214: Artificial Thrills

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OK so we are a western culture, and they are an eastern culture. Each with it's own viewpoints and morals, ect, ect...But I look at it and think haven't the women have been raised submissive over centuries (sp?) so it doesen't suprise me that a game that revolves around the pleasuring of the male audiance exists...

Judge if you want but I tried this game and it really is as creepy as he says. The AI is almost more like bad actors rather then people with their own personalitys, the numbers don't change much, everything is pretty much just yes or no with no middle ground, even more so if you throw in the hacks.

It amused me most of all when one of the girls interacted with me for a change showing the slightest signs of personality on her own, hugging and not letting go, rather then me starting anything (which is normally how the game pans out) before the game promotly crashed! I'm guessing the crash was not supposed to happen, but it just seemed symbolic to me of how shallow the game was =P

A Zero-Punctuation semi-regular viewer, and I was wondering why there was AG3 on the side banner. 1 article later, hello new user.

Illusion's 3D-eroge always bored me really quick the few times I tried them. Nice 3D graphics amused for a while, before I got bored cause there was nothing else different, and no story/plot worth maintaining interest in.

That said, I found the whole "this is creepy" statement to be pretty hypocritical. If you're applying this to real life, this is just as disturbing as ManHunt, GTA, and so on. Only difference is that one is sex, the other is violence. Not criticising ManHunt, GTA and so on, but my point is, they're just games.

Oh, and thanks for the Hongfire plug. Don't hurt to add more views to a thread with 1.2million views already.

But reducing something like attraction to a mathematical equation to me just seems completely wrong. Something like Love is almost by definition, you don't always pick the person who'll be easiest to "obtain" or the most classically good looking or it could be someone who you almost know it won't work it.

You base it on some other emotion which cant really be calculated and defies logic for the choosing of a partner. I know video games are reality but this just seems one of the things people shouldn't try to represent solely with 1 and 0s.

Also people playing this game are likely to have poor social skills, this would only seek to further worsen them since no vestige of actual social interaction remains. And the process of "designing a girl" is also heavily removed from the real world where perfection is pretty much impossible and personally I don't think should be ever be realistically sought after

Mordwyl:

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

Try the Princess Maker series. Fathering a girl is basically the point of the game.

i had that game, it was interesting and fullfiling to make her either crash and burn in a whorehouse or become the queen of the kingdom

and the "hunter" was a good option too, quite an interesting and entertaining game

S_K:
Judge if you want but I tried this game and it really is as creepy as he says. The AI is almost more like bad actors rather then people with their own personalitys, the numbers don't change much, everything is pretty much just yes or no with no middle ground, even more so if you throw in the hacks.

It amused me most of all when one of the girls interacted with me for a change showing the slightest signs of personality on her own, hugging and not letting go, rather then me starting anything (which is normally how the game pans out) before the game promotly crashed! I'm guessing the crash was not supposed to happen, but it just seemed symbolic to me of how shallow the game was =P

(somewhere in a little code line inside the games software)

"WHAT!?!? she is showing signs of real personality to the player!?!? EMERGENCY: CRASH THE GAME NOW!!!"

Keldrif:
Alright, at the risk of totally damning myself to everyone here at one of my favorite websites. I got a hold of this game like a year ago and and me and my finance of five years this December thought it was pretty fun. Not as like a foreplay kinda thing just a game like any other game. Sure this game has very adult themes but, we are adults and I can't see how it's all that different from porn or playboy even thought my girl and I had that phase earlier in our relationship I guess you can say we grew out of it. Still we enjoyed all those kinds of things from a perspective of lightheartedness and humor.

We took turns making girls and dressing them up populating our city with them and chasing them though it. Had our laughs and then just like most other games after you see all it had to offer and "completed" all the goals we but it away to find something new. But unlike the adult moves and mags from our past which neither of us are really interested in anymore we do get a little excited when headlines pop up about adult content here at the Escapist only to become disappointed to see that nobody wants to really try to take a game like this seriously. Sure I have an idea of the risks from the industry standpoint but that don't mean I have to like it.

