Wot I Think: Ladykiller In A Bind

Content warning: this review discusses a rape scene.

Sex in games is a (t)horny issue. Games are predominantly made for and marketed at men, and thus most games that attempt to cause a panic in your battlestations are normally pointing their hormone missiles at your throbbing periscope and not the, uh, hang on, there aren’t any vagina analogues in this terrible, tortured metaphor.

Look, Ladykiller in a Bind [official site] is set on a boat. A cruise, in fact – from Halifax, Canada to Southampton, England. For some reason, a bunch of incredibly wealthy, privileged teens are on this cruise. To Southampton. Obviously, the thought of going shopping in Southampton’s glittering WestQuay mall (there’s a Swarovski!) is enough to get these teens all riled up in their unwhisperables, and that’s where you come in: a handsome, charming, absolute bastard of a boy ready and willing to do whatever it takes (sex) to get what you want (more sex).

But there’s a twist: you’re not actually a boy! You’re a girl – a lesbian, in fact – who’s been forced to cross-dress as your identical-ish male twin for some nefarious reason (…sex???). The story is told from a flashback perspective as you narrate, in graphic detail, your various sexcapades to your brother, who has kidnapped you after the events of the story.

There’s a lot going on in the plot, but the general aim of the game is to bed the various characters on board. There are two main squeezes – you can actually choose their names yourself, but the defaults are “The Beauty” and “The Stalker”, so we’ll go with those. The Beauty is a dom; The Stalker is a sub. If you’re not into either of those powerplay roles, you might not find that it tickles your pickle/pickle jar (seriously, there aren’t any good vagina euphemisms) in quite the way you wanted it to.

Still, the writing is… surprisingly tantalising, in a way that 50 Shades never managed, although there are, let’s say, narrative roadbumps that might interrupt your reverie. In particular, I wasn’t totally sold on the use of “groping” and “molesting” as sexy sex time words – they made me think of unpleasant things, and that’s just not all that hot.

You can also schmooze with the other cuties on board, although they’re all a bit samey – mostly skinny, white, generic-looking anime girls with no body hair below the chin. Still, their personalities make them stand out, even if everyone is way more sexually forward than I remember 18-year-olds being. There’s the flirty, manipulative Flame, the shy, insecure Boy, your (brother’s) ex-girlfriend The Swimmer, and more. You’ll choose which scenes to play out based on several factors: one, who do you like; two, how many votes will they give you; three, how much potential suspicion will you gain?

Votes and suspicion are the narrative mechanics that drive on the sexy happenings, and they work well – you’re constantly trying to balance them, so the story has something to lean on. The votes are for “The Game”, in which the person with the most votes at the end of the week wins $4 million, and these are gained through making people like you or doing things for them. Suspicion is gained by not acting enough like your dickhead brother, and measures how likely the other students are to find out that you’re not packing sausage in your basement. If you get my meaning. I’m not sure I do any more.

Unfortunately, there are some really unpleasant sides to the story and how the game works. The first is the assumption that not only do you like sex, but you like all sex, and occasionally your character is prompted to say they enjoy something even if you don’t. The second is that the idea of “consent” is touched on a lot, and in some really powerful and important ways, but the whole idea that you are lying about your gender and your identity to your partners undermines that consensuality.

The most uncomfortable sex scenes are the “transactional” ones – there’s one that you partake in if you want to clear your suspicion metre, which is fine in terms of being an interesting and thoughtfully-written BDSM sex scene, but a little creepy when you know you’re only doing it to rid yourself of suspicion.

There are also transactional sex scenes late on in the game which are more akin to rape. There is the option to skip them, and there are content warnings, which are both important, but I think I’d rather not have a rape scene at all – especially not one in which the character, who is a lesbian being forced into unwanted heterosexual sex acts, says that she enjoys it. There is a difference between BDSM, which is caring, two-way and consensual, and being forced into something. To blur the lines is irresponsible and damaging.

There are a lot of positive things about Ladykiller in a Bind – its treatment of consent is, for the most part, a wonderful thing to see in sex games, which are traditionally very black-and-white. It’s also incredibly refreshing to see a game that’s not aimed by default at guys and straight people, and one that depicts lesbian sex in different forms. However, it’s hard to get away from the level of unpleasantness and discomfort in this game.

The fact that your brother loves hearing about your sexual stories feels weird. The blurred lines of consent make it difficult to feel good about all the other progressive stuff in the game. The cast being so predominantly white (there is one woman of colour, and she’s the Maid) is a huge shame. Ladykiller does a lot of good, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook what it gets wrong.

