Microsoft issued an apology after a video game demonstrator's comments during "Killer Instinct" were interpreted as a rape joke.
The comments were made during a demonstration of the video game "Killer Instinct," as a female employee engaged in a virtual battle with a male gamer.
"I can't even block correctly, and you're too fast," the female employee said. "Here we go. Just let it happen. It'll be over soon," was the response by the male employee.
The audience reportedly laughed at the comment, but the conversation continued with more sexual innuendos.
"You have a fight stick," she said. "Wow, you like those." he responded. "No, I don't like this," she countered.
According to a report by the Entertainment Software Association, 47 percent of gamers are female, but sexism is an issue in the gaming world.
"This is not the first controversy surrounding rape to take place at the E3 conference," according to Fox News. "Last year, gamers were upset over a scene in the video game 'Tomb Raider,' which required players to save Lara Croft from sexual assault."
Spectators took to Twitter to release their frustrations. Many were offended by the tasteless joke.
Guy just pulled a rape joke onstage in front of THOUSANDS at #E3 like was no thing. You wanna tell me "there's no rape culture" again?
— Bob Chipman (@the_moviebob) June 10, 2013
Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer issued the following statement:
"Yesterday, during the Xbox E3 briefing, one of our employees made an off the cuff and inappropriate comment while demoing 'Killer Instinct' with another employee. This comment was offensive and we apologize. At Microsoft, being open and respectful with others is central to our code of conduct and our values. Bullying and harassment of any kind is not condoned and is taken very seriously. We remain committed to make gaming fun for everyone, and in that effort, we must lead by example."
The conversation stirred unwanted controversy for Microsoft, whose competitor Sony Computer Entertainment reportedly has taken up most of the press headlines for E3.
You can listen to the banter in the video below.