A Bit of the Old Up, Up, Down, Down

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Cousin_IT:
I spent the whole Mass Effect 2 "sex" scene wondering why I was watching two fully clothed mannequins awkwardly bump into each other. Then it finished & I felt a bit dirty.

I think the problem is that "selling" a non-explicit sex scene (i.e. one where the camera can't linger on anything important) involves a lot of focus on the participant's facial expressions. (Think of the sex scenes in most Hollywood films.) But computer generated graphics struggle to portray human faces with that sort of realism. So what you get has a tendency to resemble two dolls being rubbed together, with either spookily blank or comically exaggerated expressions.

Azuaron:

Sandytimeman:
In all seriousness though, our genre is pushed buy the consumers who by Madden Football and CoD12 etc. The "Jock" type. I don't really see sexual maturity in the foreseeable future.

Skyrim disproves that.

Plus, most of the games that actually feature sex (Mass Effect, Alpha Protocol etc.) tend to try and fill the "thinking man's game" niche, rather than the "jock fodder" niche. The problem is that for all their talk, these "nerdier" games aren't any better equipped at handling sex in a mature manner.

that fuses together the eyes of an owl, a balloon shaped cranium and the bodily measurements of a 10 year old Romanian gymnast.

This reminds me of the opinion that Western cartoon ladies look like men with their sharp jaws. Except the rivaling opposite.

I'm neutral towards everything else relating to the article, though.

Dastardly:
On one hand, there are some problems with what is shown on the screen. Mostly, it's the "male gaze" problems -- the sex scenes are designed to appeal mostly to males (or women who prefer to watch women). I don't think the real problem is with how explicit (or not) the sexual content is, but rather with the female-skin-bias, and the social messages that carries with it.*

It's an evolutionary bias though. The female body has evolved, more than the male body, as a sexual signalling device, and thus males have evolved to be more visually responsive to female bodies than the other way around.

Eye candy for women will be something else than a sex scene.

Baldr:
I don't think sex or sexuality should be in games period. It is a private affair. It shouldn't matter to anyone in games or real life, who is doing who. Relationship are a public affair. There can be real complex dynamic relationships in stories without involving sexuality. If you can't create those type of relationships without bringing in sexuality, you shouldn't be making games.

What a load of crap. Of course one can make good stories without sex, but sex can be a pretty damn emotional thing. If you want quality stories, sex can absolutely be a part of that. Not how the games of today portrait it though, but why limit oneself?

Dont throw in sex to tick off the nudity tag on the box, have sex as a natural reaction to the interaction between characters. That is meaningful. Imagine if you'd been exploring romantic options of several of the crewmembers in ME2 for example, and then you decide to sex up...for example Tali. And Miranda goes off on a total jealous rant, you lose loyalty, maybe she doesnt want to stay on the mission or maybe she even betrays you. All because of sex.

Sex is so much more than the cheesy stupid sequences in games, it can be cause and effect of a whole fuckload (heh) of stuff that happens to your character.

tobyornottoby:
It's an evolutionary bias though. The female body has evolved, more than the male body, as a sexual signalling device, and thus males have evolved to be more visually responsive to female bodies than the other way around.

Eye candy for women will be something else than a sex scene.

My wife would beg to differ.

Evolutionary program simply means that showing the female body is the shortest route to sexual signalling. But part of our "social evolution" as a species includes women developing their own sense of sexuality -- which is as multi-faceted as anything else.

While it is true that, in terms of percentages, men are more visually-oriented than women, let's remember that we are all visual creatures. Around 80% of the information we take in daily is visual, so one can't ignore or downplay the significance of sight.

There have been some interesting studies in which women were shown porn while being monitored for brain activity. When images of the penis were shown, even briefly, it registered arousal too quickly to be conscious. These were reactions to visuals at an instinctive level.

Easier-to-gather data: Find a group of your "average" women, put on the opening scene of Snatch (Brad Pitt) and gauge the reaction to the visuals. (My wife is giving me the thumbs-up on this. Enthusiastically. Hell, that scene made me want Brad Pitt just a little more than I'd be proud admitting.)

