Adult Themes

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snuffler:

Nutcase:

You offer no argument for this, possibly because none exists. It's just as false as saying that putting playable Nazis in a game necessarily makes them the plot element that must be highlighted, demonized, re-demonized, and distanced from as if the entire audience were dumb fucks with no sense of morality or history whatsoever. Sex is just one of many plot and characterization elements. It can be used effectively or badly.

Well, lets take a look at two very controversial cases of sex in video games then:

First, the whole "Hot Coffee" thing. While the content wasn't technically "available", it was part of the game. Stepping back a bit, the main theme of GTA is just that, Grand Theft Auto. As I said before (and if I'm not mistaken you might've agreed with) "it usually just ends up as a useless side story that's ridiculously underdeveloped and immature as a result."

A sex minigame has no emotional impact? I'm shocked, shocked I say!
I didn't get very excited by the burglary minigame either.
And no, it wasn't a part of the game.

Secondly, taking a look at Mass Effect, although it was possible to delve into a "relationship" in that game, again it was pulled off as a secondary theme to the main plot, and the relationships that were available came off as underdeveloped. There were complaints that you could talk to an NPC something like three times and all of the sudden they were madly in love with you. Again, it was underdeveloped.

Sex is such a broad topic that it can't just be "touched" upon in the game, it has to be a prominent element for it to feel necessary. There's so much attached to sex that just mentioning it can't be enough.

You have one example of a game which attempted to incorporate sexuality seriously and did not do a stellar job, and from that you generalize a conclusion that sex must play a prominent part in a game? Seriously, WTF? Movies have no problem including sex without putting it on a pedestal. Sometimes there is a love interest in the background and that's that. Sometimes James Bond gets some casual sex and that's that.

OK, here's an example.

You are burly male space marine X. There's a woman Y (say, a weapons technician) who's been supplying stuff to you throughout the game. Now it's time to embark on a near-suicidal mission that is nothing like you've ever done before.

Shitty Generic Game #1:
Y has flirted to you throughout the game.
You step into the airlock to leave.
She calls out - once again - in a flirty voice "Take care, big boy! I'll be waiting."

Slightly Improved Game #2:
Y has appeared indifferent to you throughout the game. In her interaction with other NPCs she has proven to be headstrong, competent, and obviously hates admitting the slightest weakness.
You step in the airlock. Some seconds pass, and the door opens behind you and she steps in. She walks close (not smoochy close, just slightly closer than normal talking distance in the game).
"Look, [X]..."
She glances down. 3-4 seconds of silence. Anxious body language.
She looks up suddenly. "Come back, right?" Her voice almost breaks. Maybe as a result, the tone doesn't rise at the end, it comes out more like a plea or an order instead of a question.
She immediately spins around and walks out with measured, brisk steps. Door closes before you see the tears.

Shitty and melodramatic writing, I guess, but still more sexual than an entire Dead or Alive game. Something as small and silly as this can set up a tone for the entire game with no support from other elements if it's done well. Done well means it isn't made into a huge deal, hammered to the player's thick skull throughout the game and explained to death. And that's exactly what "sex has to be a prominent element" comes out as.

Nutcase:
edited

One word: Chill.

I agreed with you.

That "Slightly Improved Game #2"? That's half-life 2, the relationship between Alex and Gordon. This article is referring to something more than that. This will be my last post in this topic, quite clearly I shouldn't have brought a second perspective to the table.

snuffler:
That "Slightly Improved Game #2"? That's half-life 2, the relationship between Alex and Gordon. This article is referring to something more than that.

Yes, but for something more than that to happen and make any sense, something like that has to happen first.

*reads the second page*

OMG what is Morris Day doing to Lucy Liu? :o

The only logical argument against sex in a game is the games are not movies argument and the broad nature of sex. However, being that it is a game and thus already a simplification of reality, ways could be and have been found to address sex in a game without just making it a silly romp that is tacked on. To be honest, there is one argument and one alone needed to make the case for sex in a game. Immersion and it was already stated before I got here.

