At the beginning of last month, two of the biggest industries in the world were suddenly thrust into the same center stage spotlight.
Brazzers, a massively popular porn production company who owns and creates material for somewhere in the area of thirty different websites, expressed their intention of getting involved in the world of professional video game competition.
Of course, being a story involving PRONZ, it was a catalyst for a debate.
With specific interest in sponsoring fighting game players and perhaps even organizing their own tournaments, Brazzers became the hot topic among internet talking heads and “experts” in the field of gaming. The obvious sides of the argument were quickly made apparent – porn is bad and has no place in the world of video games and/or game competitions, vs. a partnership with Brazzers could bring new exposure (no puns) and recognition to the athletes – yes, they’re athletes, I’ll get to that later – who excel at what they do.
I don’t think I’m taking a massive leap of faith by telling you I am all for this idea; specifically, I would love to see a tournament organized by Brazzers. You’re reading this article on a website that has formed a perfect marriage of porn and video games, so it’s easy to see how well they could work on a bigger stage and scale. What I really want to discuss are all the detractors and apparent bad reasons for this potential pairing.
Brazzers boasts one of the biggest subscriber rates of any porn company on the entire internet. Porn enthusiasts, the ones who will buy films specifically because of the cast and crew behind each film, are passionate and dedicated to their hobby. Gamers know this as well – when you begin to think about it, gamers and porn collectors really aren’t much different. We are far, far removed from the mainstream pulse of popular culture. We typically socialize only with people who share our hobby. We pour countless hours into what we enjoy, often eschewing sleep, food and perhaps even a little bit of personal hygiene in favor of continuing to just have fun. The descriptions I gave you could summarize a night of Hustler productions on Blu-Ray, or a Skyrim binge.
With all of these similarities, and with the potential to work together so well, it should be time for people to stop attempting to bridge the general public with the hardcore audience. If I hear two people discussing what would be a great new feature in Grand Theft Auto V and try to inject myself into the conversation by mentioning how they should try Lollipop Chainsaw to hold them over, I can almost guarantee you I will be ignored or given a blank stare. If you have played Blades of Time, you already know what a great game God of War III was. There’s no need to waste any more time convincing people who don’t want to expand their horizons how many other great games and developers are out there. Though I want Lollipop Chainsaw to sell very well and make him a lot of money – as I mentioned on my first piece for this site – I also truly love the fact that Suda51 feels like a secret that only I and my close gamer friends know. Considering Grasshopper Manufacture’s tagline is “Punk’s Not Dead,” I have a feeling Suda thinks the same.
In Boogie Nights, my favorite movie of the entire 1990s, Jack Horner (played masterfully by Burt Reynolds) wants to revolutionize the world of porn at a time when the industry is set to change its direction. Horner wants people to continue watching his films after they’ve finished doing what most people do while watching porn – he wants to keep them around for the story. He’s an enthusiast, and a visionary. A man like Jack Horner is who we need to manage the union of porn and professional gaming.
Or, just me.
Seriously, I would love to see what can be done in the world of fighting game tournaments with the kind of money, name recognition, and installed user base Brazzers already has. There would be a multitude of options right out of the gate: were they to stream this tournament online to subscribers, you’re attracting people already subscribed to the website who happen to be into fighting games. You’re also going to bring in fighting game diehards who love watching competitions and aren’t bothered by a few images of double penetration – maybe they even enjoy it, and Brazzers offers new fans a big discount on a subscription.
I love what EVO – the Evolution Championship Series – has done for fighting games and the competition scene, but their presentation of the event needs some serious work. Putting highlights on the shitshow that is G4TV doesn’t count.
Brazzers, on the other hand, seems to know a thing or two about production quality. If people can’t catch the action live, there could be a fantastic Blu-Ray release put out with interview segments featuring winners, losers, porn stars mingling with players, commentaries by athletes on their matches – I could go on for a while about the way fans could become a brand new aspect of a tournament like this.
The tournament certainly wouldn’t need to worry about finding a huge convention center to host the event. Both EVO and the AVN Expo are held in Las Vegas at major casino resorts. I guarantee that if Brazzers put on a show to compete with EVO, it would blow it out of the water. It would also generate even more publicity for both industries, something the two are aiming for in the first place. While I am of the opinion that mainstream success need not be a goal, I would get a kick out of seeing all the talking heads on cable news shows being forced to mention two topics they wish would just go away so they can continue to cover pointless political sound bites and celebrity DUIs.
Another idea being toyed with by Brazzers is sponsoring individual competitors in tournaments, an idea that has also sparked controversy for the image of porn being associated with professionals. This is where my blood starts to boil.
The two images you see above are synonymous with professional sports. Nike and Jordan practically have a monopoly in the athletic shoe market – any store who specializes in lifestyle clothing and apparel will not sell one item without prominently featuring those logos. Derek Jeter, Lebron James, and even NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin all have their shoes or clothing emblazoned with the Jumpman logo – a name, ironically, that Mario could have held onto for a long time himself. If any of these athletes were to be approached by Brazzers, I have a feeling they would give a quick press piece, replayed fifty times throughout the day on Sportscenter, explaining how they would never associate themselves with an industry that promotes obscenity, I have children of my own, I have morals…you know the drill.
Of course, by prominently displaying Nike-branded clothes, they associate themselves every day with an industry that doesn’t promote sex; rather, child slavery and exploitation. The business practices of sweatshops in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and other third-world countries to which a majority of Nike’s production has been outsourced over the years have been well documented as a gross violation of almost every human rights law in existence. For some reason, it is accepted, and every day that goes by where none of these athletes question it is another day where they are simply hypocrites.
Sweatshops are fine, but the adult entertainment industry, where legitimate professionals are screened, tested and regulated for major production companies, is off limits. It’s hypocritical, and simply bullshit. This is exactly why Brazzers should not even bother courting the mainstream market for anything they do involving gaming, because these people are beyond any sort of rational thinking. Let me assure you: if you buy into the idea that video games should not be “tarnished” by an association with porn because of image consciousness, you’re fucking dead to me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go look at some porn and play some games. I encourage you to do the same.