Why is a Bare Breast More Offensive Than a Severed Arm?

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Why is a Bare Breast More Offensive Than a Severed Arm?

This question gets asked a lot. "Why is a bare breast more offensive than a severed arm?" This question has been around in one form or another for decades and is usually presented as a challenge or a demand for explanation regarding the way movies are rated, marketed, and edited.

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As an addendum for why nudity is rather uncommon in television and movies, compared to violence: It is far more comfortable for an actor or actress to have someone apply make-up and some silicone prosthetics to make it look like you've been impaled, beaten or decapitated than it is to have to undress in front of 40 of your co-workers with the knowledge that potentially millions of people will be watching you undress. It is also far easier for a director or casting supervisor to pitch "you will get a really cool death scene and make-up" than it is to pitch "you will be nude at multiple times during this shoot, including a sex scene". This is especially true with big name actresses or actors who can demand literally millions of dollars for the movie or show to include a few seconds of them naked.

Shamus Young:
Why is a Bare Breast More Offensive Than a Severed Arm?

This question gets asked a lot. "Why is a bare breast more offensive than a severed arm?" This question has been around in one form or another for decades and is usually presented as a challenge or a demand for explanation regarding the way movies are rated, marketed, and edited.

Read Full Article

Excelelnt artilce but I have one question after it.

You had stated that games are bad as systematizing relationships and conversations. So where does that put Visual Novels like Little Busters, Clannad and other such digital media that revolves around conversations and developing relationships between characters in game? Does this mean that the current model of Visual Novel is the best we have limited by a very poor system?

Hans Beinholtz mode on.

A computer is a simple calculating machine.
Its beeps and pixels may seem like it reacts to you, to your affection, but it does not.
It is a violent fraud.
It has no soul. It can not love.
All it can do is endlessly compute ones and zeros, never understanding what they truly mean.
And only giving you a hollow, empty simulacrum of love, that can not fill the void within.
Just as real love can not either.
For in the end, we are all doomed to walk alone on this rock, plunging through the desolate emptiness of space, until all that is left of us is a photon, colliding with a distant planet, fading, and extinguishing the last remnant of a memory of the human race.

It's not offensive in fact quite the opposite. See along the lines of Western European culture (from which most things are taken) nudity is seen as a bad thing (despite the fact that we love seeing people nude.

One argument is that it comes,, much like the view of dark skin' from social stigma based status. Simply put, naked people were typically people who were poor and destitute. When you were rich you had layers of clothes on at any given time. There's also the religious idea of it being inciteful to the sin of Lust. Which is somewhat reasonable.. I mean even now there are probably no small number of rear end collisions that occur due to mini-skirts or kilts. Especially on breezy days.

Now as for violence.. well. Violence is something that people have always seen in their day to day lives. Heck if you were a boy or young man you were expected to get into a fight or two. That and it's kinda hard to get around the fact that yeah...Violence is in the bible, the bible is okay.. so violence must be okay (incidentally that was an excuse used in early hollywood to get more scandalous costuimes and even a little nudity in their films because.. (it's a bible story.. it's in the bible.. you want us to edit the bible?')

There's alsoi the lingeriung perception among the older set that games are still 'for kids'.

I find it interesting that you mention how being aroused among others is more taboo than being grossed out among others.

BigTuk:
Now as for violence.. well. Violence is something that people have always seen in their day to day lives. Heck if you were a boy or young man you were expected to get into a fight or two. That and it's kinda hard to get around the fact that yeah...Violence is in the bible, the bible is okay.. so violence must be okay (incidentally that was an excuse used in early hollywood to get more scandalous costuimes and even a little nudity in their films because.. (it's a bible story.. it's in the bible.. you want us to edit the bible?')

Non-incidentally, that was one of the many reasons that Europe/the Roman Catholic Church used to validate the Crusades. Nudity is positively referenced in the Bible too, but only in relation to marriage. The bible shows we can be violent with anyone that disagrees with us, but even THINKING sexual thoughts outside of marriage damns our souls.