Now go ahead and call me a perv I AM! and lucky for me so is my baby and, as long as we are happy that way and, we don't hurt anyone while doin it I can't see what wrong with it. So I guess the point I wanna make is its a game and it entertained me and if you don't like the premise don't play it. It didn't turn me into an obsessed, socially stunted, women objectifying, weirdo. Still I know that does happen at least the the obsessed, stunted, weirdo part because W.O.W. was a game she never got into but let me tell you I had a problem. But I fixed it and if any of you have been there with whatever game you know you have only yourself to blame.

dude, what an amazing wife you have, my wife is soo prudish that if i ever showed her what i have in my HD she would probably either trow my computer into a lake or ask me for a divorce

and yes, i kind of see your point about this game, i love eroge games as much as any other games because in general I LOVE GAMES

they are just a distraction, a stupid way to spend time, just that, i dont understand why people condemn games because of their sexual content but can bare with a manly man slizing people in two with a chain saw.

pneuma08:

Guess it wasn't so short after all? I never really was good at that.

LOL, it's OK. I'm kind of the same way.

Quite frankly, I don't care to debate it, as I am not prepared and don't particularly want to do the research. However, I will not accept it at face value.

I understand your feelings and will, like you, "bow-out" of this 'debate'. With me, it's not so much the research...it's the 'rationality of fighting'. The prime-motive of our debate in the first place, was because you (understandably) misinterpreted my post as being directed at -everyone-, when in reality I was only really responding specifically towards Ben-neb's post. I also think we both realize this is a naturally controversial topic. For these reasons, our debate is somewhat pointless, as it arose from mainly, a general misunderstanding (I was never really trying to prove a stand-alone point to begin with; just trying to counter Ben-neb and, from what I interpreted anyway, malinformed moral-high-horsing).

So I guess...have a nice day? (Haha)

...that sounds creepy to me.

Like those people that get those patches for the Sims so they can see them naked in the shower.

The games follow anime/erotic manga relationship logic, they are treated like interactive comics that lead to a relationship(intereactive jerk off material). A large number of eroge come from novels and manga, they are the sexual equivalent to point and click games and text adventure.

The article was funny until the "are you serious?" alarm started ringing when i read: "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." cos the creators and players of those games dont see it as a guide to real life dating or as a depiction of real life women, the line between real and sim is quite clear.

The aim of these games is to create and choose the girl's you want to have a sex with, how else would they do it aside from sequenced events and relationship levels? and when they do it becomes a puzzle.

And to be honest, aren't relationships built on a series of events affected by your actions?

seorang nailed it on the head refering to gta and manhunt cos anyone could say that the creators and players see real life how they depict the games they make and play.

Eroge players dont see real life women as puzzles and submissive.
GTAIII players dont see real life people as target practice and prostitutes as fucking/punching bags.

They are just games.

I personally have played this game and agree with the point about the empty city being a bit eerie. However, I actually found that the way in which the personality types and selectable traits interacted proved for some very interesting experimentation, as well as the occasional total WTF moment.

I at one point tried to make the absolute, shyest, most 'difficult' girl I could, and... wow, did I 'gain an unexpected result'.

Long story short, she (who is supposed to be ultra shy and afraid of men), with no prior attempts at having a 'relationship' with this character, walks up to me in the middle of the street... and rapes me. Sorta. Not gonna go into to much detail, but suffice to say I was surprised. The AI does funny things like that sometimes. (It subsequently happened more than once, by the way)

Side note, I have had a lot of fun with the princess maker games, my favorite time was when I raised her just as I would in that sorta medieval-fantasy setting, and she ended up killing the devil and becoming the new ruler of hell. What does that say about my parenting skills?

well... nice article.

stopped reading the comments when i nearly died of laughing at the point of "possible emotional dependance" while playing such things. yeah... who doesn't want to marry nasty willingly bits and bytes? this isn't real, you can't touch them, smell them or talk to anything within the game. don't forget these important things. they're part of human socialization. it's ridiculous to think that everything can be so easily s(t)imulated...
seriously, it's a game. it's porn. it's business. noone wants to stand for a great philosophy of dehumanizing female population by playing those things.
it's rather dehumanizing men that so many people assume, that we're totally spoiled monkeys deprived of any reasonable thought who don't know the difference between reality and illusion.
but it's fun to watch people try to specificly contain other peoples imagination if they don't like it... maybe, we should start a new age of persecution. witches, jews, perverts... what's the difference? if there is an "evil" thought, kill it with fire. (please note the sarcasm...)

i'd like to add my personal note to the game review though. the game is totally boring.