Basically, the idea that men want to watch sex more than women is a cultural construct that has resulted from men wanting (or wanting to believe) that women want it less. And because that belief has persisted, it has spawned other beliefs (like the idea that sex scenes should favor the male point-of-view) which that data simply don't support.

It's a whole new world out there (that we're just discovering has been there all along)...

Baldr:
I don't think sex or sexuality should be in games period. It is a private affair. It shouldn't matter to anyone in games or real life, who is doing who. Relationship are a public affair. There can be real complex dynamic relationships in stories without involving sexuality. If you can't create those type of relationships without bringing in sexuality, you shouldn't be making games.

I have to object. This is like saying there shouldn't be erotic art. There are mature ways of approaching sex in every medium, the way to do this on games is still being explored and discovered, which is why a lot of the attempts seem, like the article says, immature. I'm confident that games can cover sex in a meaningful way, it just doesn't necessarily need to be part of gameplay, or can be very uninvolved with the player personally, as a development of the characters.

A blanket ban on "private affairs" appearing in games (not that you are necessarily supporting one at all, this is just what the political result would probably be if everyone believed what you seem to) would be a knee-jerk reaction, a show of how ignorant of sex as say an expression of love and beauty we are, and how stuck in ancient superstitions about sin we are. It would be to prove that society itself is immature in how it addresses sex.

Yes, there can be real complex dynamic relationships without bringing in sexuality, but that's not a reason not to include sex in a game. That's just a way of getting away with avoiding the risk of doing it wrong. Artistically, it's uninteresting, and vanilla, like any Hollywood movie, shying away from a shot of someone's genitals because a Sunday school preacher may raise an army against the art.

Art exists to offend people. That's how it breaks ground. "Private affairs" are another part of life that games should dare to cover, and they can be just as important as they can be when addressing public affairs and politics.

Furthermore, the sexual development of an individual is a very important part of their character, their psychology. In saying you want sexual relations out of every game, you are saying every game should go without covering that side of a character's being. I find that a creative limitation that not everyone should abide by.

Dastardly:
My wife would beg to differ.

Oh certainly, the things I'm saying apply to the populace in general, never to individuals. It are averages.

Dastardly:
Evolutionary program simply means that showing the female body is the shortest route to sexual signalling. But part of our "social evolution" as a species includes women developing their own sense of sexuality -- which is as multi-faceted as anything else.

While it is true that, in terms of percentages, men are more visually-oriented than women, let's remember that we are all visual creatures. Around 80% of the information we take in daily is visual, so one can't ignore or downplay the significance of sight.

There have been some interesting studies in which women were shown porn while being monitored for brain activity. When images of the penis were shown, even briefly, it registered arousal too quickly to be conscious. These were reactions to visuals at an instinctive level.

Easier-to-gather data: Find a group of your "average" women, put on the opening scene of Snatch (Brad Pitt) and gauge the reaction to the visuals. (My wife is giving me the thumbs-up on this. Enthusiastically. Hell, that scene made me want Brad Pitt just a little more than I'd be proud admitting.)

Basically, the idea that men want to watch sex more than women is a cultural construct that has resulted from men wanting (or wanting to believe) that women want it less. And because that belief has persisted, it has spawned other beliefs (like the idea that sex scenes should favor the male point-of-view) which that data simply don't support.

It's a whole new world out there (that we're just discovering has been there all along)...

Opening scene of Snatch? The jews in the elevator?

Data does support men are more interested in pornography. The biggest market for nude men? Gays, not women. I'm not saying there's no interest. Just not on the level of male interest. And that is a nature thing, not a nurture thing.

Thyunda:
There's a huge bloody difference between sexualised pictures and a slanderous term applied to wargames.

Except the commoner's perception of games is GTA's hitting pedestrians and that Columbine High School shooting game. Of course that would mean all games are murder simulators.

If you're saying "it's hard to imagine manga women being drawn with any attempt at a realistic portrayal of an actual woman" you're either slanderous yourself or your imagination is severely limited.

Richardplex:

Azuaron:

Sandytimeman:
In all seriousness though, our genre is pushed buy the consumers who by Madden Football and CoD12 etc. The "Jock" type. I don't really see sexual maturity in the foreseeable future.

