Is there a lasting appeal to video game sex?

A couple of years ago I played Mass Effect, and as things went down, I went to bed with Aria. Right now I'm wondering why that made so much of an impact on me. Well, not the graphic aspect of having video game sex, because that was quite poor in that game, but the factual relationship with a video game character. It may have just been the "dazzling new dialog technology" of ME, but I think that the reason I still remember it is partly because of the relationship accumulating in sex. Especially as the relationship was carried over, or at least hinted to, in ME2.

In other games, such as God of War, sex is just a thing because... Well, sex. There sex in video games loses quite a lot of meaning to me. When you have it in there because the age rating already is "M". I doesn't make sense to me, because if you ever needed to let of "steam", there is the internet, or real girls/boys. Even in GoW, the graphic aspect of it isn't much to talk about. The sex there is trivialized beyond meaning, just to be a bit macho.

On the other end of the spectrum however, you have a game like Catherine, which tries to take a more serious look at sexual "problems". Looking away from the fact that the game has the most appalling ending, that is quite an interest prospect, as (I think it was) Vinny talked about on the Bombcast before Christmas. I would love to see more games handling those problems, although perhaps not too many focusing entirely on it (as I don't think it makes for very engaging, or meaningful gameplay. At least not with the controllers of today). It is a topic that the growing gaming population would probably be interested in, I would think.

So,

in somewhat of a conclusion, games like Mass Effect show how an action-oriented game can have some nearly meaningful video game sex. At least meaningful for me, and I think if it became a bit more sophisticated (in terms of handling it a bit more, in stead of just one cutscene), it would perhaps have lasting appeal. I don't know.

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Posted by PugsterGlasses

A couple of years ago I played Mass Effect, and as things went down, I went to bed with Aria. Right now I'm wondering why that made so much of an impact on me. Well, not the graphic aspect of having video game sex, because that was quite poor in that game, but the factual relationship with a video game character. It may have just been the "dazzling new dialog technology" of ME, but I think that the reason I still remember it is partly because of the relationship accumulating in sex. Especially as the relationship was carried over, or at least hinted to, in ME2.

In other games, such as God of War, sex is just a thing because... Well, sex. There sex in video games loses quite a lot of meaning to me. When you have it in there because the age rating already is "M". I doesn't make sense to me, because if you ever needed to let of "steam", there is the internet, or real girls/boys. Even in GoW, the graphic aspect of it isn't much to talk about. The sex there is trivialized beyond meaning, just to be a bit macho.

On the other end of the spectrum however, you have a game like Catherine, which tries to take a more serious look at sexual "problems". Looking away from the fact that the game has the most appalling ending, that is quite an interest prospect, as (I think it was) Vinny talked about on the Bombcast before Christmas. I would love to see more games handling those problems, although perhaps not too many focusing entirely on it (as I don't think it makes for very engaging, or meaningful gameplay. At least not with the controllers of today). It is a topic that the growing gaming population would probably be interested in, I would think.

So,

in somewhat of a conclusion, games like Mass Effect show how an action-oriented game can have some nearly meaningful video game sex. At least meaningful for me, and I think if it became a bit more sophisticated (in terms of handling it a bit more, in stead of just one cutscene), it would perhaps have lasting appeal. I don't know.

Posted by bwmcmaste

@PugsterGlasses: The sex scenes in ME reminded me more of the kind of gratuitous conjugal interactions one would see on a cable television drama program than any sort of real attempt at sensuality. Or, to put it more succinctly, it was more like "makin' love,' than "straight up fuckin'."

Posted by Sooty

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

Posted by PugsterGlasses

@bwmcmaste: Yes, I suppose. But do you think there is a place in video games for "straight up fuckin'."? I guess the thing about ME that appealed to me was the romance, not as much the awkward sex scene. Though I think a more explicit sex scene in a game is not necessarily a bad thing, it would just take more fidelity. Like humor.

Posted by DonChipotle

You want straight up fuckin, I can point you to a few titles.

Posted by Demoskinos

@PugsterGlasses: I think if they don't try to obfuscate their intentions and just come out and be like Yeah, we got tits all over the place BUY OUR GAME. I almost respect that more. At least they are being honest and straightforward instead of trying to sell you on the fact that the sex somehow "matters" in the framework of the narrative.

