What They Play Poll Finds Parents Fear Sex in Games

What They Play Poll Finds Parents Fear Sex in Games

image

A survey of gamer parents confirms that sex is a bigger concern than violence in games.

A poll posted by John Davison's What They Play asked gaming parents an age-old inquiry: Which would you find most offensive in a video game?

The results, not too surprisingly, revealed that thirty seven percent of the voters found a man and woman having sex to be the most offensive option. Two men kissing and a graphically severed head nearly tied with 27 and 26 percent of the vote, respectively.

Controversy surrounding games such as the Hot Coffee debacle and sexual content in Mass Effect make these results, that sex in games concerns parents more than violence, less shocking. Yet still, John Davison wonders on his blog, "Not to keep banging on about this, but W.T.F?"

Permalink

The big thing is that they think that two males kissing is more offensive than a severed human head. If I was to send a picture of two guys kissing followed by a human head which would you be shocked by the most?

dude....what the hell. this is just sad.

Two men kissing more offensive than a severed human head? Really? My goodness, America must be an interesting place to live.

well at least they care more of what is shown then the character verbal resonses of F this and that. Man Brokeback Mountain really hit them hard didn't it? I would have thought that the sex would essentially max out, hence parents throwing out playboy's, etc. or real women naked. The head is shocking because they will take their kids to a star wars movie were darth maul is cut in half but(which by the way was animated) and that's ok. but see a head in a game bugs them as much a gay men expressing affection. Sad state

If I was going to vote in this poll, I would need more info.
Such as, what type of sex are we talking? If it's a bunch of S&M stuff with whips, rope, chains, and the like, the I would not want any of my possible future kids to see it. That type of thing is reserved for daddy and mommy's "alone" time...

And what does it mean by the head part? After all, go to any museum and you're sure to find an ancient human skull that may or may not have been chopped off. More importantly, what type of human head are we talking about (hint hint wink wink)?

How about the two men kissing? What are they kissing? If I see two dudes making out with a boulder, I'm gonna think it's weird as hell but I'm not gonna be offended by it.

All in all, I would need to know a lot more about this poll before I pass judgment on the people that voted on it.

I can't tell if you're attempting to be funny or just trying to defend the findings of the poll by being intentionally obtuse.

I don't know what makes violence more acceptable than sex, I've been told that in Central Europe sex is more acceptable than violence; which may go on to explain the Nudist supermarkets. But really what we're seeing here is more of a subjective view of American Society's mindset after being spoonfed repeatedly by Hollywood.

Violence is more acceptable than sex, mainly because people (Especially Americans it seems-don't get me wrong, I love America but the place seems to delight in its own idiocy)accept violence as something that can be right. which is the most fucked-up logic but hey, what can you do. I guess that the socialisation of a great part of society has left them with the idea that somehow violence is less odious than sex. if its dangerous/deviant sex then, yeah, okay, its prohibition is understandable but, if were talking 'normal' (as far as there is such a definition) sex then, hell, your child should be (and proboably is) used to it by now, and its far less likely to harm him than, say, karate-kicking people considerably larger than him.

The thing that's really fascinating is that unlike violence, which in today's age the people who answered this poll's kid could arguably never encounter in their lifetime (in person, anyhow), sex is an inevitable and natural part of existence. They are, inevitably, going to become interested in hanky panky with whoever they end up being attracted to.

So the question is...why all the concern for something that they're going to get into one way or another anyhow?

Now I've got a good excuse for rpogramming a weapon in GarrysMod which says "FUCK" when you fire it (like this "FuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuck" auto fire)

So, why people make slasher flicks? I mean, you could have two guys kissing eatch other for two hours and it wourld be scarier than SAWs combined (and have more plot too). Hell, Hostel isn't half as scary as Brokeback Mountain is.
Then again, it may go to show how scared of sex you get when you grow older.

If you're afraid of sex, don't go to the internet.

I mean, realy, come on. I keep hearing something about sex in Mass Effect and I don't understand shit: why would someone buy game because it may have sweaty blue alien babes having private time? I think stuff like babes that i mentioned only pushes the borders of what can be depicted in games and i realy hope to be shooting babies by the end of the decade.

Malygris:
I can't tell if you're attempting to be funny or just trying to defend the findings of the poll by being intentionally obtuse.

