There's an app for everything.I’m filling in for Richard this weekend while he is moving.

Tonight’s music video is Neko Case singing “People Got a Lotta Nerve.”

There’s a lot of stigma around discussing sexuality, especially women’s sexuality. Gamification Co reports that one designer is turning female masturbation into a smartphone game in the hope of getting people talking about the topic opnely. Given that this article has been widely shared, it seems to be working already.

HappyPlayTime is a pet project by designer Tina Gong that seeks to rebrand the entire concept of female masturbation through education and light-hearted games. The game is a mobile app currently in development that will teach female anatomy and provide lessons on masturbation techniques through a number of minigames. At the heart of all this is HPT’s mascot: the pink, fleshy, and gleeful personification of a vagina.

When I inquired about the nature of the mascot, Tina explained that it goes back to rebranding our preconceived notions about masturbation. Teaching an anatomy lesson with a mission to educate about female masturbation is too much of a serious topic when taught in the traditional education model and it is difficult to separate the idea of empowering females to masturbate from a feminist perspective. HPT’s approach to education involves a quick demonstration of different masturbation techniques for each level, followed by a freestyle portion that has the player perform each technique on the mascot. Completion of each level builds up to a fantastically funny and wacky climax upon completion.

Tina commented that the game’s success isn’t relient on having people understand her vision of freeing masturbation for females, which cleverly follows Nicole Lazzarro’s design philosophy for the successful Tilt World social impact game. If users can pick up the game, play it, laugh, and share it with their friends, then the inherent taboo surrounding the conversation about female masturbation has been lifted; you don’t need to bash your beliefs over the heads of your players in order to make a point. By representing the whole process around a lighthearted and comical character and games, the masturbation topic at hand is easier to discuss. Tina also mentioned future plans for making an arduino-powered vibrator companion to work with HPT.

What smartphone apps are you using lately, or do you wish existed?

 

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Photo by Robert Couse Baker released under a Creative Commons license.