Last Updated on May 30, 2020
The video game Cyberpunk 2077 is set to include genital customization as part of a drive to include a non-binary gender option.
Forbes reports that the ESRB rating for the game includes a paragraph detailing character customization features.
“Players can select a gender and customize their character; customization can include depictions of breasts, buttocks, and genitalia, as well as various sizes and combinations of genitals,” the ERSB rating summary reads.
It remains to be seen what exactly “combinations of genitals” entails.
Two years ago, Cyberpunk game developer CD Projekt Red suggested non-binary gender was “definitely something [they’ve] looked at” for their upcoming game.
The new features will allow players to create characters with both male and female features, allowing for the creation of transgender characters with the body of one gender and the genitalia of the other.
CD Projekt Red previously emphasized the game’s focus on transgenderism, running an ad for the game featuring a transwoman with a soda can with the heading “Mix it up” and a subheading of “16 flavors you’d love to mix”. This analogy between a transwoman and a can of soda enraged social justice warriors, who claimed it was sexualizing transwomen.
“If Cyberpunk 2077 treated girls’ dicks as just another facet of life, it would be fine,” wrote Daily Dot reporter Ana Valens. “This ad shows that CDPR thinks trans people are weird, shocking, and fundamentally sexual. How do you “get” the joke? By looking at the model’s bulging erection. It’s a trope.”
The game developer responded by claiming the ad was actually an in-game ad that represented a dystopian world where corporations sexualized women and transwomen, and that the point of the game was fighting against those corporations.
PC Gamer reported in 2019:
“Personally, for me, this person is sexy. I like how this person looks,” Redesiuk said. “However, this model is used—their beautiful body is used—for corporate reasons. They are displayed there just as a thing, and that’s the terrible part of it.”
Gender-nonconforming people are far more visible in 2077 than they are today, Redesiuk explained, and they have money—and so they’re a prime demographic for this kind of targeted advertising. The power of corporations in the game world means that everything about that marketing is more overt and aggressive.
“They create those very aggressive advertisements that use, and abuse, a lot of people’s needs and instincts. So, hypersexualization is apparent everywhere, and in our ads there are many examples of hypersexualized women, hypersexualized men, and hypersexualized people in between,” Redesiuk said.
“It was a conscious choice on our end to show that in this world—a world where you are a cyberpunk, a person fighting against corporations. That [advertisement] is what you’re fighting against.”