Posted by PugsterGlasses

@DonChipotle: No, thank you :P

Posted by DonChipotle

You sure? I promise, man, they're all legit. Mostly. You don't have any warrants, right?

Posted by jorbear

@DonChipotle: Tell me more.

Posted by DonChipotle

@jorbear said:

@DonChipotle: Tell me more.

An entire genre of games is devoted to straight up fuckin' some chicks. Most of the time they make you work for it, too.

Posted by ShadowConqueror

Why this thread wasn't titled "Straight Up Fuckin'" I'll never know, but what a huge oversight!

Posted by jorbear

@DonChipotle said:

@jorbear said:

@DonChipotle: Tell me more.

An entire genre of games is devoted to straight up fuckin' some chicks. Most of the time they make you work for it, too.

Just like in real life?

Fuck that shit.

Posted by phantomzxro

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

Well it just plays on the main roots of why people play video games. People like to win and see growth and or achievement. video games can mimic these achievements on a purely fantasy level (killing dragons and whatnot) or on a more down to earth basis (choosing who your friends are) . Now that games can actively mimic real life situations pretty well, it just one more thing i feel people get a kick out of doing. Having a fantasy relationship and reaching that goal of locking that relationship down or having sex can be looked as another achievement.

I'm sure there are other reasons on both end of the table. Simple ones like people just like sex and more complex ones as building a fantasy world for yourself within the game. All in all i think sex can be meaningful in a game and can be purely meaningless. If a game wants to replicate a real relationship than sex have to be included in some way but i also want to see relationships be more than just that final sex act. Dragon age 2 toke a stab at it and i want more games to follow down that same road relationship wise.

Posted by Dagbiker

Splatterhouse, ( the remake) would reward you by giving you pics of your "girlfriend" topless and some times with a little bush. The thing is the pics have nothing to do with the story. Im not going to post them on the thread but they are in the Splatterhouse pics section. I don't know how i feel about that, because that's just a cheap gimmick to get people to play your game. If they where some how involved in the game, or some how tied to the story It might not bother me so much.

Also I think that comparing all sex scenes to Porn you can find on the internet is dumb, I agree that if i want porn i will find it my self. But if the characters are going to have sex, in the story, then that should not be omitted.

Posted by VisceralWhimsy

@phantomzxro said:

and i want more games to follow down that same road relationship wise.

I would like to see more of an honest portrayal of a good videogame relationship. I'd like to see more lasting aftereffects and consequences, of love, loss and sex, as like it happens in real life. I feel like at some point they could really get it right; beyond giving specific gifts, or saying the right thing in the right spots. If only it could be a little more fluid.

How about a game that notices the company you keep, if it's a character you really like spending your own character's time with, that character takes notice and you can actually feel like you're developing a friendship or more, based on what you want. Something with a little more humanity -- not some sort of dating simulation.

Posted by lockwoodx

@VisceralWhimsy said:

@phantomzxro said:

and i want more games to follow down that same road relationship wise.

I would like to see more of an honest portrayal of a good videogame relationship. I'd like to see more lasting aftereffects and consequences, of love, loss and sex, as like it happens in real life. I feel like at some point they could really get it right; beyond giving specific gifts, or saying the right thing in the right spots. If only it could be a little more fluid.

How about a game that notices the company you keep, if it's a character you really like spending your own character's time with, that character takes notice and you can actually feel like you're developing a friendship or more, based on what you want. Something with a little more humanity -- not some sort of dating simulation.

The Witcher 2 has you covered to the fullest degree that modern technology can push. If you're a console tard, no worries they have you covered too. It's coming out for the 360. Enjoy

Posted by VisceralWhimsy

@Buzzkill: Really? That's interesting. I wouldn't have considered that game to rank up there in relationships but hey! Nah, I'll wait and get it on Steam. :) Some games are better on PC, I know, I know.

Posted by Tim_the_Corsair

People operate under the (mistaken) assumption that sex can only be present in games (or film or whatever) for gratuitous reasons.

But it can be used for story telling or character development purposes, and is an effective tool.

Sleeping with Morrigan in Dragon Age, for example, is a major plot point that has some interesting repercussions on your character, her character, and the overarching plot (plus, potentially, your relationships with other love interests and party members).

Mass Effect 2, on the other hand, actually had a very tender, highly emotional love making scene (and this what it was) with Jack, which represented the last of her walls coming down, which is a huge deal for her character, and comes on the back (heh heh heh) of a gruelling, challenging relationship due to her psychological damage.

