Boob Cards: An Adult Perspective

Boob Cards: An Adult Perspective

My first in-game conquest, which took very little time to get to, was suggestive but fully covered and, thus, a bit of a let-down. The second, however, showed the goods in a big way, and with that we were off to the races. Killing monsters, it turns out, is the thing Witchers are second best at, and although I had no way of knowing it at the time, The Witcher would quickly have me raising my eyebrows, shaking my head and rolling my eyes as I wandered through a surreal, medieval sexual Olympiad.

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If i want to play an "immature" game i go play Devil May Cry and am entertained by Dante's oneliners. The Witcher seems like a game trying to be mature but failing at it.

But when i want play more mature games i find myself dissapointed. Unfortunately the best mature game i have laid my hands on is Grim Fandango. While the game most definately is one of the best ones out there in terms of writing it feels rather shallow compared to classic literature (had it been a film it would have been a cult-classic). I guess this is an unreasonable comparison since literature is old as civilisation itself and game writing is about 30 years old. But i find myself wishing for games that atleast are worthy to wipe the shoes of Dostoevsky when it comes to depth and powerfull symbolism.

Erm, i guess i was faffing around in off-topic land. But yeah, more profound words and less boobs i say!

The only trouble with indulging the inner teenager with boob cards is that the Witcher isn't the only game that does this sort of thing. If games by and large took a more mature approach to gender, then playing as Geralt and laying every woman to cross your path would be an almost guilty pleasure, something to distract you from the otherwise intricate, heady storylines and gender portrayals that make up games. Like reading a 'Romance Novel' inbetween bouts of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

However, as we all know, videogames by and large are pretty terrible at portraying the different sexes, and sex in general. The Mona Saxes and Alyx Vances are far outweighed by the Lara Crofts and the DOA girls. Playing the Witcher isn't so much an indulgence as simply taking further what nearly every other game portrays anyway- uber-masculine men and uber-shallow women. Every game released in the last couple of years has tried to appeal to your inner teenager. It's releasing your inner-adult now that's the indulgence.

I am a huge supporter of mature games, but just putting sex and "boob cards" into games isn't the way to go. Sex is complicated and it would probably be better to keep it subtle and mature until better methods of including it are discovered. However, there is whole spectrum of mature content of a sensual nature that we are forgetting here.

What about erotica? Nudity? These things, in my opinion, should come first. Yes we have boobs in God of War 2, but when was the last time you saw penis in a mass-market game? Or any nudity in a nonsexual context?

A serious, artistic, and gender-equal approach is the only way the industry is going to get away with actual sexual content without being accused of objectifying women or whatever. However, it's going to have to be erotic and not pornographic, or that opens up a whole new can of worms. It doesn't help that there are some hurdles towards this happening, particularly a fuzzy AO rating.

I've been interested in this topic for quite a while, here are my conclusions:
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dt8s85q_522fzwq84gt

I think I'll be long dead before video games reach an interesting level of maturity. I'd like to think that I'll play through some truly thought provoking games (stuff that bores kids), but I can't see it happening in a mainstream sense any time soon.

The most recent flash of mature brilliance I've played was Hotel Dusk. Even though the game never gave you any boob cards, I think Iris has to be one of the hottest digital girls out there... and she kept her clothes on the entire game. Shocking, I know.

image

Video games have about as much depth as most action movies, and that's because video games are mostly about action. I don't expect that we'll see more depth until the emotional and relational AI gets many orders of magnitude better. Action is easy. Interactive, non-shallow relationships are hard.

Wow you actually played through the whole game? How did you not get bored out of your skull? :)

So here's the difference between bad videogame sex and good movie sex: videogame sex is usually shallow. Why? Because, as Nordstrom points out, videogames are usually about action. I don't think you can artistically justify a sex scene unless you are committed to developing the characters' relationships in that direction. Since developers know that relationship development is likely to bore gamers, they often shortcut all of that to what they think the gamers really want: sex and nudity.

I played through the first "zone" of The Witcher and had mixed feelings about the three sex events. One of them was an unexpected freebie, part of the normal storyline. Another was pretty dumb - give a girl a flower and that's it. The third I actually though was well executed, for a videogame. You save a girl from bandits, take her home, and later have a discreet gathering at an abandoned mill. It tried to have some actual development of the relationship leading up to the event! I was mostly impressed because they managed to merge the development in with the gameplay. They did this in GTA:SA too, where dates aren't too different from normal missions.

