Today brings the rarest of news stories – a multinational conglomerate company has done a Good Thing. Sony have announced that they will not be hosting the controversial game Super Seducer on their PlayStation Store, and so it won’t be available for download to their consoles.
For those who have no clue this means, Super Seducer is a “live-action seduction simulator” that hopes to educate and train men to “pick up” women. The player finds himself (and it is always a man) in a room with a woman – be it a cafe, a club, or even at work – and is tasked with seducing her through a series of multiple-choice actions. Every time the player selects an option, he will receive feedback and face various consequences – he could be rejected, or make the woman fall madly in love with him. As it says in the game’s official description, “If you’ve ever run out of things to say, gotten stuck in the friend zone, or don’t know when to make your move – then this game will transform your love life forever.” Yes, really.
It comes as no surprise that this game was created and developed by a “pick-up artist” – a man who trains other men in how to seduce women using learned skills and techniques. It’s a controversial practice, and one that has seen pick-up artists banned from entering the UK. The man responsible for Super Seducer is Richard La Ruina, and not only is he the game’s creator, he’s also the star of the show – this is the man who appears in each scene, and consequently gives the player advice on their seduction decisions.
It shouldn’t need to be said in 2018, on International Women’s Day, but Super Seducer isn’t just offensive, it’s dangerous
If La Ruina sounds familiar, you probably remember him from his appearance on Good Morning Britain, in which he called British women “unintelligent”, causing Piers Morgan to call him a “dick”. And when Piers Morgan chastises someone for their attitude towards women, you know they’re a bad egg.
It shouldn’t need to be said in 2018, on International Women’s Day, but Super Seducer isn’t just offensive, it’s dangerous. It’s not only a sleazy, clumsy attempt at self promotion by La Ruina, but it normalises a whole set of behaviours which, when codified into a gaming format, put women’s lives in danger. As pointed out by Vice – though it must be said, their own sexual harassment track record is currently under investigation – the game encourages stalking of women, and the close-up shots of legs and revealing outfits normalises the objectification of their bodies.
Super Seducer is still available to buy and download from gaming platform Steam, but Sony have made a valiant point in refusing to sell the game. Maybe they have actually listened to last year’s research that found the average gamer is a middle-aged woman. More of this, please.