Does sex belong in video games?

Mass Effect Sex

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Tits and ass are incredibly prevalent in modern society. Sex is used to sell products in advertising, actors are shamefully primped into digitally crafted sex symbols and TV shows like Toddlers in Tiaras, stretch the definition of acceptable television viewing. Sex is everywhere, but oddly, not in our games.

With the recent pulling of No Reply Games' sex focused, interactive story 'game' “Seduce Me” from Valve's Greenlight service due to breaking of the terms and conditions – for being an “offensive” title – sex is back in the headlines of gaming websites the world over, all of them asking the question, “does sex belong in video games?”

It could be argued that games purely focused around sex are pornographic in nature and therefore warrant some sort of segmentation perhaps, in the way it is with websites and traditionally with stores that cater specifically to it.

But what about games that just feature sex as a feature or component of the overall experience?

Every time a popular title attempts to put anything sex like in its games that goes beyond a fade to black and some grunts, there's a problem. Look at GTA: San Andreas' Hot Coffee mod, or the blue side boob that appeared for a brief second in Mass Effect 2. It all gets blown out of proportion, people that haven't even played the game or seen footage of the event start screaming “save the children,” and to some it seems as if the world is going to end.

Of course it never does and children are as corrupted as their parents allow them to be. These games have age ratings for a reason and if parents choose to ignore them it's their responsibility to set it right, or at least explain things to their kids so they understand and learn about the adult activity in a constructive way.

But should it be there in the first place? Well the obvious answer would be yes, for a variety of reasons.

1: Taking into consideration the age ratings I mentioned earlier, the average gamer is in their 30s at this point. Not only have they had sex, they've been living with internet pornography for over 15 years. Believe me, unless you're doing a game adaptation of The Serbian Film, this is nothing we haven't seen before.

2: Unless it's Manhunt, where ritualistic killing was censored because... it's the game the lobby groups decided to go after, murder barely raises an eyebrow from anyone. Killing is rampant in games. Just look at the fast Paragon leveller in Diablo III. He's killed almost two million monsters alone. If he can commit mass murder, why can't a game have a sex scene in it?

3: Sex is a part of life. For anyone that doesn't know, it's how babies are made. Shocking I know, but we all began our life at a moment of parental coitus and society is slowly beginning to lose the taboo. It's still there – and enjoyed by many – but the simple fact is that sex shouldn't be considered a naughty thing any more. It's in films, in advertising, television and there is absolutely no reason it shouldn't be in our games.

However, despite these very obvious reasons that sex should be included in games and accepted by the public as a simple part of the artistic medium, the blame isn't entirely on the shoulders of complainers. Game developers could also help the cause out.

Despite the criticism for its leud content, Mass Effect actually has an incredibly impressive and deeply emotional erotic part to it but it is a rarity. More often than not, we get adventurers fucking hookers, or silly quick time sex games or button mashing to fuck harder. This isn't the type of thing that detractors of sexual content in gaming are going to agree with, probably ever.

No I'm not saying that because lobbyists and complainers have stale sex lives that games should be the same, but there isn't a reason that sex can't be used as an emotional connector between characters either.

Games focused around getting the clothes off of a digital woman should be just as allowed to exist in our gaming spheres as the latest AAA blockbuster, but they don't further the cause of sex in video games as much as they could.

Not only do I believe that sex deserves to be a part of gaming, I think it deserves to have more credit as a part of the emotional story within a game. It doesn't need to be your character just getting his rocks off, or a nudge-nudge-wink-wink from the developers saying “we know what you gamers want, digital titties,” but a real way for players to connect with a character.

We talked a few weeks about about how Lara Croft's surviving of an attempted rape could be used to delve into all sorts of new character emotions within a game. How about include a sex scene in that game not long after the rape and make it optional. Have it so that players can decide. If she goes along with it, perhaps Lara is emotionally distracted and merely trying to forget a horrific experience, thereby not building a relationship with the male counterpart. Perhaps if she says no, players can learn something about his character.

Sex is a massive motivator in human life and it should be used in games as well, not just as a treat or a laughable aside, but a real part of the gameplay. It can be part of the story and part of the world the developers create.

It doesn't always have to be, just as not every single racing game has to be a sim like experience, but just now and again I'd like to see some real effort put into sex.

That last line could have been phrased better.

