Huniepop: Yes I Am A Feminist Killjoy
It’s Clean Out Your Inventory week at Can’t Talk Media! All those games you haven’t played yet, up for grabs.
You know what’s fun, and by fun I mean terrible? When your “friends” decide you don’t have enough garbage in your Steam inventory so they send you a game called Huniepop.
Guys–I like pornography. I am a sex positive feminist. I believe in a person’s individual right to make a living with their sexuality, whether through sex work or through working in the porn industry. I am also bisexual, so pictures of scantily clad women do not make me feel sad. I am even, under very particular circumstances, perfectly comfortable with the sexual objectification of people.
All that said–this game is AWFUL. If I were going to point at a game and describe it as “everything wrong with men, gaming, and sex,” this is the game I would choose.
The concept of the game is simple: a sex fairy decides you need to get laid. (As a player character you can decide if you are male or female. I’m pretty sure the only thing that changes with your choice is the pronouns they use. Equality! /sarcasm) She leads you on a merry romp through your town, meeting scads of women who are “diverse”–that is, they are all hugely busty, scantily clad, thin and have the giant anime eye thing going on BUT they are of different ethnicities and likes/dislikes. The game mechanic is that you play a version of bejeweled but each jewel corresponds to a seduction talent–sexiness, romance, talent (I have no idea for what), etc. Your job is to check the profile of each woman and make sure you’re filling her desires correctly.
When you match jewels, the girl sparkles and coos at you. If you get it wrong, she tells you you’re a bad date. You can loosen her up further by buying her gifts and alcohol–alcohol makes the women chatty. The sex fairy will add helpful comments like “I admit it, I have yellow fever,” when referring to an Asian woman or “she’s a tall drink of chocolate,” when referring to an African woman. Women are characterized as frigid or bitchy or a MILF. They “test” you by seeing if you remember details they told you earlier, like their birth date. They apparently never wear bras unless that’s all they’re wearing.
Being the “aggressor” character in these situations, I feel I’ve gotten a glimpse into the mind of men who think women should be treated this way. There’s a very particular set of “rules” and “criteria” and if you hit them all in the correct order the woman will then fuck you. If you just put the right behavior into women, sex will come out like she’s a gumball machine.
Throughout the game, the women send you encouraging photos that get increasingly pornographic. I’ve just stopped playing before I got someone into bed–I’m sorry guys, I tried but I couldn’t stomach the game long enough to get that far. There are youtube videos if you need them, but it really is like sex bejeweled. Match gems, make orgasm!
I’m not sure how to articulate how very wrong this all feels. It’s like speaking to the very worst of the way men treat women in this culture–at best like beings to be worshiped and plied with alcohol and gifts, and at worst like objects. Never like actual human people with individual needs, wants and enough agency to do as she pleases. Gamifying seducing a woman seems like SUCH a bad idea to me, in this culture at this time.
That’s not even to mention the creepy age and consent aspects with the “college girl” and her “accidental panty shots,” the casual racism, and the fact that the one who identifies as “liberal” is both plainly dressed and harder to get into bed. This game is openly sneering at feminists (of any gender), and dares us to criticize so they can tell us it’s “just a game” and “get a sense of humor.”
It’s possible I’ve entirely lost my sense of humor, I suppose. It’s also possible that I live in a culture steeped with messages that my needs are secondary, my complaints are trivial, and my body is a commodity for someone else’s commentary, opinions, judgement and use. I just can’t find the energy to ignore all that for a “fun game” with sexy ladies.
You know what’s sexy? Actual women. Women are amazing, and I feel sorry for men who fall into these traps–we all live under the patriarchy and women aren’t the only ones who suffer for it. Men who think this is idiotic game is in the least bit sexy are missing out on the real deal. Powerful, passionate women live and work in this world on the regular. They are way, way more sexy than some juice-squirting fake drawing who wants you to match more green jewels.
So there you go–I’m once again a feminist killjoy. Don’t play this. Don’t buy this. Don’t contribute to this. Just don’t. Play bejeweled and date actual women instead!
(images: screenshots from Huniepop)