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

ete@yah

Don't make this as if this is nature. It isn't. It is not humane and no where near civilization. As a matter of fact, the thing is, the more civilized we are, the more we should learn to respect one another. That's the way to go. Sex and all those kinds of porn-ish stuff are dated back in caveman days. Women half naked or naked, men too, this is not the future. Games is games, sex is sex. You combine those two it is a conflict. It ruins the game's definition. It's not cool. Maybe you're fine with all those, but your mindset is not. It is not making you to be normal as humane. Even if you don't do crack and drink, the others out there may not be same as you.

..No...

No.. Just no. I agree with some of these people, sex is a private thing meant to be between two lovers. Depictation of sex these days in media and in real life are already out of whack. People think sex is the course of bonding between two friends or "Friends with benefits" and that it's a natural thing. Yes it's natural, yes it makes babies, yes it's a part of human life. Does it need to be shown to the world? No. You don't show people when you take a piss every few hours do you? You don't show your feces to other people do you? Oh but it's natural. Do you show people the genital herpes or such that you get to other people? No but it's natural. You got it "naturally" by the same damn thing you're trying to push into our games. As stated above. No one wants to see it in public. You wanna watch people get their freak on, then go watch porn. There's hundreds of sites with free porn on them . Fan of hentai? They have that too. But for god's sakes, I don't wanna see it in my games. For those who complain about kids playing killing games but bash those about the sex games: Killing games are one thing, and to be honest I wouldn't let my child play a Call of Duty-type game unless he or she were mature enough to play. The children playing these games usually have parents that don't care or irresponsible. But it all comes down to maturity. As for sex games, that's a given, you simply don't show that to kids, or in public for that matter. Let's be real here. The only people who want the sex in games just want it because they wanna get their rocks off while doing the other most favorite thing of their life, gaming. That's the average gamer these days, sex and gaming. Stop making excuses "Oh it's in media" "Oh it's artistic" "Oh it's BLAH BLAH" I don't give a fuck. It's not artistic. What's artistic about sex? It's only in media because lust-filled dumbasses like you are putting it there. So let me make myself clear for those who don't understand and have sex on the brain 24/7 and need a breakdown to comprehend this: Sex is not artistic. Sex should not be public, it's a bond between two lovers. Games should be as it always was, a form of entertainment and amusement, not lustful satisfaction. If you have urges, go fucking watch porn, or better yet, get off this computer, go find a girl, and do that. You probably do anyways (or probably half of you don't even have girlfriends/boyfriends). Get a life people god!

your argument seems to be

your argument seems to be less about sex in games and more about sex in general. sex and dealing with the emotions surrounding it are a big part of art because artists usually try to find a way to "help understand" or "make sense" or "recreate the emotional connection" not just to a partner but to the world around them. does it have to be gratuitous and NC-17-worthy? no. Dan In Real Life was a great movie that basically revolved around sex and sexual tension, but there was no graphic nudity, and it was sill a very powerful movie. so no-one should experience this movie because it's all about sex? artists shouldn't be allowed to talk about sex and process it in a way for the populous to manage themselves? in fact, should we even be talking about sex in public? war and murder is ok, we can talk about those, but sex? nonononono, WAAAAY too taboo. if your point is that there's too much sex used by the media to exploit weakness (usually to sell something--or run for president if you're Sarah Palin), then tell me something i don't know. if your point is that sex disgusts you in any form, and that creating a "work of art" in whatever medium to try and explain/articulate all the complex emotions behind it should not only NOT BE MADE but to have all the creative energy behind it REPRESSED, just because you "don't wanna see it", then quite frankly every artist on the planet is going to tell you to go fuck yourself

I get what you're saying...

