Talk Awkwardly to Me

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Talk Awkwardly to Me

Videogames are ready to take on casual sex. Monogamy? Not so much.

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BioWare stumbled at an even more fundamental level, however, by working from the assumption that there needs to be that sort of relationship at all. Set aside thoughts about how wildly inappropriate it is for a commanding officer to play hide the pickle with an enlisted man and consider instead the simple realities of life on a small starship. Cramped quarters, great stretches of tedium punctuated by moments of off-the-charts stress and not a whole hell of a lot to do; you stare at a glowing monitor in 12-on, 12-off shifts, you eat the same reconstituted grey crap for every meal of every day and there's a very good chance that you're going to snap and beat the holy hell out of the next person who asks "What's new?" as he walks past your station.

Remember--_Mass Effect_ was not "reality": it really looks back to the kind of future envisioned in _Star Trek: The Next Generation_ where the first officer has a beard that screams DAMN I'M SMOOTH! and the ship's Supreme Court Justice counselor is an empath.

And those two play hide the pickle in the half-alien.

Notice the statement being made by having Ashley--a woman--be the member of your team with the soldier class while Kaidan--a male--is given the closest thing to a 'healer' class? I always got the idea from _Mass Effect_ that the military would be more _Star Trek: TNG_ than 'grizzled space marine' future military. I mean, this is a military where you only have to shave for medal ceremonies--DAMN WE'RE SMOOTH--and they let cripples pilot experimental spaceships. We're talking about a future where even military assets are handicap accessible: maybe the romance didn't work for you because you mistook the future setting for one much less...evolved than the one they were going for.

The sex scene in Mass Effect was just an awkward scene that made my parents doubt what games I play..

Seriously, I talked to Liara three times before that and then she starts talking about how she feels a connection and blah blah blah and you have sex. Love doesn't work like that Bioware!

I had my female Shepard go for Liara (that sexy blue octopus-haired alien), and found the experience quite rewarding and realistic.
Realistic, that is, considering I was the elite right hand of a multi-species counsel sent to save the galaxy from an evil race of machines. I also purchased weapons and armor from a floating pink jellyfish.

Maybe it's just that I am the Target Gamer Demographic, but I approve of and enjoyed the portrayal of sex in both The Witcher and Mass Effect. I look forward to seeing new games that portray sex in other ways.

What medium does portray monogamous relationships in a realistic manner? Romance Novels? Lifetime Movies? Reality TV?

Why should games be held to any different standard?

Surprisingly, I agree.

The approach Mass Effect had to it's sex scene was poorly executed. While the scene itself was very tastefully done, it came to us in one of two fashions. A) Out of nowhere, or B) Expected from the very beginning.

In real life, sex isn't "expected" (unless you're French), and it most certainly doesn't "come out of nowhere" (unless you're Catholic.) Unfortunately, The Witcher's approach to sex (i.e.- you give woman money; woman has sex with you) is much more realistic.

This is going to sound silly, but games should make the player feel like they have to earn sex, since sex doesn't come at the push of a button (unless you're French Catholic.)

If american developers want to include sexual relations in their games then they need to start looking at games from across the pond. More specifically the Japanese. Questions of the "why" need to be asked in order to understand.

As for public attacks developers need to have a basic representative that is tactful by being tactless. The representative essentially needs to basically get down and dirty with any dissenter by asking the personal questions to the host about sex and sexual relationships and at the same time also explain the rating of the game and why that rating allows them to explore relationships. Finally the last step for dissenters about having their kids play is to toss the question back at the dissenter bascially telling the dissenter to be a parent and how the ratings are a guide but still takes a parent to parent their child if they find buying an M rated game for an eleven year old is acceptable. Have the dissenter feel accountable and not the game developer. Developers need to be able to say this "I am not their child's parent. I am not here to tell them what is wrong or right".