Interesting read. But good luck with the "research" story.

Huh. A dating sim where you actually create the women you date? I...think I'll stick with Casual Romance Club. Artificial Girl sounds particularly creepy, even without the disturbing imagery of the article.

Speaking of, the article was a pretty good read, but I'm not really sure I'll spend too much time pondering it (and it's a given I'm going to ignore most of the comments). It does give stuff to think about, but even despite my admittedly present love of eroge, I can't really think of any derivable applicability. Maybe it's because I prefer visual novels and apply higher standards to them. Or maybe it's because I can't think of a game with a character creation system without my immediate thoughts being, in order, "How many people can I make?" and "How can I turn their home into an utopia?" My control fantasies expressed in a game run less towards establishing dominance and more towards establishing a protectorate...after all, the characters can't do the same, don't have the chance to resist, and only in the best games do they consistently express conceivable, if still predictable, opinion.

There's probably some disturbing implications in that, too, especially since it seems to only half-translate into real life. But then, maybe that's simply because a game, as befitting an escapist model, doesn't require giving people space.

Arcane Azmadi:
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.

That's because it's not a review of the game - it's an article about the game.

seems kinda creepy, i googled artificial girl 3 it and on the first page half the links was to some user made porn.

Artificial Girl 3: Cause gamers need a reason to be viewed as socialy handicapped eternal virgins.

pneuma08:

Finally,

antipunt:
It's a -fact- that since porn (and by association, porn games) started becoming widespread in Japan, rape crimes decreased.

You tote this as a "-fact-", however I have heard otherwise and doubt it. It wasn't my intention to combat said issue, but rather to dodge it, by casting said doubt over it. Quite frankly, I don't care to debate it, as I am not prepared and don't particularly want to do the research. However, I will not accept it at face value.

Well then, allow me to present you with -- "Pornography, Rape and Sex Crimes in Japan", a joint effort of the Japanese National Research Institute of Police Science and University of Hawai'i - Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine, something I already quoted in one of the "Rape Simulations" article comments.

While this was no doubt an amusing article, Mr.Parrish forgot that algorithmic dating is nothing new to our favourite entertainment medium, as some posters have already noted, you can find it in some high-profile western games (GTA4, Mass Effect and any other game that provides freedom of choice in romantic relationships).
AG3 is just a glorified "make your own porn scenario" simulator, where virtual sex is the real subject matter, while the simulated relationship (no matter how shallow) is just there to flesh out your fantasy.
If anyone wishes to analyse the influence of interactive Japanese porn they might as well go and study their completely non-interactive Adult Videos and barely interactive pornographic Visual Novels -- they'll find that everywhere the prevalent fetishes and gender relationships play out the same (even though there is no lack of variety in said fetishes within any single medium).
And if you want to talk about how playing AG3 and its cohorts makes you an antisocial sexual deviant we might as well dig up the age-old argument of how GTA makes you a homicidal sexual maniac (wait, does killing her after you've had consensual sex count as a sexual offence or just plain homicide?).

On a more personal note, there was a time when I looked into this whole interactive 3D porn software category in an effort to diversify my "single-player" options, tried a couple of them and got bored very quickly -- they didn't provide the appropriate visual or sensual stimuli, probably because they're too deep down the uncanny valley for my taste.

Edit:

teisjm:
Artificial Girl 3: Cause Japanese gamers need a reason to be viewed as socially handicapped eternal virgins.

Corrected that for you.
...
Hah, couldn't help myself. But you do understand that it was never meant for consumption outside Japan?

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.