I get what you're saying... but... For example. In movies. People say sex in unnecessary there too. If Kyle Reese hadn't laid Sarah Connor, John Connor never would've been born and the machines would've won man! YOU WANT THE MACHINES TO WIN? All joking aside. Take something like that, with all the weight, consequence, and everything and imagine it as a video game. Is it dirty? No. And how the hell are video games public? You keep saying sex is private. Excuse me while I go take my video game console, hook it up to the HD flat at McDonalds and play a rated mature game in front of everyone. I'll play the games I want in the PRIVACY of my own home. So shut up with your sex should be private rant. It is private. It's just ALSO talked about. Doesn't mean we're fucking on your front lawn. Jesus. Not to mention you can CHOOSE which games you buy. You don't have to buy the ones that say "Stong Sexual Content" you tightwad. Just like you don't have see movies with sex in them. There are MPAA rating descriptors. Websites where you can find out specifics. ALSO sex in video games isn't about satisfying lustful urges (in the ones that matter), its about a fuller gaming immersive experience. Imagine going through life being told you can never have sex cause just no. I'm not saying ALL games need sex. But in the games where it's fitting, there is NO reason why not. The game in question also probably features graphic killing, probably cursing, and drug use. Please explain to me why a basic biological function has no place in a game, when you can slaughter an entire village of innocent people in the medieval game of your choice, and THATS okay. No problem there right?

Artistic sex

There actually can be such a thing as artistic sex, or at least sex used for an artistic purpose. Literature has done this for centuries, classics such as the Faerie Queen or Canterbury Tales (The Miller's Tale in particular) have sections that are completely about sex and sexual imagery. If I was a better English major I could probably list hundreds of titles that use sex in their story. So, here's the question, why? Why do they do this? You stated the very reason yourself "it's a bond between two lovers" Sex should be, physically and emotionally, the closest you ever come to another human being. It is the most intimate and terrifying relationship you can have, it is also a cultural milestone, something people, especially men, need to experience. There is a reason virgin adults are mocked by our society, we see them as inadequate in some way. So if games are to reach the same standards as Literature and Film, if they are to invoke the same deep questions about what it means to be human, then shouldn't all options be available to them, and such a common and deep connection as sex is a powerful force for storytelling. It can be so much more than it is now and I think we could have truly revolutionary games if this was ever done perfectly

Wow in-between gross over

Wow in-between gross over-exaggeration and misinterpretation I am at a near loss for words. Going from sex in video games to feces, herpes, and "watching people get their freak on". Yes true it is a natural part of life and it would be wrong to say we need to hide it. If more people spoke about such topics then maybe herpes wouldn't be such an issue? Yes one can say " I don't agree, rah, rah, rah." but than simply not purchase said product. As you said yourself you wouldn't let your child play Call of Duty than why would would that change with a game like Leisure Suit Larry? It should be all in the responsibility of the parent/guardian what is acceptable or not. There is a reason for the ESRB, right? Why should we let a (mind you very loud) small group of people dictate what should be produced? It'd be like me saying foreign films should be produced cause " I don't want to Read a movie!". Highly selfish and sad view I'd say. Just sick of all the cries for the children when the same standards (if not more lenient in movies, music, and t.v. than the average game rating) don't even get a mention. Hypocritical.

sex in games

i too have reservations on having sex as part of games in general but as was stated before , it does help you see into a character like lara croft . If maybe she had it rough when she was younger growing up could it be perhaps something to that effect that made strong and clearly bad ass and cant touch this attitude. and no it does have to be 24/7 on the brain but hte fact is , is that no matter where you look today sex is public it is in the open world it is on billboards for all to see , in books and magazines , television , you name it it shows it in some way. Taking a walk down the street you come across younger and younger girls for instance wearing less and less clothes or completely revealing clothes, and as i had said before . It is everywhere . you speak not showing the world sex , that it should remain between lovers and so on but you cant change the way people think . Sex sells and that is the cold hard truth of life in society today. Personally I almost dont want to have children for the fact people are blind to fact they are worried about whats happening in video game (a work of fiction) than they are about for example , what you would see in music videos or movies that are pg13 but happen to express sex in a 18 and up way. So do i care about sex in games not really but you complain but you dont try to stop it in anyway so i say give it to them sex in games , why , cause you cant fuck up the world anymore then it already is when it comes to sex . im ashamed of being part of a society that revolves around sex but no matter what the more they complain the more violent they will become with their desires. you cant change the world............. unfortunately .

