In honor of AIDS Awareness Day on Wednesday, December 1st, a German organization named Vergiss AIDS nicht wrapped up their game for encouraging men to wear condoms and unleashed it upon the world. Things you will need: a computer with a camera, a lock on your door, and a whole lot of dignity that you’re willing to lose.
The game is called “Cock Out”, and you can – and should – play it alone (Check out the video after the jump – NSFW.) The game pits you, a virtual representation of a man’s undercarriage, in a boxing match against the AIDS virus, or what looks like a demonic tick, complete with boxing gloves, green eyes, and missing teeth.
You must thrust and smack and beat (boxers DO DO all of these things) the virus to win the match and feel the satisfaction of using your manhood to save the day! Oh, and did I forget to mention that the controller is a digital condom that syncs up to your web cam, so that however you move, so does your character move in the game.
Vergiss AIDS nicht wanted to create something that would encourage safe sex practices without being overly heavy-handed or preachy.
Under the mantra “learning by doing,” the organization hopes the game that uses an anatomical “joystick” will get young men thinking about protection through “multi-sensory learning.” via http://www.thelocal.de/society/20101201-31539.html
Germany and Europe in general have a different approach to sexual education than in the United States. Slate.com contributing writer Rachael Phelps created a slideshow about these differences, particularly those between Denmark, the country with the lowest teen pregnancy rating, and the United States, which has the highest teen pregnancy rating in the world – you can find it here. Europeans have a more realistic and healthy view of sexuality than the United States as evidenced by the quality and quantity of safe sex and condom advertisements. In a blog post by Dr. Karen Rayne, she speaks about how prevalent condom advertisements are in Germany, even in small villages.
Feeling unsatisfied so far? Check out this video created by a condom company showing how much fun it can be to have kids that you are not ready for. And when you have returned from the store with your birth control, continue reading.
Here is a small sampling of condom advertisements from Europe. They were created at machsmit.de, an organization whose aim is to provide information about AIDS in an informative humorous format. They even have an advertisement generator on their website where you can make your own safe sex image using their software.
It isn’t hard to see why with ads like these that condom use is much more prevalent in Europe than in the United States. The way that these ads portray safe sex is their strongest feature. Unlike in the USA, where the fear of pregnancy is touted as the number one reason to use contraceptives, in Europe, it is the protecting of oneself from disease that is mostly spoken about. AIDS is an incredibly serious disease that kills thousands of people every year, and these ads are focused on telling people that using contraceptives can help prevent them from getting this life-threatening disease. Some individuals might see “Cock Out” as a gross misuse of such a serious issue. Yet, it is through preemptive behavior and creative teaching methods that we can and will be able to beat AIDS, and the sheer fact of the matter is that safe sex practices have proven effective. Also, whatever way you can get people to do something smart and helpful, the more power to you.
Being able to relate to something makes it much easier to understand, and the creativity behind what Vergiss AIDS nicht and mach’s mit are doing is helping to spread a message of utmost importance. If men truly think about sex every 7 seconds, maybe these ads for condoms will pop into their minds also, reminding them to wrap up before they go discovering new horizons. Though I haven’t tried “Cock Out” yet, and probably won’t, it is refreshing to know that there are organizations working very hard to get the word out that not wearing a condom is no laughing matter (unless the “Cock Out” condom controller doesn’t fit because it is too big… but that’s a whole other issue altogether.)