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

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Toothache of Sauron:
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.

Awkward example. Stein's Gate does morph into a harem anime somewhere halfway. Maybe not overly sexualized, but it does pander to some male adolescent fantasies.

Dastardly:
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.

There are alpha male concepts all over nature, I don't see it as a stretch to call it natural.

Dastardly:
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.

'Some'? I'm willing to bet a lot that a lot more women are regular readers of those books than regular watchers of porn.

There are not only more female writers, but also way more female readers. Books is a pretty women-dominated field.

Dastardly:
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.

And how acceptant is society of porn? Not much, yet entire new media have fallen or risen with the availability of porn. How acceptant is society of drugs or prostitution?

What I'm saying is, things can reflect our nurture, reflecting our nature is also a force to be reckoned with.

Dastardly:
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.

What kind of visuals are not being used at all? =)

tobyornottoby:

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?

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?

They're too good to be true, essentially. With very few exceptions, manga girls are all very slim, nice chest, pretty face and very smooth-looking. At least Barbie has the decency to be a materialistic whore and Marcus Fenix is a tragic victim of a misplaced motorcycle belt.

tobyornottoby:
There are alpha male concepts all over nature, I don't see it as a stretch to call it natural.

There are also many matriarchal groups in the animal kingdom. And even in the some of the supposed patriarchal groups, females have active roles that aren't typically "feminine" (lionesses hunting, for a quick example).

'Some'? I'm willing to bet a lot that a lot more women are regular readers of those books than regular watchers of porn.

There are not only more female writers, but also way more female readers. Books is a pretty women-dominated field.

That's exactly my point here -- bets, guesses, and generalizations are what you're working with. You get those from observing the status quo. And then you assume that, since it's the way things seem, it must be the way they're supposed to be. That's a veritable matryoshka doll of assumptions.

Dastardly:
And how acceptant is society of porn? Not much, yet entire new media have fallen or risen with the availability of porn. How acceptant is society of drugs or prostitution?

What I'm saying is, things can reflect our nurture, reflecting our nature is also a force to be reckoned with.

You're coming at this sideways, though. The reason porn, drugs, or prostitution exist is because people want them. The fact that society considers them verboten demonstrates that society is quite capable of causing us to go against our animal natures... and the fact that people still do them demonstrate that simply suppressing an urge doesn't make that urge go away entirely.

In this case, it is in our NURTURE that women don't seem to be as interested in porn... but that's because porn has been targeted at men, so a lot of women have moved onto other things. A vegetarian isn't going to stick around at an all-meat buffet, but it's not the buffet part that's the problem -- it's what's on it. Science has demonstrated that our NATURE is visual across both genders equally.

Seriously, you need to think this through across the board. Who are the more colorful/decorated members of nearly every species? The males. Why? To visually attract females. Who are the more avid dancers among them? The males. Why? To visually attract females. Even ladybugs have more ornate males than females. But if you need a closer example to our own species, which baboons have the brighter butts?

What kind of visuals are not being used at all? =)

It's about context more than content. If you really, really want to talk Nature here, let's get down to it. In the animal kingdom:

Males are generally attracted to signals that demonstrate a female's short-term willingness to mate. Sometimes, these are visual. Usually, though, they're scent-based.

Females are generally attracted to signals that demonstrate a male's long-term suitability as a mate. I don't mean that all animal relationships are long-term, but rather that females are attracted to traits that make a male seem likely to produce better offspring. And a lot of these are visual -- colors, crests, dances, etc. There are also aural cues -- songs/calls, etc.

The potential problem here is that things are pretty straightforward in the animal kingdom -- nearly every female of a species will prefer the same traits, because nearly every female of a species has the same needs. Not so in the human world. Some women are attracted to big-muscled men, because a part of them feels that makes a man. Some women prefer athletic, younger-looking men, because that speaks to their personal definition of "manly." Some women prefer men who can dance (there's a big visual, there). Some women prefer more emotionally-attuned men, because they feel that makes a better long-term match for themselves (and there are still big visual indicators they use to judge this).

