In a recent interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, Adam Badowski and Adam Kiciński from CD Projekt spoke about some important issues.
They spoke about the need for mutual respect and tolerance, as well as the impact on creative work and diversity in the video game industry. They also talked a bit about how these values get into the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077.
We covered some of the key points of the interview, but you can read the whole thing on the CD Projekt website.
Why CD Projekt talks about social issues
More and more companies are campaigning for diversity and acceptance in questions such as race and LGBTQ rights.
When asked why they commented on social issues, Adam Kiciński said:
“Because these are important things. People come to CD PROJEKT not only to make a living. Our business was always rooted in a certain value system. “
“We are proud of our diversity, but we also recognize that efficient operation requires active measures that promote mutual respect and tolerance.”
Openness, tolerance and creativity
Badowski and Kiciński suggest that openness and tolerance are important not only for a fairer society, but also for the creative process.
“There is a strong correlation between openness to the“ other ”and its impact on creativity and motivation. In my opinion, this mainly results from an increased feeling of security. In an environment where you can simply be yourself, it becomes easier to have open discussions, exchange ideas and express opinions – and this is a starting point for many interesting activities. “
Part of the philosophy and goals of the CD Projekt Group are:
“We stand for tolerance. We fight all forms of racism, homophobia and xenophobia because we believe that tolerance is the basis for creativity and innovation. “
Tolerance in the video games from CD Projekt Red
Badowski emphasized that The Witcher’s books have strong anti-racist undertones and that video games are trying to reflect this.
“In his literature, Andrzej Sapkowski dealt with racism quite hard. Similar to his books, video games recognize the contrast between humans and “non-humans”, ie elves, dwarfs etc. Our games show the consequences of stigmatizing being different, reveal the connection between social inequality and xenophobic feeling and show what people are capable of if they believe they can act with impunity. “
Cyberpunk 2077 has recently drawn everyone’s attention to the gender fluidity of the characters.
Players can choose neither men nor women, but instead a body type. Different aspects such as body type, hairstyles, voices and clothing can be mixed and matched. This means that players are not bound by binary gender choices.
Marthe Jonkers, senior concept artist at Cyberpunk 2077, said:
“We want you to feel free to create any character you want. We really want to give people the freedom to develop their own character and play the way they want to play. “
Diversity in the video game industry
Badowski and Kiciński suggest that the video game industry is ahead of the curve compared to other industries.
“We learn a lot from the shortcomings and accomplishments of our colleagues in the film, literature, and music industries, and I assume that we may be able to implement certain novel mechanisms faster.”
This doesn’t mean that the video game industry is perfect in every way. However, Kiciński said that steps in the right direction would be taken.
“Yes, there are other issues, such as the sexualization of female characters, but they are openly discussed and bold steps are taken to mitigate them.”
Sexual orientation is another thing video games have been dealing with for some time. This is something that other media have been more hesitant to examine.
“The sexual orientation is in a similar position. What was taboo in mainstream films for a long time now revolves around what it should have been from the start: stories of human romance instead of reports about the struggle for the right to acceptance. “
It’s great that companies are increasingly open to change and tolerance. We hope that more companies within the gaming community will take note of this.
Like most of us, we can’t wait to see what Cyberpunk 2077 will look like. Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled for release on November 19, 2020 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Google Stadia.