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Comments

GTA Hot Cofee

GTA's Hot Coffee mod was not unlockable, programmers made it as a joke, but then blocked it off from the game and made it impossible to get. Hackers got into it and found it. Also Fox News sucks so I think it's best to pretend they don't exist

I beg your pardon???

gamer's don't have sex???? **** me I must be imagining my four children my baby daughter (currently sleeping soundly bless her little toes :) ) must be a figment of my imagination. Also in the case of the hot coffee mod, give me mod tools with a 3d model importer that can support character rigs and animation and around two months and I could probably supply an interactive sex scene for most 3d game engines its not really that complicated in fact most dedicated teenagers could probably do the same (if they could focus long enough to learn how to use the design software and learn a little programming as well) but I digress it isn't all that difficult to get new animation sequences into a game engine then its just a case of designing an appropriate control system

What is natural.

What is less perverted, consensual sex or murdering 100 policemen a day? I mean seriously, why should the detailed imagery of ripping someones head off and vomiting acid down his throat (or whatever) have a higher age rating than seeing a character *gulp* naked? That´s a no-brainer right? Sex is natural, necessary and good, while drive-by shooting hookers is none of these things. Obviously, games relying on sex appeal to lure gamers in and cover up for shitty storyline/gameplay etc. will be put down by intelligent people, but people "misuse" sex appeal for things like that all the time, it´s just a sad fact of life that won´t be changed by treating nudity in videogames like the work of the devil. I´m pretty sure this will get sorted out by time, people are becoming less and less prudish every generation, so don´t feel down people and keep expressing your rejection of sex being a taboo, we will eventually break it.

Cultural Ignorance

****My Personal Opinion Follows****-****You've Been Warned**** ****Discussion Accepted and Encouraged**** SEX in VIDEO GAMES??? Since when has SEX been A BAD THING??? I just cant understand how the human species as a whole has become so intellectually advanced when ignorance, arrogance and media influence are spoon fed to us daily. The people in charge of Video Game Content is the government. A small handful of society that was "ELECTED" by the masses to decide whats best for the group, simply because society would rather be told whats "HOT", whats "TRENDING" and whats "ACCEPTABLE". "You are ENTITLED to you own opinion"..."ENTITLED"- a word that silences the whole by promoting conflicts between individuals. Just like this topic, instead of all of us working together to improve the Video Game Empire...we are on this editorial--discussing whether or not-- SEX-this countries one single weakness, should be in video games. The problem with a topic like SEX is how many different layers, emotions, feelings that can be associated to the word. I see no reason why a 007 Bond Game cant insert a more vivid encounter between Bond and whichever Bond Girl. But I also agree GTA/Saints Row dont need to incorporate rape or sexual abuse just to take the game to an even lower degree of criminal. SEX can be a beautiful meaningful activity, and yet it can be a moment of panic and terror to others. A powerful topic that deserves an intelligent discussion by knowledgeable individuals to achieve a level a maturity as a society above ignorance. The idea of SEX is EVERYWHERE. Its practically impossible to avoid. Every minute of our life is plagued with some sort of sexually propaganda; from the commercials on tv, to the songs on the radio, even the posters in subway stations and bus stops. So unless you dont watch tv, listen to the radio, and never have to leave your own home, SEX or the idea of it is a constant. When are we gonna learn that the more we try to limit access to anything, the more appealing and irresistible it becomes to those who cant access it. Why do 13-17 year olds smoke? Why do 15-20 year olds drink? Because both cases are frowned upon by society. We teach babies not to put things in their mouths yet they see us to every time we eat...but as that child grows and gains more knowledge RIGHT and WRONG are learned and understood. Yet we cant talk to teens about SEX because we would rather let society "PARENT" our children and then complain that society made em lazy, made em disrespectful, maybe it time to teach the children not just spoiling em. SEX is just another one of those things that hasnt hitched a ride on the evolution train yet. Times have long since changed from the days when a females ankle was the first thing youd see looking up a dress. And the ignorant ones that wanna sit by and argue sex isnt considered as romantic or intimate as it should be...then stop hiding sex from everyone and instead take time to inform and discuss the meaning of sex with anyone who will listen. But by no means am I saying "PREACH" to anyone or tell anyone how to feel, receive just as much information if not more than what you have to offer. The value of the "REWARD" is directly related to "RISKS" that had to be taken to achieve it. Knowledge alone plays a huge part on how each person interprets the RISKS. ****As Stated-This Is MY PERSONAL Opinion**** ****Open to Discussion****-****But Have Substance-Not Just Ignorance****

This is irritating.

