“Watch A Dude Stick Stuff In His Mouth”: Succulent

Yorp.

Robert Yang is putting his hunky guy to work. Tanned, groomed, ripped, oil-slicked, and stripped, the same beefcake character model has starred in his last two games exploring gay male sexuality and culture. Last time he implored us to “Hurt Me Plenty” and spank him through a Leap Motion controller, now he and two clones are in control in Succulent with a funny and unsettling seduction involving the sexually aggressive eating of an ice lolly.

It’s a treat I think you’d enjoy most without explanation, so do download it and have a go. It is free and only takes a few minutes. Well, depending on how quick you are. But now: explaining.

Yang (who has written fine things for us, if you haven’t read ’em), calls it an homage to “homo hop” music videos, also inspired by scenes in the movie Inherent Vice where a chap eats a frozen banana. “They were unusually entertaining and not at all arousing, which got me thinking — what if I made a game where you just watch a dude stick stuff in his mouth?” Well!

You end up with a hilarious and unsettling game where you move a black-eyed man’s arm to jam a lolly into his mouth, his cheeks bulging as he makes eager noises of satisfaction, while two identical chaps behind him nod and rub their crotches. And then it gets weird.

It’s both celebratory and critical, a fine demonstration of confronting tricky issues with humour. Hit his blog post for all the words, but here’s Yang explaining his reuse of this character model and its eerie black eyes here, asking “why shouldn’t this be a little creepy, the idea of gay men fitting into this homogeneous skin color and body type and hair cut, of endless copies?”

“In the 70s, they called them “Castro clones”, after all the gay men in San Francisco’s Castro district who dressed alike and still mostly do. This is an ideology my recent gay games have been replicating through their heavy asset reuse of the sole character mesh I commissioned; an emphasis on certain masculine bodies to model for the entirety of a community. You sadly get used to this, as a gay man of color — the vast majority of gay men depicted in media are white and masculine, and if you don’t fit in then you get erased within your own community. How can this possibly be the “liberation” we were promised? For many queer-identifying men, this monoculture feels stifling and we feel compelled to try to escape and seek alternate spaces.”

Succulent and Hurt Me Plenty feel related to How Do You Do It? in a way. Nina Freeman’s game has dolls as props to explore childhood imagination about what sex even is, while these games have Yang exploring adult realities of sexuality with this one puppet.

He did later release a version of Hurt Me Plenty which doesn’t need a Leap Motion controller to play, by the way. You’ll find it free over here.

Oh, go on, have a video showing a bit from the start of Succulent:

From this site

78 Comments

  1. sicanshu says:

    TIL I am ripped. The malt liquor and pizza diet were a complete success!

  2. Distec says:

    Well, this is a supremely awkward image to pop up on my screen at work. Maybe not the best advised?

    I feel like an uptight prude for even writing that. Because what is that – a corndog?

  3. Drake Sigar says:

    Nice try, Robert! Cameron will ban suggestive lolli licking within the week too.

  4. The Sombrero Kid says:

    My favourite part about this is that you have to play it fullscreen.

  5. pepperfez says:

    As a straight dude, I find objectifying representations of men fascinating. Obviously that’s a function of not encountering them in real life every day, but in any event I’m totally in favor of seeing more of them in games.

  6. LionsPhil says:

    Jamming the whole frozen mass into his mouth like that should really trigger some kind of painful brainfreeze scenario.

  7. jrodman says:

    As a gay man, I find this strangely disturbing.

  8. UKAzzer says:

    I do have to wonder how approving and politically-correct A-OK this would be if you flipped the gender… would RPS still be happy to give it any coverage beyond the grossly outraged? I’m genuinely curious. (note, I have no problem with this “game” whatsoever – it offends me not, nor does this article! :) ).

    • amateurviking says:

      The reaction would be different sure, but the ‘baggage’ would be different to. If you see what I mean.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Are you asking what I’d think about this if it were something quite different? Are there any other imaginary things you’d like me to comment on? I think hovercars should come in blue and black, for starters.

      If you want to talk about this, talk about this.

      • Hahaha says:

        “Are you asking what I’d think about this if it were something quite different? Are there any other imaginary things”

        What imaginary things? Are plenty of things like this but featuring a female model and you have shown what you think of those plenty of times in the past so why not continue to say what you think and take the hit of being a hypocrite.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          Are they ‘things like this’ though? I can’t bring any games to mind which deliberately make the mechanics of something theoretically sexy into something this unerotic, be it with women or menfolk as the protagonists. (Maybe some where this happened accidentally through an incompetent attempt to titillate, but that’s a different kettle of fish…)

        • Alice O'Connor says:

          There aren’t “plenty of things like this but featuring a female model”. I can’t think of a single one off the top of my head. If all you see here is “a sexy man doing sexy things”, you’re not paying much attention. As bonuswavepilot said, it’s intended to be absurd and unerotic. It’s interrogating these images rather than simply celebrating them.

