#1reasonwhy I Have a Problem with Deponia (and other stuff)

9 thoughts on “#1reasonwhy I Have a Problem with Deponia (and other stuff)”

  1. The whole time I was playing I knew there would be people who had problems with this. Daedalic did not shh away from making a protagonist a complete unapologetic utter jerk.

    He’s not just insensitive in terms of sexism… he’s insensitive in… EVERYTHING.

    You remember the Hearts game, you know that default game in Windows right alongside the likes of Minesweep and Solitaire? You get points for hearts and the person with the least point wins.

    But! If you get ALL the hearts AND the spade of queens, you don’t gain points -instead you gain 0 points while making others gain points, helping you get in the lead to say the least.

    …… maybe not the best metaphor in the world. But that’s exactly how I feel about Deponia. Rufus does EVERYTHING wrong not only in terms of politcial correctness but also social decorum. On purpose. But it also managed to give him a tiny speck of core redeeming quality in the process.

    And… I think it’s one of those cases where it’s okay because it’s so not okay. Like extremely not okay. Like “falling from the sky 2000 ft from the ground into a pile of syringes and surviving” not okay.

    Well I can’t say much more since I’m still looking to play Goodbye Deponia. But the point is, it’s just way too exaggerated that I feel like any real life moral discussion feels like a joke in an of itself. Yes it does fulfill the “male fantasy.” In fact I feel like this is the definition of male fantasy so much so that the “fantasy” part can’t stay hidden for very long in any mind.

    And that’s why I’m okay with this.

    The real problem I have with this game is that all the women don’t have noses.

  2. Definitely think there are some good points raised in this article, although I think it just demonstrates misunderstanding on your behalf to say that able-bodied or able-minded people find disability ‘funny’. Hilariously, Bugs Bunny is well known for saying “What a moron!”, and ‘moron’ is a word that was previously used as a formal term for a form of intellectual disability. In other words, the exact example you described as unthinkable and vulgar literally exists, just with language you personally find less offensive. When people laugh at these lines and the comedy that accompanies them, they’re laughing at stupidity, and whatever word is used to describe that is arbitrary. To me, seeing that as offensive would be like taking offence to someone saying “Are you blind?” to their socially oblivious friend, or “Are you deaf?” to someone not paying attention. If you were saying that being blind or deaf made you a burden, a worse person, or some other barbaric thing, certainly this is something to object to. But this isn’t what these sayings do. I think it’s very harmful to imply stuff like this is ‘ableism’ (if you will), because it shifts the focus away from the mother telling her child not to play with the autistic kid in the schoolyard to something with debatable consequences (that said, there are definitely still instances where using words like ‘retard’ are grossly inappropriate and derogatory, just this isn’t one of them).

    On a separate point, I always thought that the whole point of the ‘sexism’ and ‘transphobia’ and whatnot in Deponia was meant to be satire, as with the homeless man. I mean, the female lead is literally called ‘Goal’ for Christ sake, like she’s literally the goal of the game. Given how much Rufus judges things using surface-deep labels which have no ultimate grounding in reality, I thought having the love interest’s name being ‘Goal’ was worth a chuckle, once I realised the joke. I thought the main power from the game, in this area, came from how nothing in the game works like the bizarre fairy-tale version of it which Rufus has in his head. It specifically says “This is what an adventure game protagonist in a sexist, judgemental game would think, and look how at odds that puts him with the real world.”. Mind you, you already made a similar point, so it looks like we just draw the line at what it or isn’t satire at different points.

    I definitely agree that there are forms of sexism in games that aren’t acceptable, but I think the whole point of Deponia is subverting that. Having a protagonist who views Goal as a literal ‘goal’ before developing a genuine, rich connection with chemistry is not only satire, but says something meaningful about gender roles in videogames, I think.

    Definitely late to the party in responding to this article, but still thought this was a worthwhile response to make. Hope I get a chance to hear your thoughts on it, Mark! You wrote an article worth the read!

      1. I dunno, the dev’s response doesn’t really do it for me because some of the most problematic elements don’t seem to involve Rufus’s perspective at all. For example, the worst instance IMO is the transphobic depiction of Lotti, not through the lens of Rufus’ perception of her but rather in how the game directly presents her to the player.

  3. So exactly as you said with disability,which is funny to the able people(not my case though) it’s funny for you because you are a man and you don’t suffer it. I’m a woman and I can’t find it funny I find it depressing. Another depressing thing is a man who calls himself a feminist and says the atrocities you wrote in this article justifying the unforgivable. Gross.

  4. I finished playing all three games, and was pleasantly surprised. Without spoiling too much of the third game, the developers clearly became a little bit more self-aware of their writing, and Lotti returns in the third game as a pretty badass character (albeit still in a minor role), and while the stupid voice quips are there, Rufus makes no transphobic remarks about her this time around and treats her as normal; her voice became less of a joke but rather more of keeping with the continuity (which shouldn’t have happened in the first place). Also Rufus gets what’s coming to him by the end, so that’s cool. I really liked the trilogy overall, and while it is kind of problematic it didn’t deter my enjoyment of it.

    1. I don’t know if it’s unlucky of you to have bought them or even if you enjoy them. There’s content there to be enjoyed, it’s just that there are problems to think abut while you enjoy them. :)

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