Honestly people! This fight has gone on for YEARS!! Fighting whether sex is justifiable or not shares the same story with all the violence in the media. I'll try not to sound "preachy" or repetitive, but sex and violence ARE a part of life. They can range to be an emotional moment, whether the hero must decide such an action that may make an interesting mood, and teach the player the value of life, virtual or real...or to just giving a player the advantage to get his rocks off or just go commando on a bitch. But, consider how these two may be/are portrayed, or why they even exist AT ALL. From a historical point, violence and sex are both necessary things to utilize, as they either "make us or break us," and the way we use them separates us from animals and savages on a more understanding and higher level. And I know this is like "Well, duh! We KNOW that," but we sort of forget.. The only way this war over "Sex is bad, but violence is alright" and vice-versa is if both ideas are applied correctly, and in a way that can either shut everyone up and enjoy the moment, or invoke a strong message. Over all, when that day comes, maybe this dispute can come to an end, or we can just ignore these things all together, for better or worse. And not meaning to sound "douche-y", but if you're not satisfied with how games are made, just simply make your own that can. Video games are meant for entertainment, and they come in ALL forms and genres, don't forget that.

Many things are a part of life

The problem with "sex" in all forms of media is that it's not the point of a romance, it's just a tertiary aspect. We all know that two people who fall in love eventually have sex. We also know that the starving man who finally managed to kill a deer and gobble it down will eventually poop. You don't need to graphically display, or even mention, the sex or the poop to fully explore the conflict and tension of barely escaping starvation ... or the moving and slowly unfolding development of a romance. All attempts to do so ultimately trivialize the dramatic focus. And with sex, invariably cheapens the whole event and brings it to the level of pre-adolescent fantasy.

Cheapens it? Sex is usually

Cheapens it? Sex is usually the culmination of romance. Why do you think a lot of people wait for their wedding night? So what, is the first thing most people do when they get married «cheap», or just unimportant? Are you truly that misinformed?

Sure, true, but the way...

Sure, true, but the way it's being done in media and so forth is just: degrading, for an easy buck, or nasty for the sake of shock value. The way things are right now, it's no wonder there's been so many backlashes. The subject in of itself isn't what's so horrible or cheapening, it's the way people are letting this 'culmination of romance' be a poop fest of tits and ass.

Not a good article Pt. II

People don't seem to understand how the ESRB works or why they give the ratings they do. I'm not one to tell people how to live their lives, but you might want to read up on that before commenting on their practices. If you look at the list of AO games (only 21 as of now), you'll find such intellectually stimulating titles such as "The Joy of Sex," "All Nude Cyber," and "Manhunt II" (which was tagged AO for violence). Clearly the ESRB is persecuting the cream of the video game crop quite unfairly. How can a game called "All Nude Cyber" not have a gripping story and lovable characters? As I said earlier, sexual content is allowed in video games; and I actually found out that even explicit sex is allowed to a point under the M rating. So again, I don't understand what you people hope to gain from relaxing the sex restrictions. The only ones I've found that get the ax are ones that are clearly not in it for the proverbial art. The only step down from M is T, and I don't see anyone successfully arguing that explicit sexual content (no matter how plot-driven) is appropriate for someone thirteen years old. So there still isn't a strong argument for relaxing sexual restrictions in my opinion, as the only games to get AO for sex are blatantly erotic in nature. If you people are in such dire need for sexual content, there are limitless resources at your disposal on the internet. There's even 3D rendered porn for those who just absolutely have digititties. So once again, there's really not a good reason to relax these restrictions. The type of sex you people are talking about is allowed under an M rating; developers just don't do it. The sex that isn't allowed is the type that really shouldn't be. No conspiracy, no Communist takeover of America via the ESRB, no ridiculous puritanical prudes...just the rating board drawing a line between a five-minute passionate love-making scene and a two hour hardcore bondage orgy. I think that's a reasonable approach, and still don't see any strong arguments otherwise.

If you..

If you decide to call someone out for being wrong on something maybe you should know what the hell you're talking about. The average gamer isn't 16-24 like it is in your personal experience, The average game player is 30 years old and has been playing games for 12 years. The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 35 years old. But the difference is I didn't just spitball I actually used references and knew my facts

There's a reason why games

There's a reason why games have ratings and age limits. If the game is geared more towards adult audiences, there should be no need to shy away from it unless it doesn't fold well with the story or gameplay. -Adults- can and should be able to handle such every day things, however, many parents get their kids these games, even though there's a content warning and age restriction on them and continue to complain that their son or daughter is being influenced by playing such a game... Well, don't get it for them. It has all the warnings and age limitations. Personally, people should start looking at the parents bringing up the topics about their kids playing adult themed games. Most of them go out and buy them either for their kid or themselves and then allow them to play it. If the content of a game ever comes into question, parenting should also come into question. The parent is supposed to monitor and maintain what their child does, not the gaming industry. Not to say that everything belongs in a game though.