          • El_Emmental says:

            link to en.wikipedia.org

            An entire genre, featuring thousands of games where you have female characters doing sexy things. It’s been there for 30 years, featuring all kind of gameplay and tones, including clear parodies of the genre itself and the culture of sexualization.

            “it’s intended to be absurd and unerotic. It’s interrogating these images rather than simply celebrating them.”

            The same could be said about a lot of titles featuring absurd and unerotic* sexualization of female characters.

            * Eroticism is probably the most subjective element in our culture to ever exist: all sexual and romantic fantasies and preferences exist, there is no universal definition of what constitutes eroticism. Games like “Dead or Alive” (the ‘beachvolley with fantasy boobs physics’ series) are completely absurd and unerotic to me, they’re a complete parody of the most stereotyped sexual fantasies (big breasts+bikini+volley ball – I mean, seriously), it’s on-par with oiled-up body-builders dancing around with a bow tie. But for some people, it’s clearly erotic and celebrating the sexualization of women (or men, regarding the chippendales) – and I can understand that from their point of view.

            The last time a big title claimed they were featuring “absurd and unerotic” sexualization (Far Cry 3), the writers and developers were immediately accused of making up excuses to justify their obvious celebration of racism, sexism and general douchebagness. The same happened with Far Cry 4 regarding racism and cultural appropriation. The same happened with Spec Ops: The Line regarding violence and morality.

            Like with sexualization, at some point one has to be consistent: if the intent of the creator matter less than (or simply not at all) how the product is perceived by the audience, then the same applies to quirky indie games that fits one’s perception of what is “interrogating rather than simply celebrating”.

            If a game is racist because someone feel it’s racist, then a game is erotic if someone feel it’s erotic. Simply take breasts: highly erotic in some cultures, they’re mundane things in others. A game featuring exposed breasts will be erotic (no matter what is the proclaimed intent of the creator) if the subjective approach is chosen (subjective audience perception > author’s objective intent).

            As an individual one can say “it’s unerotic and absurd”, but that doesn’t make it any less erotic and non-absurd for someone else.

            As a matter of fact, that game is, apparently, erotic and not absurd (in the way that would be interrogating rather than celebrating) for some people.

            We could have the exact same discussion about Bayonetta and its character design (giant hair-sleeves, bodysuit, heel-pistols).

          • Alice O'Connor says:

            Not knowing the genre intimately, my impression is that while, yes, they contain sexy stuff, they’re very different types of game. The presence of sexualised people doesn’t make them the same. It seems odd to boil this game down to “it contains a sexy person.”

            Even if they were the same, hooray, we’d have discovered there are 30 years of games I haven’t fiercely criticised as some people would apparently expect me to based on some imagined raging fury.

            This post is also very explicitly framed around the discussion Yang starts, because I find that interesting. I’m not simply saying “Here’s a game” or “LOL SEXY MEN!”, it’s “Here’s a game and some thoughts about things it raises.”

          • Kitsunin says:

            Yeah, the Eroge genre is not at all the same thing. I’m someone who likes Eroge stuff, somehow I love the Rance series, but it’s pretty much either sexy or a parody of its genre. I can’t think of any titles which deliberately use sexiness in a disturbing way, rather the more self-aware titles just make fun of the unnecessary sexiness.

      • MickMick says:

        Such a childish response Alice O’Connor.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      They would never talk about it in the same way. Fact. If these were repeated games about a woman being spanked and sucking an ice lolly it would probably be witch hunt time.

      • sinister agent says:

        … and if this were a game about a spaceman skilfully farting a balloon through a hoop, we’d be talking about it differently again. But it’s not.

        One day, though… (sigh).

        • Muppetizer says:

          I’m pretty sure you just described several Mario Galaxy levels, so there’s always that!

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I actually think you could make the exact same game with a female protagonist, yet maintain a similar message. The game isn’t intended to be a celebration of a super hot guy committing a super hot sex act, more just a slightly absurd, slightly grotesque, slightly satirical, piss-take on the typical gay ideal of masculine beauty. You could easily do the same with the traditional model of feminine beauty, twisting it just enough that it becomes slightly grotesque and comical. The digital models in the game very much touch that uncanny valley of looking like creepy puppets, which kind of dovetails into the issues its addressing nicely (especially since, in chasing youth and bodily perfection, people often end up looking slightly less than human in a lot of ways).

      Honestly, I think gays are more forgiving of bodily diversity than the author of the game lets on given his quote (I mean, has he even heard of bears?), but I do think there is a subset of shallow, super image obsessed, gays that definitely align with the sorts of things he’s talking about, and non-white gays do tend to be an after thought in most media representation…so his points are well taken.

      That said, apart from any “important” message it may have, I also just find the game silly and funny and absurdest in a slightly creepy way. And it’s enjoyable enough on those merits alone. It’s like the video game equivalent of a “Tim and Eric” sketch.

      Plus, it has music by Arca, which is always great.