Ladykiller in a Bind is out now via Steam and Humble on Windows for £23/$30/€28.

56 Comments

  1. Pich says:

    eugh, this faux-anime style is giving me Deviantart flashbacks.

    • thedosbox says:

      I thought the art style worked for Analogue, but yeah, it’s beginning to grate on me. This doesn’t help either:

      You can also schmooze with the other cuties on board, although they’re all a bit samey – mostly skinny, white, generic-looking anime girls with no body hair below the chin.

  2. FuriKuri says:

    Otter’s pocket. Bearded clam. Spam purse. Badly wrapped kebab.

    There are plenty of quality euphemisms for vaginas!

    • Shakes999 says:

      Flesh lettuce has always given me a chuckle

    • Kala says:

      Hairy axe wound!

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      Mungrul says:

      Oh for Zod’s sake, you’re on a cruise.
      “Little bald man in a boat” anyone?

    • Faxmachinen says:

      I learned most of them from the hedgehogs at rathergood.com.

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      DuncUK says:

      Except none of those match the nautical war theme. Which cannot be said of ‘submarine pen’, which I humbly submit to this writer and anyone else who finds themselves needing a maritime minge metaphor.

    • vahnn says:

      Sideways sloppy joe is a favorite of mine.

  3. Gormongous says:

    I’m all for a critical overview of Ladykiller in a Bind‘s missteps, of which there are several, but it feels like damning the game with faint praise to write a thousand-word review that is half a feature list smothered in sex puns and half a grab bag of elements that didn’t seem to work for the reviewer, without much in the way of elaboration outside the issue of consent. Oh, you think it’s weird that a brother is interested in his sister’s sex life? That’s cool.

    When a review ends with an equivocating line, like “Ladykiller does a lot of good, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook what it gets wrong,” I hope to have learned more about the aforesaid “good” than just that the mechanics work and the writing is tantalizing. Are there good characters? Are there bad characters? Do the non-sex conversations hold up as well as the sex ones? Does the plot blow itself out at the end, as it did in don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story, or does it stick the landing? How does Ladykiller fit into Love’s oeuvre and the VN genre as a whole? Is it an evolution, a revolution, or a devolution in the oft-ignored art of making sex games? Do the dialogue options all represent things that your character is experiencing, or is the one of them that you chose the only “true” choice in the game’s fiction?

    None of these questions are answered, of course. Like I said, I’ve got no problem going into the places where Ladykiller stumbles, without any other framing, but I’d hesitate to call it a review.

    • Phil says:

      I *think* the reviewer’s problem is at least partially that the game that is mostly about sex has too much sex in. Which is a perfectly valid reason to dislike it, but the theme is pretty much in the title surely?

      The other reasons seem valid to me. At least I might like to know them going in…

      • pepperfez says:

        Not the quantity of sex, the fact that too much of it was decidedly unsexy.

    • Nogo says:

      Seemed fairly clear and informative to me. Strong writing, smart use of the genre, but the plot was muddled and lacking variety, truly fresh ideas or a strong sense of agency.

  4. Feembo says:

    First I’d like to say that I think it’s super cool that you guys are willing to review a sex-game that had a lot of effort put into it. I also appreciate your willingness to criticize it. I think all of that is really great.

    However, I think that this review could’ve been a bit more thorough as others have pointed out, but I want to discuss something different anyway: what bothers me most is that, since this is a sex game and a fantasy, I don’t think it’s ok to criticize the “unpleasant parts” specifically because the author has CLEARLY gone above and beyond to respect the players wishes by not only making them optional, but even warning the player about what they were about to see, if they choose to see it.

    Rape is disgusting, I abhor it. Let there be no ambiguity there. However, some people fantasize about it. Some people are aroused by a fantasy of rape. This is not new. It is a particularly lame product of our culture. The fact that women are told throughout their lives that they are to be chaste and pure has made it so that many women fantasize about situations where sexual decisions are made for them. 50 Shades’ popularity is proof of that. My partner is one of those women and we’ve talked a lot about this. She respects the fact that I am put off by the idea, even in fantasy. It is, however, completely ridiculous to shame someone for a fantasy they didn’t ask for, and to say that material to fit their fantasy shouldn’t exist.

    All I’m saying is, people should not be afraid of making a game wherein their fantasies are fulfilled. They should not be made to feel bad about the fetishes they did not chose, especially when they’re handled in such a respectful manner.

