Careercow Ana Valens / Anastasia Valens / Phil Wythe / Philip Stephen Wythe / SpaceDoctorPhD / acvalens - MtF transtrender extraordinaire, freelance "journalist" for The Daily Dot, SJW, professional liar and social rouser, CatParty's favorite blogger

Jaimas

YOU AND ALL YOUR KIND ARE COWARDS!!
True & Honest Fan
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GethN7

True & Honest Fan
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I'll cut it off at the pass: He's angry at Lewdgamer because Lewdgamer wouldn't cover his shitty game that I ridiculed for this website.

I wonder if Ana's also angry that, going by the numbers, more people know about Chris' SheCameForCWC than his trash?
I can't say I blame them. Purely from the gameplay standpoint, as a games reviewer myself, his work is absolute shit because it's not even a game, it's a really short kinetic novel falsely billed as as game.

Even if the prose wasn't cringe (and it is), his work is not a game, it's a short story in a VN program with no interactivity.

It's not that there is not a market for such things, there is a niche such can appeal to, but Valens is an arrogant fool if he believe he deserves praises for something no game reviewer with any integrity could call a game in good faith.

Hell, even DEPRESSION QUEST had actual choices and thus SOME interactivity. It's sad I have to compliment Zoe Quinn, but in her defense, she released what could actually be considered a game, Valens can't even do that.
 
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AirdropShitposts

Violet Hargrave is NOT Jake Alley of Niantic, CT
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I have a penis (which I prefer to call a “clit,” “cock,” or “girldick”) and have elected not to change my genital configuration. Because HRT feminizes my body, my clit has soft, thin skin that prefers gentle stimulation. By all extents, it’s a feminine penis.

Journalist Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard pens the sexuality column “MTF & DTF” for Vice, where she talks about her love and sex life as a trans woman. While she doesn’t have any personal experiences with hooking up with cis women, she’s well aware of the social dynamics at play when trans and cis women meet up. More specifically, assuming a trans woman’s penis is penetrative by default “rearticulates the coerced masculinity” trans women are forced into at birth.

Keep an open mind, and remember you’re having sex with a woman who knows more about her body than you do about hers.

“This is not to say that using one's penis for penetrative sex is masculine. Rather, the person making such an assumption overlooks the reality of trans women's dicks, particularly for girls who are taking estrogen and testosterone blockers. Our dicks get smoother, softer, more flaccid. To be honest, it's harder to penetrate when you're on all those 'mones," says Blanchard.

“This failure to acknowledge the specificity of our bodies just continues the line of thinking that trans women are actually men," she continues. "Obviously, it doesn't mean that a girl who isn't on hormones or has an unchanged dick is less of a woman. But what violates trans women is how the underlying assumptions guiding normative cis male sexuality are exported to the normative sexuality of a trans woman.”
lmao at this horseshit "rearticulates the coerced masculinity”
 
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ATaxingWoman

Professional Tax Investigator Princess
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Today's article is about *shuffles card deck* porn games! (more specifically VR pornography) https://www.dailydot.com/irl/virtual-reality-porn-games-future/
The hopeful, problematic world of VR porn games

I am standing tall in a mansion’s boudoir, my back rigid, my hands at my sides. In front of me is a toned, half-naked blonde woman with devil horns. She looks like a succubus, complete with a domineering gaze that sends shivers down my spine. I am not supposed to be in her bedroom—yet here I am.

She asks me whether I will be obedient and follow her orders. I nod my head. She tells me to kneel. I comply. Slowly, I get down on my knees and place my hands on the back of my skull. I can feel my apartment’s cheap, hard floorboards strain my legs. But I refuse to get up. My domme has not commanded me to rise, so I will obey.

She is ready to send me away, pleased at my submission. But first, she asks me to lean over and kiss her feet. Eagerly, I do as I’m told. It’s somewhat difficult in my cramped Brooklyn, New York, room, but I’m able to bend just low enough so that she recognizes I am worshiping her at the lowest point possible. Happy with my devotion, she mercifully tells me to stand tall again before shooing me away from her presence.

