Vulvas on the Tablet: What Cunt Touch This has taught us about shame and pleasure in gaming

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About the talk:
While games fetishise “fun” they still have a problem embracing subjects like intimacy, sex and pleasure as possible variants of it.

This talk will touch a particularly hot subject: The vulva.

Using the case of Cunt Touch This, a vulva-based tablet colouring game we designed as a tribute to Tee Corinne’s iconic Cunt Coloring Book, it will discuss how historical myths of the vulva are alive and kicking in gamers’ minds today.

The talk will walk audiences through some images of the vulva in “hystory”, and 70’s feminist attempts to restore the vulva’s reputation. It will introduce the mechanics of Cunt Touch This and some of the “cuntroversial” responses it received.

The discussion shows that rather than a normalised play buddy, the vulva is still associated with feelings like shame and embarrassment. Are these the reason the gaming market can’t touch it?

About Sabine Harrer:
Sabine Harrer is a Vienna/Copenhagen-based cultural researcher and part of the Copenhagen Game Collective. She has collaborated on experimental games like Cunt Touch This, an erotic vulva-based tablet game, Lovebirds, an awkward romantic performance, and Jocoi, a computer game about pregnancy loss. Jocoi is part of her PhD thesis, which explores how videogames can represent attachment, loss and grief. Sabine has been a lecturer in cultural studies, critical media analysis, and game studies at the University of Vienna and IT University Copenhagen. Sabine’s work is driven by an interest in intersectionality, representation, and the question how videogames can become a medium for all.

Also check out Sabines other talk at the GGC – Grief-Based Game Design!