Indeed Mass Effect 2, for all the shit it cops (sometimes justifiably) for its romances and the subsequent unhealthy obsessions by players, does show that BioWare at least tries to accomplish something with these beyond straight up fuckin' - Tali is about trust and a relationship changing (somewhat creepily) from surrogate dad/heroic figure to lover, while Garrus is about self-worth and redemption, and Miranda is about finally getting to bone Yvonne Strahkovski (or self-worth and redemption, whatever, to get to bone black-haired Sarah Walker).

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah, sex in games can be used effectively as a story tool, just like violence, or conversation. Games tend to handle it less maturely (as it does most narrative elements), but it has improved and shouldn't just be discounted as "hurr tits".

Posted by TobbRobb

Mass Effect has romance? Can't say I remember much of that. I don't really think romance is Biowares strongest suit.

Posted by mandude
I thought the Witcher 2 and Dragon Age: Origins did it pretty nicely... if you did it with Morrigan anyway. It was a pretty interesting plot point.
 
@TobbRobb said:
Mass Effect has romance? Can't say I remember much of that. I don't really think romance is Biowares strongest suit.
I never played it, but I remember one douche branding it as a virtual rape simulator, so there's always that.
Posted by Dagbiker

@mandude said:

I thought the Witcher 2 and Dragon Age: Origins did it pretty nicely... if you did it with Morrigan anyway. It was a pretty interesting plot point.

@TobbRobb said:
Mass Effect has romance? Can't say I remember much of that. I don't really think romance is Biowares strongest suit.
I never played it, but I remember one douche branding it as a virtual rape simulator, so there's always that.

The other races of the galaxy are inferior to us, so it is kinda like Statutory rape.

Posted by Video_Game_King

How the fuck has Katawa Shoujo not yet invaded this thread? I'd post something, but none of my screenshots have enough boob to qualify as relevant.

Posted by Napalm

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

The three sex scenes that exist in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, (David Fincher version) are important to the film and wholly shape Lisbeth as a character. Without those scenes, there would be no point to her demeanor and character. Somebody saying this, I assume, probably isn't old enough to understand the difference between a sex scene because, and one that is there for a purpose.

Maybe you should pay more attention.

Edited by believer258

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

They exist because people enjoy romance and seeing such things in media, and sex is a culmination of that romance. For instance, Terminator wouldn't have been half the movie that it was if Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese had not fallen in love and the job of fathering John had fallen on some other poor fellow some time after the movie. The movie is usually remembered for its quick pace and tense action, but there is definitely a love subplot in there. You might classify it as more of a quick fling, but it was there and, more importantly, it was pertinent to the plot.

I do hope you aren't the one person on the internet who hasn't seen the Terminator movies.

Anyway, romance and love, whether it be of the long-lasting marriage type or the quick fling type, is a big part of our humanity. A big part. To never represent that in mediums that tell stories, especially in movies or novels, would be quite a crime.

I won't, however, defend needless or overwrought sex scenes. When I watch a movie, I don't want valuable screen time being taken up because some bloody fuck said "let's throw some tits in there"! unless I'm watching a slasher flick, where it's completely expected. You can know if the deed was done without spending five minutes flashing boobies. I'll watch porn if I want to see that.

On a completely different note, I wonder if there will ever be a game where, like Mass Effect, you can choose a partner and then, later in the game or in the sequel, you find out that the partner is pregnant if you're a male and your character is pregnant if you're a girl. Wouldn't that be quite a shock?

Posted by upwarDBound

Sex scenes in video games are already incredibly awkward. Adding interactivity to the equation would make it even more so. Do you want a sex simulator or a video game?

Posted by BitterAlmond

@PugsterGlasses said:

@bwmcmaste: Yes, I suppose. But do you think there is a place in video games for "straight up fuckin'."? I guess the thing about ME that appealed to me was the romance, not as much the awkward sex scene. Though I think a more explicit sex scene in a game is not necessarily a bad thing, it would just take more fidelity. Like humor.

I agree: video games are harder to take entirely seriously, and something more explicit would probably be seen as some sort of stunt instead of a plot-driving mechanism.