It is a very strange paradox

It is a very strange paradox that we see in games, and in movies and television as well, that some parents seem quite content with letting their children watch acts of violence or participate in virtual acts of violence, sometimes very intense violence on a massive scale, but when it comes to the act of making life, we want keep them away from any exposure to that as long as possible. Why anyone might honestly think to themselves, "Well, God of War was a perfectly good game for my son, until I found out why he was mashing the O button so urgently," isn't all too clear to me, but this train of thought does exist, and it's not tremendously uncommon, either.

Wow

I'm assuming anyone can write an article on here? This was terrible. I'm all for a good debate, I don't agree with the writer but I would be a lot happier to agree to disagree if any of the arguments/reasons were actually good/explained well. The big reason I would have an issue would be children. Yes, I agree 100% that parents need to pay attention to ratings and sensor appropriately. However, ratings are getting more and more lax and there are plenty of games/movies/shows out now that have sex/violence/language that are still rated as appropriate for children/teens. I don't want to take my kids to GameStop and have to worry about what they will see on the cover of a game or on the previews screen. The same way I wouldn't want Walmart to have porn or vibrators out on display for my kids to see. As for the "adding to the character" argument, people don't play games to be humane and compassionate. No one is going to say (in the Laura Croft post rape example given) "Hmmm.... I feel like my character is messed up from that, so I'm going to make her have sex with this random stranger to cope" or "I think my character is doing pretty well after that, she has self respect so I think I'm not going to make her have sex with this character." People don't play games to think like that. The only way you would be able to make someone think like that is if you snuck it in and tricked them like Spec Ops The Line. Make your porno video games, just sell them in specialty stores or Castle's/Lover's Package.

Excuse me, who are you to say

Excuse me, who are you to say how people play their games? Someone who plays a game just for the sake of killing things is not going to care about their character, obviously, but I don't think the kind of sex scenes the article talks about are directed towards that kind of player. I do bond with the characters I play and care about their choices and many people do as well. I enjoyed the "dating sim" parts in Mass Effect, for example, not because "holy f*ck! I get to see blue tits at the end!" but as part of Shepard developing friendships and love for her teammates. And OH, YES, the children. You know, children have functioning brains capable of reasoning, you just have to explain things to them. If they can't handle something they glimpse on a cover at Gamestop without a breakdown, sorry, you need to step up and educate them. Sex exists, and like it or not, they will need to know about it someday. In the end, regardless of the way you want to raise your kids, it's your job as a parent to check the games, movies, etc they see, and if they contain things you don't want your kids seeing, don't buy them. Simple as that.

It doesn't belong in games automatically, but...

Who's to say that it shouldn't be? Games don't have to have ANYTHING to be good, but it's sad that sex due to it's lewd nature if often frowned upon something that is far more offensive and controversial such as war, murder, and outright manslaughter. Yet, these things get away free because they do not have a shame factor or an insecurity feeling attached to them. Sex is something that people are more uneasy to talk about even if it's someone who has committed a grave atrocity. Why sex is disdained because of it being more of something that people would rather stay quiet about instead of murder us a mystery to me. Human logic tends to cause me to cringe sometimes. People should be more open-minded to sex in general, it's natural, bloodshed isn't. Regardless I am a 17 year-old who does not think that sex and nudity should be embraced as much as death and destruction, as well as gore, horror, and other black sheep of human life.

Oops

I meant to say that sex SHOULD be embraced as much as or more than anything else out there due to it being natural to us and it makes us who we are.

Dude you're an idiot hyper sex addict Ga

Games are supposed to forms of entertainment IF you Really want Sexual entertainment you should look for Japanese games which provides you what you want AND NO AVERAGE GAMERS ARE NO 30 yr old Fatass AMERICANS !! you may be i'm not ! my friends aren't they're all like 16-24 ! GET YOUR FIGURES RIGHT !

Selfcentered

You are not the center of taking the average, look the numbers up yourself if you don't believe them, you'll find they're correct. Gaming has been around for much longer than you have, and those gamers have all gotten older. Of course, doing your own research takes more effort than leaving a retarded comment, so I guess we're all out of luck with people like you around. offtopic: captcha was "if it fits", lol.

I disagree with you, sex must

I disagree with you, sex must not be in video games, not because the age of the players, but because the global quality of many games will suffer because sex(who cares about the plot if there are titties on screen? so we hire more graphic designers and less script writters)

I disagree with you

actually this is a view that has been held even before video games came into being as we know them today. when movies started to become big you actually had to pay extra to have curse words in them (Gone With the Wind). Sex was also very much frowned upon in movies as well but it has become very much excepted in todays more liberal societies. Sure, there are some movies that are crap and are all about tits and ass but there are also plenty of masterpieces out there that continue to be made. This is why your argument, in my humble opinion, is wrong and when the video industry matures further you will find the same pattern occurring as what happened with the movie industry throughout its long history and it will be the better for it.

