Our guest speaker was a student from the College of Journalism who is currently working on his doctorate degree. His name is Brain Carter. His lecture was a nice change of pace for the class and he was entertaining. His lecture gave a great overview of the video game industry but one part particularly interested me. There was a slide on sexism, something I had expected to appear in this lecture. His endnote on the topic caught my attention.
Games like Duke Nukem, GTA and Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball all have sexist themes in them against women. But what about sexism against men? Right before changing the subject, Brian mentioned the other side of sexism not commonly talked about.
The game is called The Boyfriend Trainer. You play as the girlfriend who is trying to beat her boyfriend into being the 'perfect' boyfriend. Lot of the girls in the room laughed at this, it sounds like a hilarious game right? As soon as he finished describing the game I punched the title into my Google search bar and got ready to play.
In this fantastic game there are four levels in which you click on your leprechaun-looking boyfriend whenever he is committing acts that go against your liking. In the first level you and your not-so-great boyfriend are sitting outside of a cafe, sharing a drink. The boyfriend, who we will call Chad, gawks at the girls every now and then.When this happens you smack him and the 'perfection bar' goes up. To clear the level you have to fill the perfection bar within the time limit.
The game only gets worse from here. Level two features the couple in a living room where Chad goes around throwing things on the floor and you taser him each time he does so. The third level the couple are in a different living room watching television. Every time he changes the channel or drinks wine instead of his juice (I'm surprised it wasn't in a sippy cup) you smack him with a fly swatter. In the last level Chad is finally on a leash. It's time for the couple to take a nice ride - or not. When Chad goes Speed Racer or turns up the music too loud for perfect girl friend's liking, she gives the driver's leash a nice yank, choking him in the process. Yes, lets choke the driver. Once this level is over you have finally trained the perfect boyfriend! Congratulations!
Or not. Somehow this game gained enough popularity for the development of The Boyfriend Trainer 2.
Sexism against men in video games is a rare thing. Although it exists, it has been limited mainly to simple flash games. I'm not saying I would like to see a game like The Boyfriend Trainer on a major console, but it shows how men are also getting their share of sexism.
I'd rather see things like this:
Yes, I know this isn't a game. But you have to admit - this commercial is awesome.
My little brother, bewarethebetray, is awesome. He requested I make you all aware of that.