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Writer of ‘Goodbye Volcano High’ Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

This article contains material that may be upsetting to some readers. Please read this at your own risk.

KO OP revealed Goodbye Volcano High, a narrative-based adventure game, during Sony’s Future of Gaming event on June 11. The news piqued many people’s interest, including mine, because the game has a non-binary protagonist, Fang (voiced by Lachlan Watson), and promises a plot rich in LGBT representation, with studio head Salemm Dabbous tweeting, “This game is queer as [f***].”

However, some fans are outraged after learning that Kate Gray, the narrative director and writer for Goodbye Volcano High, used to write about porn and sex in video games for the video game website Kotaku, and that one of her articles had NSFW graphics depicting underage characters.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

The piece in question, titled “Animated Video Game Porn Could Be A Lot Sexier And Less Gross,” was published on Kotaku on September 24, 2019, and appears to be Gray’s final on the platform.

Gray tells how she and a friend set out to see poor computer-rendered videos of fictional characters performing things that were never mentioned or even envisioned in the source material in the article. She then goes on to vividly depict graphic stuff from Harry Potter, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon videos.

The article drew criticism when it was first published because of the post’s explicit computer-rendered graphics from the recordings. Many people were quick to condemn the images, which included characters who were under the age of the original material, such as Ash from Pokémon and Hermione and Draco from Harry Potter. Others were nonetheless offended by the written content, with one user, afriendtosell, writing:

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

You immediately hit us with a depiction of underage sex in more than two situations (arguable for the LoZ characters; not arguable for the HP or Pokemon characters), and the payout for that NSFW smack in the face is….what, exactly?

ALSO READ: Why Evander Kane should not be given another opportunity to play in the NHL 

Some, though, seemed to assume that the crisis was being exaggerated because the photos were of animated characters rather than real humans.

This piece initially included screenshots from many porn parodies with a warning that they were Not Safe For Work, as part of our regular coverage of the intersection between sex and games. Those photos have since been removed.

While the goal of this piece was to give you a taste of the current state of gaming and geek porn, it’s evident that we made a mistake in terms of the visuals and commentary you’ve come to expect from us.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

These depictions of characters who are frequently depicted as or thought of as teenagers make readers understandably uneasy. I’m the same way, and I apologise. We can and will do better. Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo

ALSO READ: ‘Y’all Weird,’ Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Reva Actress Reacts to Racist Comments 

Following the Goodbye Volcano High announcement on Sony’s stream, the piece was promptly revived on Twitter. “Everyone’s all ‘wow awesome non-binary main character,’ as Kill Bill sirens go out in my mind,” wrote Twitter user @BluestRose430, who aired their concerns in a tweet.

In a Twitter discussion, Kate Gray responded to the criticism and addressed the Kotaku piece (full transcription at the bottom of the article). Gray apologized for not responding to the piece sooner and admitted that she made mistakes in it, saying, “The article, the images, and my uncritical view on it were all major mistakes.”

Gray continues, “I regret a lot of things about that article, but the fact that it hurt people is my worst regret of all,” noting, “I regret a lot of things about that article, but the fact that it hurt people is my biggest regret of all.” Gray claims to have gone away from journalism, though it’s unclear whether this is due to the anger that the Kotaku story sparked.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

ALSO READ: Raven-Symoné and the actors of ‘Raven’s Home’ walk off the set of Disney to protest the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Finally, Gray tries to reassure readers about Goodbye Volcano High:

For GVH, we have a team of consultants with a wide range of ideas and backgrounds, and we are passionate about what we create. We’re all dedicated to portraying our LGBTQ and marginalized identities in games in the manner we want to see them represented, as well as representing and elevating players.

While Gray’s statement has received few replies as of this writing, the majority of those who have seen it seem to be complimenting her for the way she handled the situation, with some pointing out that this isn’t the first time the internet has used someone’s past to criticize them. However, given that the story was released in late 2019, many people are understandably unhappy and frightened about Goodbye Volcano High.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

While I disagree with the Kotaku article’s substance and believe that creating and publishing it was a poor decision, I am a firm believer in people’s ability to learn and improve. There is intricacy in the issue, and it is clear to me that Gray did not intend to injure anyone.

I’m still going to report on Goodbye Volcano High, and I’m still excited for its release, knowing that the development team is full of bright individuals and consultants. But I’d want to pose the question to you, the audience. Let us know what you think in the comments section or on Twitter @HolyYuriMother:

1. What are your thoughts on the debate? Are you offended by the Kotaku piece? Do you feel differently now that you’ve read Gray’s apology and believe she’s matured since then?

2. Is the issue affecting your opinion of Goodbye Volcano High in any way? Did you intend to purchase the game next year, and does this narrative influence your decision?

