This is all well and good, love makes the world go round, love is all you need, it’s all so lovely et cetera, et cetera… but one thing I think we can all agree on is that there is a lack of content on the subject of sex.
In a nutshell, every medium has been sexualised in some way and games are definitely no exception.
|The Sims, woohoo-ing since 2000|
Video games have long been at the heart of controversy when it comes to mature content, there’s the quite terrifying Custer’s Revenge, where you play a naked (except for his hat and boots), ‘Colonel Custer’ and the aim of the game is to have sex with a tied up Indian woman…presumably against her will. Shocking, right? Well, this was in 1982 and it was a title on the Atari 2600. Of course there was a lot of protest over Custer’s Revenge however, the problem with controversy is that it generates attention, meaning more games sell.
This article is not about the controversy surrounding the subject of sex, I’m certainly not a prude and I am extremely comfortable with my sexuality, in my opinion ‘sex’ is not a taboo subject and thinking of it as such, is unhealthy. Games like Custer’s Revenge and Rapelay (you can go look that up if you really want, I don’t recommend that you do) aside, what really irks me about sex scenes in games is how badly conveyed they are.
It’s as if any scene explicitly or implicitly portraying sexual activity is utterly disjointed from reality. I don’t just mean that from an uncanny valley mindset, while virtual representations of human nature in any form are ultimately creepy, video game sex is so far away from real life that it feels as though it’s completely separate from the act it’s supposed to be representing.
It’s a combination of factors, however one of the culprits is an all too familiar bugbear of gamers in general; clunky dialogue. Bad dialogue and terrible scripting usually stems from a budget so small that the company has no choice but to hire random bystanders off the street to record their voice work.
|“And besides, I happen to like you. Crazy, Isn’t it?” Zevran, such a wordsmith!|
Another issue is that no matter how artsy or tasteful a sex scene in a game seems, ridiculous dialogue often takes the player out of the experience and reminds them that they are playing a game and this scene (according to the games writers) is absolutely necessary because in some way, you have been wired through mass-media to accept sexualised content, after all, we’re all just massive perverts and that’s okay, forget about that and keep watching because we won’t let you skip this part…w-wait stop trying to change the camera angle and pay attention to the wonderfully scripted and well thought out sensual dialogue we’ve so lovingly written. We wrote it like a film for you…
|Kratos gets ALL the ladies in the God Of War series…|
Sex in films is wholly unnecessary (unless of course you’re watching a porno in which case, do carry on), it rarely, if ever adds anything to a story. It just feels awkward (especially if you happen to be watching a film with your parents) and is unrealistic (ever felt the pressure to have sudden, passionate sex somewhere…maybe, but leave your bra on the whole time? Never).
|Hot coffee, anyone?|
Even titles based loosely in a real-world setting like the Grand Theft Auto games, who claim satire, exhibit sex in an at times grotesquely, honest way. Setting a game in a world where everything is based on reality, with the option to do things like yoga, go running, eat at fast food restaurants and drive around a landscape based on a real place or showing girls dancing in a strip club is fine.
Showing prostitutes at night, also fine. I often see them in a certain part of the town where I live if I walk around certain areas at night. I’m not blind to the fact they exist.
|Wonder what she’s so happy about, huh?|
Media hype doesn’t help either, Fox News (why are you surprised?) accused Mass Effect of ‘full digital nudity and sex’ which is a complete lie. Hyperbole and mass hysteria caused by uninformed media types and concerned parents does nothing but worsen things, but that’s a whole other issue for another time.