There are a billion different answers for how to make these love scenes more female-friendly, but here are some ideas from my own brain (with the wife's thumbs-up):

1. There could simply be more focus on the man's body. Back and shoulder muscles, eyes, etc.
2. Hands are a big deal to a lot of women, so more focus on the man's hands.
3. More attention to how the man moves, rather than the woman always doing the majority of the non-thrust movement. (Here's where the "dancing" comes in.)
4. Occasionally focusing on the male at climax (Really think about this one: Women are biologically programmed to respond to that, even if only on a subconscious level.)

All of these are potential visual indicators of a lot of the "suitability" traits many women look for... and what's better is that several of these can be interpreted in different ways. Hands, for instance, can be a symbol of strength to one woman, a symbol of sensitivity to another. The same hands, doing the same thing. What's important is that the woman can see them, because the framing is drawing attention to them.

The only reason more movie/game studios don't do this is because the male-gaze dollar is the current status-quo. It's the safe money. And they're afraid that by not going 100% male gaze, they'll alienate that group. I think it's possible to include both in the same scene, with alternating shots focusing one way or the other.

And that's way more thought than I ever wanted to put into "How to make porn with men."

How about a "no"?

I don't WANT frank, complicated discussions of sex in my videogames. I play videogames to relax.

The occasional hint towards sex is tolerable, but overall I would be fine with doing away with sex entirely. The push towards realistic sex and sexuality in games feels pretty much exactly the same way as super-realistic games - like it's turning a fun activity into a tedious slog.

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.

Skyrim disproves that video games are pushed exclusively by "jock" gamers. Bioware, Bethesda, Obsidian, most indie games, Minecraft, and most Japanese developers disprove that the "jock" demographic is the only one that matters.

Now, how mature they are regarding sexuality, that's a different matter. I feel like Bioware typically does an okay job, but Bethesda tends not to, which is really just a product of what kind of RPG they're making: Bioware's are story-driven, Bethesda's are exploration-driven.

While I was mostly in agreement with your viewpoints and much of the article, I came to question your taste when you mentioned how "awesome" garrus is, so awesome in fact that you want to touch his carbohydrate-encrusted amino acids.

Lame! That guy sucks almost as much as the sucky white guy.

Did Thor need it's romance sub plot, which resulted in heavy deviances from the main story and bringing only light exposition regarding the plane of Asgarde?
IMO, no.

Do I need a sexual or romantic aspect to see the progression of a relationship?
No.

Do I come to video games to -see- the progression of relationships?
No.

"I'm going to say something about this game I really like, but then spend the following 5-6 lines casually taunting and insulting both the game and it's player base"

Does the author paint themselves as a huge jackass in the first page, prompting me to skip the rest of the article regardless of whatever merit they may be able to eventually scrape together?[1]
Yes.

Games who put romance/relationships into their stories should do it well or not at all. That's the same story as motion controls, and any other little hook that a designer might use. Is it more than slightly ironic that an article that berates video game's immature or incomplete implementation of romance does so in an immature and incomplete fashion?

[1] Not to mention I entirely expected this article to be about cheat codes, or rather THE cheat code. It's like having the article title "Rise from your grave" and not mentioning Altered Beast

insanelich:
How about a "no"?

I don't WANT frank, complicated discussions of sex in my videogames. I play videogames to relax.

The occasional hint towards sex is tolerable, but overall I would be fine with doing away with sex entirely. The push towards realistic sex and sexuality in games feels pretty much exactly the same way as super-realistic games - like it's turning a fun activity into a tedious slog.

I agree. Having a relationship is ok if it's part of the story, but no gaming narrative requires an actual sex scene. It's not edgy or artistic - it's just naff and cringe making. I really don't want to see pointless teenage masturbatory fantasies of sex with game characters in my games. Especially as the internet has proper porn if I fancy a wank.

An interesting article, but here and elsewhere it's in vogue to hold video games to a higher standard of 'realistic' relationship portrayal (whatever that ultimately means) than other forms of media. Movies, music, television and books are full of absolutely gratuitous and exploitative sex and violence. Real life, in fact, is full of a lot of the same. The shot at manga would make you think it was the only other place where unrealistic depictions of women are common, when it's everywhere in popular culture and has been that way throughout history. If anything, it's a matter of degree.

