One of the most bizarre releases so far this year has to be Super Seducer, created by a man named Richard La Ruina, who claims to be “Europe’s top pick up artist.” More a visual novel than a true game, Super Seducer allows players to make decisions for La Ruina as he attempts to pick up women in a variety of scenarios, ostensibly learning the “do’s and dont’s” of dating in the process.
Naturally, the subject matter of this game has drawn plenty of criticism, mostly centered on the treatment of women as objectives or commodities to be “won” or “conquered,” and the reduction of all female psyches into something that could be completely figured out by playing through one dude’s perspective. While there’s an argument that Super Seducer, which does feature some self-aware humor and plenty of ridiculously poor decisions, is all in good fun, Sony doesn’t seem to think so. The game has released on PC and Steam already, but La Ruina’s adventure will not be allowed to publish on the PS4.
The exact rationale behind blocking the release is unclear; Sony has only said that it “will not be made available.” Seeing as the game isn’t particularly obscene (no nudity, though there’s a plurality of dick jokes), this appears to be a moral decision more than anything.
Some may cry censorship, but Sony has a right to allow whatever they want on their console, and it’s understandable to not want to be associated with a product whose major associated search terms include “misogynistic” and “sleazy.” The pick-up artist community has been roundly criticized for decades, and whether or not you believe Super Seducer to be benign fun, it’s hard to ignore how problematic these particular views of women are. There is no life hack that will suddenly make women want to date you—La Ruina might try treating each as their own, independent person for a start.