Fans of Cyberpunk 2077 are being put on blast by the games media, and of course they are providing zero evidence for their claims.
That’s a dream that’s quickly shattered for women in the field once they publish their first review.
“You just KNOW when you’re going to get harassed,” says Susan Arendt, prolific podcast host and co-founder of the mental health non-profit Take This. “If the game with all the hype has anything wrong with it, and you’re honest about that, or even just want to provide any context outside of ‘it’s fun’, you’re going to get harassed. It’s a given.”
Arendt hasn’t reviewed a video game since 2017, but recalls continuously second-guessing herself, and always asking herself whether sharing her opinion was worth the very real prospect of hateful and threatening messages.
Recently, another case of targeted harassment showed the problem is only getting worse.
When the review embargo lifted on Cyberpunk 2077 on Tuesday, many reviewers gave the hotly-anticipated role-playing game less than stellar reviews overall.
Both men and women criticized Polish game developer CD Projekt Red’s long-awaited title — it officially goes on sale December 10 — for accessibility shortcomings around a lack of epilepsy trigger warnings, how it objectifies and fetishizes trans people, its frequent graphics glitches, and an open-world format that’s as wide as an ocean but as shallow as a kiddie pool.