GTA has totally made the world into a murder fest, oh wait, religion beat them to it. Damn. My actions on Oblivion have led me to a life of the occult, demon worship, and murder. Prototype has convinced me to the merits of cannibalism. Mass Effect has me convinced that I should seduce Alien Women, ala Kirk. Assassin's Creed has made me a neck stabbing abuser of peasant women. Saint's Row 2 has gotten me into the gangster mentality and on a huge course with drugs and violence.

Oh let me count the ways... -_-

Allan Foe:

While this was no doubt an amusing article, Mr.Parrish forgot that algorithmic dating is nothing new to our favourite entertainment medium, as some posters have already noted, you can find it in some high-profile western games (GTA4, Mass Effect and any other game that provides freedom of choice in romantic relationships).
AG3 is just a glorified "make your own porn scenario" simulator, where virtual sex is the real subject matter, while the simulated relationship (no matter how shallow) is just there to flesh out your fantasy.
If anyone wishes to analyse the influence of interactive Japanese porn they might as well go and study their completely non-interactive Adult Videos and barely interactive pornographic Visual Novels -- they'll find that everywhere the prevalent fetishes and gender relationships play out the same (even though there is no lack of variety in said fetishes within any single medium).
And if you want to talk about how playing AG3 and its cohorts makes you an antisocial sexual deviant we might as well dig up the age-old argument of how GTA makes you a homicidal sexual maniac (wait, does killing her after you've had consensual, sex count as a sexual offence or just plain homicide?).

nicely said, i wish i could've expanded more on what i said.

I was under the impression that 99.999999% of gamers thoroughly believed that video games are not bad for you and do not influence you. did a full circle just happen? where the arguement of "video games are bad for you" went round and bit someone on the ass?

Somehow I feel like dumbass articles like this are deliberately written to increase the number of members.

There is a slight difference here, however, in that GTA only depicts crime and violence and isn't in itself violent or criminal (excepting maybe selling it to minors, heh, but I digress). Games like AG3 can be considered in themselves sexually or emotionally deviant (e.g. possibly coloring of ones expectations of what healthy relationships are like). The counter arguments call into question whether this is a positive thing or not (being a game, it may distance people from what goes on in the game, an example of good coloring of expectations) and calls into question if other media do the same thing (like romance novels).

In any event, it's a different beast than GTA, Manhunt, and the like. While you can draw some parallels and learn from the other, the whole thing can't just be written off.

pneuma08 the AG3/eroge/visual novel audience realise that the relationships that happen in the game are not accurate depictions of what a real life relationship is like let alone a healthy one.

You can also say that GTA may affect ones expectations of what an acceptable social attitude is like. But we all know that a sane GTA player knows what is the real life standard of acceptable behaviour just like a sane AG3/eroge/visual novel player knows that the relationships and behaviour in the game are oversimplified and follow well known classic manga/anime logic.

The one time where the player(from both game genres) may be influenced is if they are batshit crazy or really young, but then again that just me underestimating those smart kids and the batshit crazy.

Are you guys stupid? This is a game made for guys to jack off, nothing more nothing less. It's a bit strange to come up with things like criticise the game for what it is. Nobody will take this game serious, as no one takes porn serious. You don't get a girlfriend when you strip off your clothes and show her you weener or something like that. You don't go out stealing cars and murdering people for no apparent reason just because you played GTA for a few hours. And you don't treat women like mindless love dolls just because you played a game like Artificial Girl.

ITT: Killing random people in the goriest way possible is fun and absolutely nothing is wrong with that! But virtual sex is the most disgusting thing and it WILL twist your mind.

Edit:

pneuma08:
There is a slight difference here, however, in that GTA only depicts crime and violence and isn't in itself violent or criminal (excepting maybe selling it to minors, heh, but I digress). Games like AG3 can be considered in themselves sexually or emotionally deviant (e.g. possibly coloring of ones expectations of what healthy relationships are like). The counter arguments call into question whether this is a positive thing or not (being a game, it may distance people from what goes on in the game, an example of good coloring of expectations) and calls into question if other media do the same thing (like romance novels).

In any event, it's a different beast than GTA, Manhunt, and the like. While you can draw some parallels and learn from the other, the whole thing can't just be written off.

