Saturday, December 11, 2010

Everything gamers want to know about sex (but were to busy playing to ask)

Posted By on Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Video games have spoken. And like Salt-N-Pepa, they want to talk about sex. Well maybe the games themselves don’t want to talk about sex, but the subject matter is often brought up. While the topic has been looked over since the controversial “Hot Coffee” patch in Grand Theft Auto: San Andres, the sexual content in video games has seen little to no action lately on the political front. Video game lovers though, are always finding something new to talk/gripe about. In two recent articles, both Kotaku and IGN have commented on the video game industry and sex. Before we get into the topic, can we please all remember the days when the worst sexual thing coming out of video games was Lara Croft and her pixilated mammary glands? Remember when THAT was taboo? Yeah, me neither.
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Now, to start off, Kotaku has published an article saying that Nintendo has hired Cyveillance, an internet monitoring group, to stop certain websites from using their products in sexual ways. No, the images are not used in a sexual act, but more used as a prop in pictures with scantly clothed women. While we can cry for the First Amendment all we want and tell  Nintendo about indecency and how we feel, Nintendo still maintains its right to try to protect its family-friendly image that it has been working on. Personally, there is nothing wrong with a geeky girl who knows her way around a joy err analog .. well a controller. In the IGN article, they review some of the more interesting sexual moments in games from 2010. The article touches on things that seem harmless (such as the waiting for your date to arrive in Dinner Date) to the jokes and innuendos about rape (in Red Dead Redemption).
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Possibly one of the most line-blurring moments in video game sex this year was the Heavy Rain sex scene and how closely you could control what happens between the characters. (Before anyone gets in an uproar over the God of War scenes, let me remind you that while you controlled your performance with pushing the right buttons, all the action was off-stage.) Heavy Rain’s scene involves Ethan Mars, in the midst of searching for his missing son, getting busy with fellow playable character Madison Paige. The uproar comes from the fact that the player controls when to kiss Madison, when to undress her and when to change positions, all on camera. Never mind the fact that earlier in the game, you take control of Madison in her apartment where she wears a tank and panties, showers, and then fights off intruders in the aforementioned attire, the sex scene is what is getting the most attention. I have not got to play the game using the Playstation Move patch for the quick time events yet, but I can only imagine where some people have taken this. In Dragon Age: Origins, players can initiate a sex scene with the elf Zevran, regardless of the sex of the character. While the scenes are not as intense as Heavy Rain’s, there’s just something unsettling about both scenes. And while the majority of sexual material is marketed towards men, don't forget that female gamers have their fair share of eye-candy too. Yes, there are unachievable standards that are set for men too.

In short; while sex is still a taboo topic, it still sells. Sexual content has become more graphic in recent years, with everyone from Pyramid Head in Silent Hill to the love scene in Mass Effect. While it is easy to blame the game companies and the content they allow, people tend to forget that people are sexual creatures. They forget that given the chance, any game can be made sexual. Even Little Big Planet. Don’t believe me? Just know that the videos are probably NSFW.

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