Quantcast
'​Cobra Club,' a Dick Pic Simulator, Is the Most Erotic NSA Critique Yet (NSFW)

In "Cobra Club," the newest game from Robert Yang, all I can do is control my erection, select different filters and angles, and take a photo of my wang.

My balls look like pickled eggs. They're swollen and hanging from my scrotum, seemingly stuck, hooked at an odd angle. My natural instinct would be to reach down and fix that dilemma, but I don't have control over that. I can, however, use filters to make my genitals look like they're in an old western-times souvenir photo, or really warp the colour and tilt the frame to pretend my junk's being used in a 90s soda commercial.

In Cobra Club, the newest game from Robert Yang, all I can do is control my erection, select different filters and angles, and take a photo of my wang. Before you decide this isn't your thing, you should know that this dick pic simulator is in part a reaction to the NSA.

Digital dick pictures, in their short history, have evolved from a means of virtual foreplay and a way for men to make online dating even worse for women (or for congressmen to ruin their careers) to, more recently, a focal point in the discussion about government surveillance and cybersecurity.

You may remember that HBO funnyman John Oliver recently paid a visit to Edward Snowden to explain to that, as startling as his revelations were, a vast portion of the American public has lost interest. Oliver then suggested this may be an issue of focus—that if the American public knew the government had created a cache of their dick pics, they'd become more furious and engaged with the topic.

"My initial idea was a dick pic generator, to allow people to flood the internet with more dick pics, as a form of protest," wrote Yang on his blog. "What is this freedom? What do dick pics actually say about freedom? As images, how do these fit into an artistic tradition of self-portraiture, much less a tradition of dick pics?"

Honestly, what did you expect?

And so Yang made a mysterious, even intimidating, interactive game about taking and sharing images of your tree trunk. I'd dare call it the PT of dick pic simulators.

While the only ability you have in Cobra Club is taking and sharing photos, there is much to explore. Anonymous messages can share secret unlockable abilities—secrets that, as so many spam emails and banner ads have promised, give you total control over the size of your penis. You can unlock mods for your shlong length, berry girth, and proportion of your twin dingles. Plus there's a "meat spin" mode.

Play Narcissus long enough and you'll have a surprise visitor knocking on the door to the washroom. Keep going down this rabbit hole and you'll start getting stranger messages. I mean, stranger than someone saying "hyper combo finish" or "show me your Pikachu" as a turn-on.

Spoiler alert: after a certain span of time some of your library of dicks will be uploaded to a site hosting a gallery of you and your anonymous community's bodies, stored and leaked without permission like so many nudes before them. A seemingly intimate, anonymous place that is secretly invaded, Cobra Club's photo "leaks" are a reminder that something as simple as showing off your genitals is, in 2015, not as simple as it seems.

Yang's commentary isn't on digital security alone. He says there are responses toRust's recent decision to randomize people's race outside of their control (this time including other sensitive proportions).

"This is basically how I feel in nearly every game with a character creator," wrote Yang, "where often the closest racial analogue to Asian people is elves or some shit. If these games are power fantasies, am I going to fantasize about being white? Should my players fantasize about having huge logs?"

NPCs send you feedback.

"[Cobra Club] is an interface with politics, and I've tried to address that… race isn't exactly interchangeable like color swatches, right?" he wrote. "These are all fantasies about how race works, or how penises work."

Yang also responds to the surprisingly, welcomingly sincere blog Critique My Dick Pic.

"The argument here is that the privacy and respect promised by Critique My Dick Pic cannot co-exist with the danger highlighted by Can They See My Dick," wrote Yang, "while the pure instrumentality of [Reddit page] DickPics4Freedom seems really bland and ahistorical without the progressive approaches to sexuality of the last few decades."

While thematically part of a set of culture jamming, modern graphic games Yang has recently released, (Succulent, Stick Shift and Hurt Me Plenty) Cobra Club is the most explicit and engaging, ushering you into a subversive cycle of dick photos, sharing them with other men, and braving the consequences. It's a loop characterized by its ouroboros logo, the snake eating its own tail—among other suggestive things.