Op-Ed

Op-Ed
Sex in Games: Live, Clothed Girls

Russ Pitts | 15 Jun 2006 14:54
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Under the heading: Girls Just Wanna Have Relevance, the first ever Sex in Videogames Conference convened last week in sunny San Francisco and generally failed to catch the attention of gamers the world over.

With speakers spanning the full range of outspoken gamer chicks - from the always ready to intimidate, Regina Lynn, to lady game developer, Sheri Graner Ray - the stated purpose of the conference was to "Explore the Business of Digital Erotic Entertainment." I am honestly having a hard time imaging a way to make sex sound less interesting.

Adult entertainment is a multi-billion dollar industry. So is gaming. So why, therefore, have attempts to merge the two failed to penetrate the market; often showing limp (if not flaccid) sales figures?

At first glance, sex and games would appear to be two great tastes that go great together. I mean, who doesn't like sex? And games? I mean ... duh. Gamers should be all over this. The secret is: they are. Which is why they aren't.

As my colleague, Shannon Drake, is fond of saying, It's like that girl in the 5th grade who learned that saying "blow job" or "sex" as loudly as possible would be a good way of getting attention. Then, she smiles and walks away. She's not offering oral sex, just using the subject to satisfy her insatiable appetite for attention. The girl who actually does "put out"? She's not advertising - doesn't have to. You can find her by following the trail of satisfied customers.

Sex in games is almost always like that girl. There's no real sexy content in the offing - just attention-grabbing blue-balling. Until that changes, the subject of sex in games is dead for all intents and purposes. Rated X for "never gonna be distributed?" Yeah, it could take a while.

So what's the take-away from a two-day conference devoted entirely to the subject of two things which people supposedly enjoy, but for some reason have avoided (or been prevented from) enjoying together?

Apparently, the collected minds in San Francisco have come to the conclusion that men and women are different, and want different things. Indeed. You could have knocked me over with a feather. If you were, for some reason, angst-ridden over having missed this conference, you may now resume browsing for porn. Be sure to pause your game first.

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