Ellen Page might be in the process of suing Sony for using animated images of her naked body in a video game without permission, and all I can think is that this is a very strange world we’re living in.
Now, you’ll need to bear with me, because I’m about to delve into the world of video games, which is extremely foreign to me. I think I understand what happened here, but just barely. So you can feel free to commence cutting me slack riiiiight…now.
The game Beyond: Two Souls is an interactive drama-adventure game for the PlayStation 3 console starring Ellen and Willem Dafoe. The two of them both posed for body scans to make the characters as lifelike as possible, and obviously were paid for their work on the game, just like they would have been for a movie. But the difference between this and a movie is that once you’ve been turned into a character, the game’s creators can pretty much get that character — Jodie, in Ellen’s case — to do whatever they want, whether or not you’re into it.
In this case, that means that Jodie appears fully naked in an extremely superfluous shower scene that’s apparently kind of a favorite of game creator David Cage. (He inserted another similarly unnecessary scene in a game called Heavy Rain, which came out in 2010.) And guess what those two games have in common! They both feature an option that allows you to change the camera angle in the shower scenes, giving yourself a full frontal view of Jodie and the Heavy Rain character Madison, respectively.
Just to help the both of us understand what I’m (trying to) talk about, here’s the safe-for-work version of Ellen Page’s SUPER ULTRA NECESSARY shower scene.
All that needed to be done to access these R-rated scenes was to run the game on what’s known as a ‘debugged’ PS3 console, which I won’t even pretend to understand. Apparently some very niche people in the video game community like game developers, testers, and reviewers have what’s known as ‘debug units’, which let you run the game in a different mode that includes functions like ‘free-camera’, which allows you to choose your camera angle. And when you move the camera around in scenes like the one with Ellen in the shower, it becomes obvious that additional information was added to the character that I hiiiiighly doubt Ellen was okay with.
After all, I think she’d remember submitting to a fully nude body scan and signing away her rights to appear naked in a video game. But she doesn’t seem to remember that, because Sony is pulling any and all NSFW images of Ellen nakey from the internet and citing ‘legal reasons’ for doing so, suggesting to some that a suit might be in progress. There aren’t details yet, but websites seem to be getting gag orders placed on them, and the uncensored images have all but disappeared from the web.
Okay. I need to go take a nap and see what the newly-enaged Kimye is up to. That was an overwhelming amount of jargon for me, so I’m having trouble even imagining how Ellen Page feels right now.