Zero Punctuation "Papers, Please and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons" (found original version of online review series episode; 2013)
Still from the review featuring a visual representation of the remark.
Date found: 26 Sept 2018
Found by: Stale Memes
Zero Punctuation is an online review series created by English comedy writer and video game journalist Ben "Yahtzee" Crowshaw from the video game website The Escapist in which he critiques one of the newest video game releases of that particular week, making frequent use of black comedy and caustic humor. The series has received largely positive reviews from numerous outlets, with group blog website Boing Boing describing it as "hilariously cutting" and the "first legitimate breakout hit from the gaming community in recent memory".
On August 21st, 2013, a Zero Punctuation episode reviewing indie games Papers, Please and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was uploaded to The Escapist website. Upon its release, this review was met with a minor controversy over a remark Yahtzee made about Brothers control scheme, in which one of the two main characters is controlled using one of the two control sticks on a controller. Yahtzee described this control scheme as "single-player co-op", before immediately following up this statement by saying "and I know that sounds like saying "I'm not gay, I only suck off pre-op transsexuals", but it is!". Many people were offended by this remark, deeming it transphobic due to its possible promotion and perpetuation of negative transsexual stereotypes. Yahtzee himself later stated that he regretted the original joke, citing poor wording as the reason why the point of the joke didn't come across. By the time the video had been uploaded to YouTube one week later, the line had been retroactively overdubbed to instead say "I'm not gay, I only suck off pantomime dames". The version of the review on The Escapist website was later replaced with this version as well, with the original version of the review remaining unavailable to watch for many years afterward.
While the modified review is still available on The Escapist's website and YouTube channel, the unmodified review was lost for several years, with the only remnant of it being the unchanged visual gag seen above. Then, on September 26th, 2018, a YouTube user by the name of Stale Memes uploaded a compilation of every Zero Punctuation episode made in 2013 to their channel. Among these was the unaltered version of the Papers, Please and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons review, which can be viewed below.
- Zero Punctuation Wikia article on the episode. Retrieved 24 Apr '19
- Page for Zero Punctuation on The Escapist website. Retrieved 24 Apr '19
- Forum post containing comments from many angered viewers. Retrieved 31 May '19
- Extra Punctuation column post responding to the controversy. Retrieved 24 Apr '19