214: Artificial Thrills

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Artificial Thrills

The better single-player games tend to be gripping, pleasurable and have an explosive climax. So it's no surprise the years have borne witness to a number of titles where you only need one hand to play. Peter Parrish analyzes the puzzling gameplay of Artificial Girl 3.

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Interesting read; can't say I disagree, especially about the part about the wikihow of how to pick up women.

Excellent way to end that article.

That's an interesting way of looking at the issue that I have not contemplated before: it's not (all) about the sex, it's (to some extent) about the power.

That and the sex.

Really WEIRD to see this game reviewed on The Escapist, especially given the recent brouhaha over one of Illusion's other games, Rapelay (yes, it's the same company- their girls all look pretty much alike, even the customisable ones). It was also unusual to see the reviewer do more than just go "OMFG the Japanese are all weird, sick perverts!" like I was expecting.

lol the quote "Masturbation is the ultimate single-player game" we all know that but do we need more or less of these games?...........I dont know what the hell I just said then...............Alas we wont get any virtuel sex until we invent a special room................not gonna happen in a long time......

Like a cheesy romance novel, the women in AG3 are almost completely submissive, save for occasional flurries of assertiveness.

Somehow this rings a bell with me on a different tone. At the moment I'm at a writers conference that has a ratio of 80/20 women to men, and merits of the cheesy romance novel are being preached as something to be proud of.

Which leads me to think that perhaps the condemnation of "erotic" games isn't completely justified.

Now, before you think I'm giving a "YAY!" to eroge, think about it for a moment.

While a large tract of us may condemn Twilight as the Mormon vampire abstinence pr0n it surely is, how can we when we will, at some point, feel an attraction to a game character.

Mills and Boon have a series of books that covers upto, and including, some of the 'different' aspects of our sexuality without as much abuse as we fling at flirting games.

The article talks about stalking and hugs to gain "love", but surely a lot of romance novels do almost the same thing.

If someone was to turn Jane Eyre into a game (No, I don't want to look in case they have), what would you get points for? Coquettish glances towards your eminently handsome suitor? Isn't this parallel to the "hugs"?

What feeds the media frenzy on this subject is the idea that you can create illegal/immoral choices in your love life, rather than if you would ever want to. When writing fiction, I can send my suave, sophisticated computer geek to fall in love with a chinese Wushu expert who has just lost her father to a Thailand Dictator, without condemning myself to a life of ridicule.

People who read "Romeo and Juliet" don't think of two emo kids who suicided because "their families were so whatever!" - they read it for the love story. (Some don't even notice the warring families)

Why should these games be judged on their worst excesses? Because then the positive side, fulfilling fantastical dreams, will never be explored.

(Caveat: In NO way am I saying that playing eroge leads to great sex, but we all learn through play, and "love" is one of the hardest games to get achievements on.)

The fuck that post was useless without pics :)

I'm curious as to what AG 1 and 2 looked like in comparison to 3..

yourbeliefs:
I'm curious as to what AG 1 and 2 looked like in comparison to 3..

A fancy way of saying Where the fuck are the pics :P

Was I the only one who was somewhat sickened by the article? Playing such a game can surely not be good to having a respectful, healthy not to mention normal attitude towards real women. The game dehumanises women until they are no more than sex toys. Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life. To turn sex into something so simple as a puzzle is a gross parady of real life.

ben---neb:
Was I the only one who was somewhat sickened by the article? Playing such a game can surely not be good to having a respectful, healthy not to mention normal attitude towards real women. The game dehumanises women until they are no more than sex toys. Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life. To turn sex into something so simple as a puzzle is a gross parady of real life.

I'm sure the world is full of moralistic prudes.

From my research the mathematical equation of money(x)*power(y)+fame(a)=Sex.Of course there are many hidden variables such as X*Y>A than sex is still likely but if X*Y[A assuming fame is from doing something embarrassing in public than sex is less likely while X]Y or X<Y don't really matter since Y is often related to X on some level so a powerful dictator in a poor nation still has sex appeal or impunity to do whatever they want while in said nation, but a wealthy person in a wealthy nation still retains some sex appeal since they can afford political favors or good lawyers. They differ in that a wealthy person in a poor visiting a poor nation has high sex appeal while a dictator outside of their poor nation looses some.

ben---neb:
Was I the only one who was somewhat sickened by the article? Playing such a game can surely not be good to having a respectful, healthy not to mention normal attitude towards real women. The game dehumanises women until they are no more than sex toys. Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life. To turn sex into something so simple as a puzzle is a gross parady of real life.