The sex in Mass Effect was joke. It was just there so they could sell more copies. I don't think it was really anything more than a clever way to raise sales. The FOX smear campaign, for example. You know what's really effective for causing people to buy games just out of curiosity? Tell them that it's "dangerous" and that they shouldn't buy it. BioWare was launching a new IP, which is always risky, because the game might not be that good. I thought the game was interesting, but not enough to buy a copy rather than borrowing one from my friend. It had repetitive explorations and the cut scenes were ridiculous.

What the sex very carefully achieved was consumer identity with core gamers. When it became an issue of gamers vs. the right-wing media it created a number of things that were very useful in driving sales up. Firstly, they'd penetrated the mainstream media, which meant their profile was up among people who weren't usually going to buy games. Secondly, they'd got it in FOX, and as such, it had been portrayed with an obvious bias (a few seconds of naked derriere =/= pornography, and FOX also ran the game contained sodomy, which it doesn't, because you can't have Male on Male in the game). This bias drove up gamer support for the game. Lastly, the element of "this game has a lot of sex in it" was introduced (this is, of course, a boldface lie, but to the unskeptical consumer, it sounded like they'd let an NC-17 film pick up an R rating). So of course, everyone wanted to go check the thing out, and see for themselves.

I think Andy's right, that the way sex is going to make it into our games in a normal way will be the same way it makes it into all the shows on HBO and Showtime. You don't have to have some contrived "we're in true love, let's bang nasty!" to get it there. You can just go: "These characters like to have sex, because MOST PEOPLE LIKE TO HAVE SEX."

I played Mass Effect as a proper loner, angry and moody (or Renegade, if you want to use the games parlance) and yet I still got chatted up (badly) by Liara and Ashley. I ended up avoiding any romantic or sexual encounter, due to not liking most of the characters in the game (Garrus and Tali excepted).

However, Bioware did get a few relationships right (in my opinion) in their earlier games, Baldur's Gate 2 and Neverwinter Nights. The characters in the earlier games felt more "real" despite the fact you get to see a portrait picture and a basic character model. I guess it avoided the uncanny valley by having less detail.

The whole "cinematic" idea around the interactions in Mass Effect really didn't work for me at all.

Bioware is guilty cause they threw in the cheap little side quest of banging your shipmates to blatantly get kids to want to play the game just that much more, but it is rated mature, so criticising it for that is the same as saying teenage girls in their underwear don't belong in a Jason movie. I think it's just that people who don't play videogames still see it as a children's past time. But the industry doesn't really make too many attempts to market itself to an adult audience beyond the fact that they use adult themes in their games. So really it's just gonna keep going round and round but it doesn't matter, because as long as games make money they won't be going anywhere.

mkg:
Bioware is guilty cause they threw in the cheap little side quest of banging your shipmates to blatantly get kids to want to play the game just that much more,

HobbesMkii:
The sex in Mass Effect was joke. It was just there so they could sell more copies. I don't think it was really anything more than a clever way to raise sales.

I wonder why you two saw it that way. I didn't think it was anything but a natural progression from the direction they were already moving in with KOTOR.

I think Andy's right, that the way sex is going to make it into our games in a normal way will be the same way it makes it into all the shows on HBO and Showtime. You don't have to have some contrived "we're in true love, let's bang nasty!" to get it there.

I think you and Andy are looking at it backwards: I don't think the intent was to ever put sex in the game (at least as far as the encounter you two are talking about). The intent was to put a *romantic relationship* in the game and sex is part of a romantic relationship.

Don't criticize a game for not doing something well that the game never intended to do in the first place: I think you two misunderstood the goals of BioWare--the intent wasn't to put sex in the game, the intent was to put romance in the game and not to artificially shy away from the things that entails, like sex.

Also, as far as non-romantic sex, that's actually in the game: depending on your actions, there can be a sex scene with Sha'ira the Asari consort in the Citadel.

headshotcatcher:

Seriously, I talked to Liara three times before that and then she starts talking about how she feels a connection and blah blah blah and you have sex. Love doesn't work like that Bioware!

