Lyst Summit on 6-8th of June

We have created a summit that celebrates Romance, Love and Sex in games, called Lyst Summit. There will be a full day conference on the subject with inspiring speakers followed by a game jam that focusses only on these subjects. The whole thing will be held from the 6-8th of June.

We feel that ‘Lyst’ is a great name for what we want to do, since it means lust, but also desire or “wanting”. You would for instance say: “har du lyst til …”, which translates to “do you want to …” and it also means Light. Light, because we don’t want to “do it” in the dark ;)

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As you might know, we here at the collective, like to create and play experimental games. Games that push the boundaries of what is regarded as normal subjects for games is our life force. Ever since we created a physical erotic rhythm game (Dark Room Sex Game), themes like romance, gender, sexuality, sex and eroticism in games have captivated us. If not only for the potential of engaging with these subjects, then for the challenge of creating something meaningful with them. We have previously analysed games with erotic content and have written about it on this blog. Good examples that touched upon these topics were few and far apart, so we ended our Erotic Game Tip on the blog, but the passion for it never died.

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Games, Body Contact and Femminist Issues

This is an “answer” to Jordan Erica Webber and Laura Kate Dale’s series of letters published on IndieHaven and Godiva Gamers discussing the game called Hugatron (website and Tumblr). I am not affiliated with Hugatron in any way.

Dear Jordan and Laura

Thank you for sharing an insightful email conversation about your experiences watching a group of people playing Hugatron. Hugatron is a simple game where two random players are paired up and have to hug each other in an awkward way until one gives up and resign. Laura most strongly describes her discomfort early in your conversation:

Honestly, I was sat watching this group of men, being egged on and encouraged to make each other uncomfortable with physical contact and just felt really uneasy about the whole concept. Something about a supposedly social game that required players to make each other feel uncomfortable, then not complain about that discomfort for fear of losing just felt like it had some uncomfortable implications for social settings that may contain multiple genders/ sexual orientations/ levels of comfort with personal space etc.

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We need your help to remake Dark Room Sex Game

In 2008 we made a weird experimental no-graphics erotic collaborative rhythm game called Dark Room Sex Game. We are now remaking this game to be controlled with PlayStation Move controllers and we need your help (believe us, the original implementation with Wiimotes was a hassle).

Dark Room Sex Game HD will feature easy connection with PS Move controllers and enhanced light feedback. The project is non commercial and will be released open source.

We will also completely redo the audio of the game, and that is where you come in! All the new voices in the game will be user submitted, so if you are interested in sighing, moaning, smacking, screaming and crying into a microphone for the sake of… Art, please read the instructions.

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Erotic Game Tip: Fingle

Lau and Sebbe playing fingle

Lau and Sebbe having fun with our new favorite “erotic” game.

At one point in the collectives history we were quite keen on erotic games. Ever since some of us created the Dark Room Sex Game we saw the potential for intimate, sensual and erotic content as an interesting mechanic for social interaction in games. However most erotic games are in fact not erotic, but are with blatant graphics, feels like adolescent pandering and mostly fall into the “nerdy teenager appreciation” category. This became evident when we did research in this area for content we could use in our – at the time – bi-weekly erotic game tip. The goal was to give a tip about some interesting or novel ways erotic themes had been used in games, every other week. However, as I mentioned, there just was not enough content to do so. So we quickly abandoned this idea.  But that shouldn’t stop us from giving a tip of our hat to a studio for actually creating a game in this area that accomplishes the goal of being “erotic”, when we encounter one.

The game I am talking about is called Fingle and the company behind it; Game Oven Studio. They do not promote it as an erotic game per se. However, it is evident after playing the game and talking to Bojan Endrovski, one of the creators behind it, that intimacy plays a huge role in the game. At the nordic game jam Bojan was giving a lecture about his game and at the pre-party for the game jam, which the collective held, we got to play his game with him and talk to him a bit about the game.

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Erotic Game Tip: Sex in Games – Where Do We Draw the Line?

Today, Wednesday the 1st of September, I will be leading a public discussion in Copenhagen at a joint Women in Games and Game Design SIG meeting about sex in games. Here is a description of the theme of the discussion:

Sex in Games – Where Do We Draw the Line?