I’m not actually in a mansion, nor is my mistress even real. I’m wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset with two motion controllers, which clink and clank against the floor as I get up. But even though I knew I was having a virtual BDSM experience, my lizard brain—the one that impulsively convinced me to buy a VR headset in the first place—seems to have outright forgotten that I’m in my bedroom. My thinking has slowed. My body has relaxed. I feel primed to serve. And more than anything, I long to keep pleasing this powerful woman.

I’m nearing “subspace,” a pleasurable high caused by a mixture of adrenaline and endorphins during submissive BDSM play. It’s ridiculously hot. And it’s all from Dominatrix Simulator, a VR porn game.

Science-fiction stories have long fantasized about the possibilities of virtual reality. Some are optimistic, and others are far from it. One of my personal favorites is cryptic redditor _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9’s sci-fi horror story The Interface Series. Told through various non sequitur Reddit comments spread across the site, the novel describes a world where humanity has become so addicted to VR that only “the age-old desire to not spend one’s days playing Princess Romance Cafe, lying in one’s own shit while one’s dick rots off” motivates them to come out. Readjusting to the outside world is difficult, and many patients begin masturbating as soon as they leave the bed connected to their internet feeds.

The Interface Series captures so many modern fears about VR, adult content, and the internet. It’s something the tech world is thinking about more as virtual reality technology becomes more advanced. And it’s a fair concern to have. Watch Disrupt’s 168-hour look at life spent entirely using a VR headset to understand how the human body can adapt—but not necessarily thrive—solely in a man-made reality.

But writers who dismiss VR as humanity’s impending downfall miss the point. If we treat VR as just another technology that we can use in conjunction with the rest of our day-to-day lives, it can mitigate some of the more apocalyptic fears about society breaking down from overuse. In social media’s case—after two decades’ worth of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and YouTube—concerns with these platforms’ data collection systems, mental health effects, and capacity to foster right-wing radicalization are leading to a much more mindful tech life. Why wouldn’t that be the case with virtual reality?

Besides, VR’s core mechanic—sensory deprivation—is hardly new. Whether through haunted houses or meditation, flotation therapy or movie theaters, we regularly play with our senses to maximize our personal enjoyment. VR uses a mixture of motion-tracking technology, high-resolution screens, and ergonomic headset designs to do that, and that’s why it’s so impressive. But its core design principles really aren’t that different than, say, flipping through slideshows in a View-Master stereoscope, which explains why the company now has its own VR headset.

View-Master users were well aware of the attraction of a sensory-immersive experience half a century ago. Personal reels taken with both the View-Master Personal Stereo Camera and the 35mm Stereo Realist commonly featured “pin-up, risqué, or nude” shots, as researcher Jamie Powell Sheppard explains in a dissertation for Ryerson University. One company, Reel-O-Rama, let users buy reels filled with pin-up models posing seductively for the viewer.

It’s no surprise, then, that sensory deprivation’s best and arguably most popular application is still its horniest. Blindfolds remain popular in the bedroom because they heighten the wearer’s immersion during sex (or in kink or play). So does bondage. Audio erotica uses sounds, music, and a performer’s voice to immerse the listener in a scene. Some kinks, like hypnosis audio recordings, start with the listener closing their eyes to become fully engaged. And on the more vanilla side of things, alcohol and weed dull senses to help users engage in a much more heightened sexual experience.

It’s only natural that VR would embrace adult content. Headsets block out the world around you, thereby immersing you in on-screen visual data. It’s an elaborate trick designed to make your mind think you’re physically in the space you see through your headset, which is perfect for sexual content.

In theory, anyway.