Unfortunately this is the norm for the majority of evangelical Christianity (i.e. most of America, probably even most of the western hemisphere), or at least those that make the most political "noise".

I see where you're going with this, but I wanted to add one contrast. Not every scene of violence is shared as a communal experience. I can, for example, laugh during many scenes of over-the-top violence, while others might be so disturbed by it that they can't even watch the movie. Admittedly, over-the-top is usually intentional, but sometimes it isn't and my reaction to that violence may not be what the director/writer/actor wanted, nor is it the same reaction that everyone has.

theSteamSupported:
I find it interesting that you mention how being aroused among others is more taboo than being grossed out among others.

This goes further than actual arosal, too. Violent and graphic imagery is shown/referenced all the time in American government, but even mentioning something sexual will get you thrown out. (Well, at least if you're a woman)

"What she said was offensive," said state Rep. Mike Callton (R), "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

That's in response to legislator Lisa Brown saying "vagina" in reference to an anti-abortion law in 2012. She was immediately banned from ever speaking on the House floor FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

TiberiusEsuriens:

Non-incidentally, that was one of the many reasons that Europe/the Roman Catholic Church used to validate the Crusades. Nudity is positively referenced in the Bible too, but only in relation to marriage. The bible shows we can be violent with anyone that disagrees with us, but even THINKING sexual thoughts outside of marriage damns our souls.

Unfortunately this is the norm for the majority of evangelical Christianity (i.e. most of America, probably even most of the western hemisphere), or at least those that make the most political "noise".

Yeah, when I found out even thinking such thoughts damned me to hell I figured I might as well start kissing up to the guy who will more than likely be my landlord when I kick the bucket... heh heh.

And yeah, CHristians (especially the evengelicals) be noisy. Can't blame them. According to the bible god doesn't seem to understand the term bystander, or innocent. His smite button only has one setting and it's 'continental'. His method of scourging sinners is to scourge them and every thing within a 100 mile radius of that sinner.

Is it any wonder I switched to Shubniggorath, I mean she may be an abomination from beyond the veil of time and space but at least she understands the concept of 'precision' when it comes to smiting.

"All Hail The Black Goat of the Forest! Ia! Ia!"

There is a big case to be made for how one would even go about "gamifying" sex as well as a business case for whether it is worthwhile to spend development time doing so. In the case of action/violent games, the challenge is obvious, the entertainment is derived from beating the challenge based on player skill. A shooter will challenge hand-eye coordination, spatial and situational awareness, quick thinking and an understanding of the game's rules with a clear success or failure state.

How would a game about sex work? Is it a series of conversation trees? It might be interesting insofar as different prospective lovers/friends personalities can be shown and we can have different outcomes dependant upon successfully saying what the NPC needs to hear. But then this presents the issue of "agency" that social justice wanke...warriors would jump on and for once I personally may even agree.

What would the challenge be? Is it entertaining? Can a whole game be made from that premise, or is it just a subplot in a wider game world (f.ex BioWare)? Who would buy it? Who could play it? If it takes so much money and development time with a tiny potential market, is it financially worth pursuing vs. the opportunity cost of making something else?

Personally, I'm not that interested in a game about relationships, first love, coming out, discussing sex or sexual health, pregnancy, STDs, consent, or the challenge of being from an "oppressed" minority. At least not as the main goal. As subplots in the background of a larger narrative, no problem, but a game needs to be challenging and entertaining and I'm not sure the medium is the right one for these stories. They work well in a passive medium like TV/film but games should be player driven, else we're just passive observers and may as well be watching the TV. Nothing against nudity, but what is it bringing to the game, is it necessary for the game and who would buy it?

TiberiusEsuriens:

theSteamSupported:
I find it interesting that you mention how being aroused among others is more taboo than being grossed out among others.