Maybe not for humans, but for an alien species that lives hundreds of years longer than most other species and who belong to a culture that encourages its members to breed with other species and avoid purebloods, maybe it does! I mean, doesn't Liara say that Asari often don't form long lasting relationships with their mates because of the difficulties posed by the long Asari lifespan?

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Don't criticize a game for not doing something well that the game never intended to do in the first place: I think you two misunderstood the goals of BioWare--the intent wasn't to put sex in the game, the intent was to put romance in the game and not to artificially shy away from the things that entails, like sex.

Also, as far as non-romantic sex, that's actually in the game: depending on your actions, there can be a sex scene with Sha'ira the Asari consort in the Citadel.

Maybe not for humans, but for an alien species that lives hundreds of years longer than most other species and who belong to a culture that encourages its members to breed with other species and avoid purebloods, maybe it does! I mean, doesn't Liara say that Asari often don't form long lasting relationships with their mates because of the difficulties posed by the long Asari lifespan?

I'm a bit skeptical that sex was just the baggage of including romantic relationships.

Sex is not something that writers have to force out in order to exclude. There is arguably an art of implying sex without showing it--something that really developed in film during the days of the Hays Code. Sex is also not necessarily where romantic relationships will go. Believe it or not, sex and love are different things, and it's probably easier to write a relationship without it getting into sex (at least for a long while) than it is to write one with it.

Sex is a hard thing to write, ESPECIALLY in a relationship. Casual sex is easy because you can just throw it in there--like posters have been saying, people are animals and seek sex just for its gratification. But in a relationship, sex is a lot more awkward, because it can transcend its normally physical intentions (not that there's anything wrong with casual sex), possibly risking a negative change in the relationship. Because sex with heart pangs is a lot more intimate, it comes with a load of complications.

For the context of video games, that doesn't just mean that the players need to work harder to earn sex. It means the writers do too. It requires a degree of finesse and build-up that was not present in Mass Effect.

These characters were not only growing closer as companions, but also had job-related reasons NOT to pursue sex. The reason why the sex in Mass Effect feels awkward and fake is because it really wasn't awkward enough. Where were their second thoughts? Why wasn't there at least some adrenaline in breaking the rules? You pick a couple smooth lines and they jump right into it. It skips any opportunities for characterization in preparing for, during, and AFTER the sex. They put casual sex into close relationships and that's where they failed.

So since they didn't put much effort into transforming close relationships into more intimate sexual relationships, I don't think that the goal of doing so was their reason for including sex. I think they included sex because it had titilation factor. This is supported by them only including lesbo sex and not male-male sex (when there could have been a development between male Shepard and Kaidan), and justifying it by saying the (by all appearances and mannerisms) female-only race is really androgynous. Yeah, right. We all know the core audience loves lesbos but hates the gay. That's why what should be an at best interesting and at worst freakish hermy alien species looks anatomically similar to attractive human females.

SykoSilver:
I'm a bit skeptical that sex was just the baggage of including romantic relationships.

Sex is not something that writers have to force out in order to exclude.

I disagree when it comes to Mass Effect--these people are in the middle of a mission to save the galaxy. Can't exactly cut away to a scene of them in one's members apartment making scrambled eggs with gusto, or cut to a montage with some twee music playing in the background as the two people get ice cream and take walks in the park. Basically, the only way they could be emotionally intimate given the circumstance was to be physically intimate.

Sex is a hard thing to write, ESPECIALLY in a relationship.

Just because it's hard to write doesn't mean it's easy to exclude. It's *tempting* to exclude because it's hard to write, but, that's different from it being *easy* to do so.

For the context of video games, that doesn't just mean that the players need to work harder to earn sex. It means the writers do too. It requires a degree of finesse and build-up that was not present in Mass Effect.

I guess we disagree--I thought that degree of finesse and build-up was there. Especially in the case of Liara: it seems the Asari have a different approach to these issues due to their culture and longevity.

These characters were not only growing closer as companions, but also had job-related reasons NOT to pursue sex. The reason why the sex in Mass Effect feels awkward and fake is because it really wasn't awkward enough. Where were their second thoughts? Why wasn't there at least some adrenaline in breaking the rules?

