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

Ha

The children of the new age will be glorious. We have seen it all and know adult's mistakes. All of u act as if we know nothing and see nothing. We see everything and video games help wake us up from the dream that you want to encase us in. Soon we will all escape and see almost every adult as the villains they are. All adults do are create wars over ridiculous feuds and dont realize the full problem. We see the problem and eventually we will take action. Though, we will make the same mistakes as we are humans, imperfect beings who seem to know what is right and wrong, but at least we would have made several steps in a generally "right" direction instead of our predecessors who were liars and thieves Adults make the tragic mistake that all children are what they seem. If only they knew our minds and wit far surpass theirs on levels far beyond their comprehension..

Sexity sex sex should be in the games

First off, I'm going to say this: I'm going to develop a first-person, life like simulation, and sex is going to be one of the most sought out features in it (with the button control and all.) So nothing will stop me from censoring, though it's not the main point to the game's idea. Anyhow, I have thought of this ever since I saw the ending of FarCry 3, when you chose to kill your friends and be with the crazy temple girl. I was shocked to see the first-person sex happening, and her ta-tas being displayed and all. For a moment I thought "they're not allowed to do that, right?" Then I began thinking - the rating is M for Mature. Sex is considered a thing done by the mature group of people right? So why would this be such a controversial thing? I mean, it is pushing the limit by doing things like rape, or forced sex, but regular sex between two of the game's characters (or more haha!) should be allowed. I mean, we already have 12 year-old's watching head's being torn off 3D bodies and bloodshed going everywhere, so why can't they see sex? I know if I was a parent, I'd rather have my son find out what sex is through a video game instead of murder. Because then he would grow up to be a pimp, not a murderer. Another thing is, I kinda get mad when in these war games, racing games, etc., there is so much seductive activity portrayed, then nothing else happens. These are suppose to be manly games, where's the manliness in just giving the girl a kiss on one cheek after saving her, when we'd prefer having a kiss be giving on all her cheeks. And plus, it's not like some are really going to constantly restart their game just to fap it to the only sex scene. This also made me think back to one of the first Grand theft autos, where you had sex with a prostitute in a hotel, and controlled what they did, and the media went crazy about it, even though through that entire minigame, you had your clothes on.

just to add

& I stretch this thought with films, porn & that filth that gets into "songs" of course. I like A Game of Thrones series but please, less of the nudity or not at all, they actually serve no purpose more so the sex scenes. These things do not serve any purpose or add anything to make it a great film or game etc. Look, as an example, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a great film, no sex needed. I cannot help but feel that adding sex scenes is perversive & just feeding into the desires of, mostly men. If fathers do not wish for their daughters to ever be a porn star or stripper or a hooker. Anybody that says along the lines of "but it's not your daughter or my daughter so it doesn't matter" is seriously in denial & lacks respect for their fellow human-beings. Worse if it's a woman who agrees with it I think. Sure, "it's not my body", but then you want what's best for your daughter & that's education, not being a porn star or reduced to flaunting her body like sheep to a pack of wolves!

Sex should not be in games (at least not, explicit)

Have a daughter(s) and then rethink about wanting your son to be like a "pimp". If everyone else thought like you, I would imagine a very protective father will develop in your case if it isn't already for a lot of people. In my honest opinion, the sex in games is not necessary, I completely disagree with it. However, story driven that may have a sex scene (like in Mass Effect) or suggestive one is enough to tell the mature audience what was going on. I cannot fathom the idea of playing a game with all its great mechanics, shooter, RPG, driving whatever, to then have an interactive sex (game) in it with quick time event, moving the stick up & down etc. It is ridiculous & mostly it is catered to the male audience. So society want's to promote hookers or porn. Yeah, we have it in the real world & very sadly so & did you know a lot of them are by coercion, not by choice? So what is that really promoting? It is very sad that a lot of "men" want hookers or a sex scene in their games but when it comes to real life & have daughters of their own, it's a different story. If none of you would ever think that you would NOT like your mother, daughter, aunty or even friend, any women who is related to you to ever be a hooker or a stripper or a porn star. Then in my opinion, you are just one hypocrite & really need to rethink about your desires in comparison to compassion for your fellow sisters & brothers in humanity.

