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- Second Extinction
YouTube creator Worth A Buy has been criticized by Second Extinction‘s team and the game’s PR representatives for his review of the game, which saw him saying that he didn’t want to play as a “Ugandan woman when I’m using the minigun” in reference to the character Rosy Mevoungou, a Cameroonian woman. Clara Sia, who handles influencer relations at the PR agency Sandbox Strategies, said she was given the go-ahead by the Second Extinction team to “call that motherf*cker out.”
Worth A Buy, who has over 250,000 subscribers on YouTube, made the comments during his Second Extinction video review, in which he criticized the game allowing players to select between two male characters and two female characters. “Why have we got two males and two females? Oh, it’s 2020. We have to have it all the same, so if there’s women playing they can choose the female characters and men can choose the male characters!” The YouTuber said when discussing Second Extinction‘s line-up of characters. “And we know that women play games… here’s the data for that, only seven percent play first-person shooters. These guys are catering for a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage.”
Second Extinction review is ‘sexist, possibly also racist’
The snippet of the review was posted by Sia, who said she was given permission by Second Extinction publisher Avalanche Studios to do so. She encouraged those who work with influencers to “do as you will” with Worth A Buy, saying that he is “maybe a sexist, possibly also racist” given his comments in the video:
Publisher of the game said to call that mother*er out all I want (because they're badass). Let this be the one right thing I've done today.
— Clara Sia (@seriouslyclara) October 14, 2020
Worth A Buy later uploaded a video titled ‘Why I closed the comments on Second Extinction,’ where he attempted to explain his Second Extinction review and put the onus of blame on the video’s racist commenters.
“Because I mentioned the word Ugandan, because that’s how she sounds, about 40 or 50 people then immediately just saw race. They just started [talking about] race, and ‘if it was white it would be alright.’ These are the racists, the proper racists that are ruining our society. They think that it’s me that’s the racist? I don’t give a toss about the color of her skin, I just didn’t like the character of the person wielding a minigun.”
Worth A Buy then went on to say that he would have accepted a “big, muscle-bound, black ex-marine guy” in Second Extinction, saying he would have been “fine with that” because it would “work” in the game. He added that it would have been more believable for a female character to have been a sniper, rather than someone who handles heavy weaponry, despite Second Extinction taking place in a fictional world in which players are tasked with taking out mutated dinosaurs.
Worth A Buy’s video explaining his comments in the review is below:
Worth A Buy’s criticisms of female characters in Second Extinction stem from him believing they cater to a “tiny” percentage of FPS players, seemingly based on a widely cited 2017 study by Quantic Foundry. However, while this study did note how only 7 percent of FPS players surveyed were female, it also pointed out how genres that weren’t widely played by women tended to not have female protagonists, or had other barriers for entry such as playing with strangers online.
“Low female gamer participation in certain genres may be a historical artifact of how motivations and presentation have been bundled together and marketed,” the study noted. As further evidence of this, Overwatch, a game with a diverse cast of characters, boasted a female userbase that was twice as large as other shooters, as also revealed by Quantic Foundry. At the time of the survey, women accounted for 16% of the game’s playerbase, showing how games that feature female characters can lead to a large increase in the number of women playing them.
Second Extinction is currently available to buy in Early Access on Steam, with an Xbox One release date set to arrive in the near future.