Waifu Sex Simulator feels like the porn game I wish I’d had as a teenager. Its developer, LewdFraggy, runs one of the top 500 most popular accounts on Patreon with over 1,300 patrons funding the game’s creation. The program lets players pick from a wide selection of fictional women from video games, anime, and comics and ogle them in a 3D sandbox. Besides gawking, players can choose different animations for their female character models to play out, from sitting down on a couch and watching a movie together to having full-on sex. The entire program is made with user-created content in mind, so you can add custom models, animations, and scenes to your game.

But it’s hard to call Waifu Sex Simulator a fun game. In fact, it’s barely a game at all. It’s more like an interactive toy for simulating sexual encounters. Once you’ve loaded up a few models, looked them up and down, undressed them, and had sex with them, there’s not much else to do. That may be enough for straight men who just want to masturbate to Overwatch’s Mercy as she rides cowgirl, but for players who want a more immersive experience, it becomes very boring very quickly.

Waifu Sex Simulator isn’t alone. ZnelArts’ La Douche lets players peep on a woman getting ready for a shower and customize her body. On the fetish side of things, there’s Sizebox, which takes the same approach as Waifu Sex Simulator but focuses on macrophilia (that is, giantess fetishes) instead. Even Project Helius’ Fallen Doll, which is often praised for having the “best graphics among VR porn games” and featuring the “perfect companion to endure through your devious fantasies,” is just a glorified sex doll game where players refine a robotic woman’s parts to make money.

Narrative designer and games journalist Kate Gray is fascinated by the intersection between tech, games, and adult content. She has high hopes for VR’s potential, but as she outlined for Wareable in February 2018, the technology still presents uncomfortable problems.

“VR is cool, but it’s not ready to be the primary way that people interact with games and TV,” Gray told me over email. “VR has too many limitations that won’t be easily overcome with better technology, and VR porn is primarily aimed at rich, straight men. Sure, they have a lot of money to spend, which makes them drivers of industry innovation, but with the amount of resources that VR games cost, they’re usually made to cover as wide a demographic as possible, which means a lot of VR porn is pretty vanilla.”

Gray believes adult content that centers a marginalized person’s “bodies, skin tones, and experiences” can help boost their self-esteem. Yet the mainstream adult content industry hyperfixates on white, straight, and skinny figures, and she believes porn creators have to “undo decades of racist systems within the porn industry” and “decenter the white experience.”

Ideally, that’s work that should be done by privileged people who have the resources and platform to help change the adult industry. In reality, too few people with the power and resources to make changes care, and underrepresented people are forced to navigate through an industry that treats them like fetishes.

“It can be incredibly demeaning to have to search your own gender, orientation, or race with the racist, sexist, fetishized porn search terms that white men came up with years ago,” Gray said. “The answer to that is to create and publish porn featuring marginalized people outside of those mainstream sites that have this bias, so you can have your own system that doesn’t treat white and straight as default and anything else as ‘other.’”

These problems aren’t that different from those of the games industry. According to Gray, “white, cishet tech bros” tend to dominate game development, with queer games “coming out of spaces that are cheap/free, easy to access, and easy to learn.” An International Game Developers Association survey from last year revealed that 74% of respondents across positions in the games industry identify as cis men, while 61% of workers are white, and 81% are straight. Resources are monopolized in privileged hands, so most game developers in queer communities are self-taught creators who rely on simple development platforms built for ease of use. But because there are so many moving parts behind VR games, queer users often lack the financial and social resources to develop them.

This is doubly a problem in an industry where even the most well-off adult game developers have to navigate the logistical nightmares behind sexual gameplay in an embodied, 3D space. Gray boils down VR design philosophies to two ideas: force the player to stand still or allow them to move.

“If you want to put your money and time into making something beautiful, you probably choose the former, because then you don’t have to worry about whether or not it looks good when the player walks around,” Gray said. “If you want full immersion, though, you’ll allow the player to move around. This causes a lot of problems. What if the player walks into furniture in their home? Will that kill their immersion? What if they get motion sick? What if the environment looks bad close up?”

