Should you wait for the right moment or follow your coworker into the sexploitation section of the video store?

That’s one of several situations presented in "Dry Hump the Game," an interactive YouTube experience uploaded on Friday afternoon. The video series plays out as a crass, virtual version of a Choose Your Own Adventure story, with users helping characters—there are four to choose from—get their grind on.



It’s a devilishly fun experiment that’s probably NSFW, but there are higher stakes involved than a rubdown for the video’s creative team, Monofonus Press. Since 2008, the Austin-based record label and publishing company has specialized in multimedia offerings, packaging local music releases with specific works by authors and painters—most notably Your Name Here, a collection of paintings by punk-funk renegade Tim Kerr, which was coupled with a cassette tape of his hand-picked greatest hits.

“One of the main problems we have as a label is just trying to figure out who to get exposure, to find people to just give us a chance with the music and the books that we’re putting out,” said founder Morgan Coy, who directed the series and, through his ambient music collaboration with Shearwater/Swans member Thor Harris, contributed to its soundtrack.

“When we make a music video, we have to really hustle to get it out there and get a thousand views. But then I saw the numbers that people were getting by making something so bad – hundreds of thousands of views – we wanted to try something different. This is perfect for YouTube.

“It hits the lowest common denominator.”

Shot over a four-day period that resulted in 22 different segments, Dry Hump doubles as a multi-level label sampler, featuring contributions from Diagonals (“Super Model”), Secrecy (“Cockoo”), and Soft Encounters (“Professional Seamen”), as well as unreleased material from the Pillow Queens and John Wesley Coleman of the Golden Boys, among others.

Coy also describes the game as comedic commentary on the absurdity of Texas’ abstinence-based public education, which has proven even less successful than Gov. Rick Perry’s proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain.

“This is something that should fit right into that Christian and abstinence-only education,” he laughs.

Dry Hump’s starting to gain traction. More than 1,600 users have thus far played along. And the video’s part of a larger YouTube trend in interactive adventures, led by The Time Machine and the Fine Bros., who have created an entire series of games, ranging from American Idol to the 8-bit version of "Saved By the Bell" that went viral last week.

But Coy points out one crucial difference.

“Even the failures are pretty awesome,” says Coy. “We made a point to make sure that every segment was enjoyable to watch on some level… for certain kinds of people.”