back to article Microsoft in sexism strife again over XBOX rape joke

A Microsoft-hosted demonstration of the XBOX Game “Killer Instinct” at the E3 expo has come in for criticism for including allusions to rape. The incident has made it to YouTube and we've embedded it below. If you can't bring yourself to watch, the video shows the on-screen demo of the game and offers audio of the banter …


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  1. johnwerneken

    insanity is political correctness

    The appearance of sleazy attitude is not the reality. People playing games talk all kinds of trash. This one is offensive only to those who define themselves by their concern for political bullshit. Granted, said B.S. often is all that stands between us and far worse things. Even so, those who see no difference between what people believe or think or say and what they do, well they ought to STFU as they are crazy by definition.

    1. LarsG


      There is always someone who will jump onto the political correctness bandwagon, someone who will find offence in some comment or situation.

      These are people who just go out of their way to find offence in some form or another without looking into the context of the situation.

      While such things should never be condoned the rule of common sense should be applied, but unfortunately the PC thought police are now firmly established.

      Yesterday I heard a woman speaking on Radio 4 who wanted to take the Bank of England to court for not having enough women represented on the back of bank notes. Her tone, the way she made her point did her no favours.

      There are more important things to protest in this world.

      1. Scrumble

        Re: Madness

        I don't suppose anyone bothered to point out there's a woman on every bank note printed since 1953?

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Madness

          I always like to imagine what really goes in "behind the scenes" in these PC peoples lifes.

          it reminds me of Isabelle Hubert in the piano teacher. Up front everything was perfect but behind the scenes she was ever so slightly "naughty"..... ( PS : Yes I know that the character role was played as someone mentally disturbed but that is exactly my point).

  2. Tommy Pock

    There's no such thing as 'offensive language'.

    Only language "offensive to me". If you're offended by words, get the fuck off of my planet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's no such thing as 'offensive language'.

      It's not YOUR planet, it belongs to all of us, you selfish kiddie fiddling wank stain.....

      Get the point yet?

      1. Tommy Pock

        Re: There's no such thing as 'offensive language'.

        That's you reported to the Irish Internet Police, sonny

    2. Killraven

      Re: There's no such thing as 'offensive language'.

      Very comment statement there. The problem is that words have meanings, and various swear words convey different levels of emotion. The offense is not taken simply in using certain words, issue is taken with the context that is conveyed.

      If the word is meaningless, then stop wasting my time with it.

  3. Tim 69

    Nothing like a Daily Mail rant....

    I watched the video and struggled to be interested, let alone wound up by what I was hearing... Do people really find that offensive? Then I guess I'd better slink back to my hole and think far more carefully before I speak.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Nothing like a Daily Mail rant....

      It was a "fighting" game, in which characters attempt to exert power over each, and the human players are playing with the concept for fun. Even a board game like Monopoly is about imposing power over another person ("Rent!" "I can't pay"... What happens when the Iron makes the Dog bankrupt? Does the Dog find itself on the street, and turning to prostitution to avoid being sent to Battersea? Being subject to economic power can sometimes be as damaging to ones physical and mental health as being subject to physical power... both forms of power, alas, have been used innumerable times over the centuries to compel people to do things they rather wouldn't)

      Without an imbalance of power, there couldn't be rape- it would just be consensual sex. So I can only assume it is the power that people find offensive, yet it is power that is at the core of so many games- so it is odd that people have to transpose the comments to another scenario in order to feel offended by it.

      Games that make friends swear at each other (Worms, being the one I've played most recently) are fun, and are only good for the friendship - they are games! "Nice shot, you jammy f$%ing b$%tard!" Smiles.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dave126 - Re: Nothing like a Daily Mail rant....

        Erm, no! I don't think it would be fun that a friend of mine swears at me and I certainly wouldn't do that to him/her. It's something about mutual respect but that might be a little difficult for you to understand.

  4. Law


    If they think that was had they should try listening to what their kids are screaming at people on Xbox live...

    1. Law

      Re: eh?

      *Bad.... Stupid auto correct!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...waiting for Xbone 1 apology.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn...

      What? Xbone 1? That makes no sense.

      It's Xbox One or Xbone. Nothing else is acceptable or makes sense.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Colour me surprised

    The angry basement dwellers on here see no problem with Microsoft's bro-dude culture. Enjoy your xbone and all it's DRM. That's a small price to pay for getting nothing but games geared towards insecure 13 year old boys.

    1. jason 7

      Re: Colour me surprised

      I thought that was the market group for 99% of games?? Always has been.

  7. JasonB

    They're a real danger

    The people who protested and forced this apology are a real thret to our freedom.

