https://heatst.com/entertainment/interv ... deo-games/
It's about prostitution, not about this article. However, inXile's insights expressed here are interesting.
So I phrased this topic vaguely on purpose because I don't want to attract fast-clickers. I'm not declaring a flame war here. And I don't want to derail another thread, so let's keep it civil and inside this one. I just wanted to express my feelings about Wasteland 2 and prostitution. I'm disturbed and annoyed, and I'll try to explain why.“Well, we had prostitutes in Wasteland 2 and they gave you venereal disease,” says Fargo. “We’re really not afraid to hit on just about almost any subject. (...) Again, we’re not trying to preach or be social justice warriors, either. We’re just trying to give a gritty world that smells like the one we’re in now.”
Brian is "not afraid" to put prostitution in Wasteland 2 as if it was something courageous in itself. I understand it's not neutral, it carries a heavy societal load so maybe it is (courageous) to some extend. Once that said, the way prostitution is depicted in Wasteland 2 is all but courageous however. Women as a sexual commodity, a reward or whatnot is an old habit, and Wasteland 2 does not challenge that nor does challenge prostitution itself.
He could have added "and we make sure half prostitutes are men, because we're so progressive". What Wasteland 2 says is this: prostitution is fine, and prostitutes have power as long as the pimp is a madam and as long as men are on the menu. The problem is, this is exactly what the prostitution lobby is saying today, ie one side of the argument. The other argument, the fact that prostitution is organized rape, is not heard and the player cannot add weight to this side of balance. The only thing you can do is to not rape them, which the game does not acknowledge anyway (I also think it makes you miss a special reward (weapon?), and probably some meta-game achievements).“I think the important thing though is that if you’re going to hit on strong subjects, you need to have an opposite, so it’s one thing to put prostitutes in but you know what? You better have some women leaders in there, too. That can’t be your only representative of that particular subject. So I say we want to keep it balanced with whatever subject we hit.”
It has been disturbing to me. Not "prostitution" in itself, I'm fine with prostitution being in a videogame. What is disturbing to me is the fact that InXile team took the side of prostitution advocates, which is the side of pimps and johns and noisy, popular Twitter-libertarians, disguised itself as progressive. In this mental world, there is nothing wrong in prostitution. In fact, prostitution is empowering, as long as you "freely" embrace it. In a miserable post-apocalyptic world. Sure.
In Rail Nomad camp, there is a prostitute, you can either do her or not interact with her.
In LA's brothel location, you have to "save" the lives of prostitutes, and leave them in the brothel.
In Rodia, you can choose to fuck three prostitutes or to not interact with them. Save Rodia, the prostitutes will just stay here and spread their thights (or is it a bug? casino's patrons say they've left, but they haven't).
In Hollywood, you can choose who's going to benefit from the prositutes' exploitation (madam A or madam B?), prostitutes themselves are one-liners.
The only situation that comes to mind where you can help sexually abused people is the Pitbull's kenel story. But the women in the cages are not prostitutes, because they are locked up, tortured and not paid. A happy sexually-exploited woman is a prostitute "by choice" (in a place where people are starving and killing each other for "scrap"), who is "strong" (so she can say no and she can "choose" her clients), and who is paid (because it's a job just like any other, don't you know?).
You can be successful in a far-fetched peace treaty between Palestine and Israel (or Atchison and Topekan), you can free slaves as in "the door is open, run!", you can "save the world". But prostitutes? at best, you help them removing a non-paying client. At worse, you fuck them and make their life worse. WTF, rangers?
Wasteland 2 does not challenge an old, toxic, running cliché in videogames. The stories told here definitely take place in a living "in real world" debate in which inXile chose the pimp lobby's side. It's not cool, it's not original and it's certainly not courageous.