It would be nice if everyone stopped thinking with their genitals as soon as they graduated high school (to use the entirely arbitrary distinction mentioned in the article) but that's clearly not the case. It would also be nice if games were the only place that portrayed male fantasies of meaningless sexual conquest and casual violence as the norm, but that's not the case, either.

This doesn't mean games should be immune from criticism, far from it. But they shouldn't be held up as some aberrant example that somehow differs from the rest of popular culture, or that actual human beings would never behave in such a fashion.

Et3rnalLegend64:

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.

I remember that controversy, and I'm pretty sure you're right. What's really sad is that such controversy actually seems to have had an effect on the game. Such a shame..

Hey, maybe this one will redeem things.

I don't know what's more frightening: that you consider Catherine a realistic relationship simulator or that you somehow identify with its fish-eyed unfuckable protagonist.

I haven't played Catherine, so I may be way off here.

But I don't see a whole lot of mature realism in a situation where on one had you have coming to accept a responsibility to settle down, get married and have a family, and on the other hand you have DEMONS. Strikes me as a little Anvilicious; apparently settling down with a wife and kids is what you're supposed to do, and anyone who says otherwise is a succubus sent to tempt you.

LordFisheh:
I haven't played Catherine, so I may be way off here.

But I don't see a whole lot of mature realism in a situation where on one had you have coming to accept a responsibility to settle down, get married and have a family, and on the other hand you have DEMONS. Strikes me as a little Anvilicious; apparently settling down with a wife and kids is what you're supposed to do, and anyone who says otherwise is a succubus sent to tempt you.

Catherine has a "moral choice system" of sorts, though rather than "good and evil" it's more "chaos and stability" where Catherine is the young succubus that would get the main character a life of freedom, or Katherine who would force Vincent to mature and lead a more stable life. Neither option is presented as "good" or "evil" (though the moral choice bar does make it more binary than it should) and there is a "neutral" option with Vincent just not being ready to settle down and to just enjoy life. The demons and stuff are just metaphors and symbols for his whole struggle, and I don't think he means the realism in the situation, just the maturity that the game approaches the whole topic of sex and adultery. Few games have the balls to go with a game like this, so I respect Atlus for giving this a shot.

SnakeoilSage:
I don't know what's more frightening: that you consider Catherine a realistic relationship simulator or that you somehow identify with its fish-eyed unfuckable protagonist.

Not sure who you are talking to here as the writer of the article agreed with you sentiment.

"When I say I liked it because of the sex, I don't mean that I liked the sexy anime ladies with their improbable hair and their physiques crafted by manga pervert artists. No, I've never been enamored with the anime vision of female aesthetic perfection that fuses together the eyes of an owl, a balloon shaped cranium and the bodily measurements of a 10 year old Romanian gymnast."

That fact you and the writer feel this way is fine, just does not mean others feel the same way. And I think the point was not that he thought it was a 'realistic relationship simulator', just that it handled the subject in a better, more mature way than other games. From your comments though maybe maturity is not something you are familiar with.

Jumplion:

LordFisheh:
I haven't played Catherine, so I may be way off here.

But I don't see a whole lot of mature realism in a situation where on one had you have coming to accept a responsibility to settle down, get married and have a family, and on the other hand you have DEMONS. Strikes me as a little Anvilicious; apparently settling down with a wife and kids is what you're supposed to do, and anyone who says otherwise is a succubus sent to tempt you.

Catherine has a "moral choice system" of sorts, though rather than "good and evil" it's more "chaos and stability" where Catherine is the young succubus that would get the main character a life of freedom, or Katherine who would force Vincent to mature and lead a more stable life. Neither option is presented as "good" or "evil" (though the moral choice bar does make it more binary than it should) and there is a "neutral" option with Vincent just not being ready to settle down and to just enjoy life. The demons and stuff are just metaphors and symbols for his whole struggle, and I don't think he means the realism in the situation, just the maturity that the game approaches the whole topic of sex and adultery. Few games have the balls to go with a game like this, so I respect Atlus for giving this a shot.

