Gamers keep having virtual sex with Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077—sparking major consent issues

Developers of the much-hyped (and maligned) video game Cyberpunk 2077 are asking that players stop having sex with virtual Keanu Reeves. 

The game’s developer, CD Projekt Red (CDPR), removed this week a viral modification that allowed players to have sex specifically with Johnny Silverhand, a character modeled on the Matrix and John Wick star. Given the very real person’s likeness in the game, the mod sparked consent concerns.

In the original version, there is a graphic sex scene between Johnny Silverhand and Alt Cunningham; however, here the player controls Johnny. And you can still have sex as Johnny in the game if you want. But after this ban, not the other way around. He appears to be the only character, so far, presenting this challenge.

According to a Forbes report, CDPR argues that that the Reeves mod for the already-sexually-explicit game crosses certain boundaries: “Our most important rule regarding user-generated content, game mods, in particular, is that it can’t be harmful towards others. In the case of model swaps, especially those that involve explicit situations, it can be perceived as such by the people who lent us their appearance for the purpose of creating characters in Cyberpunk 2077.”

“Therefore, when making fan content, creators have to make sure they’ve got permission from all the concerned parties (which might be people other than CD Projekt Red). For the characters we’ve invented for the game, we broadly permit you to tweak the game at will and just have fun. When it comes to models of real people whom we’ve asked to participate in the game, we kindly ask you to refrain from using them in any situation that might be found offensive if you don’t have their explicit permission.”

Online, gamers seem to be laughing off the consent concerns. As @meullime tweeted on Wednesday, “honestly w all the problems ive heard about the cyberpunk game youd think they would use having sex w/ keanu reeves as a selling point.”