    I hope you consider what I’ve written here, and maybe change your mind about those bits. Again, I have a tremendous amount of respect for this article finding its way to this site, I just had an issue with that I wanted to bring up.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      Well said. I agree with most of it, and especially the first paragraph. On a tangential note, I miss Cara’s S.EXE column.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        That being said, I haven’t played the game, so I’m giving Kate’s criticism the benefit of doubt. I obviously can’t speak for her, but I find that kind of criticism hard enough to convey clearly even without the subject matter being rape.

        Also I’m sure you don’t need this reminder, but this article is a WIT, so criticism in either direction should be treated accordingly.

        • Feembo says:

          Oh – actually I didn’t need reminding, just regular ol’ informing! I didn’t know that WIT’s were supposed to be anything other than a review. Most regular articles on this site have some sort of explanation tacked on. I know there’s a huge distinction between a review and just an opinion, and recognize that they can both be very valid. Some of the best purchasing decisions I’ve made were based on well written articles saying “This is an objectively terrible game BUT I LIKE IT” or “This is probably a good game but it’s just not for me” so I generally like those sorts of articles.

          I do wish then that this would be made a bit more clear. I always thought the whole “Wot I Think” thing was just them being cute, and imagine other people might read this and get the same impression.

          Either way I’m still a bit troubled by the idea that people who don’t consider this sort of thing often would read the second half of the article and say “Wow rape porn why isn’t that illegal” (which is a totally valid thought) and then file that away in the back of their mind without ever considering all the other implications.

    • TheDandyGiraffe says:

      The question is, basically, do we allow for rape scenes in pornography or not? There is a significant (and growing) group of people who believe that a representation of a non-consensual sexual act in porn should be framed explicitly as a representation, from a certain meta-level. What I mean is, the actors shouldn’t “act out” a rape scene as such; instead, they should act out the very scene of acting out a rape fantasy (they should play the roles of people acting out their fantasy).

      Now personally I don’t think that this position is very rational; but the important thing here is: as long as we allow for the (consensually acted out) rape scenes in porn, as long as we have no problem with erotic stories about rape, we shouldn’t really criticise a video game for simply doing the same thing. Unless we believe that video games are somehow inherently more dangerous than other media.

      • Feembo says:

        Yeah that is the question, and of course it’s one that’s very hard to address without making everyone involved very uncomfortable. Personally, the idea that you’re not “allowed” to represent anything in a work of fiction is deeply distressing to me. That would set a dark and horrible precedent, particularly because most information seems to point towards the availability of pornography generally being a good thing. I think it’s abundantly clear that, despite the way people frame it, the entire debate isn’t about “this is too dangerous” but instead “I do not like it” which is never a reason to make something illegal.

      • pepperfez says:

        It has nothing to do with allowing and everything to do with enjoying. Rape scenes appearing in otherwise non-rapey pornography are typically a bad idea because they’re a turnoff for most of the audience, not necessarily for any moral reason.

        • Feembo says:

          which is why I thought the comment in the article was out-of-place. If you don’t enjoy it (I don’t) the game warns you so you can skip it. What a reasonable, careful, and good decision. I feel like it deserves huge amounts of praise as being the “right way” to deal with that sort of material.

          • Titler says:

            Rape fantasy is actually incredibly common amongst women, and definitely within the BDSM community. That’s why it turns up so much as a staple of horror movies, crime drama (indeed the early BDSM magazines passed themselves off as detective stories) and Mommy Porn like 50 Shades (which in turn was fan fiction of Mormon Chastity/Bad Boy porn, Twilight; until the lawyers demanded name changes from Edward to Gray before re-publication)… You might claim there’s no reason to include it in non-themed media; however when you can reasonably guess you’ll secretly titillate up to half of even your female audience, that’s always been reason enough for a media to justify squeezing it in somewhere under the guise of “keeping it real” , “tackling hard issues” etc.

            The problem is, despite all the claims about Rape Culture, we don’t in the West have a society where even talking about it only as a fantasy is acceptable. You can say you watch horror, with multiple murders and torture, and there’s an acceptance today that this doesn’t mean you’re a potential murderer… but Rape is still the big taboo here.

            Japan however, does not hold it as a taboo. The United States however has 27x the numbers of reported actual rapes per 100,000 than Japan. And there’s a huge debate as to why. It could be the overall trend Japan has for less serious crimes across all types; or it could be that a wide spread culture of chauvinistic groping and the misplaced priorities of the Police means rape is under reported. But all we can say is that the moral certainty found in the West, that allowing discussion or enjoyment of sexual crime in media absolutely causes a culture of accepting and encouraging the actual crime itself, must be wrong somewhere. The figures for other models, for what ever reason, don’t show that.

