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Opinion

In Defence Of Gimps And Dildos

Why Cliffy B is wrong.

Ex-Epic designer Cliff Bleszinski recently gave his thoughts on the future of the Saints Row series. “Keep the crazy action and game mechanics. Lose the gimps and dildos and purple suits,” he tweeted. “The SR team is amazing. Dildo holds them back. It’s immature.”

“Make an open world game that’s more Michael Mann / HEAT / Collateral / Training Day,” he said.

Well, I disagree, Saints Row is unique because of the gimps and dildos: take them out and you will be left with another game trying to to be Grand Theft Auto. We already have Grand Theft Auto, we don’t need another one. “Once you put a dildo in your game it doesn’t matter if your controls, pacing, graphics are all great. You’re ‘that game with the dildo,'” he continues.

saints row dildo

Yes, Saints Row is that game with the dildo. That’s exactly what it is, if you mentioned “the purple dildo bat” everyone knows you are talking about Saints Row. You cannot buy that sort of marketing and brand recognition and you certainly wouldn’t get it in a ‘Michael Mann / HEAT / Collateral / Training Day’ type of game.

And on “dildo holds them back. It’s immature” – yes, and? Have you never laughed at a fart gag, Mr B? “Yes, I think the dildo is hilarious. (I also had a big dildo as a prop in our wedding’s photo booth.) It doesn’t help industry perceptions,” continues Cliffy. Dildos are ‘funny’ in the real world but immature in gaming? That doesn’t make sense, you cannot be amused by real ones but digital schlongs are regarded as silly?

Absoloutely everything ‘offensive’ in Saints Row is there for comedic purposes. Attacking an enemy base dressed as gimp is funny, not sexist, childish or demeaning. The game mocks and lampoons other ‘serious’ games – for example Zimos, the oldest pimp in Steelport is introduced not as a streetwise hardman but a human pony, the tables turned with him being the sex slave.


Diversity - shouldn't it be celebrated?
Most magazines and websites ‘got’ Saints Row The Third and awarded it high scores – it has a Metcritic rating of 84. The one dissenting voice was, yes you guessed it, the rather uptight Edge magazine. They highlight the number of missions featuring whores and say “we’re not saying the creation of something in which women only exist to be sold, killed or fucked shouldn’t be allowed, but what does it say for gaming as a type of entertainment?”

It’s a valid question but does seem to miss that Saints Row The Third features many strong women characters, in fact many more than you would usually get in video games and they easily held their own against the men. The Call Of Duty franchise has has very few female characters, COD2 had Rifleman (er, woman) Pvt Anya Ulyanova but she was an NPC, the series has never featured a playable female character.

Also Edge fail to note that there are just a many male gimps in the game as there are ladies of a dubious persuasion, Saints Row The Third is an equal opportunities pervert.

I am sure Cliff had the best intentions with his tweets but suggesting we all ‘grow up’ is rather naive. Yes, we still have Dead Or Alive’s pneumatic bosoms and Bulletstorm’s atrocious swearing but we also have the unique storytelling of Heavy Rain and Journey. The last thing we need is another straight-laced guns and gangsters game, gaming needs to diversify not homogenise, if it doesn’t we’ll be left with nothing but Call Of Duty clones.

The gaming industry needs to re-adjust after the events of last year, there were too many scandals and missteps and the U.S.A.’s magical ability to change a discussion about gun ownership into a hate campaign against violent games is not helping. Too many people are overreacting to the slightest hint of anything remotely scandalous and we all need to step back, take a deep breath and remember that these are games, fantastical words built for our enjoyment.

I agree that the gaming world does need to grow up, and growing up means not being offended by a giant purple cock bat. It means embracing the wide and varied world of gaming: you may not agree with everything you see and play but that doesn’t make it any less worthy.

I appreciate that I have a slightly higher tolerance for the weird and bizarre, once you’ve seen a seventy year old man wandering around a nightclub naked apart from a set of pink fairy wings then little can shock you, and there are always going to be ultra conservatives who rage at anything that is not following the exact letter of their chosen religion. I think a fair majority of gamers, and certainly the readers of TSA, are mature enough to have a good giggle at an overweight man dressed in a pink tutu slapping people in the chops with a purple cock bat and not be offended.

With the greatest respect, what needs to change is Cliff Bleszinski’s rather outdated view. Saints Row is unique and should stay exactly how it is, childish, silly and a hell of a lot more fun than most other games, dildos and gimps included.

42 Comments
  1. fattyuk
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    I think someone needs to give him a slap with a big dildo!

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 10:28.
  2. leeroye
    Member
    Since: May 2012

    I agree with the article and also think more games should be over the top and insane like SR3, games are after all for entertainment and I play them as an escape for real life.

    However, i do feel this article completely contradicts another recent article on this site which said the inclusion of a female bust as content for the special edition of Riptide was disgusting and sexist?

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 10:35.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Different writers, different opinions. :)

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 11:41.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      Yes but I didnt write that, in fact I argued that it was not sexist at all.

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 11:47.
      • leeroye
        Member
        Since: May 2012

        Apologies, didnt realise. Still a great article and i completely agree with your viewpoint.