Skyrim disproves that.

By getting married to anyone you did a quest for, because that's sexual maturity.

Well yeah, but that's Skyrim for you. As in Skyrim the place, which isn't exactly enlightened. Ever heard of dowry? Doing quests is the game version of that. Skyrim still is kinda derpy on the actual relationship part, but that's more because it's written by Bethesda than actual immaturity.

tobyornottoby:
Opening scene of Snatch? The jews in the elevator?

Eh, I probably remember it out of order. The first fight scene with Brad Pitt in it.

Data does support men are more interested in pornography. The biggest market for nude men? Gays, not women. I'm not saying there's no interest. Just not on the level of male interest. And that is a nature thing, not a nurture thing.

Data supports that men are more interested in the product of an industry that has historically aimed more at men in a cultural landscape that has been more okay with men looking at pornography? Hardly a surprise.

Data does not show that women are less interested in sexual images, however. They just aren't the most avid consumers of pornography, because the industry aims more at men. It's the classic self-fulfilling prophecy, that's all.

And even that's changing. Today's woman? She watches porn, too. And not that ridiculous "porn for women" crap, either. The regular stuff.

But human beings are visual creatures, regardless of gender. And human beings are programmed to be sexual creatures, regardless of gender. Society has suppressed the expression of female sexuality, created a situation in which that was the norm, and then declared it the "natural" order of things.

Visualizations of sex interest women just as much as they do men. Pornography, as the current product line on the market, was created with men in mind, so no big surprise men are more interested in it. Women like to look, too. Movies and video games simply don't reflect that, because (given our social context) male-gaze is the sure bet.

tobyornottoby:

Thyunda:
There's a huge bloody difference between sexualised pictures and a slanderous term applied to wargames.

Except the commoner's perception of games is GTA's hitting pedestrians and that Columbine High School shooting game. Of course that would mean all games are murder simulators.

If you're saying "it's hard to imagine manga women being drawn with any attempt at a realistic portrayal of an actual woman" you're either slanderous yourself or your imagination is severely limited.

So how many women have you met who look like Catherine up there?

In other words, most games haven't matured past the mental age of 14.

Thyunda:

tobyornottoby:

Thyunda:
There's a huge bloody difference between sexualised pictures and a slanderous term applied to wargames.

Except the commoner's perception of games is GTA's hitting pedestrians and that Columbine High School shooting game. Of course that would mean all games are murder simulators.

If you're saying "it's hard to imagine manga women being drawn with any attempt at a realistic portrayal of an actual woman" you're either slanderous yourself or your imagination is severely limited.

So how many women have you met who look like Catherine up there?

If you're just talking about the cropped image we can see of the face and upper torso, I've actually seen a handful of young women, in the local area, who look very similar to just such an image. Also, many Asians actually do have a body structure similar to many anime and manga characters(subtracting the over-sized eyes and sometimes Westernized hair-styles).

The only truly impossible forms I've seen drawn are extreme exaggerations of breasts(and even that has become less far fetched with some of the newer breast enlargement procedures; look up Chelsea Charms, one day) and hips and most, if not all, of the female characters in Western comic books.

EDIT: minor grammar correction.

geizr:

Thyunda:

tobyornottoby:

Except the commoner's perception of games is GTA's hitting pedestrians and that Columbine High School shooting game. Of course that would mean all games are murder simulators.

If you're saying "it's hard to imagine manga women being drawn with any attempt at a realistic portrayal of an actual woman" you're either slanderous yourself or your imagination is severely limited.

So how many women have you met who look like Catherine up there?

If you're just talking about the cropped image we can see of the face and upper torso, I've actually seen a handful of young women, in the local area, who look very similar to just such an image. Also, many Asians actually do have a body structure similar to many anime and manga characters(subtracting the over-sized eyes and sometimes Westernized hair-styles).

The only truly impossible forms I've seen drawn are extreme exaggerations of breasts(and even that has become less far fetched with some of the newer breast enlargement procedures; look up Chelsea Charms, one day) and hips and most, if not all, of the female characters in Western comic books.

