Dating Simulation, Cooking Simulation
Different Games Conference 2016 Arcade
Meat Boys is a cooking simulation game portraying gay men’s dating culture and its normalization of sexual objectification. In this game, the player opens a dating app menu to meet meats. Designed for the millennials who uses dating apps on a regular basis, the game’s main objective is to raise awareness on gay culture’s heavy emphasis on physical attractiveness.
The game has been exhibited at the 2016 Different Games Conference, Game Devs of Color, and Playcrafting NYC Winter Expo.
In a 2007 article published by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin journal titled “Those speedos become them: the role of self-objectification in gay and heterosexual men’s body image” by Martins Y., Tiggemann M., Kirkbride A., scholars suggested that “The gay male subculture contains a high level of sexual objectification with its extreme emphasis on physical attractiveness.”
To emphasize the level of sexual objectification in the gay culture, I generated a survey that contains photographs of male bodies found on gay dating apps, and asked participants to match those bodies to meat products. The survey response was collected from Oct 26th – Oct 31st 2015, with approximately 50 participants. Afterwards, I used the data collected and assigned different meat to each gay subcultures: Beary Beef, Twinky Philly, Cocky Jock…etc, and assigned personalities based on how they’d response to text messeges on the gay dating app.
Meat Boys was heavily influenced by cooking simulation game Cooking Mama, and Wario Ware, a collection of micro games presented in quick succession. Using the same game mechanics from these popular titles, Meat Boys was designed to be fast-paced and performance-based. Each micro game represented a different activity in the meal preparation/dining, such as mixing, frying, or eating. Throughout the cooking session, the meat gives you feedback on your performance by sending texts to you, and occasionally moaning. When players complete a stage, they are awarded with points that can be accumulated throughout the game. If players fail at a stage, the game is over and the meat will give players final ratings based on their cooking (sexual) performance.
Meat Boys was honored to be featured in the fourth annual Different Games Conference that took place on April 8-9, 2016 at NYU MAGNET in Brooklyn, NY as part of the arcade games. The game conference fosters diversity and inclusivity in games by amplifying the creative and critical voices of marginalized participants in games culture.