I don’t normally cover video games for Gear Diary; they just aren’t on my radar. But this week we received a pitch for a video game that made me so angry, I’m pretty sure my women’s studies degree became sentient, broke out of the frame in my office, and is currently trying to escape the building to protest. I’m glad it can’t, though, because then the creator of Super Seducer might hit on it.
Yes, the game is called Super Seducer. It exists to teach players how to be pickup artists. And it’s not, to the best of my knowledge, a parody.
I was hesitant to share the game trailer but I think I have to so you can have the full experience:
So let’s say you’re reading this, you’ve watched the video, and you’re wondering why I am so angry. Let’s break it down:
The premise of Super Seducer is to use psychology to seduce women
In other words, this is a game that tries to teach you how to play mind games. This is problematic because not only is that kind of a shitty way to treat someone else, but it game-ifies interacting with women. This means that the woman ceases to become an independent person and instead becomes an object to be outsmarted.
There’s no sense of give and take in the advice here, it’s more like “how to trick a woman into dating you/allowing you to touch her, regardless of whether she’d be ok with it if you asked directly.”
The creator/host/“expert” cracks jokes about not grabbing women because “in real life you’d go to jail.”
This is true, but let’s follow through on that for one second. You get in trouble for touching someone inappropriately in real life because you invaded someone’s space without their permission. This isn’t a case of semantics, this is about intent. If you say “don’t play grab ass with your date because you might get in trouble”, you’re saying you shouldn’t touch someone because of external laws.
If you say “don’t play grab ass with your date because your date might not enjoy it”, you’re taking into consideration that your date is a living breathing person with her own feelings and opinions that matter.
Again, this is a case of dehumanizing the woman involved and turning seducing her into a game rather than acknowledging there’s two people involved in this situation together.
The guy doing all the talking is sitting on a bed with two scantily clad women behind him,
The guy is full clothed, but the women are on display, implying that he’s such an expert he has two “trophies” as proof.
Super Seducer isn’t just a game.
The trailer repeatedly asserts that players can use what they learn in the real world. But, again, in the real world women have their own feelings and opinions. They have bodily autonomy to decide if they wish to be touched. A real life date is not a preprogrammed pickup scenario. But by asserting you can learn to date women from a video game, it’s the ultimate dehumanization — your date is involved in a game where only the pickup artist knows and sets the rules, and the feelings of the woman involved are an obstacle, not an asset.
I wish I could snark more on this, like about how the guy featured in the trailer looks like he needs a shower and a good barber. And exactly how does one poll “experts” on picking up women? Is this a self-defined thing or is there a unified body issuing certificates? But the reality is that this makes me incredibly sad to see a game where a woman is a commodity, not a person. Instead of buying this game, go out and actually get to know real women!