no

gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooodddddddddd

tasteless

I don't think there should be sex in games unless developers want to make games specifically for that. Either that or it needs to be optional or implied instead of shown, because I don't want to have to pick and choose my games just because I don't want to see that crap. Yes it's in advertising, movies, tv, etc, but it really shouldn't be there either. It's private and shouldn't be used in mass media of any form. If people want that, then have a special market for it where you can know exactly what you're getting instead of mixing it in with other video games/tv/movies etc. A lot of people, like myself, don't want to see it. For something that should be kept private anyway, it needs its own special market and to be non-existent in the regular market. Like I said, make it implied or something. You don't need to show anything in order to make the characters connect better. Those details aren't needed and have nothing to do with making the game a good game. As long as it's implied via dialogue or something like that, that should be good enough for you all. If it's not, go watch porn or play ero games and don't subject the rest of us to it.

foolishness

i believe you said you don't want to have to pick and choose games. first of all that inplies you buy any old crap as long as it is branded a game. and if you don't want to see sex don't again the ratings come into play most sex would be implied or it would have a higher rating if you don't want it don't get R rated games easy fix and woth lack of details if it was just "some guy wanted to have sex with lara croft she didn't want it now she is sad" people would have just dropped it because the detail makes the difference

Sex is a big part of human

Sex is a big part of human world its 2nd only to Eating, so as one of the top 3 nature instinct humans have you'd think why should they deliberately leave sex out in games? We are already in a society that parents don't care either way what their child watches and its their fault not the developers of games. If you don't want to be subjected to it then either don't play the game or skip it either way no kid under the age of 16 should watch anything with sex in it. Blame the parents for not trying hard enough to stop their kids, if as much as 1 parent fails at their job their kids teach other kids bad stuff.

Sex

No kid under 16 should watch anything with sex in it? Why? Is sex dangerous somehow? Will it scar people for life by watching something that is as natural as breathing or eating? The main reason, in my opinion, people think that children shouldn't be subjected to sexual imagery and thoughts is because adults try to make it bad for them by making it shameful, taboo plays a big role here. Looking at other animals you can see that even sex between adults and children exists (most notably apes, whom we are closely related to), as a natural part of their lives. Of course, we illegalize sex with children because we don't want them exploited, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it. We make it shameful, and our children have to pay for it. So, on to sexual imagery again. How exactly does sexual imagery increase the exploitation of children? So, blame parents and society (and perhaps most notably, religion) for making sex shameful I say. And blame the educational system for not bringing up sex earlier. If sex wasn't considered shameful, and to many, a sinful act - then we wouldn't be having this conversation. Games with murder in them don't make psychopathic killers out of people, and sex in games don't make sexual predators or exploit cases out of people. Sex is private and should be between lovers? Perhaps to you, so are you people saying that you have sex with your TV-screen when there is a sex-scene? There's quite a difference between watching a sex-scene and engaging in it. Isn't kisses between lovers as well? So why don't I see you complaining about kissing in films and games? Again, sex is the issue, not privacy or "between lovers". There are so many other private things that are shown in films and games, and yet everything is about sex. I notice how my family (parents, the children adopt the reaction) reacts when there's a sex-scene, it's "Hrm hrm!!" or "*moans* quickly change channel or fast forward!". I was going to say it's childish, but a child wouldn't react that way unless an adult taught it to. Taught it to fear sex, taught it that it's shameful. So now we have loads of children and teenagers (and people who never grow out of it) who fear their bodies, their sexuality and their thoughts. To be horny and lust becomes a thought-crime. Not only that, children and teenagers who grow up in religious homes (thankfully, not all religious parents force their beliefs on their children) will even think that some pervert god is listening to every thought and watches their every move. Touching yourself? Shame on you! TL:DR version: Shame on parents, society and religion for making sex shameful.

You may be wrong...