This goes further than actual arousal, too. Violent and graphic imagery is shown/referenced all the time in American government, but even mentioning something sexual will get you thrown out. (Well, at least if you're a woman)

"What she said was offensive," said state Rep. Mike Callton (R), "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

That's in response to legislator Lisa Brown saying "vagina" in reference to an anti-abortion law in 2012. She was immediately banned from ever speaking on the House floor FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

That is just so fucked up! Why are we letting sex-negative, misogynistic cultures like these continue to thrive?

BigTuk:
And yeah, CHristians (especially the evengelicals) be noisy. Can't blame them. According to the bible god doesn't seem to understand the term bystander, or innocent. His smite button only has one setting and it's 'continental'. His method of scourging sinners is to scourge them and every thing within a 100 mile radius of that sinner.

I wasn't trying to target Christianity as a whole, because a lot of theology that's formed in the evangelical world is never explicitly stated in the Bible. Furthermore, there's heavy debate within the church over what parts of the Old Testament are for historical record and which should still be followed, since much of the New Testament is supposed to render the Old inert.

In the end, it's not the religious text that causes the most issue, but irresponsible people who recognize they can manipulate it and the billions of people who won't notice.

theSteamSupported:

TiberiusEsuriens:

theSteamSupported:
I find it interesting that you mention how being aroused among others is more taboo than being grossed out among others.

This goes further than actual arousal, too. Violent and graphic imagery is shown/referenced all the time in American government, but even mentioning something sexual will get you thrown out. (Well, at least if you're a woman)

"What she said was offensive," said state Rep. Mike Callton (R), "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

That's in response to legislator Lisa Brown saying "vagina" in reference to an anti-abortion law in 2012. She was immediately banned from ever speaking on the House floor FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

That is just so fucked up! Why are we letting sex-negative, misogynistic cultures like these continue to thrive?

I'm guessing you didn't read the first page of Shamus's article then? ;) He does a pretty bang up job of describing PRECISELY that reason. Also, a lot of people that get so pissed off at this stuff just turtle up and run from politics. It's hard to change the legislation, or even mindset, if those that dislike it so much don't fight back. Then those that do remain vastly outnumbered.

That's history in a nutshell though. Every single social movement has begun the same way.

Izanagi009:

You had stated that games are bad as systematizing relationships and conversations. So where does that put Visual Novels like Little Busters, Clannad and other such digital media that revolves around conversations and developing relationships between characters in game? Does this mean that the current model of Visual Novel is the best we have limited by a very poor system?

Basically. Having a choose your own adventure style dialogue is pretty much the extent of what we can do. Sure, there are ways to dress it up to hide where exactly the conversation choices are through stuff like stat checks, but sooner or later you need a human to write the actual words of dialogue being spoken.

Having to write those words by hand severely limits what exactly a game can do. In a combat oriented game you can program the AI to follow certain rules and then let the player just do whatever - You don't have to program the AI in Starcraft to handle every specific build order the player could take, only a general set of rules for attacking and defending bases. You can't just generalize conversations in the same way and have it work naturally.

Since you can't generalize conversations, you mostly have to direct players down specific dialogue paths. You have to write a response for each thing the player can say, so mostly you want to keep the number of branching points as small as possible. The more points of divergence you have the harder your job gets farther down the line. Even in games like Mass Effect that give you a lot of choices, most conversations are completely independent of each other or reference only a single other event.

This is mostly an american problem if its about western world standards.

Here in germany for example people are much more lenient when it comes to nudity (kept for the genitals that is) then they are about violence...

Have a suggestive commercial about lube 2 pm? Hey no problem... A shower commercial showing bare boobs? Go on.. no one minds... Wait what? Blood and gore past 10 pm? Hell no.. kids could still be up watching TV and we dont want to let them see blood an gore.

The same is aplied to video games. Our version of the ESRB doesnt give much about scenes of nudity aslong as they are not outright pornographic (for example the sex scenes in mass effect? No one here gave a crap about those.. unlike in the US where media was screaming sodom and gomorra)

But get a little bit to brutal even against lets say zombies and your game wont be allowed to be sold openly in germany (a death sentence for releases like dead rising or most other zombie splatter games)

Heck the most ridiculus case of censoring i remember was when they turned everyone in Soldier of Fortune 2 into robots by swapping out skin textures for metal plates... that was weird...

