What is Boob Jam?
It's no surprise that videogame characters are designed to be attractive — or that attractiveness is often engineered from a straight white male's perspective.
That means breasts. Large, voluptuous, bouncy breasts. Videogames' preponderance of well-endowed women has even created a new term — "breast physics" — to describe the process of engineering breasts to jiggle — if not realistically, at least appealingly.
But it's time to get real: Breasts are a lot more than just sexy; they can be a serious health risk. They can be a liability in athletics, or just a factor in whether a shirt fits or not. And, they can be really, really annoying.
It seems that games writer Jenn Frank was thinking of that latter reason when she tweeted earlier this week (July 30) that "I'm gonna make a game called "Final Reality," and it's gonna be about how I just accidentally smeared tons of deodorant all over my left [breast]."
A minute later, she tweeted, "What if you had to watch a sexy videogame character also buy bras, cry softly when she can't find one that fits and go in for mammograms?"
Within 24 hours, Frank's tweets had received so many positive responses and suggestions for boob-based games that she decided to make a game jam, or a game development challenge, around the idea.
The purpose of " Boob Jam," as the challenge is titled, is to have videogame developers and creators make a videogame that deals with an aspect of female breasts other than the fact that they're sexy and fun to look at.
Within the next 24 hours, Frank had received such an overwhelmingly positive reaction, including many suggestions for games or game features, that she and several friends realized there was something to the idea.
And in the few days since the game design "Boob Jam" first sprouted, the concept has been developing quickly.
This is our Final Reality
The title of Frank's theoretical game, "Final Reality," is an intentional stab at the upcoming videogame "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII," developed by Square Enix.
The game is a sequel to "Final Fantasy XIII" and "Final Fantasy XIII-2." All three games star a female ex-soldier codenamed Lightning.
At a Q & A with the developers of "Lighting Returns" last week (July 27), someone asked the presenters if Lightning's breasts had been enlarged for this game. Chuckling, the developers confirmed that they had, indeed, increased Lightning's breasts from a C cup to a D cup.
What's more, the team added some good old "breast physics" to the game so that, depending on her clothing and armor at the time, Lightning's breasts will jiggle as she fights.
It's probably safe to say that "Lightning Returns" won't feature the titular protagonist searching for properly fitting bras and going in for mammograms.
What is a game jam?
The idea is to "jam," or freestyle-create, a game around a central topic or trend. There's usually a set start and stop time, which forces people to produce ideas and prototypes pretty quickly.
The idea is similar to that of 24-hour theater productions, in which groups of people write, rehearse and stage a play within 24 hours.
Indie Speed Run is one of the more prestigious game jams, in which indie developers have 48 hours to create a game based around a given idea. This year's Indie Speed Run will be judged by well-known game developers, including Kim Swift, Peter Molyneux, Notch and Suda51.
Frank and the other organizers have yet to decide on a date for Boob Jam, though the unfinalized end date for submissions is the end of September.
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