Game Warns Players It Includes 'Sexism,' But Developer Says 'No Actual Sexism Inside'

A screenshot from Metropolis: Lux Obscura
A screenshot from Metropolis: Lux Obscura

An upcoming game listed on the Nintendo Switch’s online store boasts some surprising features along with its four different endings and “amazing soundtrack”: “Obscenity and sexism.”

Metropolis: Lux Obscura is already on Steam, but on April 4, Metropolis, which is rated “Mature 17+,” arrives on the Nintendo Switch. It’s film noir-styled interactive comic book game with self-described “gorgeous, sexy girls” and hardboiled crime fiction. Having played it a little, I can say that Metropolis is a fun, raunchy game with a great “match three” fighting mechanic. Big plot points feature scantily-clad women, often strippers or sex workers, who rely on the gritty male protagonist for help. Scenes with these women, who tend to be very thin with large breasts, are often gatekept by big fights. The game’s script is written by a woman named Neale Sourna.

A little jarringly, here’s what the game’s Nintendo store description looks like:

A screenshot from Metropolis: Lux Obscura’s Nintendo store page
A screenshot from Metropolis: Lux Obscura’s Nintendo store page

Reached for comment, Metropolis developer Ivan Lytkin explained that, while there is “no actual sexism inside, still someone can think that women are treated as sexual objects in the game.” He added that the “sexism” bullet point is to warn “people who can be offended by such stuff (nowadays people are offended by anything).” When I asked how he reconciles the game not, in his mind, being sexist and the game treating most women like sex objects, he explained. He described the warning as a “protective measure” to ward off “hypochondriac people who may be disappointed by passive female roles as sexual objects (girls are fully dependent on men in the game).”

Nintendo did not respond to a request for comment.

It looks like the game’s developers meant to warn players that Metropolis could be taken as sexist instead of boasting “sexism” as a feature. That’s interesting. At the same time, why would one do that if there’s “no actual sexism”?

Senior reporter at Kotaku.

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How so very very “I’m not racist, but”