I think the single player nature of games is also important here. Forming a close emotional connection to a fictional character is normally seen as something laughable or shameful - See the derision towards the obsessive Japanese otaku for a pretty good example here - in a way that hurting a fictional character really isn't. Although turning violence against simulated avatars removes the social stigma from an action, turning sexual desires (or even just intimate romantic ones) towards a fictional character deepens the taboo.

It feels a bit awkward trying to form more than a superficial connection to a fake character. It's one thing to watch a show where characters interact and become attached to those characters and another to find yourself trying to actively woo a virtual being. It's weird and feels a bit unnatural in a way that shooting a virtual person doesn't, and I think both things come down that same lack of reality of the characters being acted upon.

I honestly disagree with the entire premise: that we all react to violence the same. We simply don't. I've laughed my ass off at "Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky" while other people thought it was disgusting. I found Saving Private Ryan's violent frontline depictions to be an on point representation of the horrors of war, while other people I watched the movie with thought it was needlessly graphic and made them uncomfortable to the point they didn't want to keep watching.

Violence standards differ exactly like sexual standards. Saying that sexual standrads make some feel grossed our, some uncomfortable, some aroused is reliant almost entirely on the cultural lens you're looking through, and you're looking through it from an American lens. You say "let's ignore who the prudes are" then take the stance - intentionally or not - that your cultural perception on sex is how everyone in the world, in every culture, reacts to sex and that's just not true. You might feel really uncomfortable being aroused or watching sex scenes with your friends, in other countries this just isn't a problem.

In Germany, movies like Keinohrhasen are rated fine for children to watch and bare breasts will freely appear in daytime advertisements, and no one cares. No one bats an eye. You can argue all you want that this is somehow not related to culture, or if it is is related to culture in a way violence isn't, but I simply don't believe this to be the case in any way.

Some decent points. Especially the thing about how it makes us feel in a crowd. I honestly haven't thought about that.

However.

Regarding television: With the rise of digital distribution this problem SHOULD disappear more and more. Content is rated pretty well and there is a lot of information about it you can see before starting to stream. You don't sit and watch HBO online and "accidentally" see a sex scene from game of thrones. It wont change however, because sex is wrong.

Regarding video-games it really IS puritanical bullshit. Why should there be so strong content censorship on sexual content? Take Witcher 2 for example. Rated by the ESRB as Mature. (Content Descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs). Strong sexual content. Strong. I dont know about you, but to me, this gives off a vibe about sexual deviancy, maybe pornography. Have you seen the sex in Witcher 2? It is (in my opinon) probably the most tasteful and definitely the most adult portrait of sex and sex life I've seen in a game. Not because of penis+vagina action, but because the persons engaging in it does it for believable reasons and in believable circumstances.

The starting scene is pure beauty with Geralt (the main character) rising (not in that way you dirty people) from a bed and pulling on his boots. At his side lies Triss Merigold in nothing but her skin. She is in my opinion very well modeled and she's a real woman. Not the hollywood starvation victims of today, but a curvy beauty. The scene shows some nipple action. I cant remember if it shows bush, but she gets up from the bed and puts on a robe as they are rudely interrupted by a soldier. The scene is very sensual, and even if it is obvious they have been doing the sex thing it is very natural and mature. In a grown up kind of way. The scene is brilliant in its simplicity and just shows two adult people in an adult situation. No fancy business. And this is probably what is described as STRONG sexual content. Because there is actual nipples and stuff.

There is NO way to avoid the fact that nudity is horrifying to censors. And it has nothing to do with how it makes a living room full of people feel. And this is a sad, sad thing.

Edit:

TiberiusEsuriens:

theSteamSupported:
I find it interesting that you mention how being aroused among others is more taboo than being grossed out among others.

