Digital games have grown from their roots in fantasy roleplaying to encompass wider and wider ranges of human experiences. But one domain remains conspicuously absent: the sexual. Why have interactive media struggled to depict sexuality, and what does the state of games about relationships tell us about cultural attitudes towards sex and play? By considering some examples ranging from blockbuster mainstream games to short works produced by individual authors, we'll attempt to answer these questions as well as consider how we might move towards more useful and interesting interactive media about sex and eroticism.
Merritt Kopas (@m_kopas) is the author of the games Consensual Torture Simulator, LIM, and HUGPUNX, as well as a number of other works. Her games have shifted conversations about play, bodies, and sex and have been showcased in festivals across North America and Europe. Through her work, she aims to build forms of play useful to radical movements and marginalized communities. Additionally, she curates free and accessible games at her project forest ambassador, an attempt to bring interesting work in games to wider publics. She is currently editing an anthology of interactive fiction to be released in 2015.
Part of the Conversations in Digital Humanities Series at Cornell. Supported by Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, LGBT Studies, and Performing and Media Arts.
This talk will be live-tweeted by @yao_christine.