Sex in Video games

This is the way I see it. Video games have hacked, garrotted, shot, crushed, murdered, horrified, sliced, mauled, terrified, killed and murdered in every conceivable manner imaginable. Yet most have squeaked by the censors and found their way onto our gaming consoles and computers. But show a little boob, or worse, a couple actually making love, and the censors, and certain public officials, go wild with outrage. Given that sex is natural and killing is not, it shows a lot about our values as a society. I honestly believe if society was less sexually suppressed, you'd see a lot less violence in video games.

First-hand experience from multiple fields

I work in the industry selling the games, have played them far too often for the last 25 years, and occassionally review them on the side. This is one of my biggest "what the hell is wrong with the world soap box rants" I feel so strongly about it that if I ever get around to it I will start a group to lobby all this nonsense. I have given speeches and written papers on these very types of speeches in every instance whether the teacher agreed or disagreed with me beforehand they agreed after hearing what I had to say. This is ridiculous. I am far less concerned with sex being or not being in videogames then I am with the "violent videogames makes people violent nonsense" This is a comment so I am not about to type my 10 page soap box rant here. What I will say is this. Parental controls have been on every electronic device known to man since the late 90's there is no option in it. Some of these games allow you to turn all the "naughty or violent bits" down. This is very poorly advertised as an actual option. Every time a newspaper or broadcaster talks about sex or violence in videogames it is always biased and poorly researched. From the "Mass Effect is selling Pornography to children" claims and the "Bully is a Columbine Simulator" these are two of many many instances in which a "hot button issue" is poorly researched and condemned. They will have stories that tell "both sides fairly" and any time it is some form of videogame professional reviewer developer what have you. They are always cut off in mid sentence. When regulations are made for the MPAA or the RIAA they are invited to the talks. When the ESRB regulations are changed or modified in some way they are simply "TOLD HOW IT IS GOING TO BE" I don't like or dislike sex in videogames. I have absolutely no problem with it IF IT IS DONE RIGHT. I see no reason to censor it. In the United States we live in an extremely over-sexualized state of mind. if a guy kisses another guy on the cheek he must be gay even though this is perfectly common in many countries. If a girl wants to be topless she must be a horny ho fo sho. There will always be something parents and society blame abnormal behavior on. If someone cannot understand something and they are close-minded they have to find a "reason" or explanation" for it. I say again if I ever get around to getting off my butt I will actually organize a group to protest the idiotic way in which violence and sex in videogames are covered in the media. Now addiction to videogames? THAT is a real problem. I may as well be plugged into my damn PS3 and PC. That is why I haven't organized some huge politcal revolt. Too lazy too much effort.

Just my opinion

Ok here's what I think and mind you this is just an opinion. Sex is okay if you give us a choice. Give us an option in the game and maybe an alternate story line or even a dlc so we can have it in the games but don't shove it in every game. It's just some people get uncomfortable with sex scenes while alternatively others enjoy it or even laugh at it. By giving us a choice we can have the games the way we like it. Plus if sex was packaged as a dlc theroe's more profit to be made then instead of having sales lowered by contravercial issues. Just give it some more time and let society make up its mind more. We all have the freedom to choose. Also I believe that it's a little unfair that some can or can't play games because of sex or violence. Give us an option let us press a button to either increase or decrease those things in our option menues. I know it's a lot to ask but it's just what I think would make the most people happy. It's just my opinion though. Everyone is entitled to their own.

America love violence, fears vaginas

Just watch the reaction of people (or yourself when reading those words). Violence Vagina One of those things every one has, creates life, is completely natural to use for pleasure. One of those things is anti-social and causes misery and suffering. When will our backwards society learn to celebrate the right one, and condemn the right one?

