Circle-Square-Satire: Dead Island’s Bloody Torso was Actually Intended as Social Commentary

If the title didn’t tip you off, Circle-Square-Satire is 100% authentic, honest-to-goodness games journalism dedicated to delivering insider industry coverage with the absolute highest of ethical standards.

…Actually, it isn’t any of those things. Instead, everything except the initial topical spark for the following article is likely entirely falsified as silly entertainment intended to incite a smile on your face. Tread lightly, and try not to take these fun times too seriously.


After growing bored of trying to tackle the violent video games debate from every angle early last week, the video games press was thoroughly pleased to discover the promotional contents of Dead Island: Riptide’s Zombie Bait Edition. Only en route to Europe and Australia — the latter especially well-known for being overly accepting of the macabre — this luxury release includes a well-endowed female torso statue in revealing swimwear standing 12 inches high. Seen above, this unfortunate lady oozes gore as her limbs and head have apparently been torn away by the walking dead. The gaming media erupted at this announcement with every opinionated writer at every major outlet lending his or her two cents to the issue at hand. Perhaps Jim Sterling of Destructoid said it best, encapsulating the collective community response with his trademark up-front and in-your-face form:

“Jesus Christ, what kind of sociopath would actually want this 12″ resin nightmare? Even putting aside the weird message a sexualized corpse torso sends, it’s just … ugly. There are few items I wouldn’t decorate my office with, but this … thing … sure would be one of ’em.

Perhaps no press is bad press, but things were sure looking dire for developer Deep Silver…Which only makes the truth that much more unexpected. As it turns out, Bloody Boob Torso (as it’s referred to in-house, I’m told) is actually a social commentary on a select group of people — the very same that are interested in the Zombie Bait Edition in the first place. Don’t take my word alone, though, as the surprising reality was revealed in our exclusive interview with a Deep Silver marketing team member (who shall remain anonymous, partially because I forgot to ask for his name but also because he doesn’t exist).

Gamers Association: We might as well dive right in. You’re one of the minds behind this Zombie Bait Edition for Dead Island: Riptide, correct?

Deep Silver: Yes.

GA: I assume that means you had something to do with the included hot topic, too? Our mutilated female figure?

DS: The Bloody Boob Torso? Yeah, that was my idea to begin with.

GA: …Care to explain yourself, or would you like me to lead?

DS: It’s your show — Lead on!

GA: Okay then. Did you anticipate the backlash?

DS: No…We were hoping to be praised, actually.

GA: Excuse me? Praised how?

DS: Praised outright! But it seems like everyone is missing the point.

GA: Your figure-

DS: Please, call it the BBT.

GA: Right…Er, so you’re saying the BBT has some deeper meaning, then?

DS: Yes, of course! We thought the social commentary would be obvious. It’s all in the name, you see. The Zombie Bait Edition.

GA: …Go on.

DS: Zombie Bait! As in bait for zombies! As in anyone buying this version — anyone baited by it — is no better than a bloody zombie!

GA: Zombie in a bad way, you mean?

DS: Is there any other? Unlike other classic monsters, zombies are always unlikable. Edward made vampires sexy, and no one knew werewolves could be as unconditionally cool as Professor Lupin, but zombies are always…bad. Loathsome. Wretched and disgusting. Nobody wants to be a zombie. Mindless, emotionless, they serve only one purpose: to be shot…or stabbed…or run over. Let’s just go with “killed,” how about? Keep it generic. Yes, zombies only exist to be killed.

GA: I…I guess. But how exactly does that relate to your stat-…your BBT?

DS: Seriously, what sane person would really want that thing? Come on, it’s hideous! What did we put in that press release? That it could be a “striking conversation piece” or some other garbage? *laughs* No, it was always meant to attract a certain kind of gamer. A gross kind. The kind that none of us want to be. Hell, we have a tough enough time defending the industry as a serious form of entertainment without them around. We thought releasing this edition would turn them into laughingstocks, pushing them to change their ways and think about the big issues.

GA: Let me get this straight. You don’t see your Butchered Bikini Babe — sorry,  your Bloody Boob Torso — as potentially degrading toward women? Or a poor depiction of the very video game industry you talk of defending?

DS: Not at all!

GA: And instead, you’re calling your customers zombies, worthless lowlifes who do not deserve to live? Who, as you put it, “serve only one purpose: to be shot”?

*The Deep Silver team member nervously glances at the frantic PR agent having a silent spasm in the corner*

DS: That’s either our sign for “No more questions, please” or “Lunch.” Either way, I’ve got to go. Good luck with that article!

With that, he sprinted out the door and into an awaiting cab, leaving me speechless and assuming a late call for lunch was the least of that man’s worries. Regardless, there you have it from the horse’s mouth, but what are we to believe? Is his beloved Bloody Boob Torso truly a self-referential social commentary on any creature who grabs it, or have I become the victim of some severe backpedaling that didn’t end all too well for my interviewee? As an outsider with an objective perspective, sound off in the comments below and let me know!

Written by: Luke Frazier

Gaming industry addict. Twitter fiend. Unabashed lover of Kingdom Hearts. Other favorites include The Legend of Zelda, Portal, Bioshock, Journey, and peanut butter & banana sandwiches. Also, oatmeal. Let's be friends. @LukeAFrazier – Steam/PSN: GodAlliz