Ahh, fair enough, it sounds much less preachy than I thought it was. And I agree, It's definitely good to see games making something of the issue for once rather than more mandatory-fanservice-before-the-finale scenes.

insanelich:
How about a "no"?

I don't WANT frank, complicated discussions of sex in my videogames. I play videogames to relax.

The occasional hint towards sex is tolerable, but overall I would be fine with doing away with sex entirely. The push towards realistic sex and sexuality in games feels pretty much exactly the same way as super-realistic games - like it's turning a fun activity into a tedious slog.

We're talking about an entire medium, though. Say, if you watched only light comedy movies, would you hold it against other people if they want to watch dramas, thrillers, horror movies?

And if you did watch only comedies, and then picked up a crime drama, would you be justified in claiming it was "a tedious slog"? Would you be right in demanding that The Departed be more like The Hangover? On what grounds? That "you watch movies to relax, so they should do away with seriousness entirely"?

I can see quite a bit of absurdity in wanting to limit the range of what a medium can express. It's not like games are lacking in volume; there's plenty for every preference, and serious games are in no way antithetical to fun games, and certainly won't drive less serious games out of business. So I really have to ask myself what this paranoid conservative instinct to keep games at an 8-bit level of maturity is for. Who does it benefit?

Seneschal:

insanelich:
How about a "no"?

I don't WANT frank, complicated discussions of sex in my videogames. I play videogames to relax.

The occasional hint towards sex is tolerable, but overall I would be fine with doing away with sex entirely. The push towards realistic sex and sexuality in games feels pretty much exactly the same way as super-realistic games - like it's turning a fun activity into a tedious slog.

We're talking about an entire medium, though. Say, if you watched only light comedy movies, would you hold it against other people if they want to watch dramas, thrillers, horror movies?

And if you did watch only comedies, and then picked up a crime drama, would you be justified in claiming it was "a tedious slog"? Would you be right in demanding that The Departed be more like The Hangover? On what grounds? That "you watch movies to relax, so they should do away with seriousness entirely"?

I can see quite a bit of absurdity in wanting to limit the range of what a medium can express. It's not like games are lacking in volume; there's plenty for every preference, and serious games are in no way antithetical to fun games, and certainly won't drive less serious games out of business. So I really have to ask myself what this paranoid conservative instinct to keep games at an 8-bit level of maturity is for. Who does it benefit?

I agree with you to a point, but at the same time when was the last time (using your analogy) you watched a movie about a regular 9-5er going through the motions? No office romance, no comedy, just a straight up day at the office? And if there were such a movie, would you want to watch something in the same genre? Say a manual labour worker instead of an office clerk.

Yes, when taking that movie into consideration with comedies and crime dramas it brings a more complete image of life and living, but you live that movie every day. Comedies would never work in the real world, nothing would ever get done (Homer's been working at the power plant for 23 years, but how often do we see him at the power plant?). And how many cases in crime dramas go unsolved, relative to their actual real world counterparts?

Entertainment media is meant to exaggerate and explore, to provide an escape from a reality that possesses all of these pesky probabilities and likelihoods. So when insanelich said "The occasional hint towards sex is tolerable, but overall I would be fine with doing away with sex entirely" I'd have to agree. Too often movies tack on the romance and relationship subplots to seem "whole" or "wide ranging" in their stories, when those plots do nothing but detract from the overall atmosphere and pacing. It's great to try new things in a medium, but if you keep hitting your head, I'll tell you that maybe it's a good idea to duck and avoid the entire mess altogether[1]. Extreme, but it saves me the sympathy pain and it wasn't the main point of the story anyway.

What I think insanelich and I are saying is that someone needs to keep reminding developers "It's okay, you don't need to try adding a romance to the series if it isn't needed." Because by and large, it is not. Anything put into a story needs to mean something. Color pallets, camera angle, camera cuts and fades. They are all used to tell you something about what's happening or how people are feeling. It's just too easy to come to the conclusion "Hey, we have a hot lead actor/character, let's get a little risqué!" because people will just eat it up. On the other hand, having a close, intimate moment between two leads who have spent the majority of the story together and have developed as a pair leading up to a charge into the depths of hell in an attempt to have one last moment of normalcy and to dispel their regrets, that makes sense.