One of the quirky things about GTA is that you could steal cars, peddle drugs (perhaps I am thinking too much SR2 but bear with me,) and bang prostitutes. Why could you bang prostitutes? Because they were there and you had money. The same reasons you can in real life, consequences notwithstanding. It existed because it made sense. It didn't need to be huge or drawn out, it was there to add flesh and a hint of logic to the world. Same thing with Fallout 3 and the prostitute there, though admittedly that was so tacked on and arbitrary they might as well have not bothered, same with adding kids since they only really existed to insult you and consume digital air.

It is one of those quirky things where sex is some strange and forbidden taboo, much more forbidden than defiling the dead (necromancy) or mass murder (random killing spree.) Then again, I am in a country where they had witch trials and burned/drowned/mutilated people for made up excuses while talking about how pure they were. Of course, this style of thinking has evolved in the predictable fashion where I can easily get a game to wrack up all sorts of body counts. Hell Prototype keeps up on your mutilations which isn't even remotely uncommon. Timesplitters Future Perfect (a game I adore) had a beheading award (around 20k beheading got that trophy. Did I mention that I love that game? ;)) There is technically a rivalry based off kill count that started with Dead Rising then to Left 4 Dead and then to Prototype with an achievement based off getting X number of kills.

So what is the point of this? Most of you probably got it already but there is something creepy about a society that doesn't blink an eye at a graphic mutilation but almost faints in horror at the thought of a virtual orgasm.

/mini rant

snuffler:
Eh, for arguments sake:

[Anti-hero]

Sex has it's place; well the hell outside of video games. Why anyone feels the need to have sex in a video game is beyond me. Quite frankly, I'd rather have a game that the only objective is to kill those things, beat that dude in a race, jump across these platforms without getting hit by walking mushrooms, make sure the zombies don't get to my house through the use of many herbs, solve a particularly mind racking puzzle, etc.

What I'm saying here is, there isn't any need for sex in video games, and it usually just ends up as a useless side story that's ridiculously underdeveloped and immature as a result. For sex to be put in effectively it would have to be the prominent theme of a game, and then in that case, is it any better than a pornographic movie?

If you're sole intention of the use of sex in games is to make sexual maturity on the internet commonplace, then you're fighting an uphill battle...straight up the side of a cliff. Made of shale. With saw blades whirring at 90000 rpm spaced roughly a half a centimeter apart.

Sean Sands:
I'm talking about a main character with a strong narrative facing the potential consequences of an adulterous affair. I'm talking about two characters who are clearly attracted to each other but for whatever reason choose to abstain - gaming needs more good sexual tension.

Sex defines people. It characterizes them. How we deal with, talk about or even engage in sex can speak volumes about a person. And how the video game industry and the culture surrounding that industry deals with sex does not say particularly nice things about us.

I'd like to talk about these two snippets really quickly, for the first part, why is it necessary that gaming has more good sexual tension? And how is it that an affair or a "should we? no we shouldn't" relationship would provide that "good" that you're talking about? You bring some valid points to the table that some sort of tension would bring more to a story but there's a very thin line to show what you're talking about. (I do have some other points about this, e.g. how to put sexual tension effectively in without it becoming "pornographic in nature", but for arguments sake I'll leave that out).

Secondly, sex does not define people. Or characterize them. It is another characteristic of someone sort of like their religious views, but it isn't the only thing that characterizes them. I know some people that are into some pretty kinky things, and you wouldn't have the slightest idea they were unless they told you. They're perfectly reasonable people that like to release their tension through somewhat devious sexual acts. Sex is fun, I'll let everyone come to grips with that on their own terms, but it really is. It provides a sense of release that (for the most part) is enjoyed with another consenting individual.

And for the fact that it's enjoyed with someone else, while video games are (historically) known for being played by yourself, or a group of friends, I'll stand on the side of this argument that there's little place in games for sex. Would you want to sit and play a game with sexual tension sitting there with "the guys"? Or would you want to play something like that by yourself? Would you feel inappropriate or awkward for playing it by yourself? These are the questions that beg to be asked.

[/Anti-hero]

A couple points I disagree with.

One: sex would not have to be a prominent theme of a game for it to be included with maturity and tact. Just because something isn't the main aspect of a story or interaction doesn't mean it's destined to be poorly done.