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Writer of ‘Goodbye Volcano High’ Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

This article contains material that may be upsetting to some readers. Please read this at your own risk.

KO OP revealed Goodbye Volcano High, a narrative-based adventure game, during Sony’s Future of Gaming event on June 11. The news piqued many people’s interest, including mine, because the game has a non-binary protagonist, Fang (voiced by Lachlan Watson), and promises a plot rich in LGBT representation, with studio head Salemm Dabbous tweeting, “This game is queer as [f***].”

However, some fans are outraged after learning that Kate Gray, the narrative director and writer for Goodbye Volcano High, used to write about porn and sex in video games for the video game website Kotaku, and that one of her articles had NSFW graphics depicting underage characters.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

The piece in question, titled “Animated Video Game Porn Could Be A Lot Sexier And Less Gross,” was published on Kotaku on September 24, 2019, and appears to be Gray’s final on the platform.

Gray tells how she and a friend set out to see poor computer-rendered videos of fictional characters performing things that were never mentioned or even envisioned in the source material in the article. She then goes on to vividly depict graphic stuff from Harry Potter, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon videos.

The article drew criticism when it was first published because of the post’s explicit computer-rendered graphics from the recordings. Many people were quick to condemn the images, which included characters who were under the age of the original material, such as Ash from Pokémon and Hermione and Draco from Harry Potter. Others were nonetheless offended by the written content, with one user, afriendtosell, writing:

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

You immediately hit us with a depiction of underage sex in more than two situations (arguable for the LoZ characters; not arguable for the HP or Pokemon characters), and the payout for that NSFW smack in the face is….what, exactly?

ALSO READ: Why Evander Kane should not be given another opportunity to play in the NHL 

Some, though, seemed to assume that the crisis was being exaggerated because the photos were of animated characters rather than real humans.

This piece initially included screenshots from many porn parodies with a warning that they were Not Safe For Work, as part of our regular coverage of the intersection between sex and games. Those photos have since been removed.

While the goal of this piece was to give you a taste of the current state of gaming and geek porn, it’s evident that we made a mistake in terms of the visuals and commentary you’ve come to expect from us.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

These depictions of characters who are frequently depicted as or thought of as teenagers make readers understandably uneasy. I’m the same way, and I apologise. We can and will do better. Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo

ALSO READ: ‘Y’all Weird,’ Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Reva Actress Reacts to Racist Comments 

Following the Goodbye Volcano High announcement on Sony’s stream, the piece was promptly revived on Twitter. “Everyone’s all ‘wow awesome non-binary main character,’ as Kill Bill sirens go out in my mind,” wrote Twitter user @BluestRose430, who aired their concerns in a tweet.

In a Twitter discussion, Kate Gray responded to the criticism and addressed the Kotaku piece (full transcription at the bottom of the article). Gray apologized for not responding to the piece sooner and admitted that she made mistakes in it, saying, “The article, the images, and my uncritical view on it were all major mistakes.”

Gray continues, “I regret a lot of things about that article, but the fact that it hurt people is my worst regret of all,” noting, “I regret a lot of things about that article, but the fact that it hurt people is my biggest regret of all.” Gray claims to have gone away from journalism, though it’s unclear whether this is due to the anger that the Kotaku story sparked.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

ALSO READ: Raven-Symoné and the actors of ‘Raven’s Home’ walk off the set of Disney to protest the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Finally, Gray tries to reassure readers about Goodbye Volcano High:

For GVH, we have a team of consultants with a wide range of ideas and backgrounds, and we are passionate about what we create. We’re all dedicated to portraying our LGBTQ and marginalized identities in games in the manner we want to see them represented, as well as representing and elevating players.

While Gray’s statement has received few replies as of this writing, the majority of those who have seen it seem to be complimenting her for the way she handled the situation, with some pointing out that this isn’t the first time the internet has used someone’s past to criticize them. However, given that the story was released in late 2019, many people are understandably unhappy and frightened about Goodbye Volcano High.

Writer of 'Goodbye Volcano High' Responds to Backlash Over NSFW Cartoons of Minors in Article

While I disagree with the Kotaku article’s substance and believe that creating and publishing it was a poor decision, I am a firm believer in people’s ability to learn and improve. There is intricacy in the issue, and it is clear to me that Gray did not intend to injure anyone.

I’m still going to report on Goodbye Volcano High, and I’m still excited for its release, knowing that the development team is full of bright individuals and consultants. But I’d want to pose the question to you, the audience. Let us know what you think in the comments section or on Twitter @HolyYuriMother:

1. What are your thoughts on the debate? Are you offended by the Kotaku piece? Do you feel differently now that you’ve read Gray’s apology and believe she’s matured since then?

2. Is the issue affecting your opinion of Goodbye Volcano High in any way? Did you intend to purchase the game next year, and does this narrative influence your decision?

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LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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