Yep

Tell me about it.. it's ironic though because they seem to be scared with sex but then again they also seem to be cranking 'em out like a winner at a casino slot machine. Americas society is sick and gross. And they wonder why they have all those maniacs killing others.

Subject

Well, that is naturally what you get when populating one continent mainly with the most radical nutbags from another continent. :)

This thing

You people are seriously fighting over this? This is why gamers like us fall on our faces all the time, we worry about the wrong things.. "oh there's no sex, boo hoo" or "BAN SEX YA FUCKER" and if you were to take a look at most of the comments the vast majority are bias and opinionated to the point of being not even worth reading. If you don't like the topic don't buy the game, don't click on the article, and open your fucking eyes. You people all seem to forget how stupid you sound. You wanna hear a girl moan for 30 minutes? seriously? It's laughable that you all clamor about something you can probably look up right now. This is an argument not worth arguing. I bid all you fuckshits and smartasses a good day and may you hopefully, oh I dunno, LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS

okay ..look

Okay first off after reading all the comments on this blog I have to laugh at it ! 1) I am a Chirstian, I have been playing video games since I was 3 years old. i grew up with mortal kombat , Bloodly Roar Street fighter and Castleviana and all that good stuff! 2) if you look back video games back in the day were really meant for kids and teenagers ( in the US). Back then it didn't take much to make a child happy. But now the Adults are enjoying them too so what happens the have to make something for the adults . 3) yes I agree with you on the face that the games have ratings on them for a reason. but you can't put it all off on the parents . You have parents out their doing their job in checking the ratings and all , But I hold the Stores that sale them accountable as well ! I have seen places like game stop , walmart sale games to an underage child to make profit. 4) I think as far as games go we really do need sex in the because to me it ruins the whole thing it has nothing to do with my faith or anything . I just think that games can be bad a$$ without it. to me all you need is a Killer story line , great graphics ( btw i am a 2 d game artist) , Great Charcaters with awesome weapons and your good to go! I just think because of all the sex we see on tv, media, the radio, in real life... it.. just would be played out ! 5) and beside the womens apparel in all the games now a days ... will you can just about see it all... why include sex? I don't think it's going to make the game any better. If the game suck it suck bottom line .

I played on the dark side...

My husband is really into God Of War. Knowing I enjoy gaming (if it is E-E10 because we have kids!) He convinced me to try it one night while the kids were asleep. First...the boobs? Really? Have a set of my own thanks, don't need them in my games. Second...the unrelenting violence. Made me queasy. I could not finish the game. I think video games have definitely taken a dark turn. ( I miss Mario.) However my husband is an adult, and I can not stop him from playing these games. I can however stop myself and my children. So he keeps his gross games in a locked drawer, and my kids continue to play Dora and The Bible Game (Which my son is awesome at <3).

Really?

Its the God of War, set in Ancient Greece did you expect to see a bunch of Xena's running around? Please, get some perspective, and if you don't want to see boobs, don't play a game made for 17 to 24 year old males. If you don't like whats on my PC leave, but don't tell me what to watch in my own home, thank you very much.

depends on your kids age.

you should let your kids play differents games then that such as E 10 which isn't bad at all. really games like spyro aren't bad games considering i now know you atleast own a ps2 theres games like ratchet and clank to play even tho some are T the game is completely animated and theres not swear words ect only references to swear words which your kids wont even understand.

I just dont want it in my

I just dont want it in my games. I think the buzz surrounding it is stupid, and a lot of the time it will just ruin my game. The only time I can see it being an asset is when a game is centered around the concept of love or just life.

What's the big deal?