No, they're the same. You play games for fun, right? Not for teaching you anything about social behaviour or something like that. Is it fun to kill random people in GTA? Of course! Is it fun to mutilate civilians in Prototype? Yes. Is it fun to slice zombies in half with a chainsaw? Yeah!

So, I ask you: Is it fun to play with attractive, yet mostly mindless lovedolls in an eroge? Absolutely. Why? Because men desire power more than anything. Games like GTA, Prototype or Half-LifeČ are mostly just about power. If you kill your enemies it's fun. If your enemies kill you it isn't fun. It's fun because you can do anything you want to do without hurting someone.

I feel like you guys are missing the argument I set forth. It isn't that actions in-game extrapolate actions out-of-game. It's that the act of playing the game - an action that happens in real life, not "game space" - that is questionable. This is possible because playing games (as well as reading novels, watching movies, etc) are in effect an emotional experience.

Even if the game is emotionally and/or sexually deviant, I'm not even putting forth that the game makes people that way. (In fact, it's probably the opposite: the game, being deviant, attracts other deviants.) Rather, I'm calling into question its value to society (the best argument I've heard that it provides catharsis, which is probably true).

Finally, we have to be careful about what we're talking about. AG3 is about creation of women and subjecting them to your will, which is what is being called into question. I wouldn't lump it with, say, visual novels (although I'm sure there are some exceptions to this, visual novels are in effect a storytelling medium and many contain socially valuable themes and points, which is lacking in AG3).

Hank J.: I think you're also gravely mistaken about your thoughts on the role that power plays in games. For instance, Half Life is not about beating your enemies down, but rather a desperate quest for survival and throwing off the shackles of oppression. (Explain the endings if it's about power! And the role of the G-man.) GTA IV has an extensive story with many themes and a lot to say (although you could be talking about the sandbox gameplay...which doesn't really put you in the position of power either, you're constantly being chased by the cops for your escapades, and most of the time you're way less powerful than they are).

Some games are about power (like Godfather II, unless I'm missing something). But a lot of games aren't.

I also find it somewhat amusing that you are attacking points of view that have not been established at all (namely the disparity between general moral outrage of violence and sex). I happen to agree with you there, but that happens to be off-topic, wouldn't you agree?

pneuma08:
I feel like you guys are missing the argument I set forth. It isn't that actions in-game extrapolate actions out-of-game. It's that the act of playing the game - an action that happens in real life, not "game space" - that is questionable. This is possible because playing games (as well as reading novels, watching movies, etc) are in effect an emotional experience.

Even if the game is emotionally and/or sexually deviant, I'm not even putting forth that the game makes people that way. (In fact, it's probably the opposite: the game, being deviant, attracts other deviants.) Rather, I'm calling into question its value to society (the best argument I've heard that it provides catharsis, which is probably true).

Finally, we have to be careful about what we're talking about. AG3 is about creation of women and subjecting them to your will, which is what is being called into question. I wouldn't lump it with, say, visual novels (although I'm sure there are some exceptions to this, visual novels are in effect a storytelling medium and many contain socially valuable themes and points, which is lacking in AG3).

Hank J.: I think you're also gravely mistaken about your thoughts on the role that power plays in games. For instance, Half Life is not about beating your enemies down, but rather a desperate quest for survival and throwing off the shackles of oppression. (Explain the endings if it's about power! And the role of the G-man.) GTA IV has an extensive story with many themes and a lot to say (although you could be talking about the sandbox gameplay...which doesn't really put you in the position of power either, you're constantly being chased by the cops for your escapades, and most of the time you're way less powerful than they are).

Some games are about power (like Godfather II, unless I'm missing something). But a lot of games aren't.

I also find it somewhat amusing that you are attacking points of view that have not been established at all (namely the disparity between general moral outrage of violence and sex). I happen to agree with you there, but that happens to be off-topic, wouldn't you agree?

All games cause actions out-of-game. Take any first person shooter, for example. While you're playing, you're having fun IRL. Or you're afraid when you are playing games like Condemned or something like that. Just because you don't move your body that much while playing doesn't mean that everything that happens in the game stays in the game.

