Sometimes, video games work as training for things we actually do in life. It's pretty well known by now that certain games can improve spatial reasoning ability
, presumably by providing practice. (Some video games have been inimical to spatial reasoning, though I think not so much the newer ones -- I've always been good at spatial stuff, and early-90s FPS set me against the entire genre forever by regularly putting walls in front of my face for no apparent reason.) Unfortunately, relationships are one of the ways video games fail badly at training people. As much as I'm enjoying having visual novels and otome games in English these days, they support the Kindness Coin approach to humans
. (Usually, these humans are women, though for instance Bioware
is at least expanding that to include people of all genders and species. Hooray?)Luxuria Superbia
Luxuria Superbia is a game about having sex. (It's not at all about getting to the point of having sex, so it skips the reductive game-relationship dilemma.) Your willing partners are flowers: beautiful, soothing, endless corolla tubes that you're flying into forever. They gain in complexity and differ in response as you go, adding more ranks in which stimulatory buds can appear, so that it's harder to keep up -- plus, you have to pay attention to which flower you're with and which stage of the process you're in if you want to fondle them appropriately. The idea is to touch the buds to bring color to the flower, which starts out white. If you overstimulate it, though, the stage will finish with the flower unsatisfied, and instead of gratitude, praise, and a heart graphic you'll get a kind deflection and a little thundercloud. I got a heart with an arrow through it at one point, but I'm not sure how. Pretty sure it was a good thing!
When touched, the buds pop open to reveal different images for each flower, presumably things that the particular flower enjoys. I wasn't at all sure about the sexiness of weird eyes opening to stare at me, and the hats seemed a little random, but the popups give an idea of each flower's personality, as do the things they say. Yes, the flowers talk to you if you're doing well. Their suggestive phrases are great: sometimes surreal, sometimes a little off-putting, mostly funny. My favorite is probably "Defragment my memory," but there are so many options in so many metaphorical ranges that the innuendo is really worth the price of admission all by itself.
To me it's really interesting that you're having sex with multiple
flowers. For the overly literal like myself, this seems like multiple partners -- though, of course, it's also hard to sell a game with just one level. But it's also true that every flower could be a different sexual experience with the same variably-responsive person (for instance if that person has a menstrual cycle!), and that is also very cool.
The game developers say they wanted to make a game that reflects the experience of joy, and they did a good job. Plus, in the way of games, it can build skills that you want to use later: the observation of response, the varieties of touch, the amusing innuendo, the politeness, are all very useful parts of a real-life sexual repertoire.
Obviously there aren't a bunch of little buds all over humans, and you don't fly infinitely into anyone's vagina. But you get what I'm saying.
People who want
to play a dreamy game about patience, attention, and careful-to-intense touch depending on response (and their current goals) are probably going to be pretty good lovers anyway. But I am imagining not letting a teenager out of that barrel he's nailed into until the game's temple is beautifully illuminated, and, you know, I like the idea.
Luxuria Superbia is available for a variety of platforms, with improved graphics for the computer versions, but I honestly can't imagine the sensuality coming across without the tablet interface. The ability to touch more than one place at the same time in an intuitive way is necessary. Unfortunately I wasn't able to turn off all the interface gestures on the newest iPad OS, so once in a while I'd get an intrusive arrow at the side and have to try to make that go away, even after turning off all multifinger gestures. I've also had a few slowing and jittering issues with the game, occasionally to the point of needing to kill the process, but it's definitely worth it.
Conclusion: If you have an iPad, buy it now. [ETA: It is only $3!]
(And if you get it for another platform, tell me how it is!)
Interview with the devs:http://www.148apps.com/news/learning-sensuous-spiritual-luxuria-superbia/
[ETA: Awesome recommender: My sweetie Wim, who knows me well enough to be aware that I required this game immediately.]