      • pepperfez says:

        The problem with genderswapping is that there is basically no representation of female sexuality/objectification that reads immediately as “absurdist comedy” rather than “taking smut too far.” Take the Senran Kagura games — they’re basically at this level of physical comedy silliness, but they’re (seemingly) honestly intended as erotica.

    • asadlittlepotato says:

      In this wonderful society full of wonders that we inhabit at this point in time, your question is akin to asking if watching someone sneak behind a friend and fire a gun into the air for laughs will invoke the same reaction as watching the same being done to a PTSD war veteran.

    • El_Emmental says:

      To me it seems the RPS writers want to have a cake and eat it: shush the over-sexualization of female characters (good!)… while jumping on the sex-positive bandwagon at the same time. Not realizing the two are very closely related.

      You can’t sincerely reject all forms of strong sexualization for a gender, then simultaneously promote the sexualization of another. It’s not a game of “he did it first! he stole my marble so I stole his shoes!” or communicating vessels (more sexualization of male humans to ‘compensate’ the sexualization of female humans). It’s about having a consistent stance on a very specific issue: sexualization.

      But can we be sex-positive and still show we don’t like the chainmail bikini? Absolutely, it just requires careful analyses of all situations, contexts and detailing what is supposedly wrong with the way sexualization is used in each cases.

      Sexualization is beautifully illustrated in that Oglaf comic (warning: NSFW): link to oglaf.com

      When the dungeon gets “sexier”, both female and male characters are getting “sexier” (= more sexualized), the whole process is equally affecting the characters, no matter what is their gender/sex.

      It means that when you see a chainmail bikini warrior next to a paladin in full plate armor, what is wrong isn’t solely “the sexualization of the female character”, it’s:

      (a) The use of sexualization on only one gender/sex, and not all.
      (nb: sexualization can perfectly affect only some characters or factions – it’s limiting it to one gender only that is problematic on a global scale)

      (b) The use of sexualization without any context or meaning, apparently just to catch the attention of the potential customers.
      (nb: sexualization can perfectly be part of a game design and art style, no censorship-through-harassment should ever be done)

      Both (a) and (b) can apply simultaneously.

      The (a) element isn’t sex-negative and can be consistent with a sex-positive stance, because it’s simply stating that it’s the inequality regarding the sexualization that could be problematic, not the sexualization itself.

      The (b) element can still be sex-positive if simultaneously a concrete non-abusive sexualization is detailed and promoted. It ain’t easy, but that’s the whole point of it: subtle sexualization *is* hard.

      The problem with nearly all writers online (bloggers or bloggo-journalists or journalists) is how they over-simplify the issue of sexualization, either by genuine ignorance or in a failed attempt at maintaining the attention of their audience (so they don’t stop reading at the first paragraph).

      I’m perfectly aware nearly no one’s gonna read a 4-pages essay on the sexualization of a bunch of characters, but I sincerely believe anyone writing for an audience about these subjects has the responsibility of writing said essay in their mind (at the very least), to reach that minimum depth required to properly cover such complex issue. When someone read the short article, they should be able to see the framework of that essay, the several major points should appear, one after another.

      “But it’s impossible, I’ve got at least 5 news to write per day!” = that’s why the 4-pages essay isn’t actually written down, checked and published, it’s only mentally outlined and visualized (takes 15 minutes) and is constantly re-using the elements from the previous times the subject showed up, to constantly refine and update it.

      There isn’t millions of major subjects to cover: sexuality, sexualization, gender/sex identity, empathy/acceptance/tolerance, aggressive behaviors (individual harassment/griefing), online group-harassment (lynching), hacking (cheats), violence (‘killerspiel’), online identity/anonymity, online communities (ex: forums, websites, clans), the console audience, the PC audience, the smartphone/tablet audience, the mainstream audience, the indie audience, the in-between audience, regional audiences (Europe/USA/Russia/Asia/…), media influence on people, media coverage/representation of reality, the gaming media industry (specifically), the concept of conflict of interest and its disclosure, the gaming industry, the indie industry, crowdfunding/early access projects, consumer rights (refunds/broken product), DRMs/always-online-requirement, DLCs and pre-order rewards, trademark/copyright systems (USA/Europe), digital distribution, digital platform ‘added-value’ (achievement, social network, trading, platform’s currency).

      There’s probably a few more elements (wrote that list just off the top of my head), but that should cover the basics.

      If a writer (no matter what is their title: blog’o’journ’o’writosaur) isn’t able to write a satisfying essay on any of these elements (satisfying = not repeating the same unique idea, really searching for underlying dynamics, thoroughly contextualizing), then that writer should refrain from making affirmative statements on that topic, until proper researches and analyses are done.

      If I’m tasked with writing on the Singaporean economy, and I don’t have the time to properly learn about it, I’ll simply read wikipedia, check the most recent articles’ titles on google news, diagonal read them, and write my paper in a neutral/non-affirmative way. I won’t try to shoehorn my lacking knowledge and stereotypes about it (“they work harder than anyone else!”), I won’t make a moral judgment out of the blue (“they traumatize their kids! they don’t love them! heartless society!”), because I clearly lack the proper knowledge regarding the culture, history, society and context of it.