The value for the society is irrelevant. Games are made for entertainment, nothing more. I could imagine that there are a lot of people out there who can't understand how you're enjoying killing zombies, aliens or humans in a video game. If you see it that way, games in general are worthless for society. I say, you can enjoy whatever you want as long as you don't hurt anyone in any way.

AG3 and other games of that genre are basically just sex simulators, animated and interactive porn so to say. If games like AG3 are "dangerous" in some way, then every porn flick out there is dangerous, too. Because in porn women are depicted as mindless sex slaves who only exist to please men.

Yes, the story in HLČ is about survival and whatnot, but the actual gameplay is all about crushing every enemy who stands in your way. Like in GTA or almost every other game. Story and gameplay are often seperated.

Well, some guys condemned games like AG3 here, or am I mistaken? And I'm sure that most of the users here have no problems with virtual violence and gore.

Ah well, what a wall of text.

HentMas:
"WHAT!?!? she is showing signs of real personality to the player!?!? EMERGENCY: CRASH THE GAME NOW!!!"

lol yeah that was pretty much what I thought xD

Hypocritical Statement 1#: "AG3 is about creation of women and subjecting them to your will, which is what is being called into question."

By that logic, The Sims is just as much a danger to society as AG3. The point of that game is subject people to your will. Now I am going to say a few things bluntly.

It's a game, a release, a mental orgasm to relieve stress. You play a game to simplify a certain aspect of your life that you can remain detached from and thus can enjoy the challenge of your choice. Best thing of all is that a game has an off switch. You can turn it off and walk away, that is called choice. The Value that you are seeking in this game is that it is a simple release for everyday boundaries.

To question its value to society is to be hypocritical as a gamer. You talk about Half Life but don't get its intrinsic point. Entertainment, release, relief. It offers a challenge with a simplification of boundaries and loosening of mores. You can shoot and kill your enemies, even gun down anybody that looks at you funny, right? Care to explain how that lesson carries value to society? Care to explain where vigilante justice and dog eat dog thinking is valuable in what is supposed to be a humanistic society?

Finally, to be perfectly frank, I am wondering why the sexual nature and objectification is such a big deal to begin with. Notice how few people make a fuss over violent content but heaven help us if there is going to be an orgasm? Which leads to me to...

Hypocritical Statement #2: "I also find it somewhat amusing that you are attacking points of view that have not been established at all (namely the disparity between general moral outrage of violence and sex). I happen to agree with you there"

If you agree that the disparity of outrage between sex and violence is stupid then why attack this game while defending violent games? The same bending and twisting of acceptable social values is there. The same basic premise of a video game being a release is there. So why oppose it and not GTA? You actually sound like you were defending GTA's violent content but deriding the objectification of women in this game. I hate to break it to you but a lot of the current GTA games allow for hiring prostitutes and then killing them to get your money back.

If you are technically okay with violent content then you should also be okay with sexual content. You simply don't have to play the game, right? By all means wish it away if you want but trying to debate its value to society is foolhardy at best and absolutely hypocritical at face value of reading your posts. There is no merit to discussing a video game's merit to society as all video games boil down to emotional releases, mental orgasms, and psychic back rubs. If you are looking for something more than that, I challenge the fact that you ever played a video game that made society move in any way but laterally, as in not at all.

I'm kinda freaked out bu that- very good read though.

The evolution of sexual games only seems natural to me. We all learn to masturbate as a matter of "discovering ourselves" and over centuries we have invented numerous devices and media to "entertain" us. With video games being the next great step in the evolution of media, why wouldn't we jump on the opportunity?

Of course, a video game needs a game behind it -- inputs, a hidden set of rules, feedback, and an eventual goal. It's interesting to see how we've evolved from adding nude models to abstract games (with the implicit goal of getting the model naked) to actually making "getting the model naked" the explicit goal, complete with all the actions, rules, and feedback that it involves. It makes much more sense and should certainly help with the overall point of the game: arousal. I know I'd be a bit more "in the mood" having convinced a woman to sleep with me than having finished a game of Tetris.

What's probably most interesting about these games is how the public reacts to them, at least in North America. While it would be hard to deny the fact that a vast majority of North Americans enjoy strippers, porno mags, movies, and even insist on some softcore stuff in their regular entertainment, they are also quick to deny participating in those things, or any sort of self-satisfaction. There is a vocal minority who works constantly to limit and supress these forms of entertainment (though often, they secretly enjoy the same naughty pleasures).

