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Old July 7th, 2016 (10:24 AM).
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machomuu machomuu is offline
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Do you think sex has any place in a video game?

The argument could be made that video games should be as free to show what they want and do what they want as a book, movie, show, or what have you. After all, there isn't really anything about the medium that makes it less fit for that type of freedom than anything else.

But whether it's ethically alright isn't the only factor here. There's also the matter of superfluity and shoehorning versus actual substance. In Heavy Rain, there is a point where you have sex with another character. Not a sex scene, though- you play through the scene and awkwardly do the motions with your controller to awkwardly watch and act out an awkward sex scene that really doesn't seem particularly warranted to begin with. Bioware's games are known for using sex scenes as positive sanctions for becoming romantically involved with a member of your party, and The Witcher has included sex scenes from the outset. Then there's God of War, GTA...the list goes on.

And how these are incorporated seems to vary as well. While some contain simple cutscenes, Huniepop has one of my favorite usages of sex in a game. Rather than simple getting a graphic and a description of what's happening or playing an animation or what have you, the game gives you a minigame to playthrough- a similar version of the game you've been playing all throughout your experience, but simplified to be focused on speed and quick thinking rather than careful thought and analysis. This would certainly be a way of gameifying sex and, from a design perspective, rather cleverly nods to the act itself and describes it brilliantly through interaction rather than showing or describing. Does this make the game better for it? Well, I'd leave that to you. And does it matter if it's gameified or a cutscene? If Heavy Rain is any indication, it certainly does not have the inherent effect of adding to the game, narrative, or potentially anything else.

But I'm ramblng at this point. Anyway, what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think sex has place in a video games? Are there games that incorporate it particularly well? Do you think the game industry, as it is so far, is handling it the right/wrong way?
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Old July 7th, 2016 (10:55 AM).
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Arsenic Arsenic is online now
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My opinion on this is very simple. If I want porn I will watch porn. I play games to adventure, fight, and experience something new.

So I'm not a big fan of it. Most of the time it's just awkward to boot.

I hate sex scenes in movies as-well.

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Old July 7th, 2016 (11:03 AM). Edited July 7th, 2016 by Zeria.
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Sex absolutely has a place in the video game industry. It's not a socially unacceptable act - generally speaking, obviously circumstances vary culturally but I'm not going to get bogged down in that point - and it's a powerful tool when used correctly in all other forms of entertainment media. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever it shouldn't have a place in the video game industry. The problem lies not in the act itself, but in how it is portrayed in the industry today. The industry is at fault.

Are there any video games that incorporate it well? No. At least, not in Western mainstream media, not in my opinion. The AAA industry is still a very testosterone-fuelled environment, and sex scenes are utterly cringeworthy and embarrassing, and used as a reward mechanic, rather than a meaningful device. They demean and objectify female characters and promote a very sexist and generally distasteful attitude which in no way contributes to the narrative. They serve no purpose other than to give a very false illusion of a mature tone that is in fact all the more childish for its dismissal of it and its reinforcement of the kind of attitudes and values that infuriate so many people and spark all these controversies.

Perhaps one could liken it to casual sex in reality, rather than the more traditional deep romantic relationship one associates with sex as a rule. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this without the attitude it promotes as a result of the presentation of the game, and if it fits the game tonally then perhaps it IS acceptable, no matter how distasteful you might find it personally. I mean, nobody is forcing you to do the sex minigames in God of War for example, and they definitely fit the game's tone, so whilst having them in there serves no practical purpose, it's not going to do any additional damage, because the game is already a muk show as far as these things are concerned.

What really bothers me is that sex CAN be used as a very powerful and meaningful plot device, and more games should strive to do this if they are going to do it at all. I want to use Katawa Shoujo as an example here, because it's poignant stuff. It's used to drive the plot, but it's done in meaningful ways - it's not just a reward device like it is in a lot of visual novels. Emi, for example, you will have sex with multiple times, but it disguises her deep-seated insecurities and unwillingness to let people into her heart, so the act itself has no meaning whatsoever. It's a subversion of expectations. Rin will FORCE you into helping her masturbate, but then she shuts you out completely; the act isn't erotic at all in how its done and even on her good route towards the end is more of a catharsis than a romantic act because of how Rin is. Lilly has the traditional romantic relationship route, but there is still a distance between you, and it's not all one-sided: she actually corners your character in the bath knowing full well what that would lead to. Hanako you practically RAPE - she even admits afterwards she let you do it because she didn't want to lose you, and it's a severe communication misfire that can lead to an explosive breakup or a heart-warming understanding. Even in Shizune's route you have the chance to sleep with Misha, and if you do it royally buggers your relationship. In that ONE GAME you have more diversity and meaning in sex than the entire AAA video game industry. Done by a team of amateur developers who made the one game. Which has a horribly controversial title and is regarded as gross fetishism by a lot of people for its content. It's completely free to download. It started life on 4Chan. Do I need to go on to highlight how disgraceful the AAA industry is when it comes to this?

This is something bothers me, too - initiation. It's always the player character, or the male. God help a woman who wants to initiate a romantic encounter, or an NPC who might show interest in the player character. It's always the same song and dance: you pick someone you like, you woo them, you initiate. Sex is a two-way street, and I'd like it a lot more if other characters showed an interest in you and tried to actively win you over regardless of who you were interested in WITHOUT coming across as the sexually promiscuous type interested in one thing and one thing only. It's all so artlessly done.

The industry is handling sex the wrong way - it's a one-way reward device/motivational tool in most cases, and not the meaningful culmination of a relationship or a plot-enhancing device the way it ought to be. It's pandering of the worst kind, and it's utterly cringeworthy. I believe sex has a place in the industry, but the industry needs to grow up, get over itself, and start handling it with responsibility and due care if it is going to include it at all. Also, diversity, my GOD. Please.
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Old July 8th, 2016 (9:48 PM).
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Karous Karous is offline
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I have to agree with Meloetta. I dislike how sex is portrayed in popular media (not just video games) for many of the same reasons they mentioned; funnily enough I sometimes cover my eyes when a heterosexual couple kisses in a movie when I feel the relationship has been developed poorly because it's just that distasteful to me. And I'm about the farthest thing from a prude.
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