Like I said in one of the comments above, I think because the world of Mass Effect isn't supposed to be our world. The world of Mass Effect felt very 'evolved': like I said above, it reminded me a lot of Star Trek TNG as far as male-female interactions. We can't just assume our culture is their culture--how do you know any rules were being broken in the first place, that there was any reason for second thoughts?

I mean, even in a less 'feminist' sci-fi world like Dune, the role that sex plays is much different than that which it plays in our world.

Finally, why are you focusing on how "awkward and fake" the sex is when for our world, the interactions between military personnel are pretty awkward and fake? I mean, a female Shepard and Ashley just start chatting away like the Normandy is some kind of college dorm. We're going to start worrying about the realism of the sex when you've got a naval officer and marine NCO gossiping away?

You know what would have been hot? If a female Shepard and Ashley played cat's cradle while they talked...yeah...hotness...

You pick a couple smooth lines and they jump right into it. It skips any opportunities for characterization in preparing for, during, and AFTER the sex. They put casual sex into close relationships and that's where they failed.

So since they didn't put much effort into transforming close relationships into more intimate sexual relationships,

Again--I disagree. Remember: if you do wind up doing the romantic subplot, you do it with the member you decided to save while sacrificing the other. And like I said above the Asari are a special case.

I don't think that the goal of doing so was their reason for including sex. I think they included sex because it had titilation factor. This is supported by them only including lesbo sex and not male-male sex

Then why didn't they include male-male romance in KOTOR where there's no sex scene? That's what's strange to me about people seeing this as some kind of cynical move on BioWare's part: this is not the first RPG BioWare has made where there is a romance subplot going on. Why are people seeing this as some kind of new development and not as the logical extension of BioWare's m.o.?

Yeah, right. We all know the core audience loves lesbos but hates the gay.

Well then, how do you know it was for the titillation factor, and not for the avoidance of backlash factor?

Andy_Panthro:
I played Mass Effect as a proper loner, angry and moody (or Renegade, if you want to use the games parlance) and yet I still got chatted up (badly) by Liara and Ashley.

So they did a really good job with the realism there what with chicks always looking to fix the bad boy outsider ;-D

I have to agree with the article that so far the Witcher handles sex much better than any other game out there. Sure, he's a womanizer, but at least the "boob card" mechanic perfectly matches his attitude towards women.

HardRockSamurai:
Surprisingly, I agree.

The approach Mass Effect had to it's sex scene was poorly executed. While the scene itself was very tastefully done, it came to us in one of two fashions. A) Out of nowhere, or B)Expected from the very beginning.

In real life, sex isn't "expected" (unless you're French), and it most certainly doesn't "come out of nowhere" (unless you're Catholic.) Unfortunately, The Witcher's approach to sex (i.e.- you give woman money; woman has sex with you) is much more realistic.

This is going to sound silly, but games should make the player feel like they have to earn sex, since sex doesn't come at the push of a button (unless you're French Catholic.)

You make some good points, but I think the best way to include sex/relationships realistically is to throw a bit of randomness into the equation. As it is now, relationships in games feel hollow because you are essentially just learning how to "work the system". Dealing with a real human being never works like that because just when you think you've got someone figured out, some new aspect of their personality appears and throws you for a loop.

Tenmar:
If american developers want to include sexual relations in their games then they need to start looking at games from across the pond. More specifically the Japanese. Questions of the "why" need to be asked in order to understand.

Seriously? Though Japanese games have sex/relationships in there games a lot more often than Western games, I fail to see how they are any less juvenile.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

headshotcatcher:

Seriously, I talked to Liara three times before that and then she starts talking about how she feels a connection and blah blah blah and you have sex. Love doesn't work like that Bioware!

Maybe not for humans, but for an alien species that lives hundreds of years longer than most other species and who belong to a culture that encourages its members to breed with other species and avoid purebloods, maybe it does! I mean, doesn't Liara say that Asari often don't form long lasting relationships with their mates because of the difficulties posed by the long Asari lifespan?