Actually, I'd be inclined to say that yes, sex should be restricted from younger eyes, just as violence is. We keep sex extremely obscure in film and television for younger viewers because quite simply their minds and bodies are not ready for that kind of thing yet. Once you start allowing that kind of imagery in to the younger population you're opening avenues you really should rather see closed. That said, sex in gaming... as it was put in the original article I agree that sex is a strong emotional connector. When it's done well, it gives you, the player, a great deal of affection for the character you have been playing, as well as those you're surrounded by. Done poorly, some people will still enjoy it and those that don't will just go "Well that was a bad game". Done Well and Done Poorly are kind of complex though, which is why it's a good thing in general (That sentence was horrible.) Sex, like violence, can help to define a character purely because it's another influence in their lives. The more techniques available to a storyteller, the truer a character you will be able to find. Besides, in the case of Mass Effect you didn't have alien titties shoved in your face... it was a choice you made as a player, and if you didn't see it coming you probably need to get out more. All in all, yeah, I think sex has its place in video games... Honestly I think it's largely doing well as it is right now. I don't see anything in games I wouldn't read in my chosen fantasy books, nor read in those books I wouldn't see in a game... but hey, expression 'n all that. Long story short: NO U

violence restricted from younger eyes?

let me quote a few lines from a great "children's" movie series that i saw when i was a child: -- "i had to SLIT A FEW THROATS, but i got it!" -- "You've heard of the golden rule, haven't you? he who has the gold MAKES THE RULES" -- "i'm giving you your reward! YOUR ETERNAL REWARD!" (pulls a dagger out of his cloak) -- (laughing) "you dirty little thief!" -- (punches a man in the face) "THAT was for RUINING my wedding!" \\ any guesses? if you said Disney's Aladdin series (the movies, not the terrible TV show), then you're right! but i got no prize for you :( the point is, when you talk about slitting throats, corruption of power, theft, and violence as retribution, give it to millions of people for them to watch (disguised as a "kid's movie", might i add), and a few of them just happen to turn into bad apples ... it doesn't really prove the artform had anything to do with their actions, and restricting sex, like restricting violence, won't change that (as this movie BEING MARKETED TO KIDS isn't exactly "restricting violence" as you posted before). as for approaching my kids' attitudes towards sex, i'm less like my "it's only a movie, just ignore it" parents and even less like my "(awkward humming and hawwing)" half-retarded high-school teachers, and more along the lines of "you're obviously getting older, so i'll give you some basic info so you're not gonna have a terribly awkward social life like i did; just be smart about who you do it with and what protection/precautions you need to take, because you don't want to deal with the worst case scenario just yet." i'd rather be realistic about it than try to deny it altogether. if your son was getting beaten up every day on the playground at school, would you tell him to run to a teacher and get labelled a tattle-tale & keep the violence coming, or would you teach him a few quick moves to win a fight and get the pricks to leave your son alone? do you think the big bad bully is suddenly gonna rat? look like a tattle-tale to his bull-headed friends? it's like a drug dealer rattin to the cops so he can get less time in jail: someone else is gonna make sure he winds up dead. why? CUZ HE WENT TO THE COPS!! believe it or not, fighting fire with fire can work sometimes. embrace it, don't deny it

sex in games

So... aren't these games that include nudity or sex 16 +? Mass effect 3, The Witcher 2. Far cry 3 etc. They add to real life situations and feelings, curiosity, caring for your partner, excitement. and so on, it just adds more depth to the game. For me, the GTA mod that enabled you to control your character while having sex with your partner was over the top, unless you want to sit there for an hour jerking off to something like that. Sex is apart of life and is natural, its not something that should be focused on, but controlled so its not to over the top. Mass effect 3 or Witcher 2 makes it tasteful and sexy, same as many other games. we buy mature games, as in 18+ games for adults, so lets be treated like adults.

porn in games

So kids can kill, shoot, stab, and do everything else that goes in games but people wanna cry over a little bit of sex or tits. Grow the f*** up and quit b**ching ssabout something you do NOT have to be a part of. It is completely your choice to pick up a video game and play or your kids to play sel

well i dont think thats what it is

I think parents just want their kids to be kids , instead of growing up to fast. if you had a 3 yr old to 5 year old little girl and your playing a game that has some kind of sex in it would you be mad if your little princess if she came up pregant at age 6 or 7. you asked her why she did it " because i saw a game that you were playing thats why dad" i think that's the idea for the other parents but even i have ran in to a few games that don't list all the content on the back of the game.

Crybabies Suck

Seriously if a game offends someone then don't buy it or don't let your children buy it.But what gives anyone the right to tell a stranger they cannot play a game because they think its immoral. Just because "you" might not like the game because of its maturity rating or lack thereof. Doesn't mean you have the right to push your beliefs on me or anyone else. If I wanna spend my money that I earned from working on a game with gore,violence or even sex content so be it. GFY prudes of the world!