      This problem is not just about RPS, it’s affecting the entire gaming media industry. It’s only more visible on RPS (and a few other websites) because the writers are encouraged to sometime go beyond the mere “fact” reporting when they feel inspired.

      It certainly leads to great articles shining a new light on some unexpected elements, but it also results in flawed articles with insufficient research. I simply wish a new balance could be found, where the writers could move toward a more in-depth analysis of these subjects, or a more cautious approach when they’re still researching it.

      • Alice O'Connor says:

        I think many people don’t realise RPS doesn’t run on strict consensus and doesn’t tell any writer what to write. We all have different interests and different thoughts, and write about different subjects.

        What might come off as ‘us’ being inconsistent is us being different people.

        If you want to talk about something I’ve said, okay. But lumping us together as one conglomerate mass of RPSflesh is puzzling to me and makes it very difficult for me to engage with discussion.

        (It doesn’t help at all that some folks greatly exaggerate ‘our’ supposed great crusade against sexualised women.)

        • Niko says:

          Whaaaat? I thought RPS writers fight with great bloody swords till death every time they disagree about a game!

        • vlonk says:

          This topic of the birds and the bees is so complex and diverse. I am glad RPS does not discriminate or follows “the one and only true side”. Criticising Rockstar and Blizzard for pushing sales with catering to fanservice of young males, a specific demographic, is relevant. Here RPS even states their own opinion and tries to form the world they (we) want to live in.
          Robert Yang obviously has intelligent arguments and reasons to produce his games and media to voice his opinions about sexuality and society. I never heard of this man before I red about him on RPS. That is why I read RPS, those nice chaps and ladies tell me things I actually did not know yesterday. It so happens that the fine people at RPS even have their own opinion and understanding of the meaning of Robert Yangs work. I also like this part, because it immediately shows me the relevance and scope and another side of this story, another thoughtful opinion.
          This video in the article probably has a complete different effect on me then on the next person. I find it fascinating but I would put it right now in the category of fascination like the video of the person dancing in a monkey suit posted a while back on RPS. I will return to this one though and might change my views, analyze, let it sink in. My opinion on this will probably change. It is remarkable what Mr. Yang is doing here, I can see that already. I would not dare shout at the messenger though for challenging my views/beliefs. That is not fair. This is provoking stuff. I knew that at the door already. If I get provoked or shocked and do not like that feeling I really should not watch horrormovies late at night or search up the wiki pictures about strange diseases, etc. Also ppl please remember that applying your own beliefs and standards on foreign social behaviours and cultures and subcultures can only lead to problems. This is the internet, Mr. Yang comes from a different background on the other side of a great ocean, from a big city in an other country from a different subculture with its own rules, quirks and taboos. He challenges THOSE social standards, not mine, maybe not yours. Relax : )

        • Faxanadu says:

          Well, all you gotta do is say, “no, it wouldn’t be different if we flipped sexes”. Because everyone claims they know it would be different, regardless of who does the writing.

          …but you’re not gonna say that though. Because it would be different. JUST SAYIN’!

          :)

        • El_Emmental says:

          First, I would like to thank you for reading the comments of your articles and answering to them. Very little writers do that, for many reasons (way too much additional work on top of the existing one, infinite spiral of never-ending debate, being dragged down by trolls, etc). I sincerely wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t certain you were part of the very few gaming media writers who genuinely care about their work.

          On to the RPS structure: I’m fully aware RPS gives a lot of room to their writers (that’s the whole point of it, and why readers still come here), but there’s 2 things.

          1) In the hostile environment that is the globalized Internet of today, it is extremely hard to produce a criticism limited to a specific person that isn’t misinterpreted by both that person and the people who don’t agree with that person – especially since that criticism will be online and public (private emailing prevents discussion from happening with other readers).

          I’m not sure if all the RPS writers realize that, but it’s very risky (in terms of discussion) to criticize the work of a specific writer – haters will dog pile, fans will counter-dog pile, the writer will run to the RPS Castle to get the hell out of the crazy melee, and the original author of that criticism will have to fight both the haters and the fans to simply survive the argument.

          Should I still try to provide individualized criticism? I’m afraid it’s not the best way to achieve progress. Or maybe individualize it in private, globalize it in public – double the work, double the fun!

          2) The accountability of RPS as a whole:

          It’s probably where there’s the biggest difference between what a lot of readers expect, and what a lot of writers work with. It seems that RPS writers see the website as a repository where *they* will publish *their* articles, like a community garden: the place is peacefully shared (most of the time) between the participants, everyone can plant what they feel like, and it makes a beautiful, original and diverse garden.

          But on the other side of the fence, there’s thousands of people coming here every day for their vegetables and fruits. They expect a steady supply of quality aliments, but sometime what ends up in their basket is not just not that – it’s not on par with the quality they expect from that garden.