        I also have similar views on movies. A lot of films these days get toned down in order to gain a 15 or 12a certificate. Watching Dredd the other day i was pleasantly surprised to see a comic book film which was not aimed at the 12a audience. If only these movies were so few and far between these days.

        Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 12:11.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      There’s a lot to be said of context. Calling your best friend a nobhead with a grin for beating you at FIFA with a cheeky chip shot is far removed from yelling in the face of a hapless employee who can’t help you with your invalid gift cards.

      So whilst SR3 has tongue firmly in cheek, including all of these over the top aspects just for laughs, and being pretty even handed with gender, race and everything else, you can quite easily argue that the Riptide bust bust was a pure play on the male libido.

      Where’s the male torso edition? And what does it really have to do with Riptide anyway? I can think of far better fodder from the game to have replicas made of.

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 12:05.
    • The Lone Steven
      Never heard of him.
      Since: May 2010

      The Riptide tits were an attempt to sell the game using sex despite it not having any sexual themes. Whereas Saints Row uses whatever it can for humour purposes. Such as dildos,gimps,giant hotdogs etc.. thus i suspect most people will accept SR for doing that as it’s the general theme whereas Dead Island tends to be about killing zombies.

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 12:07.
  3. Moshbag
    Member
    Since: Nov 2011

    Spot on Tuffclub. I’ve never finished a GTA game and I platinumed Saints Row the Third, probably my favourite co-op experience of the generation.

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 10:35.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      Who?

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 11:48.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Some say that he is afraid of that london not because of the gangsters but because it has the letter L in the name and that he believes he invented the forbidden dance, all we know he is your american cousin. Sorry, been watching a bit too much Top Gear of late.

        Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 12:11.
      • Moshbag
        Member
        Since: Nov 2011

        You know, that organisation whose membership consists solely of Tuffs. As opposed to some illiterate baby lion that thinks it’s hard.

        Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 16:39.
  4. freezebug2
    Member
    Since: Dec 2008

    Great article, and the resounding view of most “mature” gamers that just see it all as a humerous distraction and totally optional when playing the game.
    The game has a huge array of weapons that can be used from pistols through to RPG’s, the Dildo is just one in a bank of optional weapons. It’s all down to choice and using the Dildo as a weapon is not “thrust” upon you. *cough*

    All this reminds me of those people that sit through rated programs after the watershed and complain of their moral corruption etc. when all they have to do is switch channels. Totally optional! *sigh*

    SR 3rd is a brilliant game, unique with it’s own style and having recently completed, found it thoroughly enjoyable whether using the “optional” big purple boy or just settling for conventional weapons in your cache.

    Jeez, just chill out and swap the Dildo for a baseball bat…..no wait, that might have implications too :O

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 10:49.
  5. Quag
    Member
    Since: May 2012

    Cliff B needs to get a job as he must be bored talking all this rubbish lately

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 11:35.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Can’t help reading the surname as Bellendski. Damn that immaturity creeping in again! :P

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 11:42.
  6. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    So Cliffy B wants to remove one of the things that make SR stand out from SR. The Dildos and Gimps are in SR for humour, mostly immature humour. Take that away and you are left with a game that is very silly unless he wants them to make it into a GTA clone which they tried to do with SR1 before realising that GTA is too big to take on thus the comedic approach that they’ve taken. As well as snorting half of Boliva’s coke before brainstorming ideas for the next game. SR needs to get more silly and more over the top as well, it’s fecking Saints Row and the more silly it gets, the more people will enjoy it. Unless they include the Empire State Building as a giant Dildo. :O We don’t need more GTA clones as only a few of them are decent. Such as RDR(is a GTA clone in my books, just GTA set in the wild west) and so forth.

    We gamers don’t want every game to be a clone of the genre’s best selling game otherwise gaming would be a dull hobby and any creativity would be dead.

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 12:04.
  7. Starman
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    If SR3 took all the humour out it would just look like a plain GTA clone. I suspect Cliffs attitude stems from the American view of having no problem with extreme violence but banning any slight nudity. He should go work for apple.

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 12:19.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      That’s actually a very good point about US culture.

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 12:46.
  8. LTG Davey
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    As far as I’m concerned Saints Row can be as silly as it likes. Most games are far too serious and up their own arses these days that they just aren’t a lot of fun to play – look at GTA4.
    That said my personal favourite open-world-crime-em-up game has to be Sleeping Dogs. Seems to strike the correct balance of being silly and fun, while being serious when it needs to. Plus its combat system trumps Saints and GTA combined.

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 13:01.
    • leeroye
      Member
      Since: May 2012

      Totally agree, i never felt the need to use guns in Sleeping Dogs simply because the combat system was such a satisfying joy to use. Other open world games need to look and admire the combat system in SD.

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 13:36.
    • matthangzhou
      Member
      Since: Sep 2010

      You sir, hit the nail on the head. Go Sleeping Dogs!

      Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 16:02.
  9. matthangzhou
    Member
    Since: Sep 2010

    I was really bored by GTA IV but enjoyed saints row 2. I like video games for escapism, the world is dark and serious enough as it is. Long live light hearted nonsense!

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 16:01.
  10. Nismo400R84
    Member
    Since: Aug 2012

    If he doesn’t find running up too your enemy and beating him to death with a dildo sword funny ,he as no sense of humour.

    Comment posted on 29/01/2013 at 16:51.

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