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Boob Jam Looking To Make Boobs Less Sexualized... No, Really!

Boob Jam is a 48-hour coding spree looking to create software emphasizing the less sexy reality of having breasts in an effort to provoke more mature discussion about sexualization of women in video games.

The sexualization of women in video games is a widely accepted fact.  It is accepted enough to be taken for granted by a large number of people, both gamers and otherwise.  Boob Jam is hoping to do something about that.

Boob Jam is a 48-hour marathon of video game coding this September where participants will attempt to create games focusing on boobs in un-sexy ways.  Unlike many previous attempts to provoke discussion on the topic, however, Boob Jam seeks to appeal in a way gamers won't get defensive about by being both fun and respectful at the same time.  As stated by Jenn Frank, Boob Jam's founder,

Boob Jam has one mission statement and it isn’t to “elevate” a conversation, but to have a new conversation entirely... I’m on the side of straight dudes who never want to see a controversy over boobs ever again.

So what's this about?

The ultimate goal is to provoke people into considering breasts as something other than a "plaything" for gamers and in-game characters alike.  Whether thinking of the more negative side-effects of them (possibly making a sizable bosom a debuff to a character's running speed) or simply in different terms (a sac of fat and milk) the objective is open consideration without directly challenging gamers to prove they themselves are not sexist.

The argument about sexism in games has a fundamental flaw Jenn Frank sees, in that people automatically either shut out the discussion or get heated about it based on how zealous the argument has been made in the past.  The quote above shows the example where anyone wanting to elevate the conversation is inherently talking down to whoever they mean the wording for, implying the conversation has been puerile up to that point.  Whether it has or not is irrelevant if the person shuts off as a result.

Frank is not worried about Boob Jam failing.

The point of this tangent is, I really welcome any negative reactions people may have, because those are interesting to me, too, and they’ll be interesting to other people. I think, when people are turned off by the idea of breasts as anything but a sex toy, that says more than I could ever slip into some piddling “mission statement.”

Frank does have hope that gamers will get the message and run with it, and if even one gamer looks at boobs as something other than toys as a result, I feel safe in saying she's accomplished something worthwhile.

Published Aug. 12th 2013
  • Steve Lawton
    Columnist
    After I read this I immediately remembered on Playstaion 2 I think it was Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth there was literally a create a character boob size labelled "TANKED" and just had Quad E boobs projecting outward in some bizarre fashion. Memories...

    Anywho... I love that people are trying to de-sexualize breasts in gaming because it has gotten way out of hand. I think it's just tough to for the simple fact that breasts are sexual in nature. If you just took an emphasis off of breasts for a female character in any game and just gave her normal clothes (for the game) and proportions you'd solve many of the problems.

    My issue with (for example) hindering a characters running speed based on breast size is that it still puts breasts in a negative light...just at the complete opposite other end of the spectrum. I would never play as a woman if I was slower being one.

    Breastfeeding: The Game sounds amazing the more you talk about it though. Just a side scrolling platformer of a baby looking for a nipple... I'd play that
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    I hadn't actually thought of that, but you're right. This is exactly the kind of discussion Breast Jam is all about, though, so it seems like it is already proving successful on at least a small scale.
  • Capt. Eliza Creststeel
    Contributor
    How about Breastfeeding: The Video Game.

    You either play a mother trying to make her baby latch on OR you could play an orphaned baby looking for a meal.

    Like the scene in Look Who's Talking where Mikey is looking at a well-endowed young lady.

    "Whoa, you mean these things come in different sizes? What are those? Jumbos?"

    'Hey, Mikey,' Travolta's character, 'I know what you're thinking about, kiddo.'

    "Yeah... lunch."
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    Or how about a twist, where you're playing as the breasts going through platforming levels to reach the baby who will feed?

    Could have a timer before they get too sore to continue platforming from milk buildup, with breast-pumps to provide additional time.

    It's surprisingly fun trying to take something so wildly and constantly sexualized and making it not.

Cached - article_comments_article_7196
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