Given the hypocritical double-standard, perhaps it's not surprising that we immediately denounce these "games" for being chauvinistic, purile, and creepy. If the rest of the erotica industry is any indication, the majority of people are probably quite interested in trying these games -- they just won't admit it to their friends.

Frankly, I find the possibility of designing and enacting a sexual fantasy a major breakthrough. As has been shown many times, not only do people often imagine and desire things which aren't allowed (including generally having fantasies of murder, rape, and other illegal acts), allowing them to play out those fantasies in an imaginary setting prevents these desires from turning into serious problems. Instead of a lonely 24 year-old male being frustrated and repressed, he could act out his fantasies and get them off his chest. What more could we ask for?

DuelDesert:
OK so we are a western culture, and they are an eastern culture. Each with it's own viewpoints and morals, ect, ect...But I look at it and think haven't the women have been raised submissive over centuries (sp?) so it doesen't suprise me that a game that revolves around the pleasuring of the male audiance exists...

I'm more surprised that a game revolving around pleasuring of the female audience doesn't exist. After all, isn't that what dime store romance novels are all about? There is one major difference: men focus on the physical act of having sex as an end in itself, whereas women typically focus on the emotions and relationships that revolve around sex.

Given that games are a lot better at modelling physical interactions and tend to be terrible at communicating stories and emotions, maybe it's not surprising that similar games don't focus on a female audience. It probably also helps that, despite a change in trends, video games are primarily a male market.

When it comes to sex, men want women to be submissive because it makes it easier to get to their goal. Likewise, women want men to be attentive to their needs, because that leads to their goal. If you'll agree with these, then it's not difficult to understand why a game directed at male pleasure involves submissive women -- it's not about the culture, it's about the target audience. A female version might still involve wooing males, but the rewards would be being showered with gifts and praise, rather than having sex.

Loved the article and understood every word of it. Having played that title and others from the same company (and also more disturbing) I completely relate to what's written about the game. The fact is, unless for jackin' off, the game pretty much is boresville. Seriously, I never thought a sexual game could be this boring. The only thing that you could possibly find ANY fun in that is the customization of the girls and their clothes. And even that gets old, because of the limited options. Unless you want to learn to program the outfits, and modify them all as in some communities (hello Hongfire). Well, each one has a right to decide what to do with their time and I'm not criticising. At first it's cute and sexy, but ultimately it's a drag.

Wow, I think I need a disclaimer to my posts. NB that what I personally believe should be marked with the personal pronouns and everything else is hypothetical for the sake of argument.

The Sims is slightly different in a few respects, the first being due to perspective - it doesn't put the gamer into the game. This can be rectified by making a Sim of "yourself", but even that's a bit different in that they still remain some level autonomy; the Sim that "you're" virtually wooing can in fact reject "you". Both of these things create a significant disconnect between the character and the player. I may be wrong, but I don't think anyone has ever played the Sims for sexual release.

Nevertheless, stripped of that the parallel of control still remains, and it is an interesting one at that. It certainly helps put things in perspective.

I also think you're selling entertainment short as a medium. I would love to see a game that invited the players down a path of vigilantism, slowly drawing them into more darker decisions in the name of justice, before the dramatic twist and the full extent of their path is revealed. (I should mention that DeathWyrmNexus's challenge is not an effective measure. Video gaming as we know it has only existed for around 20 years, and is only now being used to its fullest extent as a medium.) But really, what is there a novel can do that a video game cannot (besides establish pacing, I suppose)?

Secondly, you guys are still painting in broad strokes. It's not that "violence is good" and "sex is bad" and that "violence is okay" -> "sex is okay", which would be a logical paradox; it's all about context. In Half-Life you gun down people mainly because you have no other choice; when running is an option it's many times preferable. And just because it's an option to gun down anyone you don't like (which it isn't in Half-Life - the game expressly forbids shooting friendlies) doesn't mean that it's both acceptable and encouraged. Furthermore just because games are able to provide positive benefit to society, that doesn't mean that all games must, nor does it mean that we should destroy or eliminate it if it has no positive value, or things of questionable value.