I think the situation was exactly the same for Ashley, only I hadn't talked to her at all.. (But she also did notice there was 'something' between shepard and her:P

I agreed with this article. In fact, I thought all of the character development in Mass Effect was terribly stilted and clumsy.

boholikeu:

Tenmar:
If american developers want to include sexual relations in their games then they need to start looking at games from across the pond. More specifically the Japanese. Questions of the "why" need to be asked in order to understand.

Seriously? Though Japanese games have sex/relationships in there games a lot more often than Western games, I fail to see how they are any less juvenile.

I wrote that because the Japanese dating sims have existed in the video game industry for a long time and have learned to tell dramatic stories and create meaningful relationships between characters both for the player and the cast.

The question of "Why" is to get western developers thinking on how to understand why games that involve mature content of relationships work in Japan's video game industry. Why games with the same content as books and movies can be sold to teenagers without worry.

Right now the only thing that is hurting the japanese video game industry is the United States with the neo-feminist movement pushing a different culture and moral code onto another country but that only affects the adult japanese dating sims. There are still a lot of games that allow meaningful relationships that are actually sold on the consoles.

Here is a good example that is not complained and has romantic relationships between characters. Persona 4 published by Atlus here in the states. You get to play as a teenage boy and well over half of the game is being a dating simulator. Sure there is an RPG dungeon crawler in the game but what makes the RPG elements unique is the dating simulator and remember that is the fourth in the series. The first Persona existed on the Playstation.

Tenmar:

Right now the only thing that is hurting the japanese video game industry is the United States with the neo-feminist movement pushing a different culture and moral code onto another country but that only affects the adult japanese dating sims.

1) there's nothing wrong with pushing a different culture and a moral code onto another country if their culture and moral code violates fundamental, universal human rights. Cultural relativism is one thing, but moral relativism is another. Not saying that is or is not the case when it comes to adult japanese dating sims, but just because something is happening inside a different set of lines on a map does not mean it's off limits;

2) I have no idea what "the neo-feminist movement" is. I know of the third wave of feminism, but I really haven't heard of them being much involved in the discussion of adult japanese dating sims.

Casual sex in any form of fiction dose not require much writing or depth...or effort other than getting past the censors.... relationships on the other hand tend to reuire more work than the average dev is willing to invest in a script or writers......

Now on to Mass effect bashing, the story is neat and so is the fiction however the writing and dialog tended to be simple to the point it hurt itself, the characters were varied and had some depth but their development was poor. IE the game started above average, sunk to average quickly and stayed there. Not saying ME is bad but its less a gem and more a shiny chunk of metal....

I like your point about it being a logical outcome in the boring swap-in swap-out lifestyle you described. Mass effect just went about it in a weird way, trying to actually incorporate romance into it. Had it just been the result of boredom, where they hook up as a result of just being there, then it would have been a bit more enveloped into how the game runs. It would be interesting to actually see that happen in a game.

I agree, and I really didn't think I would.

I do still think the relationship mechanics in BioWare's games are very good, and probably the best out there at the moment. Baldur's Gate II had the option to get involved with one of the NPCs, and it didn't have a sex scene, unlike Mass Effect. I still thought the relationship dialogues were very well done, and served to provide additional layers to the NPCs and round out their personalities better.

And yet, like this article says, I never actually finished the love quests because I didn't think it really made sense in the context of a world-destroying cataclysm. Much though I liked the NPCs, I couldn't shake the feeling that there were more important things to be doing: saving the world, for instance. Of course, it didn't help that the NPC I was getting involved with was the ex-wife of a dead NPC who had been one of my favourite characters. The point is, I think this article hit the nail on the head when it talks about the fact that actual relationships are extremely unlikely to occur during events like those in BGII and ME.