Nonsense

Your argument makes no sense at all. What the author is talking about here is a single sex scene or brief sexual content. Your assertion suggests that the sex would be all through the game. Sure, if sex is all through the game, plot would suffer. But one sex scene? I don't think so. The vast majority of gamers are adults. The games that would have sex scenes would be played by adults only or kids whose parents allowed them to play such games. The idea that sex should not be a part of gaming is ridiculous - it's a stupid limitation imposed on the gaming industry by the ESRB - an unregulated cabal of puritan despots who impose their brand of prudery on society because they fail to understand that adult-rated games are not for kids.

America fears female nipples more than guns

Peiple are weird and prudish about sex especially in the US and to some degree the UK and the weirdest thing is people seem to find sex more frightening and offensive than violence murder crime and mayhem I include not only those who want sex in video games to be banned but also those that say things such as "sex in videos games is fine but it should have a reason to be in there and should not be explicit . Its odd the way that such people seem quite ok with the fact that in GTA and saints row you can go postal shooting random people all over the place steal cars mow down tons of pedestrians and yet both games feel a need to cover female nipples as though the sight of a female nipple is somehow more dangerous and more harmful than seeing someones brains splattered over the side walk even those who don't call for it to be banned but say there has to be a reason for it and that it should not be to graphic ...how weird it is that the idea of being allowed to graphically blow someones brains out is not as offensive or scary to you as the sight of sex is . Its quite ridiculous when a brief sex scene without even a glimpse of nipples or butts or the other bodey parts some appear to find so frightening can get a game like mass effect refered to as obscene it would be laughable if it wasn't so sad . The other oddity about these sex in video games is bad or should only be allowed if it has artistic merit set is most of those who make the biggest fuss about sex and nudity in video games are usually the same ones who preach loudest that finding a guy or girl formed from pixeles or finding an avi attractive is odd weird and doesn't make sense and that its nothing like flesh and blood sexuality and yet when it comes to wanting to censor it curtail it and generally disapprove of it these very same people suddenly then want to compare sex and nudity imagery in the pixelle form to sex and nudity imagery of flesh and blood forms . gee can't these types make up their minds is it the same or not ? I have no problem with sex in movies tv or video games its really quite ridiculous the way pple seem to find the wanton murder and mayhem one can commit in video games as being less worrisome or offensive or as needing less "plotline justification" than sex and nudity then again its not so suprising in a society where sex and nudity is seen as causing greater problems and as being mire fear inducing than gun laws that allow near everyone to buy guns without much difficulty or testing of suitabilty . People who find sex and nudity scary should avoid those games movies and tv shows that contain it we live in a truly weird society were females nipples are seen as more frightening than blowing people brains out and were sex is required to have a greater justification for inclusion into games and movies than wanton violence and murder is required to have

Thumbs up.

I'm 31 and I agree with sex and nudity in games. I grew up with violence and sex in games, pornography (everyone in any moment of teir lives has seen it, if not even in a movie) and I'm pretty much normal, every kid then and now got access to it sometime, and it hasn't affected me in ways of turning me in to a murderer or sex freak. Valve could make an age censorship when a customer, by his age, wants to acquire such games. I'm tired of seeing blood in a game, at least sex isn't about taking lives. Even Mario steps on little guys that are just walking around minding their business. And it was never criticized... lol. Very good article, it's rare to see these. Cheers.

good point

You make a good point there in my opinion. I find it odd that sex is so widely available through other mediums but no one says reading a good book or watching a great movie is bad because some book or movie somewhere in the world was made specifically for alleviating sexual needs. Games, like all other mediums, are curtailed to an individuals wants and needs and just because one game has a little too much violence or a little too much cleavage for one person does not mean they should push that belief onto others. The ESRB exists for this very reason and although it is not 100% all the time, looking at you folks that don't ask for ID when someone buys an M game, it does what it should do and parents should be more aware of what their kids are doing rather than putting the responsibility onto others.