In other words, VR adult content creators are forced into “the limits of the medium,” which means most adult developers gravitate to games with “basic 3D models and the ability to walk around them and inspect them.” It may be fast, cheap, and somewhat easy to create, she points out, but anything greater would take more time and energy through dedicated asset creation and design considerations. That means the adult catalog has more in common with the 2000s “Newgrounds” library—known for its extensive array of simple, adult Adobe Flash games—than 2019’s modern, 2D adult games space.

Despite all of the problems, some developers aren’t afraid to push boundaries.

Deviant Tech is a game development studio run by kinky, switchy life partners Deviant Dev and Devilish Domina. The two started out as role-play partners after they met in 2001, thanks to an online text-based adult role-play game that Devilish Domina created called Threshold. They now live together in New Zealand where they practice BDSM in real life and, as Devilish Domina told me via email, are “always looking for new ways to explore and share our kink.”

After Deviant Dev came up with the idea for a VR game where players submit sexually to the game itself, Devilish Domina worked with her collaborator to reshape the game into its contemporary conception, Dominatrix Simulator. Deviant Dev handles VR design, and Devilish Domina is responsible for the game’s world, story, characters, and scenes. To write the game, she repurposed Threshold’s world while referencing her own experiences domming.

“When we started fleshing out ideas for Dominatrix Simulator, VR became the obvious platform because it would provide the kind of immersive experience we felt was really important to ‘simulating’ a submission experience,” Devilish Domina explained. “So much of real BDSM is about the interplay between partners, the tension, the teasing, the mind games. VR lets players move around in a virtual world with their bodies (or at least their headset and hands) in ways that keyboard and mouse just can’t emulate.”

In the game, which is being developed and funded via Patreon, players serve a wide range of mistresses spread out across a goddess’ mansion. These personalities range from sweet and gentle to sadistic and cruel, each with their own personal interests. Mistress Yuki-Onna, for example, is kind and caring, and she’s also into puppy play with her pets⁠—a form of pet play where submissives role-play as a pet dog for their dominant owner. Mistress Nega-Yuki, on the other hand, is much more sadistic, and she enjoys having sex with her submissives.

But what makes Dominatrix Simulator stand out isn’t just its storyline. The game lets players interact with their dominants through nodding, shaking their heads, and performing poses commanded by a mistress. It’s an all-encompassing physical experience: The game literally makes you stand tall for your domme, kneel and kiss her feet, or lie on your back for sex.

The idea first came from Deviant Dev, who realized players could “participate in their own submission” with VR movements. After experimenting with the limitations of VR headsets (and the human body), Deviant Dev refined the game’s controls to factor in the player’s position, such as whether they were on a bed or not, while Devilish Domina adapted the game’s script. These days, Devilish Domina collaborates with “an eager and clever sub” to continue scripting the game, along with a paid artist.

“At its core, this is a house filled with Mistresses, and the Goddess is the top of the food chain. Each Mistress has their own unique personality and style, and I select kinks that intuitively go with them,” Devilish Domina explained. “When I come up with a new Mistress, I think about their personality. The words they’d use to refer to the player. The types of tasks, rewards and punishments. Their tone of voice. I imagine all that first, and then the writing just makes sense.”

Dominatrix Simulator is an open-world and nonlinear experience, which means players have some freedom to choose which mistresses to visit. But choice is an illusion in the game, as ultimately, the player decides who to serve, not whether they will submit. In a genre where most games let the player completely control their sexual encounters, twisting the formula to serve a fictional character’s desires is ridiculously hot.