Two: you say sex has little place in games. I agree, due to the inherent childishness in a "game," being escapism and entertainment. "Games" are fun.

However, I don't think all video games have to be simply games. Look at Heavy Rain or Ico. They're played on a console, yes, but they're much more than simply games. They're focused a lot on character development, imagery, and story. They're (hesitantly) art.

Leaving sex out of games is fine with me. Leaving mature, adult relationships between characters - provided the relationship helps develop the characters, and isn't just tacked on for sex's sake - is important if video games are ever going to advance as a medium.

I refer you to this video. (warning, mature content)

The media attacking the game industry is hypocritical. They are the same people who report every sex scandel, review every movie with random nudity at times, and talk about every shooting they can. Why is it that movies can show tits but if games do it, they get attacked? How come it's okay for people to expose sex scandels that random celebrities have when fictonal characters can't have any sexual drama?

Games should have the same rights that movies do.

Just pray that what Cage does with Heavy Rain works more than it falls flat people.

I'm talking about two characters who are clearly attracted to each other but for whatever reason choose to abstain - gaming needs more good sexual tension.

Like Master Chief and Cortana.

I agree with the points made in the article, however, I'd say the main issue here is that sex is not okay but horrific violence somehow is.

In general, parents would be happier letting young people of say, fourteen, see someone getting shot in a movie or game than letting them see two people having sex. This makes no sense. Surely introducing kids to the idea of hurting another person at quite a young age is bad, relative to introducing them to a way they can make another person *very* happy...

Isn't a desire to find out about sex perfectly healthy, or at least, much healthier than a desire to find out new and interesting ways to kill people?

However, games have dealt with the no-strings-attached versions of "fun" violence for years, and are very good at it, and this is the way they treat sex at the moment. Why should we expect games that treat violence with such a consequence-free attitude to be mature about sexual themes, just to seem more adult? If a game treated all themes with an adult attitude, such as violence, the consequences of killing real people for example, then maybe we should expect "love" rather than sex. It has to come from the RPG world with games like Mass Effect.

Personally though, aside from the genuine feelings I had towards the brilliantly characterised Alyx Vance, ahem, I've no interest in realistic depictions of sex in games, I play games to do things I *can't* do in real life.

My main beef is, if Saw V was in the cinema, *most* types of porn should be too, as they're not so bad, and don't make me feel sick...

Hehehe....sex.

I personally find pixelated pr0nz disgusting. I don't think we're out of the uncanny valley graphical wise for that kind of thing in video games.

The Commissar:
I agree with the points made in the article, however, I'd say the main issue here is that sex is not okay but horrific violence somehow is.

In general, parents would be happier letting young people of say, fourteen, see someone getting shot in a movie or game than letting them see two people having sex. This makes no sense. Surely introducing kids to the idea of hurting another person at quite a young age is bad, relative to introducing them to a way they can make another person *very* happy...

Why not? We allow our kids to play contact sports long before we want them having sex.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Why not? We allow our kids to play contact sports long before we want them having sex.

That is violence within the boundaries of sport, and to a non-violent end. Even things like boxing are hardly street brawling and murder, though I would argue teaching kids that their problems can be solved by violence is not healthy. However, many adults think that they can, ergo war, murder etc.

I knew about sex long before I started playing sport with any seriousness anyway. I had no desire to have sex then, but I knew about it.

The Commissar:

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Why not? We allow our kids to play contact sports long before we want them having sex.

That is violence within the boundaries of sport, and to a non-violent end.

So is the violence in videogames, though. Even though the action on screen might depict "street brawling and murder" that's not how the player experiences it: really, I'd say they experience it the same as if they were 'murdering' Julius Caesar or 'swordfighting' with Macbeth in a Shakespeare play.

Sex is a little hard to keep within boundaries: sexual material is often--even when not explicit--to a sexual end. Violence in a video game is usually to a non-violent end: it's to the 'end' of making the player feel a sense of accomplishment at overcoming an obstacle.

I knew about sex long before I started playing sport with any seriousness anyway. I had no desire to have sex then, but I knew about it.

Sure, but here's the thing: pretend violence is different from pretend sex. Even pretend sex is sort of sex--deceptions of sex are different from depictions of just about anything else, from violence to romance.

