Sections

Admiring Breasts from Another Angle

Following several recent breast-related controversies, indie devs are pulling together for a "Boob Jam."

News by Pete Davison, .

Whatever your opinions on the subject, it's hard to ignore the amount of discussion that gender issues in gaming have been provoking recently.

The most notorious incident recently came following the release of some Japanese media interviews which appeared to pay a disproportionately large amount of attention to the size of Lightning's breasts in the upcoming new Final Fantasy game -- and, oddly, her armpit. (I am assured by people in the know that armpit fetishes are A Thing in Japan. I can't think of anything worse, personally.)

But the issues surrounding the depiction of women in video games -- and the treatment of women in the industry in general -- are not what we're here to talk about. No, instead I want to tell you about Boob Jam, which was set up partly in response to these issues, and partly as a Twitter joke that got a bit out of hand.

Boob Jam is the brainchild of Jenn Frank, a former 1up writer, member of Team Unwinnable and the owner of the voice that taunts you so in Terry Cavanagh's infuriatingly addictive Super Hexagon.

Yes, this is the official art for the Boob Jam.

"Earlier today I had a sudden thought," explains Frank on the site. "It wasn't really a joke, but I thought it was kind of topical and funny anyway."

Frank's "sudden thought" was a tweet in which she pondered "what if you had to watch a sexy video game character also buy bras, cry softly when she can't find one that fits, and go in for mammograms?"

The suggestion quickly snowballed. A jokey "#BoobJam" hashtag quickly started filling up with people who said they'd be actually quite interested to experience the sort of things Frank was talking about -- because they were things that video games tend not to deal with -- and developers who were interested in exploring these topics through their work.

"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 [where an individual's self-perceived gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth] men -- and instead described our own relationships, sometimes sexual and often not, with our own racks?" muses Frank on the Boob Jam site. "And as a game, could that be fun to play?"

The idea behind Boob Jam is to bring in players of all genders and sexualities to explore the different things that breasts mean to different people. The question of whether or not something like this can be "fun" is an interesting one, and one often posed by other game jams with more mundane stimuli.

"What do boobs mean to a new mother, or to a new woman?" asks Frank. "To a person in actual, physical pain? What might they mean to a real superhero or armor-clad warrior? Or, if boobs really are sexual objects, who, besides straight dudes, can sexualize them?"

Frank is keen to stress that "no-one is claiming that a great rack doesn't have its place in gaming canon" and that the Boob Jam is an attempt to start a completely new discussion on the subject rather than the same old objectification arguments being repeated over and over again. It's a positive spin on a hot-button topic at present, and it has the potential to throw out some very interesting creative works.

Frank hasn't set a date for the Boob Jam to take place yet, but if you're interested in participating -- or just following the interesting discussion on the topic -- you can check out the freshly-made website for the project right here.

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 19

  • Avatar for skylarw #1 skylarw 3 years ago
    I was hoping this would be an attempt to diminish the click-grabbing manufactured controversies about character design, but I guess that's not quite the case.

    I remember reading something by Jenn Frank in the 1up days and enjoying it, but I hadn't followed her since then. It's unfortunate to see that she's using the word "cisgender", though. Can we please avoid the Tumblrization of game journalism?

    At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of the jam. Here's hoping for another highlights post like the one for MolyJam.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Lightning-Paw #2 Lightning-Paw 3 years ago
    @skylarw Gender issues are so complicated, the discussion around them has naturally created a language that's appropriate. It's important to have a word for someone whose gender matches their identity, for simple clarity reasons. The whole "cis" thing is just an attempt at brevity and clarity of expression. That's how words are invented, and always have been.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for kellyoverholser43 #3 kellyoverholser43 3 years ago
    Actually, the prefix "cis" has the same Latin roots as the prefix "trans". So it's not just "some new internet slang" (although no one actually merged the two terms to make "cisgender" until relatively recently, around 1994), it's a legitimate term.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for yagakevaja #4 yagakevaja A month ago
    Your site is truly cool and this is an extraordinary moving article. chula vista ca - auto detailing
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for yagakevaja #5 yagakevaja A month ago
    I like this post,And I figure that they having a great time to peruse this post,they might take a decent site to make an information,thanks for sharing it to me. http://www.biurocash.pl
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for yagakevaja #6 yagakevaja A month ago
    This sort of message continually moving and I like to peruse quality substance, so upbeat to discover great spot to numerous here in the post, the written work is simply extraordinary, much obliged for the post. heating
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEOPAK #7 SEOPAK A month ago
    Main product is an email newsletter and email marketing platform with built-in content for professional service firms, including accounting firms, estate planning law firms, payroll providers, PEOs (Professional Employer Organizations), employee benefits firms, human resource consultants and health care professionals. (Industries overview can be found at http://industrynewsletters.com/industrynewsletters-overview/industries-served/.) online marketing
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEOPAK #8 SEOPAK A month ago
    I have as of late begun a web journal, the data you give on this website has helped me significantly. A debt of gratitude is in order for the majority of your time and work. buy garcinia cambogia
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for yagakevaja #9 yagakevaja 28 days ago
    I truly adored perusing your online journal. It was exceptionally all around wrote and simple to undertand. Not at all like extra online journals I have perused which are truly not tht great. I likewise discovered your posts extremely fascinating. Truth be told subsequent to understanding, I needed to go demonstrat to it to my companion and he ejoyed it also! buy branding books
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Awesome1 #10 Awesome1 21 days ago
    This is really an incredible read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am anticipating perusing new articles. Keep doing awesome!. diet review monster
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEOPAK #11 SEOPAK 21 days ago
    A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to talk about this, I feel emphatically that affection and read more on this subject. On the off chance that conceivable, for example, pick up learning, would you psyche overhauling your web journal with extra data? It is extremely helpful for me. mens review monster
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Awesome1 #12 Awesome1 19 days ago
    Good composed article. It will be strong to any individual who uses it, including me. Continue doing what you are doing – can"r hold up to peruse more posts. ask womens
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEOPAK #13 SEOPAK 19 days ago
    I truly awed after read this in view of some quality work and instructive considerations . I just wanna express profound gratitude for the essayist and want you to enjoy all that life has to offer for coming!. ultimate nutritionz
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Awesome1 #14 Awesome1 17 days ago
    I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google. noocube side effects
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SEOPAK #15 SEOPAK 17 days ago
    I was taking a gander at some of your posts on this site and I consider this site is truly informational! Keep setting up.. crazy bulk
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Awesome1 #16 Awesome1 13 days ago
    This is an awesome motivating article.I am practically satisfied with your great work.You put truly extremely accommodating data. Keep it up. Continue blogging. Hoping to perusing your next post. noocube review
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Awesome1 #17 Awesome1 13 days ago
    I am glad you take pride in what you write. This makes you stand way out from many other writers that push poorly written content. Noocube
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for noocube #18 noocube 10 days ago
    Anabolic steroids gnc are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone They promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects) in both males and females.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for yagakevaja #19 yagakevaja 4 days ago
    Super site! I am Loving it!! Will return once more, Im taking your food additionally, Thanks. plumbing
    Sign in to Reply

Comments

Close