Compare Dominatrix Simulator to ZnelArts’ upcoming kink-themed VR porn game The Villain Simulator. The two are opposites: Whereas Dominatrix Simulator is focused on submitting to dominant women, The Villain Simulatorlets you play as a supervillain who has finally captured a comic book heroine. With the female character bound in restraints, players can strip off her clothes, grope her, torture her, use a dildo on her, and kill her, among other endeavors. It’s basically a glorified bondage scenario, this time with the player as the dominant, and much more sadistic options available.

But The Villain Simulator and games like it aren’t inherently unethical or immoral. Adult media producer and political organizer Liara Roux regularly works as an advocate for sex workers’ rights. Roux (who uses they/them pronouns) stressed that it’s “deeply important” for sex education to improve in America, but that it’s “deeply unrealistic” to expect game devs to lead the U.S.’s cultural shift. While game developers should bring on sex workers, educators, and coaches to help consult on adult games, they believe that as long as “no actual person is having their consent trampled” in VR porn, fantasies should be protected because they are just that: fantasies.

“I don’t know if I think fantasy VR porn should be required to have the same rules about consent that you would have IRL,” Roux told the Daily Dot. “I don’t think that should be their responsibility—just as it shouldn’t be the responsibility of pornographers to depict totally realistic sex. It’s a fantasy. Children should learn about sex and consent in school. Having educational games is a great idea and totally important! But I don’t think every game needs that.”

Clinical psychological Dr. Alexander Kriss authored the book Universal Play: How Videogames Tell Us Who We Are and Show Us Who We Could Be, which reached store shelves this month. He argues people use porn in a wide range of ways, from vicariously experiencing sexual fantasies to outright closing out their sexual imagination. He suggests porn isn’t “inherently good or bad” but is better understood as a “window into an individual.” Kink is similar.

“Having space in one’s life to explore the aspects of ourselves that polite society does not accommodate can be an essential part of psychological health—as long as that exploration also involves reflection,” Kriss told me. “Healthy BDSM practices, I would suspect, involves not only consent but the capacity for partners to discuss their needs and desires, and how BDSM helps them address those needs and desires. Pornography can potentially be helpful or harmful in this regard.”

Granted, VR porn games cross a line when it comes to real-world consent violations like creepshots and deepfakes, a form of digital manipulation that realistically superimposes another person’s likeness onto a video. Theoretically, a VR porn game could include deepfakes, and overall, Roux said deepfakes will be a “massive issue” in the near future.

“Who owns the rights to their likeness? Plenty of celebrities do, but many civilians do not,” they explained. “Companies like Disney, for example, who have paid for the rights to use someone’s likeness for a film—do they have infinite rights in perpetuity to use someone’s face in their movies forever?”

And porn isn’t created and consumed in a vacuum. While Kriss notes that making pornography is “hypothetically” a neutral act, he also calls porn’s creation “a very real process” in an industry with its own “complicated issues of consent, compensation, and safety.” And in a world where sex education remains stigmatized at best, certain kinds of pornographic media may be used by a person who doesn’t have any prior knowledge on consent, boundaries, and bodies during sex.

“[Pornography] portrays vivid sexual behavior and attitudes that might otherwise only be accessible through one’s imagination (which is less connected to reality) or in one’s actual sex life (which is more private and, at least ideally, more directly in one’s control),” Kriss explained. “This means it is easy and even common for people watching porn to see things that they have no other context for outside of the experience of watching porn. Add to this a pervasive cultural aversion to openly discussing sexual activities, desires, and values and it becomes possible for pornography to play a legitimate role in shaping the way people see sex, gender dynamics, and issues of consent, objectification, and entitlement to gratification.”

Kriss argues that porn can foster both “progressive” and “regressive” values, not just one or the other. While Dominatrix Simulator is focused on an embodied BDSM experience with a narrative to explore and unravel, The Villain Simulator is limited. In its current form, there’s no story, no gender-select option, and not much else to do besides play with the bound-up heroine’s character model. Because there are no boundaries between the player and their submissive, there’s no power dynamic, which means there’s no tension, risk, or fun in pushing your submissive and seeing how far they can go. One of these games is a glorified masturbation aid through a kink-themed romp. The other is a realistic BDSM experience designed to teach you what it’s like to submit.