          Does the most constructive way to handle it is to simply say “if you have anything to say regarding my products, please do so, here and now – I’m not responsible for what the other produced, go see that with the person in charge of your problematic products”? Or would it be more beneficial to bring the issue with the other gardeners, to see if there isn’t something slightly amiss, see if some solutions could be found together?

          (a) I don’t think it’s reasonable to disregard the concerns regarding RPS – as a whole – by simply deconstructing it down into each individual writers, when the distinction isn’t actually made in the structure of the website and its coverage of events: all articles are mashed together on a single stream, a news will not be covered twice (from two point of views)(very exceptionally, multiple writers will react in the same article in the form of a dialog), the author of an article is only mentioned below the title in small characters (with no color code).

          (b) I believe that RPS, with its current audience, has a responsibility to its readers. Oh I know how that sounds controversial, but it’s not just a personal blog read by a handful of friends, it’s influencing thousands of people around the world. It can’t just let major elements of our culture and societies being at the risk of being misrepresented or improperly covered like it’s nothing important, simply because “it’s just a blog”.

          In my previous comment I listed a bundle of “major” subjects (that I think are important to the work of a VG writer), but among them there’s a few points that go way beyond the scope of video games, they influence the life of billions of people, which is why I listed them first: “sexuality, sexualization, gender/sex identity”. I really think these subjects require RPS (as a whole) to properly cover them by fully embracing their complexity – the excuse of having individual writers isn’t enough, in my opinion, to justify a flawed coverage of these elements.

          If globally, the sum of articles published by RPS inaccurately covers a seriously important subject, I sincerely believe its writers and editors should be held responsible for it. They can not stay passive in front of a misrepresenting result.

          Example:

          If a body being sexualized (for no other reason than abysmally terrible marketing) is only decried when it’s the body of a specific sex (A), and only praised when it’s another sex (B)(in a better suiting context), it changes the question from “In which situation it’s socially acceptable for someone, of either sex (A or B), to sexualize their body?” to:
          – In which situation it’s not shameful for the sex A to be sexual? (= shameful sexual-ness is the default situation, the norm)
          – In which situation it’s praiseworthy for the sex B to be sexual? (= non-sexual is the default situation, the norm)

          Applied to the human species and its two sexes, it results in female humans trying constantly to avoid shame, by over-contextualizing their sexual-ness, while male humans try to achieve sexual-ness by all means necessary to not fall back into non-sexual-ness.

          In that situation, I sincerely believe RPS – especially since a majority of its writers have expressed an interest in ‘tackling’ these issues also affecting the video game culture – can not afford to take the subject lightly.

          The very idea that RPS might have been adopting an imbalanced stance on sexualization (the so-called “crusade”) should have been a wake-up call: How is it that people read our articles that way? What could we do to make sure everyone understand the dynamics at play here? Should we clarify that in the future articles also talking about that subject? Are we sure we’re not missing some elements, an additional layer? Should we start crafting together a series of in-depth articles directly dealing with the subject, to make sure a positive and constructive message results from our activity at RPS?

          So far, in full honesty, it seems to me that most RPS writers would like to make a positive contribution on these subjects (who wouldn’t?), but for some reason don’t make it happen. I don’t know why. It’s been several months since these concerns appeared, and I don’t see an evolution: it’s still the same remarks, the same approach, the same depth. But I’m certain there’s insightful analyses below, only waiting to be unearthed.

      • Faxanadu says:

        *Clap clap clap. Clappity clappity clappy clap. Claps. Clap. A clap. A cough. Someone still clapping. Others glare at him. Clapping stops.*

        This is a read that should be bookmarked by all those “writing people” you mentioned. The amount of writers in the media to whom the sexualization of the female character is a problem, “whatever the case”, is staggering.

        What’s the cause though. Maybe it’s people being too lazy to make the mental framework for themselves to work with, instead just going with “I don’t like it so I’m gonna condemn it somehow”. Or the worst alternative, they know fully it’s messed up but do it anyway, because they want to.

        Anyway. Nicely done.

    • rabbit says:

      Aside from everything else which has already been said on the matter, I’ll make the point that is always made when people complain, get uppity, or get defensive over this sort of thing. Sorry if this has already been said but I didn’t see it when briefly skimming over the reams of ‘it’s not fair you hypocrite lefties’ bullshit that sprawled around this comment.

      One of (many) reasons why that would be different is the matter of privilege. I wonder how many of the people getting angry at Alice for this article also get angry that people of colour can use the N word and white people can’t. Or that it’s seen as more offensive to call people that same word than it is to call them a cracker or whitey or anything like that.

      A (small) burden that you, a person of privilege, were born with, is that there are some situations – and you might not always know them when you’re in them – but there are some situations, where the best thing you can do is shut up and take it even if it seems a bit funny. If you came here looking to complain about how it’s unfair for RPS to have featured this but not boobs, *this* is one of those situations.

      And no, it’s not unfair that you can’t use the N word.