Finally, AG3 gets lumped into general porn once again. It is kind of a sticky situation because many people DO object to general sexual situations being depicted, so drawing a line adds more ire to both sides of -that- argument. But could it be that some forms of porn are acceptable and some are not? Could it be that references to sexual acts (like the GTA IV girlfriend sidequests) are acceptable but depictions are not? Could it be that AG3's form of creation/subjection in regards to sexual release is objectionable while most porn's narrow focus on the act of copulation is not?

Hank: You say that, "AG3 and other games of that genre are basically just sex simulators" but is that really the case? There seems to be disagreement regarding that point, because it is not just about sex, it's about custom-made women and the player's control over them (with regard to sex).

(Footnote: How does "GTA IV has an extensive story with many themes and a lot to say" defend GTA IV's violent content, especially how it allows "hiring prostitutes and then killing them to get your money back"? You lost me there.)

So What you have issue with isn't the sex but the fact that your building a person to have sex with? Would you have the same problem if a shooter let you build your victims in a similar fashion?

Grand Peep:
So What you have issue with isn't the sex but the fact that your building a person to have sex with? Would you have the same problem if a shooter let you build your victims in a similar fashion?

He is talking to hear himself talk now. Games have already allowed this type of control for quite a while. As for your example, that has already been done too. In college, I knew a number of chaps who possessed various wrestling games and the highlight was the customization. I saw a lot of people I knew in the world getting their ass beat on a regular basis in various embarrassing outfits.

Though while there was a lot of self petting in the post above yours, I do want to laugh at this line.

"Could it be that AG3's form of creation/subjection in regards to sexual release is objectionable while most porn's narrow focus on the act of copulation is not?"

You would be surprised how much variety and focus there is to porn beyond simple copulation. You're speaking against people actually having control in their game. Hate to break it to you but game mods and control of mechanics is not and has not been new for a while. People have been fiddling with control aspects of video games for a long time. All AG3 does is put a kit for the user to twink with usermade content. You're acting like there is a wildfire when there isn't even a lit match.

@pneuma08: Sorry, but you're talking BS right now. Of course the player himself is present in The Sims, he's the almost omnipotent being who can control (if the player wishes that) almost every action of the currently controlled sim. And no, the controlled sim can't reject your current orders. And when it comes down to interacting with another sim (i.e. not controlled by the player) you also have to follow a certain "code" to improve your relationship with that other sim (hug -> tell a joke -> hold hands -> kiss -> ... -> go to bed and have sex etc.). The character the player controls in AG3 isn't the player itself, it's just a random anonymous guy who does whatever the player "tells" him to do, like Gordon Freeman for example. It's not like you're thinking "Whoah, now I can have sex with the girls I've created!" it's more like watching them having sex with that random dude. I don't know why you think AG3 is entirely different and maybe even "dangerous" in some way just because you jack off to it.

Running away in Half-Life, are you serious? It's the whole point of the game to kill enemies, that's why it's called a First Person Shooter. Most of the time the player is running around and shooting stuff. No one can tell me that they have the whole background/story in mind when they enjoy a nasty firefight with some Combines or poking zombies with the crowbar.

And no, the player doesn't control the girls, he controls the random dude. The girls can even reject your approach on them and, unlike how it is in The Sims, you have no option to force her to do what you want. So yes, AG3 is a very shallow date sim and a sex simulator. No sane person would take the situations and actions shown in games like AG3 for real, as no sane person jumps out of a window because he played Call of Duty (where you barely survive a fall from a window located in the 2nd floor and regenerate your health afterwards in a matter of seconds).

To sum it up, your main argument why to treat games like AG3 different like, say GTA or HL is because you jack off to it, called "out-of-game" actions by you. The problem is, EVERY game does that. You may not jack off while playing HLČ (at least I hope so) but every frame your eye catches has an impact on your CNS. As a result you may get excited, scared or horny - based on your personal preferences. I would call more adrenaline in your blood and a higher blood pressure indeed "out-of-game".

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