    They are the new Western Taliban they will not rest until they have eroded out freedoms. They've already had an impact on what we can say not only in public, but in private in case we're being recorded.

    It's time the rest of us stood up and said no more!

    1. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: They're a real danger

      The sort who think TV shows with gun violence are OK, especially reports showing kids of 8 down the local gun club blowing holes in targets, but show a nipple ( male or female! ) or a naked arse crack and someone blows a fuse and next thing there's a debate in the country's parliament about filth being shown to minors!

      1. MrXavia

        Re: They're a real danger

        Completely agree, I would rather my sons see nudity than violence on tv, nudity is not a problem, showing people killing each other is...

        Although gun safety IS a good thing to teach kids, as its a good way to enforce discipline, and once a kid has a good separation between reality and fantasy, any violence they see should not effect them, it didn't harm me....

        If the 'Janet Jackson Nipple' incident had happened in the UK, I hope we would have just laughed it off! (considering i've seen full frontal nudity on the 6 o'clock news, I am doubtful that it would have got more than a few letters to points of view!

  8. cyberdemon Silver badge

    A Microsoft developer in the Linux Kernel?

    Don't say things like that! Poor Eadon will be offended!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Microsoft developer in the Linux Kernel?

      No, no, it will be a relief for Eadon to find out the Microsoft developer role was to actually sabotage the Linux kernel. Let's not scare Eadon for no good reason!

  9. Amorous Cowherder

    MS got beaten down by Sony yesterday and now this bad PR, things just going from bad to worse for MS right now. Shame.

  10. Tchou




  11. Gordon Pryra

    Its a joke about rape ffs

    This is not funny, why are the posters above me trying to make some big issue out of their "lack of freedom"?

    Much like the fat fuckers rioting in London last year, you need to grow up and use the brain a little bit more.

    Then again, with the story content revolving around a game, I guess this specific forum must then take on some of the quality's of gaming forums the world over, ill thought out, knee jerk reactions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its a joke about rape ffs

      Except its not a joke about rape unless you've a twisted mind that reads sex into everything.

    2. YouStupidBoy

      Re: Its a joke about rape ffs

      Excuse me, what the fuck are you bleating about? This was no more about rape than it was about the loser needing to do the drying up tonight. Unless you're one of those poor sods who examines every word, every action for any possible way to be offended.

      Rape = physical act of violence or unwilling coercion.

      Banter != physical act of violence

      Banter that doesn't mention rape or sex - *newsflash* - has nothing to do with rape.

      Go find somewhere else to be pseudo-offended. Alternatively, just shut the fuck up until you can engage the thinking apparatus that you refer to in your post.

  12. Michael C.

    I like jokes, they make me smile.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Talk about reading too much into the situation. Yes those words could be used during a rape, but they could also be used during a boxing bout. The phrase "open your mouth and swallow this" is perfectly innocent when feeding a baby, and not so much, if a guy has his cock out.

    Guess which this situation was most like? the boxing match, or the rape? NOW STOP BEING DICKS.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Parax

      Re: WTF?

      These words would have been said whether it was a man or a woman playing. The context of these words is not about rape, but about beating the opponent. There is a big difference between someone who looses a game they choose to play and a victim who does not choose. The fact that she was beaten in a game does not mean she was beaten in real life.

      Rape is a very serious thing, we should respect and understand what it really is, not degrade it by using the term about gaming, saying 'she was beaten in a game' is accurate saying 'she got raped' is the wrong usage. saying that his gaming talk/banter is akin to rape talk is likewise wrong usage.

    3. teebie

      Re: WTF?

      The feeding a baby thing is an excellent analogy, and one that I will absolutely not be saying out loud to anyone.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Gordon Pyra

    Did you watch the clip? That wasn't a rape joke. I think context has a lot to do with it.

    I didn't even hear in the clip "There you go. Just let it happen and it will be over soon."

    I heard "There you go" a few times, but, seriously, if people are up in arms over this they need to get a grip and stop projecting.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. returnmyjedi


    Silly people make silly remark whilst playing silly game, for which company apologises.

    Where's the story?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And?

      The story is that Microsoft validated the complaint by apologising.

      What they should have done is express incredulity at the complaint and request the complainer to get a life and see a psychiatrist about their over-active imagination.

      I'm all about 'fessing up to a genuine blunder, but really their should grow a pair.

  17. Maharg


    I don’t understand how people who view a demo of something called ‘Killer Instinct’ are offended easily?

    Is that not a bit like someone who hates boxing watching Rocky?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: What?

      I was disgusted every time I watched it, in fact it got worse by the tenth time of viewing.


