pixelated panic: notes on male nudity in Robert Yang's Rinse and Repeat - A Critical Play Seminar

  • Posted on: 3 December 2015
  • By: dcollins

Presented by: Dwayne Collins, MISt., Co-Director of the Centre for Pixel Culture
December 3rd, 2015, 7pm
Sadleir House, 751 George Street North, Peterborough, ON

Robert Yang's Rinse and Repeat is a shower simulator where you assist a fellow bather in ywashing his body. It is an overt exercise in male-on-male eroticism that skirts the border between being sexual but not pornographic. In its use of the male body as an object of desire, Rinse and Repeat varies from the typical realm of the male nude in video games: that of the funny/deranged nude, and the nude form waiting to be embodied as an extension of the player (the desire to have that body as your own). Yang's game has been banned from livestreaming sites, despite body washing being the only overt sexual activity to occur and having all genitals pixelated. Yang's choice of a person of colour as his protagonist with a non-athletic body gives us a commentary on the cis-gendered, white masculinity of queer male culture, however, Rinse and Repeat also shows us how male nude bodies become dangerous when they begin to occupy the realms of the passive or desirable and derivate from traditional roles assigned to the hetero-masculine body and become objectified beings.

Game List: Rinse and Repeat (http://radiatoryang.itch.io/rinseandrepeat) -- Probably NSFW depending on where you work.