By that notion don't videogames like Grand Theft Auto diminish men into violent criminals who cheat on partners with prostitutes or women across town while God of War turns men into vicious killing machines devoid of kindness or mercy who also use women as sex toys and Gears of War is full of men doing violent things with chainsaw bayonets.

I stopped playing consoles because so many console games revolve around men killing other men (usually Nazis), or analogs of men such as aliens and monsters, or destroying things. It was all fun and games when I was thirteen but I am an adult now and headshots don't appeal to me the same way they use too.

ben---neb:
Was I the only one who was somewhat sickened by the article? Playing such a game can surely not be good to having a respectful, healthy not to mention normal attitude towards real women. The game dehumanises women until they are no more than sex toys. Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life. To turn sex into something so simple as a puzzle is a gross parady of real life.

Why are you acting like a religious crusader against this? It's porn.

Let the japs do what they want, and remember that it is our fault they act like this.

I knew that article banner looked familiar... I have a bit of a habit for hunting down and translating non-ported Japanese games, and half the time they turn out to be "erotic" games like this. Illusion's fairly notorious for this kind of stuff (as someone already mentioned, they're the geniuses behind "Rapelay"), but it's usually for certain fetishes or kinks in their target audience (Japenese males).

I swear to Buddha, one of their games is about taking care of miniature women in little house diorama boxes (and yes, that includes doing the nasty).

I don't think AG3 was intended to be degrading towards women, they just put all of their focus on the "customize the girl(s) of your dreams" portion of the game and then threw together a half-baked "game" around that. If you look at the volume of their work they mostly focus on one aspect of appeal and then throw crap together around it; their "Sexy Beach" series was focused on ladies in exciting swimwear and little else. So I wouldn't say they're misogynistic pervs, I'd say they're fishermen... fishermen who spent all their time picking the right hook and bait, and then used a cheap pole.

6PrinceofDarkness6:

ben---neb:
Was I the only one who was somewhat sickened by the article? Playing such a game can surely not be good to having a respectful, healthy not to mention normal attitude towards real women. The game dehumanises women until they are no more than sex toys. Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life. To turn sex into something so simple as a puzzle is a gross parady of real life.

Why are you acting like a religious crusader against this? It's porn.

Let the japs do what they want, and remember that it is our fault they act like this.

How is it OUR fault? After WWII we introduced capitalism and helped them rebuild. I don't see how that led to their crazy fetishes.

yourbeliefs:

6PrinceofDarkness6:

ben---neb:
Was I the only one who was somewhat sickened by the article? Playing such a game can surely not be good to having a respectful, healthy not to mention normal attitude towards real women. The game dehumanises women until they are no more than sex toys. Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life. To turn sex into something so simple as a puzzle is a gross parady of real life.

Why are you acting like a religious crusader against this? It's porn.

Let the japs do what they want, and remember that it is our fault they act like this.

How is it OUR fault? After WWII we introduced capitalism and helped them rebuild. I don't see how that led to their crazy fetishes.

Because we gave them freedoms that the public never had, and because Japan before had rather deplorable outlooks on females beforehand.

It's not often that you see a professionally written article about these kinds of games, most of the they're just written off as sick, perverted and blasphemous.
Hats off to the escapist for doing a review like this.

Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life

No it can't, not easily.

How is it OUR fault? After WWII we introduced capitalism and helped them rebuild. I don't see how that led to their crazy fetishes.

I'm going to say this in as an objective way as possible.

The problem was that we introduced capitalism. We gave them western style materialism, but they had no widespread religion to act as a moral or ethical counterbalance to that. What we have as a result was an almost completely materialistic and cynical society.

The only religion they'd ever really had large scale was shintoismm which in part, has a basis in the belief that the emperor was god. And we sure fucked that shit up didn't we?

Like it or not, the only way western materialism workers is because even with the Atheisic, we as a society have centuries of religious based morals ingrained in our minds.

vivaldiscool:

Yes, I know it's a fantasy game but fantasy can easily spill over into real life

No it can't, not easily.

Unless you are PROFESSOR BADASS.

image

Hmm, I have not read it yet, will probably do it tomorrow but is it sad that I knew it was Artificial Girl 3 just by looking at the banner pic. -.-;
I swear I have no played that game in years. >.>

So where did you get the background photo from? I need to... study it.

I've read the article a few times now and I don't understand what the issue is with such a game. I don't see why people would take offense or have issue's with it, it's not the best game ever but there's nothing sinister to it.

ben---neb:
Was I the only one who was somewhat sickened by the article? Playing such a game can surely not be good to having a respectful, healthy not to mention normal attitude towards real women.

Read any romance novel and then tell me if that's a normal attitude towards men.