Sex shouldn't be needed to sell things

I am 31 years old and have been married for 11 years(Come December 3) and I like my wife agree that there should be no sex in games other than being implied. hell I don't even like sex in movies that are not Rated R or X. only reason to have sex in anything is because the movie sucks and that is it. otherwise you don't need sex. Look at robocop, T2 & T3 while T1 had implied sex but showed nothing. this day and age people are getting to the point where killing and murder is normal in games and even movies. don't get me wrong I love a good horror flick and I play games that has killing though I mainly play game like Parasite Eve(1&2), Dino Crisis, and mech against mech action, ect. Sex is not needed and shouldn't ever be taken lightly. also Parents are in a never ending battle with TV shows like those that promote teenage sex(MTV I think is behind of it) as well as Hollywood. it is hard to protect your child from everything and I seen what sex can do to a person. my mother was a nurse and explained things very well to my sisters and to me. though my youngest sister fell for a man-whore and ended up having his kid. why? because she was to stupid and also because everything seems to glamorize it but never shows the end results 99% of the time such as having the person's kid, stds, and so on. also there are ratings on games which I am thankful for. my kids are not allowed to go to friend houses that have any of those anti-cop/woman games such as Grand theft auto. Again I will say this, if you need sex to sell than your stuff is crap as it needs sex to be any good. (What the hell is up with the way these things are posting?)

Look, kid, I'm 50 and have

Look, kid, I'm 50 and have been married over 20 years. I just want to know why you think adults should not be able to see sex in whatever entertainment medium they see fit? What you've shared here are your personal prejudices, they are not reasons. By your argument, sex in real life ought to make life meaningless and bad. It doesn't, it doesn't in movies and there's no reason it would in video games either. If you don't want sex in video games, all you need do is not buy the games that are rated for adults. It's really that simple. Your rules are fine for you, but I'll be damned if I'm going to have your prudish viewpoint imposed on me.

I'm glad you said that. I

I'm glad you said that. I didn't feel like typing that all out on the phone. Just because I play a game with sex in it doesn't mean I'm gonna go out and rape someone who looks like the character in the game. Prejudice isn't the dame asd as logic and sound reason.

Not a good article

Not a very well researched or written article (and I know I'm going to get flak for this comment). The first problem is, implicit/implied sex already exists in video games and really isn't really problematic, nor has it ever been to my knowledge. So this how argument about sex being taboo only deals with explicit sex scenes. Those tend to be pornographic (ask yourself what the "Hot Coffee" scenes added to GTA:SA or the sex scenes in the Leisure Suit Larry games contributed to character development) in nature, thus earning some degree of limited availability just like pornographic movies aren't handed out to just anyone. The problem isn't with the government either. They established the ESRB to rate video games as appropriate for certain age groups based on said each game's content. They don't deny any developer the option to include explicit sex in a video game, but such a game will receive an Adult Only rating. Since this is considered the highest age rating and has the strongest impact on the sales of such video games, most developers don't do it because they want to sell as many games to as many age groups as they can. That's entirely their choice: a business decision made for business reasons. Asking companies to take up your cause and release games with explicit sex regardless of the marketing impact of an Adult Only rating is basically asking them to stop caring if they make a profit off of a video game they invested a lot of money in to. The real crux of the issue is whether or not explicit sex is so much worse than the content in an M rated game to deserve a higher age rating. That's the question this article should have asked instead of ranting on about how sex is a social taboo that's destroying the video game industry. I'm also not even going to get in to the very may things wrong with suggesting someone who had nearly been raped having an explicit sex scene later on in the same game they almost got raped in. I'll just say I sincerely hope you don't ask any rape victims for sex in the real world. As for sex showing emotional closeness, there are actually many ways of doing this that don't involve sexual relations. In fact, the more commonplace sex becomes, I suspect the weaker emotional power it will have and the less symbolism of a close or intimate bond it will have. Regardless, sex isn't necessary to demonstrate a closeness so that's not really a valid or "obvious" reason for including explicit sex in video games. Even if a person does want to use sex in that way, implicit sex scenes can do so with an effective set up. I'd go so far to say that it takes more creativity and story-writing skill to show a close bond without such obvious displays of affection. Jill Valentine & Chris Redfield, and Naked Snake & Big Boss have obviously close relationships that's demonstrated in the without the use of sex, or any romantic elements at all. It's demonstrated in the way they act and the concern they have for each others' well being and how the events of those stories affect each character. I agree that sex shouldn't be considered worse than murder and violence, but I also think that there needs to be a limiting influence with regards to how sex is used in video games. The Adult Only rating does that very well. If people get too comfortable with sex, it will be over used or exploited for its obvious erotic appeal rather than used as a legitimate tool for creative story telling. I don't see anything wrong with sex in video games, but I also don't want it to become "normal" for games to have explicit sex scenes.

Good point

I was inclined to disagree with your comment, but you made very good arguments on how sex could be portrayed. While I think it can be used very artistically to drive a story, the reality is the majority of the time it will be used as a lude thoughtless selling point. Likely to just dehumanise women and men alike.

you all

wow wish congress could think out of the box like this. i agree with you it should be in games. and the parent thing is a laugh as most parents wont blink an eye to violence or ratings simply becuase it gets there kids outa there hair. i think sex is deserved in gaming if nothing more to teach parents to focus more on there kids and what there buying according to the rating system.