I still think BioWare are at the forefront of providing mature "adult" content in videogames, and they're doing it better than pretty much every other developer out there. That doesn't mean it's perfect; far from it, in fact, but they're still very good at it. Like you said, we're just going to have to wait a little longer before sex and relationships in games work like they do in real life.

headshotcatcher:

Seriously, I talked to Liara three times before that and then she starts talking about how she feels a connection and blah blah blah and you have sex. Love doesn't work like that Bioware!

If you're James Bond, it does.

Anachronism:

And yet, like this article says, I never actually finished the love quests because I didn't think it really made sense in the context of a world-destroying cataclysm...The point is, I think this article hit the nail on the head when it talks about the fact that actual relationships are extremely unlikely to occur during events like those in BGII and ME.

...

Like you said, we're just going to have to wait a little longer before sex and relationships in games work like they do in real life.

Thing is, none of us have ever been in the context of a world-destroying cataclysm, so why do we expect sex and relationships in games work like they do in real life when the context of our real lives is so much different than that in these games?

I think it made perfect sense: when the whole world is falling apart, a lot of barriers are going to fall and people are going to act on their emotions and take refuge in whatever meaningful personal connections are available to them. We see that all the time in the real world in the context of lesser events.

BehattedWanderer:
Had it just been the result of boredom, where they hook up as a result of just being there, then it would have been a bit more enveloped into how the game runs.

I didn't get the impression that there was any boredom: I think the OP just assumed that the military lifestyle we know today is the military lifestyle of the Mass Effect world without any support for that being the case. I saw a world that didn't look like one where "you eat the same reconstituted grey crap for every meal of every day"; to me, it looked a lot more like the world of Capt. Picard complaining that Earl Grey was not yet programmed into the Enterprise's replicator system.

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Thing is, none of us have ever been in the context of a world-destroying cataclysm, so why do we expect sex and relationships in games work like they do in real life when the context of our real lives is so much different than that in these games?

I think it made perfect sense: when the whole world is falling apart, a lot of barriers are going to fall and people are going to act on their emotions and take refuge in whatever meaningful personal connections are available to them. We see that all the time in the real world in the context of lesser events.

I see your point, but I would have thought that in the events like those in BGII or ME, people aren't going to want serious relationships. In those situations, anyone could be killed at any time; you never know quite what's going to happen. As such, you probably wouldn't want to get too close to someone in case something happens to them. Casual sex would actually be more believable in those scenarios: if people are getting rid of their inhibitions because of the end of the world, I think that's a far more likely outcome than a meaningful, lasting relationship.

Anachronism:

Like you said, we're just going to have to wait a little longer before sex and relationships in games work like they do in real life.

Bioware have shown that they can do Romance, have we all forgotten Bastilia from KOTOR? That didnt even have a sex scene, just one small kiss, and even that was not shown but the implications of it were felt thought the remainder of the game.
The build up made sense, Bastila goes from a stuck up high and mighty jedi to insecure and broken all because of your actions.

I had both ashley and Liara in the position where they bone me, but only Liara turned up so i to go with her. I really didnt like the sex scenes, and after you had done it it may as not have happened. No snide comments from other team members, no jealousy form Ashley, no more conversation between Shepard and Liara. It felt shoehorned in.

Anachronism:

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Thing is, none of us have ever been in the context of a world-destroying cataclysm, so why do we expect sex and relationships in games work like they do in real life when the context of our real lives is so much different than that in these games?

I think it made perfect sense: when the whole world is falling apart, a lot of barriers are going to fall and people are going to act on their emotions and take refuge in whatever meaningful personal connections are available to them. We see that all the time in the real world in the context of lesser events.

I see your point, but I would have thought that in the events like those in BGII or ME, people aren't going to want serious relationships. In those situations, anyone could be killed at any time; you never know quite what's going to happen. As such, you probably wouldn't want to get too close to someone in case something happens to them.

Exactly--and you might be the one getting killed! Why not get close to someone in case something happens to both of you?

Casual sex would actually be more believable in those scenarios: if people are getting rid of their inhibitions because of the end of the world, I think that's a far more likely outcome than a meaningful, lasting relationship.

