Where are the sexy computer games?

Paul Raven @ 25-06-2009

Keeping to the gaming theme, here’s Aleks Krotoski at The Guardian asking a very valid question: where are all the sex-based computer games?

It’s not for want of trying. Brathwaite says that when she landed a job as producer on Playboy: The Mansion, in 2005, she found there were countless games developers building titles around love, intimacy and, well, hanky-panky, but they were lost in an ocean of family values propriety, wandering souls buried under regulations and smothered by distributor blacklists, treated as “specialists” whose products only saw the light in extremely independent competitions. And so, with only the odd interruption of a virtual carnal nature, game controversies are dominated by violence. Depravity just isn’t on the regulator’s radar.

And can you imagine what would happen if it were? Just look at the furore over the scenes uncovered in the code of GTA: San Andreas. For heaven’s sake, they were two consenting (digital) adults in an 18-rated game: why did it end up such an issue that the then senator Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to get it banned? Such top-down puritanism forces creative conformity in games for fear that explicitly including sex scenes would lead to a loss of filthy lucre – when on earth has that been the case?

It does seem odd, but then computer games are a comparatively young medium by comparison to film or literature – perhaps the form just isn’t mature enough to carry it off? If that’s the case, though, developments like the interactive software/hardware combinations that run Lionhead’s virtual boy Milo suggest that the technical capability to make a sex-based game that’s going to inspire more than adolescent sniggering may finally be here. How long it will take someone to think of a genuinely engaging set of game mechanics to go with it is anyone’s guess… but I doubt it’ll be too long, despite the puritanical hand-wringing of career demagogues.


Why you shouldn’t rush to get your auto-erotic implant

Paul Raven @ 02-01-2009

orgasmatron settings dialImagine, if you will, what it might be like to have a kind of switch wired into yourself that triggered tiny electrical shocks in your orbitofrontal cortex, giving you what would effectively be an “orgasm button”. Well, this isn’t science fiction any more. [image by bbaunach]

Transhumanist thinker George Dvorsky takes a look at the history of pleasure-centre brain-tweaking, and considers the implications of the technology becoming affordable and readily available:

So, should these devices be banned?

Yes and no.

Like the current prohibition on both soft and hard drugs, there’s a certain efficacy to a patriarchal imperative that works to protect citizens from themselves. Sex chip junkies wouldn’t be unlike other kinds of junkies. Highly addicted and dysfunctional persons would find themselves outside the social contract and completely dependent on the state.

But what about the pursuit of happiness and other freedoms? And our cognitive liberties? A strong case can be made that we all have a vested interest in the quality of our own minds and the nature of our subjective experiences. Ensuring access to these sorts of technologies may prove to be a very important part of struggle for psychological autonomy.

Is the best society the one that protects its citizens from all potential pitfalls, or the one that educates them as best it can and lets them take care of themselves?


Virgin Galactic declines to take Rule 34 to space – suborbital sex movies delayed

Paul Raven @ 03-10-2008

Virgin Galactic logoSay what you like about Richard Branson, but the man’s got standards and he sticks to ’em. One of those standards would appear to be not corrupting his brands with what some punters might consider to be unsavoury business… at least that’s my guess after hearing that Virgin Galactic have declined an up-front offer of US$1 million cash to film the first* zero-G pr0n movie on SpaceShipTwo.

Who says ethics and entrepreneurship are incompatible, eh? Looks like Rule 34 as applied to zero-G will have to rely on camera tricks and cartoons for a while longer. [via SlashDot]

[ * – Well, the first one featuring humans, at least. ]


NEW FICTION: THE RIGHT PEOPLE by Adam Rakunas

Paul Raven @ 01-10-2008

Imagine what high school would have been like if dealing drugs had been legal when licensed, mobile social networking had been ubiquitous and the in-crowd had more leverage than most political parties… what would the smart-but-slightly-crazy outcasts end up doing?

In Adam Rakunas‘s novella “The Right People”, they’re in the lucrative but precarious position of selling clandestine bootleg sex toys to the overachievers, but the rug is about to be pulled out from under their operation…

It’s simultaneously a slice of full-bore gonzo science fiction blended with a Brat Pack movie, and a timely metaphor for the present presidential tussle, and Futurismic is very proud to present “The Right People” as Adam’s first fiction sale – in fact, I think we’re lucky to have found him first!

Do be warned, though – this one’s definitely not for the very young or the easily offended!

The Right People

by Adam Rakunas

So, it’s Wednesday after school, delivery time, and we’re doing the usual: I’m checking invoices on my cell, and G.R.’s violating the safety parameters of our merchandise.

“Gene,” he says, gripping the pickup’s wheel with one sweaty hand and his cell in the other, “check this out.” G.R. thumbs the keypad until his torso makes an unnatural beep, and then he sprouts breasts.

No. One breast. Right in the middle. A grin spreads on G.R.’s ruddy face like mildew on a locker room floor as he unbuttons his shirt, revealing a pink, rubbery udder.

I shake my head. “G.R., you know the rules.”

His smile wilts. “But–”

“No playing with the product in public.” I thumb in an override code, and the Pleasure Chest (we boosted this review model from my parents’ samples before leaving the house) sags to its default flatness. “You gotta be discreet.” Continue reading “NEW FICTION: THE RIGHT PEOPLE by Adam Rakunas”


"Sex, fish, extinction and the end of the world"

Edward Willett @ 29-09-2008

boom I’ve spotted another specimen of that rare species, the science fiction stage production. And this sounds like an odd specimen indeed: it’s called Boom, and it’s described as a “science fiction fantasy comedy about sex, fish, extinction and the end of the world.” (Via Playbill.)

Boom is a production of Woolly Mammoth, a Washington, D.C., theatre company, now in its 28th season. The play runs November 3 to 30 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D Street, NW (7th & D), should you be in the neighborhood and want to take it in.

In more detail:

“Can the apocalypse be the ultimate aphrodisiac? It certainly ups the ante when Jules, a marine biology grad student (Aubrey Deeker), attempts a random hook up through a personal ad that reads ‘Sex to change the course of the world…’ When he gets a response from a randy journalism major named Jo (Kimberly Gilbert), they meet at the subterranean lab where Jules studies fish sleep cycles for signs of impending global doom. This simple online connection quickly moves far beyond casual sex into the realms of ontogeny, phylogeny, evolution and extinction — all overseen by an odd docent-like woman named Barbara (Sarah Marshall). In this provocative sci-fi fantasy, the future of humanity hangs in the balance as irreverent young playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb asks: do we control our own fate or is someone else pulling the levers?”

The play is the work of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include Hunter Gatherers, Colorado, Meaningless and The Amorphous Blob. It’s directed by John Vreeke.

We’ll let Variety have the last word: SEX!  PLANET-RUINING CATACLYSMS!  LOADS OF BOOZE!  BOOM has all of these things.

What more could you ask for in an evening’s entertainment?

(Image: Woolly Mammoth Theatre.)

[tags]science fiction, theatre, extinction, sex[/tags]


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