Why does the change of view in society always take the harmless out of the worst in media? You take seeing a nipple of Janet Jackson's breasts so seriously you attempt to ban MTV for life from the super bowl? (I can't remember the event) Actual rape is far more serious, but should be laughed off later if it is seen in movies or games (because it is only media, and not reality). Then you get into inter-racial relations, gay marriage, and religious rights. Religion has nothing to do with whites marrying blacks, and media has nothing to do with gay marriage or sex opposing religion, because most often times media isn't trying to relate to religion as a whole, but to entertainment. After all that is blood/gore, which Mortal Kombat fans would know started this other movement to ban or restrict certain amounts of violence. Any 15-year-old kid who has understanding of basic to advanced levels of math and spelling could make a game that deals with cutting off a head, shooting someone in the face, or one that has guts spilling onto the floor. Well, as long as they have dedicated the time to learn some type of programming. No matter what, gore will be out there, and this bubble people live in will be making their lives miserable. If you are 15 or 50, you can design a game with a group of people, share it online or through disc, and get the same or perhaps a worse result than a major company. When it comes to media, I don't care what it is, does not bother me. Reality is another story, and there are far worse things than a simple 'nipple slip'.

agreed

I agree. there is no reason that games cant have sex in them. and if parents are worried about this, then its there fault. they should take the responsibility by making sure they don't play this game. sex would improve a lot of games by giving the characters closer bonds. sex is a part of everyone's life, (unless you live in your mom's basement) so why not add it to video games. its not even close to being as bad as killing like at least 75% of games have anyways...

no way

My hubby says it's a waste of time to add that crap into games. And since my daughter is usually around when we are playing video games, I think it needs to be left out. We have to check online before we can buy a game, because sometimes it wont say on the label if it has nudity or sex in it. Making a DLC for the perverts who can't get laid sounds like a better idea than to put it in the game for buyers who don't want it.

u hypocrite

What a hypocrite you are. Just because we think casual sex is ok just like in novels and movies you think that we want that because we can't get laid? Sorry hun we don't live in the 1970's anymore. I'm married. I have my women but nothing wrong with sensual romantic scene and my wife is shun up on these sex scenes. She laughs at them. "Since my daughter is around when we are playing games." Oh aren't you a saint. Protect your daughter from bad things. Kudos to you but GASP.... it's ok for your daughter to see your husband decapitate or headshot a person..!? Again... hypocrite and demented. I just don't understand why you Americunts can't think rationally or logically. If you don't like sex then that's your prerogative but insulting others just because they like it is none of your business.

A bit more nuance

So it's all okay to have your daughter watch someone being blown to bits, having their guts splattered all over the screen? Look at modern games, blood and gore everywhere, but if someone flashes a little bit of flesh (in the good sense) it's all so not done. I'm 100% sure this is all due to the general American mentality of being prude. Tolerating shocking murders is okay, showing a breast is suddenly the most obscene thing. Who gave you birth? Eventually your kids will find out how to see anything on the net. Age-ratings have a purpose and it's up to us as parents to disallow those too young to view that material access to them. Monitoring what your child is up to is also part of parenting, just like you'd watch your toddler out on the street so (s)he doesn't run into traffic, right? RIGHT? Let us adults CHOOSE what we want in our games! I liked playing FallOut New Vegas and certainly wouldn't mind seeing the otherwise blacked out adult scenes. After all, showing the guts blast out a corpse is fine too. Your hubby doesn't speak out freely it seems, for many games there are very popular adult mods and mine likes them if tasteful. It's hardly a waste. Get your prudent narrow-minded head out of your arse and accept that nudity isn't weird or creepy, we are born that way! Sex is part of the cycle of life. Blood, gore and murder isn't!

Ironic

How ironic you call people nerds with your stereotype but yet you're on the internet, and playing video games. Something that is considered a nerds thing.

Its OK

I see no problem with this. It's only in the USA that you people want to censor everything. So sex sells. There's money to be made. All they have to do is add the "MA" rating to it. Get real PEOPLE !!

Wasted development

I am not against sex in videogames, but I do think that sex scenes are a waste of development time. I mean... let's take Mass Effect 2 as an example...I would like them to spend the time they spent on the sex/romance scenes to implement a better planetary mining system, or a longer story...

