Feeds

Microsoft in sexism strife again over XBOX rape joke

E3 demo used 'offensive' and 'inappropriate' language

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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 between two players, one man and one woman, both Microsoft employees.

The woman woman is Ashton Williams, aka @AshtonisVULCAN, who describes herself as a “Community Coordinator at XBLA, Microsoft Studios”. The man is Torrin Rettig, a producer at Microsoft Studios.

At around 2:30 into the video, Rettig's character starts dealing out some punishment to Williams. She complains, but Rettig then says "There you go. Just let it happen and it will be over soon."

Later, Rettig says “You like this” and Wiliams replies “No, I don't like this.”

Williams has since Tweeted that the remarks were not planned.

Microsoft has since apologised for the comments, with The Atlantic Wire carrying this apology from Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios:

"Yesterday, during the Xbox E3 briefing, one of our employees made an off the cuff and inappropriate comment while demoing ‘Killer Instinct’ with another employee. This comment was offensive and we apologize."

Watch Video

The expected amount of online outrage and apathy are now playing out in the usual fora.

The incident is Microsoft's third very public sexism gaffe in the last year. First came a limp wedding tackle joke in Norway. A Microsoft developer was later found to have used the hexadecimal string “0xB16B00B5” - which is often read as “Big Boobs” in the Linux kernel. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.