This goes further than actual arosal, too. Violent and graphic imagery is shown/referenced all the time in American government, but even mentioning something sexual will get you thrown out. (Well, at least if you're a woman)

"What she said was offensive," said state Rep. Mike Callton (R), "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

That's in response to legislator Lisa Brown saying "vagina" in reference to an anti-abortion law in 2012. She was immediately banned from ever speaking on the House floor FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

Hahahaha, what the hell. Sorry Shamus. I tried to be nice. I guess its just you Americans. You really are crazy xD

I feel like I should point out that you actually can have philosophical debates in Planescape: Torment. I'm not claiming it's any kind of ideal simulation for what a real debate is like, but with the sheer amount of dialogue in that game it's a pretty good start.

theSteamSupported:
I find it interesting that you mention how being aroused among others is more taboo than being grossed out among others.

He didn't say it was more taboo, he said it caused more physiological discomfort. Which it does.

To say that it is more taboo would be to imply that it is an invention of society, when in fact it is simple biology.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

theSteamSupported:
I find it interesting that you mention how being aroused among others is more taboo than being grossed out among others.

He didn't say it was more taboo, he said it caused more physiological discomfort. Which it does.

To say that it is more taboo would be to imply that it is an invention of society, when in fact it is simple biology.

But it is cultural and not biological...

Or when was the last time you saw a bonobo ashamed that he was screwing another bonobo infront of the entire group?

Humans are the only ones who show such behavior so no.. it is not biological but a result of hundrets of years of cultural indoctrination by organised religion.

Think about the romans.. the guys who pretty much invented orgies to begin with. Those things where pretty much family affairs... and they even had sex with minors and that was seen as something normal (well teenagers (most often male) from what i read... education and a "good" life against sex)

Before christianity/islam stepped up and told everyone what to think and what to do and not to do it was a pretty wild world out there.

Personally I don't think that anything thatīs not porn should feature sexual content, and not just because I'm anti sex, the only reason to have sexual content is to turn you on, and the only media that should turn you on is porn.

Also most games don't feature romance because most games aren't about romance, I don't see a reason to have romance subplots in stories that are not about romance, it's like including a subplot about aliens trying to take over the world in a comedy about pirates.

And besides visual novels I honestly don't see a way to create a video game about romances, unless you go really abstract, like a game were dates are represented by bullet hell gameplay.

themilo504:
Personally I don't think that anything thatīs not porn should feature sexual content, and not just because I'm anti sex, the only reason to have sexual content is to turn you on, and the only media that should turn you on is porn.

Sorry but i think thats a very narrow and short sighted argument.

Sex is an integral part of a normal relationship... to simply ignore it because "it should not be there because you could get aroused" is so limiting and smells of censorship because you dont happen to like it.

There are alot of people who like knowing that those characters arent sterile "happily ever after" disney characters that are so clean and unsexual you think they might bath in febreeze all the time.

If you want to make characters more realistic if the game calls for it (like in RPGs or story focused games) you wont get around also exploring their sexuality because it makes the character more complete and complex.

Thought no one (i hope) demands hardcore scenes, and they would be very out of place, but the scenes from the first mass effect for example or the witcher? I dont see any problem in them.

Sex scenes are a common event in movies nowadays, but yet in video games they are still very hush hush and the media reacts rather volatile to the very idea of it.. even thought games are alot more private then some Twilight movie in cinema.

Karadalis:

themilo504:
Personally I don't think that anything thatīs not porn should feature sexual content, and not just because I'm anti sex, the only reason to have sexual content is to turn you on, and the only media that should turn you on is porn.

Sorry but i think thats a very narrow and short sighted argument.

Sex is an integral part of a normal relationship... to simply ignore it because "it should not be there because you could get aroused" is so limiting and smells of censorship because you dont happen to like it.

There are alot of people who like knowing that those characters arent sterile "happily ever after" disney characters that are so clean and unsexual you think they might bath in febreeze all the time.