Well one, in Liara's case, there's no guarantee that she's looking for a meaningful, lasting relationship. It doesn't seem to be the Asari way to stick with a mate for too long--to an Asari, *any* relationship with a member from as short-lived a species as humans isn't going to be "lasting" to an Asari given how long they live.

Two, don't confuse intent with outcome. A lot of casual sex isn't actually about "people's more primitive urges - in particular, the urge to stick bits of themselves into other people" as the OP so charmingly put it. A lot of casual sex is about "hey--I kinda like you, but maybe not enough to pursue a relationship with you"; there would BE a lot more casual sex if not for the inhibition of 'what if one of us develops feelings for the other person?'. Not all inhibitions are about prudishness restraining our primitive urges: a lot of them are about not wanting to get into an emotional mess. I don't even know if I'd say that the romance in Mass Effect was supposed to be "lasting." There's a wide range of situations in between near-anonymous, purely physical casual sex and something out of The Princess Bride. Something to keep in mind when discussing casual sex vs. romance.

Three, granting what you say that it a far more likely outcome for the sake of argument, BioWare wasn't setting out to make a gritty, realistic portrait of the future. This is a grand space opera--why are we looking for realism here? I mean, the Normandy is full of incredible star maps and sick bays with medigel dispensers, but I don't remember seeing a latrine anywhere.

Why are we criticizing Mass Effect for giving us romance over casual sex when everything else we're given in the game is romantic in the literary sense? That's like criticizing the game for giving us a confrontation with Wrex over something central to the Mass Effect universe and not because we like, used up all the hot water and he really wanted to take a shower.

And thanks for the BGII spolier alert ;-D

Tenmar:

boholikeu:

Tenmar:
If american developers want to include sexual relations in their games then they need to start looking at games from across the pond. More specifically the Japanese. Questions of the "why" need to be asked in order to understand.

Seriously? Though Japanese games have sex/relationships in there games a lot more often than Western games, I fail to see how they are any less juvenile.

I wrote that because the Japanese dating sims have existed in the video game industry for a long time and have learned to tell dramatic stories and create meaningful relationships between characters both for the player and the cast.

The question of "Why" is to get western developers thinking on how to understand why games that involve mature content of relationships work in Japan's video game industry. Why games with the same content as books and movies can be sold to teenagers without worry.

Right now the only thing that is hurting the japanese video game industry is the United States with the neo-feminist movement pushing a different culture and moral code onto another country but that only affects the adult japanese dating sims. There are still a lot of games that allow meaningful relationships that are actually sold on the consoles.

Here is a good example that is not complained and has romantic relationships between characters. Persona 4 published by Atlus here in the states. You get to play as a teenage boy and well over half of the game is being a dating simulator. Sure there is an RPG dungeon crawler in the game but what makes the RPG elements unique is the dating simulator and remember that is the fourth in the series. The first Persona existed on the Playstation.

Well, the main reasons dating sims are more popular over here (I live in Japan) are largely cultural, though probably not in the way you suspect. Dating sims are regarded by the general public in Japan pretty with pretty much the same amount of contempt that they are in the US. The only difference is that dorks here in Japan are so much more ostracized that they really don't care what other people think anymore. It's the same reason you see phenomenon like anatomically correct figures or maid cafes.

Also, I'm happy to tell you that the "neo-feminist movement" has had no affect whatsoever on the Japanese game market. They were having financial problems long before that. It's part of the reason why so many Japanese devs are up in arms now about how to make a game that appeals to Western audiences.

That thing about love in Dragon age which was shown at E3 was just terrible...

The problem with the theme of sex in gaming is that it is often viewed of as a taboo in society. There was a lot of controversy about the Hot Coffee incident in GTA: San Andreas, as well as the one mentioned in Mass Effect. I have nothing against it as a topic personally in gaming, but after so long with it as a thing of censorship it will take a while to get used to putting it in anyway.

This 'specialization' of sex, and how it is taboo and 'oh noes'!

