In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, players wield weapons like a spiked drone that will hunt down your enemy and impale them, or an assault rifle that 3-D prints ammunition in real time, so your gun is never out of bullets. First Person Lover, on the other hand, features a holographic kiss blower and a teddy bear bomb that detonates with a blast of pure love.
First Person Lover, by Isbit Games, is technically an advertisement for Swedish fashion label Björn Borg. But it’s a snarky commentary on the state of video games. First-person shooters (or FPSs for short) have become a multi-decade mainstay in the gaming industry. Their premise? Put the player in the first-person view of a protagonist, give him some guns, and force him to shoot his way through waves of bad guys until he wins.
It’s a crazy-successful formula. In the past 12 years, Call of Duty FPS games alone have grossed $10 billion.
First Person Lover, on the other hand, aims the war-machismo of FPS mechanics at violence itself. Your protagonist is like a Call of Duty cupid, donning a mishmash of aviator glasses and undergarments, blowing kisses, bubbles, and even rainbow-colored energy beams at foes. The goal? Shoot the bad guys enough that you’ll strip them totally naked. And as they huddle to cover their bodies in shame, sneak in close and hit a button to “liberate” them.
Yes, you’re more or less a free hug guy funded by DARPA.
Of course, “liberation” just means that the poor, naked soul in front of you is clothed in Björn Borg apparel, and then walks away with a big smile. No harm is done to these innocent virtual people! But to be perfectly honest, playing cupid feels strangely date rape-y pretty quick.
When I asked Jonas Lindberg Nyvang, marketing manager at Björn Borg, if the game is, while not creepy in a violent way like most first-person shooters, maybe creepy in an orgiastically lensed sexual way, he rebukes the sentiment.
“We are not forcing people [to have sex],” Nyvang writes. “As a love agent in the game your mission is to liberate haters by undressing them with your love guns and then dress them in Björn Borg clothing.”
Ah, yes. Perfectly normal then.
First Person Lover is available to try free in-browser here.