Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On "Marathon" as an almighty whoosh



This post spoils my game Marathon.

Marathon is a 0-99 hour game about the athletic endurance required to masturbate for very long durations. I only spent about 6 hours making the game at this year's Nordic Game Jam, but I do intend to revisit this prototype and update it later. (Coming in Q4 2018: Marathon HD?)

The game is a pretty simple one-button timing game: you have to hold down [SPACE] on your keyboard to arouse yourself, but you must avoid arousing yourself for too long or else you might prematurely climax; similarly, if you avoid holding [SPACE] for too long, then you will fall flaccid and you won't be able to get it up again. I wanted to keep the mechanic simple because I didn't want to focus particularly on strategy or skill. Instead, I wanted to test endurance, and how long a player would be able to keep edging themselves without getting sloppy and/or bored.

The game concept is heavily inspired by merritt k's article "The Man Trying to Break the World Record for the Longest Time Spent Masturbating", an interview with a man named Drake Hardy who is competing for the world record in time spent masturbating:

Monday, April 9, 2018

"Sex and Drugs and Video Games" at Nordic Game Jam 2018 - Friday, April 13th at 4:45pm


This weekend I'll be in Copenhagen to speak during the opening program of the 2018 Nordic Game Jam on Friday, April 13th. The talk is called "Sex and Drugs and Video Games"... it's intended mostly as an introduction / primer for thinking about sex games and intimacy in play, since most of the audience will be younger people or newer devs who might not be so familiar with this particular diversity of indie games.

Here's the blurb:
There are already many video games about simulating popular real-life activities such as jumping and killing, but what if there were video games about things that people never do, like sex and drugs? In this talk, we will explore this fascinating frontier of game design and learn about this rich history and community. Because maybe sex is a real-life activity too?
If you'll be at the jam, feel free to say hello. I'll probably jam a bit on Friday night and Saturday, but unfortunately I can't stay long and I have to fly back to New York on Sunday. See you around maybe!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

American Choppers debate the arches in a sewer level from Half-Life 2

This happened last night. I'm so so sorry.

I don't have the time to actually fit this into the American Choppers meme template... but at any rate, I'm clearly Paul Sr., because I'm clearly right and I also deserve the last word!

Full tweet thread embed (what Twitter calls a "moment") is below:

Thursday, April 5, 2018

A call for video game neorealism

Bicycle Thieves (1948)
This is adapted from a spur-of-the-moment Lost Levels 2018 talk.

In video games, we understand realism as meaning photorealism: a hyper-real commercial aesthetic that's cynically detached from politics, emotion, and reality. Photorealism is also about escalating the video game value system, where high production AAA games are generally seen as more "immersive" and well-crafted than something that's less photorealistic. These are supposedly the videogamiest video games.

But outside of video game aesthetics, realism means much more. There's a centuries old tradition of literary realism, that sought to plunge the reader in the banal moments of everyday life. Social realism was a movement to paint more of the poor and working class, while socialist realism was a state-sponsored hyper-heroic style about personifying socialist thought. And today, we arguably live in an era of capitalist realism, where art and culture cannot imagine a world outside of capitalism. Reality is not a fixed thing -- there is not one realism, but many realisms, and each realism has a different type of commitment to reality.

So to imagine a world outside of photorealism, I'd like to build-off of another historical moment in realism -- and that is (Italian) neorealism in film.