Would you prefer I join the throngs of people that comment on the fact that "shock horror" there is yet ANOTHER study that shows American parents dislike sex more then violence? I am sorry if trying to add a little humor to the thread instead of "ZOMG WTF is wrong with Americans violence is soooo much worse the sex!" offended you in some way.

Hmpf, puritans.

No wonder the parents are afraid of sex in games. Their children grew bored with online porn. That means they have one thing less in common.

http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles/2005/04/26/news/opinion/1tuesed426.txt

The human race is amazing isn't it. After many thousands of years of having sex, humans still talk about it as if its the orginal evil.

If I had to choose one in this poll i'd say offensive language. Simply because I associate multiple swear words with immature developers who decide its 'ultra-cool' to say f**k or c**t in every other sentence.

I, on the other hand, take the practical route of pointing out that sex tends to ruin games, and give excuse to make crap ones. Exhibit A: Playboy: The Mansion.

Indigo_Dingo:
I, on the other hand, take the practical route of pointing out that sex tends to ruin games, and give excuse to make crap ones. Exhibit A: Playboy: The Mansion.

Perhaps, but I wouldn't find it offensive. Out of place, maybe.

The fact that two men kissing was on there, AND about equal to a severed head, just puzzles me. I get that the reasoning is they don't want their children exposed to it, but even that makes me tilt my head and scratch. WHY are they 'protecting' their kids from seeing homosexuality just as vivaciously as seeing a severed head. I suppose I can take some solace in knowing that they abhor seeing straight sex more then two men kissing. And yet seeing a man and women kiss in a game is so common place, it's just everywhere. Sometimes I wish these kinds of polls had 'comment' boxes, explaining WHY you thought [blank] was more offensive, so those who review the polls could look into that if they wanted. It would certainly be more precise then just dead numbers.

I suppose with time (and effort) two men kissing can be just as detested (or in this case, not) as a man and woman kissing.

yet again i am dismayed by humanity....now where is that severed head, I wanna give him a kiss

Fondant:
Violence is more acceptable than sex, mainly because people (Especially Americans it seems-don't get me wrong, I love America but the place seems to delight in its own idiocy)accept violence as something that can be right. which is the most fucked-up logic but hey, what can you do.

I think it's more a matter of people considering the *viewing* of sex to be a form of 'sexual activity' while the viewing of violence is not considered to be a form of violent activity.

I think the logic of the parents is that keeping their kids away from two men kissing/hetero sex *is* protecting them from sex, but that keeping their kids away from a graphically severed head *is not* protecting them from violence. (personally I think parents aren't interested in protecting kids, but rather their own reputation and sense of decorum, but, that's not a criticism grounded in the whole sex vs. violence criticism, so it's off topic).

I wouldn't say that's fucked-up, I'd just say that reflects a real difference between graphic sex depictions and graphic violence depictions. When one sees violence, one doesn't really experience violence: one experiences sympathy for the victim or satisfaction at stopping the bad guy or something like that. When one sees sex one experiences, well, a sexual response.

+++

Part of the problem is people are taking the poll (and the issue of sex and violence in the media) as if your opinion on *seeing it in a game* is the same as your opinion on *wanting it to happen in real life*. Those opinions aren't necessarily the same for some people. edit: I think because while it's true as people posting here are saying that sex is more a part of modern life than violence, the people who responded in the poll aren't thinking about encountering 'sex *in real life*' vs. encountering 'violence *in real life*' but rather encountering 'sex *in a video game*' vs. encountering 'violence *in a video game*'

In fact, my guess is it would be most accurate to say they are thinking about 'sex *in real life* delivered by a video game' vs. 'a *depiction* of violence delivered by a video game'.

Also, there might be a key difference between *seeing* sex or violence in a game, and *playing* sex or violence in a game in the same way it's pretty hard to rock out on Guitar Hero using the standard controller the way you can with the guitar accessory yet shooting a gun in real life or an FPS both involve pulling a trigger, but, that's maybe a little off-topic.

Yan-Yan:

Indigo_Dingo:
I, on the other hand, take the practical route of pointing out that sex tends to ruin games, and give excuse to make crap ones. Exhibit A: Playboy: The Mansion.

Perhaps, but I wouldn't find it offensive. Out of place, maybe.