Or of the GTA's attitude to vehicle ownership.

If you're getting sickened, stop reading. Otherwise, you're the one that's crossing the line.

pparrish:
Mathematical calculations form the core of most games, of course, but by reducing women into manageable sets of numerical values, these titles present players with the comforting view that any girl's desire can be "unlocked" with the proper sequence of actions. It suggests that all women are attainable if you learn the correct sequence of events to perform in their presence. Consequently, any rejection suffered in real life is more easily rationalized: It wasn't your fault; you simply didn't have the right code.

I think Valentine's Day does more to promote this attitude than Artificial Girl 3 ever could. All the Hallmark marketing for that holiday pitches "Buy the most expensive gift available whether you can afford it or not" as the One And Only Way to get into a girl's pants.

For that matter, a lot of dating advice sites draw up bullet points of various lines and techniques you can use and how they affect this hypothetical girl's arousal, and the odds of that girl being "one of those types" who doesn't like it, and so on... looking more like a spreadsheet than anything else.

I think that's pretty dehumanizing to women, and it's been going on for a lot longer than video games have been around.

One thing you'll notice is many of the "demeaning to women" complaints come from men.

Many ridicule the likes of Twilight for depicting a submissive relationship with a bizarre stalker, but they never seem to comment on just how popular the books are.

No matter how uncomfortable it may personally make you, the idea of submitting to a powerful, dominant male resonates strongly with many women.

Interesting article, especially the part about the game teaching you to 'unlock' sex and women with the 'correct' choices.

This perspective is paralleled by so-called pickup artists who try to apply systematic practices to women they meet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seduction_community). Pretty much the exact same underlying assumptions about how women work are in play here: they're a puzzle to be cracked, and if they don't like you, you read the situation wrong or didn't employ the correct tactic. As understood by these frameworks, there's not much left for the ladies in the way of, y'know, agency or autonomy or initiative.

[q]which suggests that stalking and inappropriate touching are the keys to building and maintaining a successful relationship.[/q]
It always depends on the girl. If she is strong-willed and a nice person, then it certainly won't work. Like comparing her to a pole dancer. If she is... well... I'm not saying the word... then they could work very well. But only if the guy in question meets certain requirements (popularity. Dont want to be felt up by a nobody, do we? Nothing else matters.)

Before someone asks, I did not try that, and I don't do that. It's like seducing a prostitute, or a drunk.

I had no idea that the Japanese erotic games had grown to a level in which character customization came into play. Sure, it's a given that they've already started it, but still...

In a way, it's weird. I'm not going to say sick here, because surely we've all had dreams of that "perfect one" and what she'd look like at least once in our lives, and a character creation mode in a porn game doesn't stray too far away from that line of thought.

I just hope this isn't going to find its way into a Harvest Moon game, like the old style of "dating" games did. The old dating games made you have conversations with a bunch of girls and eventually one of them would be "yours", which Harvest Moon copied.
I'm going to stop playing those farming games if they'll allow you to create your own girlfriend and then make her love you by hugging her.
Though the hugging mechanic was there for your pet animals...

I think I just stumbled on something I don't want to know about here.

As much as I liked this article, to say the least this was filled with "creepy" quotes to say the least. And if I blushed a few times from this I don't want to know how much you did from playing.

curious icon of a bulbous red mushroom coated in pale hummus.

Thank you , kind sir. That right there is the kind of euphemism we all need.

Anyway, great read. I know some people who like this game. What they do when they play it, I don't know. And no, I have crappy laptop at home that doubles as the home PC, so those "people" are not really an analog for "me".

AboveUp:
In a way, it's weird. I'm not going to say sick here, because surely we've all had dreams of that "perfect one" and what she'd look like at least once in our lives, and a character creation mode in a porn game doesn't stray too far away from that line of thought.

Those are usually visual novels (which has a "clean" and "questionable" kind). Essentially a free-form story where your choices affect what ending you will see. It's less a game and more like those Goosebumps books you might have read when you're a kid.

Waaaaaaay too funny to be taken seriously, personaly.
Though it is nice to see a review that doesn't boil down to "OMG PERVS" five lines in.
Is it possible that gamers can be....mature?
NO WAY!

"explosive finale" hur hur.

Anyway, good read. I have to ask though if you were actually put up to this. If I had to review something like this, I'd probably be facepalming the whole time out of sheer embarrassment.

Girls of your own creation...it feels too much like a fatherly idea (at the beginning anyway) for me to fully appreciate it :(

ya games like rapelay to maybe its me but i just dont get how they would rather pursue a cloud of 1s and 0s than really talking into REAL people

but maybe its just me

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