CD Projekt

The latest one follows Trump’s anti-trans proposal.

Amid President Donald Trump’s latest attack on transgender rights, digital distribution platform GOG.com is under fire for an insensitive remark from the company’s social media team. In its latest misstep, GOG used a trans rights hashtag to make an “edgy” joke about PC gaming, and the team’s apology leaves much to be desired from transgender users.

Controversy sparked on Monday after GOG used the hashtag #WontBeErased in a pun, claiming “Classic PC Games #WontBeErased on our watch.” The hashtag references the transgender community’s response to a new memo circulating in the Trump administration that would define trans peoples’ gender identities in relation to their sex assigned at birth, not their gender. It would also erase federal anti-discrimination protections for transgender men, women, and nonbinary people nationwide.

GOG wasn’t just aware of all of this, it seemed to pride itself on using an incredibly sensitive hashtag for a quick joke.

“Yeah, how’s that for some use of hashtags,” GOG quipped in a since-deleted tweet.

It didn’t take long for the gaming community to criticize GOG’s “joke” and deride it as hurtful and woefully out of touch with the store’s customers.

https://twitter.com/socialanigirl/status/1054504136509743104

Some Twitter users are outright closing their accounts and refusing to buy from GOG ever again.

https://twitter.com/MOOMANiBE/status/1054511694255280130

GOG’s Twitter account has a lengthy history with insensitive tweets, including one making fun of people with STDs and another referencing a pro-GamerGate joke about games journalism in Postal 2. Popular gaming news site VG247 even pulled support from the distributor over the latter tweet, calling it a “dog whistle that panders to [the] hate group GamerGate.”

This week’s tweet is also part of an ongoing problem with GOG’s parent company, CD Projekt. The gaming publisher also came under fire earlier this year over a transphobic joke about misgendering from Cyberpunk 2077’s Twitter account. While CD Projekt later deleted the tweet, the company’s response was met with disdain for merely stating “sorry to all those offended” instead of taking responsibility for the harm done.

So it comes as no surprise that, once again, GOG is fueling its own controversy over a non-apology that has been called “infuriating” and “tone deaf.” In a tweet from this morning, GOG stated that yesterday’s tweet was “neither intended as a malicious attack, nor as a comment to the ongoing social debate.” The Daily Dot reached out to both GOG and CD Projekt for comment but did not receive a response.

https://twitter.com/WickedGood/status/1054719497628725248

Some wonder if GOG is purposefully causing controversy and issuing non-apologies to gain interest from GamerGate and other far-right movements.

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While GOG’s controversial tweets are a problem in their own right, the company’s behavior raises questions about GamerGate’s future in the industry.  In a thread on the popular GamerGate subreddit r/KotakuInAction, GamerGaters have vehemently defended GOG’s tweet, with one upvoted comment calling trans people “mentally deficient” and another stating that trans people are “going apeshit.” It remains unclear whether GOG and CD Projekt are actively looking to court these far-right customers, but then again, the damage may already be done.

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.