The thing closest to sex in terms of the pretend depiction crossing over to becoming the real thing on some level is horror/terror: when a scary movie scares you, it really scares you! Just like when a sex movie turns you one, it really turns you on. On the other hand, an action movie doesn't really make people feel like they're shooting people or punching people.

This may sound strange to most people but the Japanise have accomplished this long ago.
i find visual novels far more emmersive than western mainstream games and they do this with only pictures, music, text and voice acting.

I fear many people behave as if they have never even heard of them before, and you can't judge this without playing one.

Here ill evan recommend some:
Ever 17 (My favourite)
Tsukahime
Fate-stay night (most common)
Kana (heh heh heh)

Visual novels are the only things that can make me cry.

Compared to other media, video games are still in their infancy. It will take a long time for the rest of the world(non gamers) to realize that some gamers are adults. Once that happens, then topics like this will be pretty much moot. Unfortunately, it seems it's going to be a long time before that happens.

dududf:

bjj hero:
We need to start with strictly enforced age ratings on games. This will help to show that there is a difference between adult and childrens game.

Child wants game

Game seller won't sell game

Child whines, and whines and eventually screams profanities at the person.

Child is now banned from store.

Child fully believes he/she is innocent, and that the game selling person (here on called bill) is totally at fault and singled him out.

child Whines to parents about games

Parents think wonderfully of the time the child reaches 16 so they can boot him out...

Child starts screaming profanities at parents.

Parents, spoiling their abomination of a child cannot ignore their childs cries and buy the game In an ideal world, parents then beat the shit out of child and leave it scarred for life.

A man can dream. I get held up in games stores so many times, stuck behind the whiny little seven-year-old shits that want San Andreas and are surprised when they're refused (and, on one gleeful occasion, ejected from the store by force after several attempts and a laundry list of profanities screamed at all and sundry), and it has to end. The parents also need to be beaten, because they're almost as bad.

Well, I just completely forgot about what I just read. Okay... So I'm going to say as long as sexual themes are used to responsibly, then I won't really be creeped out by it. But then again, gaming industries have never gotten to that point yet.

It's funny to me how I was reading the article and was thinking "I wonder when is he going to mention the attractive girl in the picture." Then when he does, I realize she's the girl that showcased Assassin's Creed so long ago.

And it would always be nice for us geeky guys to be more socially acceptable. But where's there alot of teenagers there will be alot of senseless porn.

What I would love to see is a more emotions connection to the characters. Story telling to that of books and movies but with the interactivity of games. Fable 2 could have done wonders with that.

vxicepickxv:
Compared to other media, video games are still in their infancy. It will take a long time for the rest of the world(non gamers) to realize that some gamers are adults. Once that happens, then topics like this will be pretty much moot. Unfortunately, it seems it's going to be a long time before that happens.

I'm not sure we can hang our hat on this much longer. Video games are closing in on 40 years old. Movies, just over a century. Sure, we got nothing on music and literature, but at this point it's just not apropos to refer to games as being in their infancy any longer.

UsefulPlayer 1:
It's funny to me how I was reading the article and was thinking "I wonder when is he going to mention the attractive girl in the picture."

Just as an aside, the pictures are added long after I'm done with and have submitted and locked my article.

Macksheath:
There is simply a strange bias against visual sex, but stick it in novels and it becomes a tearjerking moment.

Great quote. Couldn't help but lol at that one.

Now everyone is saying Mass Effect, i can't say that since I only got about an hour into the game when my Xbox got mad at me and coughed up its RROD blood.

But i'm going to look into the future and say that Heavy Rain will probably stir in the sexual tention area. Since the game developers (who's name has slipped my mind) have put a "strip tease" in it, but [elegedly] it was going to make you feel weird, uncomfortable, that sort of thing. It gives a sexuality to it that progresses the story in a movie like element, but keeps it far from a pornography.

Now what I think is if a game is going to have sexual tention, it better be done corrct and make you feel emotions not hormones. It needs to foward the story and give it a deeper meaning, not a mastubation fest for the sick people out there.