      Yours, a straight white western guy (who, like you, did not have to have his self-image completely defined by the media’s constant voyeurism / demonisation of his body and sexuality)

      • Distec says:

        A quick search of the word “left” and the only instance it comes up is in your post.

        • rabbit says:

          Wrote the comment in something of a hurry at the end of my lunchbreak. Agree that it was far from waterproof and probably should have included a spoiler about it being the opinion of a hurried end of lunchbreak type person.
          So yes I did read between the lines somewhat there with my reference to the complaints about the PC thing (I did say that I only skim read) but having been involved in or heard/read many conversations such as this one , the political correctness gone mad comment is usually not more than a stones throw away from the ones raging about liberalism.

          • Faxanadu says:

            It’s funny how common sense is at war with one typical type of politics. Must be a bummer of an adversary.

          • rabbit says:

            100% agree

          • Distec says:

            Fair enough, but I’m not sure how true this conventional wisdom is any more. Every day I see more in-fighting between liberals when it comes to free speech, political correctness, and all the related tangents; the attack on Charlie Hebdo in particular seemed to really sharpen this in a lot of statements I’ve read recently. Which is why the typical characterization of these debates as a Left vs Right thing strikes me as very cheap and lazy.

            I was called a right-winger – I think for the very first time in my life – on this site because I expressed how much I disliked that very characterization. I was a little surprised considering I’m more used to being called a libtard or a moonbat for every other opinion I’ve expressed. That’s all.

  9. PopeRatzo says:

    I’m really looking forward to the multiplayer.

  10. Gap Gen says:

    I’m glad Yang is getting mileage out of that character model.

    • Mr Coot says:

      My thoughts also. It’s not about economy, it’s about art and ideology. I accept Mr Yang has a point to draw out with this tactic, and will reserve my cynicism (the time and money saved is just a bonus). But someone should suggest this angle to all the triple A MMO studios that shamelessly reuse gfx assets.

  11. ephesus64 says:

    It’s too bad that it’s socially unacceptable to be uncomfortable about this sort of thing. I’m sure there are at least a few RPS readers who would be genuinely happier without implied homosexual oral sex on their screens when they *ARRIVE AT THE WEBSITE* (dammit Archer, phrasing) to read about computer games.

    I’m sorry if the beliefs and ideas of others in a worldwide forum can be offensive, but please think twice before responding with some “then don’t look at it” jab if someone considers sexuality to be deserving of modesty. That sword cuts two ways.

    I didn’t see that happen, just putting out a concern about certain styles of responding to discussion which lower the general intelligence level of the internet, especially comment sections.

    • instantcoffe says:

      “implied homosexual oral sex on their screens when they come” is the part I would like to quote from your comment.

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        teije says:

        I think it reads better as “homosexual oral sex when they come on their implied screens”

        • pepperfez says:

          It’s too bad that…I’m…genuinely happier with…homosexual oral sex…in…certain…lower…sections.
          No, it’s not too bad at all! That’s quite alright!

    • ephesus64 says:

      *eye roll* Anyway, I was curious and have the day off, so I went 50 pages into the archives, expecting to see a lot of suggestive hetero female content. Other than a rather sultry looking William Shatner, a couple biologically unlikely superhero bosoms, and the face of some girl from the s.exe column, the only two sexually suggestive images I saw were of men on homoerotic games. Oh, and that thing from Dragon Age. Someone needs to buy that minotaur or whatever he is a tank top or something.

      First, I want to applaud RPS in general for actually being about games. Good job, and thank you. Next though, the representation seems disproportionate – do RPS columnists find same sex eroticism particularly entertaining or what? Trying to even up the exposure for an underrepresented niche of gaming? That’s enough time on this, I’m going to go clean or something.

      • MickMick says:

        I also agree, I like RPS’s focus on games and the British sense of humour the writers bring. But the focus on vulgar or sexual content from some of the female writers is distasteful and it comes across as trashy and attention seeking.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          I think it’s pretty rare I see anything in these hallowed pages I would describe as vulgar. If anything the sexy stuff tends to be at the sophisticated (or at least bizarre, or unique, rather than titillating or common) end of the spectrum….

        • pepperfez says:

          trashy and attention seeking
          I suppose it’s possible, with sufficient charity, to read this as something other than the purest distilled sexism, but it doesn’t come easy. Condemning women (and only women!) in the media for seeking attention — that is, doing their damn jobs — is not a good look.

      • webs1 says:

        So what’s disproportionate here?

    • thedosbox says:

      I’m sure there are at least a few RPS readers who would be genuinely happier without implied homosexual oral sex on their screens when they *ARRIVE AT THE WEBSITE* (dammit Archer, phrasing) to read about computer games.

      I find it fascinating that even the implication of “homosexual oral sex” is a problem, yet blood splatter isn’t.

      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      • El_Emmental says:

        Maybe because people have sex on a regular basis, give and receive oral sex from their partner(s), and would like to keep that for their intimate moments, with people they agree to share their sexuality and intimacy. A lot of people aren’t into sharing publicly about their sexual life, that’s a personal and life choice we have to respect.

