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Indie developer Devolver Digital is known for its quirk and no BS way of handling things, so their decision of removing neo-Nazi tattoos from SCUM should be a decision that surprises nobody. Either way, Devolver Digital and the game’s developer have both apologized for the inclusion of the hateful content in their latest survival video game.
Scum is best described as an open-world survival game that puts you in the role of a prisoner, someone who can incite riots and escape from the institution they are being kept in. When the game was released this August, players had the option to purchase a Supporter Pack for $9.99 which featured a number of different cosmetics. However, as Polygon recently reported, one cosmetic stood out amongst the rest: a tattoo that included ’14’ and ’88’, along with an iron cross with a skull. Symbols that are usually associated with those who belong to neo-Nazi/Nazi groups.
14/88 is a slogan that comes from white supremacist David Lane, who wrote the pamphlet 14 points for his White Supremacist essay, which included support for racial segregation. The 88 Precepts essay continued this racial abuse and was later used by white supremacists.
It is, of course, significant to acknowledge that this game is set in a prison, and thus there is going to be a number of prejudiced thinking involved that includes racism and sexism. In spite of all this, there has been outrage from some players about seeing the symbols within the game and thus, the tattoos have been removed which, to nobody’s surprise at all, has led to screams from gamers about ‘censorship‘.
Nonetheless, Devolver Digital seem to be sticking to its guns if this statement made by the publisher is anything to go by.
“Devolver Digital has become aware of tattoos representing neo-Nazi symbology in the newly released prison survival simulation game Scum. We do not agree with the use of this symbology or any hateful content, regardless of intention.”
The company continued, “the use of the tattoo was intended to assist in portraying a realistic element of prison culture and the horrid elements within it. This content has been patched out as of this morning, and Devolver Digital are currently conducting a full review of all assets and content in the game with Gamepires. We strongly condemn any and all use of hateful symbology in our games and agree it should have never been in the game regardless of creative intent or realism. Devolver Digital apologizes unreservedly.”