Fanfic

If you are butthurt about there not being sex in the games then read fanfic. There are LOTS of good stories out there and lots of them that have very in-depth sex scenes. Also, it's not that sex isn't ALLOWED in the games, (as stated quite a few times) it's that the developers are trying to target a larger audience. I'm not really for or against sex in games, I see all of your points and you have all made REALLY good points. It's also been stated that "If you don't wanna watch sex don't get it" that goes for the person saying that too. If it does not have enough sex in it for you, find something that does. I'm sure there are ways to make it to everyone's tastes, for example if they made two versions, one with the sex (AO) and one without, (PG-13) then it could solve the problem, because then you don't have to worry so much about the butt-hurt people saying there is too much sex in it. If you don't want to have the AO version an still enjoy the game, get the PG-13 version. I doubt my idea will ever happen, although I'm sure that in the next few years, sex will find it's way into video games soon. So I wouldn't really worry about it. I'm sure I'll get some flak for this comment, and I hope I don't come off as a hypocrite, (Someone will feel that I am or will be offended SOMEHOW as is with all my comments.) but I hope that you can see my point and that you can understand it. Constructive criticism is fine, but as I've been told, "If you ain't got nothing good to say, don't say nothing at all"

If it's within the age rating

If it's within the age rating and there is a warning for it, I don't see the problem in having it in games. I see worse things on regular television. If they somehow view this content while under-aged then you should ask how they acquired the content. I'm pretty sure they check I.D. if you seem to be to young to purchase these things. brb gotta yell at some kids on call of duty

If it is tagged for it of course

Our technology is advancing more and more each year. As developers gain more and more access to their game engines. I say push the envelope to make these virtual worlds more and more like real life. Why Real life? because that is what we all are familiar with. I think games should have more adult content. But if a nice game goes down that route, obviously tag them as MA, and if a game is MA then the retail stores that sell the product, the purchaser should have some kind of ID showing they are of age to buy the product. MA games should be rated for 21 or older IMO. I wish we did have more of these type of games. The problem is developers all have a hard time to mix adult content theme games as well as good game play. With out leaning towards the sex side, or to the game play side.

why over 21

in many countries the age at which we become adults is lower than 21 so why should we have to put up with been told what to think when our society considers us adult imposing your will over another is bad karma children need guidance adults are able to decide for themselves i dispair for young americans you really do mistreat your young adults (englan and wales 18= adult scotland 16= adult other countries may vary) :)an it harm none do as thou will :) Blessed Be

Isn't gaming supposed to be

Isn't gaming supposed to be an escape from real life? Why do you want them to be more realistic? Don't you have real life for that? Actually name your top 10 favourite games of all time. 90% of my favourites have a fantasy setting. For every 1 Vice City there are 10 Mushroom Kingdoms.

Value of photographs of attractive ladies.

Doubtlessly, of what I've seen, could only, possibly be an asset.Adding much of interest, and benefit. Building character, maturity, taste. Much to be desired, and pursued. Pin-point ladies sound of limb and intellect. Evident that ladies of intellect and sound limbs and wind are the focus of our search. Pray continue our search and pursuit.

I believe theres nothing

I believe theres nothing wrong with it, you get more attached to video game characters when you see them romantically bond with each other, after i had Commander Shepard make love with Jack before we went on the suicide mission i felt obligated to keep her alive, and i would of actually been hurt if she had died, so in my mind there is nothing wrong with it.