This summer the Danish political party ‘Socialdemokraterne’ proposed a ban against drawn and animated child pornography – a ban targeting Japanese Hentai and erotic games. Is rape and sex with minors in games morally wrong? Should we ban games that encourage these kinds of behavior, if so, what other kinds of behavior in games do we as a society want to ban? In what ways and to what extent do games affect our behavior? What roles do social norms and culture play in the games we make and interact with in today’s world? What other issues does this potential ban raise, and what larger implications arise for the games industry?

To be earnest, the reason I’m doing this talk is because I was going to write an Erotic Game Tip post about the hentai rape game, RapeLay.

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Erotic Game Tip: Size Does Matter

This week, the indie community is blogging about how size doesn’t matter in games (more, more and more). I see that as an excellent opportunity to continue our Bi-weekly Erotic Game Tip, and give an example of why size does indeed matter!

Sepe Cumshot is a short game, and thank god for that. But size is what it’s all about.

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Erotic Game Tip: Players Who Suit Chat Roulette

Do you play chat roulette? I think it’s a great erotic game. Before you judge me as a pervert (too late?) let me elaborate a bit on that statement.

One of the pinnacles of good game design is a game that can be played in many ways where the players co-design and shape their own experiences. Especially in multi-user environments on the internet, different player types playing different “games” in the same environment can create an ecology of players reinforcing and supplementing each other’s experiences. A typical example would be MMORPGs, where some players enjoy playing the crafting game, others the high end PvP game, and still others enjoy just playing the auction house, brokering goods. Richard Bartle first aired these ideas in 1996 in the now-classic article “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who suit MUDs.” He described the players of MUDs as roughly four different kinds of players: Killers, Achievers, Explorers and Socializers. More importantly, he analyzed the interactions between these types of players in online environments.

Bartle has been used and misused for a lot of stuff, and I am in particularly skeptical about using this theory prescriptively, which easily could lead to a self-reinforcing loop of only designing games that cater to specific experiences that players already expect. Nevertheless, it is always fun to apply this taxonomy, as well as any other theory of personality types, to any social ecosystem in order to model some of the social dynamics happening.

So what games can be played in Chat Roulette?

Some of the content below may be NSFW. We’re talking about ChatRoulette, after all..

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Erotic game tip: Space Phallus

As a token effort towards putting the bi-weekly back in the cphgc erotic game blogging, I’ve been asked to do a short post on an erotic game. Since I’m not much of an erotic gamer myself, I’ve chosen to give a short overview of a game that’s, if not erotic, at least containing some adult imagery.

The game is Space Phallus from Charlie’s Games. Trailer here:

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Erotic Game Tip: Super Strip Fighter IV

This week’s erotic game tip is a bit different than the last erotic game tip, as it is less sexy and more just plain fun in an “erotic” setting.  Super Strip Fighter IV, created by Dōjin, is a hentai fighting game parody of the popular Street Fighter series, with one obvious change: the adult part of the game. Each character has their own fighting style and moves. Rana, for instance, is covered in oil and can rub herself against the opponents and slip them out between her legs.

Getting over the initial juvenile laughs on the occasional nipple slip or the special combo moves like the boobcopter (has to be the roflcopter’s successor), the game actually has an extra interesting element from a game design perspective that gives it added value compared to the normal Street Fighter.

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Dark Room Sex Game @ Playful and Playable

Dark Room Sex Game is going to be on exhibit at the “Playful and Playable” showcase in Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain. The showcase is organized by Proyecto Amarika Proiektua, and takes place from June 24 to September 15.

This is of course exciting news, but to be honest we’re also a little apprehensive. We never quite finished the game. In particular, it’s very difficult to get the Wiimote mode working reliably (we built the game on a somewhat unstable, now-defunct Wiimote API). Well, we hope it works!

For years now, we’ve been meaning to polish the game, or at least make it easier to play it with Wiimotes. Beyond that, we’d like to return to erotic game design some day. We’ve always wanted to re-design Dark Room Sex Game for mobile devices, and we have a number of other crazy ideas. Problem is, it can be difficult to imagine a stable future for such games, at least commercially, when adult content is so frowned upon in these kinds of distribution channels (e.g. Apple’s iTunes store).

Still, immediate sales opportunities or no, it’s clear to me that erotic game design deserves further exploration, especially in non-commercial contexts like game jams, museums, and festival exhibitions. Here’s hoping we find the time – sooner rather than later!