Its true

I worked on Mass Effect 2 and it took our team 4 months of research before we perfected the timing of fading to black. I was against it but you know, sex sells.

Why not?

As long as it's consensual, no harm done. There is no excuse for depicting rape in a game (no, it does not develop your character or make him/her stronger. Real life rape is always traumatizing, never empowering), but if everybody involved is agreeing, just go for it.

No, buuuut

A beautiful woman is not what the quote is talking about, really..... No one looks like the 16 year old models on the Covergirl commercials. Even beautiful women. A beautiful woman can be beautiful and at the same time in no way resemble any "woman" we use for gaming reference. That being said, gratuitous sex in games is just awkward and clearly pandering to "overwhelmingly male" audiences. And let's not mention Japanese games along the lines of RapeLay..... Which are genuinely wrong, in my humble opinion. It's only when women are in charge of what naked women you see on TV, or games, and in what context, that you MIGHT start to see meaningful sex. Sex should be a female issue, handled by women. The culture we have now is a great example of what happens when sex is handled by men.

Listen here.

I'm tired of people using RapeLay as an example, it was an underground game developed by a single person, not a large development studio. It was not meant to be public and does not at all reflect the general take Japanese society has on rape. Were the elements it consisted of morally wrong? Yes, but let me ask you this: Would you rather have someone live out their desires vicariously through a video game, or would your rather have them go outside into the world and commit those acts themselves? I'm not condoning that games like RapeLay should be accessible by the general public, only that you should look a little deeper than the surface to see the good and the bad. Have you played many erotica games? I'm guessing not, you would have a completely different outtake on how sex can be handled and used in games if you did. As someone who actually does have experience playing many Japanese and non-Japanese games involving or consisting entirely of erotic elements, I can say that sex and rape can very well be used to build emotional attachment to characters, I can also say that men have the capability to provide meaningful levels of sex in their games, it is not particular to either gender but rather the individual creator. Unless you've actually gone out there and looked at these games, played them and critiqued them, keep your opinion to yourself. And, instead of saying that a specific gender does one thing better than another gender why not promote that both genders can work in unison to bring out elements that appeal to both male and female audiences? Oh, wait, men can't be a part of the process can they? They'd just fuck it up right? So much for equality. Also, why the fuck can't I separate my god damn paragraphs? Is this some mystical power that only article authors are allowed to use?

Considering your claim to

Considering your claim to have experience with japanese erotic games, I'm surprised at you saying RapeLay was by a single dude for the underground scene. It was made by Illusion, one of the biggest eroge production companies in Japan, and is actually the third of such games to be made by them.

Rapelay

We at Illusion have continually apologized for the trauma our product has caused. Rapelay was only intended to teach young japanese girls the dangers of using deserted shortcuts while walking at night. We are troubled that the game's original purpose has been unfortunately skewed by the media and have learned our lesson on trying to teach via video games. Arigato

I've killed people in the

I've killed people in the games. I've shoot them, I've poked out their eyes, I've stepped on their heads till they bursted, I've ripped off their limbs, I ate their corpses, I spit/pee on their corpses, I've killed them even knowing that they have families and their reasons. It all was in games, covered in blood and guts and even sometimes with a pinch of humor. So why can't I have some sex in games as well? Rated 18 is for a reason.

sex in video games

A rating system has been put in place as now there are much more adult gamers out there now and games being catered to them. just like a 10 yr old in a video store. and there are many adult titles available to rent or buy so you wouldnt go and rent out faces of death for your children or blacks on blondes would you? The ratings are in place so you use them. i personally hope to see developers use the rating system to the full exstent! like differnt version of the same game etc. C, E, E10+,T,M,A were applicable.

seriously?

If you don't want sex in your video games then don't buy that video game, if you don't want your kids to play games with sex...don't buy it for them. If your kid can use a computer, chances are he has already seen naked women or men. or you could always try talking to your children about sex...try being a good parent regardless of your religious beliefs.

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