EDIT: minor grammar correction.

Now hold on there, I never said these features were UNIQUE to manga, I just said it was best known for it. I don't like Western comics much for it either - especially since their tone rarely does their women any favours.

Thyunda:

ph0b0s123:

Thyunda:

Except there is a HUGE difference here. 'Murder simulator' is a bollocks term in itself, so it doesn't apply.

As I said, double standards...

There's a huge bloody difference between sexualised pictures and a slanderous term applied to wargames.

Yeah, cause 'manga pervert artists' is not in any way slanderous at all. And we are back where we started, with the discussion coming full circle.

The thing with Catherine is while the story and interactions between characters is good for a video game it barely qualifies as a trashy dime store novel the story itself is very weak hinging on the main character being indecisive and just generally weak willed and sometimes plot points would just pop up then immediately be forgotten like the waitress being transsexual.

About the game...it certainly isn't call of duty, but it is a good game and better for its story and message it has about love life, and un planned pregnancies.

Baldr:
I don't think sex or sexuality should be in games period. It is a private affair. It shouldn't matter to anyone in games or real life, who is doing who. Relationship are a public affair. There can be real complex dynamic relationships in stories without involving sexuality. If you can't create those type of relationships without bringing in sexuality, you shouldn't be making games.

If you're in a relationship, it's highly likely sex has to do with how that relationship unfolds. Sex is a private affair, yes, but if the player character has a romantic partner, that private affair is his business, and thus the player should know about it. I'm not suggesting we add sex scenes to all the games, but limiting storytelling by saying "no mention of sex allowed" is ridiculous.

Baldr:
I don't think sex or sexuality should be in games period. It is a private affair. It shouldn't matter to anyone in games or real life, who is doing who. Relationship are a public affair. There can be real complex dynamic relationships in stories without involving sexuality. If you can't create those type of relationships without bringing in sexuality, you shouldn't be making games.

Sex is another part of the complex, dynamic relationships that appear in stories. Every other medium deals with the topic, why shouldn't video games be allowed to delve into the topic? This video really goes fairly well into the whole sex in games;

http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/sex-in-games

Yes, sex is a private matter. So? Yes, if game writers can barely make a believable relationship in the first place, adding sex isn't really going to help that. So? The topic of sexuality in humanity, how people deal with it, how it can strengthen or weaken a relationship, how people use it to cover their own insecurities, all sorts of good stuff, is ripe for plucking from the story tree.

Sabrestar:
This is an interesting counterpoint (and one I kinda agree with). There are a lot of storytelling options that don't require sex as a central point, and you can tell great stories without ever having to "go there" (this is, incidentally, my central objection to modern Doctor Who as well). I thought it intriguing that the article centred on Catherine, which for all its serious exploration was a plot concept that I found very troubling personally - not because of sex, but because of the cheating. Maybe it's because I'm a man with no fear of commitment (and very happily married), but plotlines that involve cheating on someone are very uncomfortable for me; they completely take me out of any positive feelings I might have for the character who does it, often to the point of "I don't think I want to watch/play this". I'm not sure what kind of commentary this might make Catherine if the most in-depth exploration of sexual relationships in a videogame is about cheating on your girlfriend. I know it's reality, and in the real world it happens all the time, and putting uncomfortable realities in front of you is part of what stimulates serious discussion, but I already see enough of it in the real world, and I'd like to look at videogames (especially story-centric ones) as a place where I can get away from some of reality's inconvenient truths for a while. This is just a personal opinion, though, and I'm probably in a minority.

The last time the "relationships in games" discussion got brought up here, someone (I'm afraid I can't remember who mentioned it, or else I'd gladly give credit), mentioned Final Fantasy IV. Specifically, that it seems to be a rarity among games - the male and female leads are already in a serious relationship as the game begins, they stay that way, they don't break up, and there's no real sexual tension between them. There is an uncomfortable third wheel, but his feelings are unrequited and neither of the significant others are ever tempted away. (They do fight once, but it's more about inappropriate/misguided notions of chivalry and overprotectiveness, and it's over thankfully quickly.) Perhaps that is in itself unrealistic, but it at least offers a different perspective on videogames and relationships.

