No gay nudity on Twitch, but blue alien boobs are fine

Sep 27, 2015
LGBT
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Designer Robert Yang has done a suite of unique and challenging games recently, small but considered works on consent, embodiment and masculinity, among other themes. In Stick Shift you jerk off a car; Hurt Me Plenty is about consensual pain; Cobra Club is about dick pics in the era of state surveillance, and the new and complex Rinse and Repeat is about waiting til after your gym class to help wash a hunk who calls you “bro” and “pal”, and who wears sunglasses in the shower.

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These games are playful, funny, and sexy, and they provoke reflection and dialogue. Yang often reveals a thought process behind the technical decisions in his work that can be fascinatingly-congruent with the spiritual ones. But just four days after its release, Rinse and Repeat was banned from all broadcast on the online streaming community Twitch, just as Cobra Club previously was. Yang is among the most-banned developers on Twitch—perhaps an exciting status for an artist, but evidence of troubled standards for content.

Twitch rules say that while occurrences of nudity or sex acts in games are “okay, so long as you do not make them a primary focus of your stream,” games with nudity as a “core focus or feature” are disallowed. Under this rule, video games that feature sexualized bodies (usually women) for titillation are okay to stream, but that Yang’s work centers on the vulnerability of nudity in a consensual space and other meaningful issues apparently makes it obscene.

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