I (being 14, a mature 14 year old beleive it or not) am fine with that as long as it can be done right, and make me feel emotions, not puberty.

raunchysandwich:
I failed to gather anything from this article other than that Jade Raymond is hot and that your were a college drop out. Not to be harsh but, what were you trying to achieve with mentioning these things?

You can rest assured that 80% of the readers have initiated a google image search for 'jade raymond.'

I hate being predictable :(

Macksheath:
There is simply a strange bias against visual sex, but stick it in novels and it becomes a tearjerking moment.

If a video game has sex in it in a way that actually contributes to story in a meaningful way it can have the same effect, but if it has sex just for the sake of seeing 2 naked people roll around, then it's no longer a game, it becomes a dating-sim.

For years we have been saying we wanted more mature themed content in games, but we have to be patient. Change must be gradual, you have to give people time to adjust to the new ways. Bioware took and continues to take the first steps towards a more immersive experience. Now other developers are starting to do the same, the fear of doing something new and possibly failing (or getting in serious trouble) is no longer there.

Chronic Angina, Tee Hee!

Sean Sands:
Adult Themes

If you giggle any time sex is mentioned, read this article.

Read Full Article

As I and many others keep saying over and over again, games need better stories and characters in general, and that would solve the "OMG! SAX1NESS!" problem. Until devs start routinely taking elements other than graphics and quicktime events seriously, the stories and characters are going to continue to be low-functioning pastiches of marketing boobs to teenage boys and faking drama with contrived NPC death scenes set to "FEEL SAD NOW" orchestral music.

Until this story problem is fixed, any attempts to put "mature sexuality" into games is going to be nothing BUT shoehorning it in. Others have already made the point, but look at JRPGs. Did Devil May Cry 4 really need to give Nero a girl to emo over? No. He was fine emo-ing all on his own. And the problem here is not that the so-called romance was underdeveloped. The problem is that Nero and his emo-ing were underdeveloped.

If gaming characters continue to be genre foils and game stories continue to be "the kids will think it's rad to the max," everything dependent on those characters and stories is going to continue to be flaccid and immature.

your totally right in this aspect...
not just the sex thing that has caught my eye, but the fact as gamers we are looked upon as kids, immature or even people who have failed to have a life, this is bullshit, if games had some content that separated the kids from the adults it would be awesome, I wouldn't have to hold my head in shame at work anymore for being a gamer!

bjj hero:
We need to start with strictly enforced age ratings on games. This will help to show that there is a difference between adult and childrens game.

And Australia needs an 18+ rating, why the hell don't we have one!

If it's OK for movies to depict sex scenes, then why the fuck isn't it ok for games? I'm not saying games should go all out and just throw a porno scene in there, but if it's meaningfull to the story, then why not include a love scene? Movies do it all the time, so what exactly is the difference between movies and games? I'm pretty sure kids and adults watch and play both, so the arguement that sex in games is harmfull to children is pure bullshit, or movies would have been banned long ago...

As long as the adult themes (read hot doage) has something to do with the story, then it should be in the game. Mass Effect did it mostly right, though it could be better. The whole Hot Coffee thing also did it right imo. You have to date at least one woman to further the story, why not show them doing it? Even make you control it? I mean, the game is already filled with violence, why not sex?

But yeah, I don't think I can add something really new to this, other than this: Even porn can be used to tell a story. If you search for a webcomic called Chester 5000 you will find a gem of a comic, with a wonderful style, story and lots of steamy sex. It is certainly NSFW, and some might find it distastefull. But it is a perfect example of how to do it right. Now, I am not saying I want the sex thrown in my face so blatantly as in that comic, but why not have some of it? As long as it feels meaningful that is.

The article made me think of that time in Fallout 2 where you met a girl (or her brother--and had opportunity for both regardless of the gender of your player) and if you were kind to her, she basically jumped you. Cutscene fast forwards to her father walking in on you, and forcing you to marry the gal/fellow, who then will insist staying loyally by your side through the whole of the game (and she will stay with you to the entire end if you don't let her get killed).