Again, I must disagree with this. Yes, there are plenty of storytelling options that don't require sex as a central point. There are also plenty of storytelling options that do require sex as a central point, or not even as a central point, just to develop a story in a certain way. Why should video games avoid this subject? Because it makes some people feel icky? Don't misconstrue the author's point when he talks about sex, just because one doesn't like one extreme (I.E. sex being portrayed as nothing but a reward for the player) doesn't mean they want the other extreme (everything dealing with sex and doing so maturely). It's a fallacy that really gets on my nerves.

Games, and game developers, and the gaming consumers, need to grow up sometime. Sure, we can still have our occasional titillation here and there. But there is so much that games can explore by using sex and sexual relations with their characters and stories to bring out themes and motifs that have yet to be fully realized. We can't just avoid the topic because "Ew! Biology!" (exaggeration, but you get my point), these are legitimate topics that games will have to address at one point or another, and hopefully they will address them well rather than reduce it to pandering and minigames.

Wow, lots of good stuff going on in this thread. Let me see if I can toss in my opinion while responding to some of the things already said.

Azuaron:

I have to chime in my agreement here that 1) I agree that the author got Mass Effect's love interest stories wrong and 2) this was an excellent post. Let me explain more about my first point: I remember when I first played Mass Effect, I only knew that Liara (or as I knew her, the creepy blue alien) was a love interest. But way before meeting her, I ran into Ashley - a soldier who lost her entire squad, just like my shepard. The first time we were in the presidium and she chimed in "Nice lake. Wonder if anyone's ever drowned in it." I chuckled to myself and thought "heh, I like this girl." The more the game went on the more my shepard got to know her as a person, and they got close.

Why is this all important? Because in stressful situations (like the characters of Mass Effect were going through), it's only natural that people become close and crazy feelings start whirling inside people. In fact, the game would feel odd if there were no signs of romance. (Personally, I wish there was even more - crew members falling for/bonding with each other, for example.) It doesn't matter that the relationships (thus far) have not had an impact on the larger story - they shouldn't have to. Sure, you can view it as "pick the right dialogue and get lame sex scene", but then in that light you might as well look at the whole game as "make the right choices to get the best ending" and that's not what it's about.

(Of course, I will fully agree that Bioware needs to either fix their sex scenes or get rid of them altogether. Why have they been so against nudity? The first Mass Effect scene I think was the best, with at least nudity implied and not having underwear-clad figures rub up against each other. The game is mature in nearly every other way I can think of off the top of my head, so there's no reason it can't be mature about have sex scenes involving nudity.)

EDIT: captcha leads to double post. It wanted me to type a lambda sign this time. I mean, what?!

geizr:

Thyunda:

tobyornottoby:

Except the commoner's perception of games is GTA's hitting pedestrians and that Columbine High School shooting game. Of course that would mean all games are murder simulators.

If you're saying "it's hard to imagine manga women being drawn with any attempt at a realistic portrayal of an actual woman" you're either slanderous yourself or your imagination is severely limited.

So how many women have you met who look like Catherine up there?

If you're just talking about the cropped image we can see of the face and upper torso, I've actually seen a handful of young women, in the local area, who look very similar to just such an image. Also, many Asians actually do have a body structure similar to many anime and manga characters(subtracting the over-sized eyes and sometimes Westernized hair-styles).

Not really. Most Asians, particularly Japanese, don't have similar faces or bodies at all. Trust me, I've lived in Asia most of my life... the models and pop idols you see on the web are exceptions, augmented by make up and photo shop. Ironically, South East Asia (Vietnam and Thailand especially) are where you can find the closest resemblance.

But never mind. Cartoons aren't supposed to look realistic in the first place :)

OT: Well, Catherine is a game about sex, so it would follow that they took more time to thinking about it. Mass Effect was a cinematic game, echoing sci-fi block buster, so the romance scene followed a similar path.

In Metal gear Solid, Snake is a pervert. The career soldier type, focused solely on his job. Staring at her boobs whilst she droned on about stuff he was already fully competent at seems like a normal reaction to his character.

