Over in Denmark, a new campaign has launched in the effort to combat violence. However, its sexualization of said violence, the "pussy-gangster" meter, and light chastisement at the end of the simulation seems more condonement than condemnation.
"Hit the Bitch" is the campaign, which shares the same name as the advergame-style simulation that accompanies it. You play a man (represented by a disembodied white forearm and hand) in some sort of altercation with a woman you know. (I was unable to find a translation of the content from Danish). At various points, the woman provokes you, at one point flipping you the bird. As you smack her, the meter creeps slowly upwards. The way to end the game is to continue slapping the girl until your meter moves from 100% pussy (no hits) to 100% gangsta (around ten hits).
After reaching the end, the girl falls to the floor, and you are greeted with a 100% Idiot message, as well as a scolding in Danish. Statistics also flash over the screen, which are presumably about the death toll of physical violence.
I finished the game unnerved - the long slog to get to the end wasn't at all rewarding (unless you get off on images of violence) and the tsk-tsking at the very end isn't nearly enough to counter the bruality of the game play, which can be done using a mouse or a webcam to control the hits. Adfreak shares this feeling of unease:
Setting up an interface where you're encouraged to slap and punch a woman seems pretty extreme. It's almost like an advergame, except you're delivering an adverbeating! (You can use the mouse, or connect with your Webcam and swing at the girl with your hand.) Getting called a "100% idiot" at the end doesn't feel like much of a rebuke. Perhaps you're supposed to feel guilty, like a real-life abuser might, for continuing to hit the woman just to see what happens next?
What bothered me most about the game was definitely the sexualization of the abuse. From the opening scene, it is inescapable.
Sociological Images points us toward the documentary Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex, and Power in Music Video, and its segment on sexualized violence. This snippet discusses the prevalent practice of showing violent imagery in a sexualized context, and the stunning real life consequences:
This game is saturated with the sexy-violence meme, from the woman's cute clubbing outfit (complete with a short leather skirt)...
...to the post-hit pouty face she makes (before her face is completely bruised that is.)
The project is way too glamorized and stylized to have the impact the organization hoped. Instead, the project ends up reinforcing the idea that violence is sexy, while allowing their ultimate message to fall to the wayside.