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August 15, 2005 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Sex & Games Finally, a place that seems to discuss sexuality in videogames as an adult topic. Brand new forum/blog/branch of the IGDA, their leadership is a) mostly female, b) commited to "The right of developers to work together to create sexually themed games free of censorship and regulation," and encouraging parental responsibility and c) a nice tonic for Jack Thompson's hysteria.
posted by WolfDaddy (9 comments total)

Sexuality in video games has been a point of adult discussion for years: just on the opposite end of the spectrum that you linked to.

Unfortunately for this group, the plausibility of game developers creating sexually themed is remote at best because the largest seller of video games in this country is Wal-Mart, who isn't about to start stocking Adult-Only games.

See how hard it is to find Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas now? That's how hard it would be to find a sexually-themed game.

Trust me, the industry is sexist enough for games like this, developers just don't want to touch them because they won't get sold.
posted by whoshotwho at 8:28 PM on August 15, 2005

whoshotwho: why can't adult video games be delivered ala Steam? High quality video is already delivered by porn websites everywhere. Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry and none of them even have to deal with Wal-Mart or any other megacorporation doppelgangers.
posted by tweak at 9:19 PM on August 15, 2005

Tweak : Because, I'd hazard, developers don't necessarily want to make games that are considered porn - just to have the freedom to deal with adult themes, including sexuality, without scaremongering and attendant media frenzy.

Take a film like Closer, which deals, rather darkly, with broken and damaged relationships in a frank and honest, and, well, yes, fairly cynical manner - why shouldn't game developers have the same latitude to make a game in a similar vein?

Or, to take a more light-hearted example, Sex And The City - what would really be so wrong with an RPG set in NY where you play out the everyday life of a sex-columnist? The industry gets enough flack as it for not making games that appeal to women, and currently were we to create a game that was similar to one of the most popular TV shows with lead women characters out there, we'd be lambasted and vilified. And not for copyright infringement.

I'm a little sick of being stuck in the thriller/action/horror/sports genres, and really don't see why games shouldn't be allowed to branch out.

Damn you, Jack Thompson, damn your black heart.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:51 PM on August 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

Now we can all get some sleep.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:26 PM on August 15, 2005

Take a film like Closer, which deals, rather darkly, with broken and damaged relationships in a frank and honest, and, well, yes, fairly cynical manner - why shouldn't game developers have the same latitude to make a game in a similar vein?

Fa├žade (free download), a first person game where you are invited over to dinner by a couple of old friends, had a cynical vibe similar to Closer, except the dialogue was far less witty. Though the dialogue was so dull and irritating I could picture it coming from a real couple.
posted by bobo123 at 11:10 PM on August 15, 2005

"mostly female" is a rather unnerving description.
posted by srboisvert at 12:53 AM on August 16, 2005

The Japanese have oodles of 'dating' sims.

It's about time we had something in this field. I suspect it's a riff on the "it's for kids" meme from people who still think it's the fifties.

Comic books are for kids, videogames are for kids, fantasy is for kids, etc. etc.

I suspect part of the appeal is that there is a sense that one does not have to work as hard for a product that is 'for kids.'
So you get inferior plotting, cliche'd writing, poorly developed character, melodramatic themes, etc. etc. - because it's 'for kids'

And yet the work that sells well, which is for kids, seems to be quality work - the Harry Potter series is fairly rich. Whether you like it or not, it's not the hackneyed commercial wanna-be 'cool' drivel that is geared toward youth.

Porn is much the same. Mostly because it's focused on a 10 minute or less attention span. But one can create quality work, porn that has some eros going for it, without resorting to hiring soulless whores & johns to hump listlessly before a static camera.

Perhaps it's guilt. We don't want something truly erotic because that would take us from the eros we have in relationships?
(I'm thinking the subtext in the movie A.I. where people wind up only having sex with robots)
But since empty titilation can be sold and the real thing can't, it's fairly obvious what we're probably going to keep getting.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:18 AM on August 16, 2005

The issue of sexuality seems to have more traction in the RPG category than in other types of games.

Well, a part of this reminds me of the Baldur's Gate II series. One of the features of that plotline is that your protagonist, who acts as a member of a team, can develop some romantic plotlines over the course of the series. There were of course some flaws in this. Three plotlines with female NPCs and but only one with a male NPC made it into production. This actually turned out to be a feature with quite a bit of popularity, with mods to include more NPCs as romantic characters, same-sex relationships and more explicit dialog.

Even though the resulting romances were played at a PG13 level, it's still something I find to be lacking in other games. (But then again the Baldur's Gate series seems to stand out in terms of games with character development.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:14 PM on August 16, 2005

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