      Mary Whitehouse

    2. teebie

      Re: What?

      Being offended is a hobby for some people

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I watched the vid twice and even fast forward to 2:30 and didnt hear it. I could hear 2 people playing a game and muttering at each other with the usual insults but I certainly didnt hear the lines quoted by the reg.

    I did hear plenty extremely polite in game banter but to mistake that for rape talk requires a huge stretch of the imagination and a space where the brain should be. So I must seriously be missing something.

    For anyone who is offended I recommend watching some of dara o'briain. On one of his live standups he does a fantastic section of what not to say during sex. For example 'you dirty girl'. Because when you have children and you are telling your child off (at this point lots of laughs).

    Context matters. Most words can be very wrong in the wrong situation. But that doesnt seem to be what happened here.

    1. PatientOne

      Re: hmm


      It is possible for people to hear (and to see, for that matter) things that don't happen.

      The reason is that the brain cheats. It doesn't process all the incoming data, but rather it takes bits of the data and then fills in the blanks after. Even recall is imperfect for this very reason. So if someone calls you a useless twit, you might hear something different, just as you might read it differently, too. By listening for what was actually said, however, you are more likely to get it right.

      It works the other way, too, of cause: You might call someone a useless twit, but actually say something else instead.

      Artificial Intelligence: A lovely subject and such an eye-opener! Took us ages to work out why computers were so far behind the human mind in processing data...

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      "I watched the vid twice and even fast forward to 2:30 and didnt hear it. I could hear 2 people playing a game and muttering at each other with the usual insults but I certainly didnt hear the lines quoted by the reg."


      I thought I was going mad. You are right, none of that was in the video - El Reg - did you post the correct clip?

  19. h3

    He didn't do very well considering she was using smart glass and he was using a fight stick.

    I think I hate the entertainment arm of Microsoft far more than the rest of the company. (Even Balmer doesn't irritate the hell out of me like those three.)

  20. Mr Marshall

    Offended by smack talk? Gamers giving some smack talk is just that....just competitive dribble designed to aid in gloating.

    Who takes it sooo far out of context to become offended by it? Those that do should never be allowed to play games online because there is FAR WORSE said on an hourly basis. It just adds to the competive fun that is gaming. You can't be expecting people to say polite things under competative conditons. It rarely happens in sports or gaming alike. It's fun to talk smack and fight/drive/shoot/etc dirty in the gaming world.

    Rant over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Offended by smack talk?

      If you're telling me that all that smack talk just adds competitive fun to gaming then allow me to convince you that having lunch in a public toilet adds to the refinement of the moment.

  21. Matthew Hardy

    Has the video been edited?

    I couldn't hear the words complained of...

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      Re: Has the video been edited?

      It looks like the NSA must have edited the vid or something!

      Two blokes in black suits and shades will turn up at the doors of all the people who did manage to see the unedited video and they will say "You DID NOT see this video, do you understand us, slave?!!" in threatening tones!

      This is how life will be from now on under the XBOX Holy One!

      1. C 18

        Re: Has the video been edited?

        >It looks like the NSA must have edited the vid or something!

        Yeah, yeah, and Han Solo shot first...

        Heard it all before...

  22. reno79

    I watched that section live, and the only thing I did was cringe. They claim it wasn't scripted and I believe them. He'd probably thought backstage of things that would be fun to say during the (clearly not live) gameplay and instantly regretted it.

    His personal shame will live much longer than Microsofts for that section.

  23. Keep Refrigerated

    I would also like to complain...!

    The games' title alludes to murder, which I find highly offensive on behalf of murder victims everywhere.

    I think Microsoft should apologise and change the name to "Rainbow Hugs".

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: "Rainbow Hugs"....

      According to their website, ( :-

      "Stuffed animals, created by you and filled with love"

      Now if that isn't sick, I don't know what is.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: "Rainbow Hugs"....


        Nice one - that made me laugh. Have an upvote!

  24. Fading

    Well if she stopped playing the game like a girl.....

    Too soon?


  25. martin 62
    Black Helicopters

    The video TheReg has quoted has been edited

    unsurprisingly Microsoft has edited the video to remove the comment here is the missing bit:

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: The video TheReg has quoted has been edited

      FFS, the people who heard this and thought it was rape talk are the twisted ones..

  26. Magnus_Pym

    If you don't like the heat

    There's banter and there's sledging. Banter is about using humour to add to the enjoyment of the game. Sledging is about using banter to cover attempts to disrupt the opponents play by making them angry. Sledging is unfortunately part of the online gaming world. If you don't like it don't play. Millions don't.

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