February 27th, 2006

Up today at Wired, you’ll find a new, improved version of “Games That Get Your Groove On.” Check it out. It’ll be fun. I promise.

One topic I wanted to discuss that doesn’t really come out in the article is the idea of sex toys as the true next generation of video game peripherals. After all, what peripherals aim to do is provide a more immersive experience, to draw the player farther into the game through outside stimulation. And what better area of the body to stimulate than… Well, you know where this is going.

It seems that, while the world of video game sex toys – and especially teledildonics – is full of innovation at the moment, the world of normal (i.e. non-sexual) gaming peripherals has become rather stagnant. Even those few creative items that aren’t meant for pleasure, like the Buttkicker Gamer, have ambiguous uses.

So why the linkage? Does sexuality inspire innovation? Does innovation lend itself to sex? Is there something innately innovative about sex? Or is there just something sexual about innovation? It might sound absurd, but it makes a good deal of sense, when you think about it. Sex and art: as humans, these are our only two means of bringing new things into the world.

Tags: Blog

11 Responses to “Get Your Groove on, Again”

  1. Noche Kandora Says:

    At the risk of oversimplifying, I think the promise of profit inspires innovation. After all, sex sells — an old but true adage.

  2. qDot Says:

    Wow, I like the new version of the article much better. Good work, Bonnie. ^_^

    Does sexuality inspire innovation?

    *blinks* You’re joking, right? Most of the hot technologies on the internet today cut their teeth being used for porn distribution and sales. It’s just the natural progression of things.

  3. FerrousBuller Says:

    What they said: profit drives entrepreneurship, product development, and innovation in the marketplace; and few industries are as reliable as the sex industry in that regard.

    People are just predictable that way.

    [insert Steve’s rant from Coupling about man’s eternal infatuation with naked breasts here]

    Sorry to rob so much of the mystique from sex this way – I like to romanticize it as much as the next fella – but…well, we are talking about making money here. There’s a reason why prostitution is referred to as “the oldest profession”…

  4. Bonnie Says:

    “Wow, I like the new version of the article much better.”
    Glad it meets the qDot approval :-).

    “It's just the natural progression of things.”
    Hmm, I suppose it’s a case of “Where there’s a will there’s a way,” and sex (or money – it’s one of those chicken-and-egg dilemmas) is just where the will is.

    Sometimes sex drive is maddening. You think, we’re above this, we’ve moved on. Or you think, we’re high culture. But then we see naked people going at it and you just can’t help but care. Ugh.

  5. Crysta Says:

    Well some say that everything in life boils down to sex and death (or how to avoid it), so in that sense it’d be connected. But I think they’re linked because it’s fun to create new things and sex is fun, combine the two and it’s twice the goodness.

    However, I’m mostly responding for the first time to one of your articles because as I was finally able to fall asleep after pulling my second all nighter for a film shoot I realized that there are really only two reasons I would force myself to stay awake for more then 24 hours: sex and art.

  6. Bonnie Says:

    Hey, Crysta. Personally, I’d fall asleep on good sex before I fall asleep on good art, but that’s just me. Good sex will always turn up again. Good art… who knows. Or maybe I’m just not having good enough sex :-).

  7. Kelly Rued Says:

    Money is a relatively new invention- sex predates money by enough human experience that no one should really wonder which is more primary in our history. If anything money is an abstraction of sex (successful mating used to mean survival, and now successful finances equal survival).

    The values we trade in now are very abstracted from their original purposes but sex is probably only second to food/water/air/basic survival in terms of human priority and motivation because it’s related closely to our survival instincts. :)

    I don’t think it’s chicken/egg so much as it’s evolutionary in relationship.

  8. FerrousBuller Says:

    “Sometimes sex drive is maddening. You think, we're above this, we've moved on. Or you think, we're high culture. But then we see naked people going at it and you just can't help but care. Ugh.”

    Sex is primal, it’s instinctual, it’s written in our DNA. You might as well think we’re “above” our need to eat. :-) But just as the culinary arts have gone far beyond our need for basic sustenance, sex has gone far beyond our instinct to procreate (and, possibly, our desire for companionship).

  9. Bonnie Says:

    Sex predates money by enough human experience that no one should really wonder which is more primary in our history

    Sex may predate money, but it’s much harder to claim it predates economy. Both are ways to make points of contact with people. In one the contact is physical; in the other the contact comes through exchange. Different mediums, that’s all. What I mean to say is, who’s to say trading (or stealing, or sharing) isn’t as early as sex. Of course, animals have sex without having a sense of economy, but they also don’t have a sense of sex. Maybe both of these things predate our awareness of them.

    You might as well think we're "above" our need to eat.
    In some ways, we are. We can decide to be above the things are body craves. Some would call it masochism, others postmodernism. We have gone beyond our physical use, and, as such, we have to reconsider (even if we can’t rise above) the logic behind the demands of the physical. Not that I have any absolute answer here, but it’s an important discussion for consciousness in modernity all the same…

  10. FerrousBuller Says:

    “…who's to say trading (or stealing, or sharing) isn't as early as sex.”

    Sex has been around since the dawn of the human race; it’d have to be, or we wouldn’t’ve lasted very long as a species! I’m reasonably willing to presume we invented bartering – as well as all our other concepts of property rights – sometime afterwards. :-)

    But sex as something other than a means for reproduction? Sex as leisure-time activity? Sex as service to be bartered? At what point did sex start to go behond mere biological imperative to perpetuate the species? Those are more interesting rhetorical questions…

    “Of course, animals have sex without having a sense of economy, but they also don't have a sense of sex.”

    I can’t recall specifics, but I think I’ve actually read about research which suggests some animals have a more complicated sex drive than we presume…wish I could remember in what ways!

    “We can decide to be above the things are body craves. Some would call it masochism, others postmodernism. We have gone beyond our physical use, and, as such, we have to reconsider (even if we can't rise above) the logic behind the demands of the physical.”

    Well, it depends on what you mean by that. Certainly we can exert self-control over our body’s demands and cravings, even to our own detriment – but frankly, there’s nothing new about the notion of self-denial. Don’t you ever watch kung-fu flicks? ;-)

    So if you think there’s something particularly novel about being “above the things our body craves,” well, you’re mistaken. [Unless I’m missing your point.] Modern technologies allow us to explore some very old questions in interesting new ways – but they are still old questions. How far is being a “ghost in the machine” from “astral projection,” after all?

    And sex isn’t like food or oxygen: we won’t die without it. People can – and have chosen to – remain celibate their entire lives.

    “Not that I have any absolute answer here, but it's an important discussion for consciousness in modernity all the same"¦”

    If you did, all our conversations would be pretty short. :-)

  11. Bonnie Says:

    I can't recall specifics, but I think I've actually read about research which suggests some animals have a more complicated sex drive than we presume"¦

    Well, there are always bonobos, who, like humans, fuck for the sake of fucking – in all sorts of non-reproductive openings. Like us, it’s their means of social interaction… they’re just much more blatant about it than we are :-).

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