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Mass Effect 2's Nudity Level Decided by Dictatorship

| 6 Feb 2010 20:52
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BioWare puts what it wants in its games, and doesn't care what you, your mother, or Bunky the Wonder Clown think.

BioWare's Stanley Woo has interjected his opinion into a discussion over at the BioWare Social Network covering the "tame" Mass Effect 2 sex scenes. The original poster lists videogames with sexual content and suspects that sales numbers or EA lawyers could be the reasons why Mass Effect 2 doesn't include similar scenes. Woo's response makes him seem a little annoyed with the whole topic in general, as I might be if I were in his shoes.

"It's kinda funny that this topic keeps coming up over and over again," he says. "People who claim to be old enough and mature enough to handle sex and nudity in a game seem to believe that any lack of sex and nudity in the game is a sign of self-censorship. They generally don't believe that a game can be called 'mature' without explicit sex and/or nudity."

Woo continues: "Let me tell you, folks, that as a developer full of mature individuals, we are also free to not have explicit sex and/or nudity in our games, no matter what you, Fox News, the government, or Bunky the Wonder Clown has to say about it. We have never considered it a "problem," it is simply a choice we have made and we have every right to make that choice." I don't know why he's putting down the pull of Bunky the Wonder Clown, but I do agree that what BioWare wants in it games, BioWare should put in its games, end of story.

To Woo, sex and nudity aren't "what make [BioWare] games great," and insisting on a higher level sexual content only makes those insisting look immature. He says that while BioWare does not perform the job of a parent: "Game development is not a collaborative effort between developers and gamers; it is a dictatorship, where we alone determine what content goes into our game. You the player make the choice whether that content is acceptable to you (and/or your family) or not."

I'm not sure why people persist on the topic of sex scenes in a game like Mass Effect 2. To me, sex scenes in a game or movie are almost pointless, sometimes only included for the thrill, not to add to the story. Mass Effect 2 has a great story, and I don't think nudity would have really added anything, so simply expressing the idea of a sex scene by fading to black works well enough for me. However, I can see the opposite side, where more explicit scenes could further express the unity between two individuals to the viewer... or something. As far as desiring a more explicit sex scene as a "reward" in Mass Effect 2, well, there are plenty of virtual sex scenes outside of videogames to reward yourself with if desired. Woo is right, whatever a creator deems appropriate for his work doesn't always have to be questioned as something toned down to appease "the man," and I couldn't care less if it was anyway in this case.

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