Game Research

Blog by the game research group

Platform-produced Heteronormativity: A Content Analysis of Adult Videogames on Patreon

Petri Lankoski, Thomas Apperley, J. Tuomas Harviainen


This article examines the prominent role of Patreon in the rapidly growing sector of crowdfunded pornographic games. Recent research has indicated that, on average, more people (patrons) are funding pornographic digital games on Patreon than other (non-adult) digital games (Lankoski & Dymek, 2020). Graphtreon’s ‘Top Patreon Creators’ list from 9 June 2021 includes six NSFW game projects among the top 50 projects (ranked by number of Patrons).1 For example, Summertime Saga (Dark Cookie), the highest-ranked pornographic game, is third in terms of the number of funders, with 27,791 patrons funding $74,657 per month. While Wild Life – An Adult RPG (Adeptus Steve), which reportedly only had 9417 patrons as of 9 June 2021, receives a monthly income of $94,129 from those pledges.2 The current funding levels for both Patreon projects are considerably higher than when we began our sampling: since January 2020, the funding level for Summertime Saga has risen by 27.86%, while for Wild Life – An Adult RPG it has risen by 21.45%.
adult games, content analysis, heteronormativity, non-consensual sex, patreon funding, pornography

Paper: Patreon and Porn Games: Crowdfunding Games, Reward Categories and Backstage Passes

Petri Lankoski & Mikolaj Dymek

In DiGRA 2020 conference proceedings:


Patreon is a crowdfunding platform where pornographic games are funded; even the most successful game developer in terms of the number of members is developing a pornographic game. We looked at 42 developers and their Patreon pages in order to examine the effects of the Patreon crowdfunding model on videogame development. Especially we studied membership rewards. As a result, developers were not only selling the game, but rewards we much about Community, Influence, and Recognition. Regulating Content Access is used regularly but often the latest version of the game is made available to everybody, just later to the members funding the development. We propose that certain rewards are similar to backstage passes in the music business and suggest that Patron pornographic games funding deviates from the crowdfunding model is not following mainly product-oriented commodity logic but a more community-oriented concept.

Keywords: Patreon, pornography, porgraphic games, crowdfunding, rewards

UX of AI in games workshop at FDG2019

We are organizing another AI & Games focussed workshop at this year’s Foundations of Digital Games conference:
2019 Workshop on User Experience of Artificial Intelligence in Games @ FDG

How do players experience Artificial Intelligence (AI) in games? How do they feel about the AI, and how is what the AI does communicated to the player? Is there interaction with the AI, and if so, who takes the lead? Is this a social experience, a believable one? Is the AI creative, or at least perceived as such? And finally, is the AI making the game experience better?

AIs fill many roles in games, from companions to antagonists, from storytellers to architects and game testers. With all the recent focus and technical advances in AI this is likely to increase, and the recent popularity of artificial intelligence is moving AIs to the foreground of games. This raises many questions — and in this workshop, we want to look at those surrounding the player’s user experience with artificial intelligence in its many forms.
The 2019 Workshop on User Experience and Artificial Intelligence encompasses the intersection between UX and AI as it manifests in games. We wish to act as a point of interaction between researchers specialized within these fields, in the hope that this will help facilitate research that allows for the creation of more interesting and robust AI-based game experiences.

This workshop aims to build a community centered on this by putting forward demonstrations of work in the integration of these two areas, as well as models and theories that can be used to create understanding where the areas intersect. We especially welcome demonstrations of work in progress or work showcasing new ideas. We are interested in realized prototypes, demons and applications — especially designed created to explore hypotheses. We are also open to philosophical and humanities-based approaches and provocative ideas.

The workshop is co-located and organized with the 2019 Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) conference in San Luis Obispo, California, USA (August 26-30, 2019).

Here is the full CFP:
Call for Papers to the 2019 Workshop on User Experience of Artificial Intelligence in Games @ FDG

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