Posted by Bwast

@Napalm said:

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

The three sex scenes that exist in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, (David Fincher version) are important to the film and wholly shape Lisbeth as a character. Without those scenes, there would be no point to her demeanor and character. Somebody saying this, I assume, probably isn't old enough to understand the difference between a sex scene because, and one that is there for a purpose.

Maybe you should pay more attention.

Being a condescending asshole about it will probably make him agree with you.

Posted by Napalm

@Bwast said:

@Napalm said:

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

The three sex scenes that exist in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, (David Fincher version) are important to the film and wholly shape Lisbeth as a character. Without those scenes, there would be no point to her demeanor and character. Somebody saying this, I assume, probably isn't old enough to understand the difference between a sex scene because, and one that is there for a purpose.

Maybe you should pay more attention.

Being a condescending asshole about it will probably make him agree with you.

Thanks for your input.

Edited by SoldierG654342

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

Basically. Sex can be an important character moment, but I cannot recall a single instance where seeing/reading the actual act added anything of value to the plot or characters. The implication is enough, and often times more effective.

Edited by Jeust
@SoldierG654342 said:

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

Basically. Sex can be an important character moment, but I cannot recall a single instance where seeing/reading the actual act added anything of value to the plot or characters. The implication is enough, and often times more effective.

My Sheppard having sex with Jack made me desire more to stick with her in ME3, and end it over a pile of Reapers. It was probably the moment where I was more influenced by a sex scene in a game.
Posted by Sooty

@Napalm said:

@Sooty said:

I don't think a sex scene has ever added anything of value in a movie or game to be honest. I don't really get why they exist, other than some people wanting to see tits.

Somebody saying this, I assume, probably isn't old enough to understand the difference between a sex scene because, and one that is there for a purpose.

Actually, I don't watch many movies and as such, I have yet to see one that made me think the sex was vital to the character or the films overall quality.

The closest I can think of is rape scenes, which act as a good way to inspire pity for one character and hatred for another.

Posted by Ravenlight

@Video_Game_King said:

How the fuck has Katawa Shoujo not yet invaded this thread? I'd post something, but none of my screenshots have enough boob to qualify as relevant.

That game, man. That game.

For those not in the know, it's an excellent example of sex scenes being quaternary to anything story-related. There's even an option to straight up disable the sex scenes and it's probably a stronger game if your play it that way.

Edited by Grimluck343
I thought the moment when Cole cheats on his wife in L.A. Noir was very powerful, in that it made me actively hate the character.

Granted, that's more of insinuated sex rather than in your face, "pound" on the A button to get the ecstasy face on.

Posted by Bocam

@Video_Game_King: Because eroge have always had sex scenes. It's expected.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Bocam said:

@Video_Game_King: Because eroge have always had sex scenes. It's expected.

That's implying that Katawa Shoujo can give you a stiffy. That game didn't give me an ounce of chub (in a good way).

Posted by Yanngc33

lol sex

Posted by Bocam

@Video_Game_King: Then you're playing with it wrong.

Posted by Oldirtybearon

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

People operate under the (mistaken) assumption that sex can only be present in games (or film or whatever) for gratuitous reasons. But it can be used for story telling or character development purposes, and is an effective tool. Sleeping with Morrigan in Dragon Age, for example, is a major plot point that has some interesting repercussions on your character, her character, and the overarching plot (plus, potentially, your relationships with other love interests and party members). Mass Effect 2, on the other hand, actually had a very tender, highly emotional love making scene (and this what it was) with Jack, which represented the last of her walls coming down, which is a huge deal for her character, and comes on the back (heh heh heh) of a gruelling, challenging relationship due to her psychological damage. Indeed Mass Effect 2, for all the shit it cops (sometimes justifiably) for its romances and the subsequent unhealthy obsessions by players, does show that BioWare at least tries to accomplish something with these beyond straight up fuckin' - Tali is about trust and a relationship changing (somewhat creepily) from surrogate dad/heroic figure to lover, while Garrus is about self-worth and redemption, and Miranda is about finally getting to bone Yvonne Strahkovski (or self-worth and redemption, whatever, to get to bone black-haired Sarah Walker). Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, sex in games can be used effectively as a story tool, just like violence, or conversation. Games tend to handle it less maturely (as it does most narrative elements), but it has improved and shouldn't just be discounted as "hurr tits".

/thread

Seriously, dude nailed it.