If you want to make characters more realistic if the game calls for it (like in RPGs or story focused games) you wont get around also exploring their sexuality because it makes the character more complete and complex.

Thought no one (i hope) demands hardcore scenes, and they would be very out of place, but the scenes from the first mass effect for example or the witcher? I dont see any problem in them.

Sex scenes are a common event in movies nowadays, but yet in video games they are still very hush hush and the media reacts rather volatile to the very idea of it.. even thought games are alot more private then some Twilight movie in cinema.

If you want characters to have sex just cut to black, and then show them both lying in bed naked, anything more is pointless unless you're trying to turn on the audience.

No games about contract negotiations?

Well then I better try my hand at it. It could really allow for stories about freelancers, be they artists or mercenaries.

I find this a pretty weak argument. Especially when it's said everyone is being disgusted by violence. Has Shamus not seen people partake in violent media? They seem thrilled, not disgusted usually, because we have a culture of violence. Many people love the explosions, the gory gruesomeness (and some don't, which also belies the "shared experience" argument).

Especially as it pertains to video games: I very much doubt we have millions of gamers playing Call of Duty feeling disgusted with themselves for murdering thousands of virtual people.

As for the argument that making sex into a system just doesn't work: Even assuming that's true, there's plenty of stupid things that appear in games stories that are never acted out through gameplay, or if they are, are done in an extremely basic manner.

Oh, and this isn't even pointing out the absurdity of the idea of our culture being concerned about making women feel uncomfortable with sexual depictions when we have pictures of gorgeous super models in lingerie in our malls, our streets, on day time television. Video games can't even tackle the idea of men being in love -- forget sex -- unless it's just to motivate him to go kill more. I don't think any of that has a thing to do with pragmatism.

Usually Shamus constructs a strong argument, this one I didn't buy.

Jumwa:
I find this a pretty weak argument. Especially when it's said everyone is being disgusted by violence. Has Shamus not seen people partake in violent media? They seem thrilled, not disgusted usually, because we have a culture of violence. Many people love the explosions, the gory gruesomeness (and some don't, which also belies the "shared experience" argument).

Especially as it pertains to video games: I very much doubt we have millions of gamers playing Call of Duty feeling disgusted with themselves for murdering thousands of virtual people.

As for the argument that making sex into a system just doesn't work: Even assuming that's true, there's plenty of stupid things that appear in games stories that are never acted out through gameplay, or if they are, are done in an extremely basic manner.

Oh, and this isn't even pointing out the absurdity of the idea of our culture being concerned about making women feel uncomfortable with sexual depictions when we have pictures of gorgeous super models in lingerie in our malls, our streets, on day time television. Video games can't even tackle the idea of men being in love -- forget sex -- unless it's just to motivate him to go kill more. I don't think any of that has a thing to do with pragmatism.

Usually Shamus constructs a strong argument, this one I didn't buy.

Actually, the "pictures of gorgeous super models in lingerie in our malls, our streets, on day time television" is why there are complaints about the number of female protagonists in videogames who do look like super models.

And it isn't about being actively feeling uncomfortable, but about being raised in an environment that can cause many young girls to grow up being too self conscious about their bodies.

Jokes on you, I consider myself a massive hedonist!

GUMBY, THE CHOCOLATE ICING!!!

image

Pogilrup:

Actually, the "pictures of gorgeous super models in lingerie in our malls, our streets, on day time television" is why there are complaints about the number of female protagonists in videogames who do look like super models.

And it isn't about being actively feeling uncomfortable, but about being raised in an environment that can cause many young girls to grow up being too self conscious about their bodies.

You seem to be mistaking my argument for an endorsement of those things. I was merely pointing out how silly it seems to be to say that a concern for making women feel inadequate while doing all these things is the explanation. People don't need to be 100% nude and mid-coitus to cause any of the things he said. In fact there's obvious moves to titillate and excite in the same media all the time. Going that one half-step further would seem to make only a slim difference at best.