I don't think that Catherine does sex any better than Mass Effect though. I think it's more of a case of which character you're more invested in. You could also cynically say that sex in Catherine is a reward for completing puzzles. In Mass Effect 2, I genuinely like Tali as a character, and the difficulty of leaving yourself vulnerable, even in front of the person you love was something I could relate to.

To be honest, we *have* graduated, it's just that there's a new audience of younger minds coming every year with the 'Imma bang 'em all, hurr hurr' mentality that we all had when we were younger.

Thyunda:

geizr:

Thyunda:

So how many women have you met who look like Catherine up there?

If you're just talking about the cropped image we can see of the face and upper torso, I've actually seen a handful of young women, in the local area, who look very similar to just such an image. Also, many Asians actually do have a body structure similar to many anime and manga characters(subtracting the over-sized eyes and sometimes Westernized hair-styles).

The only truly impossible forms I've seen drawn are extreme exaggerations of breasts(and even that has become less far fetched with some of the newer breast enlargement procedures; look up Chelsea Charms, one day) and hips and most, if not all, of the female characters in Western comic books.

EDIT: minor grammar correction.

Now hold on there, I never said these features were UNIQUE to manga, I just said it was best known for it. I don't like Western comics much for it either - especially since their tone rarely does their women any favours.

Sorry. I was under the impression that you were implying the particular drawing style is an unrealistic depiction of real women. Some styles are, but not all.

ranger19:

(Of course, I will fully agree that Bioware needs to either fix their sex scenes or get rid of them altogether. Why have they been so against nudity? The first Mass Effect scene I think was the best, with at least nudity implied and not having underwear-clad figures rub up against each other. The game is mature in nearly every other way I can think of off the top of my head, so there's no reason it can't be mature about have sex scenes involving nudity.)

I'm pretty sure the accepted reason for that is a Fox News guest blowing the first game's scene out of proportion and saying that the game was nothing but porn or something to that effect. After that, Bioware changed how they did things even if it turned out to look awkward as hell. So yeah, Fox News.

beniki:

geizr:

Thyunda:

So how many women have you met who look like Catherine up there?

If you're just talking about the cropped image we can see of the face and upper torso, I've actually seen a handful of young women, in the local area, who look very similar to just such an image. Also, many Asians actually do have a body structure similar to many anime and manga characters(subtracting the over-sized eyes and sometimes Westernized hair-styles).

Not really. Most Asians, particularly Japanese, don't have similar faces or bodies at all. Trust me, I've lived in Asia most of my life... the models and pop idols you see on the web are exceptions, augmented by make up and photo shop. Ironically, South East Asia (Vietnam and Thailand especially) are where you can find the closest resemblance.

I may have been unclear. I wasn't trying to imply that it is true of all or even most Asians, only a significant subset. Many of the Asians I've encountered have had similar body structure to certain anime/manga styles(at least I could definitely pick out the resemblance to various characteristics, minus the big eyes and Westernized hair in a lot of anime/manga), but it is definitely not true of all anime and manga styles.

Sex in video games? Like all soft porn its pointless. Really, what is it for exactly?

I do have to agree with this. A mature and adult approach of sexuality in video games has never been done better than any game recently than in Catherine, but sadly such art is buried underneath the same copypasta stuff that's shoveling the market.

It's kinda sad that the industry has become so streamlined that it's choosing profit over creativity. I would absolutely love to play stylized games like Catherine that attempt something new and different, but they're very few and far between, and of course they can't make up for sales that the other games make.

And in RPGs, definitely, I wish they would put some of this creativity. Any attempts RPGs have made recently to do romances are either extremely cliche or grossly immature. Catherine should've been a milestone, but it feels like it left a very little impact in the gaming culture, which is pretty depressing.

This was a well reasoned article and I too approve of games like Catherine that have sex as a central and maturely handled theme but I think we can easily go too far in slamming games that have an overt or lighthearted view towards sex. I would contend that sex is often more simple and direct than other parts of a relationship and your character doesn't have to court, marry, and solve all of the life problems of another character before they decide to beddown. I think if a game is portraying adult characters in a realistic fashion then...sex is something that adults do, sometimes without much preamble.

