This game about sex work won awards (and caused controversy)

A ghost is told that she is a slut, a whore and OK.

screenshot: Taylor McCue

Content Warning: Conversations about rape, negative experiences with sex work

A girl goes to a grocery store and the game tells her that she can buy all the snacks she wants. I put pizza, coffee and potato chips in her shopping bag. As she walks to the counter, the cashier tells her, “It’ll be 15 micro-rapes, please.”

He fucked the girl out of me is a video game about sex work and trauma. It has been awarded by gaming judges and featured in art exhibitions. It also resulted in its creator being ostracized by her own communities. The developer described the game as “completely unsuitable for mainstream audiences”. Which meant I absolutely had to play it.

The game follows the fictional story of a trans college student struggling to afford estrogen, what is not generally covered by the Affordable Care Act. She meets a girl named Sally, who introduces her to “sugaring” with older men. She initially goes to clubs with these wealthy men and eventually performs sexual acts with them. He fucked the girl out of me describes both the chronology of these events and the psychological state of the protagonist.

The in-game trigger alerts put me into fight-or-flight mode within the first five seconds of launching the game. It lists: “Non-consensual sex, questionable consent, date rape, sissification kink, transphobia, naming the dead, gender dysphoria, age difference, abuse, and suicidal thoughts.” He fucked the girl out of me is a Game Boy game with pixel graphics, but I braced myself for intense visuals and gruesome dialogue from horrible people.

What I experienced instead: A slow death caused by all the ways American society fails its most vulnerable. He fucked the girl out of me is frightening because of its commonplaceness. There are choices, but they all seem to produce the same results. There isn’t a single villain in the story, nor is there a single moment when the protagonist becomes persona non grata. Whether people are making judgmental comments about sex work or showing a lack of care about what she wants, the title character suffers death by a thousand cuts. She doesn’t Strictly speaking die, and the game is heavily fictionalized. But there were times when I felt so horrible that I couldn’t recognize the experience as anything other than death.

As I calmed down, I marveled at what the developer had created: a pixelated death simulator that killed me without my virtual avatar actually dying. 10/10, would recommend this game to other traumatized queers I know.

When I met Taylor McCue on a Zoom call, I had to ask her why she chose to portray her experience in a video game. She brought up the convenience store scene. It was intended to show the player how sex work had fundamentally changed her relationship with money.

“Could [the story] happens in other media?” McCue asked. “If that was from a third-person perspective, it wouldn’t have had the same impact as being a player.” She wanted her audience to experience being “forced into this situation” rather than being an unbiased observer. And it is precisely this loss of control that makes the game so controversial.

The game is on a Game Boy emulator and not on a physical cartridge. I asked McCue why she decided to make a game for such an old console. The reason was more pragmatic than creative. “Originally I wanted to do this in Unity [engine], but I had too many problems with my ability to think while experiencing emotion or dissociation,” she said. “I needed something to do while being intellectually disabled. I’d made a Game Boy game a few times before, so it was like second nature to me.”

He fucked the girl out of me has not found general acceptance in the gaming community. One of McCue’s colleagues had accused her of “building a machine that inflicts your trauma on a lot of people to make you feel better about your trauma”. It also failed to find acceptance in the Game Boy developer community. She was told, “We can’t involve you in anything because we need to protect the mental health of our more vulnerable people… so we’re not going to talk about it or acknowledge it.”

Personally, I think these people would have benefited from playing the game they were criticizing. Not being able to talk openly about her traumatic experiences is what made the protagonist suffer so much in the first place. said McCue kotaku that most people’s experiences have been indifferent or positive. But she didn’t blame or disfellowship anyone who found the project repulsive.

A weeping ghost screams "AAA."

screenshot: Taylor McCue

“I built a machine that inflicts my trauma on a lot of people. And in a way it probably would have been kinder not to put a lot of people through trauma because I know trauma can be lived through, how vicariously, and I’m a bad person because I need that to be okay. ‘ McCue said. Her words are firm and she is not asking to be acquitted. “But that’s what I decided to do. And I’m willing to be that bad person. Because otherwise the shame of keeping it in would have killed me.” Despite the creator’s own feelings about the game, He fucked the girl out of me has won several awards and nominations for his intimate storytelling. Most notably, it was nominated for the Nuovo Award at the Independent Games Festival, the Sundance of video games. This award recognizes “esoteric” games that are even more unconventional than most indie games.

McCue clarified that the game is about personal trauma and is not intended as a political statement. “I’m a little nervous about criticizing sex work. Mainly because there are a lot of adult game developers who get a lot of shit,” she said. “That would be the takedown of a group who are already being prosecuted.” Similar sentiments are echoed in the opening act of the game itself. Some queer people find empowerment in sex work; McCue not. But she’s aware of how whore phobia might lead audiences to prioritize her narrative above the experiences of other sex workers.

Not everyone will be able to play a game about rape. I barely made it to the end, and that’s okay. A friend once said: “Art that kills one person may be able to save another.” And He fucked the girl out of me deserves to save as many people as possible. Maybe its cruel edge is just what someone needs.

Regardless of the shared answers, He fucked the girl out of me was only possible thanks to the supporting structures of the queer game development community. The game was funded by the Queer Games Pack, which bundled 500 games for $60. All proceeds went directly to queer creatives, and McCue was one of many beneficiaries.

“I don’t think someone like me could have left 10 years ago [the award ceremony for Independent Games Festival] but the fact of the matter is I’m not the only queer person that will be in this room,” McCue said. “There is a new cohort of queer artists slowly turning into a movement of game developers.”

You can play the game for free Here. This game about sex work won awards (and caused controversy)

Curtis Crabtree

24ssports is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button