The fact that two men kissing was on there, AND about equal to a severed head, just puzzles me. I get that the reasoning is they don't want their children exposed to it, but even that makes me tilt my head and scratch. WHY are they 'protecting' their kids from seeing homosexuality just as vivaciously as seeing a severed head. I suppose I can take some solace in knowing that they abhor seeing straight sex more then two men kissing. And yet seeing a man and women kiss in a game is so common place, it's just everywhere. Sometimes I wish these kinds of polls had 'comment' boxes, explaining WHY you thought [blank] was more offensive, so those who review the polls could look into that if they wanted. It would certainly be more precise then just dead numbers.

I suppose with time (and effort) two men kissing can be just as detested (or in this case, not) as a man and woman kissing.

eh. I don't exactly buy a game based on it, but I do think its a nice thing for game developers to do. It made the social problems on a disc Canis Canem Edit a bit better, a bit more sensitive.

All I can think of is the South Park movie.

"...violence is okay, so long as there's no smut involved."

What the hell.

I believe it is time to share my own theory on human behavior. Through arduous study, long hours of interviewing hundreds upon hundreds of subjects, I have discovered this universal truth, *clears throat* PEOPLE ARE FUCKING MORONS!

Fondant:
Violence is more acceptable than sex, mainly because people (Especially Americans it seems-don't get me wrong, I love America but the place seems to delight in its own idiocy)accept violence as something that can be right. which is the most fucked-up logic but hey, what can you do. I guess that the socialisation of a great part of society has left them with the idea that somehow violence is less odious than sex. if its dangerous/deviant sex then, yeah, okay, its prohibition is understandable but, if were talking 'normal' (as far as there is such a definition) sex then, hell, your child should be (and proboably is) used to it by now, and its far less likely to harm him than, say, karate-kicking people considerably larger than him.

Its because we got Europe's crazy right wing Puratins as our founders. Fire and brimstone was great for church BUT NOT DANCING!

It's funny to think of two dudes kissing beating out a severed human head in the "Cover your eyes, kids!" contest. Not much else to say about it. It sucks, but then, we've come quite a ways since the past few decades. I don't see why things shouldn't change some more.

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Part of the problem is people are taking the poll (and the issue of sex and violence in the media) as if your opinion on *seeing it in a game* is the same as your opinion on *wanting it to happen in real life*. Those opinions aren't necessarily the same for some people. edit: I think because while it's true as people posting here are saying that sex is more a part of modern life than violence, the people who responded in the poll aren't thinking about encountering 'sex *in real life*' vs. encountering 'violence *in real life*' but rather encountering 'sex *in a video game*' vs. encountering 'violence *in a video game*'

In fact, my guess is it would be most accurate to say they are thinking about 'sex *in real life* delivered by a video game' vs. 'a *depiction* of violence delivered by a video game'.

Also, there might be a key difference between *seeing* sex or violence in a game, and *playing* sex or violence in a game in the same way it's pretty hard to rock out on Guitar Hero using the standard controller the way you can with the guitar accessory yet shooting a gun in real life or an FPS both involve pulling a trigger, but, that's maybe a little off-topic.

I don't think anyone here is making the mistake you've pointed out. No one (sane) here would think that parents, however fucked up, would slightly prefer their kids seeing a real severed head over a real sex scene. Both are pretty mature stuff but decapitation is just so beond the pale in real life that any parent would put their foot down.
The problem everyone has is why the hell is this feeling inverted for games and, more generally I'm guessing, for entertainment media? Why is something your kids will be doing in around a decade (or something they probably won't) scarier than decapitation once it's on a tv screen?

While I could talk about how I find the poll results a disgusting representation of people, I instead will ask a slightly humorous question. First, however, I would like to say that "protecting" these kids from these things isn't really protecting them. It's just keeping them innocent. And innocence is useless because the world preys on the innocent. Not saying you should smother your kid with that stuff, but guess what? Your refusal to allow kids any exposure to it isn't helping.

Now, here is the question.

"What would happen if those parents who voted on that poll found their kids looking at a picture of a man and a woman having sex, while the man makes out with a graphically severed man's head, and the woman has a speech bubble in which she utters the word "F--k!" over and over?" They would die of a heart attack, I think

Saskwach:

I don't think anyone here is making the mistake you've pointed out. No one (sane) here would think that parents, however fucked up, would slightly prefer their kids seeing a real severed head over a real sex scene.

heavy edits: Let's leave aside what people were saying about severed head vs. sex specifically; maybe people in this thread were just being short with the words or maybe they do think that about these parents. That's only one of two mistakes I was pointing out and it's the less interesting one.