I think it also depends heavily on the tone of the game and the world if the sex seems out of place or not. In games like the old Leisure suit Larry PC series the titilation was the point as you were playing the comedic adventures of a lecherous, if lovable, loser. In dark RPGs like the Witcher having your mysterious and charismatic character talk his way into a few quick romances is also in character (although getting a card for your conquest may have been a bit much). Another good example might be Travis Touchdown's constant pursuit of a sheathe for his beam-saber in Suda51's No More Heores. There is a lot of little fanservice bits thrown into that game but it fits in with the over the top aesthetic and is the character's fantasy as much as the player's. I think the problem with sex as implimented in Bioware and Bethesda's RPGs is that the player character is too much of a blank slate and never really feels charismatic enough to convincingly pull off any sort of seduction. Plus the conversation tonal shifts from "how are we going to save the world?" to "your eyes are pretty, we should find some alone time." are a bit jarring to say the least.

Ironic Pirate:

Richardplex:

Azuaron:

Skyrim disproves that.

By getting married to anyone you did a quest for, because that's sexual maturity.

Well yeah, but that's Skyrim for you. As in Skyrim the place, which isn't exactly enlightened. Ever heard of dowry? Doing quests is the game version of that. Skyrim still is kinda derpy on the actual relationship part, but that's more because it's written by Bethesda than actual immaturity.

Yeah, fair point, for all the things they do well Bethesda fail hard when it comes to characterisation and personalities. I was merely disagreeing with the notion that Skyrim would be a good example of romance adding to a game.

People who want romance in games should really check out some romance visual novels. Katawa Shoujo for example is one about dating other students in college (I think) with severe disabilities - one of the 5 arcs revolves around an artist with no arms for example. They are all about the relationship and making it deep and emotional. But since the 5th medium of entertainment that is visual novels virtually never appear outside Japan, no one knows of them.

Edit: Oh, did I mention it's free? http://katawashoujo.blogspot.com/2012/01/katawa-shoujo-released.html

Thyunda:

tobyornottoby:

Thyunda:
There's a huge bloody difference between sexualised pictures and a slanderous term applied to wargames.

Except the commoner's perception of games is GTA's hitting pedestrians and that Columbine High School shooting game. Of course that would mean all games are murder simulators.

If you're saying "it's hard to imagine manga women being drawn with any attempt at a realistic portrayal of an actual woman" you're either slanderous yourself or your imagination is severely limited.

So how many women have you met who look like Catherine up there?

More than those looking like Barbie, that's for sure.
Or Marcus Fenix for that matter.

But what do you mean with 'realistic portrayal' exactly then?

Sorry to go off topic, but the Clockwork Orange reference is bothering me.

OT. Sex in games, and in most of Western Culture, has a ways to go. Let the weirdish Japanese games lead the way.

Dastardly:
Data supports that men are more interested in the product of an industry that has historically aimed more at men in a cultural landscape that has been more okay with men looking at pornography? Hardly a surprise.

Data does not show that women are less interested in sexual images, however. They just aren't the most avid consumers of pornography, because the industry aims more at men. It's the classic self-fulfilling prophecy, that's all.

And even that's changing. Today's woman? She watches porn, too. And not that ridiculous "porn for women" crap, either. The regular stuff.

But human beings are visual creatures, regardless of gender. And human beings are programmed to be sexual creatures, regardless of gender. Society has suppressed the expression of female sexuality, created a situation in which that was the norm, and then declared it the "natural" order of things.

Visualizations of sex interest women just as much as they do men. Pornography, as the current product line on the market, was created with men in mind, so no big surprise men are more interested in it. Women like to look, too. Movies and video games simply don't reflect that, because (given our social context) male-gaze is the sure bet.

Yes women are visual. Yes women are sexual. But no, women are not interested in the same visualizations of sex that men are. (Again, everything I say is about the average)

Women's attraction is different from men's attraction. For example, women love power. That Snatch scene, that's Pitt not just showing flesh, but showing power too. It's why ugly men with money or good jobs are attractive. It's why there is little interest in male strippers. A stripper is submissive, inferior, to the client, so it's not a great turn on for women.