Yeah it was sad when he found her, but the first thing I said when

was "Thank god I don't have to hear anymore about his wife". And as far as Catherine goes... well it's Japan, they do enough dating and "relationship" sims that eventually something palatable (and legal) came out over here.

TL:DR - Sex appeal is easy, cheap and effective. If developers (or film studios) can't deal with the prospect of losing out on the "sexy thrill" revenue from adding a superfluous romance aspect, better to axe it altogether.

well said

The3rdEye:
snip

insanelich wasn't talking about cheap sexual thrills. He mentioned "frank, complicated discussions of sex" which hardly fits in the same sentence with Gears of War. I'm sure we all agree that Dom's-missing-wife-plotline was stupid, intrusive, nonsensical, pointless and ultimately played too serious. It felt dishonest in a series that overall displays the emotional maturity of a toddler, like a cheap heartstring-tug that came out plain laughable.

Such a thing would be true were the plotline introduced in a movie, radio-drama or book. Bad is bad, and I'm not seeing how this reflects to romance in games as generally superfluous. To say that "frank, complicated discussions on sex" have no place in videogames is like saying all comics should adhere to the campy-silver-age-superhero formula, and consequently ignoring the fact that insightful and influential comics cropped up later when people decided to expand the medium.

I'm not championing for the BioWare-approach to romance in games. I don't mind it, but it seems very artificial and more a conversation puzzle than an emotional one. The debate-battles in Deus Ex: Human Revolution have more to do with flirting and persuasion than the conversation options in BioWare games, which usually have only one path that initiates the romance and inevitably leads to its successful culmination (much like a choice of character class leads to a particular power in the end). I do think, however, that they're a window into something bigger, and the enthusiasm that people have for BioWare romances establishes a nice precedent upon which future developers can build.

As for the fact that romances aren't necessary in games - yes, it's true. So what? Games aren't a passive medium with a tightly fixed duration. Plot economy is less important, or at least should be approached differently. And, most importantly, players can choose how they enjoy their game, with the developer supplying the tools. Necessity and economy are concepts ported from filmmaking, and while they shouldn't be ignored, they shouldn't be implemented blindly either. Imagine if books were limited to the old model of greek theater - one place, short timespan, characters that you can count on the fingers of one hand - would that make any sense for the scope and range that books can have?

Dastardly:
There are also many matriarchal groups in the animal kingdom. And even in the some of the supposed patriarchal groups, females have active roles that aren't typically "feminine" (lionesses hunting, for a quick example).

That's why I said natural and not universal.

Dastardly:
Science has demonstrated that our NATURE is visual across both genders equally.

Can you point me to such studies as I would be interested in them =)

The only reason more movie/game studios don't do this is because the male-gaze dollar is the current status-quo. It's the safe money. And they're afraid that by not going 100% male gaze, they'll alienate that group. I think it's possible to include both in the same scene, with alternating shots focusing one way or the other.[/quote]

Are you talking here about the entire movie industry or just porn? =p

Thyunda:

tobyornottoby:

Thyunda:

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?

They're too good to be true, essentially. With very few exceptions, manga girls are all very slim, nice chest, pretty face and very smooth-looking. At least Barbie has the decency to be a materialistic whore and Marcus Fenix is a tragic victim of a misplaced motorcycle belt.

You also have to take into account this is just how japanese people themselves are built. Generally they are slim, pretty face and smooth-looking compared to Caucasians. Here, this one is interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKTvFhRbBt8&list=LLUbkDxcvTggRwFXtkX5ig_g&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Seneschal:

The3rdEye:
snip

insanelich wasn't talking about cheap sexual thrills. He mentioned "frank, complicated discussions of sex" which hardly fits in the same sentence with Gears of War. I'm sure we all agree that Dom's-missing-wife-plotline was stupid, intrusive, nonsensical, pointless and ultimately played too serious. It felt dishonest in a series that overall displays the emotional maturity of a toddler, like a cheap heartstring-tug that came out plain laughable.