        Meanwhile, less than 0.1% of the RPS readers ever had to handle gigantic blood splatters while violently murdering people in the neck.

        And while blood, in real life, can be a distressing sight, it is not always related to intimacy: when you cut your finger or get a bloody nose, you don’t hide the blood from other people like it’s a very personal thing – you only try to not spill it everywhere.

        It becomes different when the blood is related to a regular (sometime painful, to say the least) biological process only found in female human bodies (nb: no offense ever intended here, it’s simply that ignoring that element would be disrespectful and missing an entire part of human’s relation with blood). One might speculate – because I certainly do not know all the exact dynamics here – that the flying blood splatters in entertainment products (from movies, comics to video games) is quite different in how it represents blood, and that the relation between that biological process and the person’s sexuality is more oppositional than stimulating (unless it’s their thing, which is entirely possible).

        Blood also exist outside of any intimacy/sexuality matters, while suggestive oral sex is not found elsewhere: nobody eat a banana or any other similarly-shaped food item by mimicking a fellatio, or doing a cunnilingus to a food item resembling a vagina – it’s only ever done for a comical (sometime ‘seductive’) purpose. It’s always about sexuality. Blood isn’t.

        • yongo says:

          Well that was certaintly a thorough attempt to argue that that a man with a lolly in his mouth is more offensive than hideous blood-splattering murder. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that absolutely none of your vaguely-coherent disapproval is about the gay thing.

          And I’m sure RPS is sorry their headline image forced people into “sharing publicly about their sexual life”.. whatever that means.

        • thedosbox says:

          A lot of people aren’t into sharing publicly about their sexual life, that’s a personal and life choice we have to respect.

          Indeed we do, so why are you complaining when someone else talks about sexuality in games? Shouldn’t you respect his choice and move on?

          It’s also worth noting that most people aren’t into butchering others and capturing the blood splatter in all it’s slow motion glory either. Though given your subsequent rant about sexualization, it’s obvious the hypocrisy escaped you.

          • El_Emmental says:

            In short: some people don’t want to share about sexuality in public with strangers. Showing up in a group and making jokes about blowjobs through sexual innuendo is just rude, unless the people there expect that kind of discussion. You wouldn’t want me to openly discuss the pros and cons of anal sex or pony play while you’re in public transport, right?

            The front page of RPS gets a screenshot of a guy mimicking a fellatio on a ice lolly, some people weren’t expecting that (given the nature of RPS, a gaming news outlet) and feel a little uncomfortable about it. I’m only saying it’s a perfectly valid and reasonable reaction. End of story.

        • webs1 says:

          That is such a strange argument to make. What does seeing an image like this an your screen have to do with sharing your sexuality?

          • El_Emmental says:

            That image and the game is clearly about sexuality, that’s the whole point of it – being about sexuality without displaying an actual sexual act. It is the author of the game sharing about sexuality, through the article and screenshots here.

            And it seems to me that ephesus64 would prefer if sexuality was not something openly displayed everywhere for no specific reasons or purpose, like on the front page of a website dedicated to global video game news (and not specifically to video games featuring sexual content). It is just a preference.

            My comment was trying to explain why someone would ever prefer sexuality-related content (such as the image there) be displayed in dedicated categories, where one may expect such content to show up – and why the same concern is much less prevalent regarding blood.

            Let’s just take a real life example:
            – in a cafeteria, someone slip and fall, bleeding on the nearby wall and the floor. It’s a bit gross (for some people), but nearly everyone will just worry about cleaning it up, rather than immediately looking away.
            – in the same cafeteria, someone is sucking on a ice lolly very suggestively while only wearing underpants. For some people it’s funny, but for some people it’s just creepy and very awkward. Most will look away, some will even leave the place if it carries on for too long. It’s not because ice lolly or under pants are making them very uncomfortable, it’s because the whole sucking part on a phallic object is clearly about sexuality.

            And when you get your newspaper to check the local & national news, if the front page features a lady or a lad performing a very suggestive act (clearly representing a sexual one), it’s understandable that someone might be uncomfortable with it, since they expected a “regular” newspaper (not a tabloid, not a porn magazine) to not give front page exposure to such material.

            ps: saying you’re uncomfortable with something doesn’t mean you want it out.

            ps 2: I’m personally perfectly comfortable with that article and the screenshots on the front page, I’m only defending (by re-contextualizing) the right for other people to feel uncomfortable about it. I’ve seen enough dog piles on people simply sharing how they feel about something.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Unfortunately I think you may be one of the few eggs that must be broken in order for RPS to make its delicious omelette.

    • jrodman says:

      I don’t really see how it’s unacceptable to be uncomfortable. Go ahead and feel uncomfortable.

      Meanwhile, I don’t think your comment had any meat. Did you have a point you were making?