There is always one example I have to bring up, my personal standard for sex in a videogame: Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy). Though closer to interactive movie than game, the two sex scenes are very tastefully done and play and important part of the character development, and when it comes to overall maturity in a videogame, I've never seen better. I haven't played through Grim Fandango yet though... :)

I know relationships could develop in baldurs gate 2, and there was the mention of sex, but it wasn't displayed. However, it was one of the games to handle relations & sex in a mature way.

The thing I liked about the Witcher, although not nessecarily done in the most favourite way of the general public, is that it wasn't afraid to touch on these subjects; Racism, Discrimination, Sex, Nudity, War, etc.

Even "serious" games like Oblivion, Baldur's Gate, and other RPGs are living in this teddy bear world where more realistic subjects are still taboo. I praised Witcher and Mass Effect for not being afraid of realism.

I had no problem with the Boob cards. It's not like the game forced you to have intimacy with the characters.

The trouble I have with this article is not the analysis, but the premise. What next? Maybe "Pokemon: An Adult Perspective" or "Barney the Dinosaur: An Adult Perspective"?

The issue here isn't about "OMG, pr0n!" at all. It's about the level of sophistication with which games approach their subject matter, whether that's sex, violence, politics or human emotion.

Being an adult isn't about leaving childhood behind. Adults choose the mix of entertainment which suits their preferences. For some people that means all highbrow sophistication. For others it's all cheesy rubbish. But for most of us it's a mix of the two.

FatRabidRamboCow:
I praised Witcher and Mass Effect for not being afraid of realism.

Sorry but I don't think that "Aww you brought me a pretty flower, stranger, let me reward you appropriatly" is particularly realistic. I'd prefer a game where mature content is treated maturely.

Unrelated: I do think it's funny that sex is considered "mature" content while murder is mundane. How many children have had sex versus how many children have murdered? :)

image

Btw if anyone here HASN'T seen the ZP review, check it out. I agree with it mostly, though I'm not personally quite as critical of the game.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/zeropunctuation/2831-Zero-Punctuation-The-Witcher

oneplus999:
Sorry but I don't think that "Aww you brought me a pretty flower, stranger, let me reward you appropriately" is particularly realistic.

Me too. I was horrified when I learned that they have ruined a perfectly realistic game about being a mutated demon hunter with such a thing.

By the way, since when "realistic" has become a synonym to "frigid" when it comes to women?

And lastly, I won't get tired of saying this:

some time ago, myself at RPS:
The cards thing?
I actually think it's brilliant!

They give you beautiful and detailed depictions of the women (or woman, or nobody - that part is left for the player to decide) you chose to sleep with, more so than any ingame sex-scene could ever strive to. Then you get to keep that intimate insight as a memory and review it whenever you want. If there ever was an adequate reward for having sex in games, this is it. And as to wether or not there should be any reward - as far as I know, sex is pretty rewarding experience, so it would be weird to skip the rewarding part.

Witcher dose have a mature theme that goes about some/most things in a mature fashion(unlike most mature games that claim to be mature but are throughly immature).

But for me the Withcer is a horrible GAME its cumbersome to play because its stuck in between a proper Crpg and a point and click daiablo clone then you add the bugs then you add the horrible inventory system, I means its like a RTS crossed with a clucky CRPG MMO 0-o
===================================
_Nocturnal
Its quite reasonable and realistic that normal and extrodary people might take a few lovers before they die......
it might be hard for use nerds that live in our shells to understand...but..
:P

Sadly video games do seem "maturity free", probably so sales to youngsters won't lag. But as s thirty something, I really want to see more actual maturity in games. One's that address sex, life, and humanity in a thoughtful (and hopefully intelligent) way. Though I would settle for unintelligent. The musings of an unintelligent older person would still hold my interest more than much of the shoveled shit we do get, as if there were nothing more to life than good visual images of other people dying.