            Likewise our attitude to drugs, that allowing even Cannabis is a gateway to harder usage because it’s encouraging sin, is equally disproven by the Netherlands model.

            We in the US/UK are just spectacularly squeamish about these topics for some reason. And as our attitudes to binge drinking, and violence show, incredibly bad at handling them in practice too.

            Getting a bit off the point here, so let’s bring it back around; the reviewer defines “BDSM, which is caring, two-way and consensual”… er, what? Have you ever actually been to UK BDSM clubs? Most of the kinksters there are deliberately playing with the fact that the main societal taboo in the UK is the danger, the forbidden, the dark and the destructive. Basic humiliation play is pretty much the norm; parading your partner (men and women, straight and gay!) around for everyone in the club to play with as they please is pretty much the entry level…

            That doesn’t mean there aren’t moral issues in that; I largely left the scene because it encourages people with extremely poor moral guides to declare everything they’re doing is “Edge Play” and no one is allowed to criticize or stop public scenes if they feel the boundaries are getting too blurred.

            But this review reads completely like someone saying “This Is Not My Kink, And That’s Not Ok”, which is, literally, the opposite of the Western BDSM scene’s motto.

            The “being forced into it”, mentioned in the review, in this setting is the fetish.. The Consent that needs to be there is given in the fact you go ahead and pass by all the warnings and take part.

            To say it shouldn’t be in there at all is denying the right of women (and men!) to have that Fetish. It’s actually the typical British reluctance to actually maturely deal with sexuality, not the enlightened liberal perspective it wants to be seen as.

            And it’s not the same thing as encouraging a rape culture. It’s really, really not. If anything, it’s spectacularly ignorant of what the sub culture it actually appeals too, largely sees itself as a rejection of.

            I could go into all the other areas where this review shows lack of cultural and individual sexual understanding; Just one example; the “Lesbian Who Looks Like Her Brother” character is not a political statement, but the easiest way to get maximum engagement with every possible fetish for the audience… And yet when Undertale did the “Everyone Is In Love With Everyone Else” thing, it was critically praised… probably because they avoided the entire topic of gender and fetish and made everything asexually neutral instead.

            What we have here is a review which opens with the plot device that your brother has kidnapped you, and is forcing you to tell you all the ways you got ploughed (deliberately humiliating language chosen), and doesn’t understand that it’s not the supposed to be the kind of BDSM the reviewer feels comfortable with. And that’s fine. But the things it “gets wrong” are the very things it gets right for those whose kink it’s actually targeted at.. The reviewer just doesn’t understand consensual non-consent play AT. ALL.

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            Grizzly says:

            One of the first articles that I read on RPS was about a scene that you could skip.

            In a general sense though, if one’s purpose is to critique the game or experience the full width of what is on offer, skipping the content on the basis that you might not enjoy it feels like a cop-out, especially for the purposes of critique: For all you know, that content you just skipped might have made you really uncomfortable in a way that should be praised. Shutter Island springs to mind.

            This is not to say that you shouldn’t ever skip content, obviously, and I always like it when games put skip options in. I am just trying to argue why to me that particular comment did not feel out of place at all.

    • maninahat says:

      I don’t know if what you have said does make a difference: that some people like rape fantasies and “consensual non-consent” makes no difference to a reviewer, who personally doesn’t like it in this instance. Saying they’d preferred the rape not be there is not a condemnation of, nor an imposition on, the people who might like seeing it. If the reviewer prefaces their criticisms with “but I guess the devs wanted to make it this way, so who am I to criticise?” it defeats the point of the review.

      Also, judging from the references to terms like “groping” and “molestation”, it seems like the criticism is as much about how unsexy some of the sex scenes can come across because of the language. I winced a bit in those scenes that were supposed to be kinky, cute and romantic, but the protagonist describes what your doing as “groping”. Normally rape in erotica sensualises the act, or uses more appealing language to emphasise the things that make it sexy to some people. Ladykiller doesn’t really do that.

  5. Kala says:

    “A cruise, in fact – from Halifax, Canada to Southampton, England. For some reason, a bunch of incredibly wealthy, privileged teens are on this cruise. To Southampton.”

