[27 August 2008]
PopMatters Associate Multimedia Editor
Editor’s Note: The portion of this blog post located after the jump is distinctly NSFW.
I found this game thanks to Play This Thing, a superb website for all things indie.
Popping the psychological hood open on any artistic creation can garner a mixed reaction from people. Whereas some gain a deeper understanding of a work by seeing the sexual and mental impulses going on, others prefer it on a less complex level. This is particularly true in video games because the player input allows for the player to invest much more of themselves into the experience. Whereas anyone debating the phallic nature of light sabers is eventually going to have to shrug and roll their eyes, video games don’t quite allow for the same degree of neutrality. That’s because you, the player, are complicit in the action of the game. You are acting out the metaphor. When someone points out that using a gigantic sword to kill the Final Boss (with an equally large sword) has sexual overtones to it, they are implying that somehow something subconscious or sexual was going on in your mind at the time. That’s a distinct cross-over from the realm of “The artist is saying something sexual to me” and into the less secure world of “I just did something overtly sexual”. This does not, needless to say, necessarily go over well with some people.
This is what makes Florian Himsl’s and Edmund McMillen’s latest flash game, Cunt, something of a marvel. Playing out like a surreal satire of the shooter genre, the game puts the player in the role of a penis assaulting an anthropomorphic vagina. You repeatedly fire shots of…okay, I’ll drop the serious demeanor, you blow loads of cum all over the place. You have to shoot at various STDs and crab eggs that grow around the vagina while still taking shots at the clitoris when you have a chance. After a while, you’ll eventually manage to kill(?) the cunt and be victorious. Power-ups include pills that make your penis larger and fluids that make you cum at rapid fire. If that sounds grossly offensive, you should hear the lounge-esque music by Kaada, blood splatters, and sound effects that go with it. As the game politely warns before starting, “If you can’t deal with it, then don’t play this fucking game.”
Is it disgusting? Yup. Does it rather bluntly make you confront the sexual nature of shooting at things all the time? Definitely. Is it art? As with all games, that’s mostly up to the player, but it certainly fits my criteria.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/c-star-star-star/