And women are not suppressed in every way. Just take the... I'm don't know the English name, but that line of pocket books about romances aimed at women with those cheesy covers. Have you ever read one? That's pornography. It's not visual, but it's sex nonetheless. And women are interested in them.

Succesful media doesn't shape us. Succesful media taps into what we are.

Yes, there are visualisations of sex that interest women, but not the same kind as those that interest men. So the traditional concept of eye candy can't just be applied the other way around to make women happy.

<jumpin>I see your lines about anime and manga pervert artists and all that part. I see the same that Jack Chick or Jack Thompson are about gaming you're about anime.

And there's no fucking anything to do linking anime/manga style to sexualized pictures. If you saw one picture that's sexualized it doesn't make every thing manga/anime related to be the same. One sees one manga that is like this or that and that seems to be enough to conclude anything that is manga or anime has to be that. One crosses one hentai and thinks hentai = manga. Well, someone watched a Playboy Hardcore Porn and hence anything that's occidental TV is dirty porn. HOW DO YOU WANT ME TO GO WATCH FRASIER?! THAT'S WESTERN ABERRANT PORN!!!

Go watch Cowboy Bebop and then come speak about giant eyes and balloon shaped heads. Go watch Steins:Gate and come back to rant about sexualization and sexual perversion and whatever.

You know what it is all?. "It's not made by our culture, so it's rubbish and necessarily the first negative thing I see has to inherently apply to it". If it's not something that I've lived with always or surrounds me or done by my usual environment, then it's crap. Guess what, that's exactly the mechanism behind this automatic belittling of non-western comic/animation what is behind the "other races are inferior". If you're not the race I'm accustomed to live with, I'll take the first bad example of the other races and set it as the revelation of what is inherent to the other races.<jumpout>

tobyornottoby:
Yes women are visual. Yes women are sexual. But no, women are not interested in the same visualizations of sex that men are. (Again, everything I say is about the average)

And the average pornography is shot and edited with the male in mind. I've already agreed that women don't like the same visualizations as men. But the science shows they do respond to sexual visuals.

Women's attraction is different from men's attraction. For example, women love power. That Snatch scene, that's Pitt not just showing flesh, but showing power too. It's why ugly men with money or good jobs are attractive. It's why there is little interest in male strippers. A stripper is submissive, inferior, to the client, so it's not a great turn on for women.

There are far too many assumptions in this. You're taking what happens to appear "average" and you're declaring it's "natural" or even "evolutionary." A lot of this is stuff that has been socially shaped (For instance, women "love power" because society has basically forced women to depend on men.) This really sounds like retroactively applying psychological terminology to the existing reality to defend the status quo.

And women are not suppressed in every way. Just take the... I'm don't know the English name, but that line of pocket books about romances aimed at women with those cheesy covers. Have you ever read one? That's pornography. It's not visual, but it's sex nonetheless. And women are interested in them.

Sure. Some women are interested in them. And some women watch porn. You've found an example that's not visual, but that doesn't mean it's the best. Print media is easier and cheaper to make, so it requires less financial investment. What's more, there are far more female authors than female directors/cinematographers (for now), so it's an area of the media in which they are more free to do as they please.

Succesful media doesn't shape us. Succesful media taps into what we are.

Media doesn't directly shape us. But society does. And media reflects society. So the media can reinforce what society is doing, and aid in that shaping process. Media is about the flow of ideas, and ideas are powerful as hell.

Yes, there are visualisations of sex that interest women, but not the same kind as those that interest men. So the traditional concept of eye candy can't just be applied the other way around to make women happy.

I'm not saying, "Just do what you're doing with female characters, but with male characters." I'm saying that there are visuals that appeal to women, but they're not being used at all because the developers are targeting male preferences. And then you're looking at how women don't tend to like the "standard" depictions of sex as a sign that they don't enjoy visuals "as much."

Seriously, it's like surrounding a hungry vegetarian with meat, and when they don't choose from any of those options, you claim they must not be hungry.

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