I was a little put off by the fact that I had no choice in reciprocating the girl's advances, but I thought it was a cute scenario. And I loved how your spouse insisted on staying with you through thick and thin (and if you gave her a submachine gun and made sure her AI made her keep her distance, she could even be helpful sometimes in combat). But I was very disappointed that they didn't let your spouse have much dialogue beyond "I wanna stay with you, pookie," and she couldn't even level up or gain skills properly. You could however, if you wanted, sell her into slavery or hire her out to a porn studio. Because, I suppose, that was funny in some sad game developer's mind (and sadly, in the minds of a lot of players). But you couldn't try to have a meaningful relationship, or even turn the character into a deeply contributing party member--because the developers thought that would be boring? There is no love in the Wasteland (why not)? Here was a character they had made sweet and innocent and insistently loyal and then intended her solely to die horribly, be enslaved, or whored out. And to spite them (not that they knew), I protected her to the end, even getting her across that stupid electricity trap grid at the end of the game alive. In my own mind, the girl's loyalty had earned my character's loyalty, and they would live happily ever after. It was a great story. Just a shame it existed in my own mind, and clearly in opposition to the developer's intentions.

(But, for the record, I am absolutely sure the sex between Jinx and Miria was awesome.)

Moral of the story is, even back in 1999 there were opportunities to write both good sex and romance into games--maybe even better opportunities, when developers could fall back on text descriptions more (now EVERYTHING has to be animated and voice acted). But those opportunities, with rare exception, weren't taken. Maybe the problem isn't the immaturity of video game players, but those who make those games.

And the thing is, if you actually want a meaningful story that happens to involve some fun sex, you have to have a person who is both mature and talented enough to write it. Not to mention a publisher willing to give the dev a shot at something like that.

Good luck with that.

On a completely different note, I think game ratings need to be way more prominent on the box and in marketing, with a big giant note on the front saying, "YOU ARE A MORON IF YOU BUY THIS FOR YOUR CHILD, AND WE WILL FIND YOU, TAKE YOUR CHILDREN, AND KEEP YOU FROM SPAWNING EVER AGAIN IF YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT."

SL33TBL1ND:

bjj hero:
We need to start with strictly enforced age ratings on games. This will help to show that there is a difference between adult and childrens game.

And Australia needs an 18+ rating, why the hell don't we have one!

Not only will you never get one, but it's been confirmed that the Great Firewall of Aussieland will be blocking everyone else's adult-only rated games.

sex and nudity were slowly coming to games till 2 things put the brakes on , gta sa hiding hot coffee mode and a certain female showing a tit on tv , i have no problems with sex and nudity in games , to keep kids away from it is hypocritical when tv,movies , magazines and the net keep shoving it down their throats ... the parents need to be responsible for what their kids do, see and hear , but when people put false info out there about games it fucks it up for everyone ... ie gta3 ,they claimed you rape women , they are hookers also giving female characters big boobs doesn't help either ... oh yeah tee hee

well this seems strangely familiar (no i'm not accusing of plagurism, just noting similaritys)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFywW99Uvwc&feature=PlayList&p=36E520131CA567CD
(and yes I know i've mentioned these before)

Edit: HOLY CRAP i've been ninja'd

It'd be great to be able to do some of that stuff, but try getting these ideas past some of those obnoxious watchdog groups.

Completely agree with everything in the article. A 12 rated film can have a sex scene in and maybe (god forbid) even show a bit of tit. And that has real actors in. Yet a far tamer scene in a game should of course be rated 18 because pixels have been proven time and time again to have much more impact.

The media have as big a role in the problems because they don't understand games - the Fox news debacle was reported by some ditsy blonde and some other woman, neither of who had a clue about the game (the most research one of them had done was to 'watch trailers of the game'). And then the guy from Spike TV (I think that's the name) was left ALONE to defend this while a panel of another 6 men and women (who again had never played Mass Effect) went on about how it was damaging to children blah blah blah.

The 2 idiots who started were also acting like smarmy idiots and being completely rude to this guy who they'd clearly brought on to make him look bad.

And yet gamers are still identified as 'immature'.

I know probably everyone's seen the report by the way it just pisses me off so much!

Like the article said, we have an image problem which is more than partly our fault, but how are we supposed to do anything when the treatment the industry is given (an industry that makes a lot of money) is as immature as we are perceived to be?

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