The Scariest Thing About Dead Space Is The Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Dead Space is woke! EA Motive has turned this survival horror classic into a hivemind of virtue signalling nonsense filled with gender politics, inclusivity, and a refusal to admit that facts don’t care about our feelings. I hear the necromorphs even have pronouns now.

Except none of these things have happened. The usual cabal of internet dipshits has seen the most minute signs of progressive representation across the remake and come to the very logical conclusion that Dead Space has been brainwashed by the liberal agenda corrupting the entire medium. I suppose I should have realised this was the case when instead of ‘Nicole is Dead’, the first letter of each chapter now spells out ‘Isaac is Trans’ to reflect the new twist. A bold but ultimately necessary narrative change in my eyes.

Since its release last week, the remake has been subject to critical acclaim from journalists and players, but a flurry of negative reviews on Steam and Metacritic have predictably been attributed to the game’s politics. Dead Space has always been a biting critique of industrial capitalism and the dangers of religious indoctrination, having a lot to say way back in 2008, but actual political themes worth talking about go over the heads of gamers who get angry when I decide to use the right bathroom. Speaking of which, the toilets aboard the Ishimura are all gender-neutral, meaning that 500 years in the future, we’ve long moved past gender binaries to embrace a more fluid existence. That isn’t gonna fly on Reddit, I’m afraid.

It’s just silly and so predictable in the modern landscape, and how revivals of games we love or new projects in existing franchises that dare update themselves to fit current sensibilities are suddenly abandoning an ignorance of politics they never had in the first place. Nothing is being shoved down your throat. Dead Space only took a look at its initial form and how science fiction and horror have moved on in recent years, applying appropriate changes wherever it felt right. You having a problem with that says far more about your own insecurities than that of the game, and I can’t believe certain subsets of the medium haven’t realised that yet. We will one day, and the fallout will be a spectacle of fractured masculinity. How do you square loving a game that sets out to deconstruct religious indoctrination by attacking it with evangelical talking points?

People who have made gaming a fundamental part of their identities in the days when it was known to exclude LGBTQ+ individuals, people of colour, and women are seeing it become more approachable than ever, encouraging different backgrounds to embrace an artform that has already been mainstream for a very long time. Their reaction is to let possessive toxicity bubble to the surface in response to social inclusion and rejection of tired routines, hateful of the greater respect now given to those who were once malleable punching bags. Daring to change that and suggest that the past was even the slightest bit problematic is a cause for outrage, like their favourite toy has been snatched away and given to someone else when you were supposed to share from the very beginning. Dead Space is yet another tired example of a bigoted, lazy critique.

Dead Space isn’t woke, at least no more than the secular, anti-capitalist horror adventure ever was. Detractors who refuse to accept that will be left behind as gaming moves on for good. I still can’t believe a spaceship from 500 years in the future would dare to have gender-neutral bathrooms though – you know, the way planes do now. An utter betrayal of realism in a game filled with mutated space aliens, ghosts, and scientologists.

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