Sometimes it really goes way too far...though I suppose I should blame our Puritan-origins..

I don't even think movies portray sex for its own sake realistically. Most depictions are, well pointless. It's not like a JRPG will have a serious sidequest about the main hero's inability to get it up with his wife, and you have to seek counseling. There will never be bad backs, or actually serious discussion on what it means to have to deal with viewing people as sexual objects. It's just naked chicks and impossible sex.

Tbh, given how scarily fans of almost any game add fan-created works that focus often solely on sex, I don't think there is much a lack of that. As an older gamer surfing the net, I don't think people really understand how non-puritan we are. Rule 34 comes to mind. We probably need less focus on sex altogether.

i cant force myself to have an opinion about the topic of sex in games really...
truth is, sex sells. i think that a lot of people try to look into the hows/whys/whats about sex in games and the reasons or justifications it should have, but really just end up thinking too much about it.

Hmm I think the first sex in game, for me, was Price of Persia: the sand of time.

And I see no problem with it. It did feel a tad shoehorned in though..

I don't think sex has ever been done well in games, I don't even understand where he gets off saying the Witcher did sex well...

One thing that does bug me though, blacking out sex scenes, I'm not saying they have to make it graphic but censorship bugs me enough, why bring more of it?

Also, I've never ever ever seen someone in a game I could fall in love with, and the concept of simulated love just sounds silly to me.

boholikeu:

Tenmar:

boholikeu:

Tenmar:
If american developers want to include sexual relations in their games then they need to start looking at games from across the pond. More specifically the Japanese. Questions of the "why" need to be asked in order to understand.

Seriously? Though Japanese games have sex/relationships in there games a lot more often than Western games, I fail to see how they are any less juvenile.

I wrote that because the Japanese dating sims have existed in the video game industry for a long time and have learned to tell dramatic stories and create meaningful relationships between characters both for the player and the cast.

The question of "Why" is to get western developers thinking on how to understand why games that involve mature content of relationships work in Japan's video game industry. Why games with the same content as books and movies can be sold to teenagers without worry.

Right now the only thing that is hurting the japanese video game industry is the United States with the neo-feminist movement pushing a different culture and moral code onto another country but that only affects the adult japanese dating sims. There are still a lot of games that allow meaningful relationships that are actually sold on the consoles.

Here is a good example that is not complained and has romantic relationships between characters. Persona 4 published by Atlus here in the states. You get to play as a teenage boy and well over half of the game is being a dating simulator. Sure there is an RPG dungeon crawler in the game but what makes the RPG elements unique is the dating simulator and remember that is the fourth in the series. The first Persona existed on the Playstation.

Well, the main reasons dating sims are more popular over here (I live in Japan) are largely cultural, though probably not in the way you suspect. Dating sims are regarded by the general public in Japan with pretty much the same amount of contempt that they are in the US. The only difference is that dorks here in Japan are so much more ostracized that they really don't care what other people think anymore. It's the same reason you see phenomenon like anatomically correct figures or maid cafes.

I have noticed that.

From what little I've seen so far, it still seems to come out as a plus for Japanese games in that regard. Regardless of how the popularity comes about, sex in certain genres of video game is still an accepted trait (it's looked down upon, but not an out-and-out taboo), and it's therefore been growing with the industry. Most ren'ai otaku may be creepier than mainstream gamers, but that doesn't stop them from being a discerning audience. That plus the fact that sex is far more common in Japanese games (of whatever kind) than in American games means Sturgeon's Law is in full swing; 90% of dating sims may be nothing more than porn you have to work for, but there are quite a few wonderfully written works that get it right.

...I'm hoping, since I kinda inadvertently went nuts at the J-List booth at Comic Con. My experience has been somewhat limited thus far (though I'm perfectly willing to defend Fate/Stay Night's sex scenes).

As a side note, I'm not quite willing to defend certain...other aspects of otaku culture. Repression breeds some weird shit. Maid cafes seemed to be the least of it while I was over there...

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