The point about "the issue of sex and violence in the media" still stands and actually addresses something you say later in your comment. The other point I was making about the things people here are saying was that people here are treating a *depiction* of a severed head the same as a depiction of sex in the sense that the former counts as "violence" and the latter counts as "sex".

I'm saying that's not what the parents answering might be treating these as. The point I was making is that I don't think these parents consider a depiction of a severed head in a game to be *violence in the first place* while they WILL consider a depiction of sexual activity to be sex. Which I don't think is that crazy for all the reasons I gave. A depiction of a sex act--whether that act occurred in real life as actual sex or was just simulated--is still porn; it's softcore, but it's still porn. And enjoying porn is sex--healthy, normal sexual activity. However, a depiction of a severed head is a very different thing if it's just part of a made-up story or it's a representation of something that actually happened. I say these parents only see the latter as violence. And I don't think there's anything unsound about that logic; do you?

The problem everyone has is why the hell is this feeling inverted for games and, more generally I'm guessing, for entertainment media? Why is something your kids will be doing in around a decade (or something they probably won't) scarier than decapitation once it's on a tv screen?

This was exactly the point I was addressing. I think it's inverted because seeing violence that has actually happened is much different than seeing violence that never happened in a way that isn't true for sex.

Think about it: the difference between seeing something in real life and just a depiction in a video game is that the underlying event took place if you see it in real life. So if you see sex in real life, big deal right? Not that different from seeing some pixels hump except real people got lucky. However, if you see a severed head in real life you're not just looking at some graphics anymore: you're looking at a dead, dismembered human. You wrote: "Why is something your kids will be doing in around a decade (or something they probably won't) scarier than decapitation once it's on a tv screen?" and that misses the facts of the situation. There are no decapitations on TV that I know of that parents are a-ok with. There are *fake* decapitations, sure, no *real* decapitations.

That's what explains the inversion: in a video game a sex scene is pornography while a violent scene is just fiction; in real life a sex scene is just live pornography while in real life violence is nothing at all like graphic fiction because of the knowledge that a real person is dead. Knowledge that a real person got laid just doesn't pack the same punch.

Think about it: plenty of very sexual people are more into written or illustrated porn than porn with real live actors. How many very violent people are more into reading violent fiction or looking at violent artwork than are into seeing violence with real live victims?

In the end I'd say the people commenting here are misunderstanding the mindset of the parents who responded to this poll. I'd say the people commenting here see this as sex vs. violence. The parents see this as pornography vs. graphic fiction. And I think--for the only time in my life, ever--that the parents have the right idea. Not about whether the kids should be *protected* or anything like that, but just in formulating the analytical categories through which to see the issue.

Just a further point: maybe it's specifically *because* sex is "something your kids will be doing" at some point while they'll never decapitate someone that it's scarier to think of them viewing the former. Maybe the parents are thinking that *seeing* sex will lead them to *have* sex earlier but don't think *seeing* violence lead them to *commit* decapitations. In other words, they don't think either is *damaging*, but they think only seeing sex will lead to *bad decisions* later on because they don't think seeing any amount of decapitated heads will lead to them becoming the demon barber of Fleet Street.

It's a valid point. Not a sound one, I would agree, but I think there's a valid argument to be made along those lines.

You know what, I totally misread your post and in fact I actually agree. That's what scanning will do for you.
I also agree that it's a stupid but valid that parents are more worried about protecting kids from what they might do rather than from something far more repulsive taht they would never do and might only give them nightmares for a week (brilliant).

Well, I always knew that in the US, people are more anti-sex than anti-violence, so no big shocker. The surprise for me is that 2 guys kissing is seen as more offensive than a decapitation. Oh wait...

- A procrastinator

Karisse:
All I can think of is the South Park movie.

"...violence is okay, so long as there's no smut involved."

What the hell.

So sadly true. Severed head ok. Two men kissing or, shock horror, two consential adults doing something natural? Open the fucking flood gates people! (Saying fuck is cool by their standards)

All of those things are found in games that you'd only want to be looking for them to find. And so far (and God forbid) there are no games with all those things in one.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here