One of the problems is America, in America, any austere action will be rewarded with an exponentially larger opposite reaction. Not that there aren't stupid people everywhere, We do not hold a monopoly on such things, it's just better documented. And a lot of the games industry exists here. One of the problems with this is that EVERYTHING, gets watered down, not because of puritanical mores (although that doesn't help), but because, like any media, it's geared for people of average intelligence. Why you ask? Most people are of average intelligence, therefore, better sales. So mature and thoughtful content is displaced for something more visceral/simpler to understand.

Blah blah blah, mature thinking people gaming is a niche market. The gaming industry has a more intelligent foundation than movies and television, but it has gotten worse as time has gone on. You'll probably have to do it yourself, I might try, but I'm not sure I will be able to.

_Nocturnal:

oneplus999:
Sorry but I don't think that "Aww you brought me a pretty flower, stranger, let me reward you appropriately" is particularly realistic.

Me too. I was horrified when I learned that they have ruined a perfectly realistic game about being a mutated demon hunter with such a thing.

Don't be stupid, just because its a fantasy story doesn't mean it ignores basic rules about relationships between people. Eg "you killed my friend so I will now hunt you down" makes sense, not "you killed my friend, here let me help you rob me" or in this case "you gave me a flower, let me jump your bones". I know that not all characters have to be completely normal, but this wasn't a colorful character or something, this was just a common townswoman.

_Nocturnal:

By the way, since when "realistic" has become a synonym to "frigid" when it comes to women?

I'm not following this comment, are you saying that if she didn't have sex after receiving a flower from a stranger she would be frigid? I don't see how I suggested anything of the sort.

_Nocturnal:

The cards thing?
I actually think it's brilliant!

They give you beautiful and detailed depictions of the women (or woman, or nobody - that part is left for the player to decide) you chose to sleep with, more so than any ingame sex-scene could ever strive to. Then you get to keep that intimate insight as a memory and review it whenever you want. If there ever was an adequate reward for having sex in games, this is it. And as to wether or not there should be any reward - as far as I know, sex is pretty rewarding experience, so it would be weird to skip the rewarding part.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the card system. I have two gripes: first, rewards should be given for actual work. The flower girl requires almost no work, and one of the other cases just comes about in the regular storyline. Second, there is no effect on the actual gameplay. The fact that it is just something for yourself to enjoy highlights how gratuitous the cards are. If they took out the easy girls and made the card serve an actual purpose I wouldn't have so much of a problem with them.

Trophies a la Fable, anyone? Best number of townspeople shown this trophy: 4.5 million thx to the internet! :D

@Malygris: like drugs, in *The Witcher* you can "Just say NO!" to sex.
imho the game is labeled Mature for giving YOU the CHOICE to have or not to have sex.

You choose what you want so you are responsible for what you get! ( afaik taking decisions and bearing the consequences means being Mature )
You choose the juvenile path and then you blame the game for having such a path in the first place.
The one to be blamed is between your chair and your keyboard.

Licaon_Kter:
@Malygris: like drugs, in *The Witcher* you can "Just say NO!" to sex.
imho the game is labeled Mature for giving YOU the CHOICE to have or not to have sex.

You choose what you want so you are responsible for what you get!

Except that's not really the full picture. The problem isn't with Geralt; it's with the women, controlled by the developers, who throw themselves at you for practically nothing, in a thoroughly unrealistic portrayal of the gender. If you're about to say "well you're already a mutant demon hunter, who wants realism?" please see my post above. Even if you chose to not participate, that doesn't change their frequent portrayal of women as large breasted sluts.

That is true, but you can look away. ;)
It's like the issue of prostitutes in the real world, you can see them, but choose if you buy something from them or not.

BTW, now i see why CDProjekt made such cuts on the US version, and the article portraits it, the game creates more (imho imaginary) issues with sex (or even just sex allusions) than with decapitations and the killing of creatures.

...and that's pretty f. up :(

No Licaon, you're still missing the point.

The issue isn't that the game contains <nudge><nudge><wink><wink>, the issue is that the interactions with the ladies in question fall well below the standard of a crappy porno movie.

Okay, I haven't played it. Maybe the other alleged seductions are handled with far more grace and sophistication that the dryad seduction video that got posted on youtube. But from all reports, no.

If you want to have an RPG where sex is a core element, you need to be at least be able to generate the sexual preference of your character by your actions, and you should certainly be able to pick your character's gender.

