Letters to the Editor

Going it Alone


In response to “Tijuana Time” from The Escapist Forum: Great read, just learned a ton and that’s aces in my book.

Maybe this comes from growing up in America…but sometimes I feel like our culture makes writing or portraying sex so difficult because it subconsciously disconnects it from love. Hell, maybe it goes all the way back to the concept of the Virgin Mary, but never doing the nasty was part of what made her so great in people’s minds.

Most films that have great personal relationships and dynamic sexuality between two people censor out the actual act. Gross Point Blanke, To Have and Have Not, or even The Dark Knight. And films that do depict it? Basic Instinct was a film noir where anyone who has sex with the gorgeous woman gets killed by her. Teen Slasher films reward the participants of graphic scenes with similar punitive measures. There is no love in the champagne room, in other words.

With the exception of John Cameron’s Shortbus, which delves into both homosexual and heterosexual relationships, I can’t tink of many movies that have successfully combined the two. How can video games handle crossing the boundary into combining sex and love when so many other mediums still fail at it? Hopefully the author is right and the underground scene will have its day eventually.

– L.B. Jeffries

A kind of new version of those “Tijuana bibles” was a big hit at my school in 1994, so they didn’t completely die. They were mostly created by 15 or 16 year people, usually a brother of a friend’s friend and found their way to us. It’s weird, that me and my friends at the time never got in touch with real porn, but instead a lot of that comic stuff. But I think there’s a certain appeal in those things for 13 year old guys who read a lot of comic books anyway. The japanese hentai stuff proves it (though the japanese are a little bit weird when it comes to sex anyway).

They of course faded when I first got in touch with real porn and completely died when I got an internet connection, but those filthy little books with famous comic charcters written and drawn by students at the peak of puberty still exist. And it’s good to know they’re there. Kind of…

I really liked the note about Leisure Suit Larry about how noone actually purchased the game, but rather got it in school from some friends who got it from another friend, etc… and I checked with mine and it’s really true. Everyone got the game through the same channels.

– Juan Regular

In response to “Pressing the Right Buttons” from The Escapist Forum: I would be more interested in a game that grabbed me at the emotional level than just the visceral experience. In other words, it’s not the controls that bother me, it’s that these are one-dimensional characters I don’t care about. Women in games are treated like toys to take out and have sex with (the ones that aren’t running around shooting vampires topless anyway).

Now you take Mass Effect, for example; that game made me care about the characters. When the two women confronted me for flirting with both of them, and made me choose, it was unexpected and surprisingly immersive. I *genuinely* felt like an asshole.

No game has ever done that before. That’s a step in the right direction.

– teknoarcanist

Interesting article.

Looking aside from mainstream gaming, the Japanese adult game market has, along with the visual novel, the occasional game where you are attempting to pleasure your partner (female, the player is male, almost all the time) by choosing actions (squeeze, rub, kiss, etc) and various parts of the body. Illusion produces a fair few of these in 3D. They don’t really have an uncanny-valley effect, as they’re not striving for realism, IMHO.

Particularly interesting is their Artificial Girl series, which does attempt to imbue your partner with a certain level of sexual personality. The most recent entry in the series (AG3) introduced personality traits for your artificial girl, controlling likes or dislikes of positions, motions, and other sexual considerations. It’s only small, and the genre as a whole is generally balanced towards sex-kitten responses rather than aiming for a real sexual simulation, but it’s probably the closest modern commercial gaming gets to the sort of interactive experience you’ve described.

Then again, if 3feel (Sex-based MMO) has NPCs as well as real people, they might have something similar. I haven’t looked to far into it; their promotional stuff’s in languages I don’t read, and what I get from the pictures implies it’s person-to-person (PvP) rather than PvE.

And here you can see how the language of MMO doesn’t fit sexual interaction particularly well. I can’t say I’ve ever considered having sex versus someone. (Well, except in the “race to finish” sense, which is not really what we’re talking about here.)

– TBBle

In response to “Mario Golf as Foreplay” from The Escapist Forum: I have a bad habit of using videogames as a crutch to recover from failed relationships. I remember playing Tomb Raider II for about two weeks straight after one breakup. Probably not healthy that.

I’ve always had a problem with girlfriends not taking gaming seriously. Like if I talk to them about books or movies, we can have great conversations. But I try to talk about great games like Shadow of the Colossus or Half-Life and they just look at me like I’m five years old. I guess that’s just a problem with non-gamers in general. They think all games are still just basically Space Invaders and the only games they ever hear about are GTA and Halo.

– arrr_matey

This is a very interesting article, but seriously man, you have a problem, and so does anyone else who can relate and defend the point of view.

First of all, computer games should NOT be the number one thing in your life. Doing so, you’ll exclude yourself and become completely anti-social from the rest of the world. Girlfriends, marriage, even jobs could become impossible, and the stereotypical 40 year old virgin playing WoW in the basement of their parents house, becomes plausable.

And yes, there are ways to fit both a girl and gaming into a life. To help, I’ll explain my situation. I have a girlfriend right now, who’s not a gamer, but is a little nerdy. So, I’ve yet to really play games other than card and boardgames. Whenever we make plans, I go to them. Likewise, I explain to her if an online gaming event comes up, and I work around it. One time I had to do a meeting with my squad via Ventrilo during my five day visit at her place, and I explained this to her, even let her listen in a bit, and she was fine with it.

So really, there’s no reason to choose to have one or the other – it’s a matter of how you juggle the two fairly and smartly.

– The Legacy


In response to “Tap X for Pleasure” from The Escapist Forum: It’s the same as the fear-mongering that came out when Mass Effect deigned to show some bare ass in its romance-subplot climax. Fox News brought an expert in, one who had never actually seen or played the game, and basically assigned to comment based on her being told that Mass Effect featured graphic rape and pornographic intercourse as a major portion of gameplay and that (of course) was marketed to children.

It’s sad to say that gaming is still a largely juvenile medium, but there simply aren’t very many games with the kind of complexity that makes graphic or even implied sex truly appropriate. God of War made it ancillary and tacked-on, Fahrenheit and Omikron (remember that one?) were cinematic enough to practically warrant it, and most other RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate 2 and Neverwinter Nights prefer a fade-out following flirting.

It’s worth noting that Obsidian Entertainment, developers of the (in my estimation) truly excellent Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 (and its expansions) has stated that for their upcoming superspy title Alpha Protocol would have sex “with consequences”, wherein who the character “chooses” would have an effect on the game’s progression as well as on the approach to certain objectives. It’s a step, I suppose.

– unangbangkay

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