Sex ed game made by Chinese high schoolers gets sex ed wrong
Seven high schoolers made Self-Reliance in a bid to improve China’s sexual education
Take it from someone who went to school there: Sex ed is not good in China.
So a bunch of Chinese high schoolers took it upon themselves to act out a few sketches, turning that footage into a sex ed game called Self-Reliance. They released it on Steam, with gamers giving them encouraging reviews and many media outlets recognizing their efforts.
Maybe that explains why they got it wrong.
The scenario in the video gives players a choice: Clean a friend’s toilet before sitting on it, or just sit without cleaning? If you choose the latter, you immediately contract HPV.
Let me stress this: You cannot get HPV just by sitting on a toilet seat! Self-Reliance, albeit with the world’s best intention to educate, actually fails to teach this particular lesson accurately.
It’s a pity, because otherwise it’s an admirable effort from seven high school kids in Shanghai. The game is simple, short, and amusing to play, taking place entirely as a series of scenes setting up key decisions to make.
There are two scenarios here. The first features a girl, asked by her boyfriend to stay over, trying to make the correct choices: Do you turn down sex if he doesn’t have protection?
The second scenario involves a guy getting drunk with his boyfriend -- yup, this game includes a same sex couple. (This scenario, incidentally, is where you find the toilet-with-HPV challenge.)
The game takes a light and comedic tone throughout, which helps the amateur level of acting you’d expect from a game featuring high schoolers. And sometimes the game kicks it up a few notches for extra comedic effect: When your boyfriend emerges from the shower, ready to hook up with you, he looks like a chubby Macklemore in a furry leopard-print bathrobe.
The other couple, the two men, are equally hilarious. During a scene where you and your boyfriend are getting drunk at his apartment, the two -- remember, they’re high schoolers -- act like millionaires, sloshing red wine in glasses like Dwyane Wade and Paul George.
The comedic tone also helps to cover up the fact that this sex ed game has no sex in it. (Come on, it’s made by children. What did you expect?)
So here, the “sex scenes” are simulated with the ruffling of clothes, or faux-Macklemore kissing the camera.
The game awards you with a score in the end, ranging from +100 to -100. We don’t fully understand what it means, but we discovered that you get +100 for not having sex, 0 for having sex while making good decisions to protect yourself, and -100 if you fail everything.
But the game does make its feelings clear through the title it also awards you: If you choose to engage in sex at all, you’re also labeled “Loser”, because underage sex is bad. But if you choose to not have sex, congratulations! The game awards you a badge titled “The World’s Unparalleled Elite.” (The game also ends in 5 seconds, because it takes just one decision to reach this ending.)
If you want to see more of Self-Reliance, check out our full stream here!