Rock, Paper, Shotgun posts about a very bad game called Hey, Baby.
In the game you are a woman walking on the street, and guys come up to you and say complimentary things like, "Hey, baby, I like the way you walk." And you kill them and they get a tombstone with whatever phrase they pissed you off with.
Prompting Leigh Alexander
among others, to write about what it's like to be a woman walking around and having utter strangers accost her. With compliments, technically, but with invasive, violating compliments she's not allowed to respond to with the mayhem she feels.
Videogames are starting to become a handy medium for social commentary. Films and TV shows have long been places for a bit of social commentary, Sam Goldwyn's dictum notwithstanding. (He said, "If you want to send a message, call Western Union.") Now it's easy enough to write a little game just to explain how you feel about something that irks you. People may not play it for very long if it sucks, but they might download it and play it long enough to talk about it.
There's also yards of social commentary in triple-A games, from the Ayn-Rand-gone-berserk satire of the BIOSHOCK games to the political rhetoric of the various warlords in FALLOUT 3. But this game was created expressly for the purposes of making a point, and I find that sort of cool.
Now THERE's a game I'd like to play. Once in college, for a class, we had to count how many unwanted comments we got for a week, then estimate how many unwanted comments we got in a year. The average was 2,000 annually. (This was in NYC, where we walked everywhere instead of living in gated communities and cars.)
Of course, with every comment, you have to calculate the possible risk of a man who won't take no for an answer.
Where do I buy this game?
At least women get some feedback. I work out, I try a different style, get a new haircut and I get silence. In my entire life I have only had three woman make any comment that could be construed as a catcall... and a couple more that could be misconstrued if heard out of context.
How is a guy to know when he looks his best?
Now I am going to duck and cover.
re: Sam Goldwyn's dictum.
I assume that must be the inspiration for one of my favorite lines in Alexander Payne's "Citizen Ruth."
Ruth: "You want me to send a message? I ain't no f***ing telegram bitch!"
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