[Some game graphics may be NSFW]
Editor Note 2010/05/31: Welcome, new readers! Firstly, thanks to those who are engaging substantively and with attention to netiquette – it is much appreciated. Sadly, it seems a few of you aren’t reading the comments from other people in the thread over the last week, and are therefore repeating exactly the same corrections and clarifications as those established days ago now! Please find new and original corrections and clarifications for us? Also here is a free clue: there’s a link to something “DOWN UNDER” right there in the nav bar. ~tigtog
“Privates” is an indie game by Zombie Cow, written for Xbox. There’s a bit of to-ing and fro-ing in the videogame community right now over whether or not the game will pass Xbox’s guidelines.
Why? Because that “Privates” is a hur-hur double entendre. The theme does involve a group of marines venturing into hostile territory and shooting at things, like so many other games. But there’s a twist. The hemets? Condoms. The hostile territory? Vaginas and rectums. The targets? Germs and sperms.
The authors make a stab at promoting this as a sex ed game, which for a moment gave me pause: could a sex ed game based on STD shoot-em-up be useful? Maybe. We’ve seen germ shoot-’ems before – hell, I used to play one in the 1980s – but the graphics do look fairly, erm, lush on this one. And for a moment I clutched at a straw – well, a pubic hair. The game graphics actually include pubic hair. That’s a turnup for the typically-porn-bald books, maybe?
I was still pushing it to get past the dehumanisation aspect, however. Melissa McEwan has a Shakesville series titled Today in Disembodied Things, and this videogame sure is a good example of disembodied genitals. Genitals presented as “hostile territory” at that, and with invading military forces not, apparently, bothering to gain any sort of consent (unless that anal boom gate means something). It gets creepier and creepier.
Then, for a moment, I thought – “vaginas and rectums? I wonder if the game is presenting these problematically disembodied genitals at least as being the genitals of more than one sex, the game encompassing ideas about more than one sexuality?”
…but no. Then came the kick in the teeth. The quote from the game developers. A quote not winkled out reluctantly or massaged by journalists, but put into the actual press release. The quote that reveals the palpable, vicious misogyny that motivated the game.
“Britain. Land of Hope and Glory-holes. Where pregnant, waddling teenagers take up the full width of the pavement with their oversized triplet pushchairs, unaware that their rampant, perpetual humping has filled them to the brim with all manner of grotty infections.”
So it all comes back to this. No matter how much we try to make excuses for them and work to find the positive aspects of this sort of game, the developers are dead set on regaling us with their hatred of women. Women’s “glory-holes” are disgusting and filth-ridden, young mothers are vile, large bodies are revolting, and more than one child is a sign of despised sluttiness. With more than a strong whiff, I reckon, of “chav welfare mothers, amirite?” Time for the blokes to charge in and sort those bitches out. Tarantara!
I need to take a shower now.