    0_o

    • Someoldguy says:

      The writer being surprised that international cruise ships from/to all sorts of exotic parts of the world, including Canada, dock at Southampton shows a lack of knowledge about the current cruise industry and presumably an inability to do a 2 minute web search to rectify that. This voyage exists (starting in Miami, heading up to Canada then across the Atlantic.) Large cruise ships do not sail up the Thames and dock near the Houses of Parliament.

      Some more information about the quality of the game, perhaps referencing other known titles in the genre, would have been very helpful. In fact, their own review for PCG is a bit more informative, but on the whole I think this one from Polygon is more in-depth on the game itself: link to polygon.com

      • coupd says:

        I think it was more of a comment on Southampton than on a cruise which might go there. But I agree that there could have been more research on other titles, especially of other games Love has done.

        • Someoldguy says:

          True, but it’s a bit like snarking that a cruise ship dumps you off in unglamorous Civitaveccia because that’s the cruise liner port for Rome. Southampton is much nicer! Ocean liners may anchor offshore of glamorous destinations but they tie up at practical deep water docks for bulk transfer of goods and passengers.

    • pepperfez says:

      Surely a comment on the importance of the journey rather than the destination, right?

      • TheDandyGiraffe says:

        One of the oldest issues with porn: it might be realistic, but it’s still a turn-off.

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    syllopsium says:

    Better analogies are needed, people with penises need something to rev their hotrods, whilst those with vulvas can find material to vavoom their vajazzle.

    I haven’t played many of these sorts of game, but this sounds a fair bit more progressive than the ones I’ve seen, which are very opposite sex desire male oriented and not really up on either consent or any form of reality.

  7. coupd says:

    With all due respect to the reviewer, I have to agree with the other commenters here who find something wanting with this review of a very important game for Love, and for the erotic games genre. There are certainly – as Gormongous points out – many ways to criticise Ladykiller, and many ways to address its failings. To look to a review (which I think was previously posted on PCG? With a few of the same typos?) which seems to only address the sort of sex offered in Love’s game is a failing of nuance in the review itself. That the reviewer can pun and pun well is evident — but where is the consideration beyond that of the “sexy sex” offered? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a fun-and-pun-filled review, but not for an unwillingness to appropriately address subject matter. It feels clear to me that the reviewer, and again all credit to Ms. Gray, was simply put off by certain aspects of the game, and so did not want to fully address the questions she brings up. Yes, it is an interesting question of consent to be dressed as your brother, yes transactional sex feels especially taboo, but to dismiss these as just uncomfortable, or “weird” and go no further simply falls short for me.

    I was excited to see this review on RPS, which I usually turn to for insightful commentary, but this leaves me feeling a bit unsatisfied. I hope you guys keep covering similar games in the future, and I look forward especially to Ms. Gray’s commentary on them to see if I am proven wrong! I hope I am.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I was also a bit unsatisfied. I’ve always enjoyed Christine Love’s creations so went ahead and purchased this one. I’ve thus far been extremely impressed by the quality of the writing, even compared to her previous works.

      A lot of scenes have caused a genuine grin to creep across my face, something which almost never happens, and the sexy stuff has been interesting in other ways about as much as it titillates — I’d certainly say it’s a story that’s probably worth experiencing even without being into it in any sexual way.

      This is the kind of stuff I would have no idea to expect from the article, and I feel like it’s more relevant than what is there, in a general review. The article itself feels more like what you would put into a post-review article or supplement.

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    sharkwald says:

    I have actually cruised from Halifax NS to Southampton. Clearly, I was about the wrong ship as there wasn’t any of this sort of carry on!

  9. King in Winter says:

    So if I’m reading it right, this is a yuri genre game with some rape-ish het thrown in for good measure? (And a plot that revolves around lying to people and misleading them?)

  10. TheDandyGiraffe says:

    An interesting piece; just a minor suggestion: using 50 shades as a default reference while discussing BDSM in art/media might be seen as a little – well, let’s say untactful – by the actual people within the actual BDSM community. It’s not a book about domination and submission, it’s a book about sexual abuse.

    • maninahat says:

      50 Shades has BDSM in it. As kink is not particularly mainstream, 50 Shades is sadly the biggest cultural reference point for a lot of readers who aren’t into the kink scene.

      As an aside, 50 Shades (and to a much, MUCH lesser extent LadyKiller) demonstrates a bit of a problem for reviews. Any criticism of abusive male leads or dodgy consensuality can be dismissed with the remark “well lots of people find this fantasy sexy; don’t complain when the fantasy is explored”. That doesn’t help a reviewer, who can only report on what they personally liked or disliked. What the hell are reviewers supposed to do? Delegate those stories to reviewers who are kink enthusiasts or into rape fantasies?

