''Privates'' is a
freeware Freeware is software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work ...

twin-stick shooter Shoot 'em ups (also known as shmups or STGs Davies, Jonti. ''. GameSpy GameSpy was an American provider of online multiplayer A multiplayer video game is a video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction wi ...
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
developed and published by
Size Five Games Size Five Games (formerly Zombie Cow Studios) is a British independent video game development, independent video game developer founded by Dan Marshall in 2008 in video gaming, 2008. Dan Marshall's previous games, ''Gibbage'' and ''Cruxade'' were ...
(formerly Zombie Cow Studios) and commissioned by
Channel 4 Channel 4 is a British free-to-air Free-to-air (FTA) services are television (TV) and radio services broadcast in clear (unencrypted) form, allowing any person with the FTA Receiver, appropriate receiving equipment to receive the signal and ...
as a
sex education Sex education, also known as sexual education, sexuality education or sex ed, is the instruction of issues relating to human sexuality, including emotional relations and responsibilities, human sexual anatomy, Human sexual activity, sexual acti ...

sex education
tool. It was published on 6 August 2010 for Windows. The game received positive reception from critics and won a
BAFTA The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA, ) is an independent charity that supports, develops, and promotes the art forms of the moving image (film, television and games) in the United Kingdom. In addition to its annual awards ...


The player plays as a squad of miniature
Marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea, lake, or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments, the littoral zone exten ...

condom A condom is a sheath-shaped barrier device used during sexual intercourse Sexual intercourse (or coitus or copulation) is a sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in ...

hats who are sent into various people's
, as well as other parts of the body, in order to kill real-life
sexually transmitted infections
sexually transmitted infection<nowiki/>s
(STI), which are depicted as monsters. The right weapons must be used to destroy them, which include anti-bacterial and anti-viral guns. The player can order their squad, which consists of up to three additional Marines besides the player, to attack certain enemy types while they cover the others.


The main character is Jack, who commands Foxtrot Squad. The squad, whose members have been deemed too useless by the "top brass", is forced to embark on a dangerous mission with a combat veteran in the hopes that they will either "shape up" or die.


The game was funded by Channel 4, in order to promote safe sex for teenage boys. Developer Dan Marshall compared the game to ''
Gunstar Heroes ''Gunstar Heroes'' is a run-and-gun shooter video game developed by Treasure (company), Treasure and published by Sega. It was Treasure's debut game, originally released on the Sega Genesis in 1993. The game's premise is centered around a pair ...
'' in its design. He called his
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history when making the game "eclectic, horrific and embarrassing", saying that "if my ISP are snooping on me, they're presumably pretty concerned about my well-being", and saying that the game's artist was "constantly getting sent stuff he desperately didn't want to look at". He also said that his eyes were "opened" about sexual health, and realised how easy STIs were to transmit. The game was rejected from release on the
Xbox 360 The Xbox 360 is a home video game console A home video game console is a video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may refer to: * The information produced by a computer, see Input/output I ...

Xbox 360
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

after being advised that it would fail peer review due to its overly sexual content. This decision was derided by critics, with ''
Destructoid ''Destructoid'' is a website that was founded as a video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer key ...
'' saying "I think it's very disturbing that we have a culture where deplorable violence is considered normal, but sex ..is treated like something freakish and wrong".


The game was positively received by critics. ''
Eurogamer ''Eurogamer'' is a British video game journalism Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games, typically based on a core "reveal–preview–review" cycle. With the prevalen ...
'' said that it was "genuinely refreshing to experience something that gets straight to the point" about sexual health, pointing to "frightening" statistics amongst teenagers. ''
Rock, Paper, Shotgun ''Rock Paper Shotgun'' (also rendered ''Rock, Paper, Shotgun'', short ''RPS'') is a UK-based website for reporting on video games, primarily for personal computers. Originally launched on 13 July 2007 as an independent site, ''Rock Paper Shot ...
'' praised the game's writing and music, despite remarking on some audio issues. The game was criticised by a feminist blog, Hoyden About Town, for being "
misogynist Misogyny () is hatred or contempt for women A woman is an adult female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism that produces the large non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells), the type of gamete (sex cell) that fuses with the Sper ...
". In a counter-argument by Lewis Denby of ''
Gamasutra ''Game Developer'', formerly known as ''Gamasutra'', is a website founded in 1997 that focuses on all aspects of video game development. It is owned and operated by Informa and acted as the online sister publication to the print magazine ''Ga ...
'', he said that the game does not try to send the message that women's genitals are "filthy and disease-ridden", but rather was a "great idea" due to its focus on sexual education, calling the article "tremendously bad reporting", but ultimately admitting that "the author has a point" and that humorous games about "serious issues" will always be open to criticism.


{{Size Five Games 2010 video games Shooter video games Windows games Windows-only games Sex education video games Indie video games Video games developed in the United Kingdom