Re: Deep Silver Promote Dead Island With Appalling Statue
(RPS’ comment system is holding onto this comment without publishing it, probably because it contained links, so I’ll just post it here. This is in response to this article about game studio Deep Silver producing and marketing a severed female torso as a collectible toy for the game, claiming it is an homage to the Venus de Milo.)
1. The Venus de Milo is Greek, not Roman.
2. It has a head and a complete set of legs, and in no way represents sexual violence.
3. In 1981, Japanese exchange student Issei Sagawa murdered and cannibalized a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt while both were studying in France. He shot her point blank with a shotgun, then raped the corpse and set about dismantling it. I won’t link to Hartevelt’s autopsy photos, but they show a piecemeal torso and limbs in exactly the same condition as the above figure, with one difference: the breasts have been severed in order to be eaten. Sagawa escaped France with the help of his wealthy father, never standing trial. He made a hell of a good living on the interview circuit for a while, produced a crude comic book detailing the crime, and starred in an exploitative and violent porno. The happy ending is that since the death of his parents, he now lives in squalor and can’t get a job.
Why am I telling you this?
Because Sagawa was likewise fascinated by decapitated “de Milo” forms, as seen in one of his many, many paintings of the same.
Decapitation, the removal of limbs and particularly faces from actual bodies, or of photographs or depictions of bodies (primarily of women), is a theme prevalent in serial killings themselves, as well as art produced by sexual predators/the mentally ill, particularly those who fantasize about doing harm to the subject, generally for the purposes of revenge or domination. It is essentially raping a figure in effigy, and removing their personhood (represented by the face/head), and it this case literally “possessing” the remaining “desired” flesh.
edit: It’s interesting to note that the Deep Silver fig does not appear to be a zombie. It has living flesh tone, fresh blood, and no particular indicators of being undead at all, or even having been recently undead. It appears to be a regular human female torso, as seen in any serial killer’s refrigerator. So why is it being used to promote a zombie game? Surely an actual zombie would have been better?
edit2: apparently it’s supposed to be “zombie bait”. so. that’s very clever and engaging.
All art is a kind of objectification but you have to be pretty disingenuous to claim you don’t see any problem whatsoever with marketing, buying, owning, and enjoying what is essentially a sex toy covered in fake blood. Arguments of “well it’s my right to buy whatever I want” and “well it’s their right to market whatever they want” are strawmen, because that’s not what’s being challenged, here. Of course you have the right to buy or market any kind of loathsome garbage you feel like. God Bless America. What’s being challenged here is the attitude behind developing and producing an expressly misogynist toy. It’s in poor taste, yes, but it’s also extraordinarily, aggressively alienating to women and anyone with a scrap of human empathy.
If brevity is your thing: this is horseshit.
What struck me immediately about the Deep Silver figure is its similarity to silicon masturbation dolls coveted and treasured by men who don’t have any use for a sex partner with a head or limbs. It’s literally a sex doll on a stand. That’s how they want their toy, their game, and their brand to be seen: it’s FOR men, and it’s FOR male sexual gratification, full stop. No girls in the clubhouse. Because this is what we think of you, ladies.
We just removed all the parts of you that we didn’t need.