VICE Waypoint Accuses Video Game Of ‘Transphobia,’ Gets Eaten Alive By Transgender Community

Ian Miles Cheong Contributor
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Waypoint, VICE’s video game portal, slammed a video game for “transphobia” because a transgender character within the game was referred to by their “deadname” — even though the game’s creator is transgender.

It’s another case of the progressive left cannibalizing itself.

As it occurs, one of the game’s three developers at Deconstructeam who wrote the story is transgender, and is taking the social justice-oriented gaming website and its writer, Danielle Riendeau, to task for her virtue signaling.

On Monday, Waypoint published its review of the game, “The Red Strings Club,” calling it a “hopeful cyberpunk vision” with “bold, refreshing ideas about future sex—but also a pitfall into transphobia.”

Furthermore, Riendeau celebrates the sexuality of one of the characters named Larissa, whom she assumes is female at first, but later condemns it when the character is revealed to be transgender. She claims that the character element “uncomfortably [hits] on the hypersexualized transwoman trope.”

“As is, I’m disappointed and baffled by this awful decision,” writes Riendeau, who declared herself a “queer woman” on Twitter.

In the game’s progressive, futuristic cyberpunk setting, transgenderism is normalized—but it’s only a small element of the game’s larger themes, which revolve around transhumanism and the concept of human agency.

In one part of the game, Larissa’s “deadname,” or original given name, is used as a password by another character. According to the developer who later responded to the article, the purpose of revealing the character’s name isn’t intended as a plot twist, and is simply used to flesh out the characters.

Following the review’s publication, the game’s publisher—Devolver Digital—took Waypoint to task on Twitter. “It would be worth taking the time to talk to the developer first before issuing tweets like this one,” they wrote.

Social justice warriors were swift to condemn Devolver Digital for defending the game and its developer before realizing that one of its creators is transgender. However, developer Paula Ruiz’s own remarks turned the tide of outrage toward the publication.

Ruiz explains that being transgender in the game’s setting is as normal as any other sexual orientation, including queer identities like “agender,” gay, lesbian, and bisexual—all of which are represented. The developer also slammed Riendeau for only having a problem with Larissa’s libido when she discovers that the character is transgender—and not before.

Following the stream of condemnation from Ruiz, Riendeau reverted to complaining about the reactions to her article, stating, “The internet is actual hell.”

“It’s cool to be attacked by your own community and also by the Funtime MRAs and actual nazis. Coooool,” she protested sarcastically. “I’ve got a lot of love in my heart, and I do my goddamnest to show that in my work, my volunteering, and my life. I try to do my best.”

Sound words to live by, but Kryptonite to the perpetually outraged.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.