Edited by Seppli

Yes - I always want my favorite media to turn into porn subconciously. I want as many nipples and asscracks and vaginas in my games as possible, without turning into straightup porn. I guess it's got to be fair game for the dong afficionados, female and otherwise. If artistically beneficial to the experience, the male form may be celebrated too. Best whilst proficiently ravaging the female form.

Though very explicit dry humping would likey do the job way better for videogames. Aggressive rubbing and squeezing and pushing and grinding whilst making out fully clothed should be as explicit as it needs to be. I want acts of lust in my videogames, not necessarily nudity or borderline pornography. GTA IV levels are what sexually explicit content should go for in videogames.

Bioware skin-e-max is way too tame and silly minigames are way stupid, but there's certainly a place for sexuality in cutscenes. Character development. Storyarc payoffs - to set climaxes *snicker*.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Bocam:

How am I supposed to play it? "Aw, sure is sad that she cries herself to sleep over her dad's d-YEA! FUCKING JERK OFF TO WHEELCHAIR BUTTSEX! WOOOOOHHHH!"

Posted by Demoskinos

@Video_Game_King said:

@Bocam:

How am I supposed to play it? "Aw, sure is sad that she cries herself to sleep over her dad's d-YEA! FUCKING JERK OFF TO WHEELCHAIR BUTTSEX! WOOOOOHHHH!"

People have gotten off to weirder stuff.....

Posted by Bocam

@Video_Game_King: Just like that.

Posted by Panpipe

@upwarDBound said:

Sex scenes in video games are already incredibly awkward. Adding interactivity to the equation would make it even more so. Do you want a sex simulator or a video game?

Why not? If a game features jumping does it become a jumping simulator?

I agree that most scenes have been awkward - partly due to the graphics of current games and in general it hasn't been tackled (heh) very well yet. I think the Mass Effect series has had an alright stab at it, but the writing isn't strong enough. I imagine it's too hard with a non-linear game, you character has to bend in so many directions that it'd be an impossible for the writers to make every relationship convincing.

It'd be great to have a game nail it™ but that's not going to happen in mainstream gaming for a while, especially not interactively.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Bocam:

But the whole "personal connection" thing that everybody (including myself) seems to find in this game ruins the hell out of that. How can I jerk off to Hanako without being narcissist ass? But if I don't jerk off to her, and I do for other girls, I'm an asshole. So no jacking it to Katawa Shoujo.

Posted by PugsterGlasses
@Tim_the_Corsair
People operate under the (mistaken) assumption that sex can only be present in games (or film or whatever) for gratuitous reasons.

But it can be used for story telling or character development purposes, and is an effective tool.

Sleeping with Morrigan in Dragon Age, for example, is a major plot point that has some interesting repercussions on your character, her character, and the overarching plot (plus, potentially, your relationships with other love interests and party members).

Mass Effect 2, on the other hand, actually had a very tender, highly emotional love making scene (and this what it was) with Jack, which represented the last of her walls coming down, which is a huge deal for her character, and comes on the back (heh heh heh) of a gruelling, challenging relationship due to her psychological damage.

Indeed Mass Effect 2, for all the shit it cops (sometimes justifiably) for its romances and the subsequent unhealthy obsessions by players, does show that BioWare at least tries to accomplish something with these beyond straight up fuckin' - Tali is about trust and a relationship changing (somewhat creepily) from surrogate dad/heroic figure to lover, while Garrus is about self-worth and redemption, and Miranda is about finally getting to bone Yvonne Strahkovski (or self-worth and redemption, whatever, to get to bone black-haired Sarah Walker).

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah, sex in games can be used effectively as a story tool, just like violence, or conversation. Games tend to handle it less maturely (as it does most narrative elements), but it has improved and shouldn't just be discounted as "hurr tits".
This!

You, sir, have put it quite eloquently better than me :)
Edited by bwmcmaste

@PugsterGlasses said:

@bwmcmaste: Yes, I suppose. But do you think there is a place in video games for "straight up fuckin'."? I guess the thing about ME that appealed to me was the romance, not as much the awkward sex scene.

Oh, I think you can find a market for just about anything in video games; it is a very eclectic medium after all. As for the romantic elements in ME2, I feel much the same way as you do. The day I perceive that sex in videogames as a legitimate plot device is when they can manage something similar to one of the sex scenes in Basic Instinct.