UPDATE: When checked on BoardGameGeek on 11/15/2018, Red Light now appears, as a listed game, as a reimplimentation of Squillo.
Does the adult industry
follow the mainstream,
or make the mainstream?
While in Essen Germany, at Spiel, I walked upon a booth that proudly had a PornHub banner. This was a board game convention, arguably the largest in the world, and here sits PornHub, just hanging out, as if it wasn’t slightly out of place.
Through a partnership with 69Pigs Games, PornHub has produced a new card game, called Red Light. They have worked with Milo Manara, an artist who has illustrated for X-Men, and regularly draws criticism for an ultra sexualized version of women, to build a card game devoted to the production of adult movies. Nonetheless, his credentials are widely accepted as an artist of pretty high repute.
This in and of itself is not news worthy in my opinion, it’s a card game, and has adult material. This sort of material has come out of some parts of the world for quite some time. What makes this utterly mind-blowing is its history.
Immanual Casto is the lead designer, who rose to fame in Italy when he designed a game called Squillo. This was translated to me by an Italian speaker to the word pimp, with the direct translation being ring. In this original game, you are the “manager” of call girls. Your job is to have the last call girl, and to out play all other managers until they have none.
Again, the subject matter of something adult, thrown into a game, is not super interesting to me. What makes this so doggone mentally taxing is the uproar these games have caused.
Squillo was such a problem in Italy, it rose to the Italian Parliament for discussion. Ultimately, nothing came of it, but what other game that you know of has risen to such levels of any government? Does this start to become an issue of games as art? Is sexuality art? Is it misogyny? Truly, I have no answers. I find pre-judgment, as a lawyer, very distasteful. Yet, the idea, makes me at least question what is appropriate.
The newest game in the “series” is Red Light. On one of the drawings is a sexy woman, dressed in a nun habit, and not much else. This game got the attention of a lot of media in Italy, but more importantly drew the ire of Pope Francis. Again, the question rose to the Italian Parliament, and it was decided, they could not ban this without banning the entirety of the internet. This certainly was not the only sexy woman dressed as a nun in circulation around the world. This game was also unceremoniously banned from BoardGameGeek, unlike the previous games in the series (at the time of publication). Was it because of the PornHub branding?
Years ago, bluray was brought out by Sony, and it never gained any true traction, until the adult industry started using it, and all of it’s technical capabilities. Now most homes have Bluray, even if streaming has become the norm. While discussing streaming video, you have to at least consider the same effect in adult movies, PornHub has. LiveJasmin apparently has 2.5% of all internet users in the world using its site for streaming.
Does this mean that when the adult industry becomes interested in something, that whatever that something is, is now mainstream. Or is it the other more perplexing answer, only through the adult industry, does something become mainstream. Like a tootsie roll pop, the world may never know.
For purposes of MeepleGamers, I will not put on the publicity video here, as we have always tried to be somewhat family friendly. I am not personally bothered by the content, which you can easily find on youtube, but I also understand that many of you that read our blog are doing so at work, or with your families.
I do know beyond anything, I am not an arbiter of what is okay, and what is not.