“I do think that as more people get exposed to the mechanics of Dominatrix Simulator, we may find other indie developers incorporating a more immersive, player-controlled approach, but I don’t think we have the visibility yet to influence the indie game dev market,” Devilish Domina told me. “As for other adult VR games, they really are mainstream porn for men, which our players remind us of over and over again. They aren’t much more than just watching a 3D porn movie.”

Dominatrix Simulator wasn’t originally designed as a queer experience. “Embarrassingly,” Devilish Domina told me, the game originally focused on cis men because Deviant Tech “knew that was the largest demographic.” That changed over time thanks to the game’s fans, who told Deviant Tech how they were excited to play as women “because they were trans or queer.” The two are now brainstorming adding inclusive gender options, including “nonbinary player bodies,” and they are also planning to “explore forced feminization,” which is an extremely popular kink among trans women.

“At first, we couldn’t figure out how to make [a player character] nonbinary. Maybe our own brains were stuck too much in a male/female mindset,” Devilish Domina explained. “But with the help of fans who did early modding of the game, we started to see all the possibilities. Being referred to as she, but hearing the male voice speak when the player ‘shakes or nods’ their head. Once we started working on getting player bodies into the game, fans got even more excited. It has really opened up our eyes to what is possible!”

That’s obvious enough just from looking at Dominatrix Simulator’s reception online. One patron called the game’s female character option “refreshing,” while another patron with a feminine-presenting avatar and name gushed over “[living] out this fantasy for real.” Asking for representation and demonstrating how to do it can cause a chain reaction. And there’s a good reason why Dominatrix Simulator has so many queer fans: While kink itself isn’t inherently part of the LGBTQ spectrum, exploring power and trauma through BDSM can be an empowering experience for marginalized people.

“I have seen so many times, in both real life and in sex games, that kinks can be a way of coping and caring for yourself and others. Many marginalized creators of sex games make specifically kinky games, but a lot of them are focused on the aftercare, and the intimacy and trust involved with kink,” Gray said. “Kink and queerness seem intertwined in many ways, and though I’m not qualified to speculate why, it’s clear that love and trust is a huge part of it—being able to give and receive love and trust with someone else who shares many of your traumatic experiences.”

Hype for Dominatrix Simulator extends beyond the queer community. One Steam reviewer says the game has “enormous potential,” while a critic who argued the game’s initial demo is too short praised Dominatrix Simulatorfor being mechanically “far more complex than most paid games out there.” And on Patreon, support remains as positive as ever, even though the game requires quite a bit of time to create.

“Take the time needed to make this experience perfect, we can wait ;),” one eager patron wrote in April 2019.

If Dominatrix Simulator is any sign, VR porn may give us a more physical, embodied experience with sex that can be therapeutic. But at its current state, Deviant Tech works in a sea of VR games more akin to DeviantArt dress-up doll Flash titles—games where players can dress up women however they want, including bare. As it stands, adult VR games are not so much the future as they are a sign of the times. And because both the games industry and mainstream porn have plenty of baggage around marginalized people, the VR adult content world has that same shit to work out too.

“I think to get VR porn to be mainstream, we need [VR headsets] to cost less, but more money and resources to be pumped into the creation of VR porn, especially from marginalized creators to widen the audience,” Gray told me. “Is that going to happen when the porn industry makes billions from the way things are already? I’m skeptical.”

VR’s best, kinkiest, and most inclusive days are still to come. There’s nowhere to go but up.

“I’m particularly interested in [VR porn from] a transhumanist perspective, wherein one could occupy bodies very different from one’s own. I want to have the sensations of a tentacle monster mapped onto my nerve endings!” Roux said. “I don’t see VR technology destroying human connection—I see its potential to enhance and change it.”
 
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