Choke And Tase Your Boyfriend In This Charming Video Game

Oh boy! We knew it was only a matter of time until the trend of man-training books and movies like Men Are Like Dogs and Bring Your Husband to Heel would spread to online games, but we didn't think it'd happen with this much gusto.

The Boyfriend Trainer, with the tagline "No boyfriend is perfect! It's time you trained him to become one," is somehow even more ridiculous than it sounds.

In this game, rated appropriate for tweens, "training" means more than withholding sex - it means subjecting your eye-wandering, newspaper-dropping, sports-watching partner to slapping, tasing, choking and whacking with tennis rackets.

But before we crap ourselves with righteous indignation, let's gather our wits about us, get some perspective, and consider what's more harmful to young men: the barrage of misogyny and sexualised violence in mass-produced, "adult"-marketed, heavily distributed games such as Grand Theft Auto, or this laughable cartoon schlock, a stream of piss in an ocean of dime-store Web content designed for people with the most rudimentary understanding of gender relations.

Blogger Garland Grey comments on the lack of media outrage:

"Look at this thing you've never heard of! Why haven't you come out against it yet?"

How many people are really going to play this "boyfriend trainer" game? How many people are going to be playing Duke Nukem Forever when it comes out? If [you]said, "What do you think about this game?" I would say, that's abusive. Of course. But I'm not going to pretend that the two games are equally horrible or that we don't live in a culture that sanctions sexualized violence against women.

Now produce an example of sexualized violence toward men that is being sold in Windows, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 formats, all across America, and you'll look like less of a dipshit.

If there were ever a choose-your-battles moment in the male blogosphere, it'd be now. Let's have an adult conversation about the effects of hyper-realistic violence on boys, the racism and misogyny in the gaming community, and especially, as David Futrelle has asked, what women really want from games - and why those repelled by the morass of incivility on WoW or Xbox Live might be drawn elsewhere, be it Farmville or, you know, a game where you get to whack some tchotch with a tennis racket.

When we can address the deep-seated issues that plague and polarise the mainstream gaming community, then we can talk about the threat of - and why, suddenly, there are opportunities for anti-male baubles to make a profit.

This post originally appeared on The Good Men Project. Republished with permission.

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    I'm going on Today/tonight to complain!!

    I'm also starting the
    "Australia say NO to violence against Men" association.

    or at least I would if portal 2 had not just come out!!!

    Will we hear abot this in the media as much as the spanking in Duke Nukem, which by comparison is far tamer?

      Of course not, don't you know?

      Personally I don't really like it, as if you were to swap the sexes the violence would be seen as being abhorrent and it would get the hatred of just about every media outlet out there. But as they say this is a minor game that isn't really a big deal, there are plenty of misogynistic games out there that don't really get to see the light either.

      I am more disappointed that this idea exists in society in general, then specifically in games.

    all depends whats behind the violence.

    i'm sure everybody has had that slap from a girl where you'd said something that flustered/embarassed her but she still can see the humour in it and she's all red in the face and is trying not to grin...

    i forget where i'm going with this.

    This game really doesn't bother me but it kind of pisses me off that this will get by without any flak where as if this game was called 'girlfriend trainer' and you were "slapping, tasing, choking and whacking [her] with tennis rackets" this would be lambasted as misogynistic,sexiest, degrading to women est.

    I find it just as unpleasant as the mysoginy in most media. Had it been made in order to illustrate a point, I'd be all for it (Despite the fact that when it comes to social injustice, fighting fire with fire is often the worst possible course of action). But it wasn't. It was made because when the pendulum swings, it swings hard. Not only is it not ok for a man to be violent toward a woman, it is acceptable for a woman to visit violence upon a man. Strong social change like that is easily monetised.

    So is it wholely unpleasant? Absolutely. Is it entirely worthless as a social artifact? Possibly. Is it anything other than a reversal of long standing media traditions? Not really.

    If sadomasochism were PG rated ...

    Now women have the chance to be everything they hate about men - lets hear it for equality...

    Its probably an S&M thing, the boyfriend in said game probably enjoys the abuse he receives on a sexual level.

    There are heaps of games where you can shoot a guy in the balls and watch him scream in pain and bleed to death, EG Bulletstorm takes it to a whole new level, awarding you points for crotch shots. If that's not sexualized violence, I don't know what is.

    To all those who say there is more violence against women than against men, I think you are just desensitised to it. The amount of violence against women in games is insignificant in comparison.

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