Making Porn from Video Games, Why Old Folks Love YA, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading

Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today we’ve got a look at why adults love teenage stories (hint: they’re fun, but also, kids!), what separates Karl Ove Knausgaard from the protagonist of his books, the trend of porn inspired by the new game Overwatch, and Beyoncé’s “re”formation, written by all-star Hilton Als.


First, at Kotaku, for the best story of the bunch. Apparently, intrepid internet-using, porn-loving animators have started creating quite a number of pornographic videos starring the characters of Blizzard’s yet-to-be-released Overwatch. (The game has been through several betas, explaining the access to the models, etc.) Kotaku goes deep here (heh), into just how and why these videos were created, catering to the hundreds of thousands of users who have searched PornHub for them. (Also, Minecraft porn is a thing.)

Overwatch porn is also pretty easy to make, which goes a long way in helping it proliferate. A lot of video game porn is made in Valve’s Source Filmmaker, a tool that allows people to animate high quality 3D scenes quickly and intuitively. “Aside from the popularity and character design, there’s also the fact that literally anybody can do their own porn animations by downloading the software that most artists use for this,” one of the heads ofOverwatchHentai.net, who goes by Richard, told me.

The Source Filmmaker community is built around the sharing of assets, nude models included. You don’t need to be a professional artist to make Overwatchporn–you can just download what you need and get right to the meat of it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to make good porn, but you’ll definitely have naked video game characters joyously clipping their junk into each other in no time.


Autofiction: what is it? Is it even a thing? Does Karl Ove Knausgaard write it? And, if he does, what makes him different from his protagonist, who is basically the same person as he is, only with nuanced changes? A writer at The New Republic dives in to his, uh, “still waters,” attempting to piece together the “fact” in Knausgaard’s “fiction.” The writer doesn’t really come away with the best impression of Knausgaard the man. 

“I was scared of myself, not in some make-believe way, not to make myself interesting but in reality, scared of what I might do,” Knausgaard writes of his year teaching in Northern Norway, his first after gymnas. That Northern Norway forms a sort of primeval forest bounding Knausgaard’s memory is not incidental. This period, which seems to menace him more than any other, comprises three elements: darkness (the plight of subarctic winter), drunkenness, and 18-year-old Karl Ove’s falling “slightly in love” with a 13-year-old girl—one of his students. Drinking and sex are, to Knausgaard, a kind of darkness; the darkness of the reptilian brain.

It is here that you need to understand Knausgaard’s relationship to Christianity: He’s not a Christian, but you could easily call him a man of God. And a man of God does not sanctify sex. Depending on orthodoxy, sex may be seen as necessary, even pleasurable, but it will never lead to holiness. And be it natural or be it theater, the brutal side of male arousal cannot be shrouded in the sacred. Which is why, paradoxically, what makes My Struggle so upsetting to a female reader is also exactly what may redeem it: Sex and souls are separate.


Hidden behind all of the fanfare around Beyoncé’s Lemonade was covert criticism, mostly that Beyoncé’s new image of rebellion or activist could not be legitimate because she had never been very rebellious or activist in the years leading up to the album. Hilton Als, one of the best writers around, undercuts that argument by tracing some of Beyoncé’s themes to her earliest work. 

 On the whole, Beyoncé’s lyrics operate on a kind of continuum. The underlying message: Men will try to control you by dictating the limits of your pleasure, your ambition, your success. Get yours before they rip you off, emotionally or otherwise. On the title track of Destiny’s Child’s 2001 album, “Survivor,” Beyoncé tells some dude to fuck off: “You thought that I’d be stressed without you, but I’m chillin’ / You thought I wouldn’t sell without you, sold nine million.” On her recently released sixth solo record, “Lemonade,” and its hour-long companion film, she is still telling some dude to fuck off, though this time he has a name: he is her powerful husband of eight years, Shawn Carter—the rapper and mogul Jay Z.


Young Adult books are named so that they should be anathema to adults who do not wish to be considered young, but in 2016, age is nothing but a number, and maturity is nothing but a preoccupation. This look at Young Adult literature blows the label open and takes it way back to the first depictions of children in art altogether, noting that it wasn’t for a while (until 1300 A.D.) that children were represented in art only as children and not as stand-ins for something else. The argument grows in complexity, and eventually includes children’s programming that is consumed by adults, such as Steven Universe, and eventually includes video games, too. Read it at KillScreen

The show certainly has a lot going for it. Its pastel interpretation of a (semi-) post-apocalyptic Earth dominated by pinks, purples, and aquamarines is gorgeous. Its original music, much of it composed by Sugar herself, is sublime, ranging from charming folksy numbers about Steven wanting to see his aunts’ superpowers, to hip-hop anthems about the power of mutual love.

But it’s the writing that really speaks to adults. The world of Steven Universe is a rich stew of fantasy and science-fiction, its sweet overtones masking surprisingly bitter notes of longing and sadness that waft out when you least expect it. But as any good piece of speculative fiction, the fantasy elements are a metaphor for something much more real and relatable. In this case, that something is the idea of growing up and transforming.