We don't have any right to decide that, only the artist does.

I like to write as a hobby. I have for years. I used to write crossovers of various animes like Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, and so on. I once wrote one for a creative writing class and turned it in, only for the teacher to return it telling me that she "didn't agree with violence". So I took it home and rewrote it, upping the level of violence and lengthening fight scenes, and turned it in again the next day. The teacher then "reprimanded" me and asked me if I, "thought this was some kind of joke". I told her out loud, very bluntly, "No, but the fact that you're trying to tell me what I should and shouldn't write about is". I got an F in the class, but I nonetheless walked away with my head held high because I didn't let her dictate how I express my creativity. The point is, no one person has the right to dictate what's suitable for another or what one artist puts in his or her work. I certainly won't allow anyone to dictate what I write about, and no game developer, movie director, or whatever, should either. If Movie A has too much violence for you, go watch Movie B. If Game C has too much sex for you, play Game D. I'm no better than anyone else and I don't treat anyone like I am, just like nobody is better than me and anyone who treats me like they are will get a severe chewing out from me. So put it simply, we don't have the right to decide if sex belongs in a game, only the creator does. If you don't like hookers in GTA or topless women in God of War, then either don't play the game and shut up, or become a big shot game designer and make a game omitting these things to show that it can be fun without them.

Hmm.

I believe sex should not be too exposed in gaming because it is a personal thing, I believe. I would feel uncomfortable watching someone play a game, or playing a game with others watching, and have a sex scene. It's very uncomfortable. I feel this way about movies too. If there is anything sexual, it should be mild, or implied, in my opinion. Maybe because I am a female, and I think differently about sex than the average male, I cannot see it the way the mass of male gamers do.

"personal thing"

you never watch a movie with a sex scene?? come on!!! how your parents make you? you should ask for a option ni the start of the game to turn on or off the sex scenes, that sounds reasonable. uncomfortable is to live with a person like you who denied such a human act. in the manner of personal thing, nobody ask you to publish a sex video with your partner, so, it keeps being a personal thing with no relation to the caracthers in the game.

-_- you cant say it doesnt

-_- you cant say it doesnt belong, it depends on the game. its becomming a problem that people are so uptight and love the smell of their own farts that they can't let the game creators create the game as they had visioned thereby giving us an awesome product. if its a game where a TON of sex scenes is a part of making the specific atmopshere then YES, if its a game where there is absolutely no reason for it then no it shouldnt be there (the same goes for every mainstream shit like female heroes which just gotta be there in almost every game and movie now -_- if there is a reason behind them cool, else its just wasted which shouldnt be in it)

-_- you cant say it doesnt

-_- you cant say it doesnt belong, it depends on the game. its becomming a problem that people are so uptight and love the smell of their own farts that they can't let the game creators create the game as they had visioned thereby giving us an awesome product. if its a game where a TON of sex scenes is a part of making the specific atmopshere then YES, if its a game where there is absolutely no reason for it then no it shouldnt be there (the same goes for every mainstream shit like female heroes which just gotta be there in almost every game and movie now -_- if there is a reason behind them cool, else its just wasted which shouldnt be in it)

If you don't like it...

Sorry to pick on you, Lisa, but I was looking for a comment just like yours to respond to and since this was at the top of the list... I have only one thing to say to people who have the attitude of, "I don't think it belongs in video games because I personally don't like it." NO ONE is forcing you to play the game. (Or watch the movie or whatever...) If a game has something in it that you're not comfortable with, simply leave it alone. I don't like shooters, but you don't see me saying, "All shooting games are evil and should be banned because I don't like shooting things." I simply don't play those games. I agree with one of the points the author of this article made that it just boggles the mind how games like GTA and God of War get less people bitching about them nowadays - and these games are all about violence and KILLING PEOPLE - while a game like Mass Effect with a sex scene that lasts.... What? Two minutes, if that? THAT game gets blasted as being "obscene" and "immoral" Two words: THE FUCK?! If I had kids, I'd much rather them play a game with a couple minutes of sex in it than one where they're constantly committing murder. Because I can be an adult about it and explain to them that that's what two people in love do and that's how babies are made, rather than refusing to talk about it with them like most parents seem to do nowadays. Anyway, my point is this: Sex SHOULD be allowed in video games, especially those which are very story-driven and have characters who are potentially falling in love during the course of the game. Examples include (but are in no way limited to): Ethan & Madison in Heavy Rain; Alistair and any female Warden in Dragon Age; Origins; Shepherd and... whoever in Mass Effect. Those scenes actually add to the story because they show the depth of emotions the characters are feeling for each other. Sex isn't evil or immoral. It's a beautiful, natural thing. And if you disagree with that, you shouldn't breed - because that would make you evil and immoral. Like I said at the very beginning of this mini-rant... If you don't like games with sex in them because sex makes you uncomfortable for whatever reason, simply don't play the game. Easy fix. Also: Props to any games allowing for and/or featuring homosexual couples. Equality is awesome! P.S., Lisa - I'm female, if you couldn't tell by my name. And I just totally disagreed with you. I don't think your stance is due to you being female, but more because of how you were brought up to view sex.... but that's a totally different discussion.