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        Phasma Felis says:

        That doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable, actually. It wouldn’t make much sense to give the latest yearly sportsball game to a reviewer who has no interest in or knowledge of sports.

  11. Laini says:

    I didn’t realise the only non-white in the game was not only the maid but also literally just called The Maid.
    It seems like all the characters have some kind of non-standard name but sheesh.

    • maninahat says:

      I mean, she is more than a maid in the story, but it does feel like a huge oversight to have not realised the implications when writing the character.

      I also partly blame the anime style, as anime often blends Japanese and European people into one samey, white skinned, bright haired race. Dark skinned people are really rare.

    • LordSheogorath says:

      i await the game that your programming

  12. Smion says:

    I will let all the disappointed commenters know that I’ve got your back and will be masturbating furiously to the game to prove it. You’re welcome.

    • Daymare says:

      Godspeed to you, sir or madam!

      You’re doing God’s work here.

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    polygame says:

    “Sopping porthole” was what you were going for in that first paragraph.

    • CMaster says:

      Docking Port?
      Entry Tubes?
      Blow Hole?
      Airlock? (I know thats unsexy, but with the right adjectives it could work).

  14. JarinArenos says:

    Torpedo Tube!

  15. skeletortoise says:

    I don’t play this genre of games, so I imagine I’m missing something, but it seems inherently strange to judge a game about sex on the premise that it ought to get the player in particular hot and bothered or not make them uncomfortable. I don’t expect this from sex scenes in film or TV. I know games are more immersive and vicarious things, but there is always a disconnect. Role playing is more controlling than being. My adrenaline isn’t continuously spiked in action games, why should this be any different?

    • Charles de Goal says:

      Ditto. The fact that the game talks about sex in unusual and sometimes unpleasant ways is a welcome departure from the traditional treatment where a sex scene’s only purpose is to show “something sexy” and arouse the viewer. Sex doesn’t happen in a fairytale world where conflicts and problems don’t exist. Sex happens in the real world and is an aspect of interpersonal relationships which are not always nice, but sometimes conflictual, asymmetric or even abusive.

  16. Babymech says:

    Of course it’s set on a boat! Because, you know… the implication.

  17. Ahkey says:

    Don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your sexual fantasy.

  18. Charles de Goal says:

    Despite being a straight man with little interest in porn or erotica, I found the game extremely good and much deeper than I expected it to be (I bought it out of mere curiosity and respect for Love’s previous works). The relationships and the overarching topic of interpersonal power (control, constraint, soft or hard) are given a very good treatment. Only the ending I found a bit… ridiculous, but that doesn’t diminish the game’s strong points.

    This review, OTOH, I find rather lacking for the same reasons as other people above. What is with complaining about the number of people of colour (not just a minor point, but a “huge shame” apparently)? Do you think having some more non-white characters would have changed the game’s mechanics and overall interest? That’s an honest question, though the answer to me is obvious.

    Only rich anglo-saxon people are depicted (except perhaps for The Maid – we don’t know anything about her) while the working class and/or people of other nationalities are conspicuously absent from the game. This game obviously takes place in a very specific sociological layer of the world’s population, and the characters being white is a natural (if unfortunate, according to your analysis) consequence of that. A game is a work of art and doesn’t have to satisfy the viewer’s political sensitivities or moral preconceptions. You don’t chastise Pasolini for depicting brutal, shocking scenes of violence and submission in Salo. You either appreciate it, or go for “safer” works of art.

  19. Ferno says:

    Hey I live in Southampton! Okay yeah WestQuay is kinda shite.

  20. access.denied says:

    I don’t know the game, nor the developer’s other output, but I read the review (and the reviewer’s perspective) quite interesting. But I would like to note that while the review as well as the comments make me believe that the game is pitched in a way attractive to non-hetero-male audience, the supporting evidence for this claim given in the review does not necessarily stack up: lesbian sex has long been a staple of male- and hetero-oriented, women-objectifying pornography since at least the Victorian times, and e.g. the porn website with the edifying name penisbot classifies ‘lesbians’ under the ‘straight porn’ heading (as opposed to fetish–other categories being Fetish, Men, and Other, the latter including ‘porn for women’.
    The fact that the main character is, according to the review a lesbian relating her sexual adventures to her male kidnapper does not really appear to move the framing beyond the stereotyped hetero male fantasy situation.