Between Pleasure and Power: Game Design Patterns In Clickbait Ludoporn


Despite its pervasiveness and prosperity in online spaces, the genre of playable online pornog- raphy, or ludoporn, has received little scholarly attention both in Human-Computer Interac- tion (HCI), Games Studies, and Porn Studies. In this paper, we discuss clickbait ludoporn as a hybrid design genre bridging games and pornography as they are offered for free on online platforms. We develop a tentative taxonomy of common design features, analysing game mechanics in terms of the libidinal investments and sexual pleasures promoted to players. Our analysis is based on a sample of 18 games retrieved from three different platforms. We suggest that the design of clickbait ludoporn mechanics incorporate mainstream approaches to sexuality, intimacy, and corporeality with fundamental consequences on how pleasure is culturally produced, articulated and normalised. We close on a call for game researchers and designers to claim the space of clickbait ludoporn with transformative intent.