the female characters in this game are made into sex objects or targets for violence. A game which encourages people to act in this way through its gameplay is shameful; by turning this subject matter into a medium for entertainment it is tacitly giving approval and propping up the messages that the game is putting across. It has no place in video-games or anywhere else. Not only is it on very morally questionable ground with its content, but it also makes the game utterly exclusionary. Suda51 has seemingly forgotten the fact that video games are also extremely popular with women. In creating a game like this it has essentially ignored half of the potential video game market. This game’s ability to alienate cannot be overstated. Perhaps as equally depressing is the fact that Suda51 clearly feels that it is responding to some sort of perceived market for this game. They have assumed that there are plenty of people out there who want this sort of content in their games. Clearly, they have aimed this game at men. It is insulting to think that this developer has assumed that just because I am male that I would want to play a game of this sort. There is no need to make games aimed at men or women in the first place; in my experience men and women tend to want to play the same kind of games. All gamers want quality in their games, not pathetic attempts at gender stereotyping in games. If you type ‘girls for games’ into amazon, all that comes up are terrible games which all seem to exclusively feature horses and make-up. These games are not quality games and no-one will want to play them if they are over the age of 5. Gender aiming should not be part of the game designing process. If it is, games featuring the kind of misogynistic gameplay evident in ‘Killer is Dead’ will be the end result.