      • El_Emmental says:

        Please, ephesus64 is just indicating that not everyone share the exact same view on the public exposure of sexuality, and you feel the need to have a knee-jerk reaction “Go ahead and be uncomfortable” rather than discussing what makes her/him uncomfortable. Some people want to keep sexuality for the intimacy of their relationships (ephemeral or long-standing ones), and feel uncomfortable seeing sexuality on TV, billboards, video games, movies, magazines like it’s a mundane thing, just to catch people’s attention.

        • jrodman says:

          Firstly, your points are strong enough to stand on their own, without falsely claiming ephesus64 to be supporting them. Let ephesus64 speak for him or herself, and do not put words into his or her mouth.

          Secondly, ephesus64 made a false claim, that feeling uncomfortable is not acceptable. Without making judgements about this statement, and without jerking of knees, I simply stated that this is not so.

          Thirdly, I was honestly interested in what was being raised, and read the post several times before coming to the conclusion that the three paragraphs present no actual argument or opinion. I asked for more information.

          Lastly, you are the one knee-jerking here. Do not do so in the future please.

          • ephesus64 says:

            *edit) oops, this response is actually summarizing everything I wrote, not just the first thing. It was late last night when I posted. My first post was an observation that others may have valid opinions about the subject, combined with a general point about argumentation.

            “Didn’t have any meat”? No, that’s fine. I intentionally left it mostly observational, because of the context. It’s just a comment section on a game website, not a thesis review board. My point, more specifically?

            1) It bears consideration that sexually suggestive material can be hurtful to others and not merely offensive, and the social effects of pervasive sexual imagery may be worse than some think, so perhaps people should consider other’s needs as well as their own when creating content.

            2) RPS admirably avoids clickbait in the form of vague headline links or focusing on sexually explicit pictures in the feed. People who don’t want to view sexually explicit articles or pictures are generally clearly warned. Kudos. The exception in my brief review (which only went back a little ways) seemed to be the inclusion of three suggestive male homosexual pictures, and comparatively little suggestive hetero content. I tried to avoid interpreting this too much, and left it up to readers to think about how it might come about that there was more homosexual eroticism on the main feed than heterosexual eroticism.

            I do believe that if someone were to say “I find sexually explicit images offensive”, or “I find specifically homosexual images offensive”, it would start an internet crapstorm which would be unhelpful. I intentionally tried to avoid offending people with sexually permissive views and moved on. I left out comparisons to depictions of violence because it tends to inflate comment sections into a tl:dr nightmare.

            El_Emmenental seems to have interpolated what I meant quite well, actually.

  12. 3DFruitBat says:

    Perfect timing, my trackball mouse arrived yesterday.

  13. satan says:

    hilarious video, thanks~

  14. UpsilonCrux says:

    These posts would be better if the poster, (whomever they be, although it’s usually Alice in my experience) were able to defend themselves adequately instead of “snark, snark, lalalala I’m different and thus I don’t have to answer you” when the questions get tough.
    Watevs.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      “YOU’D BE ANGRY IF IT WERE A LADY, WOULDN’T YOU?” is not a tough question, it’s an inane one.

    • Premium User Badge

      teije says:

      That’s an odd argument. Why should the original poster need, or somehow be required, to “defend themselves” in response to commenters on their article. They have no obligation to respond to any random individual who chooses to comment on their article and this is not a debating society. Leaving aside the issue of how subsequent comments can even make the original post “better.”

      • UpsilonCrux says:

        Maybe it is, I’m just a dumb male mouth-breather after all. Not a writer. Or journalist, or blogger, or whatever it is today.
        What I was trying to convey in my own hamfisted, dumb, mouth-breathing way is that I didn’t get the point of the article, along with some others, and I don’t think the writer/blogger/journalist/person succeeded in changing my perceptions. They just said that the people raising questions were dumb and so were their questions.
        I understand there’s no obligation on anyone here at RPS to respond or defend anything they post on the site, but it would be nice if they could help brainless idiots like myself understand the point being made here.
        My tiny mind honestly does believe that “You’d be angry if it were a lady, wouldn’t you?”. Help me understand, don’t belittle me.
        But maybe I’m beyond help. I should probably be culled by rights. For humanity’s sake.

        Edited for there/their spelling error. Told you I was dumb :)

        • Alice O'Connor says:

          If that was your question, you should’ve asked it. I was a mite frustrated with thinly-veiled cries of “DOUBLE STANDARD!” when I replied to you. Sorry about that.

          The post’s pretty clear on why I find it interesting, and why I thought some readers would too: it’s funny and weird and colourful and unsettling while jabbing at ideas of stereotypes, representation, and sexualisation.

          If you’re not interested in any of that, that’s fine. Not every game and post will interest everyone. That’s why we post about lots of different things. We’re only interesting to anyone because we do post about lots of different things.

  15. blind_boy_grunt says:

    [just imagine here stands something insightful]

  16. mr.earbrass says:

    That guy looks like Jean Reno.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    “— the vast majority of gay men
    depicted in media are white and
    masculine, ”
    Not what I see in the UK, most homosexual male characters are squealing, catty and spew endless innuendo. Too much of anything is a problem I guess.