One way to do this is to register your sexual preference on a meter much like the light side/dark side meter in KOTOR II. Unwelcome sexual advances should be penalized, and, depending on the setting, could even lead to peril for your character.

And that's the highlight of the problem with sex in Witcher. Are there unwelcome sexual advances? Does he ever get slapped for attempting to bed the wrong lady?

This is an area where I would suspect Japanese dating sims should have some degree of sophistication, simply because there are so fricking many of them, as well as the whole high school anime genre.

Licaon_Kter:
That is true, but you can look away. ;)
It's like the issue of prostitutes in the real world, you can see them, but choose if you buy something from them or not.

BTW, now i see why CDProjekt made such cuts on the US version, and the article portraits it, the game creates more (imho imaginary) issues with sex (or even just sex allusions) than with decapitations and the killing of creatures.

...and that's pretty f. up :(

Nah, what's fucked up is the way women literally throw themselves at you if you so much as offer to tie their shoelaces for them.

Mass Effect had imaginary issues with sex. The scene was tastefully done, and the stink caused by FOX was entirely uncalled for.

The Witcher has real issues with sex. It's treated as something of a throwaway novelty- see how many notches you can get on your bedpost before you finish the game. The idea that an uber-masculine hero can bed whichever woman he so chooses belongs in a 1930s B movie

>The issue isn't that the game contains <nudge><nudge><wink><wink>, the issue is that the interactions with
>the ladies in question fall well below the standard of a crappy porno movie.
he's a sterile and disease immune beatiful male...and yes, they're not applying for an Oscar with the romance script
like i said you'll have to speak the proper words to get them in bed, thats the issue mentioned in the article
there is a juvenile path if you choose it
if you do not want it you can skip it
for example, the first card is with Triss the witch, in the Prologue, she asks you if the group goes outside for the story to continue or if you want to stay a little more with her
the first time i've seen the dialog i've choosen to continue with the story, but after seeing what happens i thought "what if i choose to stay" ...and after some talking that you'll get her in bed

this is not a dating-sim, it has a (sort of medieval) background, and afaik it sticks with it (women treatment/violence/ect)
if someone does not like the setting maybe they should not bitch about the game, or not play it, they should get a dating-sim if that is what makes them happy :)

>Okay, I haven't played it. Maybe the other alleged seductions are handled with far more grace and
>sophistication that the dryad seduction video that got posted on youtube. But from all reports, no.
thats rather strange anyway since Dryads don't reproduce through sexual intercourse :))
you'll have to insist and explain to her why the humans value sex

>If you want to have an RPG where sex is a core element, you need to be at least be able to generate the
>sexual preference of your character by your actions, and you should certainly be able to pick your
>character's gender.
he's heterosexual afaik, thats like crying that he *only* has white hair, well... the sexual preference like the swords only skills, and ect are part of his character

>One way to do this is to register your sexual preference on a meter much like the light side/dark side meter
>in KOTOR II. Unwelcome sexual advances should be penalized, and, depending on the setting, could even lead to
>peril for your character.
>And that's the highlight of the problem with sex in Witcher. Are there unwelcome sexual advances? Does he
>ever get slapped for attempting to bed the wrong lady?
there are women that refuse your advances
he's threaten with a slapping :)

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Nah, what's fucked up is the way women literally throw themselves at you if you so much as offer to tie their shoelaces for them.

Mass Effect had imaginary issues with sex. The scene was tastefully done, and the stink caused by FOX was entirely uncalled for.

The Witcher has real issues with sex. It's treated as something of a throwaway novelty- see how many notches you can get on your bedpost before you finish the game. The idea that an uber-masculine hero can bed whichever woman he so chooses belongs in a 1930s B movie

Or a James Bond film. ;)

thebobmaster:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Nah, what's fucked up is the way women literally throw themselves at you if you so much as offer to tie their shoelaces for them.

Mass Effect had imaginary issues with sex. The scene was tastefully done, and the stink caused by FOX was entirely uncalled for.

The Witcher has real issues with sex. It's treated as something of a throwaway novelty- see how many notches you can get on your bedpost before you finish the game. The idea that an uber-masculine hero can bed whichever woman he so chooses belongs in a 1930s B movie

Or a James Bond film. ;)

That too

Licaon_Kter:
...like i said you'll have to speak the proper words to get them in bed, thats the issue mentioned in the article
there is a juvenile path if you choose it
if you do not want it you can skip it...