Most completely misunderstand the issue

Most people here (and apparently the person who wrote this article) completely misunderstand the issue and are content to sensationalize the hell out of it rather than educating themselves on what this whole thing is about. Everyone seems to assume that, since sexual content is restricted to a certain age group, everyone believes its evil and wants to pretend it doesn't exist. Not the most logical conclusion to draw, but there you have it. The truth is, sexual content is age-restricted because it is (in my opinion) universally agreed upon that such content isn't appropriate for a certain age range. Yes, sex is a part of life and is not evil in any way. Does that mean people should have sex when they're twelve years old? If you say "yes" to that, see a psychologist. That's the thing: yes, sex is a part of life. That doesn't mean people under a certain age need to be exposed to it. When they reach a certain level of maturity, let them bang each other silly; but I'd say most would be uncomfortable showing their wang to someone in elementary/primary school. Now for how this relates to this debate. Since sex is age-restricted, developers are excluding a certain percentage of the population from their game's market right off the bat. That is a certain percentage less people who will buy their game. Most developers don't like this, and maintain certain bounds of reason with their games to find a balance between pushing the edge and making a profit. Because of the age restriction on sex, most avoid it because they don't want to limit their market too much; not because they believe sex is evil. It's as simple as that. Many have said that videogames are for entertainment, and I say that's completely wrong. That may be what people BUY them for, but developers MAKE them to pay the rent and buy groceries. If your game doesn't sell, it doesn't matter how entertaining it is, it's not a successful game. Since this is how people make their living and money, it's reasonable to assume they don't want to shoot themselves in the foot too much by making a game that's hard to market for content reasons. Ergo, sex and extreme violence aren't usually done because developers want to get paid and investors in the game want a return. I'll say it again, and hopefully it will take root in some minds: NOTHING TO DO WITH SEX BEING EVIL, EVERYTHING TO DO WITH DEVELOPERS WANTING TO SELL GAMES. That's at the fundamental core of this issue: marketing and sales. Instead of taking time to analyze the debate and understand it, everyone seems happy to make snap judgements and assumptions as to what the whole thing is about, and then we get a bunch of people screaming for moar titties without having the slightest clue why developers don't do it in the first place. Until people decide it's okay for children to pork, I don't see this status quo changing, but please do keep sensationalizing the issue and screaming nonsense about conspiracies and religious beliefs and how sex is evil even though the ESRB hasn't made one single statement along those lines (nor have any decision makers on the rating system or video game development, as far as I know).

SEX IN GAMES

yeah i want it in games should be age restricted but i even think you missed the point there buckko i think it has something to do with people hiding away from society and getting used to the pornographic images in a game and then only looking for digital pornography and not really getting out there anymore it happening right now kids on ipads typing lol and not actually laughing out loud and thinking facebook is a realistic social life soon we will all be like in that bruce willis movie where we only send out robots and hide from the real world pork p

Anonymous, you are the one who misunderstands the issue

"That's the thing: yes, sex is a part of life. That doesn't mean people under a certain age need to be exposed to it." Um, this article (and pretty much any other that advocates sex being allowed in games) repeatedly says that the sexual content belongs in games rated MA, which should NOT be played by "people under a certain" age unless their parents are idiots. "Ergo, sex and extreme violence aren't usually done because developers want to get paid and investors in the game want a return." That is a half truth. Extreme violence is all over the place in games. What is the standard basic activity in most games? Killing people and things. Game manufacturers are perfectly happy to produce games that are rated MA for violence. And parents are idiots, because MA games rated that way for violence are purchased for kids all the time. Which serves as a fine indicator that parents are more than willing to buy a violent game for their kid, and the media really could care less. But, have the game be MA for sexual content and there is controversy. So, the issue really does come back to our culture being fine with children being exposed to violence but not to sex, and how that affects video games, and how that hurts games for those of us who are mature and want them to include things that are part of life. Like the article says. So, I think it is you who does not get the point. Now, as to my personal opinion on the matter... I think there was some validity to the Hot Coffee controversy, because in that case, the developer left content in the game that would have made it higher than an MA rating, and it was unlockable, so that someone could by the game based on the MA rating but then have content available that goes beyond MA. That is deceptive, and the developer deserved to be called out. On the other hand, there is a lovely tasteful love scene in Mass Effect that I feel does serve to underscore the attachment between Shepard and the love interest. Due to the ridiculous controversy started by Fox News out and out lying and claiming it is pornographic with full-frontal nudity (which it absolutely is not, it is absolutely PG-13), the love scenes were turned into people humping in their underwear in ME 2 and 3, and in the Dragon Age games. I feel this made them less effective from a story immersion standpoint, because the underwear never coming off made it all seem rather silly. It was actually more distracting than partial nudity would have been, since the partial nudity would have seemed more natural to what was going on.

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.

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