If there was such a concern they'd stop a lot shorter.

Conditioning. There are no bans on depictions of violence; there is no concerted effort to cover it up, shame it (and shame people for staring at it).

In conjunction with pornography, this of course leads to a woman's breasts being sexualized (after all, there's no normal reason for her to be topless).

I'll make a fun analogy: it's a similar reason to why gun ownership is offensive to many people. People who are around them all the time wouldn't think much of seeing someone open carry, but for people who aren't, who only see them in violent movies or used by mass murderers they'll want those guns gone just like the moral crusader would want a woman's "guns" put away.

There's no counting how many times I've had this debate, and so I have a stock answer:

image

The one of the left shows a person (well, actually two) having a shower while wearing her underwear in a game Mass Effect 3 - a game made for mature players. I dunno, but I don't shower my clothes on - I have fallen from a boat and swam while my clothes on, but never showered.

The one from the right is from a French comic "Valérian et Laureline" (censored by yours truly) - an award-winning sci-fi comic for teens that has had direct effect to things like The Fifth Element, Star Wars, etc. Probably Mass Effect 3 was more futuristic, as in this people undressed to clean themselves properly. (For Mass Effect's credit, nudity was done well in the first one, as it used well-chosen camera angles for modesty.)

Also about BioWare and nudity: I find it funny how in Dragon Age: Origins nude werewolves magically conjure up clothing when returned to their human forms.

I got nothing interesting to say about the nudity versus violence thing. I mean, it's just one of many cultural absurdities that will die out eventually.

So, instead I'd like to point out that hedonism is often used in a derogative way. That is unjust I think. Hedonism is mostly about leading a good and happy life.

Christian thinkers twisted that concept into something evil where a hedonist would lack morals or boundaries like some kind of egomaniacal lust-driven freak (in order to sell their own concepts more convincingly). That's never been the original intent, though. Hedonism wasn't meant as a statement against being a moral person. It was more about the idea that to lead a good life you need to start by taking good care of yourself, treat your body right as a foundation for a healthy and happy mind.
It's actually a real nice idea.

So, please find your own word. Like, egomaniacal lust-driven freak. That'll do.

Sorry for the detour... back to nudity.

;)

themilo504:

If you want characters to have sex just cut to black, and then show them both lying in bed naked, anything more is pointless unless you're trying to turn on the audience.

Not quite true actually, while it is in any game at the moment especially with the quality of our models and animations. You can actually describe a lot about a character or their relationship or mood by how they are having sex, its a complex interaction. Though you probably could convey this just by how they stated and looked afterwards true. though overall I agree as I have not interest in learning about characters though watching them have sex even if it could be an effective character building seance.

Falterfire:

Basically. Having a choose your own adventure style dialogue is pretty much the extent of what we can do. Sure, there are ways to dress it up to hide where exactly the conversation choices are through stuff like stat checks, but sooner or later you need a human to write the actual words of dialogue being spoken. snip

Since you can't generalize conversations, you mostly have to direct players down specific dialogue paths. You have to write a response for each thing the player can say, so mostly you want to keep the number of branching points as small as possible. The more points of divergence you have the harder your job gets farther down the line. Even in games like Mass Effect that give you a lot of choices, most conversations are completely independent of each other or reference only a single other event.

As far as relationships as game mechanics I think we would get much further looking towards reality to find a way. It's true you can't program a computer in any reasonable way to simulate the complex verbal interactions in a way that feels organic or fun. However their is a chance you could do body langue and tone of voice control as the "Gamey" part as real world interactions are as heavily based on those things as on what words you say. Heck it might even be interesting to go Sims style and make all the language gibberish.

I pretty strongly disagree with the idea that we all have a communal reaction to violence in media that differs only in minor degrees. You put a violence scene in a movie, and you're going to get a wide range of reactions: disgust, apathy, amusement, enthusiasm, and so forth. Some people, particularly those that have been victimized by violent criminals in the past, might have a more severe reaction.

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