I haven't played The Witcher, but saying that you have a choice to not have sex sounds like saying that you have a choice to not defeat Bowser in Super Mario Bros.

I'd give The Witcher more credit if someone can confirm that the game also rewards you for not having sex.

From what I've seen ogf the game, you have two dialog options with the women--hit on them or ignore them. There are no options to establish meaningful, non-sexual, relationships with them.

One thing to note with The Witcher is that is is a continuation of an already long polish novel series. Geralt has a long history with several of the women in the game, and the romances actually make sense with that backstory. The three major cases of this are the Princess, Triss, and Shani. While the dialogue scripting is lackluster at points,

I will grant that they went overboard on it, but the sexual relationships in the game are somewhat reflective of Geralt's exploits in the books.

The thing I find most annoying is the way that characters are often sexed up when that wasn't the original intention. Originally, I don't believe Lara was meant to be the sex symbol, just a female Indiana Jones.(I may, of course, be totally mistaken)

But look at Alyx. Look at the amount of fan-bois who would gladly give their right arm for pron of her.

It's very tough to avoid that sort of rabid market.

You're also looking at GAMES remember. The idea of establishing a meaningful, non-sexual relationship with a pixellated woman is almost as bizarre as lusting after her. You don't expect action movies to have indepth commentary on the world at large, so why expect it from a game.

As for the Witcher, doesn't anyone remember collecting the Panini Football stickers? Similar concept I would have thought.

I do agree that 'certain' 'mature' things *COUGH*TORCHWOOD*COUGH* think that sex, swearing and gore are all you need to be mature; but again, look at the options. Sell a sexy woman image for thousands, or sell a thought-provoking image for hundreds.

Not rocket science is it?

It may relate to an idea that's been kicking around for awhile now about the increasing number of 20- and 30-somethings who are refusing to settle into a normal, grown-up life when they leave their teenage years behind: choosing a career, getting married, buying a house, having babies. Mostly commonly referred to as "delayed adulthood," the theory is that, for a number of reasons - social, economic, even psychological - people are taking much longer to embrace their destinies as adults. Whereas in the past, an almost obligatory entry into adulthood would take place at 20 or 21 years, both men and women in contemporary society are now far more likely to put off those commitments until much later in life. And the corollary of this behavior, of course, is an embrace of adolescence well past the adolescent years.

We're told we live longer now. Life is becoming more... well, less of a hassle for some, the entertainment industry is growing, and some people don't want to bother with kids for the moment.
Besides, we keep hearing that grown ups are still kids at their hearts. So why bother? :)
It doesn't prevent yourself from taking part in politics, feeling concerned about the human condition or else.

Or maybe it's just a different way of doing what we've always done. When someone can adequately explain to me the difference between getting together with friends for a few rounds of Team Fortress 2, and getting together with friends to swill beer and scream at a football game on the television, I may allow myself some concern.

Me and my pals we combine both. Some keyboards, sofas and joypads get sticky from time to time, but it's fun.

Echolocating:
I think I'll be long dead before video games reach an interesting level of maturity. I'd like to think that I'll play through some truly thought provoking games (stuff that bores kids), but I can't see it happening in a mainstream sense any time soon.

The most recent flash of mature brilliance I've played was Hotel Dusk. Even though the game never gave you any boob cards, I think Iris has to be one of the hottest digital girls out there... and she kept her clothes on the entire game. Shocking, I know.

image

I've been hesitating grabbing HDR for a long time, almost to the point forgetting about its existence (until your post).
I'm not too fond of adventure cop games, but it seemed to really have style when I saw a video.
Is it good?

See, I'm for mature games. I want games to be accepted into mainstream society, so maybe then, we'll get some peace and quiet. No more "Videogames are disrupting our youth" bullshit.

Unfortunately, I don't consider The Witcher's portrayal of sex very mature. It would be more mature to develop a relationship with an NPC, which then grows. This can be shown in POP:SoT.

This relationship evolution isn't perfect, but then, the female involved doesn't just take off her shirt.

Though, as mentioned by some already, games are an like an action movie. Thus, you're not gonna be able to have really developed characters. At least, not in the present.

 

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