What starts as a joke might end up being… a really thoughtful game about sex.
For more than a year, Free Lives, a video game studio based in Cape Town, South Africa, have been working on a game about jousting penises. It’s called Genital Jousting—the title really cuts to the chase—and early versions of the game look equal parts goofy, uncomfortable, and gross.
If you’re in a place where you can watch a video where cartoon dicks with anuses under their scrotums wear goofy clothes and ram into each other, you kind of have to see this for yourself. (If not, maybe come back when you’re home. We won’t go anywhere.)
One of the first questions that is totally normal to have after seeing something like Genital Jousting—and the game’s developers acknowledge this—is why? Why make this? Turns out, the folks at Free Lives have some great answers to that simple question.
In a post over at games industry blog Gamasutra, the folks at Free Lives break down just how much they’ve been thinking about why they both wanted and needed to make Genital Jousting, and it turns out it’s not just for the laughs—even though the game is first and foremost, a comedy game. From their post:
Genital Jousting is largely about disarming masculinity. In a
patriarchal society, penises are associated with power. They are
considered the dominant sexual organ. But in Genital Jousting, they
are often the butt of the joke. We want to present the phallus as
something silly, abject, and non-threatening.
That isn’t to say that we want to portray penises (and by extension –
masculinity) in a purely negative manner. On the contrary, Genital
Jousting is also meant to be a loving homage to the penis. It’s a game
where two quivering cocks can go on a date, eat spaghetti, and fall in
love. We like to think of dicks as lovable and laughable.
From there, Free Lives goes on to break down every possible implication their game can possibly carry: How it might be received by the gay community, how their game might dilute the importance of consent if they aren’t careful (all players must express consent before they start playing, and can withdraw it at any time), how they want to make straight dudes laugh and think and be grossed out along with everyone else who might want to play their weird game.
It’s a remarkable level of thought put into what could’ve been just a simple little gag game, and if it all pans out when the game is finally finished (although you can purchase an affordable, work-in-progress version of the game now) Genital Jousting might turn out to be a sex-themed video game worth checking out.
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