Such a thing would be true were the plotline introduced in a movie, radio-drama or book. Bad is bad, and I'm not seeing how this reflects to romance in games as generally superfluous. To say that "frank, complicated discussions on sex" have no place in videogames is like saying all comics should adhere to the campy-silver-age-superhero formula, and consequently ignoring the fact that insightful and influential comics cropped up later when people decided to expand the medium.

I'm not championing for the BioWare-approach to romance in games. I don't mind it, but it seems very artificial and more a conversation puzzle than an emotional one. The debate-battles in Deus Ex: Human Revolution have more to do with flirting and persuasion than the conversation options in BioWare games, which usually have only one path that initiates the romance and inevitably leads to its successful culmination (much like a choice of character class leads to a particular power in the end). I do think, however, that they're a window into something bigger, and the enthusiasm that people have for BioWare romances establishes a nice precedent upon which future developers can build.

I was mainly referring to the statement that I directly quoted:
"The occasional hint towards sex is tolerable, but overall I would be fine with doing away with sex entirely" to which I agreed. The broad statement that I (perhaps presumptuously) added insanelich's name to was just an overall "Okay, most of you are either messing this up or adding it needlessly. I'm fine if you stop doing it altogether until you have a product that actually needs it or is enriched by it."

Everything else (including the "cheap sexual thrills"... oh my) was my own penning and opinion.

I may be taking liberties with my interpretations (and I hope insanelich corrects me if I am wrong)

insanelich:

I don't WANT frank, complicated discussions of sex in my videogames. I play videogames to relax.

The occasional hint towards sex is tolerable, but overall I would be fine with doing away with sex entirely. The push towards realistic sex and sexuality in games feels pretty much exactly the same way as super-realistic games - like it's turning a fun activity into a tedious slog.

-REAL- relationships are something we work on every day. It's part of the hum-drum run of the mill that fills every day. Video games are where we avoid all of that. If for some reason you want a game that does go into the realistic development of relationships, or someone wants to make one, that's all well and good, play and develop to your heart's content. I (or insanelich) never suggested what games (or comics or film) should be, just pointed out (as you yourself did) that there are things that they simply don't NEED to be and a problem arises when developers don't see the distinction.

Seneschal:
As for the fact that romances aren't necessary in games - yes, it's true. So what? Games aren't a passive medium with a tightly fixed duration. Plot economy is less important, or at least should be approached differently. And, most importantly, players can choose how they enjoy their game, with the developer supplying the tools. Necessity and economy are concepts ported from filmmaking, and while they shouldn't be ignored, they shouldn't be implemented blindly either. Imagine if books were limited to the old model of greek theater - one place, short timespan, characters that you can count on the fingers of one hand - would that make any sense for the scope and range that books can have?

I'm not sure how you would enjoy an action game as a survival horror experience. That seems akin to trying to imitate an NPC in an RPG, mmo or otherwise. Not every game should be some huge multi-faceted opus to humanity and it's foibles and the freedom of choice. Omitting certain parts makes sense in terms of the gameplay and development.

Just don't get your Wuthering Heights in my Skyrim.

The3rdEye:
sneeeep

So, uh, we agree? Well that was a lot of tl;dring for a lack of disagreement.

I don't want anyone's Wuthering Heights in anyone else's Skyrim either! I just object to the perception that the odd navel-gazing game not made solely to distract and entertain will CONTAMINATE the pure-bred fun games so that one day God of War will show up with a tie, a clean shirt and no gratuitous violence. Not. Gonna. Happen. I have Okami and SotC both in my top-5-games-of-all-time list, and I enjoyed them both immensely - one's presence in no way diminished the fun factor of the other.

I still disagree with the attitude that developers should abstain from trying anything because they did it once some time ago and it didn't satisfy everyone. Seems a bit stifling. What's wrong with experimenting? Who cares if it the attempt hurls right down the uncanny valley or turns out laughable? Experimental stuff doesn't often break into the very peak of mainstream anyway, so no harm done and it certainly isn't forced on anyone. Remember, it's an interactive medium - you can choose NOT to awkwardly bump foreheads with a turian in the long-awaited "romance climax". ;)

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