During the Microsoft E3 conference there were some rather mean-spirited bits of trash talk during the Killer Instinct announcement and demo. The demo was played on-stage, live but scripted, between a man and a woman. While the man was winning by quite a large margin, he spouted the words “Just let it happen, it’ll be over soon.”
Incredibly poor wording and what’s worse is it got a big laugh at the conference. Now that is just the one sentence taken out of context to the rest of what was said, and it’s possible that it wasn’t intended as a rape joke, just smack talk (which Microsoft has denied was scripted for the stage). It still says a lot about gamers as a culture, that the joke is accepted as a non-issue by many (or at least the vocal minority) and that others still defend it.
Thankfully Microsoft are better with their discrimination policies than they are with consumer rights policies, so they did issue an apology (albeit later than most would have cared for considering how quickly it was noticed). The apology is as follows:
“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. At Microsoft, being open and respectful with others is central to our code of conduct and our values. Bullying and harassment of any kind is not condoned and is taken very seriously. We remain committed to make gaming fun for everyone, and in that effort, we must lead by example.”
Surprisingly CBS News actually have some of the best coverage of this particular incident; so if you want to form a better opinion, and work out whether it was a gaff on the behalf of the male demonstrator or actually more maliciously inclined, head over there to see a more in-depth look at the actual conversation that took place and the circumstances surrounding it.