Posts Tagged ‘S.EXE’

The Complete S.EXE, Cara Ellison’s Series About Games, Sex and Relationships

From 2014-2015, RPS’s Senior Scottish Correspondent Cara Ellison wrote S.EXE, 29 columns about games about sex, games about love, games about the space in between those two things, games about sexuality, and games about schlongs. Unfortunately the series is on indefinite hiatus as Cara takes a break from writing about games after her spectacular but surely exhausting Embed With… project, but whether you missed it the first time, didn’t catch all of them or are simply missing it already, you should absolutely revisit S.EXE yourself now. It’s a by turns insightful and funny (and very often both) document of the wilder side of games, the darker side of games, the sillier side of games and a hugely important but often little-seen side of games. Here’s the complete archive.
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S.EXE: Adult Entertainment & James Deen

Photo Credit: The Canyons

In 2010 stand up comedian Dara O’Briain said, “I love videogames… I enjoy saying that because half of the room are looking at me, going, ‘Ah Jesus, you’re 38.’…It’s less embarrassing if I say ‘I masturbate to hardcore pornography’.”

It wasn’t the first time videogames and pornography were lumped together. In 2008 GamesRadar reported that psychiatrist Dr Jerald Block said that people feel more shame about playing World of Warcraft than having a porn problem. Dr Philip G. Zimbardo, leader of the notorious 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, got a slot on CNN in 2011 to say that the ‘demise of guys’ will be video game and porn addiction. “Young men — who play video games and use porn the most — are being digitally rewired in a totally new way that demands constant stimulation. And those delicate, developing brains are being catered to by video games and porn-on-demand, with a click of the mouse, in endless variety,” he explained.

Why are two intrinsically different mediums like games and pornography so often compared to each other? I decided to ask James Deen [official website], performer in and maker of fine adult entertainment, what he thought about games, and if we have a responsibility to hold off on the ‘constant stimulation’. Disclosure: I have a vested interest in the answer being no, and so does he.

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S.EXE: Full Throttle

This week I’ve been trying to think about a relationship between a man and a woman in a game where they become close, but don’t actually have romantic involvement or a silly damsel in distress situation. There’s a strange set up that is echoed throughout our culture that [heterosexual] men and women can’t be friends, just like in Billy Crystal’s famous speech in When Harry Met Sally. ‘You realise of course that we can never be friends. …Men and women can’t be friends, because the sex part always gets in the way.’ ‘I have a number of men friends…’ ‘They all wanna have sex with you. No man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.’

Well BILLY CRYSTAL. Why don’t we start up Full Throttle and prove you wrong you silly Monsters Inc-voicing maniac.

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S.EXE: Come Together

This is what my shopping list looks like too

In the middle of the sort of teen love you only seem to get in ‘edgy’ Channel Four dramas I heard the Primal Scream track Come Together for the first time. It played at the end of the British rave culture movie Human Traffic. Strange to me to hear such a slow, elated thing in an era where fast pop beats were ruling my life, where Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Beyonce’s Crazy In Love were the things I danced to. It was a time at which euphemisms did not occur to me. Now to the ear Come Together seems so nineties, so optimistic, like it is actually putting up utopian buildings in the mind like they would appear as you scrolled over the world in Populous. It made that one relationship I was in seem like it was constructing a glittering wall around us. “We are together”. “We are unified”. “We are together”, Jesse Jackson says over and over in the track. Here are two games, What We Did, and reProgram, that are about being together. Unified. Together.

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S.EXE: Seven Stories About Love

The first time I ever wrote anything about games, it was because I was still brokenhearted about a relationship that had dissolved years ago. PC Gamer edited the 4000 word essay into a six pager about Dota in 2012 and it is still one of the best things I have ever written. But wherever I go, whatever I do, games participate in a meaningful way in many of the relationships I see. Welcome to a special edition of S.EXE: the love letters edition. Brace yourself, you are in for chop. Here are seven stories about falling in love next to a loading screen.

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S.EXE: Romantic Encounters At The Dome

Thanks but I'm just here to deliver this pizza where do I put this pi - MADAM

“You have made a career of playing stupid shit,” my friend tells me, as she stares at me playing a 2D MS-DOS platformer that sees a naked man with a semi erect cock jump around collecting beer and pissing on doors to open them. “It may be true,” I say, grazing the man’s knob-end off the side of a floating platform that is strangely reminiscent of Sonic The Hedgehog levels. I leave the naked man to idle for a moment, and his John Thomas drips. This is the eternal metaphor for video games, I think, looking at my character fire urine at things and try to locate a woman to bone, both using a thing that is just more flesh-coloured than usual. It’s time to go back to the old school of MS-DOS, friends! Come and visit Romantic Encounters At The Dome with me via Dan Dolme and Sex Vixens In Space. I promise one of them will be good.

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S.EXE: Coming Out On Top (NSFW)

Today I am enjoying screenshots

RPS, I have been having a good time. An extremely good time. I mean a good time in every way: A new gay dating sim has snuck into existence, it is called Coming Out On Top, and it is funny, sexy, nervewracking, tense, charming… and it has fully naked, good-looking dudes in it. Who kiss each other! And do other hot 18+ things. Also there is a goldfish who keeps talking to you. The goldfish is a little overbearing. But we can get past the goldfish.

Tune in after the jump to read about a full release of the gay dude dating sim Coming Out On Top.

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S.EXE: Creatures Such As We


When Max Payne, the dark bullet-time Sam Spade-‘em-up game came out in 2001, I thought it possessed a most ingenious game meta-narrative moment. (I was sixteen, and I was easily wowed.) If my memory serves correctly, at one point our raspy-voiced Phillip Marlowe stand-in Max is injected with an overdose of the drug Valkyrie, a heroinesque substance, and hallucinates for a few levels. At one point he remarks in horror that he can see his own health bar. He’s in a nightmare, he’s in a video game.

I am now twenty-nine and really difficult to please, but I can say confidently that Creatures Such As We is an elegant, intricate meta-narrative about player emotional investment and romancing non-player characters. Max Payne would do a Keanuface at it.

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S.EXE: Girlvania Summer Lust (NSFW)

Someone sent me this ‘All-Girl Sex Simulation’ Girlvania because I guess I have this reputation now. What I did was I got some All Girls together (women who have sex with other women) in the New York Museum of Sex bar, plied them with alcohol, and asked them to look at the game. Is this a thing you can count as your job? I guess this is my job now. Asking New York lesbians what they think of virtual women fucking each other over outlandishly named cocktails. Anyway this is not going to be safe for work (in text or images) and prepare yourself for Jeff Goldblum sweats.

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S.EXE: Gateway Shuffle

You know the first rule of combat? Shoot them before they shoot you.Stars glint off the side of the hull as the wartorn ship slowly turns in space. She sits in her underwear, staring out at the far-off smear of white on the blue-marbled orb and the drifting neon love hotels by the casino station. She is hung, suspended, her stomach grumbling, her muscles barely remembering what seiza is like, or what fish and chips taste like. Dirty laundry and wax strips drift by her face. Once she was stationed on space station Britannia, working regularly for the Rock Paper Shotgun outfit, but now she drifts in space, for hire only by those who can find her. She remembers the ones she left behind to the tune of Orbital’s Halcyon On And On.

The monitor bleeps, waking her from her hyperspace-lag. INCOMING COMMISSION it flashes. INCOMING COMMISSION. INCOMING COMMISSION. $100 WULONGS FOR THE HEAD OF A GAMES DEVELOPER. She scrambles for the button, her tummy growling, accidentally opening a tab on a game instead: Gateway Shuffle. 3,2,1 let’s jam.

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