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

Immersion

A game should enable you to delve into the life another and experience different things, that, under normal circumstances, won't ever be possible, and arguing that no video game character has ever had or will have sex until his marriage is false reasoning. If it furthers the IMMERSION I'm all for it.

That's BS. A lot of people

That's BS. A lot of people wait until their married, you asshole, and that's AFTER 18 for some. I respect anyone who waits until their married. Because to me I feel they have strong character, they have disciplined themselves, have a strong MIND. Don't be generalizing the entire world, Jesus CHRIST. Anyways, SEX should not be in video games PERIOD. I really don't like that. Games aren't pornography, games is to work your mind not have a character sleep with male/female.

LOL

this guy is a tool huh? Yea bible thumpers who will cry conspiracy when we find life outside the earth and disprove the bible in one fell swoop. its a statistical fact that the VAST VAST majority doesn't miss out and wait till they are married just to "prove a point" to some omnipotent being who if he existed would obviously care less ROFLMAO. anyhow, sex is the most natural thing in the world. if it fits in the game, and the game is labled as mature, it belongs as much as a title or the need for a controller. talking about dumb generalizations, listen to yourself. better yet, don't and spend your time trying to get laid. I promise, its not dirty and wrong and you will like it!

a game is like any artform:

a game is like any artform: it can be as tasteful or as perverse as the creator wants. i wouldn't want my daughter listening to mickey minaj singing about "fuck who want and fuck who you like" and "getting higher than a motherfucker" but that hasn't stopped her from making "music". so video games are different because you need a controller to work them? :S are you saying Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back as a video game should never be made, NOT because it'd be a terrible game, but because of all the sexual humour that would be included? if sex can't be in video games, then it shouldn't be in any artform PERIOD; but i DO think it has it's place, so excuse me for not agreeing with you in the slightest. also, people who date a lot generally have well-adjusted social skills because they CHOOSE TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE, and whether that includes sex or not is up to their discretion; simply abstaining doesn't always show discipline, it can also show AN INABILITY TO ACT DECISIVELY. BTW, based on the tone of you're message, you were either brought up in a highly-religious family, or were a loser in childhood like most of us pricks on the iinternet and you use this "a lot of people wait until they're married" line to make yourself look more prestigious when really you wanted to lose your cherry before your balls even dropped.

Your opinion is odd

The fact that in your opinion sex should not be in video games at all is incredibly close minded. Sex is a natural thing and in my mind has nothing to do with strength of character discipline or mind, that's so conservative and outdated thinking... Of course I do respect if someone has vowed not to have sex before marriage it's their decision, but it's not the absolute best option as you seem to make it. Oh and you talk about generalizing the entire world and then proceed to say "Jesus CHRIST", I find that mildly humorous. And the fact that you single-handedly decide what all games are for as if you made them all is hilarious. Religious conservative?

Saying that anything that

Saying that anything that contains sex is porn is just wrong, how many movies have you seen where there's a sex scene? If you can honestly answer that "None", then you have led an incredibly sheltered life, and I would suggest watching a few good moives... If you actually read the entire artical then you'd see he wasn't saying "All games need porn", more a "Sex shouldn't be forcibly removed from situations when it exists just because it's in a game". Saying there should be no sex in games is equivelent to saying that all nude paintings/sculptures should be removed or hidden. I agree that games shouldn't be filled with sex or use it as a major selling point, but like the auther said, if it fits the situation ingame then it's stupid to remove it just because of the medium.

Meow

Hmm I used to get my comments deleted if I used the words sex or Ass, now I know it's okay because of writers and moderators putting it up. I think the next-gen Xbox should have a built in Fleshlight of sorts, and the vibrating controls also have built in fleshlights for realism.

best moments of a game

For me i can say with a certainty that the pool scene in The Witcher 2 was one of the most memorable in the entire game and such "taboos" massively help to create a more immersive game, and i think this is the sort of attitude developers that are making M rated games should take, not just the GTA style "hit and run".

best moments of a game

For me i can say with a certainty that the pool scene in The Witcher 2 was one of the most memorable in the entire game and such "taboos" massively help to create a more immersive game, and i think this is the sort of attitude developers that are making M rated games should take, not just the GTA style "hit and run".

The opening sex scene in

The opening sex scene in Wither 2 was hilarious. With these solid objects that have no human characteristics other than their general shape bumping into each other...it's less convincing than a blow up doll. Not to mention with the shit state of video game graphics there's zero chance of getting emotionally into a character enough to want to see them have sex....or care if they do or don't.

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