An Enriching Story

I think that sex in a game is a fine idea if it creates a more in depth story/character development. I like the idea of an RPG where I am able to create relationships, enemies, allies and if I chose lovers. It doesn't need gratuitous or pornographic cut scenes; implied is fine. I am an adult and I would like adult and deeper relationships in my story driven games. There is a place for hack'n slash, or FPS, as well as stories that try to push the emotional barrier.

Changing the World by making one!

Hello Everyone. I dream of changing the World, changing views and breaking unnecessary boundaries. I have seen in my life that there is a gleaming flame, one that engulfs this world and we suffocate on fumes of ignorance, stubbornness and segregation. I was born a rebel, one as such that I hope to lead this world to a new one. I agree with this man/woman and his/her supporters. This is 2012, a time for change not communism and tyrants aka ESRB's ways of employing false security by placing walls of segregation ( it's Ratings ) and a harsh caste of unequal diversity where potentially great games are outcasted and metaphorically "killed". What's life without experience, there are crippled people and even people who live strict sheltered lives. Gaming especially online gamihg may be the only way they can live it. Who are you to restrict their experience of life even from a game. Though they may or may not ever experience sex that doesn't mean they can't nor shouldn't learn from it through interaction even IF it's only through a digital simulation. I FULLY agree and support sex being vividly intergrated into any game no matter the measurement or degree of the emphasis on it's concept. It's a parent's fault if their kids see sex NOT just on games but as well as movies, internet, and even books because game are NOT just games. Games are creative worlds of exquisite lore and wonder created by the imagination of a Game Dev that players are allowed to experience and learn through interaction. NO parent NOR ESRB has any right yo take that experience away just because they feel it's wrong, what is wrong is that they are narrow-minded. With a prospective like that you wouldn't have hybrid cars, computers let alone your very jobs. Human progress is made through new discoveries and by those who challenge the world. As a man of innovation and change, I'll challenge the world and ESRB. Sex is natural, we been doing it since Our Genesis with Adam and Eve. I'll usher in a new Genesis. That's MY passion for the games I want to create and I'll fight for my visions for it's all I have to give back to the World - My Legacy.

open your eyes!

As of now I am sixteen, going on seventeen. the blatent fact that most of you are overlooking is as much as you would shield you're kid, they already know. At age 7 I was masturbating and had no Idea to what. At 9 my 14 year old friend showed me porn. the fact is, no matter how much you try to keep it from your child, they are going to find out. In my life expierience I have found thhat acually, the more you shield your child, the worst it is in the long run, at least typiclly. I know being raised in a more open household, where my mom explianed to me the risks, explained to me what it was, told me how it was a way to epress love, not some occult and freakish behavior, and didn't try to "protect me" has made sex a personal and meaningful thing. I agree that video games should not make it a throw away mini game, but if it makes a personal connection to the story, or corresponds or supports a characters personality, then I'm all for it.

Your parents simply didn't care enough to teach you.

Just because your parents didn't care enough guide you doesn't mean that all children have the problem. I was exposed to porn way before 14, and I got rid of it so that no one else would see it. That was because my parents cared enough to teach, punish, control, and ultimately guide me. Now, I am an adult, and these things are my choice. Certainly, I have enjoyed porn in my adult life, but I am thankful that my parents saw fit to protect my mind from that corruption at too young and impressionable an age. Far be it from me to be the fool that corrupts a child's mind simply because i'm too selfish to care if my desire to have sex in my games causes an immoral corruption to take root in a child's heart. You see, the prospect of that risk bothers me because I am not a pedo who gets a sexual thrill out of teaching kids about sex before they're old enough to learn about it. I'm not saying you are, but you're foolish to make such generalizations simply because you were not afforded the same concern by your parents and others as most kids are, albeit in ever decreasing amounts. And as a result, broken homes and children growing up emotionally damaged have become a norm rather than a rarity. So much for the freedom the sexual revolution supposedly gave us. Seems a lot more like a lifetime of some sort of emotional jail all so that a father and mother could have a momentary lapse of no-so-fulfilling pleasure.

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