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August 16
2013

Boob Jam: Hooray For Boobies

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This is what I get for writing those articles about Dragon’s Crown; I dare say I’ve been pigeonholed. I know I’m in for an interesting day when I receive an email from Jesse with the subject “This Is All You Christian! ‘Boob Jam’” and whose opening paragraph is

We’re inviting game developers to make games about one of video game’s very favorite subjects: Tits!

Alright then…let’s talk about ta-tas.

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As with most bizarre things on the Internet lately, Twitter is responsible for this. The tweet in question comes from Jenn Frank (@jennatar) who had the sudden thought,

What if you had to watch a sexy videogame character also buy bras, cry softly when she can’t find one that fits, and go in for mammograms

Well. Alright then. That happened. Then people started replying to Jenn, saying that they would play that game. So that also happened.

Enter The Boob Jam, a game design contest that’s all about the ladies and their ladies. It sounds like the brainchild of some stoned frat boys, but here’s the record-scratch: the purpose of The Boob Jam is for designers to create a fun and interesting game that talks about boobs and women’s relationships with them without resorting to treating them as sex objects for the straight male gaze.

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Frank isn’t wanting to elevate the discussion about women’s bodies in games, she’s trying to have a new one altogether. In an interview over at Animal, Frank goes into great detail about her goals for the project, her inspiration for it, and the effects it could have on gamers and gamer culture.

Via the official Boob Jam Website:

Earlier today I had a sudden thought. It wasn’t really a joke, but I thought it was kind of topical and funny anyway.

Then a lot of people said they might play the type of video game I was describing. Other people had their own ideas: What if a video game promoted breast health, narrated the terror of illness, or described the process of developing breasts, especially from a transwoman’s perspective? What if a game simply described bra-shopping? (It’s tough! It’s expensive!)

As more ideas poured in, the more I thought a “Boob Jam” might be a fun idea. I thought about a lot of female friends, and my male friends too. I thought about vixens and mothers and the uninsured. What would happen if we collectively took a “boob” out of the normative, mainstream view—which is to say, as a sexual object for straight cisgender men—and instead described our own relationships, sometimes sexual and often not, with our own racks? And as a game, could that be fun to play?

I became more thrilled with the idea: I kept thinking about how much weight and heft and gravitas video game-makers pour into their boob design decisions, and how many other ways people—some who are like me, and many, many not—think about boobs.

No matter who you are, you probably have something relevant, funny, or important to say about boobs.

So whaddya say? Are you up for the challenge?

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The Jam already has a few entries and they cover topics like gender (in)equality, dealing with breast cancer, and even the side effects of taking estrogen when transitioning from male to female. If you want to make your own game about boobs, entries are due by September 30th.

Visit The Boob Jam Official Website www.theboobjam.com for more information.

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About Christian Walters

(Writer) Christian lives in El Cerrito, CA which is close enough to San Francisco to count. When not busy being unimpressed by press releases and AAA hype, he spends his time singing, finding heavy things to pick up and put down, and occasionally going out on the town in naught but cowhide. He has worked in the industry with companies like Sega of America and Trion Worlds, and one day hopes to design a game of his very own.

One Response

  1. avatar Jesse Cortez says:

    Yeah, I saw that linked on Facebook, and knew that you had to be made aware of it :)

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